Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Greece"

See other formats








II. (Srmati 3M0tnnj in tfje JUtgtt nf 




VOL. I. 






J A.v6puv f/puuv 

*H/u#eot Trporepi) yevei). HESIOD 



Ilo/Uff pcponuv av&punuv. Ho:i*C 


THE first idea .if this History was conceived ir any years 
ago, at a time wKtn ancient Hellas was known to the English 
public chiefly through the pages of Mitford ; and my purpose 
in writing it was t ) rectify the erroneous statements as to 
matter of fact which that History contained, as well as to pre- 
sent the general phe aomena of the Grecian world under what 
I thought a juster an 1 more comprehensive point of view. My 
leisure, however, way not at that time equal to the execution 
of any large literary undertaking ; nor is it until within the 
last three or four years that I have been able to devote to the 
work that continuous and exclusive labor, without which, 
though much may be done to illustrate detached points, no 
entire or complicated subject can ever be set forth in a man 
ner worthy to meet the public eye. 

Meanwhile the state of the English literary world, in ref- 
erence to ancient Hellas, has been materially changed in 
more ways than one. If my early friend Dr. ThirlwalPs 
History of Greece had appeared a few years sooner, I should 
probably never have conceived the design of the present 
work at all ; I should certainly not have been prompted to the 
task by any deficiencies, such as those which I felt and regret- 
ted in Mitford. The comparison of the two authors affords, 
indeed, a striking proof of the progress of sound and enlarged 


views respecting the ancient world during the present gerier 
ation. Having studied of course the same evidences as Dr 
Thirwall, I am better enabled than others to bear testimony 
to the learning, the sagacity, and the candor which pervado 
his excellent work : and it is the more incumbent on me to 
give expression to this sentiment, since the particular points 
on which I shall have occasion to advert to it will, unavoidably, 
be points of dissent oftener than of coincidence. 

The liberal spirit of criticism, in which Dr. Thirwall stands 
so much distinguished from Mitford, is his own : there arc 
other features of superiority which belong to him conjointly 
with his age. For during the generation since Mitford 's work, 
philological studies have been prosecuted in Germany with 
remarkable success : the stock of facts and documents, com- 
paratively scanty, handed down from the ancient world, 
has been combined and illustrated in a thousand different 
ways : and if our witnesses cannot be multiplied, we at least 
have numerous interpreters to catch, repeat, amplify, and ex- 
plain their broken and half-inaudible depositions. Some of 
the best writers in this department Boeckh, Niebuhr, 
0. Miiller have been translated into our language ; so that 
the English public has been enabled to form some idea of the 
new lights thrown upon many subjects of antiquity by the in- 
estimable aid of German erudition. The poets, historians, 
orators, and philosophers of Greece, have thus been all ren- 
dered both more intelligible and more instructive than they 
were to a student in the last century ; and the general pic- 
ture of the Grecian world may now be conceived with a de- 
gree of fidelity, which, considering our imperfect materials, it 
is curious to contemplate. 

It is that general picture which an historian of Greece is 
required first to embody in his own mind, and next to lay out 
before his readers ; a picture not merely such as to delight 
the imagination by brilliancy of coloring and depth of senti- 
ment, but also suggestive and improving to the reason NoJ 


omitting the points of resemblance as well as of contrast with 
the better-known forms of modern society, he will especially 
study to exhibit the spontaneous movement of Grecian intel- 
lect, sometimes aided but never borrowed from without, and 
lighting up a small portion of a world otherwise clouded and 
stationary. He will develop the action of that social system, 
which, while insuring to the mass of freemen a degree of pro- 
tection elsewhere unknown, acted as a stimulus to the crea 
tive impulses of genius, and left the superior minds sufficiently 
unshackled to soar above religious and political routine, to 
overshoot their own age, and to become the teachers of pos 

To set forth the history of a people by whom the first spark 
was set to the dormant intellectual capacities of our nature, 
Hellenic phenomena, as illustrative of the Hellenic mind and 
character, is the task which I propose to myself in the 
present work ; not without a painful consciousness how much 
the deed falls short of the will, and a yet more painful con- 
viction, that full success is rendered impossible by an obstacle 
which no human ability can now remedy, the insufficiency 
of original evidence. For, in spite of the valuable expositions 
of so many able commentators, our stock of information re 
specting the ancient world still remains lamentably inadequate 
to the demands of an enlightened curiosity. We possess only 
what has drifted ashore from the wreck of a stranded vessel ; 
and though this includes some of the most precious articles 
amongst its once abundant cargo, yet if any man will cast his 
eyes over the citations in Diogenes Laertius, Athenseus, or 
Plutarch, or the list of names in Vossius de Historicis Grae- 
cis, he will see with grief and surprise how much larger is 
the proportion which, through the enslavement of the Greeka 
themselves, the decline of the Roman Empire, the change of 
religion, and the irruption of barbarian conquerors, has been 
irrecoverably submerged. We are thus reduced to judge of 
he whole Hellenic world, eminently multiform as it was, 


from a few compositions ; excellent, indeed, in themselves, but 
bearing too exclusively the stamp of Athens. Of Thucydidea 
and Aristotle, indeed, both as inquirers into matter of fact, 
and as free from narrow local feeling, it is impossible to speak 
too highly ; but, unfortunately, that work of the latter which 
would have given us the most copious information regarding 
Grecian political life his collection and comparison of one 
hundred and fifty distinct town constitutions has not been 
preserved : and the brevity of Thucydides often gives us but a 
single word where a sentence would not have been too much, 
and sentences which we should be glad tor see expanded into 

Such insufficiency of original and trustworthy materials, a3 
compared with those resources which are thought hardly suf- 
ficient for the historian of any modern kingdom, is neither to 
be concealed nor extenuated, however much we may lament 
it. I advert to the point here on more grounds than one. 
For it not only limits the amount of information which an 
historian of Greece can give to his readers, compelling him 
to leave much of his picture an absolute blank, but it also 
greatly spoils the execution of the remainder. The question 
of credibility is perpetually obtruding itself, and requiring a 
decision, which, whether favorable or unfavorable, always in- 
troduces more or less of controversy ; and gives to those out 
lines, which the interest of the picture requires to be straight 
and vigorous, a faint and faltering character. Expressions 
of qualified and hesitating affirmation are repeated until the 
reader is sickened ; while the writer himself, to whom this 
restraint is more painful still, is frequently tempted to break 
loose from the unseen spell by which a conscientious criticism 
binds him down, to screw up the possible and probable 
into certainty, to suppress counterbalancing considerations, 
and to substitute a pleasing romance in place of half- 
known and perplexing realities. Desiring, in the present 
work, to set forth all which can be ascertained, together with 


such conjectures and inferences as can be reasonably deduced 
from it, but nothing more, I notice, at the outset, that faulty 
state of the original evidence which renders discussions of 
credibility, and hesitation in the language of the judge, una- 
voidable. Such discussions, though the reader may be as- 
sured that they will become less frequent as we advance into 
times better known, are tiresome enough, even with the com- 
paratively late period which I adopt as the historical begin- 
ning ; much more intolerable would they have proved, had I 
thought it my duty to start from the primitive terminus of 
Deukalion or Inachus, or from the unburied Pelasgi and 
Leleges, and to subject the heroic ages to a similar scrutiny. 
I really know nothing so disheartening or unrequited as the 
elaborate balancing of what is called evidence, the compar- 
ison of infinitesimal probabilities and conjectures all uncerti- 
fied, in regard to these shadowy times and persons. 

The law respecting sufficiency of evidence ought to be the 
same for ancient times as for modern ; and the reader will 
find in this History an application, to the former, of criteria 
analogous to those which have been long recognized in the 
latter. Approaching, though with a certain measure of 
indulgence, to this standard, I begin the real history of 
Greece with the first recorded Olympiad, or 776 B. c. To 
such as are accustomed to the habits once universal, and still 
not uncommon, in investigating the ancient world, I may ap- 
pear to be striking off one thousand years from the scroll of 
history ; but to those whose canon of evidence is derived 
from Mr. Hallam, M. Sismondi, or any other eminent histo- 
rian of modern events, I am well assured that I shall appear 
lax and credulous rather than exigent or sceptical. For 
the truth is, that historical records, properly so called, do not 
begin until long after this date : nor will any man, who can- 
didly considers the extreme paucity of attested facts for two 
centuries after 776 B. c., be astonished to learn that the state 
of Greece in 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400 B. a. tr , 

viii PREFACE. 

or auy cailicr century which it may please chronologistg to 
inc.mcle iu their coirsputed genealogies, cannot be described 
to him upon anything like decent evidence. I shall hope, 
when I come to the lives of Socrates and Plato, to illustrate 
one of the most valuable of their principles, that conscious 
tind confessed ignorance is a better state of mind, than the 
fancy, without the reality, of knowledge. Meanwhile, I begin 
by making that confession, in reference to the real world of 
Greece anterior to the Olympiads ; meaning the disclaimer 
to apply to anything like a general history, not to exclude 
rigorously every individual event. 

The times which I thus set apart from the region of his- 
tory are discernible only through a different atmosphere, 
that of epic poetry and legend. To confound together these 
disparate matters is, in my judgment, essentially unphilo- 
sophical. I describe the earlier times by themselves, as con- 
ceived by the faith and feeling of the first Greeks, and known 
only through their legends, without presuming to measure 
how much or how little of historical matter these legendd may 
contain. If the reader blame me for not assisting him to de- 
termine this, if he ask me why I do not undraw the curtain 
and disclose the picture, I reply in the words of the painter 
Zeuxis, when the same question was addressed to him on ex- 
hibiting his master-piece of imitative art : " The curtain is 
the picture." What we now read as poetry and legend was 
once accredited history, and the only genuine history which 
the first Greeks could conceive or relish of their past time : the 
curtain conceals nothing behind, and cannot, by any ingenuity, 
be withdrawn. I undertake only to show it as it stands, 
not to efface, still less to repaint it. 

Three-fourths of the two volumes now presented b the 
public are destined to elucidate this age of historical faith, 
as distinguished from the later age of historical reason : to 
exhibit its basis in the human mind, an omnipresent religious 
and personal interpretation of nature ; to illustrate it by coaa 


parison with the like mental habit in early modern Europe ; 
to show its immense abundance and variety of narrative 
matter, with little care for consistency between one story 
and another ; lastly, to set forth the causes which overgrew 
and partially supplanted tho old epical sentiment, and intro- 
duced, in the room of literal faith, a variety of compromises 
*nd interpretations. 

The legendary age of the Greeks receives its principal 
tharm and dignity from the Homeric poems : to these, there- 
.bre, and to the other poems included in the ancient epic, an 
entire chapter is devoted, the length of which must be justi- 
fied by the names of the Iliad and Odyssey. I have thought 
it my duty to take some notice of the Wolfian controversy as 
it now stands in Germany, and have even hazarded some 
speculations respecting the structure of the Iliad. The so 
ciety and manners of the heroic age, considered as known in 
a general way from Homer's descriptions and allusions, are 
also described and criticized. 

I next pass to the historical age, beginning at 776 B. c. ; 
prefixing some remarks upon the geographical features of 
Greece. I try to make out, amidst obscure and scanty indi- 
cations, what the state of Greece was at this period ; and I 
indulge some cautious conjectures, founded upon the earliest 
verifiable facts, respecting the steps immediately antecedent 
by which that condition was brought about. In the present 
volumes, I have only been able to include the history of Sparta 
and the Peloponnesian Dorians, down to the age of Peisis- 
tratus and Croesus. I had hoped to have comprised in 
them the entire history of Greece down to this last-mentioned 
period, but I find the space insufficient. 

The history of Greece falls most naturally into six com- 
partments, of which the first may be looked at as a period of 
preparation for the five following, which exhaust the free life 
of collective Hellas. 

I. Period from 776 B. c. to 560 B. c., the accession of 

Peisistratus at Athens and of Croesus in Lydia 



II. From the accession of Peisistratus and Croesus to tha 
repulse of Xerxes from Greece. 

III. From the repulse of Xerxes to the close of the Pelo 
ponnesian war and overthrow of Athens. 

IV. From the close of the Peloponnesian war to the bat- 
tle of Leuktra. 

V. From the battle of Leuktra to that of Chgeroneia. 

VI. From the battle of Chaeroneia to the end of the gen- 
eration of Alexander. 

The five periods, from Peisistratus down to the death of 
Alexander and of his generation, present the acts of an his- 
torical drama capable of being recounted in perspicuous suc- 
cession, and connected bj a sensible thread of unity. I shall 
interweave in their proper places the important but outlying 
adventures of the Sicilian and Italian Greeks, introducing 
such occasional notices of Grecian political constitutions, phi- 
losophy, poetry, and oratory, as are requisite to exhibit the 
many-sided activity of this people during their short but 
brilliant career. 

After the generation of Alexander, the political action of 
Greece becomes cramped and degraded, no longer interest- 
ing to the reader, or operative on the destinies of the future 
world. We may, indeed, name one or two incidents, especially 
the revolutions of Agis and Kleomenes at Sparta, which arc 
both instructive and affecting ; but as a whole, the period, 
between 300 B. c. and the absorption of Greece by the Ro- 
mans, is of no interest in itself, and is only so far of value 
as it helps us to understand the preceding centuries. Tho 
dignity and value of the Greeks from that time forward be 
long to them only as individual philosophers, preceptors, as- 
tronomers, and mathematicians, literary men and critics, med 
ical practioners, etc. In all these respective capacities, 
especially in the great schools of philosophical speculation 
they still constitute the light of the Roman world ; though, 
as communities, they have lost their own orbit, and have be satellites of more powerful neighbors. 


I propose to bring down the history of the Grecian com- 
munities to the year 300 B. c., or the close of the generation 
which takes its name from Alexander the Great, and I hope 
to accomplish this in eight volumes altogether. For the next 
two or three volumes I have already large preparations 
made, and I shall publih my third (perhaps my fourth) in 
the course of the ensuing winter. 

There are great disadvantages in the publication of one 
portion of a history apart from the remainder ; for neither the 
earlier nor the later phenomena can be fully comprehended 
without the light which each mutually casts upon the other. 
But the practice has become habitual, and is indeed more 
than justified by the well-known inadmissibility of " long 
hopes" into the short span of human life. Yet I cannot but 
fear that my first two volumes will suffer in the estimation of 
many readers by coming out alone, and that men who value 
the Greeks for their philosophy, their politics, and their ora- 
tory, may treat the early legends as not worth attention. 
And it must be confessed that the sentimental attributes of 
the Greek mind its religious and poetical vein here ap- 
pear in disproportionate relief, as compared with its more 
vigorous and masculine capacities, with those powers of 
acting, organizing, judging, and speculating, which will be re- 
vealed in the forthcoming volumes. I venture, however, to 
forewarn the reader, that there will occur numerous circum- 
stances in the after political life of the Greeks, which he will 
not comprehend unless he be initiated into the course of their 
legendary associations. He will not understand the frantic 
terror of the Athenian public during the Peloponnesian war, 
on the occasion of the mutilation of the statues called Her- 
mae, unless he enters into the way in which they connected 
their stability and security with the domiciliation of the goda 
in the soil : nor will he adequately appreciate the habit of 
the Spartan king on military expeditions, when he offered 
his daily public sacrifices on behalf of his army and his coun 


try, " always to ptrform this morning service immediately 
before sunrise, in order that he might be beforehand in ob- 
taining the favor of the gods," 1 if he be not familiar with the 
Homeric conception of Zeus going to rest at night and 
awaking to rise at early dawn from the side of the " white- 
armed Here." The occasion will, indeod, often occur for 
remarking how these legends illustrate and vivify the politi 
cal phenomena of the succeeding times, and I have only now 
to urge the necessity of considering them as the beginning of 
a series, not as an entire work. 

1 Xenophon, Repub. LaccdaemDn. cap. xiii. 3. 'A 6e, orav ^vrjTai, <ip^t- 
rai ftkv TOVTOV rov epyov In avE<$>ilo<;, fjohappuveiv fiovXofievof TTJV TO* tfc*ti 

LONDOK, March S 1S4S. 


IN preparing a Second Edition of the first two volumes 
of my History, I have profited by the remarks and correc- 
tions of various critics, contained in Reviews, both English 
and foreign. I have suppressed, or rectified, some positions 
which had been pointed out as erroneous, or as advanced 
upon inadequate evidence. I have strengthened my argu- 
ment in some cases where it appeared to have been imper- 
fectly understood, adding some new notes, partly for the 
purpose of enlarged illustration, partly to defend certain 
opinions which had been called in question. The greater 
number of these alterations have been made in Chapters 
XVI. and XXI. of Part I., and in Chapter VI. of Part II. 

I trust that these three Chapters, more full of speculation, 
and therefore more open to criticism than any of the others, 
will thus appear in a more complete and satisfactory form. 
But I must at the same time add that they remain for the 
most part unchanged in substance, and that I have seen no 
sufficient reason to modify my main conclusions even respect- 
ing the structure of the Iliad, controverted though they have 
been by some of my most esteemed critics. 

In regard to the character and peculiarity of Grecian le 
gend, as broadly distinguished throughout these volumes from 
Grecian .history, I desire to notice two valuable publications 


with which I have only become acquainted since the date of 
my first edition. One of these is, A Short Essay on Primae- 
val History, by John Kenrick, M. A. (London, 1846, publish- 
ed just at the same time as these volumes,) which illustrates 
with much acute reflection the general features of legend, 
not only in Greece but throughout the ancient world, see 
especially pages 65, 84, 92, et seq. The other work is, 
Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official, by Colonel 
Sleeman, first made known to me through an excellent no- 
tice of my History in the Edinburgh Review for October 1846. 
The description given by Colonel Sleeman, of the state of 
mind now actually prevalent among the native population of 
Hindostan, presents a vivid comparison, helping the modern 
reader to understand and appreciate the legendary era of 
Greece. I have embodied in the notes of this Second Edi- 
tion two or three passages from Colonel Sleeman's instruc- 
tive work: but the whole of it richly deserves perusal. 

Having now finished six volumes of this History, without 
attaining a lower point than the peace of Nikias, in the tenth 
year of the Peloponnesian war, I find myself compelled to 
retract the expectation held out in the preface to my First 
Edition, that the entire work might be completed in eight 
volumes. Experience proves to me how impossible it is to 
measure beforehand the space which historical subjects will 
require. All I can now promise is, that the remainder of the 
work shall be executed with as much regard to brevity as ia 
consistent with the paramount duty of rendering it fit for 
public acceptance. 

London, April 3, 1849 


FOLLOWING the example of Dr. Thirl wall and other excellent 
scholars, I call the Greek deities by their real Greek names, and 
not by the Latin equivalents used among the Romans. For the 
assistance of those readers to whom the Greek names may be less 
familiar, I here annex a table of the one and the other. 

Greek. Latin. 

Zeus, Jupiter. 

Poseidon, Neptune. 

Ares, Mars. 

Dionysus, Bacchus. 

Hermes, Mercury. 

Helios, Sol. 

Hephaestus, Vulcan. 

Hades, Pluto. 

Here, Juno. 

Athene, Minerva. 

Artemis, Diana. 

Aphrodite, Venus. 

Eos, Aurora. 

Hestia, Vesta. 

Leto, Latona. 

Demeter, Ceres. 

Herokles, Hercules. 

Askle'pius, JEsculapius. 

A few words are here necessary respecting the orthography 
oi Greek names adopted in the above table and generally through- 
out this history. I have approximated as nearly as I dared to 
the Greek letters in preference to the Latin ; and on this point I 
venture upon an innovation which I should have little doubt of 
vindicating before the reason of any candid English student. For 
the ordinary practice of substituting, in a Greek name, the English 
C in place of the Greek K, is, indeed, so obviously incorrect, that 

it admits of i'.o rational justification. Our own K, piecisety iind 
in every point, coincides with the Greek K : we have thus tho 
means of reproducing the Greek name to the eye as well as to 
the ear, yet we gratuitously take the wrong letter in preference 
to the right. And the precedent of the Latins is here against us 
rather than in our favor, for their C really coincided in sound 
with the Greek K, whereas our C entirely departs from it, and 
becomes an S, before e, i, <z, ce, and y. Though our C has so far 
deviated in sound from the Latin C, yet there is some warrant 
for our continuing to use it in writing Latin names, because we 
thus reproduce the name to the eye, though not to the ear. But 
this is not the case when we employ our C to designate the Greek 
K, for we depart here not less from the visible than from the audi- 
ble original ; while we mar the unrivalled euphony of the Greek 
language by that multiplied sibilation which constitutes the least 
inviting feature in our own. Among German philologists, the K 
is now universally employed in writing Greek names, and I have 
adopted it pretty largely in this work, making exception for such 
names as the English reader has been so accustomed to hear with 
the C, that they may be considered as being almost Anglicised. 
I have, farther, marked the long e and the long o (77, ,) by a 
circumflex (Here) when they occur in the last syllable or in tin 
penultimate of a name. 






Opening of the mythical world. How the mythes are to be told. Alia- 
gory rarely admissible. Zeus foremost in Grecian conception. Th 
gods how conceived : human type enlarged. Past history of the gods 
fitted on to present conceptions. Chaos. Gaaa and Uranos. Uranos 
disabled. Kronos and the Titans. Kronos overreached. Birth and 
safety of Zeus and his brethren. Other deities. Ambitious schemes of 
Zeus. Victory of Zeus and his brethren over Kronos and the Titans. 
Typhoeus. Dynasty of Zeus. His offspring. General distribution of 
the divine race. Hesiodic theogony its authority. Points of differ- 
ence between Homer and Hesiod. Homeric Zeus. Amplified theogony 
of Zeus. Hesiodic mythes traceable to Krete and Delphi. Orphic 
theogony. Zeus and Phanes. Zagreus. Comparison of Hesiod and 
Orpheus. Influence of foreign religions upon Greece Especially 
in regard to the worship of Demeter and Dionysos. Purification for 
homicide unknown to Homer. New and peculiar religious rites. Cir- 
culated by voluntary teachers and promising special blessings. Epime- 
nides, Sibylla, Bakis. Principal mysteries of Greece. Ecstatic rites 
introduced from Asia 700-500 B. c. Connected with the worship of 
Dionysos. Thracian and Egyptian influence upon Greece. Encour- 
agement to mystic legends. Melampus the earliest name as teacher of 
the Dionysiac rites. Orphic sect, a variety of the Dionysiac mystics. 
Contrast of the mysteries with the Homeric Hymns. Hymn to Diony- 
sos. Alteration of the primitive Grecian idea of Dionysos. Asiatic 
frenzy grafted on the joviality of the Grecian Dionysia. Eleusinian mys- 
teries. Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Temple of Eleusis. built by order 
of Demeter for her residence. Demeter prescribes the mystic ritual of 
Elensis. Homeric Hymn a sacred Eleusinian record, explanatory of tho 
details of divine service. Importance of the mysteries to the town of 
Eleusis. Strong hold of the legend upon Eleusinian feelings.- Differ- 


cnt legends respecting Temeter elsewhere. Expansion of the legends. 
Hellenic importance of Demeter. Legends of Apollo. Delian Apollo. 

Pythian Apollo. Foundation legends of the Delphian oracle. They 
served the purpose of historical explanation. Extended worship of 
Apollo. Multifarious local legends respecting Apollo. Festivals and 
Agones. State of mind and circumstances out of which Grecian mythes 
arose. Discrepancies in the legends little noticed. Aphrodite. Athene. 

Artemis. Poseidon. Stories of temporary servitude imposed on 
gods. Here. Hephaestos. Hestia. Hermes. Hermes inventor of 
the lyre. Bargain between Hermes and Apollo. Expository value of 
the Hymn. Zeus. Mythes arising out of the religious ceremonies. 
Small part of the animal sacrificed. Prometheus had outwitted Zeus. 
Gods, heroes, and men, appear together in the mythes pages 1-64 



Races of men as they appear in the Hesiodic " Works and Days." The 
Golden. The Silver. The Brazen. The Heroic. The Iron. 
Different both from the Theogony and from Homer. Explanation of 
this difference. Ethical vein of sentiment. Intersected by the myth- 
ical. The " Works and Days," earliest didactic poem. First Introduc- 
tion of daemons. Changes in the idea of daemons. Employed in 
attacks on the pagan faith. Functions of the Hesiodic daemons. Per- 
sonal feeling which pervades the " Works and Days." Probable age of 
the poem 64-73 



lapetids in Hesiod. Prometheus and Epimetheus. Counter-manoeuvring 
of Prometheus and Zeus. Pandora. Pandora in the Theogony. 
General feeling of the poet. Man wretched, but Zeus not to blame. 
Mischiefs arising from women. Punishment of Prometheus. The 
Prometheus of ./Eschylus. Locality in which Prometheus was con- 
fined 73-80 



Structure and purposes of Grecian genealogies. To connect the Grecian 
community with their common god. Lower members of the genealogy 
historical higher members non-historical. The non-historical portion 
equally believed, and most valued by the Greeks. Number of such gen- 
ealogies pervading every fraction of Greeks. Argeian genealogy. 
Inachns. Phoroneus. Argos Panoptes. 16. Romance of 16 his- 
thoricized by Persians and Phoenicians. Legendary abductions of hero- 
ines adapted to the feelings prevalent during the Persian war. Danaoi 
nd the Danafdes. Acrisios and Prcetos. The Proetides cured of frenzy 


by Melampns. Acrisios, Danae, and Zeus. Persons and the Coupons. 

Foundation of Mycenae commencement of Perseid dynasty. Am- 
phitryon, Alkmene, Sthenclos. Zeus and Alkinene. Eirth of Hfirnkles. 

Homeric legend of his birth: its expositor,' vr.luo. Tbe ITeraklekla 
expelled. Their recovery of Peloponnesus and establishment iu Argos, 
Sparta, and Mcssenia 80-95 



Daukulion, son of Prometheus. Phthiotis : his permanent seat. General 
deluge. Salvation of Deukalion and Pyrrha. Belief in this deluge 
throughout Greece. Hellen and Amphiktyon. Sons of Hellen : Dorus, 
Xuthus, j?Eolus. Amphiktyonic assembly. Common solemnities and 
games. Division of Hellas: JEolians, Dorians, lonians. Large extent 
of Doris implied in this genealogy. This form of the legend harmonizes 
with the great establishments of the historical Dorians. Achajus 
purpose which his name serves in the legend. Genealogical diversi- 
ties 96-105 



Legends of Greece, originally isolated, afterwards thrown into series. JEo- 
lus. His seven sons and five" daughters. 1. First JEolid line Salmo- 
neus. Tyro. Pelias and Neleus. Pero, Bias, and Mslampus. Peri 
klymenos. Nestor and his exploits. Neleids down to Kodrus. 
Second sEolid line Kretheus. Admetus and Alcestis. Peleus and thd 
wife of Acastus. Pelias and Jason. Jason and Medea. Medea al 
Corinth. Third <sEolid line Sisyphus. Corinthian genealogy of 
Eumelus. Coalescence of different legends about Medea and Sisyphus. 

Bellcrophon. Fourth sEolid line Athamas. Phryxus and Helle". 

Ino and Paloemon Isthmian games. Local root of the legend of 
Athamas. Traces of ancient human sacrifices. Athamas in the dis- 
trict near Orchomenos. Eteokles festival of the Charitesia. Found- 
ation and greatness of Orchomenos. Overthrow by Herakles and the 

Thebans. Trophonius and Agamedes. Ascalaphos and lalmenos 

Discrepancies in the Orchomenian genealogy. Probable inferences as 
to the ante-historical Orchomenos. Its early wealth and industry. 
Emissaries of the lake Kopal's. Old Amphiktyony at Kalauria. Orcho- 
menos and Thebes. Alcyone and Keyx. Canace. The Aloids. 
Calyce. Elis and JEtolia. Eleian genealogy. Augeas. The Molio- 
nid brothers. Variations in the Eleian genealogy. -<Et61ian genealogy. 

CEncns, Meleager, Tydeus. Legend of Meleager in Homer. How 
altered by the poets after Homer. Althsea and the burning brand. 
Grand Kalvdonian boar-hunt. Atalanta. Relics of the boar long pre- 
served at Tegea. Atalanta vanquished in the race by stratagem. 
Deianeira. Death of Herakles. Tydeus. Old age of (Eneus. Dis- 
crepant genealogies 108-153 




Misfortunes nnd celebrity of the Pelopids. Pclops eponjm of Pelopon- 
nesus. Deduction of the sceptre of Pelops. Kingly attributes of the 
family. Homeric Pelops. Lydia, Pisa, etc., post- Homeric additions. 
Tantalus. Niobe. Pclops and CEnomaus, king of Pisa. Chariot 
victory of Pclops his principality at Pisa. Atreus, Thyestes, Chry- 
sippus. Family horrors among the Pelopids. Agamemnon and Mene- 
laus. Orestes. The goddess Here and Mykenae. Legendary impor- 
tance of Mykenac. Its decline coincident with the rise of Argos and 
Sparta. Agamemnon and Orestes transferred to Sparta 153-1 67 



Lelex autochthonous in Laconia. Tindarcus and Leda. Offspring of 
Leda. 1. Castor, Timandra, Klytasmnestra, 2. Pollux, Helen. Castor 
and Pollux. Legend of the Attic Dekeleia. Idas and Lynkeus. 
Great functions and power of the Dioscuri. Messenian genealogy. 
Perieres Idas and Marpessa 168-173 



Pelasgus. Lykaon and his fifty sons. Legend of Lykaon ferocity 
punished by the gods. Deep religious faith of Pausanias. His view 
of past and present world. Kallisto and Areas. A/an, Apheidas, 
Elatus. Aleus, Auge, Telephus. Ancaeus. Echemus. Echemus 
kills Hyllus. Herakleids repelled from Peloponnesus. Coronis and 
Asklepius. Extended worship of Asklepius numerous legends. 
Machaon and Podaleirius. Numerous Asklepiads, or descendants from 
Asklepius. Temples of Asklepius sick persons healed there . . 1 73-1 83 



3Saku9 son of Zeus and JEgina. Offspring of JEakus Pelcus, Tela 
mon, Phokus. Prayers of .#Cakus procure relief for Greece Phokus 
killed by Peleus and Telamon. Telamon, banished, goes to Salamis. 
Peleus goes to Phthia his marriage with Thetis. Neoptolemus. 
Ajax, his son Philaensthe eponymous hero of a deme in Attica. Tenkrug 
banished, settles in Cyprus. Diffusion of the JEacid genealogy 184-190 



Erechtheus autochthonous. Attic legends originally from different 
roots each deme had its own. Little noticed by the old epic poets. 
Kekrops. Kranaus Pandion. Daughters of Pandion Procne, Phi 


lomela. Legend of Tereus. Daughters of Erechtheus Prokris. 
Kreiisa. Oreithyia, the wife of Boreas. Prayers of the Athenians to 
Boreas his gracious help in their danger. Erechtheus and Eumolpus. 

Voluntary self-sacrifice of the three daughters of Erechtheus. Kre- 
usa and Ion. Sons of Pandion JEgeus, etc. Theseus. His legend- 
ary character refined. Plutarch his way of handling the matter of 
legend. Legend of the Amazons. Its antiquity and prevalence. 
Glorious achievements of the Amazons. Their ubiquity. Universally 
received as a portion of the Greek past. Amazons produced as present 
by the historians of Alexander. Conflict of faith and reason in the his- 
torical critics 191-217 



Minos and Rhadamanthus, sons of Zeus. Europe. Pasiphae and the 
Minotaur. Scylla and Nisus. Death of Androgeos, and anger of Minos 
against Athens. Athenian victims for the Minotaur. Self-devotion of 
Theseus he kills the Minotaur. Athenian commemorative ceremonies. 

Family of Minos. Minos and Daedalus flight of the latter to 
Sicily. Minos goes to retake him, hut is killed. Semi-Kretan settle- 
ments elsewhere connected with this voyage of Minos. Sufferings of 
the Kretans afterwards from the wrath of Minos. Portrait of Minos 
how varied. Affinity between Krete and Asia Minor 218-230 



Ship Argo in the Odyssey. In Hesiod and Eumelus. Jason and his 
heroic companions. Lemnus. Adventures at Kyzikus, in Bithynia, 
etc. Herakles and Hylas. Phineus. Dangers of the Symplegades.- 
Arrival at Kolchis. Conditions imposed by JEet&s as the price of the 
golden fleece. Perfidy of ./Eetes flight of the Argonauts and Medea 
with the fleece. Pursuit of JEetes the Argonauts saved by Medea. 
Return of the Argonauts circuitous and perilous. Numerous and 
wide-spread monuments referring to the voyage. Argonautic legend 
generally. Fabulous geography gradually modified as real geograph- 
ical knowledge increased. Transposition of epical localities. How 
and when the Argonautic voyage became attached to Kolchis. ^Eetea 
and Circe. Return of the Argonauts different versions. Continued 
faith in the voyage basis of truth determined by Strabo 231-256 



Abundant legends of Thebes. Amphion and Zethus, Homeric founders ot 
Kadmus and Bceotus both distinct legends. Thebes. How Thebes 
was founded by Kadmus. Five primitive families at Thebes called 
Sparti. The four daughters of Kadmus: l.Ino; 2. Semele ; 3. Au- 
tonoe and her son Action ; 4. Agave and her son Pentheus. He resists 
the god Dionysus his miserable end. Labdakus, Antiope, Amphion, 
and Zethus. Laius (Edipus Legendary celebrity of CEdipus and hia 
family. The Sphinx. Eteokles and Polynikes. Old epic poems on 
the sieges of Thebes 256-269 



Ourse pronounced by the devoted OEdipus upon his sons. Novelties intro- 

Amphiaraus and Eriphyle. Seven chiefs of the army 
Th6bcs. Defeat of the Thebans in the field heroic devotion of Me 
ncekeus. Single combat of Eteokles and Polynikfis, in which both perish. 

Repulse and destruction of the Argean chiefs all except Adrastus 
Amphiaraus is swallowed up in the earth. Kreon, king of Thebes, forbids 
the burial of Polynikes and the other fallen Argeian' chiefs. Devotion 
and death of Antigone. The Athenians interfere to procure the interment 
of the fallen chiefs. Second siege of Thebes by Adrastus with the Epi- 
goni, or sons of those slain in the first. Victory of the Epigoni cap- 
ture of Thebes. Worship of Adrastus at Sikyon how abrogated by 
Kleisthenes. Alkmaeon his matricide and punishment. Fatal neck 
lace of Eriphyle 23 ( J-284 



Great extent and variety of the tale of Troy. Dardanus, son o? Zeus. 
Bus, founder of Ilium. Walls of Ilion built by Poseidon. Capture of 
Ilium by Herakles. Priam and his offspring. Paris his judgment 
on the three goddesses. Carries off Helen from Sparta. Expedition 
of the Greeks to recover her. Heroes from all parts of Greece com 
bined under Agamemnon. Achilles and Odysseus. The Grecian host 
mistakes Teuthrania for Troy Telcphus. Detention of the Greeks at 
Aulis Agamemnon and Iphigeneia. First success of the Greeks on 
landing near Troy. Briseis awarded to Achilles. Palamedes his 
genius, and treacherous death. Epic chronology historicized. Period 
of the Homeric Iliad. Hector killed by Achilles. New allies of Troy 
Penthesileia. Memmon killed by Achilles. Death of Achilles. 
Funeral games celebrated in honor of him. Quarrel about his panoply. 

Odysseus prevails and Ajax kills himself. Philoktetes and Neoptol- 
emus. Capture of the Palladium. The wooden horse. Destruction 
of Troy. Distribution of the captives among the victors. Helen restored 
to Mcnelatts lives in dignity at Sparta passes to a happy immor- 
tality. Blindness and cure of the poet Stesichorus alteration of the 
legend about Helen. Egyptian tale about Helen tendency to histor- 
icize. Return of the Greeks from Troy. Their sufferings anger of 
the gods. Wanderings of the heroes in all directions. Memorials of 
them throughout the Grecian world. Odysseus his final adventures 
and death. ^Encas and his descendants. Different stories about JEneas. 

.^Eneadoe at Skepsis. Ubiquity of JEneas. Antenor. Tale of Troy 

its magnitude and discrepancies. Trojan war essentially legendary 

its importance as an item in Grecian national faith. Basis of history 
for it possible, and nothing more. Historicizing innovations Dio 
Chrysostom. Historical Ilium. Generally received and visited as the 
town of Priam. Respect shown to it by Alexander. Successors of 
Alexander foundation of Alexandreia Troas. The Romans treat 
Ilium with marked respect. Mythical legitimacy of Hium first called 
in question by Demetrius of Skepsis and Hcstiaea. Supposed Old Ilium. 
or real Troy, distinguished from New Ilium. Strabo alone believes in 
Old Ilium as the real Troy other authors continue in the old faith- 


the moderns follow Strabo. The mythical faith not shaken by topo 
graphical impossibilities. Historical Troas and the Tenkrians. JEolic 
Greeks in the Trond the whole territory gradually JEoYized. Old date, 
and long prevalence of the worship of Apollo Sminthius. Asiatic cus- 
toms and religion blended with Hellenic. Sibylline prophecies. Set- 
tlements from Milt-tens, Mitylene, and Athens 284-340. 



The mythes formed the entire mental stock of the early Greeks. State of 
mind out of which they arose. Tendency to universal personification. 
Absence of positive knowledge supplied by personifying faith. Mul- 
titude and variety of quasi-human personages. What we read as poeti- 
cal fanie?, were to the Greeks serious realities. The gods and heroes 
their chief agency cast back into the past, and embodied in the mythes. 
Marked and manifold types of the Homeric gods. Stimulus which they 
afforded to the mythopoeic faculty. Easy faith in popular and plausible 
stories. Poets receive their matter from the divine inspiration of the 
Muse. Meaning of the word mythe original altered. Matter of 
actual history uninteresting to early Greeks. Mythical faith and reli- 
gious point of view paramount in the Homeric age. Gradual develop- 
ment of the scientific point of view its opposition to the religious. 
Mythopceic age anterior to this dissent. Expansive force of Grecian 
intellect. Transition towards positive and present fact The poet be- 
comes the organ of present time instead of past. Iambic, elegiac, and 
lyric poets. Influence of the opening of Egypt to Grecian commerce, 
B. c. 660. Progress historical, geographical, social from that period 
to B. c. 500. Altered standard of judgment, ethical and intellectual. 
Commencement of physical science Thales, Xenophanes, Pythagoras. 
Impersonal nature conceived as an object of study. Opposition be- 
tween scientific method and the religious feeling of the multitude. How 
dealt with by different philosophers. Socrates. Hippocrates. Anax- 
agoras. Contrasted with Grecian religious belief. Treatment of So 
crates by the Athenians. Scission between the superior men and the 
multitude important in reference to the mythes. The mythes accom- 
modated to a new tone of feeling and judgment. The poets and logo- 
graphers. Pindar. Tragic poets. JEchylus and Sophokles. Ten 
dencies of ^Eschyltis in regard to the old legends. He maintains undi- 
minished the grandeur of the mythical world. Euripides accused of 
vulgarizing the mythical heroes, and of introducing exaggerated pathos, 
refinement, and rhetoric. The logographers Phcrekyde's, etc. Heka- 
tseus the mythes rationalized. The historians Herodotus. Earnest 
piety of Herodotus his mystic reserve. His views of the mythical 
world. His deference for Egypt and Egyptian statements. His general 
faith in the mythical heroes and cponyms yet combined with scepticism 
as to matters of 'fact. His remarks' upon the miraculous foundation of 
the oracle at Dodona. His remarks upon Melampus and his prophetic 
powers. His remarks upon the Thessalian legend of Tempo. Alle- 
gorical interpretation of the mythes more and more esteemed and 
applied. Divine legends allegorized. Heroic legends historicized. 
Limits to this interpreting process. Distinction between gods and d 
mons altered and widened by Empedocles. Admission of daemons a* 
partially evil beings effect of such admission. Semi-historical inter- 


pretation utmost tf nich it can accomplish. Some positive certificate 
indispensable as a constituent of historical proof mere popular faith 
insufficient. Mistake of ascribing to an unrecording age the historical 
sense of modern times. Matter of tradition uncertified from the beginning. 

Fictitious matter of tradition does not imply fraud or imposture. 
Plausible fiction often generated and accredited by the mere force of strong 
and common sentiment, even in times of instruction. Allegorical thoory 
of the mythes traced by some up to an ancient priestly caste. Real 
import of the mythes supposed to be preserved in the religious mysteries. 

Supposed ancient meaning is really a modern interpretation. Triple 
theology of the pagan world. Treatment and use of the mythes according 
to Plato. His views as to the necessity and use of fiction. He deals 
with the mythes as expressions of feeling and imagination sustained by 
religious faith, and not by any positive basis. Grecian antiquity esssen- 
tially a religious conception. Application of chronologicsft calculation 
divests it of this character. Mythical genealogies all of one class, and 
all on a level in respect to evidence. Grecian and Egyptian genealogies. 

Value of each is purely subjective, having especial reference to the faith 
of the people. Gods and men undistinguishable in Grecian antiquity. 
General recapitulation. General public of Greece familiar with their 
local mythes, careless of recent history. Religious festivals their com- 
memorative influence. Variety and universality of mythical relics. 
The mythes in their bearing on Grecian art. Tendency of works of art 
to intensify the mythical faith 340-461 



t>i?of Sage an universal manifestation of the human mind. Analogy 
of the Germans and Celts with the Greeks. Differences between them. 

Grecian poetry matchless. Grecian progress self-operated. German 
progress brought about by violent influences from without. Operation of 
the Roman civilization and of Christianity upon the primitive German 
mythes. Alteration in the mythical genealogies Odin and the other 
gods degraded into men. Grecian Paganism what would have been 
the case, if it had been supplanted by Christianity in 500 B. c. Saxc 
Grammaticus and Snorro Sturleson contrasted with Pherekydes and Hel- 
lanikus. Mythopceic tendencies in modern Europe still subsisting, but 
forced into a new channel : 1. Saintly ideal; 2. Chivalrous ideal. Le- 
gends of the Saints their analogy with the Homeric theology. Chiv- 
alrous ideal Romances of Charlemagne and Arthur. Accepted as re- 
alities of the fore-time. Teutonic and Scandavian epic its analogy 
with the Grecian. Heroic character and self-expanding subject common 
to both. Points of distinction between the two epic of the Middle Ages 
neither stood so completely alone, nor was so closely interwoven with reli- 
gion, as the Grecian. History of England how conceived down to the 
seventeenth century began with Brute the Trojan. 'Earnest and tena- 
cious faith manifested in the defence of this early history. Judgment of 
Milton. Standard of historical evidence raised in regrad to England 

- not raised in regard to Greece. Milton's way of dealing with the 
British fabulous history objectionable. Two ways open of dealing with 
the Grecian mythes: 1, to omit them; or, 2, to recount them as mythes. 

Reasons for preferring ihe latter. Triple partition of past time by 
Varro 461-483. 





THE mythical world of the Greeks opens with the gods, 
anterior as well as superior to man : it gradually descends, first 
to heroes, and next to the human race. Along with the gods are 
found various monstrous natures, ultra-human and extra-human, 
who cannot with propriety be called gods, but who partake with 
gods and men in the attributes of freewill, conscious agency, and 
susceptibility of pleasure and pain, such as the Harpies, the 
Gorgons, the Groca?, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, Echidna. 
Sphinx, Chimcera, Chrysaor, Pegasus, the Cyclopes, the Centaurs, 
etc. The first acts of what may be termed the great mythical 
cycle describe the proceedings of these gigantic agents the 
crash and collision of certain terrific and overboiling forces, 
which are ultimately reduced to obedience, or chained up, or 
extinguished, under the more orderly government of Zeus, who 
supplants his less capable predecessors, and acquires precedence 
and supremacy over gods and men subject, however to certain 
Racial restraints from the chief goJs and goddesses around 

TOL. I. 1 100. 


him, as well as to the custom of occasionally convoking ind 
consulting the divine agora. 

I recount these events briefly, but literally, treating them 
simply as mythes springing from the same creative imagination, 
addressing themselves to analogous tastes and feelings, and de- 
pending upon the same authority, as the legends of Thebes and 
Troy. It is the inspired voice of the Muse which reveals and 
authenticates both, and from which Homer and Hesiod alike 
derive their knowledge the one, of the heroic, the other, of the 
divine, foretime. I maintain, moreover, fully, the character of 
these great divine agents as Persons, which is the light in which 
they presented themselves to the Homeric or Hesiodic audience. 
Uranos, Nyx, Hypnos and Oneiros (Heaven, Night, Sleep and 
Dream), are Persons, just as much as Zeus and Apollo. To 
resolve them into mere allegories, is unsafe and unprofitable : we 
then depart from the point of view of the original hearers, with- 
out acquiring any consistent or philosophical point of view of our 
own. 1 For although some of the attributes and actions ascribed 
to these persons are often explicable by allegory the whole series 
and system of them never are so : the theorist who adopts this 
course of explanation finds that, after one or two simple and 
obvious steps, the path is no longer open, and he is forced to clear 
a way for himself by gratuitous refinements and conjectures. 
The allegorical persons and attributes are always found mingled 
with other persons and attributes not allegorical ; but the two 
classes cannot be severed without breaking up the whole march 
of the mythical events, nor can any explanation which drives us 
to such a necessity be considered as admissible. To suppose 
indeed that these legends could be all traced by means of alle- 
gory into a coherent body of physical doctrine, would be incon- 
sistent with all reasonable presumptions respecting the age or 
society in which they arose. "Where the allegorical mark is 
clearly set upon any particular character, or attribute, or event, 
to that extent we may recognize it ; but we can rarely venture to 
divine further, still less to alter the legends themselves on the 
faith of any such surmises. The theogony of the Greeks contains 

1 It is sufficient, here, to state this position briefly : more will he said 
respecting the allegorizing interpretation in a furore 


some cosmogonic ideas ; but it cannot be considered as a system 
of cosmogony, or translated into a string of elementary, planet- 
ary, or physical changes. 

In the order of legendary chronology, Zeus comes after 
Kronos and Uranos ; but in the order of Grecian conception, 
Zeus is the prominent person, and Kronos and Uranos are 
inferior and introductory precursors, set up in order to be over- 
thrown and to serve as mementos of the prowess of their con- 
queror. To Homer and Hesiod, as well as to the Greeks 
universally, Zeus is the great and predominant god, " the father 
of gods and men," whose power none of the other gods can hope 
to resist, or even deliberately think of questioning. All the 
other gods have their specific potency and peculiar sphere of 
action and duty, with which Zeus does not usually interfere ; but 
it is he who maintains the lineaments of a providential superin- 
tendence, as well over the phenomena of Olympus as over those 
of earth. Zeus and his brothers Poseidon and Hades have made 
a division of power : he has reserved the aether and the atmos- 
phere to himself Poseidon has obtained the sea and Hades 
the under-world or infernal regions ; while earth, and the events 
which pass upon earth, are common to all of them, together with 
free access to Olympus. 1 

Zeus, then, with his brethren and colleagues, constitute the 
present gods, whom Homer and Hesiod recognize as in full 
dignity and efficiency. The inmates of this divine world are 
conceived upon the model, but not upon the scale, of the human. 
They are actuated by the full play and variety of those appetites, 
sympathies, passions and affections, which divide the soul of man ; 
invested with a far larger and indeterminate measure of power, 
and an exemption as well from death as (with some rare excep- 
tions) from suffering and infirmity. The rich and diverse types 
thus conceived, full of energetic movement and contrast, each in 
his own province, and soaring confessedly above the limits of 

1 See Iliad, viii. 405, 463; xv. 20, 130, 185. Hesiod, Theog. 885. 

This unquestioned supremacy is the general representation of Zeus : at 
the same time the conspiracy of Here', Poseidon, and Athene 1 against him, 
suppressed by the unexpected apparition of Briareus as his ally, is among 
the exceptions. (Iliad, i. 400.) Zeus is at one time vanquished by Titan, 
but rescued by Hermes. (Apollodor. i. 6, 3). 


experience, were of all themes the most suitable for adventure 
and narrative, and operated with irresistible force upon the 
Grecian fancy. All nature was then conceived as moving and 
working through a number of personal agents, amongst whom 
the gods of Olympus were the most conspicuous ; the reverential 
belief in Zeus and Apollo being only one branch of this omni- 
present personifying faith. The attributes of all these agents 
had a tendency to expand themselves into illustrative legends 
especially those of the gods, who were constantly invoked in the 
public worship. Out of this same mental source sprang both 
the divine and heroic mythes the former being often the more 
extravagant and abnormous in their incidents, in proportion as 
the general type of the gods was more vast and awful than that 
of the heroes. 

As the gods have houses and wives like men, so the present 
dynasty of gods must have a past to repose upon; 1 and the 
curious and imaginative Greek, whenever he does not find a 
recorded past ready to his hand, is uneasy until he has created 
one. Thus the Hesiodic theogony explains, with a certain degree 
of system and coherence, first the antecedent circumstances under 
which Zeus acquired the divine empire, next the number of his 
colleagues and descendants. 

First in order of time (we are told by Hesiod) came Chaos ; 
next Grea, the broad, firm, and flat Earth, with deep and dark 
Tartarus at her base. Eros (Love), the subduer of gods as well 
as men, came immediately afterwards. 2 

From Chaos sprung Erebos and Nyx ; from these latter 
JEther and Hemera. Gaea also gave birth to Uranos, equal in 
breadth to herself, in order to serve both as an overarching vault 
to her, and as a residence for the immortal gods ; she further 
produced the mountains, habitations of the divine nymphs, and 
Pontus, the barren and billowy sea. 

Then Goea intermarried with Uranos, and from this union 
came a numerous offspring twelve Titans and Titanides, three 
Cyclopes, and three Hekatoncheires or beings with a hundred 

1 Arist. Polit. i. 1. uanep <5e nai TU el6r) tavroZf u<j>o/j.oiovffiv uv&puiroi, ov- 
rue Ka i T VC Piove, TUV tietiv. 

* Hesiod, Theog. 11C. Apollodorus begins with Uranos and Gau (i. ! .\ 
lie does not recognize Eros, Nyx, or Erebos. 


hands each. The Titans were Oceanus, Koeos, Krios, Hyperion, 
lapetos, and Kronos : the Titanides, Theia, Rhea, Themis, 
Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys. The Cyclopes were Brontes, 
Steropes, and Arges, formidable persons, equally distinguished 
for strength and for manual craft, so that they made the thunder 
which afterwards formed the irresistible artillery of Zeus. 1 
The Hekatoncheires were Kottos, Briareus, and Gyges, of pro- 
digious bodily force. 

Uranos contemplated this powerful brood with fear and hor- 
ror ; as fast as any of them were born, he concealed them in 
cavities of the earth, and would not permit them to come out. 
Gaga could find no room for them, and groaned under the pres- 
sure : she produced iron, made a sickle, and implored her sons to 
avenge both her and themselves against the oppressive treatment 
of their father. But none of them, except Kronos, had courage 
to undertake the deed : he, the youngest and the most daring, 
was armed with the sickle and placed in suitable ambush by the 
contrivance of Gsea. Presently night arrived, and Uranos 
descended to the embraces of Grea : Kronos then emerged from 
his concealment, cut off the genitals of his father, and cast the 
bleeding member behind him far away into the sea. 2 Much of 
the blood was spilt upon the earth, and Gsea in consequence gave 
birth to the irresistible Erinnys, the vast and muscular Gigantes, 
and the Melian nymphs. Out of the genitals themselves, as they 
swam and foamed upon the sea, emerged the goddess Aphrodite, 
deriving her name from the foam out of which she had sprung. 
She first landed at Kythera, and then went to Cyprus : the island 
felt her benign influence, and the green herb started up under 
her soft and delicate tread. Eros immediately joined her, and 
partook with her the function of suggesting and directing the 
amorous impulses both of gods and men. 3 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 140, 156. Apollod. ut sup. 

2 Hesiod, Thcog. 160, 182. Apollod. i. 1, 4. 

3 Hesiod, Theog. 192. This legend respecting the birth of Aphroditfl 
seems to have been derived partly from her name (u(j>pb, foam), partly from 
the surname Urania, ' A^poSirr/ Qvpavia, under which she "was so very exten- 
sively worshipped, especially both in Cyprus and Cythera, seemingly origi- 
nated in both islands by the Phoenicians. Herodot. i. 105. Compare th 
instructive section in Boeckh's Metrologie, c. iv. $ 4. 


Uranos being thus dethroned and disabled, Kronos and the Titan? 
acquired their liberty and became predominant : the Cyclopea 
and the Hekatoncheires had been cast by Uranos into Tartarus, 
and were still allowed to remain there. 

Each of the Titans had a numerous offspring: Oceanus, 
especially, marrying his sister Tethys, begat three thousand 
daughters, the Oceanic nymphs, and as many sons : the rivers 
and springs passed for his offspring. Hyperion and his sister 
Theia had for their children Helios, Selene, and Eos ; Kreos 
with Phoebe begat Leto and Asteria ; the children of Krios were 
Astrasos, Pallas, and PerSes, from Astraeos and Eos sprang the 
winds Zephyrus, Boreas, and Notus. lapetos, marrying the 
Oceanic nymph Clymene, counted as his progeny the celebrated 
Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius, and Atlas. But the off 
spring of Kronos were the most powerful and transcendent of all. 
He married his sister Rhea, and had by her three daughters 
Hestia, Demeter, and Here and three sons, Hades, Poseidon, 
and Zeus, the latter at once the youngest and the greatest. 

But Kronos foreboded to himself destruction from one of his 
own children, and accordingly, as soon as any of them were born, 
he immediately swallowed them and retained them in his own 
belly. In this manner had the first five been treated, and Rhea 
was on the point of being delivered of Zeus. Grieved and indig- 
nant at the loss of her children, she applied for counsel to her 
father and mother, Uranos and Gsea, who aided her to conceal 
the birth of Zeus. They conveyed her by night to Lyktus in 
Crete, hid the new-born child in a woody cavern on Mount Ida, 
and gave to Kronos, in place of it, a stone wrapped in swaddling 
clothes, which he greedily swallowed, believing it to be his child. 
Thus was the safety of Zeus ensured. 1 As he grew up his vast 
powers fully developed themselves : at the suggestion of Gsea, 
he induced Kronos by stratagem to vomit up, first the stone which 
had been given to him, next, the five children whom he had 
previously devoured. Hestia, Demeter, Here, Poseidon and 
Hades, were thus allowed to grow up along with Zeus ; and the 
stone to which the latter owed his preservation was placed near 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 452, 487. Apollod. i. 1, 6. 


the temple of Delphi, where it ever afterwards stood, as a con* 
spicuous and venerable memorial to the religious Greek. 1 

We have not yet exhausted the catalogue of beings generated 
during this early period, anterior to the birth of Zeus. Nyx, 
alone and without any partner, gave birth to a numerous pro- 
geny : Thanatos, Hypnos and Oneiros ; Momus and Oi'zys 
(Grief) ; Klotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the three Fates ; the 
retributive and equalizing Nemesis ; Apate and Philotes (Deceit 
and amorous Propensity), Geras (Old Age) and Eris (Conten- 
tion). From Eris proceeded an abundant offspring, all mischiev- 
ous and maleficent : Ponos (Suffering), Lethe, Limos (Famine), 
Phonos and Mache (Slaughter and Battle), Dysnomia and Ate 
(Lawlessness and reckless Impulse), and Horkos, the ever- 
watchful sanctioner of oaths, as well as the inexorable punisher 
of voluntary perjury. 2 

Gsea, too, intermarrying with Pontus, gave birth to Kerens, 
the just and righteous old man of the soa ; to Thaumas, Phorkys 
and Keto. From Nereus, and Doris daughter of Oceanus, pro- 
ceeded the fifty Nereids or Sea-nymphs. Thaumus also married 
Elektra daughter of Oceanus, and had by her Iris and the two 
Harpies, A116 and Okypete, winged and swift as the winds. 
From Phorkys and Keto sprung the Dragon of the Hesperides, 
and the monstrous Graeas and Gorgons : the blood of Medusa, one 
of the Gorgons, when killed by Perseus, produced Chrysaor and 
the horse Pegasus: Chrysaor and Kallirrhoe gave birth to 
Geryon as well as to Echidna, a creature half-nymph and half- 
serpent, unlike both to gods and to men. Other monsters arose 
from the union of Echidna with Typhoon, Orthros, the two- 
headed dog of Geryon ; Cerberus, the dog of Hades, with fifty 
heads, and the Lernaean Hydra. From the latter proreeded the 
Chimaera, the Sphinx of Thebes, and the Nemean lion. 1 

A powerful and important progeny, also, was that of Styx, 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 498. 

Tbv [lev Zeijf arfjpi^e naril xdovb 

Tlv&ol iv riyaftiri, yvu7.oi<; VTfd Tlapvqaoio, 

ST^U' lp.ev t^oiriffu, 

* Hesiod, Theog. 212-232. 

* Hesiod, Theog. 240-320. Apollodor. i. 2, 6, 7. 


daughter of Oceanus, by Pallas ; she had Zelos and Nike (Impe- 
riousness and Victory), and Kratos and Bia (Strength and Force) 
The hearty and early cooperation of Styx and her four sons with 
Zeus was one of the main causes which enabled him to achieve 
Iiis victory over the Titans. 

Zeus had grown up not less distinguished for mental capacity 
than for bodily force. He and his brothers now determined to 
wrest the power from the hands of Kronos and the Titans, and a 
long and desperate struggle commenced, in which all the gods 
and all the goddesses took part. Zeus convoked them to Olym- 
pus, and promised to all who would aid him against Kronos, that 
their functions and privileges should remain undisturbed. The 
first who responded to the call, came with her four sons, and 
embraced his cause, was Styx. Zeus took them all four as his 
constant attendants, and conferred upon Styx the majestic distinc- 
tion of being the Horkos, or oath-sanctioner of the Gods, what 
Horkos was to men, Styx was to the Gods. 1 

Still further to strengthen himself, Zeus released the other 
Uranids who had been imprisoned in Tartarus by their father, 
the Cyclopes and the Centimanes, and prevailed upon them to 
take part with him against the Titans. The former supplied him 
with thunder and lightning, and the latter brought into the fight 
their boundless muscular strength. 2 Ten full years did the com- 
bat continue ; Zeus and the Kronids occupying Olympus, and the 
Titans being established on the more southerly mountain-chain 
of Othrys. All nature was convulsed, and the distant Oceanus, 
though he took no part in the struggle, felt the boiling, the noise, 
and the shock, not less than Gaea and Pontus. The thunder of 
Zeus, combined with the crags and mountains torn up and hurled 
by the Centimanes, at length prevailed, and the Titans were de- 
feated and thurst down into Tartarus. lapetos, Kronos, and the 
remaining Titans (Oceanus excepted) were imprisoned, perpetu- 
ally and irrevocably, in that subterranean dungeon, a wall of brass 
being built around them by Poseidon, and the three Centimanes 
being planted as guards. Of the two sons of lapetos, Menoetius 
was made to share this prison, while Atlas was condemned to 

1 Hesiod, Thcog. 385-403. 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 140 624,657. Apollodor. i. 2, 4. 


etand for ever at the extreme west, and to bear upon his shoui 
ders the solid vault of heaven. 1 

Thus were the Titans subdued, and the Kronids with Zeus at 
their head placed in possession of power. They were not, how- 
ever, yet quite secure ; for Gam, intermarrying with Tartarus, 
gave birth to a new and still more formidable monster called Ty- 
phoeus, of such tremendous properties and promise, that, had he 
been allowed to grow into full development, nothing could have 
prevented him from vanquishing all rivals and becoming supreme. 
But Zeus foresaw the danger, smote him at once with a thunder- 
bolt from Olympus, and burnt him up : he was cast along with 
the rest into Tartarus, and no further enemy remained to question 
the sovereignty of the Kronids. 2 

With Zeus begins a new dynasty and a different order of 
beings. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades agree upon the distribution 
before noticed, of functions and localities : Zeus retaining the 
./Ether and the atmosphere, together with the general presiding 
function ; Poseidon obtaining the sea, and administering subterra* 
nean forces generally ; and Hades ruling the under-world or re- 
gion in which the half-animated shadows of departed men reside. 

It has been already stated, that in Zeus, his brothers and his 
sisters, and his and their divine progeny, we find the present 
Gods ; that is, those, for the most part, whom the Homeric and 
Hesiodic Greeks recognized and worshipped. The wives of Zeus 
were numerous as well as his offspring. First he married Metis, 
the wisest and most sagacious of the goddesses ; but Gaea and 
Uranos forewarned him that if he permitted himself to have 
children by her, they would be stronger than himself and dethrone 
liim. Accordingly when Metis was on the point of bein^ deliv- 

1 The battle with the Titans, Hesiod, Theog. 627-735. Hesiod mentions 
nothing about the Gigantes and the Gigantomachia : Apollodorus. on the 
other hand, gives this latter in some detail, but despatches the Titans in a 
few words (i. 2, 4; i. 6, 1). The Gigantes seem to be only a second edition 
of the Titans, a sort of duplication to which the legendary poets were often 

* Hesiod, Theog. 820-869. Apollod. i. 6, 3. He makes Typhon very 
nearly victorious over Zeus. Typhoeus, according to Hesiod, is father of 
the irregular, violent, and mischievous winds : Notus, Boreas, Argestes and 
Zephyrus, are of divine origin (870). 



ered of Athene, he swallowed her up, and her wisdom and saga- 
city thus became permanently identified with his own being. 1 His 
head was subsequently cut open, in order to make way for the 
exit and birth of the goddess Athene. 2 By Themis, Zeus begat 
the Horae , by Eurynome, the three Charities or Graces ; by 
Mnemosyne, the Muses ; by Leto (Latona), Apollo and Artemis; 
and by Demeter, Persephone. Last of all he took for his wife 
Here, who maintained permanently the dignity of queen of the 
Gods ; by her he had Hebe, Ares, and Eileithyia. Hermes also 
was born to him by Maia, tLe daughter of Atlas : Hephaestos 
was born to Here, according to some accounts, by Zeus ; accord- 
ing to others, by her own unaided generative force. 3 He was 
born lame, and Here was ashamed of him : she wished to secrete 
him away, but he made his escape into the sea, and found shelter 
under the maternal care of the Nereids Thetis and Eurynome. 4 
Our enumeration of the divine race, under the presidency of Zeus, 
will thus give us, 5 

1. The twelve great gods and goddesses of Olympus, Zeus, 
Poseidon, Appollo, Ares, Hephrcstos, Hermes, Here, Athene, 
Artemij, Aphrodite, Hestia, Demeter. 

2. An indefinite number of other deities, not included among 
the Olympic, seemingly because the number twelve was complete 
without them, but some of them not inferior in power and dignity 
to many of the twelve : Hades, Helios, Hekate, Dionysos, Leto, 
Dione, Persephone, Selene, Themis, Eos, Harmonia, the Chari- 
ties, the Muses, the Eilaithyiae, the Moerae, the Oceanids and the 
Nereids, Proteus, Eidothea, the Nymphs, Leukothea, Phorkys, 
JEolus, Nemesis, etc. 

3. Deities who perform special services to the greater gods: 
Tris, Hebe, the Horas, etc. 

4. Deities whose personality is more faintly and unsteadily 
conceived : Ate, the Litae, Eris, Thanatos, Hypnos, Kratos, Bia, 
Ossa, etc. 6 The same name is here employed sometimes to desig- 
nate the person, sometimes the attribute or event not personi- 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 885-900. *Apollod. i. 3, 6. 

3 Hesiod, Thcog. 900-944. 4 Homer, Iliad, xviii. 3 )7. 

See Burckhardt, Homer, und Hesiod. Mythologie, sect. 102. (Leipa 

Hunger is a person, in Hesiod, Opp. Di. 299. 


fied, an unconscious transition of ideas, which, when consciously 
performed, is called Allegory. 

5. Monsters, offspring of the Gods: the Harpies, the Gor- 
gons, the Grseas, Pegasus, Chrysaor, Echidna, Chimzera, the Dra- 
gon of the Hesperides, Cerberus, Orthros, Geryon, the Lerncean 
Hydra, the Nemean lion, Scylla and Charybdis, the Centaurs, the 
Sphinx, Xanthos and Balios the immortal horses, etc. 

From the gods we slide down insensibly, first to heroes, and 
then to men ; but before we proceed to this new mixture, it is 
necessary to say a few words on the theogony generally. I have 
given it briefly as it stands in the Hesiodic Theogonia, because 
that poem in spite of great incoherence and confusion, arising 
seemingly from diversity of authorship as well as diversity of 
age presents an ancient and genuine attempt to cast the divine 
foretime into a systematic sequence. Homer and Hesiod were 
the grand authorities in the pagan world respecting theogony ; 
but in the Iliad and Odyssey nothing is found except passing 
allusions and implications, and even in the Hymns (which were 
commonly believed in antiquity to be the productions of the same 
author as the Iliad and the Odyssey) there are only isolated, un- 
connected narratives. Accordingly men habitually took their in- 
formation respecting their theogonic antiquities from the Hesiodic 
poem, where it was ready laid out before them ; and the legends 
consecrated in that work acquired both an extent of circulation 
and a firm hold on the national faith, such as independent legends 
could seldom or never rival. Moreover the scrupulous and scep- 
tical Pagans, as well as the open assailants of Paganism in later 
times, derived their subjects of attack from the same source ; so 
that it has been absolutely necessary to recount in their naked 
simplicity the Hesiodic stories, in order to know what it was that 
Plato deprecated and Xenophanes denounced. The strange pro- 
ceedings ascribed to Uranos, Kronos and Zeus, have been more 
frequently alluded to, in the way of ridicule or condemnation, 
than any other portion of the mythical world. 

But though the Hesiodic theogony passed as orthodox among 
the later Pagans, 1 because it stood before them as the only system 
anciently set forth and easily accessible, it was evidently not the 

1 See Gottling, Prsefat. ad Hesiod. p. 23. 


only system received at the date of the poem itself. Homer 
knows nothing of Uranos, in the sense of an arch-God anterior 
to Kronos. Uranos and Gcea, like Oceanus, Tethys and Nyx, 
are with him great and venerable Gods, but neither the one nor 
the other present the character of predecessors of Kronos and 
Zeus.i The Cyclopes, whom Hesiod ranks as sons of Uranos 
and fabricators of thunder, are in Homer neither one nor the 
other; they are not noticed in the Iliad at all, and in the Odyssey 
they are gross gigantic shepherds and cannibals, having nothing 
in common with the Hesiodic Cyclops except the one round cen- 
tral eye. 2 Of the three Centimanes enumerated by Hesiod, Bri- 
areus only is mentioned in Homer, and to all appearance, not as 
the son of Uranos, but as the son of Poseidon ; not as aiding 
Zeus in his combat against the Titans, but as rescuing him at a 
critical moment from a conspiracy formed against him by Here, 
Poseidon and Athene. 3 Not only is the Hesiodic Uranos (with 
the Uranids) omitted in Homer, but the relations between Zeus 
and Kronos are also presented in a very different light. No 
mention is made of Kronos swallowing his young children: on 
the contrary, Zeus is the eldest of the three brothers instead of 
the youngest, and the children of Kronos live with him and Rhea: 
there the stolen intercourse between Zeus and Here first takes 
place without the knowledge of their parents. 4 When Zeus puts 
Kronos down into Tartarus, Rhea consigns her daughter Here 
to the care of Oceanus : no notice do we find of any terrific battle 
with the Titans as accompanying that event. Kronos, lapetos, 
and the remaining Titans are down in Tartarus, in the lowest 
depths under the earth, far removed from the genial rays of 
Helios ; but they are still powerful and venerable, and Hypnos 
makes Here swear an oath in their name, as the most inviolable 
that he can think of. 5 

1 Iliad, xiv. 249 ; xix. 259. Odyss. v. 184. Oceanus and Tethys seem to bo 
presented in the Iliad as the primitive Father and Mother of the Gods : 

'Q/ceavov re $wv yeveaiv, nai fir/repa TTJ&VV. (xiv. 201). 
1 Odyss. ix. 87. 3 Iliad, i. 401. 4 Iliad, xiv. 203-295 ; xv. 204, 

6 Iliad, viii. 482 ; xiv. 274-279. In the Hesiodic Opp. et Di., Kronos is 

represented as ruling in the Islands of the Blest in the neighborhood of 

Oceanus (v. 168). 


In Homer, then, we find nothing beyond the simple fact thai 
Zeus thrust his father Kronos together with the remaining Titans 
into Tartarus ; an event to which he affords us a tolerable parallel 
in certain occurrences even under the presidency of Zeus himself. 
For the other gods make more than one rebellious attempt against 
Zeus, and are only put down, partly by his unparalleled strength, 
partly by the presence of his ally the Centimane Briareus. Kro- 
nos. like Laertes or Peleus, has become old, and has been sup- 
plauted by a force vastly superior to his own. The Homeric epic 
treats Zeus as present, and, like all the interesting heroic charac- 
ters, a father must be assigned to him : that father has once been 
the chief of the Titans, but has been superseded and put down 
into Tartarus along with the latter, so soon as Zeus and the supe- 
rior breed of the Olympic gods acquired their full development. 

That antithesis between Zeus and Kronos between the Olym- 
pic gods and the Titans which Homer has thus briefly brought 
to view, Hesiod has amplified into a theogony, with many things 
new, and some things contradictory to his predecessor ; while Eu- 
melus or Arktinus in the poem called Titanomachia (now lost) 
also adopted it as their special subject. 1 As Stasinus, Arktinus, 
Lesches, and others, enlarged the Legend of Troy by composing 
poems relating to a supposed time anterior to the commencement, 
or subsequent to the termination of the Iliad, as other poets 
recounted adventures of Odysseus subsequent to his landing in 
Ithaka, so Hesiod enlarged and systematized, at the same time 
that he corrupted, the skeleton theogony which we find briefly 
indicated in Homer. There is violence and rudeness in the 
Homeric gods, but the great genius of Grecian epic is no way 
accountable for the stories of Uranos and Kronos, the standing 
reproach against Pagan legendary narrative. 

1 See the few fragments of the Titanomachia, in Diintzer, Epic. Groec. 
Fragm. p. 2 ; and Hyne, ad Apollodor. I. 2. Perhaps there was more than 
one poem on the subject, though it seems that Athenaeus had only read one 
(viii. p. 277). 

In the Titanomachia, the generations anterior to Zeus were still further 
lengthened by making Uranos the son of JEth&r (Fr. 4. Ddntzer). JEgaeon 
was also represented as son of Pontus and Gaea, and as having fought in the 
ranks of the Titans: in the Iliad he (the same who is called Briareus) is the 
fast ally of Zeus. 

A Titanoyraphia was ascribed to Musaeas (Schol. Apollon. Rhod iii. 
compare Lactant. de Fals. Eel. i. 21). 


How far these stories are the invention of Hesiod himself is 
impossible to determine. 1 They bring us down to a cast of fancy 

1 That the Hcsiodic Thcogony is referable to an age considerably later 
than the Homeric poems, appears now to be the generally admitted opinion j 
and the reasons for believing so are, in my opinion, satisfactory. Whether 
the Theogony is composed by the same author as the Works and Days is a 
disputed point. The Boeotian literati in the days of Pausanias decidedly 
denied the identity, and ascribed to their Hesiod only the Works and Days : 
Pausanias himself concurs with them (ix. 31. 4; ix. 35. 1), and Volcker 
(Mithologie des Japetisch. Geschlechts. p. 14) maintains the same opinion, 
as well as Gottling (Prsef. ad Hesiod. xxi.) : K. 0. Miiller (History of Grecian 
Literature, ch. 8. 4) thinks that there is not sufficient evidence to form a 
decisive opinion. 

Under the name of Hesiod (in that vague language which is usual in an- 
tiquity respecting authorship, but which modern critics have not much mend- 
ed by speaking of the Hesiodic school, sect, or family) passed many differ- 
ent poems, belonging to three classes quite distinct from each other, but all 
disparate from the Homeric epic: 1. The poems of legend cast into histo- 
rical and genealogical series, such as the Eoiai. the Catalogue of Women, 
etc. 2. The poems of a didactic or ethical tendency, such as the Works and 
Days, the Precepts of Cheiron, the Art of Augural Prophecy, etc. 3. Sep- 
arate and short mythical compositions, such as the Shield of Herakles, the 
Marriage of Keyx (which, however, was of disputed authenticity, Athena;. 
ii. p. 49), the Epithalamium of Peleus and Thetis, etc. (See Marktscheffel, 
Praefat. ad Fragment. Hesiod. p. 89). 

The Theogony belongs chiefly to the first of these classes, but it has also 
a dash of the second in the legend of Prometheus, etc. : moreover in the por- 
tion which respects Hckate, it has both a mystic character and a distinct 
bearing upon present life and customs, which we may also trace in the allu- 
sions to Krf'te and Delphi. There seems reason to place it in the same age 
with the Works and Days, perhaps in the half century preceding 700 B. c., 
and little, if at all, anterior to Archilochus. The poem is evidently conceiv- 
ed upon one scheme, yet the parts are so disorderly and incoherent, that it 
is difficult to say how much is interpolation. Hermann has well dissected 
the exordium ; see the preface to Gaisford's Hesiod (Poetas Minor, p. 63). 

K. 0. Miiller tells us (ut sup. p. 90), " The Titans, according to the notions 
of Hesiod, represent a system of things in which elementary beings, natural 
powers, and notions of order and regularity are united to form a whole. The 
Cyclopes denote the transient disturbances of this order of nature by storms, 
end the Hekatoncheires, or hundred-handed Giants, signify the fearful pow- 
er of the greater revolutions of nature." The poem affords little presump- 
tion that any such ideas were present to the mind of its author, as, I 
think, will be seen if we read 140-155, 630-745. 

The Titans, the Cyclopes, and the Hekatoncheires, can no more be con- 
strued into physical pha:nomena than Chrysaor, Pegasus, Echidna, the Graeaj, 
or the Gorgons Zeus, like He'rakle's, or Jason, or Perseus, if his advea- 


more coarse and indelicate than the Homeric, and more nearly 
resembling some of the Holy Chapters (/fpot P.cfyot) of the more 
recent mysteries, such (for example) as the tale of Dionysos Za- 
greus. There is evidence in the Theogony itself that the author 
was acquainted with local legends current both at Krete and at 
Delphi ; for he mentions both the mountain-cave in Krete where- 
in the new-born Zeus was hidden, and the stone near the Del- 
phian temple the identical stone which Kronos had swallowed 
" placed by Zeus himself as a sign and wonder to mortal men." 
Both these two monuments, which the poet expressly refers to, 
and had probably seen, imply a whole train of accessory and ex- 
planatory local legends current probably among the priests of 
Krete and Delphi, between which places, in ancient times, there 
was an intimate religious connection. And we may trace further 
in the poem, that which would be the natural feeling of Kretan 
worshippers of Zeus, an effort to make out that Zeus was jus- 
tified in his aggression on Kronos, by the conduct of Kronoa 
himself both towards his father and towards his children : the 
treatment of Kronos by Zeus appears in Hesiod as the retribu- 
tion foretold and threatened by the mutilated Uranos against the 
eon who had outraged him. In fact the relations of Uranos and 
Gtea are in almost all their particulars a mere copy and duplication 
of those between Kronos and Rhea, differing only in the mode 
whereby the final catastrophe is brought about. Now castration 
was a practice thoroughly abhorrent both to the feelings and to 
the customs of Greece ; } but it was seen with melancholy fre- 

turcs are to be described, must have enemies, worthy of himself and his 
vast type, and whom it is some credit for him to overthrow. Those who 
contend with him or assist him must be conceived on a scale fit to be drawn 
on the same imposing canvas : the dwarfish proportions of man will not 
satisfy the sentiment of the poet or his audience respecting the grandeur and 
glory of the gods. To obtain creations of adequate sublimity for such an 
object, the poet may occasionally borrow analogies from the striking acci- 
dents of physical nature, and when such an allusion manifests itself clearly, 
the critic does well to point it out. But it seems to me a mistake to treat 
these approximations to physical phenomena as forming the main scheme of 
the poet, to look for them everywhere, and to presume them where there 
is little or no indication. 

1 The strongest evvidences of this feeling are exhibited in Herodotus, iii 
48; viii 105. See an example of this mutilation inflicted upon a yontb 


quency in the domestic life as well as in the religious worship of 
Phrygia and other parts of Asia, and it even became the special 
qualification of a priest of the Great Mother Cybele, 1 as well as 
of the Ephesian Artemis. The employment of the sickle ascrib- 
ed to Kronos seems to be the product of an imagination familiar 
with the Asiatic worship and legends, which were connected with 
and partially resembled the Kretan. 2 And this deduction be- 
comes the more probable when we connect it with the first gen- 
esis of iron, which Hesiod mentions to have been produced for 
the express purpose of fabricating the fatal sickle ; for metallurgy 
finds a place in the early legends both of the Trojan and of the 
Kretan Ida, and the three Idoean Dactyls, the legendary inven- 
tors of it, are assigned sometimes to one and sometimes to the 
other. 3 

As Hesiod had extended the Homeric series of gods by prefix 
ing the dynasty of Uranos to that of Kronos, so the Orphic theog' 

named Adamas by the Thracian king Kotys, in Aristot. Polit. v. 8, 12, and 
the tale about the Corinthian Periander, Herod, iii. 48. 

It is an instance of the habit, so frequent among the Attic tragedians, of 
ascribing Asiatic or Phrygian manners to the Trojans, when Sophocles in 
his lost play Troilus (ap. Jul. Poll. x. 165) introduced one of the characters 
of his drama as having been castrated by order of Hecuba, Stfafyi?? yap 
6p%Ei(; paaMt; i/cre/ivova' fyiovc, probably the ITaidayajydf, or guardian and 
companion of the youthful Troilus. See Wclckcr, Griechisch. Trago'd. vol. 
i. p. 125. 

1 Herodot. viii. 105, ebvovxot. Lucian, De Dei SyriA, c. 50. Strabo, xiv. 
pp. 640-641. 

2 Diodor. v. 64. Strabo, x. p. 460. Hoeckh, in his learned work Kreta 
(vol. i. books 1 and 2), has collected all the information attainable respecting 
the early influences of Phrygia and Asia Minor upon Krete : nothing seems 
ascertainable except the general fact ; all the particular evidences are lamen- 
tably vague. 

The worship of the Diktaaan Zeus seemed to have originally belonged to 
the Eteokretes, who were not Hellens, and were more akin to the Asiatic 
population than to the Hellenic. Strabo, x. p. 478. Hoeckh, Kreta, vol. i. 
p. 139. 
1 J Hesiod, Theogon. 161, 

Atya 6e Troif/ffaaa yevo^ nolioH utiufiavrof, 
TeCfe fieya 6penavov, etc. 

See the extract from the old poem Phordnis ap. Schol Apoli. llhod. 1 1 2 ; 
and Strabo, x. p. 472. 


cii) lengthened it still further. 1 First came Chronos, or Time, 
as a person, after him JEther and Chaos, out of whom Chronoa 
produced the vast mundane egg. Hence enr.erged in process of 
time the first-born god Phanes, or Metis, or Herikapaeos, a per- 
son of double sex, who first generated the Kosmos, or mundane 
system, and who carried within him the seed of the gods. He 
gave birth to Nyx, by whom he begat Uranos and Gsea; as well 
as to Helios and Selene. 2 

From Uranos and Gcea sprang the three Mrerse, or Fates, the 
three Centimanes and the three Cyclopes : these latter were cast 
by Uranos into Tartarus, under the foreboding that they would 
rob him of his dominion. In revenge for this maltreatment of 
her sons, Gaea produced of herself the fourteen Titans, seven 
male and seven female : the former were Kreos, Krios, Phorkys, 
Kronos, Oceanus, Hyperion and lapetos ; the latter were Themis, 
Tethys, Mnemosyne, Theia, Dione, Phrebe and Rhea. 3 They 
received the name of Titans because they avenged upon Ura- 
nos the expulsion of their elder brothers. Six of the Titans, 
headed by Kronos the most powerful of them all, conspiring 
against Uranos, castrated and dethroned him : Oceanus alone stood 
aloof and took no part in the aggression. Kronos assumed the 
government and fixed his seat on Olympos ; while Oceanus 
remained apart, master of his own divine stream. 4 The reign 

1 See the scanty fragments of the Orphic theogony in Hermann's edition 
of the Orphica, pp. 448, 504, which it is difficult to understand and piece 
together, even with the aid of Lobeck's elaborate examination (Aglaopha- 
mus, p. 470, etc.). The passages are chiefly preserved by Proclus and the 
later Platonists, who seem to entangle them almost inextricably with their 
own philosophical ideas. 

The first few lines of the Orphic Argonautica contain a brief summary of 
the chief points of the theogony. 

. * See Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 472-476, 490-500, M.JJTIV am-ppa <j>epovTa #e&i 
nZvrbv 'HpiKeiralov ; again, Qrjhve not yeverup Kparepbf dede 'Hpt/cen-awc. 
Compare Lactant. iv. 8, 4: Snidas, v. QUVTJC : Athenagoras, xx. 296: Dio- 
dor. i. 27. 

This egg figures, as might be expected, in the cosmogony set forth by the 
Birds, Aristophan. Av. 695. Nyx gives birth to an egg, oul of which steps 
the golden Eros , from Eros and Chaos spring the race of birds. 

3 Lobeck, Ag. p. 504. Athenagor. xv. p. 64. 

4 Lobeck, Ag. p. 507. Plato, Timaeus, p. 41. In the Aiovvaov rp6<j>oi of 
JEschylus, the old attendants of the god Dionysos were said to have been 

VOL. I. 20C. 


of KJOJIOS was a period of tranquillity and happiness, as well a? 
of extraordinary longevity and vigor. 

Kronos and Rhea gave birth to Zeus and his brothers and sis- 
ters. The concealment and escape of the infant Zeus, and the 
swallowing of the stone by Kronos, are given in the Orphic 
Theogony substantially in the same manner as by Hesiod, only 
in a style less simple and more mysticized. Zeus is concealed in 
the cave of Nyx, the seat of Phanes himself, along with Eide 
and Adrasteia, who nurse and preserve him, while the armed 
dance and sonorous instruments of the Kuretes prevent his 
infant cries from reaching the ears of Kronos. When grown up, 
he lays a snare for his father, intoxicates him with honey, and 
having surprised him in the depth of sleep, enchains and cas- 
trates him. 1 Thus exalted to the supreme mastery, he swallowed 
and absorbed into himself Metis, or Phanes, with all the preex- 
isting elements of things, and then generated all things anew out 
of his own being and conformably to his own divine ideas. 2 So 
scanty are the remains of this system, that we find it difficult to 
trace individually the gods and goddesses sprung from Zeus 

cut up and boiled in a caldron, and rendered again young, by Medeia. 
PherecydC's and Simonides said that Jason himself had been so dealt with. 
Schol. Aristoph. Equit. 1321. 

1 Lobeck, p. 514. Porphyry, dc Antro Nympharam, c. 16. <j>r]ai yap Trap 
rov 6iu 

Eiir' uv 6% ftiv Idrjai VTTO Spvoiv iiipiKofioiai 
"Ep-yoiaiv [tedvovra p&iaffduv kpi^ofifiuv, 
AVTIKU p.Lv 6r]aov. 

'0 not nuaxei o Kpovo? /cat driWf kuTenverai, <if Ovpavof. 
Compare Timaeus ap. Schol. Apoll. Rhod. iv. 983. 

* The Cataposis of Phan6s by Zeus one of the most memorable points 

of the Orphic Theogony. Lobeck, p. 519.; also Fragm. vi. p. 456 of Her- 

mann's Orphica. 

From this absorption and subsequent reproduction of all things by Zeus, 

flowed the magnificent string of Orphic predicates about him, 

Zet)f apxy, Zsvf fieaaa, Aibf S 1 en irdvra TETVKTCU, 

an allusion to which is traceable even in Plato, de Legg. ir. p. 715. Plutarch, 
de Defectu Oracul. T. ix. p. 379. c. 48. Diodorus (i. 11) is the most ancient 
writer remaining to us who mentions the name of Phanes, ia a line cited as 
proceeding from Orpheus ; wherein, however, Phanfis is identified with 
Dionysos. Compare Macrobius, Saturnal i. 18. 


beyond Apollo, Dionysos, and Persephone, the latter being 
confounded with Artemis and Hekate. 

But there is one new personage, begotten by Zeus, who stands 
preeminently marked in the Orphic Theogony, and whose adven- 
tures constitute one of its peculiar features. Zagreus, " the 
homed child," is the son of Zeus by his own daughter Perse- 
phone : he is the favorite of his father, a child of magnificent 
promise, and predestined, if he grow up, to succeed to supreme 
dominion as well as to the handling of the thunderbolt. He is 
seated, whilst an infant, on the throne beside Zeus, guarded by 
Apollo and the Kuretes. But the jealous Here intercepts his 
career and incites the Titans against him, who, having first 
smeared their faces with plaster, approach him on the throne, 
tempt his childish fancy with playthings, and kill him with a 
sword while he is contemplating his face in a mirror. They then 
cut up his body and boil it in a caldron, leaving only the heart, 
which is picked up by Athene and carried to Zeus, who in his 
wrath strikes down the Titans with thunder into Tartarus ; whilst 
Apollo is directed to collect the remains of Zagreus and bury 
them at the foot of Mount Parnassus. The heart is given to 
Semele, and Zagreus is born again from her under the form of 
Dionysos. 1 

1 About the tale of Zagreus, see Lobeck, p. 552, sqq. Nonnus inhis Dion- 
ysiaca has given many details about it : 

Zaypea yEivaftev?] Keposv (3pefof, etc. (vi. 264). 

Clemens Alexandria Admonit. ad Gent. p. 11,12, Sylb. The story was 
treated both by Callimachus and by Euphorion, Etymolog. Magu. v. 
Zaypevf, Schol. Lycophr. 208. In the old epic poem Alkmseonis or Epi- 
goni, Zagreus is a surname of Hades. See Fragm. 4, p. 7, ed. DOntzer. 
Respecting the Orphic Theogony generally, Brandis (Handbuch der Ges- 
chichte der Griechisch-Romisch. Philosophic, c. xvii., xviii.), K. O. Miiller 
(Prolegg. Mythol. pp. 379-396), and Zoega (Abhandlungen, v. pp. 211-263) 
may be consulted with much advantage. Brandis regards this Theogony 
as considerably older than the first Ionic philosophy, which is a higher anti- 
quity than appears probable : some of the ideas which it contains, such, for 
example, as that of the Orphic egg, indicate a departure from the string of 
purely personal generations which both Homer and Hesiod exclusively 
recount, and a resort to something like physical analogies> On the whole, 
we cannot reasonably- claim for it more than half a century above the age 
of Onomakritus. The Theogony of Pherekydes of Syros seems to have 


Sucli is the tissue of violent fancies comprehended under the 
title of the Orphic Theogony, and read as such, it appears, by 
Plato, Isokrates and Aristotle. It will be seen that it is basec? 
upon the Hesiodic Theogony, but according to the general expan- 
sive tendency of Grecian legend, much new matter is added : 
Zeus has in Homer one predecessor, in Hesiod two, and in 
Orpheus four. 

The Hesiodic Theogony, though later in date than the Iliad 
and Odyssey, was coeval with the earliest pariod of what may be 
called Grecian history, and certainly of an age earlier than 700 
B. c. It appears to have been widely circulated in Greece, and 
being at once ancient and short, the general public consulted it as 
their principal source of information respecting divine antiquity. 
The Orphic Theogony belongs to a later date, and contains the 
Hesiodic ideas and persons, enlarged and mystically disguised : 
its vein of invention was less popular, adapted more to the con- 
templation of a sect specially prepared than to the taste of a 
casual audience, and it. appears accordingly to have obtained cur- 
rency chiefly among purely speculative men. 1 Among the major- 
borne some analogy to the Orphic. See Diogen. LaOrt. i. 119, Sturz. Frag- 
ment. Pherekyd. 5-6, Brandis, Handbuch, ut sup. c. xxii. Pherckydes 
partially deviated from the mythical track or personal successions set forth by 
Hesiod. inel ol ye fi e fj. i y fj. s voi avruv Kal T<J /J.T/ fiv&iK. u f uiravra TieyEiv, 
olov <f~EpeKv6r] Kal ETEpoi nvef, etc. (Aristot. Mctaphys. N. p. 301, ed. 
Brandis). Porphyrius, de Antro Nymphar. c. 31, Kal rov Zvpiov <bcpeKv6ov 
fivxoitc Kal fto&povf Kal avrpa Kal -9-vpaf Kal irv^af Tiiyovrof, Kal diu rovruv 
alviTTOfiEVOv ruf TUV Tpv%tiv jEVEaeif Kal tnroyeviacir, etc. Eudcmus tho 
Peripatetic, pupil of Aristotle, had drawn up an account of the Orphic The- 
ogony as well as of the doctrines of Pherckydes, Akusilaus and others, which 
was still in the hands of the Platonists of the fourth century, though it is 
now lost. The extracts which we find seem all to countenance the belief that 
the Hesiodic Theogony formed the basis upon which they worked. See 
about Akusilaus, Plato, Sympos. p. 178. Clem. Alex. Strom, p. 629. 

1 The Orphic Theogony is never cited in the ample Scholia on Homer, 
though Hesiod is often alluded to. (See Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 540). Nor 
can it have been present to the minds of Xenophane's and Herakleitus, as 
representing any widely diffused Grecian belief : the former, who so severely 
condemned Homer and Hesiod, would have found Orpheus much more 
deserving of his censure : and the latter could hardly have omitted Orpheus 
from his memorable denunciation : Tlohv nadir) voov oil 6i6aaKi 'Haiodov 
yap av itiida!;e Kal Tlv&ayoprji', avrif tie Eevotpaveu re Kal 'EKaralov. Diog. 
La!r. ix. 1. Isokrate's treats Orpheus as the most censurable of all the poets. 


Ky of tliese latter, however, it acquired greater veneration, and 
above all was supposed to be of greater antiquity, than the 
Hesiodic. The belief in its superior antiquity (disallowed by 
Herodotus, and seemingly also by Aristotle 1 ), as well as the 
respect for its contents, increased during the Alexandrine age and 
through the declining centuries of Paganism, reaching its maxi- 
mum among the New-Platonists of the third and fourth century 
after Christ : both the Christian assailants, as well as the defend- 
ers, of paganism, tieated it as the most ancient and venerable 
summary of the Grecian faith. Orpheus is celebrated by Pindar 
as the harper and companion of the Argonautic maritime heroes : 
Orpheus and Musneus, as well as Pamphos and Olen, the great 
supposed authors of theogonic, mystical, oracular, and prophetic 
verses and hymns, were generally considered by literary Greeks 
as older than either Hesiod or Homer : 2 and such was also the 
common opinion of modern scholars until a period comparatively 
recent. It has now been shown, on sufficient ground, that the 

See Busiris, p. 229 ; ii. p. 309, Bekk. The Theogony of Orpheus, as con- 
ceived by Apollonius llhodius (i. 504) in the third century B. c., and by 
Nigidius in the first century B. c. (Servius ad Virgil. Eclog. iv. 10), seems to 
have been on a more contracted scale than that which is given in the text. 
But neither of them notice the talc of Zngreus, which we know to be as old 
as Onomakritus. 

1 This opinion of Herodotus is implied in the remarkable passage about 
Homer and Hesiod, ii. 53, though he never once names Orpheus only 
alluding once to " Orphic ceremonies," ii. 81. He speaks more than once of 
the prophecies of Musoeus. Aristotle denied the past existence and reality 
of Orpheus. See Cicero de Nat. Deor. i. 38. 

2 Pindar Pyth. iv. 177. Plato seems to consider Orpheus as more ancient 
than Homer. Compare Theastet. p. 179 ; Cratylus, p. 402; De Bepubl. ii. p. 
364. The order in which Aristophanes (and Hippias of Elis, ap. Clem. 
Alex. Str. vi. p. 624) mentions them indicates the same view, Kanae, 1030. 
It is unnecessary to cite the later chronologers, among whom the belief if 
the antiquity of Orpheus was universal ; he was commonly described as son 
of the Muse Calliope. Androtion seems to have denied that he was a 
Thracian, regarding the Thracians as incurably stupid and illiterate. Andro 
tion, Fragm. 36, ed. Didot. Ephorus treated him as having been a pupil of 
the Idasan Dactyls of Phrygia (see Diodor. v. 64), and as having learnt 
from them his TE?.ETU( and [tvarfipia, which he was the first to introduce 
into Greece. The earliest mention which we find erf Orpheus, is that of the 
poet Ibycus (about B. C. 530\ VVO/IUK^VTOV J Op(j>jjt>. Ibyci Fragm. 9, p. S- 1 !, 
e-J Schneidewin. 


compositions which passed under these names emanate for tbo 
most part from poets of the Alexandrine age, and subsequent to 
the Christian aera ; and that even the earliest among them, which 
served as the stock on which the later additions were engrafted, 
belong to a period far more recent than Hesiod ; probably to the 
century preceding Onomakritus (B. c. 610-510). It seems, how- 
ever, certain, that both Orpheus and Musams were names of 
established reputation at the time Avhen Onomakritus flourished ; 
and it is distinctly stated by Pausanias that the latter was him- 
self the author of the most remarkable and characteristic mythe 
of the Orphic Theogony the discerption of Zagreus by the 
Titans, and his resurrection as Dionysos. 1 

The names of Orpheus and Musaeus (as well as that of Pytha- 
goras, 2 looking at one side of his character) represent facts of 
importance in the history of the Grecian mind the gradual 
influx of Thracian, Phrygian, and Egyptian, religious ceremonies 
and feelings, and the increasing diffusion of special mysteries,- 1 

1 Pausan. viii. 37, 3. Tiravaf de irpurov ef TTOLTJCHV eafiyayev "OfiTjpof, $eoi)f 
elvai o(j>uf virb TCJ Ka^ovfiiv^ Taprupu KOI lanv kv 'Hpaf op/c ra liri)' rcapti 
<5t 'O/tT/pov 'Ovo/iaKpirof, 7rapa?L.a/3wv TUV TITUVUV rb ovofia, Atovvay re 
avve-drjKEV opyia, /cat dvai roi)f Tiruvaf TU Aoi>{i<ru TUV ira'&r/fj.a.Tuv iiroiTiaev 
ai'Tovpyovf. Both the date, the character and the function of Onomakritus 
are distinctly marked by Herodotus, vii. 6. 

- Herodotus believed in the derivation both of the Orphic and Pythagorean 
regulations from Egypt dfio^oyeovai (5e ravra rolai 'OpQiKoioi /ca/leo/zeiwat 
Kal BaKxiKoiai, kovai d AlyvirTioiGi (ii. 81). He knows the names of those 
Greeks who have borrowed from Egypt the doctrine of the metempsychosis, 
but he will not mention them (ii. 123) : he can hardly allude to any one but 
the Pythagoreans, many of whom he probably knew in Italy. See the 
curious extract from Xenophanes respecting the doctrine of Pythagoras, 
Diogen. Lae'rt. viii. 37 ; and the quotation from the Silli of Timon, IIw9a- 
yopav <5e yo^rof unoK^ivavT' 1 kttl dot-av, etc- Compare Porphyr. in Vii. 
Pythag. c. 41. 

3 Aristophan. Kan. 1030. 

'Op^eiif fiev yap re/leraf $' TJJUV Kartdeil-e, <j>6vuv r' aTre 
Mowaatof r', kZaneaeif rt voauv not ^p^oyzovf ' 
r^f kpyaffias, Kapnuv wpaf, uporovf 6 de t?etof " 
'A7it> TOV TI/J.IJV Kal K^eof eff^ev, irTJriv roCi?', 
'Aperaf, ru^eif, dnXiaetf avfip&v; etc. 

The same general contrast is to be found in Plato, Protagoras, p. 316 ; tha 
opinion of Pausanias, ix. 30, 4. The poems of Musams seem to biTe born* 


schemes for religious purification, and orgies (I venture to angli- 
cize the Greek word, which contains in its original meaning no 
implication of the ideas of excess to which it was afterwards 
diverted) in honor of some particular god distinct both from 
the public solemnities and from the gentile solemnities of primi- 
tive Greece, celebrated apart from the citizens generally, and 
approachable only through a certain course of preparation and 
initiation sometimes even forbidden to be talked of in the 
presence of the uninitiated, under the severest threats of divine 
judgment. Occasionally such voluntary combinations assumed 
the form of permanent brotherhoods, bound together by periodical 
solemnities as well as by vows of an ascetic character : thus the 
Orphic life (as it was called) or regulation of the Orphic brother- 
hood, among other injunctions partly arbitrary and partly absti- 
nent, forbade animal food universally, and on certain occasions, 
the use of woollen clothing.' The great religious and political 
fraternity of the Pythagoreans, which acted so powerfully on the 
condition of the Italian cities, was one of the many manifestations 
of this general tendency, which stands in striking contrast with 
the simple, open-hearted, and demonstrative worship of the 
Homeric Greeks. 

Festivals at seed-time and harvest at the vintage and at the 
opening of the new wine were doubtless coeval with the earli- 
est habits of the Greeks ; the latter being a period of unusual 
joviality. Yet in the Homeric poems, Dionysos and Demeter, 
the patrons of the vineyard and the cornfield, are seldom men- 
tioned, and decidedly occupy little place in the imagination of the 
poet as compared with the other gods : nor are they of any con- 
spicuous importance even in the Hesiodic Theogony. But during 
the interval between Hesiod and Onomakritus, the revolution in 
the religious mind of Greece was such as to place both these 
deities in the front rank. According to the Orphic doctrine, 
Zagreus, son of Persephone, is destined to be the successor of 
Zeus, and although the violence of the Titans intercepts this lot, 

considerable analogy to the Melampodia ascribed to Hesiod (see Clemen. 
Alex. Str. vi. p. 628) ; and healing charms are ascribed to Orpheus as well 
RS to Musasus. See Eurip. Alcestis, 986. 

1 Herod, ii. 81 ; Euripid. Hippol. 957, and the carious fragment of the loflt 
Kr-?ref of Euripides. 'Oi)<i>tKol pioi, Plato, Legg. vii. 782. 


yet even when he rises again from his discerption under lie 
name of Dionysos, he is the colleague and coequal of his divine 

This remarkable change, occurring as it did during the sixth 
and a part of the seventh century before the Christian zcra, may 
be traced to the influence of communication with Egypt (which 
only became fully open to the Greeks about B. c. 660), as well 
as with Thrace, Phrygia, and Lydia. From hence new religious 
ideas and feelings were introduced, which chiefly attached them- 
selves to the characters of Dionysos and Demeter. The Greeks 
identified these two deities with the great Egyptian Osiris and 
Isis, so that what was borrowed from the Egyptian worship of 
the two latter naturally fell to their equivalents in the Grecian 
system. 1 Moreover the worship of Dionysos (under what name 
cannot be certainly made out) was indigenous in Thrace, 2 
as that of the Great Mother was in Phyrgia, and in Lydia 
together with those violent ecstasies and manifestations of tem- 
porary frenzy, and that clashing of noisy instruments, which we 
find afterwards characterizing it in Greece. The great mnsters 
of the pipe as well as the dythyramb, 3 and indeed the whole 
musical system appropriated to the worship of Dionysos, which 

1 Herodot. ii. 42, 59, 144. 

2 Herodot v. 7, vii. Ill ; Euripid. Hecub. 1249, and Rhesus, 969. and the 
Prologue to the Bacchoc ; Strabo, x. p. 470 ; Schol. ad Aristophan. Avcs, 
874; Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieg. 1069; Harpocrat. v. 2u/3ot; Photius, 
Evol 2a/?ot. The "Lydiaca" of Th. Menke (Berlin, 1843) traces the 
early connection between the religion of Dionysos and that of Cybcle, c. 6, 
7. Hoeckh's Krc-ta (vol. i. p. 128-134) is instructive rcspectingthe Phrygian 

1 Aristotle, Polit. viii. 7, 9. Ilacra yap EuK^eia KO.I Truaa TJ rotavrrj Kivijatf 

T&V opyavuv EGTIV iv ToZf avAotf TUV cP tipftovtuv kv 
%a/j.[3uvet. ravra rb TT/JETTOV, olov 6 tfn9>/>a///?of doKfl 
rlvai Qpvjiov. Eurip. Bacch. 58. 

Trixupi 1 ev Tro/iet fypvyuv 
va, 'Pf-af re fir/rpof i?' evp^/tara, etc. 

Plutarch, El. in Delph. c. 9 ; Pliilochor. Fr. 21, cd. Didot, p. 389. The ccm- 
plete and intimate manner in which Euripide's identifies the Bacchic rites of 
Dionysos with the Phrygian ceremonies in honor of the Great Mother, is rerj 
remarkabb. The fine description given by Lucretius (ii. 600-640) of tht 
Phrygian Trorship is much enfeebled by his unsatisfactory allegorizing 


contrasted so pointedly with the quiet solemnity of the Paean 
addressed to Apollo were all originally Phrygian. 

From all these various countries, novelties, unknown to the 
Homeric men, found their way into the Grecian worship : and 
there is one amongst them which deserves to be specially noticed, 
because it marks the generation of the new class of ideas in 
their theology. Homer mentions many persons guilty of private 
or involuntary homicide, and compelled either to go into exile or 
to make pecuniary satisfaction ; but he never once describes any 
of them to have either received or required purification for the 
crime. 1 Now in the time subsequent to Homer, purification for 
homicide comes to be considered as indispensable: the guilty 
person is regarded as unfit for the society of man or the worship 
of the gods until he has received it, and special ceremonies are 
prescribed whereby it is to be administered. Herodotus tells us 
that the ceremony of purification was the same among the Lydi- 
ans and among the Greeks : 2 we know that it formed no part of 
the early religion of the latter, and we may perhaps reasonably 
suspect that they borrowed it from the former. The oldest 
instance known to us of expiation for homicide was contained in 
the epic poem of the Milesian Arktinus, 3 wherein Achilles is 

1 Schol. ad Iliad, xi. 690 ov 6ia TCL Ka&upaia 'l(j>irov Tropdeirai i] Hi/lof, 

7Tt TOL '0 JlXTCTClJf [JLEL^UV NtOTOpOf, KOi Trap' 'QflTjpU OVK oldd/JiEV (t>OVO. K<Z- 

fraipofievov, uTiTC UVTITIVOVTO, 7} fyvyadevbfiEvov. The examples are numer- 
ous, and are found both in the Iliad and the Odyssey. Iliad, ii. 665 (Tlcpo- 
lemos) ; xiii. 697 (Meddn) ; xiii. 574 (Epeigeus); xxiii. 89 (Patrodos); 
Odyss. xv. 224 (Tfteoclymenos) ; xiv. 380 Can sEtolian). Nor does the inter- 
esting mythc respecting the functions of Ate and the Litae harmonize with 
the subsequent doctrine about the necessity of purification. (Iliad, ix. 498). 

a Herodot. i. 35 ecrri de irapaTrhrjaiT; ?/ /ii?apa<c rolffi Avdolai nai TOLUL 
"Ehfyai. One remarkable proof, amongst many, of the deep hold which 
this idea took of the greatest minds in Greece, that serious mischief would 
fall upon the community if family quarrels or homicide remained without 
religious expiation, is to be found in the objections which Aristotle urges 
against the community of women proposed in the Platonic Republic. It 
could not be known what individuals stood in the relation of father, son or 
brother: if, therefore, wrong or murder of kindred should take place, the 
appropriate religious atonements (al vofii^o^Evai 2.vaeic) could not be applied, 
and the crime would go nnexpiated. (Aristot. Polit. ii. 1, 14. Compare 
Thucyd. i. 125-128). 

3 See the Fragm. of the ^Ethiopis of Arktinus, in Dllntzer's Collection, p. 16. 

TOL. I. , 2 


purified by Odysseus for the murder of Thersites : seveial others 
occurred in the later or Hesiodic epic Herakles, Peleus, Bclle- 
rophon, Alkmaeon, Amphiktyon, Poemander, Triopas, from 
whence they probably passed through the hands of the logograr 
phers to Apollodorus, Diodorus, and others. 1 The purification 
of the murderer was originally operated, not by the hands of any 
priest or specially sanctified man, but by those of a chief or king, 
who goes through the appropriate ceremonies in the manner 
recounted by Herodotus in his pathetic narrative respecting 
Crccsus and Adrastus. 

The idea of a special taint of crime, and of the necessity as 
well as the sufficiency of prescribed religious ceremonies as a 
means of removing it, appears thus to have got footing in Grecian 
practice subsequent to the time of Homer. The peculiar rites 
or orgies, composed or put together by Onomakritus, Methapus, 3 
and other men of more than the ordinary piety, were founded 
upon a similar mode of thinking, and adapted to the same mental 
exigencies. They were voluntary religious manifestations, super- 
induced upon the old public sacrifices of the king or chiefs on 
behalf of the whole society, and of the father on his own family 
hearth they marked out the details of divine service proper to 
appease or gratify the god to whom they were addressed, and to 
procure for the believers who went through them his blessings 
and protection here or hereafter the exact performance of the 
divine service in all its specialty was held necessary, and thus the 
priests or Hierophants, who alone were familiar with the ritual, 
acquired a commanding position. 3 Generally speaking, these 

1 The references for this arc collected in Lobeck's Aglaophamos. Epi- 
mctr. ii. ad Orphica, p. 968. 

2 Pausanias (iv. 1, 5) /isreKoafirjcre yup Kal Metfarrof rf/f TE^ETI/C (tho 
Eleusinian Orgies, carried by Kaukon from Eleusis into Messenia), eartv a. 
'O 6e M$a7rof yivoc; fiev r/v 'Aftr/valo^, reAer^f re KOI b pyiuv trav roiuv 
OW&STTJG- Again, viii. 37, 3, Onomakriius Aiovvou avve'&TjKev opyia, 
etc. This is another expression designating the same idea as the Rhesus of 
Euripides, 944. 


1 Te'line's, the ancestor of the Syracusan despot Gelo, acquired great 
political power as possessing TU l(x\ ruv x&ovluv QEUV (Herodot. vii 153); 


peculiar orgies obtained their admission and their influence at 
periods of distress, disease, public calamity and danger, or re- 
ligious terror and despondency, which appear to have been but 
too frequent in their occurrence. 

The minds of men were prone to the belief that Avhat they 
were suffering arose from the displeasure of some of the gods, 
and as they found that the ordinary sacrifices and worship were 
insufficient for their protection, so they grasped at new sugges- 
tions proposed to them with the view of regaining the divine 
favor. 1 Such suggestions were more usually copied, either in 
whole or in part, from the religious rites of some foreign locality, 
or from some other portion of the Hellenic world ; and in this 
manner many new sects or voluntary religious fraternities, prom- 
ising: to relieve the troubled conscience and to reconcile the sick 


or suffering with the offended gods, acquired permanent establish- 
ment as well as considerable influence. They were generally 
under the superintendence of hereditary families of priests, who 
imparted the rites of confirmation and purification to communi- 
cants generally ; no one who went through the prescribed cere- 
monies being excluded. In many cases, such ceremonies fell into 
the hands of jugglers, who volunteered their services to wealthy 
men, and degraded their profession as well by obtrusive venality 
as by extravagant promises : 2 sometimes the price was lowered 

he and his family became hereditary Hierophants of these ceremonies. How 
Teliae's acquired the ipti Herodotus cannot say O-&EV 6e airH eXafie, T) 
aiirbf enrrjaaTo, TOVTO OVK l%u emai. Probably there was a traditional 
legend, not inferior in sanctity to that of Eleusis, tracing them to the gift of 
Dcmeter herself. 

1 See Josephus cont. Apion. ii. c. 35. ; Hesych. Geot glvioi ; Strabo, x. p 
471 ; Plutarch, Hepi Aeiaidai/j.ov. c. iii. p. 166 ; c. vii. p. 167. 

* Plato, Eepubl. ii. p. 364 ; Demosthen. de Conrad, c. 79, p. 313. The 
deiaidaipuv of Theophrastus cannot be comfortable without receiving the 
Orphic communion monthly from the Orpheotelestae (Theophr. Char. xvi). 
Compare Plutarch, Hepl rov py %pav epperpa, etc., c. 25, p. 400. The comic 
writer Phrynichus indicates the existence of these rites of religious excite- 
ment, at Athens, during the Peloponnesian war. See the short fragment of 
his Kpwof , ap. Schol. Aristoph. Aves, 989 - 

'AV7)p XOptVEL, Kdl Tfi TOV -&COV KU^Uf ' 

Bot>/le AiOTreidrj {lETadpufiu Kal Tvpirava ; 
Diopeithos was a xpff*%yf> or collector and deliverer of prophecy 


to bring them within reach of the poor and even of slaves. But 
the wide diffusion, and the number of voluntary communicants 
;>{ these solemnities, proves how much they fell in with the feel- 
ing of the time and how much respect they enjoyed a respect, 
which the more conspicuous establishments, such as Eleusis and 
Samothrace, maintained for several centuries. And the visit of 
the Kretan Epimenides to Athens in the time of Solon, and 
at a season of the most serious disquietude and dread of having 
offended the gods illustrates the tranquillizing effect of new 
orgies 1 and rites of absolution, when enjoined by a man standing 
high in the favor of the gods and reputed to be the son of a 
nymph. The supposed Erythraean Sibyl, and the earliest collec- 
tion of Sibylline prophecies, 2 afterwards so much multiplied and 
interpolated, and referred (according to Grecian custom) to an 
age even earlier than Homer, appear to belong to a date not long 
posterior to Epimenides. Other oracular verses, such as those of 
Bakis, were treasured up in Athens and other cities : the sixth 
century before the Christian asra was fertile in these kinds of 
religious manifestations. 

Amongst the special rites and orgies of the character just 
described, those which enjoyed the greatest Pan-Hellenic reputa- 
tion were attached to the Idaean Zeus in Krete, to Demeter at 
Eleusis, to the Kabeiri in Samothrace, and to Dionysos at Delphi 

which he sung (or rather, perhaps, recited) with solemnity and emphasis, in 
public, wore iroiovvref ^p^a/zotif avrol kidoaa' pdeiv AiOTreidci ru> napafiai- 
vofievu. (Ameipsias ap. Schol. Aristophan. ut sup., which illustrates 
Thucyd. ii. 21). 

1 Plutarch, Solon, c. 12 ; Diogen. LaCrt. i. 110. 

2 See Klausen, " jEneas und die Periaten:" his chapter on the connection 
between the Grecian and Roman Sibylline collections is among the most 
ingenious of 'his learned book. Book ii. pp. 210-240; see Steph. Byz. v 

To the same age belong the xp^^pol and nadapiiol of Abaris and his mar 
vellous journey through the air upon an arrow (Herodot. iv. 36). 

Epimenides also composed Kaftapfiol in epic verse ; his Kovpr/Tuv and 
Kopv/3ut>rv -yeveaif, and his four thousand verses respecting Minos and 
Rhadamanthys, if they had been preserved, would let us fully into the ideas 
of a religious mystic of that age respecting the antiquities of Greece. 
(Strabo, x. p. 474; Diogen. LaCrt. i. 10). Among the poems ascribed to 
Hesiod were comprised not only the Melampodia, but also f /TV /laiTiitil an<! 
l Tcpantv. Pausan. ix. 31, 4. 


and Thebes. 1 That they were all to a great degree analogous, 
is shown by the way in which they unconsciously run together 
and become confused in the minds of various authors : the an- 
cient inquirers themselves were unable to distinguish one from 
the other, and we must be content to submit to the like ignorance. 
Bet we see enough to satisfy us of the general fact, that during 
the century and a half which elapsed between the opening of 
Egypt to the Greeks and the commencement of their struggle 
with the Persian kings, the old religion was largely adulterated 
by importations from Egypt, Asia Minor, 2 and Thrace. The 
rites grew to be more furious and ecstatic, exhibiting the utmost 
excitement, bodily as well -as mental : the legends became at once 
more coarse, more tragical, and less pathetic. The manifestations 
of this frenzy were strongest among the women, whose religious 
susceptibilities were often found extremely unmanageable, 3 and 
who had everywhere congregative occasional ceremonies of their 
own, part from the men indeed, in the case of the colonists, 
especially of the Asiatic colonists, the women had been originally 
women of the country, and as such retained to a great degree 
their non-Hellenic manners and feelings. 4 The god Diony- 

1 Among other illustrations of this general resemblance, may be counted 
an epitaph of Kallimachus upon an aged priestess, who passed from the 
service of Dumeter to that of the Kabeiri, then to that of Cybele, having 
the superintendence of many j'oung women. Kallimachus, Epigram. 42. p. 
308. ed. Ernest. 

8 Plutarch, (Defect. Oracul. c. 10, p. 415) treats these countries as the orig- 
inal seat of the worship of Dajmons (wholly or partially bad, and interme- 
diate between gods and men), and their religious ceremonies as of a corres- 
ponding character : the Greeks were borrowers from them, according to him, 
both of the doctrine and of the ceremonies. 

3 Strabo, vii. p. 297. 'Airavref yap r^f (hicridai/j.oviac upxiryovf olovTai ruf 
yvvalKcif ai>Tal 6e KUI roi'f uvdpaf irpoicahovvTai. f ru? km Ttheov #epa7m'aj 
TUV -&ttiv, Kal iopruf, /cat TTorviafffiovf. Plato (De Legg. x. pp. 909, 910) 
takes great pains to restrain this tendency on the part of sick or suffering 
persons, especially women, to introduce new sacred rites into his city. 

* Herodot. i. 146. The wives of the Ionic original settlers at Miletos were 
Karian women, whose husbands they slew. 

The violences of the Karian worship are attested by what Herodotus says 
of the Karian residents in Egypt, at the festival cf Isis at Busiris. The 
Egyptians at this festival manifested their feeling by beating themselves, the 
Karians by cutting their faces with knives (ii. 61). The Kapin^ fiovan 
became proverbial for funeral wailings (Pla*o, Legg. vii. p. 800) : the un- 


sos,' whom the legends described as clothed in feminine attire, ana 
leading a troop of /renzied women, inspired a temporary ecstasy, 
and those who resisted the inspiration, being supposed to disobey 
his will, were punished either by particular judgments or by 
mental terrors ; Avhile those who gave full loose to the feeling, in 
the appropriate season and with the received solemnities, satisfied 
his exigencies, and believed themselves to have procured immu- 
nity from such disquietudes for the future. 2 Crowds of women, 
clothed with fawn-skins and bearing the sanctified thyrsus, flocked 
to the solitudes of Parnassus, or Kithasron, or Taygetus, during 
the consecrated triennial period, passed the night there with 
torches, and abandoned themselves to demonstrations of frantic 
excitement, with dancing and clamorous invocation of the god : 
they were said to tear animals limb from limb, to devour the raw 

measured effusions and demonstrations of sorrow for the departed, some 
times accompanied by cutting and mutilation self-inflicted by the mournei 
vras a distinguishing feature in Asiatics and Egyptians as compared with 
Greeks. Plutarch, Consolat. ad Apollon. c. 22, p. 123. Mournful feeling 
was, in fact, a sort of desecration of the genuine and primitive Grecian fes- 
tival, which was a season of cheerful harmony and social enjoyment, where 
in the god was believed to sympathize (eixbpocjvvrj). See Xenophanes ap. 
Aristot. Rhetor, ii. 25; Xenophan. Fragm. 1. ed. Schncidewin; Theognis, 
776 ; Plutarch, De Superstit, p. 1G9. The unfavorable comments of Diony 
sius of Halicarnassus, in so far as they refer to the festivals of Greece, apply 
to the foreign corruptions, not to the native character, of Grecian worship. 

1 The Lydian Herakles was conceived and worshipped as a man in 
female attire : this idea occurs often in the Asiatic religions. Mencke, 
Lydiaca, c. 8, p. 22. Aiovvaoc upprjv KOI drfi-vs. Aristid. Or. iv. p. 28 ; 
.yEschyl. Fragm. Edoni, ap. Aristoph. Thesmoph. 135. HodaTrbf 6 jvvvis ; 
Tif iruTpa ; T<C i) ; 

2 Melampos cures the women (whom Dionysos has struck mad for their 
resistance to his rites), TrapaXa(3u)v rot)f dwarururovf TUV veaviuv fier' 1 uXa- 
Aay/iot) nai Tivof kv&Eov ^opefac. Apollodor. ii. 2, 7. Compare Eurip 
Bacch. 861. 

Plato (Legg. vii. p. 790) gives a similar theory of the healing effect of the 
Korybantic rites, which cured vague and inexplicable terrors of the mind by 
means of dancing and music conjoined with religious ceremonies al r<i 
TUV KopvftdvTuv lufiara Tehovaai (the practitioners were women), at TUV 
tn<!>p6vuv Banxduv iuacif fj TUV tfwi?v Kparel Kivrjaif npoa<pfpop.ivr] Ttjf 
ivTbf Qopepuv ovaav /cat fiavinqv Kivqaiv opxovjuevovf 6e KOI avZovfievovf 
HSTU -deuv, olf uv KaTJiieprjaavTes ZicaaTOi dvuaiv, Kareip-yuaa ro UITI uavixu* 
tftlv dia&ear.uv fff lufypovat, 


flesh, and to cut themselves without feeling the wound. 1 The 
men yielded to a similar impulse by noisy revels in the streets, 
sounding the cymbals and tambourine, and carrying the image of 
the god in procession. 2 It deserves to be remarked, that the 
Athenian women never practised these periodical mountain excur- 
sions, so common among the rest of the Greeks : they had their 
feminine solemnities of the Thesmophoria, 3 mournful in their 
character and accompanied with fasting, and their separate con- 
gregations at the temples of Aphrodite, but without any extreme 
or unseemly demonstrations. The state festival of the Dyonysia, 
in the city of Athens, was celebrated with dramatic entertain- 
ments, and the once rich harvest of Athenian tragedy and comedy 
was thrown up under its auspices. The ceremonies of the Kure- 
tes in Krete, originally armed dances in honor of the Idaean Zeus, 
seem also to have borrowed from Asia so much of fury, of self- 
infliction, and of mysticism, that they became at last inextricably 
confounded with the Phrygian Korybantes or worshippers of the 
Great Mother ; though it appears that Grecian reserve always 
stopped short of the irreparable self-mutilation of Atys. 

The influence of the Thracian religion upon that of the Greeks 
cannot be traced in detail, but the ceremonies contained in it were 
of a violent and fierce character, like the Phrygian, and acted 
upon Hellas in the same general direction as the latter. And the 
like may be said of the Egyptian religion, which was in this case 
the more operative, inasmuch as all the intellectual Greeks were 
naturally attracted to go and visit the wonders on the banks of the 

1 Described in the BacchiB of Euripides (140, 735, 1135, etc.). Ovid, 
Trist. iv. i. 41. "Utque suum Bacchis non scntit saucia vulnus, Cum furit 
Edonis exululata jugis." In a fragment of the poet Alkman, a Lydian by birth, 
the Bacchanal nymphs are represented as milking the lioness, and making 
cheese of the milk, during their mountain excursions and festivals. (Alk- 
man. Fragm. 14. Schn. Compare Aristicl. Orat. iv. p. 29). Clemens 
Alcxand. Aclmonit. ad Gent. p. 9, Sylb. ; Lucian, Dionysos, c. 3, T. iii. p. 77, 

2 See the tale of Skylfis in Herod, iv. 79, and Athenaeus, x. p. 445. Hero- 
dotus mentions that the Scythians abhorred the Bacchic ceremonies, account 
ing the frenzy which belonged to them to be disgraceful and monstrous. 

3 Plutarch, De Isid. et Osir. c. 69, p. 378 ; Schol. ad Aristoph. Thesmoph 
There were however Bacchic ceremonies practised to a certain extent by th 
Athenian women. (Aristoph. Lysist. 388). 


Nile ; the powerful effect produced upon tlmm is attested by many 
evidences, but especially by the interesting narrative of Herodo- 
tus. Now the Egyptian ceremonies were at once more licentious, 
and more profuse in the outpouring both of joy and sorrow, than 
the Greek: 1 but a still greatr/ difference sprang from the extra- 
ordinary power, separate mode of life, minute observances, and 
elaborate organization, of the priesthood. The ceremonies of 
Egypt were multitudinous, but the legends concerning them were 
framed by the priests, and as a general rule, seemingly, known to 
the priests alone : at least they were not intended to be publicly 
talked of, even by pious men. They were " holy stories," which 
it was sacrilege publicly to mention, and which from this very 
prohibition only took firmer hold of the minds of the Greek vis- 
itors who heard them. And thus the element of secrecy and 
mystic silence foreign to Homer, and only faintly glanced at in 
Hesiod if it was not originally derived from Egypt, at least 
received from thence its greatest stimulus and diffusion. The 
character of the legends themselves was naturally affected by 
this change from publicity to secrecy : the secrets when revealed 
would be such as to justify by their own tenor the interdict on 
public divulgation : instead of being adapted, like the Homeric 
mythe, to the universal sympathies and hearty interest of a 
crowd of hearers, they would derive their impressiveness from 
the tragical, mournful, extravagant, or terror-striking character 
of the incidents. 2 Such a tendency, which appears explicable 
and probable even on general grounds, was in this particular case 
rendered still more certain by the coarse taste of the Egyptian 
priests. That any recondite doctrine, religious or philosophical, 
was attached to the mysteries or contained in the holy stories, 

1 " .iEgyptiaca numina fere plangoribus gaudent, Grseca plerumque chor 
eis, barbara autem strepitu cymbalistarum et tympanistarum et choraula- 
rum." (Apuleius, De Genio Socratis, v. ii. p. 149, Oudend). 

2 The legend of Dionysos and Prosymnos, as it stands in Clemens, could 
never have found place in an epic poem (Admonit. ad Gent. p. 22, Sylb.). 
Compare page 1 1 of the same work, where however he so confounds together 
Phrygian, Bacchic, and Eleusinian mysteries, that one cannot distinguish 
them apart. 

Demetrius Phalereus says about the legends belonging to these ceremonies 
A id KO.I TO. /Ltvarj/pia heyerai tv uMiqyopiaie TT p b f iKnTiTj %iv KOI <j>pi 
ITIV, uffirsp tv <TKoru Kai viKTi. (De Intcrprctatione, c. 101 1. 


has never been shown, and is to the last degree improbaole 
though the affirmative has been asserted by many learned men 
Herodotus seems to have believed that the worship and cere- 
monies of Dionysos generally were derived by the Greeks from 
Egypt, brought over by Kadmus and taught by him to Melarnpus : 
and the latter appears in the Hesiodic Catalogue as having cured 
the daughters of Proetus of the mental distemper with which they 
had been smitten by Dionysos for rejecting his ritual. He cured 
them by introducing the Bacchic dance and fanatical excitement : 
this mythical incident is the most ancient mention of the Diony- 
siac solemnities presented in the same character as they bear in 
Euripides. It is the general tendency of Herodotus to apply the 
theory of derivation from Egypt far too extensively to Grecian 
institutions : the orgies of Dionysos were not originally borrowed 
from thence, though they may have been much modified by con- 
nection with Egypt as well as with Asia. The remarkable mythe 
composed by Onomakritus respecting the dismemberment of 
Zagreus was founded upon an Egyptian tale very similar respect- 
ing the body of Osiris, who was supposed to be identical with 
Dionysos i 1 nor was it unsuitable to the reckless fury of the Bac- 
chanals during their state of temporary excitement, which found 
a still more awful expression in the mythe of Pentheus, torn 
in pieces by his own mother Agave at the head of her compan- 
ions in the ceremony, as an intruder upon the feminine rites as 
well as a scoffer at the god. 3 A passage in the Iliad (the authen- 
ticity of which has been contested, but even as an interpolation it 
must be old) 3 also recounts how Lykurgus was struck blind by 
Zeus for having chased away with a whip " the nurses of the mad 
Dionysos," and frightened the god himself into the sea to take 

1 See the curious treatise of Plutarch, De Isid. et Osirid. c. 11-14. p. 
356, and his elaborate attempt to allegorize the legend. He seems to have 
conceived that the Thracian Orpheus had first introduced into Greece the 
mysteries both of Demeter and Dionysos, copying them from those of Isis 
and Osiris in Egypt. See Fragm. 84, from one of his lost works, torn, v. p 
891, ed. Wyttenb. 

* jEschylus had dramatized the story of Pentheus as well as that of Ly- 
kurgus : one of his tetralogies was the Lykurgoia (Dindorf, .^Esch. Fragm. 
115). A short allusion to the story of Pentheus appears in Eumenid 25 
Compare Sophocl. Antigon. 985, and the Scholia. 

3 Iliad, vi. 130. See the remarks of Mr. Payne Knight adloc. 

VOL. I. 2* 30C. 


refuge in the arms of Thetis : and the fact, that Dionysos is sc 
frequently represented in his mythes as encountering opposition 
and punishing the refractory, seems to indicate that his worship 
under its ecstatic form was a late phenomenon and introduced nol 
without difficulty. The mythical Thracian Orpheus was attached 
as Eponymos to a new sect, who seem to have celehrated the cere- 
monies of Dionysos with peculiar care, minuteness and fervor, 
besides observing various rules in respect to food and clothing, 
it was the opinion of Herodotus, that these rules, as well as the 
Pythagorean, were borrowed from Egypt. But whether this be 
the fact or not, the Orphic brotherhood is itself both an evidence, 
and a cause, of the increased importance of the worship of Dion- 
ysos, which indeed is attested by the great dramatic poets of 

The Homeric Hymns present to us, however, the religious 
ideas and legends of the Greeks at an earlier period, when the 
enthusiastic and mystic tendencies had not yet acquired their full 
development. Though not referable to the same age or to the 
same author as either the Iliad or the Odyssey, they do to a cer- 
tain extent continue the same stream of feeling, and the same 
mythical tone and coloring, as these poems manifesting but 
little evidence of Egyptian, Asiatic, or Thracian adulterations. 
The difference is striking between the god Dionysos as he appears 
in the Homeric hymn and in the Bacchae of Euripides. The 
hymnographer describes him as standing on the sea-shore, in the 
guise of a beautiful and richly-clothed youth, when Tyrrhenian 
pirates suddenly approach : they seize and bind him and drag 
him on board their vessel. But the bonds which they employ 
burst spontaneously, and leave the god free. The steersman, per- 
ceiving this with affright, points out to his companions that they 
have unwittingly laid hands on a god, perhaps Zeus himself, 
or Apollo, or Poseidon. He conjures them to desist, and to re- 
place Dionysos respectfully on the shore, lest in his wrath he 
should visit the ship with wind and hurricane : but the crew de- 
ride his scruples, and Dionysos is carried prisoner out to sea with 
the ship under full sail. Miraculous circumstances soon attest 
both his presence and his power. Sweet-scented wine is seen to 
flow spontaneously about the ship, *he sail and mast appear 
adorned with vine and ivy -leaves, and the oar-pess with garlands, 


The terrified crew now too late entreat the helmsman to steer his 
course for the shore, and crowd round him for protection on the 
poop. But their destruction is at hand : Dionysos assumes the 
form of a lion a bear is seen standing near him this bear 
rushes with a loud roar upon the captain, while the crew leap 
overboard in their agony of fright, and are changed into dolphins. 
Ther? remains none but the discreet and pious steersman, to whom 
Dionysos addresses words of affectionate encouragement, reveal- 
ing his name, parentage and dignity. 1 

This hymn, perhaps produced at the Naxian festival of Dion- 
ysos, and earlier than the time when the dithyrambic chorus be- 
came the established mode of singing the praise and glory of that 
god, is conceived in a spirit totally different from that of the Bac- 
chic Telatre, or special rites which the Bacchae of Euripides so 
abundantly extol, rites introduced from Asia by Dionysos him- 
self at the head of a thiasus or troop of enthusiastic women, in- 
flaming with temporary frenzy the minds of the women of Thebes, 
not communicable except to those who approach as pious com- 
municants, and followed by the most tragical results to all those 
who fight against the god. a The Bacchic Teletae, and the Bac- 
chic feminine frenzy, were importations from abroad, as Euripides 
represents them, engrafted upon the joviality of the primitive 
Greek Dionysia ; they were borrowed, in all probability, from 
more than one source and introduced through more than one 

1 See Homer, Hymn 5, Aiovvaof rj Ararat. The satirical drama of Euri- 
pides, the Cyclops, extends and alters this old legend. Dionysos is carried 
away by the Tyrrhenian pirates, and Silenus at the head of the Bacchanals 
goes everywhere in search of him (Eur. Cyc. 112). The pirates are instiga- 
ted against him l>y the hatred of Here, -which appears frequently as a cause 
of mischief to Dionysos (Bacchce, 286). Here in her anger had driven him 
mad when a child, and he had wandered in this state over Egypt and Syria; 
at length he came to Cybcla in Phrygia, was purified (Ka&ap&elf) by Rhea, 
and received from her female attire ('Apollodor. iii. 5, 1, with Heyne's note}. 
This seems to have been the legend adopted to explain the old verse of the 
Iliad, as well as the maddening attributes of the god generally. 

There was a standing antipathy between the priestesses and the religious 
establishments of Here and Dionysos (Plutarch, Tlepl TUV h> HXaraicut; 
AaiSuXuv, c. 2, torn. v. p. 755, ed. Wytt). Plutarch ridicules the legendary 
reason commonly assigned for this, and provides a symbolical explanatior 
which he thinks ver}' satisfactory. 

* Eurip. Bacch. 325, 464, etc. 


channel, the Orphic life or brotherhood being one of the varieties. 
Strabo ascribes to this latter a Thracian original, considering Or- 
pheus, Musoeus, and Eumolpus as having been all Thracians. 1 It 
is curious to observe how, in the Bacchaa of Euripides, the two 
distinct and even conflicting ideas of Dionysos come alternately 
forward ; sometimes the old Grecian idea of the jolly and exhil- 
arating god of wine but more frequently the recent and import- 
ed idea of the terrific and irresistible god who unseats the reason, 
and whose cestrus can only be appeased by a willing, though tem- 
porary obedience. In the fanatical impulse which inspired the 
votaries of the Asiatic Hhea or Cybele, or of the Thracian Kotys, 
there was nothing of spontaneous joy ; it was a sacred madness, 
during which the soul appeared to be surrendered to a stimulus 
from without, and accompanied by preternatural strength and tem- 
porary sense of power,- altogether distinct from the unrestrain- 
ed hilarity of the original Dionysia, as we see them in the rural 
demes of Attica, or in the gay city of Tarentum. There was 
indeed a side on which the two bore some analogy, inasmuch as, 

1 Strabo, x. p. 471. Compare Aristid. Or. iv. p. 28. 

2 In the lost Xantrice of ^Eschylus, in which seems to have been included 
the tale of Pentheus, the goddess Avcraa was introduced, stimulating the Bao 
chae, and creating in them spasmodic exeitement from head to foot : K TTO- 
Stiv c5' uvu 'YTrepxerai a-rrapay^f cif uKpov Kupa. etc. (Tragm. 155, Dindorf). 
His tragedy called Edoni also gave a terrific representation of the Bacchan- 
als and their fury, exaggerated by the maddening music : THfiKhijai /ze/lof, 
Mavtaf kirayuybv bfio^av CFr. 54). 

Such also is the reigning sentiment throughout the greater part of the 
Bacchae of Euripides ; it is brought out still more impressively in the mourn- 
ful Atys of Catullus : 

" Dea magna, Dea Cybele, Dindymi Dea, Domina, 
Procul a meft tuus sit furor omnis, hera, domo : 
Alios age incitatos : alios age rabidos ! " 

We have only to compare this fearful influence with the description ol 
Dikaeopolis and his exuberant joviality in the festival of the rural Dionysia 
(Aristoph. Acharn. 1051 seq. ; see also Plato. Legg. i. p. 637J, to see how com 
pletely the foreign innovations rccolorcd the old Grecian Dionysos, Aiov- 
vaof 7ro/U>yj7$^f, who appears also in the scene of Dionysos and Ariadn^ 
in the Symposion of Xenophon, c. 9. The simplicity of the ancient Diony- 
siac processions is dwelt upon by Plutarch, De Cupidine Divitinrtun, p. 527,- 
and the original dithyramb addressed by Archilochtis to Dioays 3S Is BO 
effusion of drunken hilarity ;"Archiloch. Frag. 69, Schncid.J, 


according to the religious point of view of the Greeks, even the 
spontaneous joy of the vintage feast was conferred by the favor 
and enlivened by the companionship of Dionysos. It was upon 
this analogy that the framers of the Bacchic orgies proceeded 
but they did not the less disfigure the genuine character of the 
old Grecian Dionysia. 

Dionysos is in the conception of Pindar the Paredros or com- 
panion in worship of Demeter : ] the worship and religious esti- 
mate of the latter has by that time undergone as great a change 
as that of the former, if we take our comparison with the brief 
description of Homer and Hesiod : she has acquired 2 much of the 
awful and soul-disturbing attributes of the Phrygian Cybele. In 
Homer, Demeter is the goddess of the corn-field, who becomes 
attached to the mortal man Jasion ; an unhappy passion, since 
Zeus, jealous of the connection between goddesses and men, puts 
him to death. In the Heciodic Theogony, Demeter is the mother 
of Persephone by Zen*, who permits Hades to carry off the latter 
as his wife : moreover Demeter has, besides, by Jasion a son call- 
ed Plutos, born in Krete. Even from Homer to Hesiod, the 
legend of Demeter, has been expanded and her dignity exalted; 
according to the usual tendency of Greek legend, the expansion 
goes on still further. Through Jasion, Demeter becomes connect- 
ed with the mysteries of Samothrace ;- through Persephone, with 
those of Eleusis. The former connection it is difficult to follow 
out in detail, but the latter is explained and traced to its origin in 
the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. 

1 Pindar, Isthm. vi. 3. ^a/Uo/cporov m'ipc6pov Aj^repof, the epithet 
marks the approximation of Demeter to the Mother of the Gods. yicpoTuXuv 
rvTtdvuv T> la^ri, avv ~e fipopof aiiAuv Evadev (Homer. Hymn, xiii.), the 
Mother of the Gods was worshipped by Pindar himself along with Pan 1 ; she 
had in his time her temple and ceremonies at Thebes (Pyth. iii. 78 ; Fragm. 
Dithyr. 5, and the Scholia ad I.) as well as, probably, at Athens (Pausan. i. 

Dionysos and Di'rneteV are also brought together in die chorus of Sopho- 
kles, Antigone, 1072. pedsif Se TtayKoivoif 'E/levovviaf A^oSf ev Kofaoif j 
and in Kallimachns, Hymn. Rerer. 70. Bacchus or Dionysos are in the Attic 
tragedians constantly confounded with the Demetrian lacchos, originally so 
different, a personification of the mystic word shouted by the Eleusinian 
communicants. See Strabo, x.p. 468. 

8 Euripides in his Chorus in the Helena (1320 seq.) assigns to De'me'te'r all 
the attributes of Ehea. and blends the two cornoletely into one. 


Though we find different statements respecting the date as 
well as the origin of the Eleusinian mysteries, yet the popular 
belief of the Athenians, and the story which found favor at Eleu- 
sis, ascribed them to the presence and dictation of the goddess 
Demeter herself; just as the Bacchic rites are, according to the 
Bacchaa of Euripides, first communicated and enforced on the 
Greeks by the personal visit of Dionysos to Thebes, the metro- 
polis of the Bacchic ceremonies. 1 In the Eleusinian legend, pre- 
served by the author of the Homeric Hymn, she comes volun- 
tarily and identifies herself with Eleusis ; her past abode in 
Krete being briefly indicated. 2 Her visit to Eleusis is connected 
with the deep sorrow caused by the loss of her daughter Perse- 
phone, who had been seized by Hades, while gathering flowers 
in a meadow along with the Oceanic Nymphs, and carried off 
to become his wife in the under-world. In vain did the reluctant 
Persephone shriek and invoke the aid of her father Zeus : he had 
consented to give her to Hades, and her cries were heard only by 
Hekate and Helios. Demeter was inconsolable at the disappear- 
ance of her daughter, but knew not where to look for her : she 
wandered for nine days and nights with torches in search of the 
lost maiden without success. At length Helios, the " spy of gods 
and men," revealed to her, in reply to her urgent prayer, the 
rape of Persephone, and the permission given to Hades by Zeus. 
Demeter was smitten with anger and despair : she renounced Zeus 
and the society of Olympus, abstained from nectar and ambro- 
sia, and wandered on earth in grief and fasting until her form 
could no longer be known. In this condition she came to Eleusis, 
then governed by the prince Keleos. Sitting down by a well at 
the wayside in the guise of an old woman, she was found by the 
daughters of Keleos, who came hither with their pails of brass 
for water. In reply to their questions, she told them that she had 
been brought by pirates from Krete to Thorikos, and had made 
her escape ; she then solicited from them succor and employment 
as a servant or as a nurse. The damsels prevailed upon their 
oaother Metaneira to receive her, and to entrust her with the 

1 Sophocl. Antigon. BaIi> fiTjrpoirofav Qf/(3av. 

8 Homer, Hymn.Cerer. 123. The Hymn to Demeter has been translated, 
accompanied with valuable illustrative notes, by J. H. Voss (Heidelb. 1826) 


nursing of the young Demophoon, their late-born brother, the 
only son of Keleos. Demeter was received into the house of 
Metaneira, her dignified form still borne down by grief: she sat 
long silent and could not be induced either to smile or to taste 
food, until the maid-servant lambe, by jests and playfulness, suc- 
ceeded in amusing and rendering her cheerful. She would not 
taste wine, but requested a peculiar mixture of barley-meal with 
water and the herb mint. 1 

The child Demophoon, nursed by Demeter, throve and grew 
up like a god, to the delight and astonishment of his parents : she 
gave him no food, but anointed him daily with ambrosia, and 
plunged him at night in the fire like a torch, where he remained 
unburnt. She would have rendered him immortal, had she not 
been prevented by the indiscreet curiosity and alarm of Meta- 
neira, who secretly looked in at night, and shrieked with horror at 
the sight of her child in the fire. 2 The indignant goddess, setting 
the infant on the ground, now revealed her true character to 
Metaneira: her wan and aged look disappeared, and she stood 
confest in the genuine majesty of her divine shape, diffusing a 
dazzling brightness which illuminated the whole house. " Foolish 
mother," she said, " thy want of faith has robbed thy son of im- 
mortal life. I am the exalted Demeter, the charm and comfort 
both of gods and men: I was preparing for thy son exemption 
from death and old age ; now it cannot be but he must taste of 
both. Yet shall he be ever honored, since he has sat upon my 
knee and slept in my arms. Let the people of Eleusis erect for 
me a temple and altar on yonder hill above the fountain ; I will 
myself prescribe to them the orgies which they must religiously 
perform in order to propitiate my favor." 3 

1 Homer, Hymn. Cercr. 202-210. 

2 This story was also told with reference to the Egyptian goddess Isis in 
her wanderings. See Plutarch, De Isid. et Osirid. c. 16, p. 357. 

3 Homer, Hymn. Cerer. 274. 

"Opyia 6' GVTTI tyuv VTrodtiaofiai, f av eTretra 
'Evayeuf epdovrtf ifidv vdov IXdaKrjcrde. 

The same story is told in regard to the infant Achilles. His mother Thetia 
was taking similar measures to render him immortal, when his father Pcleni 
interfered and p rcvented the consummation. Thetis immediately left him 
in great wrath ( A.pollon, Rhod. iv. 866). 


The terrified Metrjieira was incapable even of lifting up hei 
child from the ground ; her daughters entered at her cries, and 
began to embrace and tend their infant brother, but he sorrowed 
and could not be pacified for the loss of his divine nurse. A1J 
night they strove to appease the goddess. 1 

Strictly executing the injunctions of Demeter. Keleos convoked 
the people of Elcusis and erected the temple on the spot which 
she had pointed out. It was speedily completed, and Demeter 
took up her abode in it, apart from the remaining gods, still 
pining with grief for the loss of her daughter, and withholding 
her beneficent aid from mortals. And thus she remained a whole 
year, a desperate and terrible year: 2 in vain did the oxen 
draw the plough, and in vain was the barley-seed cast into the 
furrow, Demeter suffered it not to emerge from the earth. 
The human race would have been starved, and the gods would 
have been deprived of their honors and sacrifice, had not Zeus 
found means to conciliate her. But this was a hard task ; for 
Demeter resisted the entreaties of Iris and of all the other god- 
desses and gods whom Zeus successively sent to her. She would 
be satisfied with nothing less than the recovery of her daughter. 
At length Zeus sent Hermes to Hades, to bring Persephone 
away : Persephone joyfully obeyed, but Hades prevailed upon 
her before she departed to swallow a grain of pomegranate, which 
rendered it impossible for her to remain the whole year away 
from him. 3 

With transport did Demeter receive back her lost daughter, 
and the faithful Hekate sympathized in the delight felt by both 
at the reunion. 4 It was now an easier undertaking to reconcile 
her with the gods. Her mother Rhea, sent down expressly by 
Zeus, descended from Olympus on the fertile Rharan plain, then 
smitten with barrenness like the rest of the earth : she succeeded 
in appeasing the indignation of Demeter, who consented agaiu ta 

1 Homer, Hymn. 290. 

rot! 6' oil fieiXiacftTO tivfibf, 
Xeiporepai yap dq piv l\ov Tpo<j>OL ijfie TI$TJV(U. 

* Homer, H. Cer. 305. 

ALVOTO.TOV tV Ivtavrbv km x$6va TiOvtofloretpav 
Holt/a' avfipuTTOif, I6e KVVTOTOV. 

Hymn, v. 375. Hymn, v. 443- 


put forth her relieving hand. The buried seed came up in abun- 
dance, and the earth was covered with fruit and flowers. She 
would have wished to retain Persephone constantly with her, but 
this was impossible ; and she was obliged to consent that her 
daughter should go down for one-third of each year to the house 
of Hades, departing from her every spring at the time when the 
seed is sown. She then revisited Olympus, again to dwell with 
the gods ; but before her departure, she communicated to the 
daughters of Keleos, and to Keleos himself, together with Trip- 
tolemus, Diokles and Eumolpus, the divine service and the so- 
lemnities which she required to be observed in her honor. 1 And 
thus began the venerable mysteries of Eleusis, at her special com- 
mand : the lesser mysteries, celebrated in February, in honor of 
Persephone ; the greater, in August, to the honor of Demeter 
herself. Both are jointly patronesses of the holy city and 

Such is a brief sketch of the temple legend of Eleusis, set 
forth at length in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. It is interest- 
ing not less as a picture of the Mater Dolorosa (in the mouth of 
an Athenian, Demeter and Persephone were always the Mother 
and Daughter, by excellence), first an agonized sufferer, and then 
finally glorified, the weal and woe of man being dependent 
upon her kindly feeling, than as an illustration of the nature 
and gi "7th of Grecian legend generally. Though we now read 
this Hymn as pleasing poetry, to the Eleusinians, for whom it 
was composed, it was genuine and sacred history. They believ- 
ed in the visit of Demeter to Eleusis, and in the mysteries as a 
revelation from her, as implicitly as they believed in her existence 
and power as a goddess. The Eleusinian psalmist shares this be- 
lief in common with his countrymen, and embodies it in a contin- 
uous narrative, in which the great goddesses of the place, as well 
as the great heroic families, figure in inseparable conjunction 

I 'Hymn v. 475. 

'H 6e KLOvaa dF/j.ioTowo'hoif (3aoifavcri 
Aeifev, TptnTol-spv rt, Aio/cA& re 

oavvTiv isptiy nal lirfypaStv bpyiairnialv 
, etc. 


Keleos is the son of the Eponymous hero Eleusis, and his daugh- 
ters, with the old epic simplicity, carry their basins to the well 
for water. Eumolpus, Triptolemus, Diokles, heroic ancestors of 
the privileged families who continued throughout the historical 
times of Athens to fulfil their special hereditary functions in the 
Eleusinian solemnities, are among the immediate recipients of in- 
spiration from the goddess ; but chiefly does she favor Metaneira 
and her infant son Demophoon, for the latter of whom her great- 
est boon is destined, and intercepted only by the weak faith of 
the mother. Moreover, every incident in the Hymn has a local 
coloring and a special reference. The well, overshadowed by 
an olive-tree near which Demeter had rested, the stream Kalli- 
chorus and the temple-hill, were familiar and interesting places in 
the eyes of every Eleusinian ; the peculiar posset prepared from 
barley-meal with mint was always tasted by the Mysts (or com- 
municants) after a prescribed fast, as an article in the ceremony, 
while it was also the custom, at a particular spot in the pro- 
cessional march, to permit the free interchange of personal jokes 
and taunts upon individuals for the general amusement. And 
these two customs are connected in the Hymn with the incidents. 
that Demeter herself had chosen the posset as the first interrup- 
tion of her long and melancholy fast, and that her sorrowful 
thoughts had been partially diverted by the coarse playfulness of 
the servant-maid lambe. In the enlarged representation of the 
Eleusinian ceremonies, which became established after the incor- 
poration of Eleusis with Athens, the part of lambe herself 
was enacted by a woman, or man in woman's attire, of suitable 
wit and imagination, who was posted on the bridge over the Ke- 
phissos, and addressed to the passers-by in the procession, l espe- 
cially the great men of Athens, saucy jeers, probably not less 
piercing than those of Aristophanes on the stage. The torch- 
bearing Hekate received a portion of the worship in the nocturnal 
ceremonies of the Eleusinia : this too is traced, in the Hymn, to 
her kind and affectionate sympathy with the great goddesses. 

1 Aristophanes, Vcsp. 1363. Hesych. v. Tetyvpie. Suidas, v. 
Compare about the details of the ceremony, Clemens Alexandr. Admon. ad 
Gent. p. 13. A similar license of unrestrained jocularity appears in the 
rites of Demeter in Sicily (Diodor. v. 4 ; see also Pausan. vii. 27, 4), and in 
the worship of Damia and Auxesia at JEgina (Ilcrodot. v. 83). 


Though all these incidents were sincerely believed by the 
Eleusinians as a true history of the past, and as having been the real 
initiatory cause of their own solemnities, it is not the less certain 
that they are simply mythes or legends, and not to be treated as 
history, either actual or exaggerated. They do not take their 
start from realities of the past, but from realities of the present, 
combined with retrospective feeling and fancy, which fills up the 
blank of the aforetime in a manner at once plausible and im- 
pressive. What proportion of fact there may be in the legend, 
or whether there be any at all, it is impossible to ascertain and 
useless to inquire ; for the story did not acquire belief from its 
approximation to real fact, but from its perfect harmony with 
Elcusinian faith and feeling, and from the absence of any standard 
of historical credibility. The little town of Eleusis derived all 
its importance from the solemnity of the Demetria, and the 
Hymn which we have been considering (probably at least as old 
as 600 B. c.) represents the town as it stood before its absorption 
into the larger unity of Athens, which seems to have produced 
an alteration of its legends and an increase of dignity in its great 
festival. In the faith of an Eleusinian, the religious as well as 
the patriotic antiquities of his native town were connected with 
this capital solemnity. The divine legend of the sufferings of 
Demeter and her visit to Eleusis was to him that which the heroic 
legend of Adrastus and the Siege of Thebes was to a Sikycnian, or 
that of Erechtheus and Athene to an Athenian grouping together 
in the same scene and story the goddess and the heroic fathers 
of the town. If our information were fuller, we should probably 
find abundance of other legends respecting the Demetria : the 
Gephyraei of Athens, to whom belonged the celebrated Harmodi- 
os and Aristogeiton, and who possessed special Orgies of De- 
meter the Sorrowful, to which no man foreign to their Gens was 
ever admitted, 1 would doubtless have told stories not only different 
but contradictory; and even in other Eleusinian mythes we dis- 
cover Eumolpus as king of Eleusis, son of Poseidon, and a 
Thracian, completely different from the character which he bears 
in the Hymn before us. 2 Neither discrepancies nor want of 

1 Herodot, v, 61. 

* Pausan. i. 38, 3; Apollodor. iii. 15, 4. Hcyne in his Note admits seve* 


evidence, in reference to alleged antiquities, sljocked the faith of 
a non-historical public. What they wanted was a picture of the 
past, impressive to their feelings and plausible to their imagina- 
tion ; and it is important to the reader to remember, while he 
reads either the divine legends which we are now illustrating or 
the heroic legends to which we shall soon approach, that he is 
dealing with a past which never was present, a region essen- 
tially mythical, neither approachable by the critic nor mensurable 
by the chronologer. 

The tale respecting the visit of Demeter, which was told by the 
ancient Gens, called the Phytalids, 1 in reference to another tem- 
ple of Demeter between Athens and Eleusis, and also by tha 
Megarians in reference to a Demetrion near their city, acquired 
under the auspices of Athens still further extension. The god- 
dess was reported to have first communicated to Triptolemus at 
Eleusis the art of sowing corn, which by his intervention was 
disseminated all over the earth. And thus the Athenians took 
credit to themselves for having been the medium of communica 
tion from the gods to man of all the inestimable blessings of 
agriculture, which they affirmed to have been first exhibited on 
the fertile Rharian plain near Eleusis. Such pretensions are not 
to be found in the old Homeric hymn. The festival of the Thes- 
mophoria, celebrated in honor of Demeter Thesmoplioros at 
Athens, was altogether different from the Eleusinia, in this mate- 
rial respect, as well as others, that all males were excluded, and 
women only were allowed to partake in it : the surname Thesmo- 
phorus gave occasion to new legends in which the goddess was 
glorified as the first authoress of laws and legal sanctions to 
mankind. 2 This festival, for women apart and alone, was also 

ral persons named Eumolpus. Compare Isokrates, Panegyr. p. 55. Philo- 
chorus the Attic antiquary could not have received the legend of the 
Eleusinian Hymn, from the different account which he gave respecting the 
rape of Persephone 1 (Philoch. Fragm. 46, ed. Didot), and also respecting 
Keleos (Fr. 28, ibid.). 

1 Phy talus, the Eponym or godfather of this gens, had received Demeter 
as a guest in his house, when she first presented mankind with the fruit of tha 
fig-tree. (Pausan. i. 37, 2.) 

* Kallimach. Hymn. Cerer. 19. Sophokles, Triptolemos, Frag 1. Cice 
K>, Legg ii. 14, and the note of Scrvius ad Virgil. JEn. iv. 58. 


celebrated at Paros, at Epliesus, and in many other parts of 
Greece. 1 

Altogether, Demeter and Dionysos, as the Grecian counter- 
parts of the Egyptian Isis and Osiris, seem to have been the 
great recipients of the new sacred rites borrowed from Egypt, 
before the worship of Isis in her own name was introduced into 
Greece : their solemnities became more frequently recluse and 
mysterious than those of the other deities. The importance of 
Demeter to the collective nationality of Greece may be gathered 
from the fact that her temple was erected at Thermopylae, the 
spot where the Amphiktyonic assemblies were held, close by the 
temple of the Eponymous hero Amphiktyon himself, and under 
the surname of the Amphiktyonic Demeter. 2 

We now pass to another and not less important celestial per- 
sonage Apollo. 

The legends of Delos and Delphi, embodied in the Homeric 
Hymn to Apollo, indicate, if not a greater dignity, at least a more 
widely diffused worship of that god than even of Demeter. The 
Hymn is, in point of fact, an aggregate of two separate com- 
positions, one emanating from an Ionic bard at Delos, the other 
from Delphi. The first details the birth, the second the mature 
divine efficiency, of Apollo ; but both alike present the unaffected 
charm as well as the characteristic peculiarities of Grecian 
mythical narrative. The hymnographer sings, and his hearers 
accept in perfect good faith, a history of the past ; but it is a past, 
imagined partly as an introductory explanation to the present, 
partly as a means of glorifying the god. The island of Delos 
was the accredited birth-place of Apollo, and is also the place in 
which he chiefly delights, where the great and brilliant Ionic fes- 
tival is periodically convened in his honor. Yet it is a rock 
narrow, barren, and uninviting : how came so glorious a privilege 
to be awarded to it? This the poet takes upon himself to 
explain. Leto, pregnant with Apollo, and persecuted by the 
jealous Here, could find no spot wherein to give birth to her 
offspring. In vain did she address herself to numerous places in 
Greece, the Asiatic coast and the intermediate islands ; all were 

1 Hcrodot. vi. 16, 134. &wof Qsaftoffpov Ajy//7/rpof ru tf tpaEva yovaf 
:"ij>j>ijra Ifpa, 

2 Herodot. vii. 200. 


terrified at the wrath of Here, and refused to harbor her. As a 
last resort, she approached the rejected and repulsive island of 
Delos, and promised that, if shelter were granted to her in her 
forlorn condition, the island should become the chosen resort of 
Apollo as well as the site of his temple with its rich accompanying 
solemnities. 1 Delos joyfully consented, but not without many 
apprehensions that the potent Apollo would despise her unwor- 
thiness, and not without exacting a formal oath from Leto, who 
was then admitted to the desired protection, and duly accomplish- 
ed her long and painful labor. Though Dione, Rhea, Themis 
and Amphitrite came to soothe and succor her, yet Here kept 
away the goddess presiding over childbirth, Eileithyia, and thus 
cruelly prolonged her pangs. At length Eileithyia came, and 
Apollo was born. Hardly had Apollo tasted, from the hands of 
Themis, the immortal food, nectar and ambrosia, when he burst 
at once his infant bands, and displayed himself in full divine form 
and strength, claiming his characteristic attributes of the bow and 
the harp, and his privileged function of announcing beforehand 
to mankind the designs of Zeus. The promise made by Leto 
to Delos was faithfully performed : amidst the numberless other 
temples and groves which men provided for him, he ever prefer- 
red that island as his permanent residence, and there the lonians 
with their wives and children, and all their " bravery," congrega- 
ted periodically from their different cities to glorify him. Dance 
and song and athletic contests adorned the solemnity, and the 
countless ships, wealth, and grace of the multitudinous lonians 
had the air of an assembly of gods. The Delian maidens, ser- 
vants of Apollo, sang hymns to the glory of the god, as well as 
of Artemis and Leto, intermingled with adventures of foregone 
men and women, to the delight of the listening crowd. The blind 
itinerant bard of Chios (composer of this the Homeric hymn, and 
confounded in antiquity with the author of the Iliad) had found 
honor and acceptance at this festival, and commends himself, in a 

1 According to another legend, Leto was said to have been conveyed from 
the Hyperboreans to Delos in twelve days, in the form of a she-wolf, to escape 
the jealous eye of Here. In connection with this legend, it was affirmed 
that the she-wolves always brought forth their young only during these 
twelve days in the year (Aristot. Hist. Animal, vii. 35). 


touching farewell strain, to tlie remembrance and sympathy of 
the Delian maidens. 1 

But Delos was not an oracular spot : Apollo did not manifest 
himself there as revealer of the futurities of Zeus. A place 
must be found where this beneficent function, without which man- 
kind would perish under the innumerable doubts and perplexities 
of life, may be exercised and rendered available. Apollo himself 
descends from Olympus to make choice of a suitable site : the 
hymnographer knows a thousand other adventures of the god 
which he might sing, but he prefers this memorable incident, the 
charter and patent of consecration for the Delphian temple. 
Many different places did Apollo inspect ; he surveyed the coun- 
try of the Magnetes and the Perrhtebians, came to lolkos, and 
passed over from thence to Eubrea and the plain of Lelanton. 
But even this fertile spot did not please him : he crossed the 
Euripus to Bceotia, passed by Teumessus and Mykalessus, and 
the then inaccessible and unoccupied forest on which the city of 
Thebes afterwards stood. He next proceeded to Onchestos, but 
the grove of Poseidon was already established there ; next across 
the Kephissus to Okalea, Haliartus, and the agreeable plain and 
much-frequented fountain of Delphasa, or Tilphusa. Pleased 
with the place, Apollo prepared to establish his oracle there, but 
Tilphusa was proud of the beauty of her own site, and did not 
choose that her glory should be eclipsed by that of the god. 2 
She alarmed him with the apprehension that the chariots which 
contended in her plain, and the horses and mules which watered 
at her fountain would disturb the solemnity of his oracle ; and 
she thus induced him to proceed onward to the southern side of 
Parnassus, overhanging the harbor of Krissa. Here he establish- 
ed his oracle, in the mountainous site not frequented by chariots 
and horses, and near to a fountain, which however was guarded 
by a vast and terrific serpent, once the nurse of the monster 
Typhaon. This serpent Apollo slew with an arrow, and suffered 
its body to rot in the sun : hence the name of the place, Pytho, 3 
and the surname of the Pythian Apollo. The plan of his temple 
being marked out, it was built by Trophonios and Agamedes, 

1 Horn. Hymn. Apoll. i. 179. " Horn. Hymn. Apoll. 262. 

* Horn. Hymn. 363 nv-dec-Qai, to rot. 


aided by a crowd of forward auxiliaries from the neighborhood. 
He now discovered with indignation, however, that Tilphusa had 
cheated him, and went back with swift step to resent it. " Thou 
ehalt not thus," he said, " succeed in thy fraud and retain thy 
beautiful water ; the glory of the place shall be mine, and not 
thine alone." Thus saying, he tumbled down a crag upon the 
fountain, and obstructed' her limped current: establishing an altar 
for himself in a grove hard by near another spring, where men 
still worship him as Apollo Tilphusios, because of his severe 
vengeance upon the once beautiful Tilphusa. 1 

Apollo next stood in need of chosen ministers to take care of 
his temple and sacrifice, and to pronounce his responses at Pytho. 
Descrying a ship, " containing many and good men," bound on 
traffic from the Minoian Knossus in Krete, to Pylus in Pelopon- 
nesus, he resolved to make use of the ship and her crew for his 
purpose. Assuming the shape of a vast dolphin, he splashed 
about and shook the vessel so as to strike the mariners with ter- 
ror, while he sent a strong wind, which impelled her along the 
coast of Peloponnesus into the Corinthian Gulf, and finally to the 
harbor of Krissa, where she ran aground. The affrighted crew 
did not dare to disembark : but Apollo was seen standing on the 
shore in the guise of a vigorous youth, and inquired who they 
were, and what was their business. The leader of the Kretans 
recounted in reply their miraculous and compulsory voyage, when 
Apollo revealed himself as the author and contriver of it, announc- 
ing to them the honorable function and the dignified post to which 
he destined them. 2 They followed him by his orders to the rocky 
Pytho on Parnassus, singing the solemn lo-Paian such as it is sung 
in Krete, while the god himself marched at their head, with his 
fine form and lofty step, playing on the harp. He showed them 
the temple and site of the oracle, and directed them to worship 
him as Apollo Delphinios, because they had first seen him in the 
shape of a dolphin. " But how," they inquired, "are we to live in 
a spot where there is neither corn, nor vine, nor pasturage?" 
" Ye silly mortals," answered the god, " who look only for toil and 
privation, know that an easier lot is yours. Ye shall live by the 
cattle whom crowds of pious visitors will bring to the temple : ye 

1 Horn. Hymn. Apoll. 381. * Horn. Hymn. Apoll 475 aqq 


shall need only the knife to be constantly ready for sacrifice. 1 
Your duty will be to guard my temple, and to officiate as minis- 
ters at my feasts : but if ye be guilty of wrong or insolence, either 
by word or deed, ye shall become the slaves of other men, and 
shall remain so forever. Take heed of the word and the warn- 

Such are the legends of DSlos and Delphi, according to the 
Homeric Hymn to Apollo. The specific functions of the god, 
and the chief localities of his worship, together with the surnames 
attached to them, are thus historically explained, being connected 
with his past acts and adventures. Though these are to us only 
interesting poetry, yet to those who heard them sung they possess- 
ed all the requisites of history, and were fully believed as such , 
not because they were partially founded in reality, but because 
they ran in complete harmony with the feelings ; and, so long as 
that condition was fulfilled, it was not the fashion of the time to 
canvass truth or falsehood. The narrative is purely personal, 
without any discernible symbolized doctrine or allegory, to serve 
as a supposed ulterior purpose : -the particular deeds ascribed to 
Apollo grow out of the general preconceptions as to his attributes, 
combined with the present realities of his worship. It is neither 
history nor allegory, but simple mythe or legend. 

The worship of Apollo is among the most ancient, capital, and 
strongly marked facts of the Grecian world, and widely diffused 
over every branch of the race. It is older than the Iliad or 
Odyssey, in the latter of which both Pytho and Delos are noted, 
though Delos is not named in the former. But the ancient Apollo 
is different in more respects than one from the Apollo of later 
times. He is in an especial manner the god of the Trojans, un- 
friendly to the Greeks, and especially to Achilles ; he has, more- 
over, only two primary attributes, his boAV and his prophetic 
powers, without any distinct connection either with the harp, or 
with medicine, or with the sun, all which in later times he came 
to comprehend. He is not only, as Apollo Karneius, the chief 

1 Homer. Hymn. Apoll. 535. 

AcgiTepri [taX licaarof S^av v xetpi [ia%aipav 
Iitiafciv alsl firft^a. TU 8* utydova mivra Kdpearai, 
"Qooa fftbiy' dydyuai. irtpiic^vTa $vK urdpurruv. 

VOL. T 3 4oc. 


god of the Doric race, but also (under the surname of Patrous) 
the great protecting divinity of the gentile tie among the lonians : * 
he is moreover the guide and stimulus to Grecian colonization, 
scarcely any colony being ever sent out without encouragement 
and direction from the oracle at Delphi: Apollo Archegetes is 
one of his great surnames. 9 His temple lends sanctity to the 
meetings of the Amphiktyonic assembly, and he is always in 
filial subordination and harmony with his father Zeus : Delphi 
and Olympia are never found in conflict. In the Iliad, the warm 
and earnest patrons of the Greeks are Here, Athene, and Posei 
don : here too Zeus and Apollo are seen in harmony, for Zeus is 
decidedly well-inclined to the Trojans, and reluctantly sacrifices 
them to the importunity of the two great goddesses. 3 The wor- 
ship of the Sminthian Apollo, in various parts of the Troad and 
the neighboring territory, dates before the earliest periods of 
-Eolic colonization: 4 hence the zealous patronage of Troy as- 
cribed to him in the Iliad. Altogether, however, the distribution 
and partialities of the gods in that poem are different from what 
they become in later times, a difference w r hich our means of 
information do not enable us satisfactorily to explain. Besides 
the Delphian temple, Apollo had numerous temples throughout 
Greece, and oracles at Abae in Phokis, on the Mount Ptoon, and 
at Tegyra in Boeotia, where he was said to have been born, 5 at 
Branchidae near Miletus, at Klarus in Asia Minor, and at Patara 
in Lykia. He was not the only oracular god : Zeus at Dodona 
and at Olympia gave responses also : the gods or heroes Tropho- 
nius, Amphiaraus, Amphilochus, Mopsus, etc., each at his own 

1 Harpocration v. 'An-o/l/lwv irurpuof and 'Ep/ceiof Zf-uc. Apollo Delplii- 
riios also belongs to the Ionic Greeks generally. Strabo, iv. 179. 

2 Thucydid. vi. 3 ; Kallimach. Hymn. Apoll. 56. 

3of yap uel noAieaai <j>iXijdel 
aic, nvrbf de di-fieihia <J>oZ/3oj- t<paivei. 

* Iliad, iv. 30-46. 

4 Iliad, i. 38, 451 ; Stephan. Byz. 'IXiov, TeveSof. See also Klauscn. JEnvat 
and die Penaten, b. i. p. 69. The worship of Apollo Sminthios and the fes- 
tival of the Sminthia at Alexandria Troas lasted down to the time cf Menan- 
der the rhetor, at the close of the third century after Christ. 

* Plutarch. Defect. Oracul. c. 5. p. 412 ; c. 8, p. 414 ; Steph. Byz. v. Trj-rpa 
The temple of the Ptoan Apollo had acquir }d celebrity before the flays of 
the poet Asius. Pausan. ix. 23, 3. 


sanctuary and in his own prescribed manner, rendered the same 

The two legends of Delphi and Delos, above noticed, form of 
course a very insignificant fraction of the narratives which once 
existed respecting the great and venerated Apollo. They serve 
only as specimens, and as very early specimens, l to illustrate 
what these divine mythes were, and what was the turn of Gre- 
cian faith and imagination. The constantly recurring festivals 
of the gods caused an incessant demand for new mythes respect- 
ing them, or at least for varieties and reproductions of the old 
mythes. Even during the third century of the Christian aera, in 
the time of the rhetor Menander, when the old forms of Pagan- 
ism were waning and when the stock of mythes in existence was 
extremely abundant, we see this demand in great force; but it 
was incomparably more operative in those earlier times when 
the creative vein of the Grecian mind yet retained its pristine 
and unfaded richness. Each god had many different surnames, 
temples, groves, and solemnities ; with each of which was con- 
nected more or less of mythical narrative, originally hatched in 
the prolific and spontaneous fancy of a believing neighborhood, 
to be afterwards expanded, adorned and diffused by the song of 
the poet. The earliest subject of competition 2 at the great Pyth- 
ian festival was the singing of a hymn in honor of Apollo : other 
agones were subsequently added, but the ode or hymn constitu- 

1 The legend which Ephorus followed about the establishment of the Del- 
phian temple was something radically different from the Homeric Hymn 
(Ephori Fragm. 70, ed. Didot) : his narrative went far to politicize and ration- 
alize the story. The progeny of Apollo was very numerous, and of the 
most diverse attributes ; he was father of the Korybantes (Pherekydcs, Fragm. 
6,ed. Didot), as well as of Asklepios and Aristaeus (Schol. Apollon. Rhod. ii. 
500 ; Apollodor. iii. 10, 3). 

8 Strabo, ix. p. 421. Menander the Rhetor (Ap. Walz. Coll. Rhett. t. ix. 
p. 136) gives an elaborate classification of hymns to the gods, distinguishing 
them into nine classes, K^rjTiKol, UTTOTTE/^TTTIKOI, fyvaiKol, fiv&LKol, yevea- 
ZoyiKol, KeirTiaafievoi, evKTixoi, atrevKTiKol, [IIKTOI : the second class had ref- 
erence to the temporary absences or departure of a god to some distant place, 
which were often admitted in the ancient religion. Sappho and Alkman 
in their Uetic hymns invoked the gods from many different places, TT/V 
yap 'A.pre/Mv tic fivpiuv fiev opeav, fivpluv 6e noheuv, ETL de irordnuv, avaKa- 
fai, also Aphrodite and Apollo, etc. All these songs were full of adven- 
tures and details respecting the gods. in other words of hgendary matter. 


ted the fundamental attribute of the solemnity : the Pythia ai 
Sikyon and elsewhere were probably framed on a similar footing. 
So too at the ancient and celebrated Charitesia, or festival of the 
Charites, at Orchomenos, the rivalry of the poets in their various 
modes of composition both began and continued as the predomi- 
nant feature : l and the inestimable treasures yet remaining to us 
of Attic tragedy and comedy, are gleanings from the once numer- 
ous dramas exhibited at the solemnity of the Dionysia. The 
Ephesians gave considerable rewards for the best hymns in honor 
of Artemis, to be sung at her temple. 2 And the early lyric 
poets of Greece, though their works have not descended to us, 
devoted their genius largely to similar productions, as may be 
seen by the titles and fragments yet remaining. 

Both the Christian and the Mahomedan religions have begun 
during the historical age, have been propagated from one common 
centre, and have been erected upon the ruins of a different pre- 
existing faith. With none of these particulars did Grecian Pa- 
ganism correspond. It took rise in an age of imagination and 
feeling simply, without the restraints, as well as without the 
aid, of writing or records, of history or philosophy : it was, as a 
general rule, the spontaneous product of many separate tribes 
and localities, imitation and propagation operating as subordinate 
causes ; it was moreover a primordial faith, as far as our means 
of information enable us to discover. These considerations ex- 
plain to us two facts in the history of the early Pagan mind : first, 
the divine mythes, the matter of their religion, constituted also 
the matter of their earliest history ; next, these mythes harmon- 
ized with each other only in their general types, but differed in- 
curably in respect of particular incidents. The poet who sung a 
new adventure of Apollo, the trace of which he might have heard 
in some remote locality, would take care that it should be agree- 
able to the general conceptions which his hearers entertained re- 
specting the god. He would not ascribe the cestus or amorous 
influences to Athene, nor armed interference and the aegis to 
Aphrodite; but, provided he maintained this general keeping, 
he might indulge his fancy without restraint in the particular 

1 Pindar, Olymp. xiv. ; Bocckh, Staatshaushaltung der Athener, Appen- 
dix, xx. p. 357. 

* Alexander ^Etolus. apiul Mucrobiutn, Satum. v. 22. 


events of the story. 1 The feelings and faith of his hearers went 
along with him, and there were no critical scruples to hold them 
back : to scrutinize the alleged proceedings of the gods was re- 
pulsive, and to disbelieve them impious. And thus these divine 
mythes, though they had their root simply in religious feelings, 
and though they presented great discrepancies of fact, served 
nevertheless as primitive matter of history to an early Greek : 
they were the only narratives, at once publicly accredited and 
interesting, which he possessed. To them were aggregated the 
heroic mythes (to which we shall proceed presently), indeed 
the two are inseparably blended, gods, heroes and men almost 
always appearing in the same picture, analogous both in their 
structure and their genesis, and differing chiefly in the circum- 
stance that they sprang from the type of a hero instead of from 
that of a god. 

We are not to be astonished if we find Aphrodite, in the Iliad, 
born from Zeus and Dione, and in the Theogony of Hesiod, 
generated from the foam on the sea after the mutilation of Ura- 
nos ; nor if in the Odyssey she appears as the wife of Hephaestos, 
while in the Theogony the latter is married to Aglaia, and Aphro- 
dite is described as mother of three children by Ares. 2 The 
Homeric hymn to Aphrodite details the legend of Aphrodite and 
Anchises, which is presupposed in the Iliad as the parentage of 
-ZEneas : but the author of the hymn, probably sung at one of 
the festivals of Aphrodite in Cyprus, represents the goddess as 
ashamed of her passion for a mortal, and as enjoining Anchi- 
ses under severe menaces not to reveal who the mother of 
JEneas.was; 3 while in the Iliad she has no scruple in publicly 

1 The birth of Apollo and Artemis from Zeus and Leto is among the oldest 
and most generally admitted facts in the Grecian divine legends. Yet ^Eschy- 
lus did not scruple to describe Artemis publicly as daughter of Dometer 
(Herodot. ii. 156 ; Pausan. viii. 37, 3). Herodotus thinks that he copied this 
innovation from the Egyptians, who affirmed that Apollo and Artemis were 
the sons of Dionysos and Isis. 

The number and discrepancies of the mythes respecting each god are at 
tested by the fruitless attempts of learned Greeks to escape the necessity of 
rejecting any of them by multiplying homonymous personages, three per 
sons named Zeus; five named Athene; six named Apollo, etc. (Cicero. d 
Natur. Deor. iii. 21 : Clemen. Alexand. Admon. ad Gent. p. 17). 

8 Hesiod, Thqogon. 188, 934, 945; Homer, Iliad, v. 371 ; Odyss. viii. 96 

3 Homer, Hymn. Vener. 248, 286 ; Homer, Iliad, v. 320, 386. 


owning him, and he passes everywhere as her acknowledged son, 
Aphrodite is described in the hymn as herself cold and unimpress 
ible, but ever active and irresistible in inspiring amorous feelingg 
to gods, to men, and to animals. Three goddesses are record- 
ed as memorable exceptions to her universal empire, Athene, 
Artemis, and Hestia or Vesta. Aphrodite was one of the most 
important of all the goddesses in the mythical world ; for the 
number of interesting, pathetic and tragical adventures deducible 
from misplaced or unhappy passion was of course very great ; 
and in most of these cases the intervention of Aphrodite was 
usually prefixed, with some legend to explain why she manifested 
herself. Her range of action grows wider in the later epic and 
lyric and tragic poets than in Homer. 1 

Athene, the man-goddess, 2 born from the head of Zeus, with- 
out a mother and without feminine sympathies, is the antithesis 
partly of Aphrodite, partly of the effeminate or womanized god 
Dionysos the latter is an importation from Asia, but Athene is 
a Greek conception the type of composed, majestic and unre- 
lenting force. It appears however as if this goddess had been 
conceived in a different manner in different parts of Greece. For 
we find ascribed to her, in some of the legends, attributes of in- 
dustry and home-keeping ; she is represented as the companion 

1 A large proportion of the Hesiodic epic related to the exploits and adven- 
tures of the heroic women, the Catalogue of Women and the Eoiai em 
bodied a string of such narratives. Hesiod and Stcsichorus explained the 
conduct of Helen and Klytsemnestra by the anger of Aphrodite, caused by 
the neglect of their father Tyndarcus to sacrifice to her (Hesiod, Fragm. 59, 
ed. Duntzer; Stesichor. Fragm. 9, ed. Schneidewin) : the irresistible ascen- 
dency of AphroditS is set forth in the Hippolytus of Euripides not less for- 
cibly than that of Dionysos in the Bacchse. The character of Daphnis the 
herdsman, well-known from the first Idyll of Theocritus, and illustrating the 
destroying force of Aphrodite", appears to have been first introduced into 
Greek poetry by Stesichorus (see Klausen, JEneas, und die Penaten, vol. i. 
pp. 526-529). Compare a striking piece among the Fragmcnta Incerta of 
Sophokles (Fr. 63, Brunck) and Euripid. Troad. 946, 995, 1048. Even in 
the Opp. et Di. of Hesiod, Aphrodite is conceived rather as a disturbing anJ 
injurious influence (v. 65). 

Adonis owes his renown to the Alexandrine poets and their contemporary 
sovereigns (see Bion's Idyll and the Adoniazusae of Theocritus). The favor- 
ites of Aphrodite, even as counted up by the diligence of Clemens Alcxan- 
drinns, are however very few in number. (Admonitio ad Gent. p. 12, Sylb.) 

1 "'kvdpo'&ia dupov 'Atfuvff Simmias Rhodius; llefa tuf, ap. He- 

phawtion. c. 9. p. 54, Gaisford. 


of Hephjcstos, patronizing handicraft, and expert at the loom and 
the spindle: the Athenian potters worshipped her along with 
Prometheus. Such traits of character do not square with the 
formidable icgis and the massive and crushing spear which Homer 
and most of the mythes assign to her. There probably were at first 
at least two different types of Athene, and their coalescence has 
partially obliterated the less marked of the two. 1 Athene is the 
constant and watchful protectress of Herakles : she is also locally 
identified with the soil and people of Athens, even in the Iliad : 
Erechtheus, the Athenian, is born of the earth, but Athene brings 
him up, nourishes him, and lodges him in her own temple, where 
the Athenians annually worship him with sacrifice and solemni- 
ties. 2 It was altogether impossible to make Erechtheus son of 
Athene, the type of the goddess forbade it ; but the Athenian 
mythe-creators, though they found this barrier impassable, strove 
to approach to it as near as they could, and the description which 
they give of the birth of Erichthonios, at once un-Homeric and 
unseemly, presents something like the phantom of maternity. 3 

The huntress Artemis, in Arcadia and in Greece proper gen- 
erally, exhibits a well-defined type with which the legends 
respecting her are tolerably consistent. But the Ephesian as 
well as the Tauric Artemis partakes more of the Asiatic charac- 
ter, and has borrowed the attributes of the Lydian Great Mother 
as well as of an indigenous Tauric Virgin : 4 this Ephesian Arte- 

1 Apollodor. ap. Schol. ad Sophokl. CEdip. vol. 57 ; Pausan. i. 24, 3 ; ix. 26, 
3 ; Diodor. v. 73 ; Plato, Lcgg. xi. p. 920. In the Opp. et Di. of Hesiod, 
the carpenter is the servant of Athene (429) : see also Phereklos the TEK.TUV 
in the Iliad, v. 61: compare viii. 385; Odyss. viii. 493 ; and the Homeric 
Hymn, to Aphrodite, v. 12. The learned article of 0. Miiller (in the Ency- 
clopaedia of Ersch and Gruber, since republished among his Kleine Deutsche 
Schriften, p 134 seq.), Pallas Athtnti, brings together all that can be kmnva 
about this goddess. 

- Iliad, ii. 546 ; viii. 362. 

3 Apollodor. iii. 4, 6. Compare the vague language of Plato, Kritias, c. 
iv., and Ovid. Metamorph. ii. 757. 

4 Herodot. iv. 103 ; Strabo, xii. p. 534 ; xiii. p. 650. About the Ephesian 
Artemis, see Guhl, Ephesiaca (Berlin, 1843), p. 79 sqq. ; Aristoph. Nub. 590 ; 
Autokrates in Tympanistis apud .^Elian. Hist. Animal, xii. 9; and Spanheim 
ad Kallimach. Hymn. Dian. 36. The dances in honor of Artemis some- 
times appear to have approached to the frenzied style of Bacchanal move- 
ment See the words of Timotheus ap. Plutarch, de Audiend. Poet. p. 22 
c 4. and Kepi beiai.6. c. 10, p. 170, also Aristoph. Lrsist. 1314. They seerc 


mis passed to the colonies of Phokaea and Miletus. 1 Th 
Homeric Artemis snares with her brother Apollo in the dexterous 
use of the far-striking bow, and sudden death is described by the 
poet as inflicted by her gentle arrow. The jealousy of the gods 
at the withholding of honors and sacrifices, or at the presumption 
of mortals in contending with them, a point of character so 
frequently recurring in the types of the Grecian gods, mani- 
fests itself in the legends of Artemis : the memorable Kalydoni- 
an boar is sent by her as a visitation upon OEneus, because he 
had omitted to sacrifice to her, while he did honor to other gods. 3 
The Arcadian heroine Atalanta is however a reproduction of 
Artemis, with little or no difference, and the goddess is sometimes 
confounded even with her attendant nymphs. 

The mighty Poseidon, the earth-shaker and the ruler of the 
sea, is second only to Zeus in power, but has no share in those 
imperial and superintending capacities which the Father of gods 
and men exhibits. He numbers a numerous heroic progeny, 
usually men of great corporeal strength, and many of them 
belonging to the JEolic race : the great Neleid family of Pylus 
trace their origin up to him ; and he is also the father of Poly- 
phemus the Cyclops, whose well-earned suffering he cruelly 
revenges upon Odysseus. The island of Kalaureia is his Delos. 3 
and there was held in it an old local Amphiktyony, for the pur- 
pose of rendering to him joint honor and sacrifice : the isthmus 
of Corinth, Helike in Achaia, and Onchestos in Breotia, are also 
residences which he much affects, and where he is solemnly wor- 
shipped. But the abode which he originally and specially se- 
lected for himself was the Acropolis of Athens, where by a blow 
of his trident he produced a well of water in the rock : Athene 
came afterwards and claimed the spot for herself, planting in 
token of possession the olive-tree which stood in the sacred grove 
of Pandrosos: and the decision either of the autochthonous 

to hnve been often celebrated in the solitudes of the mountains, which were 
the favorite resort of Artemis (Kallimach. Hymn. Dian. 19), and these 
tpEtpuatai were always causes predisposing to fanatical excitement 

1 Strabo, iv. p. 179. 2 Iliad, ix. 529. 

3 Strabo, viii. p. 3?4. According to the old poem called Eumolpia, as- 
cribed to Musocus, the oracle of Delphi originally belonged to Poseidon and 
Gaca, jointly : from Gaea it passed to Themis, and from her to Apollo, tc 
whom Poseidon also made over his share as a compensation for the sur- 
render of Kalaureia to him. (Pausan. x. 5, 3). 


Ceerops, or of Erechtheus, awarded to her the preference, much 
to the displeasure of Poseidon. Either on this account, or on 
account of the death of his son Eumolpus, slain in assisting the 
Eleusinians against Erechtheus, the Attic mythes ascribed to 
Poseidon great enmity against the Erechtheid family, which he 
is asserted to have ultimately overthrown : Theseus, whose glo- 
rious reign and deeds succeeded to that family, is said to have 
been really his son. 1 In several other places, in ^Egina, Argos 
and Naxos, Poseidon had disputed the privileges of patron- 
god with Zeus, Here and Dionysos : he was worsted in all, but 
bore his defeat patiently. 9 Poseidon endured a long slavery, in 
common with Apollo, gods as they were, 3 under Laomedon, king 
of Troy, at the command and condemnation of Zeus : the two 
gods rebuilt the walls of the city, which had been destroyed by 
Herakles. When their time was expired, the insolent Laome- 
don withheld from them the stipulated reward, and even accom- 
panied its refusal with appalling threats ; and the subsequent 
animosity of the god against Troy was greatly determined by the 
sentiment of this injustice. 4 Such periods of servitude, inflicted 
upon individual gods, are among the most remarkable of all the 
incidents in the divine legends. We find Apollo on another occa- 
sion condemned to serve Admetus, king of Pherae, as a punish- 
ment for having killed the Cyclopes, and Herakles also is sold as 
a slave to Omphale. Even the fierce Ares, overpowered and 
imprisoned for a long time by the two Aloids, 5 is ultimately lib- 
erated only by extraneous aid. Such narratives attest the 
discursive range of Grecian fancy in reference to the gods, as 
well as the perfect commingling of things and persons, divine 
and human, in their conceptions of the past. The god who 
serves is for the time degraded : but the supreme god who com- 
mands the servitude is in the like proportion exalted, whilst the idea 
of some sort of order and government among these superhuman 
beings was never lost sight of. Nevertheless the mythes respect- 
ing the servitude of the gods became obnoxious afterwards, along 
with many others, to severe criticism on the part of philosophers, 

1 Apollodor. Hi. 14, 1 ; iii. 15, 3, 5. 2 Plutarch, Sympos. viii. 6, p. 741 

3 Iliad, ii. 716, 766 ; Euripid. Alkcstis, 2. Sec Panyasis, Fragm. 12, p. 24 
ed. Diintzer. 

4 Iliad, vii. 452 xxi. 459. ! Iliad, v. 386. 


The proud, jealous, and bitter Here, the goddess of the 
once-wealthy Mykenoe, the fax et focus of the Trojan war, and 
the ever-present protectress of Jason in the Argonautic expedi- 
tion, ! occupies an indispensable station in the mythical world. 
As the daughter of Kronos and wife of Zeus, she fills a throne 
from whence he cannot dislodge her, and which gives her a right 
perpetually to grumble and to thwart him. 2 Her unmeasured 
jealousy of the female favorites of Zeus, and her antipathy 
against his sons, especially against Herakles, has been the sug- 
gesting cause of innumerable mythes : the general type of her 
character stands here clearly marked, as furnishing both stimulus 
and guide to the mythopceic fancy. The " Sacred Wedding," or 
marriage of Zeus and Here, was familiar to epithalamic poets 
long before it became a theme for the spiritualizing ingenuity of 

Hephcestos is the son of Here without a father, and stands to 
her in the same relation as Athene to Zeus : her pride and want 
of sympathy are manifested by her casting him out at once in 
consequence of his deformity. 3 He is the god of fire, and espe- 
cially of fire in its practical applications to handicraft, and is in- 
dispensable as the right-hand and instrument of the gods. His 
skill and his deformity appear alternately as the source of myth- 
ical stories : wherever exquisite and effective fabrication is 
intended to be designated, Hephosstos is announced as the maker, 
although in this function the type of his character is reproduced 
in Doedalos. In the Attic legends he appears intimately united 
both with Prometheus and with Athene, in conjunction with 
whom he was worshipped at Kolonus near Athens. Lemnos was 
the favorite residence of Hephaestos ; and if we possessed more 
knowledge of this island and its town Hephsestias, we should 
doubtless find abundant legends detailing his adventures and 

The chaste, still, and home-keeping Hestia, goddess of the 
family hearth, is far less fruitful in mythical narratives, ir spite 
of her very superior dignity, than the knavish, smooth-tor gued, 
keen, and acquisitive Hermes. His function of messenger of the 

1 Iliad, iv. 51 ; Odyss. xii. 72. 

Iliad, i. 544 ; iv. 29-38 : viii. 408. 3 Iliad, xviii. 306. 


gods brings him perpetually on the stage, and affords ample scope 
for portraying the features of his character. The Homeric hymn 
to Hermes describes the scene and circumstances of his birth, 
and the almost instantaneous manifestation, even in infancy, of 
his peculiar attributes ; it explains the friendly footing on which 
he stood with Apollo, the interchange of gifts and functions 
between them, and lastly, the inviolate security of all the 
wealth and offerings in the Delphian temple, exposed as they 
were to thieves without any visible protection. Such was the 
innate cleverness and talent of Hermes, that on the day he was 
born he invented the lyre, stringing the seven chords on the shell 
of a tortoise r 1 and he also stole the cattle of Apollo in Pieria, 
dragging them backwards to his cave in Arcadia, so that their 
track could not be detected. To the remonstrances of his mother 
Maia, who points out to him the danger of offending Apollo, 
Hermes replies, that he aspires to rival the dignity and functions 
of Apollo among the immortals, and that if his father Zeus 
refuses to grant them to him, he will employ his powers of thiev- 
ing in breaking open the sanctuary at Delphi, and in carrying 
away the gold and the vestments, the precious tripods and ves- 
sels. 2 Presently Apollo discovers the loss of his cattle, and 
after some trouble finds his way to the Kyllenian cavern, where 
he sees Hermes asleep in his cradle. The child denies the theft 
with effrontery, and even treats the surmise as a ridiculous impos- 
sibility : he persists in such denial even before Zeus, who how- 
ever detects him at once, and compels him to reveal the place 
where the cattle are concealed. But the lyre was as yet un- 
known to Apollo, who has heard nothing except the voice of the 
Muses and the sound of the pipe. So powerfully is he fascinated 
by hearing the tones of the lyre from Hermes, and so eager to 
become possessed of it, that he is willing at once to pardon the past 

1 Homer. Hymn. Mercur. 18. 

/Jotif K^.i~^tv tKijfiotov 'AjroA/lwvof, etc. 
* Homer. Hymn. Merc. 177. 

~El[u y<ip if Hv-9uva, peyav 
"'Ev&ev uTitf rp'nrotias irepm 
Kot xP va ^ v t etc. 


theft, and even to conciliate besides the friendship of 
Accordingly a bargain is struck between the two gods and sanc- 
tioned by Zeus. Hermes surrenders to Apollo the lyre, invent- 
ing for his own use the syrinx or panspipe, and receiving from 
Apollo in exchange the golden rod of wealth, with empire over 
flocks and herds as well as over horses and oxen and the wild 
animals of the woods. He presses to obtain the gift of prophecy, 
but Apollo is under a special vow not to impart that privilege to 
any god whatever : he instructs Hermes however how to draw 
information, to a certain extent, from the Moerje or Fates them- 
selves ; and assigns to him, over and above, the function of mes- 
senger of the gods to Hades. 

Although Apollo has acquired the lyre, the particular object 
of his wishes, he is still under apprehension that Hermes will 
steal it away from him again, together with his bow, and he 
exacts a formal oath by Styx as security. Hermes promises 
solemnly that he will steal none of the acquisitions, nor ever 
invade the sanctuary of Apollo ; while the latter on his part 
pledges himself to recognize Hermes as his chosen friend and 
companion, amongst all the other sons of Zeus, human or divine. 2 

So came to pass, under the sanction of Zeus, the marked favor 
shown by Apollo to Hermes. But Hermes (concludes the 
hymnographer, with frankness unusual in speaking of a god) 
u does very little good : he avails himself of the darkness of night 
to cheat without measure the tribes of mortal men."3 

1 Homer. Hymn. Merc. 442-454. 
' Homer. Hymn. Merc. 504-520. 

Kal rb [lev 'Ep/^f 

A.r)Tol&r)v <j>i2.7jae 6ia/j.7repf, uf ETI nai vvv, etc. 

Kal TOTE MaiaSof vlbf {nroff^6fj.evof KaTevevue 

M?/ TTOT' a7ro/c/ln/>eij>, 6V 'E/oy 

M^cJe Tror' EfiTTE^aariv TTVKIVU tio/uy ' avTap ' 

ArjTotdrjf KOTevEVGev iir' up&jj.<j> KOI 

M.TJ Tiva <t>i%,Ttp;v u7i~A.ov ev uftavuToiai 

MTJTE debv, ufjT 1 uvdpa Aiof yovov, etc. 
* Homer. Hymn. Merc. 574. 

Tlavpa [ilv ov*> bvi*rvi, rb 6' uK 

NVKTO 6C bp$tai7)v Qvha dv^ruv uv&puiruv. 


Here the general types of Hermes and Apollo, coupled with 
the present fact that no thief ever approached the rich an d seem- 
ingly accessible treasures of Delphi, engender a string of exposi- 
tory incidents cast into a quasi-historical form and detailing how it 
happened that Hermes had bound himself by especial convention 
to respect the Delphian temple. The types of Apollo seem to 
tave been different in different times and parts of Greece : in 
some places he was worshipped as Apollo Nomios, 1 or the patron 
of pasture and cattle ; and this attribute, which elsewhere passed 
over to his son Aristaeus, is by our hymnographer voluntarily 
surrendered to Hermes, combined with the golden rod of fruit- 
fulness. On the other hand, the lyre did not originally belong 
to the Far-striking King, nor is he at all an inventor : the hymn 
explains both its first invention and how it came into his posses- 
sion. And the value of the incidents is thus partly expository, 
partly illustrative, as expanding in detail the general preconceived 
character of the Kyllenian god. 

To Zeus more amours are ascribed than to any of the other 
gods, probably because the Grecian kings and chieftains were 
especially anxious to trace their lineage to the highest and most 
glorious of all, each of these amours having its representative 
progeny on earth. 2 Such subjects were among the most promis- 
ing and agreeable for the interest of mythical narrative, and 
Zeus as a lover thus became the father of a great many legend?, 
branching out into innumerable interferences, for which his sons, 
all of them distinguished individuals, and many of them perse- 
cuted by Here, furnished the occasion. But besides this, the 
commanding functions of the supreme god, judicial and admin- 
istrative, extending both over gods and men, was a potent stimu- 
lus to the mythopoeic activity. Zeus has to watch over his own 
dignity, the first of all considerations with a god : moreover as 
Horkios, Xenios, Ktesios, Meilichios, (a small proportion of his 
thousand surnames,) he guaranteed oaths and punished perjurers, 
he enforced the observance of hospitality, he guarded the family 
hoard and the crop realized for the year, and he granted expia 

1 Kallimach. Hymn. Apoll. 47 

8 Kallimach. Hymn. Jov. 79. ' (! Atof paaiZT/ef, etc. 


lion to the repentant criminal. 1 All thesa different functions 
created a demand for mythes, as the means of translating a dim, 
but serious, presentiment into distinct form, both self-explaining 
and communicable to others. In enforcing the sanctity of the 
oath or of the tie of hospitality, the most powerful of all argu- 
ments would be a collection of legends respecting the judgments 
of Zeus Plorkios or Xenios ; the more impressive and terrific 
such legends were, the greater would be their interest, and the 
less would any one dare to disbelieve them. They constituted 
the natural outpourings of a strong and common sentiment, prob- 
ably without any deliberate ethical intention : the preconceptions 
of the divine agency, expanded into legend, form a product 
analogous to the idea of the divine features and symmetry em- 
bodied in the bronze or the marble statue. 

But it was not alone the general type and attributes of the godd 
which contributed to put in action the mythopoeic propensities. 
The rites and solemnities forming the worship of each god, as 
well as the details of his temple and its locality, were a fertile 
source of mythes, respecting his exploits and sufferings, which to 
the people who heard them served the purpose of past history. 
The exegetes, or local guide and interpreter, belonging to each 
temple, preserved and recounted to curious strangers these tradi- 
tional narratives, which lent a certain dignity even to the minu- 
tiae of divine service. Out of a stock of materials thus ample, 
the poets extracted individual collections, such as the " Causes " 
(Aiiia) of Kallimachus, now lost, and such as the Fasti of Ovid 
are for the Roman religious antiquities. 2 

It was the practice to offer to the gods in sacrifice the bones 
of the victim only, inclosed in fat : how did this practice arise ? 

1 See Herodot. i. 44. Xenoph. Anabas. vii. 8. 4 Plutarch, Theseus, 
c. 12. 
* Ovid, Fasti, iv. 211, about the festivals of Apollo : 

" Priscique imitamina facti 
JEra Deae comites raucaque terga movent." 

And Lactantius, v. 19, 15. "Ipsos ritus ex rebus gestis (deorum) vel ex 
casibus vel etiam ex mortibus, natos :" to the same purpose Augustin. Do 
Civ. D. vii. 18 ; Diodor. iii. 56. Plutarch's Quastiones Gracae et Romaic* 
are full of similar tales, professing to account for existing customs, many 
f them religious and liturgic. See Lobeck, Orphica, p. 675. 


The author of the Hesiodic Theogony has a story which explains 
it : Prometheus tricked Zeus into an imprudent choice, at the 
peiiod when the gods and mortal men first came to an arrange- 
ment about privileges and duties (in Mekone). Prometheus, the 
tutelary representative of man, divided a large steer into two 
portions : on the one side he placed the flesh and guts, folded up 
in the omentum and covered over with the skin : on the other, he 
put the bones enveloped in fat. He then invited Zeus to deter- 
mine which of the two portions the gods would prefer to receive 
from mankind. Zeus " with both hands " decided for and took 
the white fat, but was highly incensed on finding that he had got 
nothing at the bottom except the bones. 1 Nevertheless the choice 
of the gods was now irrevocably made : they were not entitled to 
any portion of the sacrificed animal beyond the bones and the 
white fat ; and the standing practice is thus plausibly explained. 2 
I select this as one amongst a thousand instances to illustrate the 
genesis of legend out of religious practices. In the belief of the 
people, the event narrated in the legend was the real producing 
cause of the practice : but when we come to apply a sound criti- 
cism, we are compelled to treat the event as existing only in its 
narrative legend, and the legend itself as having been, in the 
greater number of cases, engendered by the practice, thui 
reversing the supposed order of production. 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 550. 

Tvu p 1 ovS 1 rj-yvoiriae doXov KO.KU <5' baaero $tyi<p 
QvrjToif av&puTtoiai, ra nal re?ieecr&at e/teAAev. 
Xepcrt 6' 6y ay^oTepyacv uvei^ero "hevubv u%.euj>ap 
Xaxraro 6e <j>pva., u/j.(j>l #6/lof Se fiiv IKETO diudv, 
'Qf I6ev 'area Aev/cu /3odf SoKii) iirl 

In the second line of this citation, the poet tells us that Zeus saw through 
the trick, and was imposed upon by his own consent, foreknowing that after 
all the mischievous consequences of the proceeding would be visited on 
man. But the last lines, and indeed the whole drift of the legend, imply tha 
contrary of this : Zeus was really taken in, and was in consequence very 
angry. It is curious to observe how the religions feelings of the poet driva 
him to save in words the prescience of Zeus, though in doing so he contra- 
dicts aud nullifies the whole point of the story. 
a Hesiod, Theog. 557. 

'Etc TOV 6' udavuroiaiv knl %dovl <j>vK av&puiruv 

Kaiova' 1 ntTTfa Aewca ftvijevruv knl Buuuv. 


In dealing with Grecian mythes generally, it fs convenient tc 
distribute them into such as belong to the Gods and such a? 
belong to the Heroes, according as the one or the other are the 
prominent personages. The former class manifests, more palpa- 
bly than the latter, their real origin, as growing out of the faith 
and the feelings, without any necessary basis, either of matter 
of fact or allegory : moreover, they elucidate more directly the 
religion of the Greeks, so important an item in their character as 
a people. But in point of fact, most of the mythes present to 
us Gods, Heroes and Men, in juxtaposition one with the other 
and the richness of Grecian mythical literature arises from the 
infinite diversity of combinations thus opened out ; first by the 
three class-types, God, Hero, and Man ; next by the strict keep- 
ing with which each separate class and character is handled. We 
shall now follow downward the stream of mythical time, which 
begins with the Gods, to the Heroic legends, or those which 
principally concern the Heroes and Heroines ; for the latter were 
to the full as important in legend as the former. 



THE Hesiodic theogony gives no account of anything like a 
creation of man, nor does it seem that such an idea was mucli 
entertained in the legendary vein of Grecian imagination ; which 
commonly carried back the present men by successive generations 
to some primitive ancestor, himself sprung from the soil, or from 
a neighboring river or mountain, or from a god, a nymph, etc. 
But the poet of the Hesiodic " Wurks and Days " has given us a 
narrative conceived in a very different spirit respecting the origin 
of the human race, more in harmony with the sober and melan- 
choly ethical tone which reigns through that poem. 1 

* Hesiod, as cited in the Etymologicon Magnum (probably the Hesiodit 


First (he tells us) the Olympic gods made the golden race, 
good, perfect, and happy men, who lived from the spontaneous 
abundance of the earth, in ease and tranquillity like the gods 
themselves : they suffered neither disease nor old age, and theii 
death was like a gentle sleep. After death they became, by the 
award of Zeus, guardian terrestrial daemons, who watch unseen 
over the proceedings of mankind with the regal privilege of 
dispensing to them wealth, and taking account of good and bad 
deeds. 1 

Next, the gods made the silver race, unlike and greatly infe- 
rior, both in mind and body, to the golden. The men of this 
race were reckless and mischievous towards each other, and dis- 
dainful of the immortal gods, to whom they refused to offer either 
worship or sacrifice. Zeus in his wrath buried them in the 
earth : but there they still enjoy a secondary honor, as the 'Blest 
of the under-world. 2 

Thirdly, Zeus made the brazen race, quite different from the 
silver. They were made of hard ash-wood, pugnacious and ter- 
rible ; they were of immense strength and adamantine soul, nor 
did they raise or touch bread. Their arms, their houses, and 
their implements were all of brass : there was then no iron. 
This race, eternally fighting, perished by each other's hands, died 
out, and descended without name or privilege to Hades. 3 

Catalogue of Women, as Marktscheffel considers it, placing it Fragm. 133) 
gives the parentage of a certain Brotos, who must probably be intended as 
the first of men : Bporof , (if ftlv Ei>^uepof 6 ~Meaa^viOf , airb BpoTov TIVOC 
aiiTox&ovoc 6 6s 'tlacodof, into BpoTov TOV A.Wepo<; Kal 'H/*epaf . 
1 Opp. Di. 120. 

AvTup kireid^ TOVTO yevog KOTU. yala KU^VSV 

Tol /J.EV 6aifj.ovE<; slat Aic>f peyahov 610. 

Ol pa fyvhuaaovaiv re diftaf KOI tr^eivUo! epya, 
'Ht'pa taoa/tevoi, TTUVTT) Qoiruvref kit 1 alav 
HhovTotiorcu Kal TOVTO yepac fiaaiTiTjiov a%ov. 
*0pp. Di. 140. 

AvT&p tirel Kal TOVTO -yevof KaT(i yala Ka7^vij), 
Tol [iev imo%&6vioi fiuKapef dvrjTol KaTieovTai 
Aeirepoi, (M? e/ZTr^f TI/J.TJ Kal Totatv btrrjSeZ. 

3 The ash was the wood out of which spear-handles were made (Iliad, xvi 
142): the NvpQai Me/U<u arc born along with the Gigantes and the Erin 
VOL. I. 5OC. 


Next, Zeus made a fourth race, far justcr and better than the 
last preceding. These were the Heroes or demigods, who fought 
at the sieges of Troy and Thebes. But this splendid stock alse 
became extinct : some perished in war, others were removed by 
Zeus to a happier state in the islands of the Blest. There they 
dwell in peace and comfort, under the government of Kronos, 
reaping thrice in the year the spontaneous produce of the earth. 1 

The fifth race, which succeeds to the Heroes, is of iron : it is 
the race to which the poet himself belongs, and bitterly does he 
regret it. He finds his contemporaries mischievous, dishonest, 
unjust, ungrateful, given to perjury, careless both of the ties of 
consanguinity and of the behests of the gods : Nemesis and JEdoa 
(Ethical Self-reproach) have left earth and gone back to Olym- 
pus. How keenly does he wish that his lot had been cast either 
earlier or later ! a This iron race is doomed to continual guilt, 
care, and suffering, with a small infusion of good ; but the time 
will come when Zeus will put an end to if. The poet does not 
venture to predict what sort of race will succeed. 

Such is the series of distinct races of men, which Hesiod, or 
the author of the " Works and Days," enumerates as having 
existed down to his own time. I give it as it stands, without 
placing much confidence in the various explanations which critics 
have offered. It stands out in more than one respect from the 
general tone and sentiment of Grecian legend : moreover the 
sequence of races is neither natural nor homogeneous, the 
heroic race not having any metallic denomination, and not occu- 
pying any legitimate place in immediate succession to the brazen. 
Nor is the conception of the daemons in harmony either with 
Homer or with the Hesiodic theogony. In Homer, there is 
scarcely any distinction between gods and daemons, while the goda 

nyes (Theogon. 187), "gensque virdm truncis et duro robore nata" (Vir 
gil, JEneid, viii. 315), hearts of oak. 
1 Opp. Di. 157. 

AvJpwv 'Hpuuv ftelov yefof, ol nateovTai 
H/wtfeo; TrpoTepy jtvii) /car' inreipova yalcat. 
Opp Di. 173. 

M^/cer' t^eir' txpethov y&, perelvcu. 

'Avtipuaiv, a)M fj irpoade davelv, % iireiTa 

Kvv yap 6rj -yevof iarl aidf/pecv. ..... 


are stated to go about and visit the cities of men in various dis- 
guises for the purpose of inspecting good and evil proceedings. 1 
But in the poem now before us, the distinction between gods and 
daemons is generic. The latter are invisible tenants of earth, 
remnants of the once happy golden race whom the Olympic gods 
first made: the remnants of the second or silver race are not 
daemons, nor are they tenants of earth, but they still enjoy an 
honorable posthumous existence as the Blest of the under-world. 
Nevertheless the Hesiodic daemons are in no way authors or 
abettors of evil : on the contrary, they form the unseen police 
of the gods, for the purpose of repressing wicked behavior in the 

We may trace, I think, in this quintuple succession of earthly 
races, set forth by the author of the " Works and Days," the con- 
fluence of two veins of sentiment, not consistent one with the 
other, yet both coexisting in the author's mind. The drift of 
his poem is thoroughly didactic and ethical : though deeply pene- 
trated with the injustice and suffering which darken the face of 
human life, he nevertheless strives to maintain, both in himself 
and in others, a conviction that on the whole the just and labo- 
rious man will come off well, 2 and he enforces in considerable 
detail the lessons of practical prudence and virtue. This ethical 
sentiment, which dictates his appreciation of the present, also 
guides his imagination as to the past. It is pleasing to him to 
bridge over the chasm between the gods and degenerate man, by 

1 Odyss. xvii. 486. 

* There are some lines, in which he appears to believe that, under the present 
wicked and treacherous rulers, it is not the interest of any man to be just 
(Opp. Di. 270): 

Nvv 6rj e) u H^T' avrbf tv uv&pu-noiai 6'iKaio^ 
Witjv, prjr' tfibf vibq - insi KUKOV OTI 6'iKatov 

fiei^u ye dinrjv ufiiKurepof l^ei 
rod' ovnu Kohita. reXelv Am TepiriKepawov. 

Jn the whole, however, his conviction is to the contrary. 

Plutarch rejects the above four lines, seemingly on no other ground than 
sjectiuse he thought them immoral and unworthy of Hesiod (see Proclus ad 
loc.}. But they fall in perfectly with the temper of the poem: and the rule 
of Plutarch is inadmissible, in determining the critical question of what is 
bcruine or spurious. 

C8 msTOiri OF GREECE. 

the supposition of previous races, the first altogether pure, the 
second worse than the first, and the third still worse than the 
second ; and to show further how the first race passed by gentle 
death -sleep into glorious immortality ; how the second race was 
sufficiently wicked to drive Zeus to bury them in the under-world, 
yet s'ill leaving them a certain measure of honor; while the 
third was so desperately violent as to perish by its own animosi- 
ties, without either name or honor of any kind. The conception 
of the golden race passing after death into good guardian daemons, 
which some suppose to have been derived from a comparison 
with oriental angels, presents itself to the poet partly as approx- 
imating this race to the gods, partly as a means of constituting a 
triple gradation of post-obituary existence, proportioned to the 
character of each race whilst alive. The denominations of gold 
and silver, given to the first two races, justify themselves, like 
those given by Simonides of Amorgos and by Phokylides to the 
dhTerent characters of women, derived from the dog, the bee, the 
mare, the ass, and other animals ; and the epithet of brazen is 
specially explained by reference to the material which the pugna- 
cious third race so plentifully employed for their arms and other 

So far we trace intelligibly enough the moralizing vein : we 
find the revolutions of the past so arranged as to serve partly as 
an ethical lesson, partly as a suitable preface to the present. 1 But 
fourth in the list comes " the divine race of Heroes : " and here 
a new vein of thought is opened by the poet. The symmetry 
of his ethical past is broken up, in order to make way for these 
cherished beings of the national faith. For though the author of 
the " "Works and Days " was himself of a didactic cast of thought, 

1 Aratus (Phoenomen. 107) gives only three successive races, the golden, 
silver, and brazen; Ovid superadds to these the iron race (Metamorph. i. 
89-144) : neither of them notice the heroic race. 

The observations both of Buttmann (Mythos der altestcn Menschengesch- 
lechter, t. ii. p. 12 of the Mythologus) and of Volckcr (Mythologie des 
Japetischen Geschlechts, 6, pp. 250-279) on this series of distinct races, 
are ingenious, and may be read with profit. Both recognize the disparate 
character of the fourth link in the series, and each accounts for it in a differ- 
ent manner. My own view comes nearer to that of Volcker, with some con- 
siderable differences ; amongst which one is, that he rejects the verses respect- 
ing the daemons, which seem to me capital parts of the whole scheme. 


like Phokylides, or Solon, or Theognis, yet he had present to hia 
feelings, in common with his countrymen, the picture of Grecian 
foretime, as it was set forth in the current mythes, and still more 
in Homer and those other epical productions which were then the 
only existing literature and history. It was impossible for him 
to exclude, from his sketch of the past, either the great persons 
or the glorious exploits which these poems ennobled ; and even 
if he himself could have consented to such an exclusion, the 
sketch would have become repulsive to his hearers. But the 
chiefs who figured before Thebes and Troy could not be well 
identified either with the golden, the silver, or the brazen race : 
morover it was essential that they should be placed in immediate 
contiguity with the present race, because their descendants, real 
or supposed, were the most prominent and conspicuous of exist- 
ing men. Hence the poet is obliged to assign to them the fourth 
place in the series, and to interrupt the descending ethical move- 
ment in order to interpolate them between the brazen and the 
iron race, with neither of which they present any analogy. The 
iron race, to which the poet himself unhappily belongs, is the 
legitimate successor, not of the heroic, but of the brazen. Instead 
of the fierce and self-annihilating pugnacity which characterizes 
the latter, the iron race manifests an aggregate of smaller and 
meaner vices and mischiefs. It will not perish by suicidal 
extinction but it is growing worse and worse, and is gradually 
losing its vigor, so that Zeus will not vouchsafe to preserve much 
longer such a race upon the earth. 

"We thus see that the series of races imagined by the poet of 
the " Works and Days " is the product of two distinct and 
incongruous veins of imagination, the didactic or ethical 
blending with the primitive mythical or epical. His poem is 
remarkable as the most ancient didactic production of the Greeks, 
and as one of the first symptoms of a new tone of sentiment 
finding its way into their literature, never afterwards to become 
extinct. The tendency of the "Works and Days" is anti- 
heroic : far from seeking to inspire admiration for adventur- 
ous enterprise, the author inculcates the strictest justice, the 
most unremitting labor and frugality, and a sober, not to say 
anxious, estimate of all the minute specialties of the future. 
Prudence and probity are his means, practical comfort and 


happiness his end. But he deeply feels, and keenly exposes, the 
manifold wickedness and short-comings of his contemporaries, in 
reference to this capital standard. Pie turns with displeasure 
from the present men, not because they are too feeble to hurl 
either the spear of Achilles or some vast boundary-stone, but 
because they are rapacious, knavish, and unprincipled. 

The daemons first introduced into the religious atmosphere of 
the Grecian world by the author of the " Works and Days," as 
generically different from the gods, but as essentially good, and 
as forming the intermediate agents and police between gods and 
men, are deserving of attention as the seed of a doctrine 
which afterwards underwent many changes, and became of great 
importance, first as one of the constituent elements of pagan faith, 
then as one of the helps to its subversion. It will be recollected 
that the buried remnants of the half-wicked silver race, though 
they are not recognized as daemons, are still considered as having 
a substantive existence, a name, and dignity, in the under-woi-ld. 
The step was easy, to treat them as daemons also, but as daemons of 
a defective and malignant character : this step was made by Empe- 
docles and Xenocrates, and to a certain extent countenanced by 
Plato. 1 There came thus to be admitted among the pagan philoso- 
phers daemons both good and bad, in every degree : and these de- 
mons were found available as a means of explaining many phe- 
nomena for which it was not convenient to admit the agency of the 
gods. They served to relieve the gods from the odium of physical 
and moral evils, as well as from the necessity of constantly med- 
dling in small affairs ; and the objectionable ceremonies of the 
pagan world were defended upon the ground that in no other way 
could the exigencies of such malignant beings be appeased. 
They were most frequently noticed as causes of evil, and thus ths 
name (dtemon) came insensibly to convey with it a bad sense, 
the idea of an evil being as contrasted with the goodness of a god. 
So it was found by the Christian writers when they commenced 
their controversy with paganism. One branch of their argu- 
ment led them to identify the pagan gods with daemons in the 
evil sense, and the insensible change in the received meaning of 
the word lent them a specious assistance. For they could easily 

1 See this subject further mentioned infra, chap. xvi. p. 565. 


show that not only in Homer, but in the general language of 
early pagans, all the gods generally were spoken of as daemons 
and therefore, verbally speaking, Clemens and Tatian seemed to 
affirm nothing more against Zeus or Apollo than was employed 
in the language of paganism itself. Yet the audience of Homer 
or Sophokles would have strenuously repudiated the proposition, 
if it had been put to them in the sense which the word dcemon 
bore in the age and among the circle of these Christian writers. 
In the imagination of the author of the "Works and Days," 
the daemons occupy an important place, and are regarded as 
being of serious practical efficiency. When he is remonstrating 
with the rulers around him upon their gross injustice and corrup- 
tion, he reminds them of the vast number of these immortal ser- 
vants of Zeus who are perpetually on guard amidst mankind, 
and through whom the visitations of the gods will descend even 
upon the most potent evil doers. 1 His supposition that the dae- 
mons were not gods, but departed men of the golden race, allowed 
him to multiply their number indefinitely, without too much 
cheapening the divine dignity. 

As this poet has been so much enslaved by the current legenda 
as to introduce the Heroic race into a series to which it does not 
legitimately belong, so he has under the same influence inserted 
in another part of his poem the mythe of Pandora and Prome- 
theus, 2 as a means of explaining the primary diffusion, and actual 
abundance, of evil among mankind. Yet this mythe can in no 
way consist with his quintuple scale of distinct races, and is in 
fact a totally distinct theory to explain the same problem, the 
transition of mankind from a supposed state of antecedent hap- 
piness to one of present toil and suffering. Such an inconsistency 
is not a sufficient reason for questioning the genuineness of either 
passage ; for the two stories, though one contradicts the other, 
both harmonize with that central purpose which governs the 
author's mind, a querulous and didactic appreciation of the pres- 
ent. That such was his purpose appears not only from the whole 
tenor of his poem, but also from the remarkable fact that his own 
personality, his own adventures and kindred, and his own suffer- 
ings, figure in it conspicuously. And this introduction of self 

1 Opp. Di. 252. Tpif I'tip nvpioi elaiv irl p9ov< TovtofloTfipri, etc. 
* Opp. Di. 50-105. 


imparts to it a peculiar interest. The father cf Hesiod come 
over from the JEolic Kyme, with the view of bettering his con- 
dition, and settled at Askra in Bocotia, at the foot of Mount Heli 
con. After his death his two sons divided the family inheritance : 
but Hesiod bitterly complains that his brother Perses cheated and 
went to law with him, and obtained through corrupt judges an 
unjust decision. He farther reproaches his brother with a prefer- 
ence for the suits and unprofitable bustle of the agora, at a time 
when he ought to be laboring for his subsistence in the field. 
Askra indeed was a miserable place, repulsive both in summer 
and winter. Hesiod had never crossed the sea, except once from 
Aulis to Euboca, whither he went to attend the funeral games of 
Amphidamas, the chief of Chalkis : he sung a hymn, and gained 
as prize a tripod, which he consecrated to the muses in Helicon. 1 
These particulai's, scanty as they are, possess a peculiar value, 
as the earliest authentic memorandum respecting the doing or 
suffering of any actual Greek person. There is no external tes- 
timony at all worthy of trust respecting the age of the " Works 
and Days:" Herodotus treats Hesiod and Homer as belonging to 
the same age, four hundred years before his own time ; and there 
are other statements besides, some placing Hesiod at an earlier 
date than Homer, some at a later. Looking at the internal evi- 
dences, we may observe that the pervading sentiment, tone and 
purpose of the poem is widely different from that of the Iliad 
and Odyssey, and analogous to what we read respecting the com- 
positions of Archilochus and the Amorgian Simonides. The au- 
thor of the " Works and Days" is indeed a preacher and not a 
satirist : but with this distinction, we find in him the same pre- 
dominance of the present and the positive, the same disposition 
to turn the muse into an exponent of his own personal wrongs, 
the same employment of JEsopic fable by way of illustration, and 
the same unfavorable estimate of the female sex,2 all of which 

1 Opp. Di. 630-650, 27-45. 

* Compare the fable (alvog) in the " Works and Days," v. 200, with those 
in Archilochus, Fr. xxxviii. and xxxix., Gaisford, respecting the fox and the 
ape; and the legend of Pandora (v. 95 and v. 705) with the fragment of 
Simonides of Amorgos respecting women (Fr. viii. ed. Wclcker, v. 95-115): 
also Phokylide's ap. Stobaeum Florileg. Ixri. 

Isokrates assimilates the character of the " Works and Days " to that of 
Theognis and Phokylides (ad Nikokl. Or. ii. p. 23). 


may be traced in the two poets above mentioned, placing both of 
them in contrast with the Homeric epic. Such an internal analogy, 
in the absence of good testimony, is the best guide which we can 
follow in determining the date of the "Works and Days," which 
we should accordingly place shortly after the year 700 B. c. The 
style of the poem might indeed afford a proof that the ancient and 
uniform hexameter, though well adapted to continuous legendary 
narrative or to solemn hymns, was somewhat monotonous when 
called upon either to serve a polemical purpose or to impress a 
striking moral lesson. When poets, then the only existing com- 
posers, first began to apply their thoughts to the cut and thrust 
of actual life, aggressive or didactic, the verse would be seen to 
require a new, livelier and smarter metre ; and out of this want 
grew the elegiac and the iambic verse, both seemingly contempo- 
raneous, and both intended to supplant the primitive hexameter 
for the short effusions then coming into vojme. 



THE sons of the Titan god lapetus, as described in the Hesi- 
odic theogony, are Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus and Epimetheus. 1 
Of these, Atlas alone is mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey, 
and even he not as the son of lapetus : the latter himself is named 
in the Iliad as existing in Tartarus along with Kronos. The 
Homeric Atlas " knows the depths of the whole sea, and keeps by 
himself those tall pillars which hold the heaven apart from the 
earth." 2 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 510. 
* Horn. Odyss. i. 120. 

"Ar'havTOf $uyar^p 6^o6<j>povo^, oare 9a\aoor]f 
IIa<7!7c J3ev&ea otcJe, s^st 6s TS Kiovaf atrdf 
MaKpuf , ai yalav TE K.a.1 ovpavbv uiufiif 

VOL. i. 4 


As the Homeric theogony generally appears much expanded 
in Hesiod, so also does the family of lapetus, with their varied 
adventures. Atlas is here described, not as the keeper of the 
intermediate pillars between heaven and earth, but as himself 
condemned by Zeus to support the heaven on his head and hands ; ! 
while the fierce Mencetius is thrust down to Erebus as a punish- 
ment for his ungovernable insolence. But the remaining two 
brothers, Prometheus and Epimetheus, are among the most in 
teresting creations of Grecian legend, and distinguished in more 
than one respect from all the remainder. 

First, the main battle between Zeus and the Titan gods is a 
contest of force purely and simply mountains are hurled and 
thunder is launched, and the victory remains to the strongest. But 
the competition between Zeus and Prometheus is one of craft 
and stratagem : the victory does indeed remain to the former, but 
the honors of the fight belong to the latter. Secondly, Prometheus 
and Epirnetheus (the fore-thinker and the after-thinker 2 ) are char- 
acters stamped at the same mint and hy the same effort, the express 
contrast and antithesis of each other. Thirdly, mankind are here 
expressly brought forward, not indeed as active partners in the 
struggle, but as the grand and capital subjects interested, as 
gainers or sufferers by the result. Prometheus appears in the 
exalted character of champion of the human race, even against 
lhe formidable superiority of Zeus. 

In the primitive or Hesiodic legend, Prometheus is not the 
creator or moulder of man ; it is only the later additions which 
invest him with this character. 3 The race are supposed as exist- 

1 Hesiod, Thcog. 516. 

"ArAaf <T oiipavov evpvv e%ei KpaTeprjf VTT' uvayK^f 
'EaTTjuf, Kefyahri re Kal u.Ka/j.u,Toiai xepeaai. 
Hesiod stretches far beyond the simplicity of the Homeric conception. 

2 Pindar extends the family of Epimetheus and gives him a daughter, 
n.p6<j>amf (Pyth. v. 25), Excuse, the offspring of After-thought. 

3 Apollodor. i. 7. 1. Nor is he such either in ^Eschylns, or in the Platonic 
fable (Protag. c. 30), though this version became at last the mof t popular. 
Some hardened lumps of clay, remnants of that which had been employed 
by Prometheus in moulding man, were shown to Pausanias at Panopctis in 
Phokis(Paus. x. 4, 3). 

The first Epigram of Erinna (Anthol. i. p. 58, cd. Brunck) seems to alludu 


ing, and Prometheus, a member of the dispossessed body of Titan 
gods, comes forward as their representative and defender. The 
advantageous bargain which he made with Zeus on their behalf, 
in respect to the partition of the sacrificial animals, has been re- 
counted in the preceding chapter. Zeus felt that he had been 
outwitted, and was exceeding wroth. In his displeasure he with- 
held from mankind the inestimable comfort of fire, so that the 
race would have perished, had not Prometheus stolen fire, in de- 
fiance of the command of the Supreme Ruler, and brought it to 
men in the hollow of a ferule. 1 

Zeus was now doubly indignant, and determined to play off 
a still more ruinous stratagem. Hephaestos, by his direction, 
moulded the form of a beautiful virgin ; Athene dressed her, 
Aphrodite and the Charities bestowed upon her both ornament 
and fascination, while Hermes infused into her the mind of a 
dog, a deceitful spirit, and treacherous words. 2 The messenger 
of the gods conducted this " fascinating mischief" to mankind, at 
a time when Prometheus was not present. Now Epimetheus had 
received from his brother peremptory injunctions not to accept 
from the hands of Zeus any present whatever ; but the beauty 
of Pandora (so the newly-formed female was called) was not to 
be resisted. She was received and admitted among men, and 
from that moment their comfort and tranquillity was exchanged 
for suffering of every kind. 3 The evils to which mankind are 
liable had been before enclosed in a cask in their own keeping : 
Pandora in her malice removed the lid of the cask, and out flew 
these thousand evils and calamities, to exercise forever their de- 
stroying force. Hope alone remained imprisoned, and therefore 
without efficacy, as before the inviolable lid being replaced 
before she could escape. Before this incident (says the legend) 
men had lived without disease or suffering ; but now both earth 
and sea are full of mischiefs, while maladies of every description 
etalk abroad by day as well as by night,* without any hope for 
man of relief to come. 

to Prometheus as moulder of man. The expression of Aristophanes ( Avcs, 
689) Tr/laff/iarrt Trijhov does not necessarily refer to Prome'thens. 

1 Hesiod, Theog. 5G6 ; Opp. Di. 52. 2 Theog. 580 ; Opp. Di. 50-85. 

* Opp. Di. 81-90. 

4 Opp. Di. 93. Pandora does no; bring with her the cask, as the common 


The Theogony gives the legend here recounted, with some va- 
riations leaving out the part of Epimetheus altogether, as well 
as the cask of evils. Pandora is the ruin of man, simply as the 
mother and representative of the female sex. 1 And the varia- 
tions are thus useful, as they enable us to distinguish the essential 
from the accessory circumstances of the story. 

" Thus (says the poet, at the conclusion of his narrative) it is 
not possible to escape from the purposes of Zeus." 2 His mythe, 
connecting the calamitous condition of man with the malevolence 
of the supreme god, shows, first, by what cause such an unfriendly 
feeling was raised ; next, by what instrumentality its deadly re- 
sults were brought about. The human race are not indeed the 
creation, but the protected flock of Prometheus, one of the elder 
or dispossessed Titan gods : when Zeus acquires supremacy, man- 
kind along with the rest become subject to him, and are to make 
the best bargain they can respecting worship and service to be 
yielded. By the stratagem of their advocate Prometheus, Zeus 

rersion of this s*ory would have us suppose : the cask exists fast closed in 
Jie custody of Epimetheus, or of man himself, and Pandora commits the 
fatal treachery of removing the lid. The case is analogous to that of the 
closed bap; of unfavorable winds which JEolus gives into the hands of 
Odysseus, and which the guilty companions of the latter force open, to the 
entire nun of his hopes (Odyss. x. 19-50). The idea of the two casks on 
the threshhold of Zeus, lying ready for dispensation one full of evils the 
other of benefits is Homeric (Iliad, xxiv. 527) : 

Aotoi yap re TTL-&OI KaraKEiarai kv Atdf ovtiei, etc. 

Plutarch assimilates to this the mdof opened by Pandora, Consolat. ad Apol- 
Ion. c. 7. p. 105. The explanation here given of the Hesiodic passage re- 
lating to Hope, is drawn from an able article in the Wiener Jahrbuchcr, vol. 
109(1845), p. 220, Hitter; a review of Schommann's translation of the Pro- 
metheus of JEschylus. The diseases and evils are inoperative so long as they 
remain shut up in the cask : the same mischief-making influence which lets 
them out to their calamitous work, takes care that Hope shall ? till continue 
a powerless prisoner in the inside. 
1 Theog. 590. 

'E/c rj?f yap yevof larl yvvaiK&v drj^vrepduv, 
Ti?c "yctp 'ok&iQV IGTI jevof not tyvha yvvainwv 
Hypo [teya dvijTolai /zer' avdpdoi vaisrdavai, etc 
Opp Di 105. 

vn -KI] lari Atdf voov 


is cheated into such a partition of the victims as is eminently un- 
profitable to him ; whereby Ms wrath is so provoked, that he tries 
to subtract from man the use of fire. Here however his scheme 
is frustrated by the theft of Prometheus : but his second attempt 
is more successful, and he in his turn cheats the unthinking Epime- 
theus into the acceptance of a present (in spite of the peremptory 
interdict of Prometheus) by which the whole of man's happiness 
is wrecked. This legend grows out of two feelings ; partly as to 
the relations of the gods with man, partly as to the relation of 
the female sex with the male. The present gods are unkind to- 
wards man, but the old gods, with whom man's lot was originally 
cast, were much kinder and the ablest among them stands for- 
ward as the indefatigable protector of the race. Nevertheless, 
the mere excess of his craft proves the ultimate ruin of the cause 
which he espouses. He cheats Zeus out of a fair share of the 
sacrificial victim, so as both to provoke and justify a retaliation 
which he cannot be always at hand to ward off: the retaliation 
is, in his absence, consummated by a snare laid for Epimetheus 
and voluntarily accepted. And thus, though Hesiod ascribes the 
calamitous condition of man to the malevolence of Zeus, his piety 
suggests two exculpatory pleas for the latter : mankind have been 
the first to defraud Zeus of his legitimate share of the sacrifice 
and they have moreover been consenting parties to their own 
ruin. Such are the feelings, as to the relation between the gods 
and man, which have been one of the generating elements of 
this legend. The other element, a conviction of the vast mischief 
arising to man from women, whom yet they cannot dispense with, 
is frequently and strongly set forth in several of the Greek poeta 
by Simonides of Amorgos and Phokylides, not less than by 
the notorious misogynist Euripides. 

But the miseries arising from woman, however great they 
might be, did not reach Prometheus himself. For him, the rash 
champion who had ventured " to compete in sagacity " [ with 
Zeus, a different punishment was in store. Bound by heavy 
chains to a pillar, he remained fast imprisoned for several gene- 
rations : every day did an eagle prey upon his liver, and every 
night did the liver grow afresh for the next day's suffering. At 

1 Theog 534. OVVSK' epifr-o /?ouil<)f virepficvu \poviuvi. 


length Zeus, eager to enhance the glory of his favorite son Hera 
cles, permitted the latter to kill the eagle and rescue the cap- 
tive. 1 

Such is the Promethean mythe as it stands in the Hesiodic 
poems ; its earliest form, as far as we can trace. Upon it was founded 
the sublime tragedy of -tEschylus, "The Enchained Prometheus," 
together with at least one more tragedy, now lost, by the same 
author. 2 -ZEsihylus has made several important alterations; de- 
scribing the human race, not as having once enjoyed and subse- 
quently lost a state of tranquillity and enjoyment, but as originally 
feeble and wretched. He suppresses both the first trick played 
off by Prometheus upon Zeus respecting the partition of the vic- 
tim and the final formation and sending of Pandora which 
are the two most marked portions of the Hesiodic story ; while 
on the other hand he brings out prominently and enlarges upon 
the theft of fire, 3 which in Hesiod is but slightly touched. If he 
has thus relinquished the antique simplicity of the story, he has 
rendered more than ample compensation by imparting to it a gran- 
deur of ideal, a large reach of thought combined with appeals to 
our earnest and admiring sympathy, and a pregnancy of sugges- 
tion in regard to the relations between the gods and man, which 
soar far above the Hesiodic level and which render his tragedy 
the most impressive, though not the most artistically composed, of 
all Grecian dramatic productions. Prometheus there appears not 
only as the heroic champion and sufferer in the cause and for the 
protection of the human race, but also as the gifted teacher of all the 
arts, helps, and ornaments of life, amongst which fire is only one:' 
all this against the will and in defiance of the purpose of Zeus, who, 
on acquiring his empire, wished to destroy the human race and to 

1 Theog. 521-532. 

* Of the tragedy called ILpofiTj^eiif Avopsvof some few fragments yet re 
mam : IIpofuj&eiiG Tlvp<j>opoe was a satyric drama, according to Dindorf 
Welcker recognizes a third tragedy, Upojtrj&sijf Hvptyopoc, and a satyric dra- 
ma, n/>o/7i9et)f Hvpicaeve (Die Grie^hisch. Tragodien, vol. i. p. 30). Th< 
Btory of Prometheus had also been handled by Sappho in one of her lost 
songs (Servius ad Virgil. Eclog. vi. 42). 

3 Apollodorus too mentions only the theft of fire (i. 7. 1). 

4 JSuch. Prom. 442-506. 

Huaai rexvai /3poToIaiv IK 


beget some new breed. 1 Moreover, new relations between Prome- 
theus and Zeus are superadded by JEschylus. At the commence- 
ment of the struggle between Zeus and the Titan gods, Prometheus 
had vainly attempted to prevail upon the latter to conduct it with 
prudence ; but when he found that they obstinately declined all 
wise counsel, and that their ruin was inevitable, he abandoned their 
cause and joined Zeus. To him and to his advice Zeus owed the 
victory : yet the monstrous ingratitude and tyranny of the latter is 
now manifested by nailing him to a rock, for no other crime than 
because he frustrated the purpose of extinguishing the human race, 
and furnished to them the means of living with tolerable comfort.' 3 
The new ruler Zeus, insolent with his victory over the old gods, 
tramples down all right, and sets at naught sympathy and obliga- 
tion, as well towards gods as towards man. Yet the prophetic 
Prometheus, in the midst of intense suffering, is consoled by the 
foreknowledge that the time will come when Zeus must again 
send for him, release him, and invoke his aid, as the sole means 
of averting from himself dangers otherwise insurmountable. The 
security and means of continuance for mankind have now been 
placed beyond the reach of Zeus whom Prometheus proudly 
defies, glorying in his generous and successful championship, 3 de- 
spite the terrible price which he is doomed to pay for it. 

As the ^schylean Prometheus, though retaining the old linea- 
ments, has acquired a new coloring, soul and character, so he has 
also become identified with a special locality. In Hesiod, there 
is no indication of the place in which he is imprisoned ; but JEs- 
chylus places it in Scythia, 4 and the general belief of the Greeks 
supposed it to be on Mount Caucasus. So long and so firmly did 

1 JEsch. Prom. 231. 

Pporuv de rtjv TaTiamupuv "kbyov 

OVK eaxev oitdev', uW uiaTuaac yevof 

Td TTU.V, e^pT/fev d/lAo Qtriiaat veov. 
* ;Esch. Prom. 198-222. 123. 

6ia TI/V TJiav ^i^orrira fipor&v. 

3 JEsch. Prom. 169-770. 

4 Prometh. 2. See also the Fragments of the Prometheus Solutus, 177- 
179, cd. Dindorf, -where Caucasus is specially named ; but v. 719 of the Pro- 
metheus Vinctus seems to imply that Mount Caucasus is a place different 
from that to which the suffering prisoner is chained. 


this belief continue, that the Roman general Pompey, when in 
command of an army in Kolchis, made with his companion, the lit- 
erary Greek Theophanes, a special march to view the spot in 
Caucasus where Prometheus had been transfixed. 1 



HAVING briefly enumerated the gods of Greece, with their 
chief attributes as described in legend, we come to those geneal- 
ogies which connected them with historical men. 

In the retrospective faith of a Greek, the ideas of worship and 
ancestry coalesced. Every association of men, large or small, in 
whom there existed a feeling of present union, traced back that 
union to some common initial progenitor ; that progenitor being 
either the common god whom they worshipped, or some semi-divine 
person closely allied to him. What the feelings of the commu- 
nity require is, a continuous pedigree to connect them with this 
respected source of existence, beyond which they do not think of 
looking back. A series of names, placed in filiation or fraternity, 
together with a certain number of family or personal adventures 
ascribed to some of the individuals among them, constitute the 
ante-historical past through which the Greek looks back to his 
gods. The names of this genealogy are, to a great degree, gen- 
tile or local names familiar to the people, rivers, mountains, 
springs, lakes, villages, demes, etc., embodied as persons, and 
introduced as acting or suffering. They are moreover called 
kings or chiefs, but the existence of a body of subjects surround- 
ing them is tacitly implied rather than distinctly set forth ; for 
their own personal exploits or family proceedings constitute for 
the most part the whole matter of narrative. And thus the gene- 

1 Appian, Bell. Mithridat. c. 103. 


alogy was made to satisfy at once the appetite of the Greeks for 
romantic adventure, and their demand for an unbroken line of fil- 
iation between themselves and the gods. The eponymous person- 
age, from whom the community derive their name, is sometimes 
the begotten son of the local god, sometimes an indigenous man 
sprung from the earth, which is indeed itself divinized. 

It will be seen from the mere description of these genealogies 
that they included elements human and historical, as well as ele- 
ments divine and extra-historical. And if we could determine 
the time at which any genealogy was first framed, we should be able 
to assure ourselves that the men then represented as present, to- 
gether with their fathers and grandfathers, were real persons ot 
flesh and blood. But this is a point which can seldom be ascertain- 
ed ; moreover, even if it could be ascertained, we must at once set it 
aside, if we wish to look at the genealogy in the point of view of 
the Greeks. For to them, not only all the members were alike 
real, but the gods and heroes at the commencement were in a cer- 
tain sense the most real ; at least, they were the most esteemed 
and indispensable of all. The value of the genealogy consisted, 
not in its length, but in its continuity ; not (according to the feel- 
ing of modern aristocracy) in the power of setting out a prolong- 
ed series of human fathers and grandfathers, but in the sense of 
ancestral union with the primitive god. And the length of the 
series is traceable rather to humility, inasmuch as the same per- 
son who was gratified with the belief that he was descended from 
a god in the fifteenth generation, would have accounted it crimi- 
nal insolence to affirm that a god was his father or grandfather. 
In presenting to the reader those genealogies which constitute the 
supposed primitive history of Hellas, I make no pretence to dis- 
tinguish names real and historical from fictitious creations ; partly 
because I have no evidence upon which to draw the line, and part- 
ly because by attempting it I should altogether depart from the 
genuine Grecian point of view. 

Nor is it possible to do more than exhibit a certain selection of 
such as were most current and interesting ; for the total number 
of them which found place in Grecian faith exceeds computation. 
As a general rule, every deme, every gens, every aggregate of 
men accustomed to combined action, religious or political, had its 
own. The small and unimportant demes into which Attica wn? 

VOL. i. 4* Goc. 


divided had each its ancestral god and heroes, just as much a* 
the great Athens herself. Even among the villages of Phokis, 
which Pausanias will hardly permit himself to call towns, deduc- 
tions of legendary antiquity were not wanting. And it is impor- 
tant to bear in mind, when we are reading the legendary geneal- 
ogies of Argos, or Sparta, or Thebes, that these are merely 
samples amidst an extensive class, all perfectly analogous, and 
all exhibiting the religious and patriotic retrospect of some frac- 
tion of the Hellenic world. They are no more matter of his- 
torical tradition than any of the thousand other legendary genealo- 
gies which men delighted to recall to memory at the periodical 
festivals of their gens, their dome, or their village. 

With these few prefatory remarks, I proceed to notice the most 
conspicuous of the Grecian heroic pedigrees, and first, that of 

The earliest name in Argeian antiquity is that of Inachus, the 
son of Oceanus and Tethys, who gave his name to the river flow- 
ing under the walls of the town. According to the chronological 
computations of those who regarded the mythical genealogies as 
substantive history, and who allotted a given number of years to 
each generation, the reign of Inachus was placed 1986 B. c., or 
about 1100 years prior to the commencement of the recorded 
Olympiads. 1 

The sons of Inachus were Phoroneus and ^Egialeus ; both of 
whom however were sometimes represented as autochthonous 
men, the one in the territory of Argos, the other in that of Sik- 
yen. .ZEgialeus gave his name to the north-western region of 
the Peloponnesus, on the southern coast of the Corinthian Gulf. 2 
The name of Phoroneus was of great celebrity in the Argeian 
mythical genealogies, and furnished both the title and the sub- 
ject of the ancient poem called Phoronis, in which he is styled 
" the father of mortal men." 3 He is said to have imparted to 

1 Apollodor. ii. 1. Mr. Fynes Clinton docs not admit the historical reality 
of Inachus ; but he places Phoroneus seventeen generations, or 570 years 
prior to the Trojan war, 978 years earlier than the first recorded Olympiad 
See Fasti Hellenici, vol. iii. c. 1. p. 19. 

* Pausan. ii. 5, 4. 

3 See Duntzer, Fragm. Epic. Grsec. p. 57. The Argeian author Akusilarw 
treated Phoroneus as the first of men, Fragm. 14. Didot an. Clem. Alex 

10. -HERE -THE HERyEOX gj 

mankind, who had before him lived altogether isolated, the first 
notiou and habits of social existence, and even the first knowl- 
edge of fire : his dominion extended over the whole Peloponne- 
sus. His tomb at Argos, and seemingly also the place called the 
Phoronic city, in which he formed the first settlement of man- 
kind, were still shown in the days of Pausanias. 1 The offspring 
of Phoroneus, by the nymph Teledike, were Apis and Niobe. 
Apis, a harsh ruler, was put to death by Thelxion and Telchin, 
having given to Peloponnesus the name of Apia : 2 he was suc- 
ceeded byArgos, the son of his sister Niobe by the god Zeus. 
From this sovereign Peloponnesus was denominated Argos. By 
his wife Evadne, daughter of Strymon, 3 he had four sons, Ekba- 
sus, Peiras, Epidaurus, and Kriasus. Ekbasus was succeeded by 
his son Agenor, and he again by his son Argos Panoptes, a 

Stromat i. p. 321. ^opuvr/ef, a synonym for Argeians; Theocrit. Idyll. 
xxv. 200. 

1 Apollodor. ii. 1, 1 ; Pausan. ii. 15, 5; 19. 5 ; 20, 3. 

* Apis in ^Eschylus is totally different: larpofiavTif or medical charmer, 
son of Apollo, who comes across the gulf from Naupactus, purifies the ter- 
ritory of Argos from noxious monsters, and gives to it the name of Apia 
(jEschyl. Suppl. 265). Compare Steph. Byz. v. 'A.mri ; Soph. (Edip. 
Colon. 1303. The name 'Am'a for Peloponnesus remains still a mystery, 
even after the attempt of Buttmann (Lexilogus, s. 19) to throw light upon 

Eusebius asserts that Niobe was the wife of Inachus and mother- of Pho- 
roneus, and pointedly contradicts those who call her daughter of Phoroneus 
(j>acrl 6e Tivef Nto/?7?v $opuveu flvai Bvyarepa, onsp OVK u?.J7$ef (Chronic, 
p. 23, ed. Scalig.) : his positive tone is curious, upon such a matter. 

Hellanicus in his Argolica stated that Phoroneus had three sons, Pelasgus, 
lasus and Agenor, who at the death of their father divided his possessions 
by lot. Pelasgus acquired the country near the river Erasinus, and built the 
citadel of Larissa : lasus obtained the portion near to Elis. After their 
decease, the younger brother Age"nor invaded and conquered the country, at 
the head of a large body of horse. It was from these three persons that 
Argos derived three epithets which are attached to it in the Homeric 
poems "Apyof ne^aoyinbv, '\aaov, 'ImrofloTov (Hellanik. Fr. 38, ed. Didot j 
Phavorin. v. "Apyof ). This is a specimen of the way in which legendary 
persons as well as legendary everts were got up to furnish an explanation 
of Homeric epithets : we may remark as singular, that Hellanicus seems to 
apply HefaaytKov 'Apyof to a portion of Peloponnesus, while the Homeric 
Catalogue applies it to Thessaly. 

3 Apollod. 1. c. The mention of Strymon seems connected with .Sschylus, 
Suppl. 255. 


very powerful prince who is said to have had eyes distributed 
over all his body, and to have liberated Peloponnesus from sev- 
eral monsters and wild animals which infested it : l Akusilaus and 
^Eschylus make this Argos an earth-born person, while Phere- 
kydes reports him as son of Arestor. lasus was the son of Argos 
Panoptes by Ismene, daughter of Asopus. According to the 
authors whom Apollodorus and Pausanias prefer, the celebrated 
16 was his daughter : but the Hesiodic epic (as well as Akusilaus) 
represented her as daughter of Peiras, while JEschylus and 
Kastor the chronologist affirmed the primitive king Inachus to 
have been her father. 2 A favorite theme, as well for the ancient 
genealogical poets as for the Attic tragedians, were the adven- 
tures of 16, of whom, while priestess of Here, at the ancient 
and renowned Heneon between Mykente and Argos, Zeus 
became amorous. When Here discovered the intrigue and 
taxed him with it, he denied the charge, and metamorphosed 16 
into a white cow. Here, requiring that the cow should be sur- 
rendered to her, placed her under the keeping of Argos Panop- 
tes ; but this guardian was slain by Hermes, at the command of 
Zeus : and Here then drove the cow 16 away from her native 
land by means of the incessant stinging of a gad-fly, which com- 
pelled her to wander without repose or sustenance over an 
immeasurable extent of foreign regions. The wandering 16 gave 
her name to the Ionian Gulf, traversed Epirus and Illyria, passed 
the chain of Mount Hsemus and the lofty summits of Caucasus, 
and swam across the Thracian or Cimmerian Bosporus (which 
also from her derived its appellation) into Asia. She then went 
through Scythia, Cimmeria, and many Asiatic regions, until she 
arrived in Egypt, where Zeus at length bestowed upon her rest, 
restored her to her original form, and enabled her to give birth 
to his black son Epaphos. 3 

1 Akusil. Fragm. 17, cd. Didot; JEsch. Prometh. 568 ; Phcrekyd. Fragm. 
22, ed. Didot ; Hcsiod. ^Egimius. Fr. 2, p. 56, cd. DQntzer : among the 
varieties of the story, one was that Argos was changed into a peacock 
(Schol. Aristoph. Aves, 102). Macrobius (i. 19) considers Argos as an alle- 
gorical expression of the starry heaven ; an idea which Panofska also 
upholds in one of the recent Abhandlungen of the Berlin Academy. 1837, p 
?21 tetj. 

* Apollod. ii. 1, 1 ; Pausan. 5i. 16, 1 ; JEsch. Prom. v. 590-663. 

1 JEscM. Prom. v. 790-850; Apollod. ii. 1. ./Eschylus in the Supplied 


Such is a general sketch of the adventures which the aucienf 
poets, epic, lyric, and tragic, and the logographers after them, 
connect with the name of the Argeian 16, one of the numerous 
tales which the fancy of the Greeks deduced from the amorous 
dispositions of Zeus and the jealousy of Here. That the scene 
should be laid in the Argeian territory appears natural, when we 
recollect that both Argos and Mykenie were under the special 
guardianship of Here, and that the Heraon between the two 
was one of the oldest and most celebrated temples in which she 
was worshipped. It is useful to compare this amusing fiction 
with the representation reportel to us by Herodotus, and derived 
by him as well from Phoenician as from Persian antiquarians, of 
the circumstances which occasioned the transit of 16 from Argos 
to Egypt, an event recognized by all of them as historical 
matter of fact. According to the Persians, a Phoenician vessel 
had arrived at the port near Argos, freighted with goods intended 
for sale to the inhabitants of the country. After the vessel had 
remained a few days, and disposed of most of her cargo, several 

gives a different version of the wanderings of 16 from that which appears in 
the Prometheus : in the former drama he carries her through Phrygia, Mysia, 
Lydia, Pamphylia and Cilicia into Egypt (Supplic. 544-566) : nothing is 
there said about Prometheus, or Caucasus or Scythia, etc. 

The track set forth in the Supplkes is thus geographically intelligible . 
that in the Prometheus (though the most noticed of the two) defies all com- 
prehension, even as a consistent fiction ; nor has the erudition of the com- 
mentators been successful in clearing it up. See Schutz, Excurs. iv. ad 
Prometh. Vinct. pp. 144-149 ; Welcker, ^Eschylische Trilogie, pp. 127-146, 
and especially Volcker, Mythische Geographic der Griech. und Romer, part 
i. pp. 3-13. 

The Greek inhabitants at Tarsus in Cilicia traced their origin to Argos: 
their story was, that Triptolemus had been sent forth from that town in 
quest of the wandering 16, that he had followed her to Tyre, and then 
renounced the search in despair. He and his companions then settled partly 
at Tarsus, partly at Antioch (Strabo, xiv. 673; xv. 750). This is the 
story of Kadmos and Europe inverted, as happens so often with the Grecian 

Homer calls Hermes 'Apyet^ovi-T/f ; but this epithet hardly affords sum 
cient proof that he was acquainted with the mythe of 16, as Volcker sup 
poses : it cannot be traced higher than Hesiod. According to some authors, 
whom Cicero copies, it was on account of the murder of Argos that Hermea 
was obliged to leave Greece and go into Egypt : then it was that he taughi 
the Egyptians laws and letters fl)e Natur. Deor. iii. 22). 


Argeian women, and among them 16 the king's daughter, coming 
on board to purchase, were seized and carried off by the crew, 
who sold 16 in Egypt. 1 The Phoenician antiquarians, however, 
while they admitted the circumstance that 16 had left her own 
country in one of their vessels, gave a different color to the whole 
by affirming that she emigrated voluntarily, having been engaged 
in an amour with the captain of the vessel, and fearing that her 
parents might come to the knowledge of her pregnancy. Both 
Persians and Phoenicians described the abduction of 16 as the 
first of a series of similar acts between Greeks and Asiatics, 
committed each in revenge for the preceding. First came the 
rape of Europe from Phoenicia by Grecian adventurers, per- 
haps, as Herodotus supposed, by Kretans : next, the abduction 
of Medeia from Kolchis by Jason, which occasioned the retaliatory 
act of Paris, when he stole away Helena from Menelaos. Up to 
this point the seizures of women by Greeks from Asiatics, and 
by Asiatics from Greeks, had been equivalents both in number 
and in wrong. But the Greeks now thought fit to equip a vast 
conjoint expedition to recover Helen, in the course of which they 
took and sacked Troy. The invasions of Greece by Darius and 
Xerxes were intended, according to the Persian antiquarians, as 
a long-delayed retribution for the injury inflicted on the Asiatics 
by Agamemnon and his followers. 2 

The account thus given of the adventures of 16, when con- 
trasted with the genuine legend, is interesting, as it tends to illus* 

1 The story in Parthenius (Narrat. 1 ) is built upon this version of 16's 

2 Herodot. i. 1-6. Pausanias (ii. 15, 1) will not undertake to determine 
whether the account given by Herodotus, or that of the old legend, respect- 
ing the cause which carried 16 from Argos to Egypt, is the true one : Ephorus 
(ap. Schol. Apoll. Rhod. ii. 168) repeats the abduction of 16 to Egypt, by the 
Phoenicians, subjoining a strange account of the Etymology of the name 
Bosporus. The remarks of Plutarch on the narrative of Herodotus are 
curious : he adduces as one proof of the Hcmof/deia (bad feeling) of Herod- 
otus, that the latter inserts so discreditable a narrative respecting 16, daugh- 
ter of Inachus, " whom all Greeks believe to have been divinized by foreign- 
ers, to have given name to seas and straits, and to be the source of the most 
Illustrious regal families." He also blames Herodotus for rejecting Epaphus, 
16, lasus and Argos, as highest members of the Perseid genealogy. He 
calls Herodotus <]>iloj3upl3apoe /Plutarch, De Malign. Herodoti, c. xi. xii. xir 
pp. 856, 857). 


trate the phenomenon which early Grecian history is constantly 
presenting to us. - the way in which the epical furniture of an 
unknown past is recast and newly colored so as to meet those 
changes which take place in the retrospective feelings of the 
present. The religious and poetical character of the old legend 
disappears : nothing remains except the names of persons and 
places, and the voyage from Argos to Egypt : we have in exchange 
a sober, quasi-historical narrative, the value of which consists in 
its bearing on the grand contemporary conflicts between Persia 
and Greece, which filled the imagination of Herodotus and his 

To proceed with the genealogy of the kings of Argos, lasus 
was succeeded by Krotopus, son of his brother Agenor ; Kroto- 
pus by Sthenelas, and he again by Gelanor. 1 In the reign of the 
latter, Danaos came with his fifty daughters from Egypt to 
Argos ; and here we find another of those romantic adventures 
which so agreeably decorate the barrenness of the mythical gen- 
ealogies. Danaos and JEgyptos were two brothers descending 
from Epaphos, son of 16 : JEgyptos had fifty sons, who were 
eager to marry the fifty daughters of Danaos, in spite of the 
strongest repugnance of the latter. To escape such a necessity, 
Danaos placed his fifty daughters on board of a penteconter (or 
vessel with fifty oars) and sought refuge at Argos ; touching in 
his voyage at the island of Rhodes, where he erected a statue of 
Athene at Lindos, which was long exhibited as a memorial of his 

1 It would be an unprofitable fatigue to enumerate the multiplied and irre- 
concilable discrepancies in regard to every step of this old Argeian geneal- 
ogy. Whoever desires to sec them brought together, may consult Schubart, 
Qucestiones in Antiquitatem Heroicam, Marpurg, 1832, capp. 1 and 2. 

The remarks which Schubart makes (p. 35) upon Pctit-Radel's Chrono- 
logical Tables will be assented to by those who follow the unceasing string 
of contradictions, without any sufficient reason to believe that any one of 
them is more worthy of trust than the remainder, which he has cited : 
" Videant alii, quomodo genealogias heroicas, et chronologize rationes, in 
concordiam redigant Ipse abstineo, probe persuasus, stemmata vera, his- 
torise fide comprobata, in systema chronologiaa redigi posse : at ore per 
Bzecnla tradita, a poctis reficta, saepe mutata, prout fabula postulare ideba 
tnr, ab historiarum deinde conditoribus restituta, scilicet, brevi qualia 
prostant stemmata chronologic secundum unnos distributae vincul scmpei 
recusatura esse." 

88 msToirr OF GREECE. 

passage. .ZEgyptos and his sons followed them to Argos and still 
pressed their suit, to which Danaos found himself compelled to 
assent ; but on the wedding night he furnished each of his daugh- 
ters with a dagger, and 'enjoined them to murder their husbands 
during the hour of sleep. His orders were obeyed by all, with 
the single exception of Hypermnestra, who preserved her hus- 
band Lynkeus, incurring displeasure and punishment from her 
father. He afterwards, however, pardoned her ; and when, by 
the voluntary abdication of Gelanor, he became king of Argos, 
Lynkeus was recognized as his son-in-law and ultimately suc- 
ceeded him. The remaining daughters, having been purified by 
Athene and Hermes, were given in marriage to the victors in a 
gymnic contest publicly proclaimed. From Danaos was derived 
the name of Danai, applied to the inhabitants of the Argeian 
territory, 1 and to the Homeric Greeks generally. 

From the legend of the Dana'ides we pass to two barren names 
of kings, Lynkeus and his son Abas. The two sons of Abas 
were Akrisios and Prestos, who, after much dissension, divided 
between them the Argeian territory ; Akrisios ruling at Argos, 
and Proetos at Tiryns. The families of both formed the theme 
of romantic stories. To pass over for the present the legend of 
Bellerophon, and the unrequited passion which the wife of Prcetos 
conceived for him, we are told that the daughters of Proetos, 
beautiful, and solicited in marriage by suitors from all Greece r 
were smitten with leprosy and driven mad, wandering in unseemly 
guise throughout Peloponnesus. The visitation had overtaken 
them, according to Hesiod, because they refused to take part in 
the Bacchic rites; according to Pherekydes and the Argeian 
Akusilaus, 2 because they had treated scornfully the wooden statue 

1 Apollod. ii. 1. The Snppliccs of yEschylus is the commencing drama 
of a trilogy on this subject of the Danafdes, 'iKerldef, At'ywTmot, Aavat- 
def. Welcker, Griechisch. Tragodien, vol. i. p. 48 : the two latter are lost. 
The old epic poem called Danats or DanaTdes, which is mentioned in the 
Tabula Iliaca as containing 5000 verses, has perished, and is unfortunately 
, very little alluded to: see Ddntzer, Epic. Graec. Fragm. p. 3; Welcker, Dcr 
Episch. Kyklns, p. 35. 

Apollod. I.e.; Pherekyd. ap. Schol. Horn. Odyss. xv. 225; Ilcsiod, 
Fragm. Marktsch. Fr. 36, 37, 38. These Fragments belong to the Hesiodic 
Catalogue of Women : Apollodorus seems to refer to some other of the 
numerous Hesiodic poems, Diodorus (iv. 68) assigns the anger of Diony 
sos as the cause. 


and simple equipments of Here : the religious character of the 
old legend here displays itself in a remarkable manner. Unable 
to cure his daughters, Prcetos invoked the aid of the renowned 
Pylian prophet and leech, Melampus son of Amythaon, who 
undertook to remove the malady on condition of being rewarded 
with the third part of the kingdom. Proctos indignantly refused 
these conditions : but the state of his daughters becoming aggra- 
vated and intolerable, he was compelled again to apply to 
Melampus ; who, on the second request, raised his demands still 
higher, and required another third of the kingdom for his brother 
Bias. These terms being acceded to, he performed his part of 
the covenant. He appeased the wrath of Here by prayer and 
sacrifice; or, according to another account, he approached the 
deranged women at the head of a troop of young men, with 
shouting and ecstatic dance, the ceremonies appropriate to the 
Bacchic worship of Dionysos, and in this manner effected their 
cure. Melampus, a name celebrated in many different Grecian 
mythes, is the legendary founder and progenitor of a great and 
long-continued family of prophets. He and his brother Bias 
became kings of separate portions of the Argeian territory : he 
is recognized as ruler there even hi the Odyssey, and the prophet 
Theoklymenos, his grandson, is protected and carried to Ithaca 
by Telemachus. 1 Herodotus also alludes to the cure of the 
women, and to the double kingdom of Melampus and Bias in the 
Argeian land : he recognizes Melampus as the first person who 
introduced to the knowledge of the Greeks the name and wor- 
ship of Dionysos, with its appropriate sacrifices and phallic pro- 
cessions. Here again he historicizes various features of the old 
legend in a manner not unworthy of notice. 2 

But Danae, the daughter of Akrisios, with her son Perseus 

1 Odyss. xv. 240-256. 

1 Herod, ix. 34 ; ii. 49: compare Pausan. ii. 18,4. Instead of the Free- 
tides, or daughters of Prcetos, it is the Argeian women generally whom he 
represents Melampus as having cured, and the Argeians generally who send 
to Pylus to invoke his aid : the heroic personality which pervades the prim- 
itive story Las disappeared. 

Kallimachus notices the Proetid virgins as the parties suffering from 
madness, but he treats Artemis as the healing influence (Hymn, ad Dianam 


acquired still greater celebrity than her cousins the Proetides 
An oracle had apprized Akrisios that his daughter would give 
birth to a son by whose hand he would himself be slain. To 
guard against this danger, he imprisoned Danae in a chamber of 
brass under ground. But the god Zeus had become amorous of 
her, and found means to descend through the roof in the form of 
a shower of gold : the consequence of his visits was the birth of 
Perseus. When Akrisios discovered that his daughter had given 
existence to a son, he enclosed both the mother and the child in a 
coffer, which he cast into the sea. 1 The coffer was carried to the 
isle of Seriphos, where Diktys, brother of the king Polydektes, 
fished it up, and rescued both Danae and Perseus. The exploits 
of Perseus, when he grew up, against the three Phorkides or 
daughters of Phorkys, and the three Gorgons, are among the 
most marvellous and imaginative in all Grecian legend : they 
bear a stamp almost Oriental. I shall not here repeat the details 
of those unparalleled hazards which the special favor of Athene en- 
abled him to overcome, and which ended in his bringing back from 
Libya the terrific head of the Gorgon Medusa, endued with the 
property of turning every one who looked upon it into stone. In 
his return, he rescued Andromeda, daughter of Kepheus, who 
had been exposed to be devoured by a sea-monster, and brought 
her back as his wife. Akrisios trembled to see him after this 
victorious expedition, and retired into Thessaly to avoid him ; but 
Perseus followed him thither, and having succeeded in calming 
his apprehensions, became competitor in a gymnic contest where 
his grandfather was among the spectators. By an incautious 
swing of his quoit, he unintentionally struck Akrisios, and caused 
his death : the predictions of the oracle were thus at last fulfilled. 
Stung with remorse at the catastrophe, and unwilling to return to 
Argos, which had been the principality of Akrisios, Perseus 
made an exchange with Megapenthes, son of Proetos king of 
Tiryns. Megapenthes became king of Argos, and Perseus of 
Tiryns : moreover, the latter founded, within ten miles of Argos, 
the far -fame I city of Mykenas. The massive walls of this city, 

1 The beautiful fragment of Simonides (Fragm. vii. ed. Gaisford. Poet. 
Man.), describing Danae and the child thus exposed, is familiar to evcrj 


like those of Tiryns, of which remains are yet to be seen, were 
built for him by the Lykian Cyclopes. 1 

We here reach the commencement of the Perseid dynasty of 
Mykenae. It should be noticed, however, that there were among 
the ancient legends contradictory accounts of the foundation of 
this city. Both the Odyssey and the Great Eoiai enumerated, 
among the heroines, Mykene, the Eponyma of the city; the 
former poem classifying her with Tyro and Alkmene, the latter 
describing her as the daughter of Inachus and wife of Arestor. 
And Akusilaus mentioned an Eponymus Mykeneus, the son of 
Sparton and grandson of Phoroneus. 2 

The prophetic family of Melampus maintained itself in one 
of the three parts of the divided Argeian kingdom for five gene- 
rations, down to Amphiaraos and his sons Alkmjeon and Amphi 
lochos. The dynasty of his brother Bias, and that of Megapen- 
thes, son of Prostos, continued each for four generations : a list 
of barren names fills up the interval. 3 The Perseids of Mykenae 
boasted a descent long and glorious, heroic as well as historical, 
continuing down to the last sovereigns of Sparta. 4 The issue of 
Perseus was numerous : his son Alkceos was father of Amphi- 
tryon ; another of his sons, Elektryon, was father of Alkme"ne ; 5 a 
third, Sthenelos, father of Eurystheus. 

After the death of Perseus, Alkoeos and Amphitryon dwelt at 
Tiryns. The latter became engaged in a quarrel with Elektryon 

1 Pans. ii. 15, 4 ; ii. 16, 5. Apollod. ii. 2. Pherekyd. Fragm. 26, Dind. 

* Odyss. ii. 120. Hesiod. Fragment. 154. Marktscheff. Akusil. Fragm. 
16. Pausan. ii. 16, 4. Hekatajus derived the name of the town from the 
(LVKTjs of the sword of Perseus (Fragm. 360, Dind.). The Schol. ad Eurip. 
Orest. 1247, mentions Mykeneus as son of Sparton, but grandson of Phegeus 
the brother of Phoroneus. 

3 Pausan. ii. 18, 4. 4 Herodot. vi. 53. 

* In the Hesiodic Shield of Herakles, Alkmene is distinctly mentioned as 
daughter of Elektryon ; the genealogical poet, Asios, called her the daugh- 
ter of Amphiaraos and Eriphyle (Asii Fragm. 4, ed. Markt. p. 412). The 
date of Asios cannot be precisely fixed; but he may be probably assigned to 
an epoch between the 30th and 40th Olympiad. 

Asios must have adopted a totally different legend respecting the birth 
of H6rr.kles and the circumstances preceding it, among which the deaths of 
her father and brothers are highly influential. Nor could he have accepted 
the received chronology of the sieges of Thebes and Troy. 


respecting cattle, and in a fit of passion killed him r 1 moreover 
the piratical Taphians from the west coast of Akarnania invaded 
the country, and slew the sons of Elektryon, so that Alkmene 
alone was left of that family. She was engaged to wed Amphi- 
tryon ; but she bound him by oath not to consummate the mar- 
riage until he had avenged upon the Telebooe the death of her 
brothers. Amphitryon, compelled to flee the country as the 
murderer of his uncle, took refuge in Thebes, whither Alkmene 
accompanied him : Sthenelos was left in possession of Tiryns. 
The Kadmeians of Thabes, together with the Locrians and Pho- 
cians, supplied Amphitryon with troops, which he conducted 
against the Telebooe and the Taphians :~ yet he could not have 
subdued them without the aid of Komgetho, daughter of the 
Taphian king Pterelaus, who conceived a passion for him, and 
cut off from her father's head the golden lock to which Poseidon 
had attached the gift of immortality. 3 Having conquered and 
expelled his enemies, Amphitryon returned to Thebes, impatient 
to consummate his marriage: but Zeus on the wedding-night 
assumed his form and visited Alkmene before him : he had deter- 
mined to produce from her a son superior to all his prior offspring, 
"a specimen of invincible force both to gods and men." 4 At the 
proper time, Alkmene was delivered of twin sons : Herakles 
the offspring of Zeus, the inferior and unlionored Iphikles, 
offspring of Amphitryon. 5 

When Alkmene was on the point of being delivered at Thebes, 
Zeus publicly boasted among the assembled gods, at the instiga- 
tion of the mischief-making Ate, that there was on that day about 

1 So runs the old legend in the Hcsiodic Shield of HCraklcs (12-82). 
Apollodorus (or Pherekydes, whom he follows) softens it down, and repre- 
sents the death of Elektryon as accidentally caused by Amphitryon. 
(Apollod. ii. 4, 6. Pherekydes, Fragm. 27, Bind.) 

* Hesiod, Scut. Here. 24. Theocrit. Idyll, xxiv. 4. Teleboas, the Epo- 
nym of these marauding people, was son of Poseidon (Anaximander ap. 
Athense. xi. p. 498). 

3 Apollod. ii. 4, 7. Compare the fable of Nisus at Megara, infra, chap 
xii. p. 302. 

4 ITesiod, Scut. Here. 29. o<t>pa -deolan 'AixSpuat r' u^.^>rarr/CLv apfc 
il.KTr)pa forever;. 

* Ilesiod. Sc. II. 50-56. 


io be born on earth, from his breed, a son who should rule over 
all his neighbors. Here treated this as an empty boast, calling 
upon him to bind himself by an irremissible oath that the pre- 
diction should be realized. Zeus incautiously pledged his sol- 
emn word ; upon which Here darted swiftly down from Olympus 
to the Achaic Argos, where the wife of Sthenelos (son of Per- 
seus, and therefore grandson of Zeus) was already seven months 
gone with child. By the aid of the Eileithyioc, the special god- 
desses of parturition, she caused Eurystheus, the son of Sthene- 
los, to be born before his time on that very day, while she 
retarded the delivery of Alkmene. Then returning to Olympus, 
she announced the fact to Zeus : " The good man Eurystheus, 
son of the Perseid Sthenelos, is this day born of thy loins : the 
sceptre of the Argeians worthily belongs to him." Zeus was 
thunderstruck at the consummation which he had improvidently 
bound himself to accomplish. He seized Ate his evil counsellor 
by the hair, and hurled her forever away from Olympus : but he 
had no power to avert the ascendency of Eurystheus and the 
servitude of Herakles. " Many a pang did he suffer, when he 
saw his favorite son going through his degrading toil in the tasks 
imposed upon him by Eurystheus." 1 

The legend, of unquestionable antiquity, here transcribed from 
the Iliad, is one of the most pregnant and characteristic in the 
Grecian mythology. It explains, according to the religious ideas 
familiar to the old epic poets, both the distinguishing attributes 
and the endless toil and endurances of Herakles, the most 
renowned and most ubiquitous of all the semi-divine personages 
worshipped by the Hellenes, a being of irresistible force, and 
especially beloved by Zeus, yet condemned constantly to labor 
for others and to obey the commands of a worthless and cowardly 
persecutor. His recompense is reserved to the close of his career, 
when his afflicting trials are brought to a close: he is then 
admitted to the godhead and receives in marriage Hebe. 2 The 

Homer, Iliad, xix. 90-133 ; also viii. 361. 

T?;v alel oreva^eo^'. W ibv 'ikov vlbv bpfjro 
"Epyov uet/cef e^ovra, VTT' 'Evpva^f/os dr$Awv. 

2 Hcsiod, Theogon. 951, re^.eaaf cfrovocvraf ae$/loi'f. Horn. Odyss. xi. 
620; Hesiod, Eoeae, Fragm. 24, Diintzer, p. 36, novnoo-arov KOI upiatcv 


twelve labors, as they are called, too notorious to be here detailed, 
form a very small fraction of tla e exploits of this mighty being, 
which filled the Herakleian epics of the ancient poets. He is 
found not only in most parts of Hellas, but throughout all the 
riher regions then known to the Greeks, from Gades to the river 
Thermodon in the Euxine and to Scythia, overcoming all diffi- 
culties and vanquishing all opponents. Distinguished families 
are everywhere to be traced who bear his patronymic, and glory in 
the belief that they are his descendants. Among Achaeans, Kad- 
meians, and Dorians, Herakles is venerated : the latter especially 
'reat him as their principal hero, the Patron Hero- God of the 
race : the Herakleids form among all Dorians a privileged gens, 
in which at Sparta the special lineage of the two kings was 

His character lends itself to mythes countless in number as 
well as disparate in their character. The irresistible force 
remains constant, but it is sometimes applied with reckless vio- 
lence against friends as well as enemies, sometimes devoted to 
the relief of the oppressed. The comic writers often brought 
him out as a coarse and stupid glutton, while the Athenian phi- 
losopher Prodikos, without at all distorting the type, extracted 
from it the simple, impressive, and imperishable apologue still 
known as the Choice of Hercules. 

After the death and apotheosis of Herakles, his son Hyllos 
and his other children were expelled and persecuted by Eurys- 
theus : the fear of his vengeance deterred both the Trachinian 
king Keyx and the Thebans from harboring them, and the 
Athenians alone were generous enough to brave the risk of offer- 
ing them shelter. Eurystheus invaded Attica, but perished in 
the attempt by the hand of Hyllos, or by that of lolaos, the old 
companion and nephew of Herakles. 1 The chivalrous courage 
which the Athenians had on this occasion displayed in behalf of 
oppressed innocence, was a favorite theme for subsequent eulogy 
by Attic poets and orators. 

All the sons of Eurystheus lost their lives in the battle along 
with him, so that the Perseid family was now represented only 
by the Herakleids, who collected an army and endeavored to 

1 Apollod. ii. 8, 1 He:atae. ap. Longin. c. 27 ; Diodor. iv. 57 


recover the possessions from which they had been expelled. The 
united forces of lonians, Achseans, and Arcadians, then inhabit- 
ing Peloponnesus, met the invaders at the isthmus, when Hyllos, 
the eldest of the sons of Herakles, proposed that the contest 
should be determined by a single combat between himself and 
any champion of the opposing army. It was agreed, that if 
Hyllos were victorious, the Herakleids should be restored to 
their possessions if he were vanquished, that they should 
forego all claim for the space of a hundred years, or fifty years, 
or three generations, for in the specification of the time, 
accounts differ. Echemos, the hero of Tegea in Arcadia, ac- 
cepted the challenge, and Hyllos was slain in the encounter ; iu 
consequence of which the Herakleids retired, and resided along 
with the Dorians under the protection of JEgimios, son of Dorus. 1 
As soon as the stipulated period of truce had expired, they 
renewed their attempt upon Peloponnesus conjointly with the 
Dorians, and with complete success : the great Dorian establish- 
ments of Argos, Sparta, and Messenia were the result. The 
details of this victorious invasion will be hereafter recounted. 

Sikyon, Phlios, Epidauros, and Trrezen 2 all boasted of 
respected eponyms arid a genealogy of dignified length, not 
exempt from the usual discrepancies but all just as much 
entitled to a place on the tablet of history as the more renowned 
JEolids or Herakleids. I omit them here because I wish to 
impress upon the reader's mind the salient features and character 
of the legendary world, not to load his memory with a full 
list of legendary names. 

1 Herodot. ix. 26 ; Diodor. iv. 58. 

* Pausan. ii. 5, 5 ; 12, 5 ; 26, 3. His statements indicate how much the 
predominance of a powerful neighbor like Argos tended < alter the genea.1 
ogies of these inferior towns. 




IN the Hesiodic Theogony, as well as in the " Works and 
Days," the legend of Prometheus and Epimetheus presents an 
import religious, ethical, and social, and in this sense it is carried 
forward by jEschylus ; but to neither of the characters is any 
genealogical function assigned. The Hesiodic Catalogue of 
Women brought both of them into the stream of Grecian legend- 
ary lineage, representing Deukalion as the son of Prometheus 
and Pandora, and seemingly his wife Pyrrha as daughter of 
Epimetheus. 1 

Deukalion is important in Grecian mythical narrative under 
two points of view. First, he is the person specially saved at 
the time of the general deluge : next, he is the father of Hell6n, 
the great eponym of the Hellenic race ; at least this was the 
more current story, though there were other statements which 
made Hellen the son of Zeus. 

The name of Deukalion is originally connected with the 
Lokrian towns of Kynos and Opus, and with the race of the 
Leleges, but he appears finally as settled in Thessaly, and ruling 
in the portion of that country called Phthiotis. 2 According to 
what seems to have been the old legendary account, it is the 

1 Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1085. Other accounts of the genealogy 
of Deukalion are given in the Schol. ad Homer. Odyss. x. 2, on the author 
ity both of Hesiod and Akusilaus. 

1 Hesiodic Catalog. Fragm. xi.; Gaisf. Ixx. Dilntzer 

"Hroi jap Ao/cpdf Ae^eyuv TjyfjoaTo haiJv, 
Toif pa KOTE KpoviSijf Zet)f, ii 
Aexrotif IK yaiijf Adaf nope 

The reputed lineage of Deukalion continued in Phthia down to the time 
of Dikaearchus, if we may judge from the old Phthiot Pherckrates, whom 
he introduced in one of his dialogues as a disputant, and whom he expressly 
announced as a descendant of Deukalion (Cicero, Tuscul. Disp. i. 10). 


deluge which transferred him from the one to the other ; but ac- 
cording to another statement, framed in more historicizing times, 
he conducted a body of Kuretes and Leleges into Thessaly, and 
expelled the prior Pelasgian occupants. 1 

The enormous iniquity with which earth was contaminated 
as Apollodorus says, by the then existing brazen race, or as 
others say, by the fifty monstrous sons of Lykaon provoked 
Zeus to send a general deluge. 2 An unremitting and terrible 
rain laid the whole of Greece under water, except the highest 
mountain-tops, whereon a few stragglers found refuge. Deuka- 
lion was saved in a chest or ark, which he had been forewarned 
by his father Prometheus to construct. After floating for nine 
days on the water, he at length landed on the summit of Mount 
Parnassus. Zeus having sent Hermes to him, promising to grant 
whatever he asked, he prayed that men and companions might 
be sent to him in his solitude : accordingly Zeus directed both 
him and Pyrrha to cast stones over their heads : those cast by 
Pyrrha became women, those by Deukalion men. And thus the 
" stony race of men " (if we may be allowed to translate an ety- 
mology which the Greek language presents exactly, and which 
has not been disdained by Hesiod, by Pindar, by Epicharmus. 
and by Virgil) came to tenant the soil of Greece. 3 Deukalion 

1 The latter account is given by Dionys. Halic. i. 1 7 ; the former seems to 
have been given by Hellanikus, who affirmed that the ark after the deluge 
stopped upon Mount Othrys, and not upon Mount Parnassus ( Schol. Find. 
ut. sup.) the former being suitable for a settlement in Thessaly. 

Pyrrha is the eponymous heroine of Pyrrhrea or Pyrrha, the ancient name 
of a portion of Thessaly (Rhianus, Fragm. 18. p. 71, ed, Diintzer). 

Hellanikus had written a work, no\v lost, entitled AevKalauveia : all the 
fragments of it which are cited have reference to places in Thessaly, Lokris 
and Phokis. See Preller, ad Hellanitum, p. 12 (Dorpt. 1840). Probably 
Hellanikus is the main source of the important position occupied by Deuka- 
lion in Grecian legend. Thrasybulus and Akestodorus represented Deu- 
kalion as having founded the oracle of Dodona, immediately after the deluge 
(Etm. Mag. v. Aojdwvaiof ). 

1 Apollodorus connects this deluge with the wickedness of the brazen race 
in Hesiod, according to the practice general with the logographers of string- 
ing together a sequence out of legends totally unconnected with each other 
(i- 7, 2). 

3 Hesiod, Fragm. 135. ed. Markts. ap. Strabo. vii. p. 322, where the word 
Aaaf, proposed by Heyne as the reading of the unintelligible text, appears to 

TOL. I- 5 70C. 


on landing from the ark sacrificed a grateful offering to Zeu* 
Phyxios, or the God of escape ; he also erected altars in Thessaly 
to the twelve great gods of Olympus. 1 

The reality of this deluge was firmly believed throughout the 
historical ages of Greece : the chronologers, reckoning up by gen- 
ealogies, assigned the exact date of it, and placed it at the same 
time as the conflagration of the world by the rashness of Phae- 
ton, during the reign of Krotopas king of Argus, the seventh 
from Inachus. 2 The meteorological work of Aristotle admits and 
reasons upon this deluge as an unquestionable fact, though he 
alters the locality by placing it west of Mount Pindus, near Do 
dona and the river Achelous. 3 He at the same time treats it as 
a physical phenomenon, the result of periodical cycles in the 
atmosphere, thus departing from the religious character of the 
old legend, which described it as a judgment inflicted by Zeus 
upon a wicked race. Statements founded upon this event were 
in circulation throughout Greece even to a very late date. The 
Megarians affirmed that Megaros, their hero, son of Zeus by a 
local nymph, had found safety from the waters on the lofty sum- 

me preferable to any of the other suggestions. Pindar, Olymp. ix. 47. 
'Arcp 6' Eivuf 6fj.66a.ftov KTqaacr&av hidivov yovov Aaoi <5' uvo/iaadev. 
Virgil, Gcorgic i. 63. "Undo homines nati, durum genus." Epicharmus ap. 
Schol. Pindar. Olymp. ix. 56. Hygin. f. 153. Philochorus retained the ety- 
mology, though he gave a totally different fable, nowise connected with 
Deukalion, to account for it ; a curious proof how pleasing it was to the 
fancy of the Greek (see Schol. ad Find. 1. c. 68). 

1 Apollod. i. 7, 2. Hellanic. Fragm. 15. Didot. Hellanikus affirmed that 
the ark rested on Mount Othrys, not on Mount Parnassus (Fragm. 16. Didot). 
Scrvius (ad Virgil. Eclog. vi. 41) placed it on Mount Athos Hyginus (f. 
1 53 ) on Mount jEtna. 

2 Tatian adv. Graec. c. 60, adopted both by Clemens and Eusebius. The 
Parian marble placed this deluge in the reign of Kranaos at Athens, 752 
years before the first recorded Olympiad, and 1528 years before the Christian 
aira ; Apollodorus also places it in the reign of Kranaos, and in that of 
Nyctimus in Arcadia (iii. 8, 2; 14, 5). 

The deluge and the ekpyrosis or conflagration arc connected together also 
in Servius ad Virgil. Bucol. vi. 41 : he refines both of them into a "muta- 
tionem temporum." 

3 Aristot. Meteorol. i. 14. Justin rationalizes the fable by telling us that 
Deukalion was king of Thessaly, who provided shelter and protection to 
the fugitives from the deluge (ii. 6, 17) 


mit of their mountain Geraneia, which had not been completely 
submerged. And in the magnificent temple of the Olympian 
Zeus at Athens, a cavity in the earth was shown, through which 
it was affirmed that the waters of the deluge had retired. Even in 
the time of Pausanias, the priests poured into this cavity holy 
offerings of meal and honey. 1 In this, as in other parts of Greece, 
the idea of the Deukalionian deluge was blended with the reli- 
gious impressions of the people and commemorated by their sa- 
cred ceremonies. 

The offspring of Deukalion and Pyrrha were two sons, Hellen 
and Amphiktyon, and a daughter, Protogeneia, whose son by 
Zeus was Aethlius : it was however maintained by many, that 
Hellen was the son of Zeus and not of Deukalion. Hellen had 
by a nymph three sons, Dorus, Xuthus, and JEolus. He gave 
to those who had been before called Greeks, 2 the name of Hel- 
lenes, and partitioned his terrritory among his three children. 
JEolus reigned in Thessaly ; Xuthus received Peloponnesus, 
and had by Creiisa as his sons, Achaeus and Ion ; while Dorus 
occupied the country lying opposite to the Peloponnesus, on the 
northern side of the Corinthian Gulf. These three gave to the 
inhabitants of their respective countries the names of .^Eolians, 
Achasans and lonians, and Dorians. 3 

Such is the genealogy as we find it in Apollodorus. In so far 
as the names and filiation are concerned, many points in it are 
given differently, or implicitly contradicted, by Euripides and 
other writers. Though as literal and personal history it deserves 

1 Pausan. i. 18, 7 ; 40, 1. According to the Parian marble (s. 5), Deuka- 
lion had come to Athens after the deluge, and had there himself founded the 
temple of the Olympian Zeus. The etymology and allegorization of the 
names of Deukalion and Pyrrha, given by Volcker in his ingenious Mytho- 
logie des lapetischen Geschlechts (Giessen, 1824). p. 343, appears to me not 
at all convincing. 

2 Such is the statement of Apollodorus (i. 7, 3) ; but I cannot bring my- 
self to believe that the name (TpcuKol) Greeks is at all old in the legend, or 
that the passage of Hesiod, in which Graecus and Latims purport to be 
mentioned, is genuine. 

See Hesiod, Theogon. 1013. and Catalog. Fragm. xxix. ed. Gottling 
with the note of Gottling ; also Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alterth. i. 1. p. 311, aad 
llernharuy, Griech, Litcrat. vol. i. p. 167. 

3 Apollod. i. 7, 4. 


no notice, its import is both intelligible and comprehensive. Il 
expounds and symbolizes the first fraternal aggregation of Hel- 
lenic men, together with their territorial distribution and the in- 
stitutions which they collectively venerated. 

There were two great holding-points in common for every sec- 
tion of Greeks. One was the Amphiktyonic assembly, which 
met half-yearly, alternately at Delphi and at Thermopylae ; ori- 
ginally and chiefly for common religious purposes, but indirectly 
and occasionally embracing political and social objects along with 
them. The other was, the public festivals or games, of which 
the Olympic came first in importance ; next, the Pythian, Ne- 
mean and Isthmian, institutions which combined religious so- 
lemnities with recreative effusion and hearty sympathies, in a man- 
ner so imposing and so unparalleled. Amphiktyon represents the 
first of these institutions, and Aethlius the second. As the Am- 
phiktyonic assembly was always especially connected with Ther- 
mopylas and Thessally, Amphiktyon is made the son of the Thes- 
salian Deukalion ; but as the Olympic festival was nowise locally 
Connected with Deukalion, Aethlius is represented as having Zeus 
for his father, and as touching Deukalion only through the mater- 
nal line. It will be seen presently, that the only matter predi- 
cated respecting Aethlius is, that he settled in the territory of 
Elis, and begat Endymien : this brings him into local contact with 
',he Olympic games, and his function is then ended. 

Having thus got Hellas as an aggregate with its main cement- 
ing forces, we march on to its subdivision into parts, through 
JEolus, Dorus and Xuthus, the three sons of Hellen ; * a distribu* 
tion which is far from being exhaustive : nevertheless, the gene- 
alogists whom Apollodorus follows recognize no more than three 

The genealogy is essentially post-Homeric ; for Homer knows 
Hellas and the Hellenes only in connection with a portion of 

1 How literally and implicitly even the ablest Greeks believed in epony- 
mous persons, such as Hellen and Ion, as the real progenitors of the races 
called after him, may be seen by this, that Aristotle gives this common do 
cent as the definition of yevos (Metaphysic. iv. p. 118, Brandis) : 

Tevof ^.Eyerat, rb /J.EV rd 6e, aft ov av uai irpurov Kivrjaavrof tlf 

rd elvat. OVTU yap "kiyovrai ol, *E/l^.j?vff rd ytvof, oi (5e, "Iwvcf ry, ol 
ttv no"EAA^vor, ol de unb 'luvof, elvai npinrov 


Achaia Phthiotis. But as it is recognized in the Hesiodic Cata- 
logue 1 composed probably within the first century after tha 
commencement of recorded Olympiads, or before 676 B. c. the 
peculiarities of it, dating from so early a period, deserve much 
attention. We may remark, first, that it seems to exhibit to us 
Dorus and JEolus as the only pure and genuine offspring of Hel- 
len. For their brother Xuthus is not enrolled as an eponymus ; he 
neither founds nor names any people ; it is only his sons Achseus 
and Ion, after his blood has been mingled with that of the 
Erechtheid Kreiisa, who become eponyms and founders, each of 
his own separate people. Next, as to the territorial distribution, 
Xuthus receives Peloponnesus from his father, and unites him- 
self with Attica (which the author of this genealogy seems to 
have conceived as originally unconnected with Hellen) by his 
marriage with the daughter of the indigenous hero, Erechtheus. 
The issue of this marriage, Achaeus and Ion, present to us the 
population of Peloponnesus and Attica conjointly as related 
among themselves by the tie of brotherhood, but as one degree 
more distant both from Dorians and JEolians. JEolus reigns over 
the regions about Thessaly, and called the people in those parts 
.ZEolians ; while Dorus occupies " the country over against Pelo- 
ponnesus on the opposite side of the Corinthian Gulf," and calls 
the inhabitants after himself, Dorians. 2 It is at once evident that 

1 Hcsiod, Fragm. 8. p. 278, ed. Marktsch. 
"E/U.T/vof <T eyevovro def 
Awpof re, Soii'&of re, /cat At 

K.pT]$ei)f ^(T '\-&uftaf KOL 'Zl<n^>of aloha pj 

* Apollod. i. 7, 3. *E%.7ii)vof 6e /cat NvfKprjf 'Opa^'iiof (?), Awp 
toAof. AVTOS JJ.EV ol'v aft avrov rove KaXovfievov^ Tpainoiic irpo 

f, rolf de xaloiv epeptoe TT/V ^upav. Kat SoCi^of pev %a(3uv riji> 
ov, K Kpeovffrjf rr/g 'Epe^iJewf 'A^atov i-yevvjjcre ical "lava, u(j>' 
uv 'A^atot ical 'luvef KaAovvrat. Awpof 6e, ri)v irepav x&pav IleAo- 
Trovvfj a ov Aa/3wv,rovf /carot/covf u<j>' kavrov AwpteZf k KU- 
\estv . AtoAof (5e, paaifai-uv TIJV nepl Qerra^iav TOKUV, roiif evot/coCvretf 
AtoAetf irpoarjyopevae. 

Strabo (viii. p. 383) and Conon (Narr. 27), who evidently copy from the 
ame source, represent Dorus as going to settle in the territory property 
known as Doris. 




this designation is in no way applicable to the confined district 
between Parnassus and CEta, which alone is known by the name 
of Doris, and its inhabitants by that of Dorians, in the historical 
ages. In the view of the author of this genealogy, the Dorians 
Are the original occupants of the large range of territory north 
of the Corinthian Gulf, comprising ^Etolia, Phokis, and the 
territory of the Ozolian Lokrians. And this farther harmonizes 
with the other legend noticed by Apollodorus, when he states 
that JEtolus, son of Endymion, having been forced to expatriate 
from Peloponnesus, crossed into the Kuretid territory, 1 and was 
there hospitably received by Dorus, Laodokus and Polypoetes, 
sons of Apollo and Phthia. He slew his hosts, acquired the ter- 
ritory, and gave to it the name of JEtolia : his son Pleuron mar- 
ried Xanthippe, daughter of Dorus ; while his other son, Kalydon, 
marries JEoliti, daughter of Amythaon. Here again we have the 
name of Dorus, or the Dorians, connected with the tract subse- 
quently termed JEtolia. That Dorus should in one place be 
called the son of Apollo and Phthia, and in another place the son 
of Hellen by a nymph, will surprise no one accustomed to the 
fluctuating personal nomenclature of these old legends : moreover 
the name of Phthia is easy to reconcile with that of Hellen, as 
both are identified with the same portion of Thessaly, even from 
the days of the Iliad. 

This story, that the Dorians were at one time the occupants, or 
the chief occupants, of the range of territory between the river 
Achelous and the northern shore of the Corinthian Gulf, is at 
least more suitable to the facts attested by historical evidence 
than the legends given in Herodotus, who represents the Dorians 
as originally in the Phthiotid ; then as passing under Dorus, the 
son of Hellen, into the Histiaeotid, under the mountains of Ossa and 
Olympus ; next, as driven by the Kadmeians into the regions of 
Pindus ; from thence passing into the Dryopid territory, on Mount 
CEta; lastly, from thence into Peloponnesus. 2 The received 

1 Apollod. i. 7, 6. AtruAdf .......... dvyoiv elf TT/V Kovpyrida %upa.v, 

Kreivaf roi)f inrode^a/ievovf <bdiaf Kal 'ATroAAcjvof vlovf, Atipov KOI Aa6Jo/co 
Kal TIo%VTroiTj)v, u0' iavrov rr/v %upav AlruTiiav knaXeae. Again, i. 8, I. 
[LXevpuv (son of ^Etolus) y^uaf (!,av&imrT)v TTJV Aupov, iralda iyevvrjaei 

Herod, i. 50. 


tory was, that the great Dorian establishments in Peloponnesus 
were formed by invasion from the north, and that the invaders 
crossed the gulf from Naupaktus, a statement which, however 
disputable with respect to Argos, seems highly probable in regard 
both to Sparta and Messenia. That the name of Dorians com 
prehended far more than the inhabitants of the insignificant 
tetrapolis of Doris Proper, must be assumed, if we believe that 
they conquered Sparta and Messenia : both the magnitude of the 
conquest itself, and the passage of a large portion of them from 
Naupaktus. harmonize with the legend as given by Apollodorus, 
in which the Dorians are represented as the principal inhabitants 
of the northern shore of the gulf. The statements which we find 
in Herodotus, respecting the early migrations of the Dorians, 
have been considered as possessing greater historical value than 
those of the fabulist Apollodorus. But both are equally matter 
of legend, while the brief indications of the latter seem to be most 
in harmony with the facts which we afterwards find attested by 

It has already been mentioned that the genealogy which makes 
JEolus, Xuthus and Dorus sons of Hellen, is as old as the 
Hesiodic Catalogue ; probably also that which makes Hellen son 
of Deukalion. Aethlius also is an Hesiodic personage : whether 
Amphiktyon be so or not, we have no proof. 1 They could not 
have been introduced into the legendary genealogy until after the 
Olympic games and the Amphiktyonic council had acquired an 

1 Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iv. 57. Tdv 6e 'Evdvpiuva 'Hcrwdof p.ev ' 
rov Aidf Kal Ka^vKijg Tralda "ksyn ......... Kal Heiaavdpo? de TU avrd 

(jiijffi, Kal 'A-Kovaihaof, Kal Qepeicvdrjc, Kal Ninavdpoe iv devrepu Atrw/U/ctw, 
KOI GeoTTOjUTrof iv 'ETroirouatf. 

Respecting the parentage of Hellen, the references to Hesiod are very con- 
fused. Compare Schol. Homer. Odyss. x. 2, and Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iii 
1086. See also Hellanic. Frag. 10. Didot. 

Apollodorus, and Pherekydes before him (Frag. 51. Didot), called Proto- 
geneia daughter of Deukalion ; Pindar (Olymp. ix. 64) designated her as 
daughter of Opus. One of the stratagems mentioned by the Scholiast to get 
rid of this genealogical discrepancy was, the supposition that Deukalion had 
two names (dtuvvpof) ; that he was also named Opus. (Schol. Pind. Olymp. 
ix. 85). 

That the Deukalidse or posterity of Deukalion reigned in Thessaly, was 
mentioned both by Hesiod and Hekataeus, ap. Schol. Apollon. Rh: d. iv. 265 


established ascendancy and universal reverence throughout 

Respecting Dorus the son of Hellen, we find neither legends 
nor legendary genealogy ; respecting Xuthus, very little beyond 
the tale of Kreiisa and Ion, which has its place more naturally 
among the Attic fables. Achseus however, who is here represent- 
ed as the son of Xuthus, appears in other stories with very 
different parentage and accompaniments. According to the state- 
ment which we find in Dionysius of Halicamassus, Achaeus, 
Phthius and Pelasgus are sons of Poseidon and Larissa. They 
migrate from Peloponnesus into Thessaly, and distribute the 
Thessalian territory between them, giving their names to its 
principal divisions : their descendants in the sixth generation 
were driven out of that country by the invasion of Deukalion at 
the head of the Kurgtes and the Leleges. 1 This was the story 
of those who wanted to provide an eponymus for the Achasans in 
the southern districts of Thessaly : Pausanias accomplishes the 
same object by different means, representing Achaeus, the son of 
Xuthus as having gone back to Thessaly and occupied the portion 
of it to which his father was entitled. Then, by way of explain- 
ing how it was that there were Achaeans at Sparta and at Argos, 
he tells us that Archander and Architeles, the sons of Archseus, 
came back from Thessaly to Peloponnesus, and married two 
daughters of Danaus : they acquired great influence at Argos and 
Sparta, and gave to the people the name of Achaeans after their 
father Achoeus. 2 

Euripides also deviates very materially from the Hesiodic 

1 Dionys. H. A. E.i. 17. 

2 Pausan. vii. 1, 1-3. Herodotus also mentions (ii. 97) Archander, son of 
Phthius and grandson of Achaeus, who married the daughter of Danaus. 
Larcher (Essai sur la Chronologic d'Herodote, ch. x. p. 321) tells us that 
this cannot be the Danaus who came from Egypt, the father of the fifty 
daughters, who must have lived two centuries earlier, as may be proved by 
chronological arguments : this must be another Danaus, according to him. 

Strabo seems to give a different story respecting the Achoeans in Pclepon- 
nsus : he says that they were the original population of the peninsula, that 
they came in from Phthia with Pelops, and inhabited Laconia, which was 
from them called Argos Aehaicuin, and that on the conquest of the Dorians, 
they moved into Achaia properly so called, expelling the lonians therefrone 
(Strabo, viii p. 365^. This narrative is, I presume, borrowed from Ephorus 


genealogy in respect to those eponymous persons. In the drama 
called Ion, he describes Ion as son of Kreiisa by Apollo, but 
adopted by Xuthus : according to him, the real sons of Xuthus 
and Kreiisa are Dorus and Achaeus, 1 eponyms of the Dorians 
and Achaeans in the interior of Peloponnesus. And it is a still 
more capital point of difference, that he omits Hellen altogether 
making Xuthus an Achcean by race, the son of Jolus, who 
is the son of Zeus. 2 This is the more remarkable, as in the 
fragments of two other dramas of Euripides, the Melanippe and 
the -ZEolus, we find Hellen mentioned both as father of JEolus 
and son of Zeus. 3 To the general public even of the most 
instructed city of Greece, fluctuations and discrepancies in these 
mythical genealogies seem to have been neither surprising nor 



IF two of the sons of Hellen, Dorus and Xuthus, present to us 
families comparatively unnoticed in mythical narrative, the third 
son, ^olus, richly makes up for the deficiency. From him we 
pass to his seven sons and five daughters, amidst a great abun- 
dance of heroic and poetical incident. 

In dealing however with these extensive mythical families, it 
is necessary to observe, that the legendary world of Greece, in 
the manner in which it is presented to us, appears invested with 
a degree of symmetry and coherence which did not originally 
belong to it. For the old ballads and stories which were sung or 

1 Eurip. Ion, 1500. 2 Eurip. Ion, 64. 

3 See the Fragments of these two plays in Matthiae's edition ; compare 
Welcker, Grieclrisch. Tragod. v. ii. p. 842. If we may judge from the Frag- 
ments of the Latin Melanippe of Ennius (see Fragm. 2, ed. Bothe). Hellen 
was introduced as one of the characters of the piece. 



recounted at the multiplied festivals of Greece, each on itt own 
special theme, have been lost : the religious narratives, which the 
Exegetes of every temple had present to his menu ry, explana- 
tory of the peculiar religious ceremonies and local customs in his 
own town or Deme, have passed away : all these primitive ele- 
ments, originally distinct and unconnected, are removed out of 
our sight, and we possess only an aggregate result, formed by 
many confluent streams of fable, and connected together by the 
agency of subsequent poets and logographers. Even the earliest 
agents in this work of connecting and systematizing the Hesio- 
dic poets have been hardly at all preserved. Our information 
respecting Grecian mythology is derived chiefly from the prose 
logographers who followed them, and in whose works, since a 
continuous narrative was above all things essential to them, the 
fabulous personages are woven into still more comprehensive 
pedigrees, and the original isolation of the legends still better 
disguised. Hekatseus, Pherekydes, Hellanikus, and Akusilaus 
lived at a time when the idea of Hellas as one great whole, com- 
posed of fraternal sections, was deeply rooted in the mind of 
every Greek ; and when the fancy of one or a few great families, 
branching out widely from one common stem, was more popular 
and acceptable than that of a distinct indigenous origin in each of 
the separate districts. These logographers, indeed, have them- 
selves been lost ; but Apollodorus and the various scholiasts, our 
great immediate sources of information respecting Grecian mytho- 
logy, chiefly borrowed from them : so that the legendary world of 
Greece is in fact known to us through them, combined with the 
dramatic and Alexandrine poets, their Latin imitators, and the 
still later class of scholiasts except indeed such occasional 
glimpses as we obtain from the Iliad and the Odyssey, and the 
remaining Hesiodic fragments, which exhibit but too frequently a 
hopeless diversity when confronted with the narratives of the 

Though JEolus (as has been already stated) is himself called 
the son of Hellen along with Dorus and Xuthus, yet the legend? 
concerning the JEolids, far from being dependent upon this 
genealogy, are not all even coherent with it : moreover the name 
of ^Eolus in the legend is older than that of Hellon, inasmuch as 


it occurs both in the Iliad and Odyssey. 1 Odysseus sees in the 
under-world the beautiful Tyro, daughter of Salmoneus, and wife 
of Kretheus, son of -Solus. 

.2Eolus is represented as having reigned in Thessaly: his seven 
sons were Kretheus, Sisyphus, Athamas, Salmoneus, Deion, 
Magnes and Perieres : his five daughters, Canace, Alcyone, 
Peisidike, Calyce and Perimede. The fables of this race seem 
to be distinguished by a constant introduction of the god Posei- 
don, as well as by an unusual prevalence of haughty and pre- 
sumptuous attributes among the -Solid heroes, leading them to 
affront the gods by pretences of equality, and sometimes even by 
defiance. The worship of Poseidon must probably have been 
diffused and preeminent among a people with whom these legends 


Salmoneus is not described in the Odyssey as son of JEolus, 
but he is so denominated both in the Hesiodic Catalogue, and by 
the subsequent logographers. His daughter Tyro became ena- 
moured of the river Enipeus, the most beautiful of all streams 
that traverse the earth: she frequented the banks assiduously, 
and there the god Poseidon found means to indulge his passion 
for her, assuming the character of the river god himself. The 
fruit of this alliance were the twin brothers, Pelias and Neleus : 
Tyro afterwards was given in marriage to her uncle Kretheus, 
another son of JEolus, by whom she had -Sson, Pheres and Amy- 
thaon all names of celebrity in the heroic legends. 3 The 
adventures of Tyro formed the subject of an affecting drama of 
Sophokles, now lost. Her father had married a second wife, 
named Sidero, whose cruel counsels induced him to punish and 
torture his daughter on account of her intercourse with Poseidon. 
She was shorn of her magnificent hair, beaten and ill-used in 

1 Iliad, vi. 154. ZiavQos 

Again Odyss. xi. 234. 

*Ev#' fiToi irpurriv Tvpw I6ov evirarepeiav, 
"H Safyzuv^of ufj.vfj.ovof eicyovof elvat, 
4>7 6s Kfiridijoc -yvv)) efifj.evai Alohidao. 

Homer, Odyss. xi. 234-257 ; xv. 226. 


various ways, and confined in a loathsome dungecn. Unable to 
take care of her two children, she had been compelled to expose 
them immediately on their birth in a little boat on the river 
Enipeus ; they were preserved by the kindness of a herdsman, 
and when grown up to manhood, rescued their mother, and 
revenged her wrongs by putting to death the iron-hearted Sidero. 1 
This pathetic tale respecting the long imprisonment of Tyro ia 
substituted by Sophokles in place of the Homeric legend, which 
represented her to have become the wife of Kretheus and mother 
of a numerous offspring. 2 

Her father, the unjust Salmoneus, exhibited in his conduct the 
most insolent impiety towards the gods. He assumed the name 
and title even of Zeus, and caused to be offered to himself the 
sacrifices destined for that god : he also imitated the thunder and 
lightning, by driving about with brazen caldrons attached to his 
chariot and casting lighted torches towards heaven. Such wicked- 
ness finally drew upon him the wrath of Zeus, who smote him 
with a thunderbolt, and effaced from the earth the city which he 
had founded, with all its inhabitants. 3 

Pelias and Neleus, "both stout vassals of the great Zeus," 
became engaged in dissension respecting the kingdom of lolkos in 

1 Diodorus, iv. 68. Sophoklfe's, Fragm. 1. TvpiJ. Sn^of I,i6rjpu> Kal $- 
povaa Tovvofta. The genius of Sophokles is occasionally seduced by this 
play upon the etymology of a name, even in the most impressive scenes of 
his tragedies. See Ajax, 425. Compare Hellanik, Fragm. p. 9, ed. Preller 
There was a first and second edition of the Tyro TTJC devri-paf Tvpovf. 
Schol. ad Aristoph. Av. 276. See the few fragments of the lost drama in 
Dindorf s Collection, p. 53. The plot was in many respects analogous to the 
Antiop6 of Euripides. 

2 A third story, different both from Homer and from Sophokles, respecting; 
Tyro, is found in Hyginus (Fab. Ix.) : it is of a tragical cast, and borrowed, 
like so many other tales in that collection, from one of the lost Greek dramas. 

3 . Apollod. i 9, 7. Zahfiuvevf r' udtKOf Kal {>Trepdvfj.of Heptjypj/f . Hcsiod, 
Fragm. Catal. 8. Marktscheffel. 

Where the city of Salmoneus was situated, the ancient investigators wero 
not agreed ; whether in the Pisatid, or in Elis, or in Thessaly (see Strabo, 
viii. p. 356). Euripides in his JEolus placed him on the banks of the 
Alpheius (Eurip. Fragm. JEol. I). A village and fountain in the Pisatid 
bore the name of Salmone ; but the mention of the river Enipeus seems to 
mark Thessaly as the original seat of the legend. But the nalvet& of the told 
preserved by Apollodorus (Virgil in the JCneid, vi. 586, has retouched U 


Thessaly. Pelias got possession of it, and dwelt there in plenty 
and prosperity ; but he had offended the goddess Here by killing 
Sidero upon her altar, and the effects of her wrath were manifest- 
ed in his relations with his nephew Jason. 1 

Neleus quitted Thessaly, went into Peloponnesus, and there 
founded the kingdom of Pylos. He purchased by immense 
marriaja presents, the privilege of wedding the beautiful Chloris, 
daughter of Amphion, king of Orchomenos, by whom lie had 
twelve sons and but one daughter 2 the fair and captivating 
Pero, whom suitors from all the neighborhood courted in mar. 
riage. But Neleus, " the haughtiest of living men," 3 refused to 
entertain the pretensions of any of them: he would grant his 
daughter only to that man who should bring to him the oxen of 
Iphiklos, from Phylake in Thessaly. These piccious animals 
were carefully guarded, as well by herdsmen as by a dog whom 
neither man nor animal could approach. Nevertheless, Bias, the 
son of Amythaon, nephew of Neleus, being desperately enamored 
of Pero, prevailed upon his brother Melampus to undertake for 
his sake the perilous adventure, in spite of the prophetic knowl- 
edge of the latter, which forewarned him that though he would 
ultimately succeed, the prize must be purchased by severe cap- 
tivity and suffering. Melampus, in attempting to steal the oxen, 
was seized and put in prison ; from whence nothing but his 
prophetic powers rescued him. Being acquainted with the lan- 
guage of worms, he heard these animals communicating to each 
other, in the roof over his head, that the beams were nearly eaten 
through and about to fall in. He communicated this intelligence 
to his guards, and demanded to be conveyed to another place of 
confinement, announcing that the roof would presently fall in and 
bury them. The prediction was fulfilled, and Phylakos, father of 

marks its ancient date : the final circumstance of that tale was, that the city 
and its inhabitants were annihilated. 

Ephorus makes Salmoneus king of the Epeians and of the Pisatte (Fragm- 
15, ed. Didot). 

The lost drama of Sophokles, called Safy/wvei)f, was a dpafia aarvoiKiv 
See Dindorf s Fragm. 483. 

1 Horn. Od. xi. 280. Apollod. i. 9, 9. icparepu depaTror-re Atdf, etc. 

* Diodor. iv. 68. 

J NgXfa re /eya$xyzoi>, ayauo'rarov &OVTUV ("Horn. OdjS3. xv. 228). 


Iphiklos, full of wonder at this specimen cf prophetic pov,er, 
immediately caused him to be released. He further consulted 
him respecting the condition of his son Iphiklos, who was child- 
less ; and promised him the possession of the oxen on condition 
of his suggesting the means whereby offspring might be ensured. 
A vulture having communicated to Melampus the requisite 
information, Podarkes, the son of Iphiklos, was born shortly 
afterwards. In this manner Melampus obtained possession of the 
oxen, and conveyed them to Pylos, obtaining for his brother Bias 
the hand of Pero. 1 How this great legendary character, by mi- 
raculously healing the deranged daughters of Proetos, procured 
both for himself and for Bias dominion in Argos, has been re- 
counted in a preceding chapter. 

Of the twelve sons of Neleus, one at least, Periklymenos, h*j- 
Bides the ever-memorable Nestor, was distinguished for his ex 
ploits as well as for his miraculous gifts. Poseidon, the divine father 
of the race, had bestowed upon him the privilege of changing his 
form at pleasure into that of any bird, beast, reptile, or insect. 2 He 
had occasion for all these resources, and he employed them for a 
time with success in defending his family against the terrible indig- 
nation of Herakles, who, provoked by the refusal of Neleus to per- 
form for him the ceremony of purification after his murder of Iphi- 
tus, attacked the Neleids at Pylos. Periklymenos by his extraor- 
dinary powers prolonged the resistance, but the hour of his fate 
was at length brought upon him by the intervention of Athene, 
who pointed him out to Herakles while he was perched as a bee 
upon the hero's chariot. He was killed, and Herakles became 
completely victorious, overpowering Poseidon, Here, Ares, and 
Hades, and even wounding the three latter, who assisted in the 

1 Horn. Od. xi. 273 ; xv. 234. Apollod. i. 9, 12. The basis of this curi- 
ous romance is in the Odyssey, amplified by subsequent poets. There are 
points however in the old Homeric legend, as it is briefly sketched in the 
fifteenth book of the Cdyssey, which seem to have been subsequently left 
ont or varied. Neleus seizes the property of Melampus during his absence ; 
the latter, returning with the oxen from Phylak6, revenges himself upon 
NClens for the injury. Odyss. xv. 233. 

* Hcsio3, Catalog, ap Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 156; Ovid, Metam. xii. p. 
556 ; Eustath. ad Odyss. xi. p. 284. Poseidon carefully protects Antilochni 
son of Nestor, in the Iliad, xiii. 554-563. 


defcncB. Eleven of the sons of Neleus perished by his hand, 
while Nestor, then a youth, was preserved only by his accidental 
absence at Gerena, away from his father's residence. 1 

The proud house of the Neleids was now reduced to Nestor ; 
but Nestor singly sufficed to sustain its eminence. He appeara 
not only as the defender and avenger of Pylos against the inso- 
lence and rapacity of his Epeian neighbors in Elis, but also as 
aiding the Lapithaa in their terrible combat against the Centaurs, 
and as companion of Theseus, Peirithous, and the other great 
legendary heroes who preceded the Trojan war. In extreme old 
age his once marvellous power of handling his weapons has in- 
deed passed away, but his activity remains unimpaired, and his 
sagacity as well as his influence in counsel is greater than ever. 
He not only assembles the various Grecian chiefs for the arma- 
ment against Troy, perambulating the districts of Hellas along 
with Odysseus, but takes a vigorous part in the siege itself, and 
is of preeminent service to Agamemnon. And after the conclu- 
sion of the siege, he is one of the few Grecian princes who re- 
turns to his original dominions, and is found, in a strenuous and 
honored old age, in the midst of his children and subjects, sit- 
ting with the sceptre of authority on the stone bench before k's 
house at Pylos, offering sacrifice to Poseidon, as his fath-jr 
Neleus had done before him, and mourning only over the de&th 

1 Hesiod, Catalog, ap. Schol. Ven. ad Iliad, ii. 336 ; and Steph. Byz. v. 
Tepijvia; Homer, II. v. 392 ; xi. 693; Apollodor. ii. 7, 3 ; Hesiod, Scut. Here. 
360 ; Pindar, 01. ix. 32. 

According to the Homeric legend, Neleus himself was not killed by He- 
rakles : subsequent poets or logographers, whom Apollodorus follows, seem 
to have thought it an injustice, that the offence given by Neleus himself 
should have been avenged upon his sons and not upon himself ; they there- 
fore altered the legend upon this point, and rejected the passage in the Iliad 
as spurious (see Schol. Ven. ad Iliad, xi. 682). 

The refusal of purification by Neleus to Herakles is a genuine legendary 
cause : the commentators, who were disposed to spread a coating of history 
over these transactions, introduced another cause, Neleus, as king of Pylos, 
had aided the Orchomenians in their war against Herakles and the Thobans 
(see Sch. Ven. ad Iliad, xi. 689). 

The neighborhood of Pylos was distinguished for its ancient worship both 
of Poseidon and of Hades : there were abundant local legends respecting 
them (see Strabo, viii. pp. 344, 345). 


of his favorite son Antilochus, who had fallen, along with so many 
brave companions in arms, in the Trojan war.i 

After Nestor the line of the Neleids numbers undistinguished 
names, Borus, Penthilus, and Andropompus, three succes- 
sive generations down to Melanthus, who on the invasion of Pelo- 
ponnesus by the Herakleids, quitted Pylos and retired to Athens, 
where he became king, in a manner which 1 shall hereafter re- 
count. His son Kodrus was the last Athenian king ; and Neleus, 
one of the sons of Kodrus, is mentioned as the principal conduc- 
tor of what is called the Ionic emigration from Athens to Asia 
Minor. 2 It is certain that during the historical age, not merely 
the princely family of the Kodrids in Miletus, Ephesus, and other 
Ionic cities, but some of the greatest families even in Athens 
itself, traced their heroic lineage through the Neleids up to Po- 
seidon : and the legends respecting Nestor and Periklymenos 
would find especial favor amidst Greeks with such feelings and 
belief. The Kodrids at Ephesus, and probably some other Ionic 
towns, long retained the title and honorary precedence of kings, 
even after they had lost the substantial power belonging to the 
office. They stood in the same relation, embodying both religious 
worship and supposed ancestry, to the Neleids and Poseidon, as 
the chiefs of the JEolic colonies to Agamemnon and Orestes. 
The Athenian despot Peisistratus was named after the son of 
Nestor in the Odyssey ; and we may safely presume that the 
heroic worship of the Neleids was as carefully cherished at the 
Ionic Miletus as at the Italian Metapontum. 3 

Having pursued the line of Salmoneus and Neleus to the end 
of its lengendary career, we may now turn back to that of another 
son of -35olus, Kretheus, a line hardly less celebrated in respect 
of the heroic names which it presents. Alkestis, the most beau- 
tiful of the daughters of Pelias, 4 was promised by her father in 

1 About Nestor, Iliad, i. 260-275 ; ii. 370; xi. 670-770; Otlyss. iii. 5, 110, 

* Hellanik. Fragm. 10, cd. Didot; Pausan. vii. 2, 3; Hcrodot. v. 65; 
Strabo, xiv. p. 633. Hellanikus, in giving the genealogy from Neleus t 
Melanthus, traces it through Periklymenos and not through Nestor : the 
words of Herodotus imply that he must have included Nestor. 

* Herodot. v. 67 ; Strabo, vi. p 264 ; Mimnermus, Fragm. 9, Schncidewin. 
4 Iliad, ii. 715. 


marriage to the man that could bring him a lion and a boar tamed 
to the yoke and drawing together. Admetus, son of Pheres, the 
cponymus of Pherse in Thessaly, and thus grandson of Kretheus, 
was enabled by the aid of Apollo to fulfil this condition, and to 
win her ; ! for Apollo happened at that time to be in his service 
as a slave (condemned to this penalty by Zeus for having put to 
death the Cyclopes), in which capacity he tended the herds and 
horses with such success, as to equip Eumelus (the son of Adme- 
tus) to the Trojan war with the finest horses in the Grecian 
army. Though menial duties were imposed upon him, even to 
the drudgery of grinding in the mill, 2 he yet carried away with 
him a grateful and friendly sentiment towards his mortal master, 
whom he interfered to rescue from the wrath of the goddess Ar- 
temis, when she was indignant at the omission of her name in his 
wedding sacrifices. Admetus was about to perish by a premature 
death, when Apollo, by earnest solicitation to the Fates, obtained 
for him the privilege that his life should be prolonged, if he could 
find any person to die a voluntary death in his place. His father 
and his mother both refused to make this sacrifice for him, but 
the devoted attachment of his wife Alkestis disposed her to em- 
brace with cheerfulness the condition of dying to preserve her 

1 Apollodor. i. 9, 15 ; Eustath. ad Iliad, ii. 711. 

2 Euripid. Alkest. init. Welcker; Griechisch. Tragced. (p. 344) on the 
lost play of Sophoklus called Admetus or Alkestis ; Horn. Iliad, ii. 766 ; 
Hygin. Fab. 50-51 (Sophokles, Fr. Inc. 730; Bind. ap. Plutarch. Defect. 
Orac. p. 417). This talc of the temporary servitude of particular gods, by 
order of Zeus as a punishment for misbehavior, recurs not unfrequently 
among the incidents of the mythical world. The poet Panyasis (ap. Clem. 
Alexand. Adm. ad Gent. p. 23) 

T/li? fj.ev Ajjfif/TTip, rt^i de K^urdf 'AfiQiyvf/eif, 
T/l^ Se Hoaeiduuv, r"krj d' upyvporo!; of 'A7ro/lyl(jv 
'AvJpt napii -&VT)T> i9r]TEVff[j.v c eviavTov 
TTir/ 6e Kal o[3pi/i.6\}v[j.o "Apr/f inrb TrarpcJf dvayK^j. 

The old legend followed out the fundamental idea with remarkable consis- 
tency : Laomedon, as the temporary master of Poseidon and Apollo, threat- 
ens to bind them hand and foot, to sell them in the distant islands, and to 
cut off the ears of both, when they come to ask for their stipulated wages 
(Iliad, xxi. 455). It was a new turn given to the story by the Alexandrine 
poets, when they introduced the motive of love, and made the servitude vol- 
untary on the part of Apsllo (Kallimachus, Hymn. Apoll. 49 ; Tibullus, Eleg 
ii. 3, 11-30). 

VOL. I. 80C. 


husband. She had already perished, when Herakles, the ancieni 
guest and friend of Admetus, arrived during the first hour of 
lamentation ; his strength and daring enabled him to rescue the 
deceased Alkestis even from the grasp of Thanatos (Death), and 
to restore her alive to her disconsolate husband. 1 

The son of Pelias, Akastus, had received and sheltered Peleus 
when obliged to fly his country in consequence of the involuntary 
murder of Eurytion. Kretheis, the wife of Akastus, becoming 
enamored of Peleus, made to him advances which he repu- 
diated. Exasperated at his refusal, and determined to procure his 
destruction, she persuaded her husband that Peleus had attempt- 
ed her chastity : upon which Akastus conducted Peleus out upon 
a hunting excursion among the woody regions of Mount Pelion, 
contrived to steal from him the sword fabricated and given by 
Hephaestos, and then left him, alone and unarmed, to perish 
by the hands of the Centaurs or by the wild beasts. By the 
friendly aid of the Centaur Cheiron, however, Peleus was pre- 
served, and his sword restored to him : returning to the city, he 
avenged himself by putting to death both Akastus and his perfid- 
ious wife. 9 

But amongst all the legends with which the name of Pelias 
is connected, by far the most memorable is that of Jason and the 
Argonautic expedition. Jason was son of ^Eson, grandson of 
Kretheus, and thus great-grandson of ^Eolus. Pelias, having 
consulted the oracle respecting the security of his dominion at 
lolkos, had received in answer a warning to beware of the man 
who should appear before him with only one sandal. He was 
celebrating a festival in honor of Poseidon, when it so happened 
that Jason appeared before him with one of his feet unsandaled : 
he had lost one sandal in wading through the swollen current of 
the river Anauros. Pelias immediately understood that this was 

1 Eurip. Alkestis, Arg. ; Apollod. i. 9, 15. To bring this beautiful legend 
more into the color of history, a new version of it was subsequently framed : 
Herakles was eminently skilled in medicine, and saved the life of Alkestis 
when she was about to perish from a desperate malady (Plutarch. Amatoi 
c. 17. vol. iv. p. 53, Wytt.). 

* The legend of Akastus and Peleus was given in great detail in the Cata- 
logue of Hcsiod (Catalog. Fragm. 20-21, Marktscheff.) ; Schol. Pindar 
Njm.iv. 95. Scha.' Apoll. Rhod. i.224 ; Apollod. iii 13, 2. 


tlie enemy against whom the oracle had forewarned him. As a 
means of averting the danger, he imposed upon Jason the des- 
perate task of bringing back to lolkos the Golden Fleece, the 
fleece of that ram which had carried Phryxos from Achaia to 
Kolchis, and which Phryxos had dedicated in the latter country 
as an offering to the god Ares. The result of this injunction wa3 
the memorable expedition of the ship Argo and her crew call- 
ed the Argonauts, composed of the bravest and noblest youths 
of Greece which cannot be conveniently included among the 
legends of the Solids, and is reserved for a separate chapter. 

The voyage of the Argo was long protracted, and Pelias, per- 
suaded that neither the ship nor her crew would ever return, put 
to death both the father and mother of Jason, together with their 
infant son. ./Eson, the father, being permitted to choose the manner 
of his own death, drank bull's blood while performing a sacrifice 
to the gods. At length, however, Jason did return, bringing with 
him not only the golden fleece, but also Medea, daughter of 
jEetes, king of Kolchis, as his wife, a woman distinguished for 
magical skill and cunning, by whose assistance alone the Argo- 
nauts had succeeded in their project. Though determined to 
avenge himself upon Pelias, Jason knew he could only succeed 
by stratagem : he remained with his companions at a short dis- 
tance from lolkos, while Medea, feigning herself a fugitive from 
his ill-usage, entered the town alone, and procured access to the 
daughters of Pelias. By exhibitions of her magical powers she 
soon obtained unqualified ascendency over their minds. For ex- 
ample, she selected from the flocks of Pelias a ram in the extrem- 
ity of old age, cut him up and boiled him in a caldron with herbs, 
and brought him out in the shape of a young and vigorous lamb: 1 
the daughters of Pelias were made to believe that their old father 
could in like manner be restored to youth. In this persuasion 
they cut him up with their own hands and cast his linJbs into the 

1 This incident was contained in one of the earliest dramas of Euripides, 
the I7.eAtu<5ef , now lost. Moses of Chore-no (Progymnasm. ap. Maii ad Euseh. 
p. 43), who gives an extract from the argument, says that the poet ' extreme* 
inentiendi fines attingit." 

The 'Pi6ro[ioi of Sophoklos seems also to have turned upon the same 
catastrophe (sec Fragm. 479, Dindorf.). 


caldron, trusting that Medea would produce upon him the same; 
magical effect. Medea pretended that an invocation to the moon 
was a necessary part of the ceremony : she went up to the top 
of the house as if to pronounce it, and there lighting the lire- 
signal concerted with the Argonauts, Jason and his companions 
burst in and possessed themselves of the town. Satisfied with 
having thus revenged himself, Jason yielded the principality 
j>f lolkos to Akastus, son of Pelias, and retired with Medea to 
Corinth. Thus did the goddess Here gratify her ancient wrath 
against Pelias : she had constantly watched over Jason, and had 
carried the " all-notorious " Argo through its innumerable perils, 
in order that Jason might bring home Medea to accomplish the 
ruin of his uncle. 1 The misguided daughters of Pelias departed 

1 The kindness of Hero towards Jason seems to be older in the legend 
than her displeasure against Pelias ; at least it is specially noticed in the 
Odyssey, as the great cause of the escape of the ship Argo : 'AA/l' "Hpr/ no- 
peirefnf>ev, kird 0tAof qEV 'Iqouv (xii. 70). In the Hesiodic Theogony Pelias 
stands to Jason in the same relation as Eurystheus to H6rakl6's, a severe 
taskmaster as well as a wicked and insolent man, v/3piaT7/s IleA^c Kal 
a.Ta<r&a?io<;, oftpi/ioepyo; (Theog. 995). Apollonius Khodius keeps the wrath 
of HSrS against Pelias in the foreground, i. 14; iii. 1134; ir. 242; see also 
Hygin, f. 13. 

There is great diversity in the stories given of the proximate circum- 
stances connected with the death of Pelias : Eurip. Med. 491 ; Apollodor. J. 
9, 27; Diodor.iv, 50-52; Ovid, Metam. vii. 162, 203, 297, 347 ; Pausan. viii 
11, 2; Schol. ad Lycoph. 175. 

In the legend of Akastus and Pelcus as recounted above, Akastus was 
made to perish by the hand of Peleus. I do not take upon mo to reconcile 
these contradictions. 

Pausanias mentions that he could not find in any of the poets, so far as 
he had read, the names of the daughters of Pelias, and that the painter Mikon 
had given to them names (ovofiara <J' avraif TTOITITTJC fiev sdero oiidelf, "tea 
f tircfat-dfj.eda v/^'fj etc., Pausan. viii. 11, 1 ). Yet their names are given in 
the authors whom Diodorus copied; and Alkestis, at any rate, was most 
memorable. Mikon gave the names Asteropeia and Antinoe\ altogether dif- 
ferent from those in Diodorus. Both Diodorus and Hyginus exonerate Al 
kfistis from all share in the death of her father (Hygin. f. 24). 

The old poem called the Noorot (see Argum. ad Eurip. Med., and Schol. 
Aristophan. Eqnit. 1321) recounted, that M6dea had boiled in a caldron the 
old ^Sson, father of Jason, with herbs and incantations, and that she had 
brought him out young and strong. Ovid copies this (Metam. vii. 162-203) 
It is singular that Pherkydes and SimonidtJS said that she had performed 


as voluntary exiles t j> Arcadia : Akastus bis son celebrated splen- 
did funeral games in honor of his deceased father. 1 

Jason and Medea retired from lolkos to Corinth, where they 
resided ten years : their children were Medeius, whom the 
Centaur Cheiron educated in the regions of Mount Pelion, 2 
and Mermerus and Pheros, born at Corinth. After they had 
resided there ten years in prosperity, Jason set his affections on 
Glauke, daughter of Kreon 3 king of Corinth ; and as her father 
was willing to give her to him in marriage, he determined to 
repudiate Medea, who received orders forthwith to leave Corinth. 
Stung with this insult and bent upon revenge, Medea prepared a 
poisoned robe, and sent it as a marriage present to Glauke : it 
was unthinkingly accepted and put on, and the body of the un- 
fortunate bride was burnt up and consumed. Kreon, her father, 
who tried to tear from her the burning garment, shared her fate 
and perished. The exulting Medea escaped by means of a 
chariot with winged serpents furnished to her by her grandfather 
Helios : she placed herself under the protection of .^Egeus at 
Athens, by whom she had a son named Medus. She left her 
young children in the sacred enclosure of the Arkraean Here, 
relying on the protection of the altar to ensure their safety ; but 
the Corinthians were so exasperated against her for the murder 

this process upon Jason himself (Schol. Aristoph, I. c.). Diogenes (ap. Stobae. 
Florileg. t. xxix. 92) rationalizes the story, and converts Medea from an 
enchantress into an improving and regenerating preceptress. The death of 
2Eson, as described in the text, is given from Diodorus and Apollodorus. 
Medea seems to have been worshipped as a goddess in other places besides 
Corinth (see Athenagor. Legat. pro Christ. 12; Macrobius, i. 12, p. 247, 

1 These funeral games in honor of Pelias were among the most renowned 
of the mythical incidents : they were celebrated in a special poem by Stesicho- 
rus, and represented on the chest of Kypselus at Olympia. Kastor, Melcager. 
Amphiaraos, Jason, Peleus, Mopsos, etc. contended in them (Pausan. v. 17. 
4; Stesichori Fragm. 1. p. 54, ed. Klcwe ; Athe'n. iv. 172). How familiar 
the details of them were to the mind of z. literary Greek is indirectly attested 
by Plutarch, Sympos. v. 2, vol. iii. p. 762, Wytt. 

2 Hesiod, Theogon. 998. 

3 According to the Schol. ad Eurip. Mcd. 20, Jason marries the daughter 
of Hippotes the son of Kreon, who is the son of Lykaethos. Lykaethos, after 
the departure of Bellerophon from Corinth, reigned twenty-seven years; then 
Kreon reigned thirty -five years ; then came Hippotes. 


of Kreon and Glauke, that they dragged the children away from 
the altar and put them to death. The miserable Jason perished 
by a fragment of his own ship Argo, which fell upon him while 
ho was asleep under it, 1 being hauled on shore, according to the 
habitual practice of the ancients. 

The first establishment at Ephyre, or Corinth, had been found- 
ed by Sisyphus, another of the sons of -ZEolus, brother of Salm6- 

1 Apollodor. i. 9, 27 ; Diodor. iv. 54. The Medea of Eurypides, which has 
fortunately been preserved to us, is too well known to need express reference. 
He makes Medea the destroyer of her own children, and borrows from this 
circumstance the most pathetic touches of his exquisite drama. Parmenis- 
kos accused him of having been bribed by the Corinthians to give this turn to 
the legend ; and we may regard the accusation as a proof that the older and 
more current tale imputed the murder of the children to the Corinthians 
(Schol. Eurip. Mcd. 275, where Didymos gives the story out of the old poem 
of Kreophylos). See also ^Elian, V. H. v. 21 ; Pausan. ii. 3, 6. 

The most significant fact in respect to the fable is, that the Corinthians 
celebrated periodically a propitiatory sacrifice to Here Akrxa and to Merme- 
rus and Pheres, as an atonement for the sin of having violated the sanctuary 
of the altar. The legend grew out of this religions ceremony, and was so 
arranged as to explain and account for it (see Eurip. Med. 1376, with tho 
Schol. Diodor. iv. 55). 

Mermerus and Pheres were the names given to the children of Medea and 
Jason in the old Naupaktian Verses ; in which, however, the legend must 
have been recounted quite differently, since they said that Jason and Medea 
had gone from lolkos, not to Corinth, but to Corcyra ; and that Mermerus 
had perished in hunting on the opposite continent of Epirus. Kinaethon 
again, another ancient genealogical poet, called the children of Medea and 
Jason Eriopis and Medos (Pausan. ii. 3, 7). Diodorus gives them different 
names (iv. 34). Hesiod, in the Theogony, speaks only of -Modems as the son 
of Jason. 

Medea does not appear either in the Iliad or Odyssey : in the former, we 
find Agamede, daughter of Augeas, " who knows all the poisons (or medi- 
cines) which the earth nourishes" (Iliad, xi. 740) ; in the latter, we have 
Circe, sister of jEetes, father of Medea, and living in the JEsean island (Odyss. 
x. 70). Circe is daughter of the god Helios, as Medea is his granddaughter, 
she is herself a goddess. She is in many points the parallel of Medea; 
she forewarns and preserves Odysseus throughout his dangers, as Medea aids 
Jason : according to the Hesiodic story, she has two children by Odysseus, 
Agnus and Latinus (Theogon. 1001). 

Odysseus goes to Ephyre to Ilos the on of Mermerus, to procure poison 
for his arrows : Eustathius treats this Mermerus as the son of Medea (see 
Odyss. i. 270, and Enst). As Ephyre is the legendary name of Corinth, we 
may presume this to be a thread of the same mytliical tissue. 


neus and Kretheus. 1 The -Stolid Sisyphus was d.stinguished as 
an unexampled master of cunning and deceit. He blocked up 
the road along the isthmus, and killed the strangers who came 
along it by rolling down upon them great stones from the moun- 
tains above. He was more than a match even for the arch thief 
Autolycus, the son of Hermes, who derived from his father the 
gift of changing the color and shape of stolen goods, so that they 
could no longer be recognized : Sisyphus, by marking his sheep 
under the foot, detected Autolycus when he stole them, and 
obliged him to restore the plunder. His penetration discovered 
the amour of Zeus with the nymph JEgina, daughter of the river- 
god Asopus. Zeus had carried her off to the island of CEnone 
(which subsequently bore the name of -ZEgina) ; upon which 
Asopus, eager to recover her, inquired of Sisyphus whither she 
was gone : the latter told him what had happened, on condition 
that he should provide a spring of water on the summit of the 
Acro-Corinthus. Zeus, indignant with Sisyphus for this revela- 
tion, inflicted upon him in Hades the punishment of perpetually 
heaving up a hill a great and heavy stone, which, so soon as it 
attained the summit, rolled back again in spite of all his efforts, 
with irresistible force into the plain. 2 

In the application of the -ZEolid genealogy to Corinth, Sisyphus, 
the son of JEolus, appears as the first name : but the old Corin- 

1 See Euripid. ^Eol. Fragm. 1, Dindorf; Diksearch. Vit. Grsec. p. 22. 

2 Respecting Sisyphus, see Apollodor. i. 9, 3 ; iii. 1 2, 6. Pausan. ii. 5, 1 . Schol 
ad Iliad, i. 180. Another legend about the amour of Sisyphus with Tyro, is 
in Hygin. fab. GO, and about the manner in which he overreached even Hades 
( Pherekydes ap. Schol. Iliad, vi. 153). The stone rolled by Sisyphus in the 
under-world appears in Odyss. xi. 592. The name of Sisyphus was given 
during the historical age to men of craft and stratagem, such as Derkyllides 
(Xenoph. Hellenic, iii. 1, 8). He passed for the real father of Odysseus, 
though Heyne (ad Apollodor. i. 9, 3^ treats this as another Sisyphus, where- 
by he destroys the suitableness of the predicate as regards Odysseus. The 
duplication and triplication of synonymous personages is an ordinary 
resource for the purpose of reducing the legends into a seeming chronological 

Even in the days of Eumelus a religious mystery was observed respecting 
the tombs of Sisyphus and Neleus, the latter had also died at Corinth, 
no one could say where they were buried (Tansan. ii. 2, 2). 

Sisyphus even overreached Persephone 4 , and made his escape from th* 
*nder- world (Theognis, 702). 


thian post Eumelus either found or framed an heroic genealogy 
for his native city independent both of -ZEolus and Sisyphus. 
According to this genealogy, Ephyre, daughter of Oceanus and 
Tethys, was the primitive tenant of the Corinthian territory, 
Asopus of the Sikyonian : both were assigned to the god Helios, 
in adjusting a dispute between him and Poseidon, by Briareus. 
Helios divided the territory between his two sons .<Eetes and 
Aloeus : to the former he assigned Corinth, to the latter Sikyon. 
-ZEetes, obeying the admonition of an oracle, emigrated to Kolchis, 
leaving his territory under the rule of Bunos, the son of Hermes, 
with the stipulation that it should be restored whenever either he 
or any of his descendants returned. After the death of Bunos, 
both Corinth and Sikyon were possessed by Epopeus, son of 
Aloeus, a wicked man. His son Marathon left him in disgust 
and retired into Attica, but returned after his death and succeeded 
to his territory, which he in turn divided between his two sons 
Corinthos and Sikyon, from whom the names of the two districts 
were first derived. Corinthos died without issue, and the Corin- 
thians then invited Medea from lolkos as the representative of 
./Eetes : she with her husband Jason thus obtained the sovereignty 
of Corinth. 1 This legend of Eumelus, one of the earliest of the 
genealogical poets, so different from the story adopted by Neo- 
phron or Euripides, was followed certainly by Simonides and 
seemingly by Theopompus. 2 The incidents in it are imagined 
and arranged with a view to the supremacy of Medea; the 
emigration of JEetes and the conditions under which he transfer- 
red his sceptre, being so laid out as to confer upon Medea an 
hereditary title to the throne. The Corinthians paid to Medea 
and to her children solemn worship, either divine or heroic, in 
conjunction with Here Akraa, 3 and this was sufficient to give to 

1 Pausan. ii. 1, 1 ; 3, 10. Schol. ad Pindar. Olymp. xiii. 74. Schol. 
Lycoph. 174-1024. Schol. Apoll. Rhod. iv. 1212. 

2 Simonid. ap. Schol. ad Eurip. Mod. 10-20; Theopompus, Fragm. 340, 
Didot ; though Welckcr CDer Episch. Cycl. p. 29) thinks that this docs not 
belong to the historian Theopompus. Epimenides also followed the story of 
Eame'las in making ./Eetes a Corinthian (Schol. ad Apoll. Rhod. iii. 242 j. 

1 Hepl <5 T?/f dg Kopiv&ov /zeToiKqaeuf, 'Imrve EKTI^FTOI Kal 'EA/ldrtKOf 
Ir* KS ftejSaai^EVKe ri/f Kopivdov 17 Mr/ctaa, Ety^Aof laropel Kal 'Sifiuvidij^' 
*Ort <5e Kal $(ivarof t/v i] Mt/6eia, JAovaatof iv rfi irrpl ' Icr&uiuv iffropel, U/M 
rtiv 7% ' Ap.ii'af "Hf of eoprtiv i*Ti$f!.(;. (Schol. Eurip. Med, 10) 


Medea a prominent place in the genealogy composed by a Corin- 
thian poet, accustomed to blend together gods, heroes and men in 
the antiquities of his native city. According to the legend of 
Eumelus, Jason became (through Medea) king of Corinth ; but 
she concealed the children of their marriage in the temple of 
Here, trusting that the goddess would render them immortal. 
Jason, discovering her proceedings, left her and retired in disgust 
to lolkos ; Medea also, being disappointed in her scheme, quitted 
the place, leaving the throne in the hands of Sisyphus, to whom, 
according to the story of Theopompus, she had become attached. 1 
Other legends recounted, that Zeus had contracted a passion for 
Medea, but that she had rejected his suit from fear of the displea- 
sure of Here ; who, as a recompense for such fidelity, rendered 
her children immortal : 2 moreover Medea had erected, by special 
command of Here, the celebrated temple of Aphrodite at Corinth. 
The tenor of these fables manifests their connection with the 
temple of Here: and we may consider the legend of Medea as 
having been originally quite independent of that of Sisyphus, but 
fitted on to it, in seeming chronological sequence, so as to satisfy 
the feelings of those JEolids of Corinth who passed for his 

Sisyphus had for his sons Glaukos and Ornytion. From 
Glaukos sprang Bellerophon, whose romantic adventures com- 
mence with the Iliad, and are further expanded by subsequent 
poets : according to some accounts he was really the son of 
Poseidon, the prominent deity of the .ZEolid family. 3 The youth 

Compare also v. 1376 of the play itself, with the Scholia and Pausan. ii. 3 
6. Both Alkman and Hesiod represented Medea as a goddess (Athenogoras, 
Legatia pro Christianis. p. 54, ed. Oxon.}. 

1 Pausan. ii. 3, 10 ; Schol. Pindar. Olymp. xiii. 74. 

2 Schol. Pindar. Olymp. xiii. 32-74 ; Plutarch. De Herodot. Malign, p. 871. 

3 Pindar. Olymp. xiii. 98. and Schol. ad 1 ; Schol. ad Iliad, vi. 155 ; this 
seems to be the sense of Iliad, vi. 191. 

The lost drama called lobates of Sophokles, and the two by EuripidC-s 
called Sthenebcca and Bdlerophdn, handled the adventures of this hero. See 
the collection of the few fragments remaining in Dindorf, Fragm. Sophok. 
280 ; Fragm. Eurip. p. 87-108 ; and Hygin. fab. 67. 

Welcker (Griechische Tragod. ii. p. 777-800) has ingeniously put together 
11 that can be divined respecting the two plays of Euripides. 

Voleker seeks to make out that Bellerophon is identical with Poseidon 

TOL. I. 6 


and beauty of Bellerophon rendered him the object of a strong 
passion on the part of the Anteia, wife of Prcetos king of Argos. 
Finding her advances rejected, she contracted a violent hatred 
towards him, and endeavored by false accusations to prevail upon 
her husband to kill him. Proetos refused to commit the deed 
under his own roof, but despatched him to his son-in-law the king 
of Lykia in Asia Minor, putting into his hands a folded tablet full 
of destructive symbols. Conformably to these suggestions, the 
most perilous undertakings were imposed upon Bellerophon. He 
was directed to attack the monster Chimaera and to conquer the 
warlike Solymi as well as the Amazons : as he returned victorious 
from these enterprises, an ambuscade was laid for him by the 
bravest Lykian warriors, all of whom he slew. At length the 
Lykian king recognized him "as the genuine son of a god," and 
gave him his daughter in marriage together with half of his 
kingdom. The grand-children of Bellerophon, Glaukos and Sar- 
pedon, the latter a son of his daughter Laodameia by Zeus, 
combat as allies of Troy against the host of Agamemnon ' 
Respecting the winged Pegasus, Homer says nothing ; but later 
poets assigned to Bellerophon this miraculous steed, whose 
parentage is given in the Hesiodic Theogony, as the instrument 
both of his voyage and of his success. 2 Heroic worship was paid 
at Corinth to Bellerophon, and he seems to have been a favorite 
theme of recollection not only among the Corinthians themselves, 
but also among the numerous colonists whom they sent out to 
other regions. 3 

From Ornytion, the son of Sisyphus, we are conducted through 
a series of three undistinguished family names, Thoas, Darno- 
phon, and the brothers Propodas and Hyanthidas, to the time 

Hippios, a separate personification of one of the attributes of the god Posei- 
don. For this conjecture he gives some plausible grounds (Mythologic dcs 
Japetisch. Geschlechts, p. 129 seq.). 

1 Iliad, vi. 155-210. 2 Hesiod, Theogon. 283. 

3 Pausan. ii. 2, 4. See Pindar, Olymp. xiii. 90, addressed to Xenophon 
the Corinthian, and the Adoniazusae of the Syracusan Theocritus, a poem in 
which common Syracusan life and feeling are so graphically depicted, Idyll 
iv. 91. 

'Of nal 6 BMeputbuv Me^oirovvaoioT 


of the Dorian occupation of Corinth 1 , which will be hereafter 

"We now pass from Sisyphus and the Corinthian fables to 
another son of -ZEolus, Athames, whose family history is not 
less replete with mournful and tragical incidents, abundantly 
diversified by the poets. Athamas, we are told, was king of 
Orchomenos ; his wife Nephele was a goddess, and he had by 
her two children, Phryxus and Helle. After a certain time he 
neglected Nephele, and took to himself as a new wife Ino, the 
daughter of Kadmus, by whom he had two sons, Learchus and 
Melikertes. Ino, looking upon Phryxus with the hatred of a 
step-mother, laid a snare for his life. She persuaded the women 
to roast the seed-wheat, which, when sown in this condition, yielded 
no crop, so that famine overspread the land. Athamas sent to 
Delphi to implore counsel and a remedy : he received for answer, 
through the machinations of Ino with the oracle, that the barren- 
ness of the fields could not be alleviated except by offering 
Phryxus as a sacrifice to Zeus, The distress of the people com- 
pelled him to execute this injunction, and Phryxus was led as a 
victim to the altar. But the power of his mother Nephele 
snatched him from destruction, and procured for him from Hermes 
a ram with a fleece of gold, upon which he and his sister Helle 
mounted and were carried across the sea. The ram took the 
direction of the Euxine sea and Kolchis : when they were cross- 
ing the Hellespont, Helle fell off into the narrow strait, which 
took its name from that incident. Upon this, the ram, who was 
endued with speech, consoled the terrified Phryxus, and ultimately 
carried him safe to Kolchis : JEetes, king of Kolchis son of the 
god Helios and brother of Circe, received Phryxus kindly, and 
gave him his daughter Chalciope in marriage. Phryxus sacri- 
ficed the ram to Zeus Phyxios, and suspended the golden fleece 
in the sacred grove of Ares. 

Athamas according to some both Athamas and Ino were 
afterwards driven mad by the anger of the goddess Here ; inso- 
much that the father shot his own son Learchus, and would also 
have put to death his other son Melikertes, if Ino had not 
snatched him away. She fled with the boy, across the Megariau 

1 Pausan. ii. 4, 3. 


territory and Mount Geraneia, to the rock Moluris, overhanging 
the Saronic Gulf: Athamas pursued her, and in order to escape 
him she leaped into the sea. She became a sea-goddess under 
the title of Leukothea ; while the body of Melikertes was cast 
ashore on the neighboring territory of Schoenus, and buried by 
his uncle Sisyphus, who was directed by the Nereids to pay to 
him heroic honors under the name of Palacmon. The Isthmian 
games, one of the great periodical festivals of Greece, were cele- 
brated in honor of the god Poseidon, in conjunction with Palae- 
mon as a hero. Athamas abandoned his territory, and became 
the first settler of a neighboring region called from him Athman- 
tia, or the Athamantian plain. 1 

1 Eurip. Med. 1250, with the Scholia, according to which story Ino killed 
both her children: 

*lvu pavelaav kit tfeuv, 6$' i) Aibf 
Au/uap viv l^Kirefttpe 6u/j.aTuv aki). 

Compare Valckenacr, Diatribe in Eurip. ; Apollodor. i. 9, 1-2 ; Schol. ad 
Pindar. Argum. ad Isthm. p. 180. The many varieties of the fable of Atha- 
mas and his family may be seen in Hygin. fab. 1-5 ; Philostephanus ap. 
Schol. Iliad, vii. 86 : it was a favorite subject with the tragedians, and was 
handled by ^schylus, Sophokles and Euripides in more than one drama 
(see Welcker, Griechische Tragod. vol. i. p. 312-332 ; vol. ii. p. 612). Heyne 
Bays that the proper reading of the name is Phrixus, not Phryxus, incor- 
rectly, I think : <J>pi'fof connects the name both with the story of roasting the 
wheat (^pvye(v), and also with the country $pvyia, of which it was pretended 
that Phryxus was the Eponymus. In6, or Leukothea, was worshipped as a 
heroine at Megara as well as at Corinth (Pausan. i. 42, 3) : the celebrity of 
the Isthmian games carried her worship, as well as that of Palremon, 
throughout most parts of Greece (Cicero, De Nat Deor. iii. 16). She is the 
only personage of this family noticed either in the Iliad or Odyssey : in the 
latter poem she is a sea-goddess, who has once been a mortal, daughter of 
Kadmus ; she saves Odysseus from imminent danger at sea by presenting 
to him her npfjSefivov (Odyss. v. 433 ; see the refinements of Aristides, Orat. 
iii. p. 27). The voyage of Phryxus and Helle 4 to Kolchis was related in the 
Hesiodic Eoiai : we find the names of the children of Phryxus by the 
daughter of JEe'te's quoted from that poem (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 
1123} both Hesiod and Pherekyde's mentioned the golden fleece of the ram 
(Eratosthcn. Catasterism. 19; Pherekyd. Fragm. 53, Didot). 

Hekatacus preserved the romance of the speaking ram (Schol. Apoll. Rhod 
I 256) but Hellanikus dropped the story of Helld having fallen inla th 


The legend of Athamas connects itself with some sanguinary 
religious rites and very peculiar family customs, which prevailed 
at Alos, in Achaia Phthiotis, down to a time 1 later than the his- 
torian Herodotus, and of which some remnant existed at Orcho- 
aienos even in the days of Plutarch. Athamas was worshipped 
at Alos as a hero, having both a chapel and a consecrated grove, 
attached to the temple of Zeus Laphystios. On the family of 
which he was the heroic progenitor, a special curse and disability 
stood affixed. The eldest of the race was forbidden to enter the 
prytaneion or government-house ; and if he was found within the 
doors of the building, the other citizens laid hold of him on his 
going out, surrounded him with garlands, and led him in solemn 
procession to be sacrificed as a victim at the altar of Zeus 
Laphystios. The prohibition carried with it an exclusion from 
all the public meetings and ceremonies, political as well as 
religious, and from the sacred fire of the state : many of the 
individuals marked out had therefore been bold enough to trans- 
gress it. Some had been seized on quitting the building and 
actually sacrificed ; others had fled the country for a long time to 
avoid a similar fate. 

The guides who conducted Xerxes and his army through 
southern Thessaly detailed to him this existing practice, coupled 
with the local legend, that Athamas, together with Ino, had 
sought to compass the death of Phryxus, who however had 
escaped to Kolchis ; that the Achaeans had been enjoined by an 
oracle to otfer up Athamas himself as an expiatory sacrifice to 
release the country from the anger of the gods ; but that Kytis- 
eoros, son of Phryxus, coming back from Kolchis, had intercepted 
the sacrifice of Athamas, 2 whereby the anger of the gods re- 
lea: according to him sue died at Pactye in the Chersoncsus (Schol. Apoll. 
Bhod. ii. 1144). 

The poet Asius seems to have given the genealogy of Athamas by The 
misto much in the same manner as we find it in Apollodorus (Pausan. ix. 
23, 3). 

According to the ingenious refinements of Dionysiu.s and Palaephatug 
(Sehol. ad Apo!l. Rhod. ii. 1144; Palsephat. de Incred. c. 31) the ram of 
Phryxus was after all a man named Krios, a faithful attendant who aided in 
his, escape; others imagined a ship with a ram's head at the bow. 
1 Plutarch, Quaest. Graec. c. 38. p. 299. Schol. Apoll. Rhod. ii. 655. 
1 Of the Athamas of Sophokles, turning upon this intended, but not con 


in; lined still unappeased, and an undying curse rested upon th<! 
family. 1 

That such human sacrifices continued to a greater or less 
extent, even down to a period later than Herodotus, among the 
family who worshipped Athamas as their heroic ancestor, appears 
certain : mention is also made of similar customs in parts of 
Arcadia, and of Thessaly, in honor of Peleus and Cheiron.' 3 
But we may reasonably presume, that in the period of greater 
humanity which Herodotus witnessed, actual sacrifice had become 
very rare. The curse and the legend still remained, but were 

summated sacrifice, little is known, except from a passage of Aristophanes 
and the Scholia upon it (Nubes, 258). 

(jaxep p.e rbv 'A$dpav&' 

Athamas was introduced in this drama with a garland on his head, on the 
point of being sacrificed as an expiation for the death of his son Phryxus, 
when Herakles interposes and rescues him. 

1 Herodot. vii. 197. Plato, Minos, p. 315. 

2 Plato, Minos, c. 5. Kal ol rov 'Ai?a//avTOf cnyovoi, oiaf &vaia dvovGLv, 
'E/lAj/vef (>v rec As a testimony to the fact still existing or believed to exist, 
this dialogue is quite sufficient, though not the work of Plato. 

M6v//of <5' iaropel, kv ry rtiv &avp,aaiuv cvvayuyy, ev H&Tiy rfc Qerra- 
Maf 'A%ai?v uv&puTrov TiriTiel not Xeipuvi KaTadveo'&ai.. (Clemens Alexand. 
Admon. ad Gent. p. 27, Sylb.) Respecting the sacrifices at the temple of 
Zeus Lykasus in Arcadia, see Plato, Republ. viii. p. 565. Pausanias (viii. p. 
38, 5) seems to have shrunk, when he was upon the spot, even from inquir- 
ing what they were a striking proof of the fearful idea which he had con- 
ceived of them. Plutarch (De Defectu Oracul. c. 14) speaks of rue xu/.ai 
iroiovfievac av&puno^vaiaf. The Schol. ad Lycophron. 229, gives a story 
of children being sacrificed to Melikertc's at Tenedos ; and Apollodorus 
(ad Porphyr. de Abstinent^, ii. 55, see Apollod. Fragm. 20, ed. Didot) said 
that the Lacedaemonians had sacrificed a man to Ares KG? Aa/cedat^ovi'o^f 
Qrjalv 6 'A7ro/W,6(5<jf>or r<p "Apei -&veiv uv&puKov. About Salamis in Cyprus, 
dee Lactantius, De Falsft Religione, i. c. 21. "Apud Cypri Salaminem, 
hamanam hostiam Jovi Teucrus immolavit, idque sacrificium posteris tradi- 
dit : quod est nuper Hadriano imperante sublatum." 

Respecting human sacrifices in historical Greece, consult a good section in 
K. F. Hermann's Gottesdienstliche AlterthUmer der Griechen (sect. 27) 
Such sacrifices had been a portion of primitive Grecian religion, but had 
gradually become obsolete everywhere except in one or two solitary cases 
which were spoken of with horror. Even in these cases, too, the reality of 
the fact, in later times, is not beyond suspicion. 


not called into practical working, except during periods of intense 
national suffering or apprehension, during which the religious 
sensibilities were always greatly aggravated. We cannot at all 
doubt, that during the alarm created by the presence of the Per- 
sian king with his immense and ill-disciplined host, the minds of 
the Thessalians must have been keenly alive to alt that was ter- 
rific in their national stories, and all that was expiatory in their 
religious solemnities. Moreover, the mind of Xerxes himself 
was so awe-struck by the tale, that he reverenced the dwelling-place 
consecrated to Athamas. The guides who recounted to him the 
romantic legend, gave it as the historical and generating cause 
of the existing rule and practice: a critical inquirer is forced 
(as has been remarked before) to reverse the order of precedence, 
and to treat the practice as having been the suggesting cause of 
its own explanatory legend. 

The family history of Athamas, and the worship of Zeus 
Laphystios, are expressly connected by Herodotus with Alos in 
Achaea Phthiotis one of the towns enumerated in the Iliad as 
under the command of Achilles. But there was also a mountain 
called Laphystion, and a temple and worship of Zeus Laphystios 
between Orchomenos and Koroneia, in the northern portion of 
the territory known in the historical ages as Bceotia. Here alsc 
the family story of Athamas is localized, and Athamas is pre- 
sented to us as king of the districts of Koroneia, Haliartus and 
Mount Laphystion : he is thus interwoven with the Orchomenian 
genealogy. 1 Andreas (we are told), son of the river Peneios, 
was the first person Avho settled in the region: from him it 
received the name Andreis. Athamas, coming subsequently to 
Andreus, received from him the territory of Koroneia and Haliar 
tus with Mount Laphystion : he gave in marriage to Andreus, 
Euippe, daughter of his son Leucon, and the issue of this mar- 
riage was Eteokles, said to be the son of the river Kephisos. 
Koronos and Haliartus, grandsons of the Corinthian Sisyphus, 
were adopted by Athamas, as he had lost all his children : but 
when his grandson Presbon, son of Phryxus, returned to him 
from Kolchis, he divided his territory in such manner that 
Koronos and Haliartus became the founders of the towns which 

1 Pausan. ix. 34, 4. 


bore their names. Almon, the Bon of Sisyphus, alsc received 
from Eteokles a portion of territory, where he established the 
village AlmOnes. 1 

With Eteokles began, according to a statement in one of the 
Ilesiodic poems, the worship of the Charites or Graces, so long 
and so solemnly continued at Orchomenos in the periodical festival 
of the Charitesia, to which many neighboring towns and districts 
seem to have contributed. 2 He also distributed the inhabitants 
into two tribes Eteokleia and Kephisias. He died childless, 
and was succeeded by Almos, who had only two daughters, 
Chryse and Chrysogeneia. The son of Chryse by the god Ares 
was Phlegyas, the father and founder of the warlike and preda- 
tory Phlegyae, who despoiled every one within their reach, and 
assaulted not only the pilgrims on their road to Delphi, but even 
the treasures of the temple itself. The offended god punished 
them by continued thunder, by earthquakes, and by pestilence, 
which extinguished all this impious race, except a scanty rem- 
nant who fled into Phokis. 

Chrysogeneia, the other daughter of Almos, had for issue, by 
the god Poseidon, Minyas : the son of Minyas was Orchomenos. 
From these two was derived the name both of Minyae for the 
people, and of Orchomenos for the town. 3 During the reign of 
Orchomenos, Hyettus came to him from Argos, having become 
an exile in consequence of the death of Molyros : Orchomenos 
assigned to him a portion of land, where he founded the village 
called Hyettus. 4 Orchomenos, having no issue, was succeeded 
by Klymenos, son of Presbon, of the house of Athamas : Kly- 
menos was slain by some Thebans during the festival of Poseidon 
at Onchestos ; and his eldest son, Erginus, to avenge his death, 
attacked the Thebans with his utmost force ; an attack, in 
which he was so successful, that the latter were forced to submit, 
and to pay him an annual tribute. 

1 Pausan. ix. 34, 5. 2 Ephorus, Fragm. 68, Marx. 

3 Fausan. ix. 36, 1-3. See also a legend, about the three daughters of 
Minyas, which was treated by the Tanngrsean poetess Korinna, the conteropo 
raiy of Pindar (Antonin. Liberalis, Narr. x.). 

4 This exile of Hyettus was recounted in the Eoiai. Hesiod, Fragm. 1 4& 


The Orchomenian power was now at its height : both Minyaa 
and Orchomenos had been princes of surpassing wealth, and the 
former had built a spacious and durable edifice which he had 
filled with gold and silver. But the success of Erginus against 
Thebes was soon terminated and reversed by the hand of the 
irresistible Herakles, who rejected with disdain the claim of 
tribute, and even mutilated the envoys sent to demand it : he 
not only emancipated Thebes, but broke down and impoverished 
Orchomenos. 1 Erginus in his old age married a young wife, 
from which match sprang the illustrious heroes, or gods, Tro- 
phonius and Agamedes ; though many (amongst whom is Pausa- 
nius himself) believed Trophonius to be the son of Apollo. 3 
Trophonius, one of the most memorable persons in Grecian 
mythology, was worshipped as a god in various places, but with 
especial sanctity as Zeus Trophonius at Lebadeia : in his temple 
at this town, the prophetic manifestations outlasted those of Del- 
phi itself. 3 Trophonius and Agamedes, enjoying matchless 
renown as architects, built 4 the temple of Delphi, the thalamua 
of Amphitryon at Thebes, as well as the inaccessible vault of 
Hyrieus at Hyria, in w r hich they are said to have left one stone 
removable at pleasure, so as to reserve for themselves a secret 
entrance. They entered so frequently, and stole so much gold 
and silver, that Hyrieus, astonished at his losses, at length spread 
& fine net, in which Agamedes was inextricably caught : Tropho- 
nius cut off his brother's head and carried it away, so that the 

1 Pausan. ix. 37,2. Apollod. ii. 4, 11. Diodor. iv. 10. The two latter 
tell us that Erginus was slain. Klymene is among the wives and daughters 
of the heroes seen by Odysseus in Hades : she is termed by the Schol. 
daughter of Minyas (Odyss. xi. 325). 

' 2 Pausan. ix. 37, 1-3. Aeyerai 6c 6 Tpo<t>&viof 'ATro^/luvof elvai, KOI OVK 
'Epylvov KOI iyij re rce'ido/nai, Kal otmf Trapu Tpo<j>uvtov fade Si) pavr 

3 Plutarch, De Defectu Oracul. c. 5, p. 411. Strabo, ix. p. 414. The 
mention of the honeyed cakes, both in Aristophanes (Nub. 508) and Pausa- 
aias (ix. 39, 5), indicates that the curious preliminary ceremonies, for those 
who consulted the oracle of Trophonius, remained the same after a lapse of 
550 years. Pausanias consulted it himself. There had been at one time an 
oracle of Teiresias at Orchomenos : but it had become silent at an earlj 
period (Plutarch. Defect. Oracul. c. 44, p. 434). 

4 Homer. Hymn. Apoll. 296. Pausan. ix. 11, 1. 

VOL. i. 6* 9oc. 


body, which alone remained, was insufficient to identify the thief, 
Like Amphiaraos, whom he resembles in more than one respect, 
Trophonius was swallowed up by the earth near Lebadeia. 1 

From Trophonius and Agamedes the Orchomenian genealogy 
passes to Ascalaphos and lalmenos, the sons of Ares by Astyo- 
che, who are named in the Catalogue of the Iliad as leaders of 
the thirty ships from Orchomenos against Troy. Azeus, the 
grandfather of Astyoche in the Iliad, is introduced as the brother 
of Erginus 2 by Pausanias, who does not carry the pedigree 

The genealogy here given out of Pausanias is deserving of the 
more attention, because it seems to have been copied from the 
special history of Orchomenos by the Corinthian Kallippus, who 
again borrowed from the native Orchomenian poet, Chersias : the 
works of the latter had never come into the hands of Pausanias. 
It illustrates forcibly the principle upon which these mythical 
genealogies were framed, for almost every personage in the series 
is an Eponymus. Andreus gave his name to the country, Atha- 
mas to the Athamantian plain ; Minyas, Orchomenos, Koronus, 
Haliartus, Almos and Hyettos, are each in like manner connected 
with some name of people, tribe, town or village ; while Chryse 
and Chrysogeneia have their origin in the reputed ancient weal tli 
of Orchomenos. Abundant discrepancies are found, however, in 
respect to this old genealogy, if we look to other accounts. Ac- 
cording to one statement, Orchomenos was the son of Zeus by 
Isione, daughter of Danaus ; Minyas was the son of Orchome- 
nos (or rather of Poseidon) by Hermippe, daughter of Boeotos ; 
the sons of Minyas were Presbon, Orchomenos, Athamas and 
Diochthondas. 3 Others represented Minyas as son of Poseidon 

1 Pausan. ix. 37, 3. A similar story, but far more romantic and amplified, 
is told by Herodotus (ii. 121), respecting the treasury vault of Ilhampsini- 
tus, king of Egypt. Charax (ap. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 508) gives the same 
tale, but places the scene in the treasury-vault of Augeas, king of Elis, 
which he says was built by Trophonius, to whom he assigns a totally 
different genealogy. The romantic adventures of the tale rendered it emi- 
nently fit to be interwoven at some point or another of legendary history, in 
any country. 

* Pansan. ix. 38, 6 ; 29, 1. 

1 Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 230. Compare Schol. ad Lycophron. 873. 


by Kallirrhoe, an Oceanic nymph, 1 while Dionysius called him 
son of Ares, and Aristodemus, son of Aleas : lastly, there were 
not wanting authors who termed both Minyas and Orchomenos 
sons of Eteokles. 2 Nor do we find in any one of these gen- 
ealogies the name of Amphion, the son of lasus, who figures 
so prominently in the Odyssey as king of Orchomenos, and whose 
beautiful daughter Chloris is married to Neleus. Pausanias 
mentions him, but not as king, which is the denomination given 
to him in Homer. 3 

The discrepancies here cited are hardly necessary in order to 
prove that these Orchomenian genealogies possess no historical 
value. Yet some probable inferences appear deducible from the 
general tenor of the legends, whether the facts and persons of 
which they are composed be real or fictitious. 

Throughout all the historical age, Orchomenos is a member of 
the Boeotian confederation. But the Boeotians are said to have 
been immigrants into the territory which bore their name from 
Thessaly ; and prior to the time of their immigration, Orchome- 
nos and the surrounding territory appear as possessed by the 
Minyce, who are recognized in that locality both in the Iliad and 
in the Odyssey, 4 and from whom the constantly recurring Epon- 
ymus, King Minyas, is borrowed by the genealogists. Poetical 
legend connects the Orchomenian Minyas on the one side, with 
Pylos and Tryphylia in Peloponnesus ; on the other side, with 
Phthiotis and the town of lolkos in Thessaly ; also with Corinth, 5 

1 Schol. Pindar, Olymp. xiv. 5. 

2 Schol. Pindar, Isthm. i. 79. Other discrepancies in Schol. Vett, ad Uiad. 
ii. Catalog. 18. 

3 Odyss. xi. 283. Pausan. ix. 36, 3. 

4 Uiad, ii. 5, 1 1. Odyss. xi. 283. Hesiod, Fragm. Eoiai, 27, Diintz. 'Ifrv 
<5' 'Opx6fj.evov Mivvqiov. Pindar, Olymp. xiv. 4. HaXaLjdvuv Mivvuv imff~ 
KOTTOI. Hcrodot. i. 146. Pausanias calls them Minyae even in their 
dealings with Sylla (ix. 30, 1). Buttmann, in his Dissertation (iiber die 
Minyae der Altesten Zeit, in the Mythologus, Diss. xxi. p. 218), doubts 
whether the name Minyse was ever a real name ; but all the passages make 
against his opinion. 

* Schol. Apoll. Rhod. ii. 1186. i. 230. 2/c^tof 6e A^/z^rptof $7101 roOf 
vepl TTJV 'luXicbv oiKovvrae Mivvaf Kakeia-frai ; and i. 763. TT/V jdp 'lu/Udv 
/ Mivueu $KOVV, uf tyr/ai St^uvW^f fa Sty/^i/crotf : also Eustath. ad Iliad, ii. 
512. Steph. Byz. v. Mivva. Orchomenos and Pylos ran together in the 
mind of the poet of the Odyssey, xi. 458. 


through Sisyphus and his sons. Pherekydes represented Neleus, 
king of Pylos, as having also been king of Orchoraenos. 1 In the 
region of Triphylia, near to or coincident with Pylos, a Minyeian 
river is mentioned by Homer ; and we find traces of residents 
called Minyaa even in the historical times, though the account 
given by Herodotus of the way in which they came thither is 
strange and unsatisfactory. 2 

Before the great changes which took place in the inhabitants 
of Greece from the immigration of the Thesprotians into Thessaly, 
of the Boeotians into Boeotia, and of the Dorians and -ZEtolians 
into Peloponnesus, at a date which we have no means of deter 
mining, the Minyae and tribes fraternally connected with them 
seem to have occupied a large portion of the surface of Greece, 
from lolkos in Thessaly to Pylos in the Peloponnesus. The 
wealth of Orchomenos is renowned even in the Iliad ; 3 and when 
we study its topography in detail, we are furnished with a proba- 
ble explanation both of its prosperity and its decay. Orchome- 
nos was situated on the northern bank of the lake Kopai's, which 
receives not only the river Kephisos from the valleys of Phokis, 
but also other rivers from Parnassus and Helicon. The waters 
of the lake find more than one subterranean egress partly 
through natural rifts and cavities in the limestone mountains, 
partly through a tunnel pierced artificially more than a mile in 
length into the plain on the north-eastern side, from whence 
they flow into the Eubcean sea near Larymna r 4 and it appears 

1 Pherekyd. Fragm. 56, Didot. We see by the !55th Fragment of the 
same author, that he extended the genealogy of Phryxos to Pherae in 

2 Herodot. iv. 145. Strabo, viii. 337-347. Horn. Iliad, xi. 721. Pausan. 
v. 1, 7. TroTafibv Mivvqiov, near Elis. 

3 Iliad, ix. 381. 

4 See the description of these channels or Katabothra in Colonel Leakc's 
Travels in Northern Greece, vol. ii. c. 15, p. 281-293, and still more elabo- 
rately in Fiedler, Reise durch alle Theile des Konigreichs Griechenlands, 
Leipzig, 1840. He traced fifteen perpendicular shafts sunk for the purpose 
of admitting air intc the tunnel, the first separated from the last by about 
5900 feet : they are now of course overgrown and stopped up (vol. i. p 

Forchhammer states the length of this tunnel as considerably greater than 
what is here stated. He also gives a plan of the Lake Kopa'ts with the sui> 


that, so long as these channels were diligently watched and kept 
clear, a large portion of the lake was in the condition of alluvial 
land, preeminently rich and fertile. But when the channels came 
to be either neglected, or designedly choked up by an enemy, the 
water accumulated to such a degree, as to occupy the soil of more 
than one ancient town, to endanger the position of Kopas, and to 
occasion the change of the site of Orchomenos itself from the 
plain to the declivity of Mount Hyphanteion. An engineer, 
Krates, began the clearance of the obstructed water-courses in 
the reign of Alexander the Great, and by his commission the 
destroyer of Thebes being anxious to reestablish the extinct 
prosperity of Orchomenos. He succeeded so far as partially to 
drain and diminish the lake, whereby the site of more than one 
ancient city was rendered visible : but the revival of Thebes by 
Kassander, after the decease of Alexander, arrested the progress 
of the undertaking, and the lake soon regained its former dimen- 
sions, to contract which no farther attempt was made. 1 

According to the Theban legend, 2 Herakles, after his defeat of 
Erginus had blocked up the exit of the waters, and converted 
the Orchomenian plain into a lake. The spreading of these 
waters is thus connected with the humiliation of the Minyae ; and 
there can be little hesitation in ascribing to these ancient tenants 
of Orchomenos, before it became boeotized, the enlargement and 
preservation of these protective channels. Nor could such an 
object have been accomplished, without combined action and ac- 
knowledged ascendency on the part of that city over its neigh- 
bors, extending even to the sea at Larymna, where the river K6- 
phisos discharges itself. Of its extended influence, as well aa 
of its maritime activity, we find a remarkable evidence in the 
ancient and venerated Amphiktyony at Kalauria. The little is- 

founding region, which I have placed at the end of the second volume of 
this History. See also infra, vol. ii. ch. iii. p. 391. 

1 We owe this interesting fact to Strabo, who is however both concise 
and unsatisfactoiy, viii. p. 406-407. It was affirmed that there had been 
two ancient towns, named Eleusis and Athense, originally founded by Ce 
crops, situated on the lake, and thus overflowed (Steph. Byz. v. 'Atf^vat 
Diogen. Laurt. iv. 23. Pausan. ix. 24, 2). For the plain or nursh near Or 
chomenos, see Plutarch, Sylla, c. 20-22. 

* Diodor. iv. 1 8. Pausan. ix. 38, 5 


land so named, near the harbor of Troezen, in Peloponnesus, was 
sacred to Poseidon, and an asylum of inviolable sanctity. At the 
temple of Poseidon, in Kalauria, there had existed, from unknown 
date, a periodical sacrifice, celebrated by seven cities in common 
Hermione, Epidaurus, -ZEgina, Athens, Prasiae, Nauplia, and 
the Minyeian Orchomenos. This ancient religious combination 
dates from the time when Nauplia was independent of Argos, 
and Prasiae of Sparta : Argos and Sparta, according to the usual 
practice in Greece, continued to fulfil the obligation each on the 
part of its respective dependent. 1 Six out of the seven states are 
at once sea-towns, and near enough to Kalauria to account for 
their participation in this Amphiktyony. But the junction ol 
Orchomenos, from its comparative remoteness, becomes inexpli- 
cable, except on the supposition that its territory reached the sea, 
and that it enjoyed a considerable maritime traffic a fact which 
helps to elucidate both its legendary connection with lolkos, and 
its partnership in what is called the Ionic emigration. 2 The my- 
thical genealogy, whereby Ptoos, Schreneus and Erythrios are 
enumerated among the sons of Athamas, goes farther to confirm 
the idea that the towns and localities on the south-east of the 
lake recognized a fraternal origin with the Orchomenian Minyae, 
not less than Koroneia and Haliartus on the south-west. 3 

The great power of Orchomenos was broken down, and the 
city reduced to a secondary and half-dependent position by the 
Boeotians of Thebes ; at what time, and under what circumstances, 
history has not preserved. The story, that the Theban hero, 
Herakles, rescued his native city from servitude and tribute to 
Orchomenos, since it comes from a Kadmeian and not from an 
Orchomenian legend, and since the details of it were favorite 
subjects of commemoration in the Thebian temples, 4 affords a 
presumption that Thebes was really once dependent on Orcho- 

1 Strabo, viii. p. 374. T Hi/ 6e KO.I 'A/^xrww'a Ttf Kepi rd iepdv TOVTO, 
Trofauv at fierelxov TW &vaiaf ijaavtie 'E/^uwr, 'Emdovpof, \lytva, 'Ai9^va 
Upacfielf, NavTT/Uetf, 'Op^o/wfOf 6 Mivveioe. 'Tn-ep fiev ovv TUV NavTr/Uem 
'Apyetot, vnep Hpaaieuv de kaKe8aifj.6vioi, S-wtTihovv. 

"Pausan. ix. 17, 1 ; 26,1. 

3 See Muller, Orchomenos und die Minyer, p. 214. Pausan. ix. 23, 9 
24, 3. The genealogy is as old as the poet Asios, 

4 Herod, i. 146. Pausan. vii. 2, 2. 


menos. Moreover tbe savage mutilations inflicted by the hero 
on the tribute-seeking envoys, so faithfully portrayed in his sur- 
name Rhinokoloustes, infuse into the mythe a portion of that 
hitter feeling which so long prevailed between Thebes and Or- 
chomenos, and which led the Thebans, as soon as the battle of 
Leuctra had placed supremacy in their hands, to destroy and de- 
populate their rival. 1 The ensuing generation saw the same fate 
retorted upon Thebes, combined with the restoration of Orcho- 
menos. The legendary grandeur of this city continued, long 
after it had ceased to be distinguished for wealth and power, im- 
perishably recorded both in the minds of the nobler citizens and 
in the compositions of the poets ; the emphatic language of Pau- 
sanias shows how much he found concerning it in the old epic. 2 


With several of the daughters of JEolus memorable mythical 
pedigrees and narratives are connected. Alcyene married Keyx, 
the son of Eosphoros, but both she and her husband displayed 
in a high degree the overweening insolence common in the -ZEolic 
race. The wife called her husband Zeus, while he addressed her 
as Here, for which presumptuous act Zeus punished them by 
changing both into birds. 3 

Canace had by the god Poseidon several children, amongst 

1 Theocrit. xvi. 104. 

T i2 'Ereo/c^efOi ftvyarpei; deal, al MLVVEIOT 
'Opxofievov (jtiheoiaai, u,Trex$6nev6v nona Ofjflaif. 

The scholiast gives a sense to these words much narrower than they really 
bear. See Diodor. xv. 79; Pausan. ix. 15. In the oration which Isokrates 
places in the mouth of a Platsean, complaining of the oppressions of Thebes, 
the ancient servitude and tribute to Orchomenos is cast in the teeth of the 
Thebans (Isokrat. Orat. Plataic. vol. iii. p. 32, Auger). 

2 Pausan. ix. 34, 5. See also the fourteenth Olympic Ode of Pindar, ad- 
dressed to the Orchomenian Asopikus. The learned and instructive work 
of K. 0. Miiller, Orchomenos und die Minyer, embodies everything which 
can be known respecting this once-memorable city; indeed the contents of 
the work extends much farther than its title promises. 

3 Apollodor. i. 7, 4. A. Keyx, king of Trachin, the friend of Herakles 
and protector of the HtVakleids to the extent of his power (Hesiod. Scut 
Hercul. 355-473 : Apollodor. ii. 7, 5 ; Hekatae. Fragm. 353, Didot.). 


whom were Epopeus and Aloeus. 1 Aloeus married Imphimedea, 
who became enamored of the god Poseidon, and boasted of her 
intimacy with him. She had by him two sons, Otos and Ephi- 
altes, the huge and formidable Aloids, Titanic beings, nine 
fathoms in height and nine cubits in breadth, even in their boy- 
hood, before they had attained their full strength. These Aloids 
defied and insulted the gods in Olympus ; they paid their court 
to Here and Artemis, and they even seized and bound Ares, 
confining him in a brazen chamber for thirteen months. No one 
knew where he was, and the intolerable chain would have worn 
him to death, had not Eriboea, the jealous stepmother of the 
Aloids, revealed the place of his detention to Hermes, who carried 
him surreptitiously away when at the last extremity ; nor could 
Ares obtain any atonement for such an indignity. Otus and 
Ephialtes even prepared to assault the gods in heaven, piling up 
Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa, in order to reach them. 
And this they would have accomplished had they been allowed 
to grow to their full maturity ; but the arrows of Apollo put a 
timely end to their short-lived career. 2 

1 Canace 1 , daughter of ./Eolus, is a subject of deep tragical interest both in 
Euripide's and Ovid. The eleventh Heroic Epistle of the latter, founded 
mainly on the lost tragedy of the former called ./Eolus, purports to be from 
Canace to Macareus, and contains a pathetic description of the ill-fated pas- 
sion between a brother and sister : see the fragments of the _<Eolus in Din- 
dorf s collection. In the tale of Kaunos and Byblis, both children of Miletos, 
the results of an incestuous passion are different but hardly less melancholy 
(Parthenios, Narr. xi.). 

Makar, the son of JEolns, is the primitive settler of the island of Lesbos 
(Horn, Hymn. Apoll. 37) : moreover in the Odyssey, JEolus son of Hippoti-s, 
the dispenser of the winds, has six sons and six daughters, and marries 
the former to the latter (Odyss. x. 7). The two persons called JEolus are 
brought into connection genealogically (see Schol. ad Odyss. 1. c., and Dio- 
dor. iv. 67), but it seems probable that Euripides was the first to place the 
names of Macareus and Canace in that relation which confers upon them 
their poetical celebrity. Sostratus (ap. Stobaeum, t. 614, p. 404) can hardly 
be considered to have borrowed from any older source than Euripides 
Welcker (Griech. Tragod. vol. ii. p. 860) puts together all that ca~i be known 
respecting the structure of the lost drama of Euripides. 

* Iliad, v. 386 ; Odyss. xi. 306 ; ApoKodor. i. 7. 4. So Typhoeus, in the 
Hcsiodic Theogony, the last enemy of the gods, is killed before he come* 
to maturity (Theog. 837). For the different turns given to this ancient Ho 


The genealogy assigned to Calyce, another daughter of JEolus, 
conducts us from Thessaly to Elis and ^tolia. She married 
Aethlius (the son of Zeus by Protogeneia, daughter of Deukalion 
and sister of Hellen), who conducted a colony out of Thessalr 
and settled in the territory of Elis. He had for his son Endy- 
mi6n, respecting whom the Hesiodic Catalogue and the Eoiai 
related several wonderful things. Zeus granted him the privilege 
of determining the hour of his own death, and even translated 
him into heaven, which he forfeited by daring to pay court to 
Here: his vision in this criminal attempt was cheated by a cloud, 
and he was cast out into the under-world. 1 According to other 

meric legend, see Heyne, ad Apollodor. 1. c., and Hyginus, f. 28. The Aloids 
were noticed in the Hesiodic poems (ap. Schol. Apoll. Ehod. i. 482). Odys 
seus does not see them in Hades, as Heyne by mistake says ; he sees their 
mother Iphimedea. Virgil (JEn. vi. 582) assigns to them a place among the 
sufferers of punishment in Tartarus. 

Eumelus, the Corinthian poet, designated Aloeus as son of the god Helios 
and brother of .ZEetes, the father of Medea (Eumel. Fragm. 2, MarktschefFel). 
The scene of their death was subsequently laid in Naxos ( Pindar, Pyth. iv. 
68) : their tombs were seen at Anthedon in Bcaotia (Pausan. ix. 22, 4). The 
very curious legend alluded to by Pausanias from Hegesinoos, the author of 
an Atthis, to the effect that Otos and Ephialtes were the first to establish 
the worship of the Muses in Helicon, and that they founded Ascra along with 
CEoklos, the son of Poseidon, is one which we have no means of tracing 
farther (Pausan. ix. 29, 1). 

The story of the Aloids, as Diodorus gives it (v. 51, 52), diverges on 
almost every point : it is evidently borrowed from some Naxian archaeologist, 
and the only information which we collect from it is, that Otos and Ephialtes 
received heroic honors at Naxos. The views of 0. Muller (Orchomenos, p. 
387) appear to me unusually vague and fanciful. 

Ephialtes takes part in the combat of the giants against the gods (Apollo- 
dor, t. 6, 2), where Heyne remarks, as in so many other cases, " Ephialtes hie 
uon confundendus cum altero Aloei filio ; " an observation just indeed, if we 
are supposed to be dealing with personages and adventures historically real, 
but altogether misleading in regard to these legendary characters ; for here 
the general conception of Ephialtes and his attributes is in both cases tha 
same ; but the particular adventures ascribed to him cannot be made to con- 
sist, as facts, one with the other. 

1 Hesiod, Akusilaus and Pherekydes, ap. Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iv, 57. 
Iv f av~u -Bavdrov TO/UTJC:. The Scholium is very full of matter, and ex 
hibits many of the diversities in the tile of Endjmion : see also Apollod6i 
L 7, 5 ; Pausan. v. 1, 2 ; Conon. Narr. 14. 


stories, his great beauty caused the goddess Selene to become ena- 
mored of him, and to visit him by night during his sleep : the 
sleep of Endymion became a proverbial expression for enviable, 
undisturbed, and deathless repose. 1 Endymion had for issue 
(Pausanias gives us three different accounts, and Apollodorus a 
fourth, of the name of his wife) Epeios, JEtolus, Paeon, and a 
daughter Eurykyde. He caused his three sons to run a race on 
the stadium at Olympia, and Epeios, being victorious, was re- 
warded by becoming his successor in the kingdom : it was after 
him that the people were denominated Epeians. 

Both the story here mentioned, and still more, the etymologi 
cal signification of the names Aethlius and Endymion, seem 
plainly to indicate (as has before been remarked) that this gene- 
alogy was not devised until after the Olympic games had become 
celebrated and notorious throughout Greece. 

Epeios had no male issue, and was succeeded by his nephew 
Eleios, son of Euykyde by the god Poseidon : the name of the 
people was then changed from Epeians to Eleians. JEtolus, the 
brother of Epeios, having slain Apis, son of Phoroneus, was com- 
pelled to flee from the country : he crossed the Corinthian gulf 
and settled in the territory then called Kuretis, but to which he 
gave the name of JEtolia. 2 

The son of Eleios, or, according to other accounts, of the 
god Helios, of Poseidon, or of Phorbas, 3 is Augeas, whom we 
find mentioned in the Iliad as king of the Epeians or Eleians. 
Nestor gives a long and circumstantial narrative of his own ex- 
ploits at the head of his Pylian countrymen against his neighbors 
the Epeians and their king Augeas, whom he defeated with great 
loss, slaying Mulios, the king's son-in-law, and acquiring a vast 

1 Theocrit. iii. 49 ; xx. 35 ; where, however, Endymion is connected with 
Latmos in Caria (see Schol. ad loc). 

2 Pausan. v. 1. 3-6; Apollodor. i. 7, 6. 

3 Apollodor. ii. 5, 5; Schol. Apoll. Ehod. i. 172. In all probability, the 
old legend made Augeas the son of the god Helios : Helios, Augeas and Aga- 
tnede arc a triple series parallel to the Corinthian genealogy, Helios, JEetes 
and Media ; not to mention that the etymology of Augeas connects him 
with Helios. Theocritus (xx. 55) designates him as the son of the god He- 
lios, through whose favor his cattle are made to prosper and multiply y'tli 
uch astonishing success (xx. 117). 


booty. 1 Augeas was rich in all sorts of rural wealth, and pos- 
sessed herds of cattle so numerous, that the dung of the animals 
accumulated in the stable or cattle enclosures beyond all power 
of endurance. Eurystheus, as an insult to Herakles, imposed 
upon him the obligation of cleansing this stable : the hero, dis- 
daining to carry off the dung upon his shoulders, turned the course 
of the river Alpheios through the building, and thus swept the 
encumbrance away. 2 But Augeas, in spite of so signal a ser- 
vice, refused to Herakles the promised reward, though his son 
Phyleus protested against such treachery, and when he found that 
he could not induce his father to keep faith, retired in sorrow 
and wrath to the island of Dulichion. 3 To avenge the deceit 
practised upon him, Herakles invaded Elis; but Augeas had 
powerful auxiliaries, especially his nephews, the two Molionids 
(sons of Poseidon by Molione, the wife of Aktor), Eurytos and 
Kteatos. These two miraculous brothers, of transcendent force, 
grew together, having one body, but two heads and four arms. 4 

1 Iliad, xi. 670-760 ; Pherckyd. Fragm. 57, Didot. 

8 Diodor. iv. 13. *T/3pewf SVEKC.V Efyw<n9ei)f irpoffera^e Ka&dpai 6 6s 'Hpa- 
Khfft rb fiEv roZf &/i.oif E^EveyKelv avrqv uTredoKifiacnv, EKK^.'IVUV TT/V in rqf 
v(3pU alaxvvqv, etc. (Pausan. v. 1. 7 ; Apollodor. ii. 5, 5). 

It may not be improper to remark that this fable indicates a purely pasto 
ral condition, or at least a singularly rude state of agriculture ; and the way 
in which Pausanias recounts it goes even beyond the genuine story : wf Kal 
ra TTOA/lti r^f xupaf avrti fidr/ diaTehslv apya ovra vrrb TUV POOKJJ/MUTUV Trjf 
Kowpov. The slaves of Odysseus however know what use to make of the 
dung heaped before his outer fence (Odyss. xvii. 299); not so the purely 
carnivorous and pastoral Cyclops (Odyss. ix. 329). The stabling into which 
the cattle go from their pasture, is called Koirpog in Homer, 'Ehdovaac; ef 
KOTtpov, ETTI/V /3oTav7J KopeauvTdi (Odyss. x. 411) : compare Iliad, xviii. 575 
Mn/c^iSfy/oi 6' and Korrpov ETrsaaevovTO Ttedoi'tis. 

The Augeas of Theocritus has abundance of wheat-land and vineyard, as 
well as cattle : he ploughs his land three or four times, and digs his vine- 
yard diligently (xx. 20-32). 

3 The wrath and retirement of Phyleus is mentioned in the Iliad (ii. 633), 
but not the cause of it. 

4 These singular properties were ascribed to them both in the Hesiodic 
poems and by Pherekydes (Schol. Ven. ad II. xi. 715-750, et ad II. xxiii. 
838 ), but not in the Iliad. The poet Ibykus (Fragm. 1 1 , Schneid. ap. Athena. 
li. 57) calls them a/lt/caf iaoKetyuAovf, eviyviovf, 'A/z0orepoi>f yeyaairaf ev 
Lieu apyvpsu. 

There were temples and divine honors to Zens Molion (Lactantius. de 
Falsa Kcligionc. i. 221 


Such was their irresistible might, that Herakles was defeated 
and repelled from Elis : but presently the Eleians sent the two 
Molionid brothers as TJieori (sacred envoys) to the Isthmian 
games, and Herakles, placing himself in ambush at Kleonae, sur- 
prised and killed them as they passed through. For this murder- 
ous act the Eleians in vain endeavored to obtain redress both at 
Corinth and at Argos ; which is assigned as the reason for the 
self-ordained exclusion, prevalent throughout all the historical 
age, that no Eleian athlete would ever present himself as a com- 
petitor at the Isthmian games. 1 The Molionids being thus re- 
moved, Herakles again invaded Elis, and killed Augeas along 
with his children, all except Phyleus, whom he brought over 
from Dulichion, and put in possession of his father's kingdom. Ac- 
cording to the more gentle narrative which Pausanias adopts, Au- 
geas was not kiUed, but pardoned at the request of Phyleus. 2 He 
was worshipped as a hero 3 even down to the time of that author. 

It was on occasion of this conquest of Elis, according to the old 
mythe which Pindar has ennobled in a magnificent ode, that 
Herakles first consecrated the ground of Olympia, and established 
the Olympic games. Such at least was one of the many fables 
respecting the origin of that memorable institution. 4 

Phyleus, after having restored order in Elis, retired again to 
Dulichion, and left the kingdom to his brother Agasthenes, which 
again brings us into the Homeric series. For Polyxenos, son of 
Agasthenes, is one of the four commanders of the Epeian forty 
ships in the Iliad, in conjunction with the two sons of Eurytos 

1 Pausan. v. 2, 4. The inscription cited by Pausanias proves that this was 
the reason assigned by the Eleian athletes themselves for the exclusion ; but 
there were several different stories. 

z Apollodor. ii. 7, 2. Diodor. iv. 33. Pausan. v. 2, 2 ; 3, 2. It seems evi- 
dent from these accounts that the genuine legend represented Herakles as 
having been defeated by the Molionids : the unskilful evasions both of Apol- 
lodorus and Diodorus betray this. Pindar (Olymp. xi. 25-5Q) gives the story 
without any flattery to Herakles. 

3 Pausan. v. 4, 1. 

4 The Amenian copy of Eusebius gives a different genealogy respecting 
Elis and Pisa : Acthlius, Epeius, Endymion, Alexinus ; next CEnomans and 
Pelops, then Herakle's. Some counted ten generations, others three, between 
Hrakles and Iphitus, who renewed the discontinued Olympic games (se 
Armem. Euseb. copy c. xxxii. p. 140). 


And Kteatos, and with Diores son of Amarynceus. Meges, the 
eon of Phyleus, commands the contingent from Dulichion and the 
Echinades. 1 Polyxenos returns safe from Troy, is succeeded by 
his son Amphimachos, named after the Epeian chief who had 
fallen before Troy, and he again by another Eleios, in whose 
time the Dorians and the Herakleids invade Peloponnesus. 2 
These two names, barren of actions or attributes, are probably 
introduced by the genealogists whom Pausanias followed, to fill 
up the supposed interval between the Trojan war and the Dorian 

We find the ordinary discrepancies in respect to the series and 
the members of this genealogy. Thus some called Epeios son of 
Aethlius, others son of Endymion : 3 a third pedigree, which car 
ries the sanction of Aristotle and is followed by Conon, designated 
Eleios, the first settler of Elis, as son of Poseidon and Eurypyle, 
daughter of Endymion, and Epeios and Alexis as the two sons of 
Eleios. 4 And Pindar himself, in his ode to Epharmostus the 
Locrian, introduces with much emphasis another king of the 
Epeians named Opus, whose daughter, pregnant by Zeus, was 
conveyed by that god to the old and childless king Locrus : the 
child when born, adopted by Locrus and named Opus, became the 
eponymous hero of the city so called in Locris. 5 Moreover Heka- 
tseus the Milesian not only affirmed (contrary both to the Iliad 
and the Odyssey) that the Epeians and the Eleians were different 
people, but also added that the Epeians had assisted Herakles in 
his expedition against Augeas and Elis ; a narrative very differ- 
ent from that of Apollodorus and Pausanias, and indicating besides 
that he must have had before him a genealogy varying from 
theirs. 6 

It has already been mentioned that -<Et61us, son of Endyraion, 

1 Iliad, ii. 615-630. 2 Pausan. v. 3, 4. 

3 Schol. Pindar, Olymp. ix. 86. 

4 Schol. Yen. ad II. xi. 687 ; Conon, Narrat. xv. ap. Scriptt. Mythogr. We8t 
p. 130. 

* Pindar, Olymp. ix. 62: Schol. ibid. 86. 'O?roOvrof rjv SvyuTTi 
ikeus, f/v 'ApiffrorcA^f Kapftvaqv KaXc.1. 

'EKaralof 6e 6 MM/atof krepovs /leyet rdv 'HAetwv rot)f 'ETretovf TG> 
a^Aet avarpaTevffai rot)f 'ETrciovf not avvaveheiv avrip TUV re Avytav no! 
'H/Wi> (Hekat. np. Strab. viii. p. 341 ). 


quitted Peloponnesus in consequence of having slain Apis. 1 The 
country on the north of the Corinthian gulf, between the rivere 
F.uenus and Achelous, received from him the name of ^Etolia 
instead of that of Kuretis ; he acquired possession of it after having 
slain Dorus, Laodokus and Polypcetes, sons of Apollo and Phthia, 
by whom he had been well received. lie had by his wife Pronoe 
(the daughter of Phorbas) two sons, Pleuron and Kalydon, and 
from them the two chief towns in .ZEtolia were named. 2 Pleuron 
married Xanthippe, daughter of Dorus, and had for his son Age- 
nor, from whom sprang Portheus, or Porthaon, and Demonike : 
Euenos and Thestius were children of the latter by the god 

Portheus had three sons, Agrius, Melas and CEneus : among 
the offspring of Thestius were Althaea and Leda, 4 names which 
bring us to a period of interest in the legendary history. Leda 
marries Tyndareus and becomes mother of Helena and the Dios- 
curi: Althaea marries CEneus, and has, among other children, 
Meleager and Deianeira ; the latter being begotten by the god 
Dionysus, and the former by Ares. 5 Tydeus also is his son, the 

1 Ephorus said that ./'Etolus had been expelled by Salmoneus king of the 
Epeians and Pisatae (ap. Strabo. viii. p. 357) : he must have had before him a 
different story and different genealogy from that which is given in the text. 

2 Apollodor. i. 7, 6. Dorus, son of Apollo and Phthia, killed by JEtulns, 
after having hospitably received him, is here mentioned. Nothing at all is 
known of this ; but the conjunction of names is such as to render it probable 
that there was some legend connected with them : possibly the assistance 
given by Apollo to the Kuretes against the JEtolians, and the death of Melca- 
gcr by the hand of Apollo, related both in the Eoiai and the Minyas CPausan. x. 
31, 2), may have been grounded upon it. The story connects itself with what 
is stated by Apollodorus about Dorus son of Hellen (see supra, p. 136). 

3 According to the ancient genealogical poet Asius, Thestius was son of 
Agenor the son of Pleuron ("Asa Fragm. 6, p. 413, cd. Marktsch.). Compare 
the genealogy of JEtolia and the general remarks upon it, in Brandstater, 
Gcschichte des JEtol. Landes, etc., Berlin, 1844, p. 23 seq. 

* Respecting Lda, sec the statements of Ibykus, PhcrekydSs, Hellanikus, 
etc. (Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 146). The reference to the Corinthiaca of 
Eumelus is curious : it is a specimen of the matters upon which these old 
genealogical poems dwelt. 

5 Apollodor. i. 8, 1 ; Euripide's, Meleager, Irag. 1. The three sons of 
Portheus arc named in the Iliad (xiv. 116) as living at Pleuron and Kalyd6n 
The name CEncus doubtless brings Dionysus into the legend. 


father of Diomedes : warlike eminence goes Lund in hand with 
tragic calamity among the members of this memorable family. 

"We are fortunate enough to find the legend of Althsea and 
Meleager set forth at considerable length in the Iliad, in the 
speech addressed by Phoenix to appease the wrath of Achilles. 
CEneus, king of Kalydon, in the vintage sacrifices which he offered 
to the gods, omitted to include Artemis : the misguided man either 
forgot her or cared not for her ; l and the goddess, provoked by 
such an insult, sent against the vineyards of CEneus a wild boar, of 
vast size and strength, who tore up the trees by the root and laid 
prostrate al 1 their fruit. So terrible was this boar, that nothing less 
than a numerous body of men could venture to attack him : Melea- 
ger, the son of CEneus, however, having got together a consider- 
able number of companions, partly from the Kuretes of Pleuron, at 
length slew him. But the anger of Artemis was not yet appeased, 
and she raised a dispute among the combatants respecting the pos- 
session of the boar's head and hide, the trophies of victory. In 
this dispute, Meleager slew the brother of his mother Althaea, prince 
of the Kuretes of Pleuron : these Kuretes attacked the JEtolians 
of Kalydon in order to avenge their chief. So long as Meleager 
contended in the field the JEtolians had the superiority. But he 
presently refused to come forth, indignant at the curses impre- 
cated upon him by his mother : for Althaea, wrung with sorrow 
for the death of her brother, flung herself upon the ground in 
tears, beat the earth violently with her hands, and implored 
Hades and Persephone to inflict death upon Meleager, a prayer 
which the unrelenting Erinnys in Erebus heard but too well. So 
keenly did the hero resent this behavior of his mother, that he 
kept aloof' from the war ; and the Kuretes not only drove the 
JEtolians from the field, but assailed the walls and gates of Kaly- 
don, and were on the point of overwhelming its dismayed inhabi- 
tants. There was no hope of safety except in the arm of Melea- 
ger ; but Meleager lay in his chamber by the side of his beautiful 
wife Kleopatra, the daughter of Idas, and heeded not the necessity. 

1 'HAai9er', j? ov/c evorjaev uaaaaro 6e fie-ya tivfiu (Iliad, ix. 533). The da 
structive influence of Ate is mentioned before, v. 502. The piety of Xenophon 
reproduces this ancient circumstance, Olvsue 6' 
t etc. (De Vennt, c. i.J 


While the shouts of expected victory were heard from the assail- 
ants at the gates, the ancient men of -ZEtolia and the priests of the 
gods earnestly besought Meleager to come forth,' offering him hia 
choice of the fattest land in the plain of Kalydon. His dearest 
friends, his father CEneus, his sisters, and even his mother herself 
added their supplications, but he remained inflexible. At length 
the Kuretes penetrated into the town and began to burn it : at 
this last moment, Kleopatra his wife addressed to him her pathetic 
appeal, to avert from her and from his family the desperate hor- 
rors impending over them all. Meleager could no longer resist 
he put on his armor, went forth from his chamber, and repelled 
the enemy. But when the danger was over, his countrymen with- 
held from him the splendid presents which they had promised, 
because he had rejected their prayers, and had come forth only 
when his own haughty caprice dictated. 2 

Such is the legend of Meleager in the Iliad : a verse in the 
second book mentions simply the death of Meleager, without far- 
ther details, as a reason why Thoas appeared in command of the 
JEtolians before Troy. 3 Though the circumstance is indicated only 
indirectly, there seems little doubt that Homer must have con- 
ceived the death of the hero as brought about by the maternal 
curse : the unrelenting Erinnys executed to the letter the invoca- 
tions of Althaea, though she herself must have been willing to re- 
tract them. 

Later poets both enlarged and altered the fable. The Hesi- 
odic Eoiai, as well as the old poem called the Minyas, represented 
Meleager as having been slain by Apollo, who aided the Kuretes 
in the war ; and the incident of the burning brand, though quite 
at variance with Homer, is at least as old as the tragic poet Phry- 
nichus, earlier than ^schylus. 4 The Mcerae, or Fates, presenting 
themselves to Althaea shortly after the birth of Meleager, pre- 
dicted that the child would die so soon as the brand then burning 
on the fire near at hand should be consumed. Althaea snatched 
it from the flames and extinguished it, preserving it with the 
ntmost care, until she became incensed against Meleager for the 

1 These priests formed the Chorus in the Meleager of SophoklesCSchol 
id Iliad, ib. 575> 

* Iliad, is. 525-595. Iliad, ii. 642. 

* Paunan. x. 31. 2. The Ulevpuvtai, a lost tragedy of Phrynichus. 


death of her brother. She then cast it into the fire, and as soon 
as it was consumed the life of Meleager was brought to a close. 

We know, from the sharp censure of Pliny, that Sophokles 
heightened the pathos of this subject by his account of the mourn- 
ful death of Meleager's sisters, who perished from excess of grief. 
They were changed into the birds called Meleagrides, and their 
never-ceasing tears ran together into amber. 1 But in the hands 
of Euripides whether originally through him or not, 2 we can- 
not tell Atalanta became the prominent figure and motive of 
the piece, while the party convened to hunt the Kalydonian boar 
was made to comprise all the distinguished heroes from every 
quarter of Greece. In fact, as Heyne justly remarks, this event 
is one of the four aggregate dramas of Grecian heroic life, 3 along 
with the Argonautic expedition, the siege of Thebes, and the Tro- 
jan war. To accomplish the destruction of the terrific animal 
which Artemis in her wrath had sent forth, Meleager assembled 
not merely the choice youth among the Kuretes and ^Etolians (as 
we fine in the Iliad), but an illustrious troop, including Kastor and 
Pollux, Idas and Lynkeus, Peleus and Telamon, Theseus and 
Peirithous, Ankaeus and Kepheus, Jason, Amphiaraus, Admetus, 
Eurytion and others. Nestor and Phoenix, who appear as old 
men before the walls of Troy, exhibited their early prowess as 
auxiliaries to the suffering Kalydonians. 4 Conspicuous amidst 
them all stood the virgin Atalanta, daughter of the Arcadian 

1 Plin. H. N. xxxvii. 2, 11. 

2 There was a tragedy of JSschylus called 'Ara^av-rj, of which nothing 
remains (Bothe, ^Eschyli Fragm. ix. p. 18). 

Of the more recent dramatic writers, several selected Atalanfci as their 
subject ("See Brandstater, Geschichtc JEtoliens, p. 65). 

3 There was a poem of Stesichorus, 'Zvo&rjpai ( Stesichor. Fragm. 1 5. p 

4 The catalogue of these heroes is in Apollodor. i. 8, 2 ; Ovid, Metamor. 
via. 300 ; Hygin. fab. 173. Euripides, in his play of Meleager, gave an enu- 
meration and description of the heroes ("see Fragm. 6 of that play, ed. Matth.J. 
Nestor, in this picture of Ovid, however, does not appear quite so invincible 
as in his own speeches in the Iliad. The mythographers thought it neces- 
sary to assign a reason why Herakles was not present at the Kalydonian 
adventure : he was just at that time in servitude with Omphale" in Lydia 
CApollod. ii. 6, 3). This seems to have been the idea of Ephorus, and it is 
much in Ins style of interpretation (see Ephor. Fragm. 9. ed. Didot.). 

i. 7 lOoc. 


Schceneus ; beautiful and matchless for swiftness of foot, but living 
in the forest as a huntress and unacceptable to Aphrodite. 1 Seve- 
ral of the heroes were slain by the boar, others escaped by va- 
rious stratagems : at length Atalanta first shot him in the back, 
next Amphiaraus in the eye, and, lastly, Meleager killed him. 
Enamoured of the beauty of Atalanta, Meleager made over to her 
the chief spoils of the animal, on the plea that she had inflicted 
the first wound. But his uncles, the brothers of Thestius, took 
them away from her, asserting their rights as next of kin, 2 if Me- 
leager declined to keep the prize for himself: the latter, exaspe- 
rated at this behavior, slew them. Althosa, in deep sorrow for 
her brothers and wrath against her son, is impelled to produce 
the fatal brand which she had so long treasured up, and consign it 
to the flames. 3 The tragedy concludes with the voluntary death 
both of Althaea and Kleopatra. 

Interesting as the Arcadian huntress, Atalanta, is in herself, 
she is an intrusion, and not a very convenient intrusion, into the 
Homeric story of the Kalydonian boar-hunt, wherein another 
female Kleopatra, already occupied the foreground. 4 But the 
more recent version became accredited throughout Greece, and 

1 Eurijiid. Mclcag. Fragm. vi. Matt. 

KvTtpidof 6e fiiar]fj.\ 'Ap/alf 'Ara/lavr?/, Kvvaf 

"Kal TO? exovaa, etc. 

There was a drama " Meleager " both of Sophokles and Euripides : of the 
former hardly any fragments remain, a few more of the latter. 
* Hyginus, fab. 229. 

3 Diodor, iv. 34. Apollodorus (i. 8 ; 2-4) gives first the usual narrative, in- 
cluding Atalanta; next, the Homeric narrative with some additional circum- 
stances, but not including either Atalanta or the fire-brand on which Melea- 
ger's life depended. He prefaces the latter with the words oi 6e <paai, etc 
Antoninus Liberalis gives this second narrative only, without Atalanta, from 
Nicander ("Narrat. 2). 

The Latin scenic poet, Attius, had devoted one of his tragedies to this 
subject, taking the general story as given by Euripides : " Remanet gloria 
apud me : exnvias dignavi Atalantae dare," seems to be the speech of Melea- 
ger. (Attii Fragm. 8, ap. Poet. Seen. Lat. ed. Bothe, p. 215). The readers 
of the JEneid will naturally think of the swift and warlike virgin Camilla, aj 
the parallel of Atalanta. 

4 The narrative of Apollodoras reads awkwardly McAeaypof fyw* 
yvvatKa Kfaoirifpav, /?on Ao/WTOf <5e Kal 'Ara/lavnff TEKVoiroif/ffaada 1 ., etc 
(i. 8, 2). 

AT AL ANT A. 147 

was sustained by evidence which few persons in those days felt 
any inclination to controvert. For Atalanta carried away with her 
the spoils and head of the boar into Arcadia ; and there for sue 
cessive centuries hung the identical hide and the gigantic tusks 
of three feet in length, in the temple of Athene Alea at Tegea. 
Kallimachus mentions them as being there preserved, in the third 
century before the Christian aera ; l but the extraordinary value set 
upon them is best proved by the fact that the emperor Augustus 
took away the tusks from Tegea, along with the great statue of 
Athene Alea, and conveyed them to Rome, to be there preserved 
among the public curiosities. Even a century and a half after- 
wards, when Pausanias visited Greece, the skin worn out with 
age was shown to him, while the robbery of the tusks had not 
been forgotten. Nor were these relics of the boar the only me- 
mento preserved at Tegea of the heroic enterprise. On the 
pediment of the temple of Athene Alea, unparalleled in Pelo- 
ponnesus for beauty and grandeur, the illustrious statuary Skopas 
had executed one of his most finished reliefs, representing the 
Kalydonian hunt. Atalanta and Meleager were placed in the 
front rank of the assailants, and Ankseus, one of the Tegean 
heroes, to whom the tusks of the boar had proved fatal, 2 was 
represented as sinking under his death-wound into the arms of 
his brother Epochos. And Pausanias observes, that the Tegeans, 
while they had manifested the same honorable forwardness as 
other Arcadian communities in the conquest of Troy, the repulse 
of Xerxes, and the battle of Dipae against Sparta might fairly 
claim to themselves, through Ankaeus and Atalanta, that they 
alone amongst all Arcadians had participated in the glory of the 
Kalydonian boar-hunt. 3 So entire and unsuspecting is the faith 

1 Kallimachus, Hymn, ad Dian. 217. 

Ov fiiv TTiK?i,r]Tol Kahvduvioi u-ypevrfipcf 
Me/nij)OVTai KUTrpoio ' ril yap arjfj.7]ta viKijf 

2 See Pherekyd. Frag. 81, ed. Didot. 

3 Pausan. viii. 45, 4; 46, 1-3; 47, 2. Lucian, adv. Indoctum, c. 14. t. iiL 
p. lll,Reiz. 

The officers placed in charge of the public curiosities or wonders at Roma 
lot tnl roif davuaaiv) affirmed that one of the tusks had been accidentally 


both of the Tegeans and of Pausanias in the past historical real- 
ity of this romantic adventure. Strabo indeed tries to transform 
the romance into something which has the outward semblance of 
history, by remarking that the quarrel respecting the boar's head 
and hide cannot have been the real cause of war between the 
Kuretes and the .ZEtolians ; the true ground of dispute (he con- 
tends) was probably the possession of a portion of territory. 1 His 
remarks on this head are analogous to those of Thucydides and 
other critics, when they ascribe the Trojan war, not to the rape of 
Helen, but to views of conquest or political apprehensions. But 
he treats the general fact of the battle between the Kuretes and 
the .ZEtolians, mentioned in the Iliad, as something unquestiona- 
bly real and historical recapitulating at the same time a va- 
riety of discrepancies on the part of different authors, but not 
giving any decision of his own respecting their truth or false- 

In the same manner as Atalanta was intruded into the Kaly- 
donian hunt, so also she seems to have been introduced into the 
memorable funeral games celebrated after the decease of Pelias 
at I61ko3> in which she had no place at the time when the works 
on the chest of Kypselus were executed.2 But her native and 
genuine locality is Arcadia ; where her race-course, near to the 
town of Methydrion, was shown even in the days of Pausanias. 3 
This race-course had been the scene of destruction for more than 

broken in the voyage from Greece : the other was kept in the temple of Bac- 
chus in the Imperial Gardens. 

It is numbered among the memorable exploits of Theseus that he van 
quished and killed a formidable and gigantic sow, in the territory of Krom- 
myon near Corinth. According to some critics, this Krommyonian sow waa 
the mother of the Kalydonian boar (Strabo, viii. p. 380). 

1 Strabo, x. p. 466. Ho/le/zou d' iftTrecrovTOf role Qeariutiaic irpbf ( ivea 
Kal Me^faypew, 6 [tev TloiTjTfc, afifyl ovbf Kepal.ij not depfiari, Karti rfjv irepl 
TOV Kcnrpov fiv&o"koyiav uf <5e rb elicbf, nepl ftepovf ryq X^P a S> etc. This 
remark is also similar to Mr. Payne Knight's criticism on the true causes of the 
Trojan war, which were (he tells us) of a political character, independent of 
Helen and her abduction (Prolegom. ad Homer, c. 53). 

1 Compare Apollodor. iii. 9, 2, and Pausan. v. 17, 4. She is made to 
wrestle with Peleus at these funeral games, which seems foreign to her char- 

3 Paasan. viii. 35, 8. 


one unsuccessful suitor. For Atalanta, averse to marriage, had 
proclaimed that her hand should only be won by the competitor 
who could surpass her in running : all who tried and failed were 
condemned to die, and many were the persons to whom her 
beauty and swiftness, alike unparalleled, had proved fatal. At 
length Meilanion, who had vainly tried to win her affections by 
assiduous services in her hunting excursions, ventured to enter 
the perilous lists. Aware that he could not hope to outrun her 
except by stratagem, he had obtained by the kindness of Aphro- 
dite, three golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides, 
which he successively let fall near to her while engaged in the 
race. The maiden could not resist the temptation of picking 
them up, and was thus overcome : she became the wife of Mei- 
lanion and the mother of the Arcadian Parthenopoeus, one of the 
seven chiefs who perished in the siege of Thebes. 1 

1 Respecting the varieties in this interesting story, see Apollod. iii. 9, 2 ; 
Hygin. f. 185; Ovid, Metam. x. 560-700; Propert. i. 1,20; ^Elian, V. H 
xiii. i. Mei/laviwvof au^povearepof. Aristoplmn. Lysistrat 786 and Schol 
In the ancient representation on the chest of Kypselus (Paus. v. 19, l) f 
Meilanion was exhibited standing near Atalanta, who was holding a fawn . 
no match or competition in running was indicated. 

There is great discrepancy in the naming and patronymic description of 
the parties in the story. Three different persons are announced as fathers 
of Atalanta, Schrcneus, Jasus and Msenalos ; the successful lover in Ovid 
(and seemingly in Euripides also) is called Hippomenes, not Meilanion. In 
the Hesiodic poems Atalanta was daughter of Schceneus ; Hellanikus called 
her daughter of Jasus. See Apollodor. I.e.; Kallimach. Hymn to Dian. 
214, with the note of Spanheim ; Schol. Eurip. Phceniss. 150; Schol. Theocr. 
Idyll, iii. 40 ; also the ample commentary of Bachet de Meziriac, Sur les 
Epitres d'Ovidc, vol. i. p. 366. Servius (ad Virg. Eclog. vi. 61 ; jEneid, iii 
113) calls Atalanta a native of Scyros. 

Both the ancient scholiasts (see Schol. Apoll. Rhod. i. 769) and the modern 
commentators, Spanheim and Heync, seek to escape this difficulty by 
supposing two Atalantas, an Arcadian and a Boeotian: assuming the 
principle of their conjecture to be admissible, they ought to suppose at least 

Certainly, if personages of the Grecian mythes are to be treated as his- 
torically real, and their adventures as so many exaggerated and miscolored 
facts, it will be necessary to repeat the process of multiplying entities to an 
infinite extent. And this is one among the many reasons for rejecting the 
fundamental supposition. 

But when we consider these personages as purely legendary, so that an 


We have yet another female in the family of (Eneus, \vhos 
name the legend has immortalized. His daughter Deianeira was 
sought in marriage by the river Achelous, who presented himself 
in various shapes, first as a serpent and afterwards as a bulL 
From the importunity of this hateful suitor she was rescued be 
the arrival of Herakles, who encountered Achelous, vanquished 
him and broke off one of his horns, which Achelous ransomed by 
surrendering to him the horn of Amaltheia, endued with the 
miraculous property of supplying the possessor with abundance 
of any food or drink which he desired. Herakles was rewarded 
for his prowess by the possession of Deianeira, and he made 
over the horn of Amaltheia as his marriage-present to CEneus. 1 
Compelled to leave the residence of CEneus in consequence of 
having in a fit of anger struck the youthful attendant Eunomus, 
and involuntarily killed him, 2 Herakles retired to Trachin, cross- 
ing the river Euenus at the place where the Centaur Nessus was 

historical basis can neither be affirmed nor denied respecting them, we es 
cape the necessity of such inconvenient stratagems. The test of identity is 
then to be sought in the attributes, not in the legal description, in the 
predicates, not in the subject. Atalanta, whether born of one father or 
another, whether belonging to one place or another, is beautiful, cold, re- 
pulsive, daring, swift of foot and skilful with the bow, these attributes 
constitute her identity. The Scholiast on Theocritus (iii. 40), in vindicating 
his supposition that there were two Atalantas, draws a distinction founded 
upon this very principle : he says that the Boeotian Atalanta was rofortf, and 
the Arcadian Atalanta ipo^aia. But this seems an over-refinement : both 
the shooting and the running go to constitute an accomplished huntress. 

In respect to Parthenopacus, called by Euripides and by so many others 
the son of Atalanta, it is of some importance to add, that Apollodorns, 
Aristarchus, and Antimachus, the author of the Thebaid, assigned to him a 
pedigree entirely different, making him an Argeian, the son of Talaos 
and Lysimache, and brother of Adrastus. (Apollodor. i. 9, 13 ; Aristarch. 
ap. Schol. Soph. GEd. Col. 1320; Antimachus ap. Schol. JEschyl. Sep. Theb. 
532; and Schol. Supplem. ad Eurip. Phceniss. t. viii. p. 461, ed. Matth. 
Apollodorus is in fact inconsistent with himself in another passage). 

1 Sophokl. Trachin. 7. The horn of Amaltheia was described by Phere- 
kyd6s (Apollod. ii. 7,5); see also Strabo, x. p. 458 and Diodor. iv. 35, who 
cites an interpretation of the fables (ol ekufovrtf /?" avrtiv Tatties) to th 
effect that it was symbolical of an embankment of the unruly river by He"- 
rnkles, and consequent recovery of very fertile land. 

* Hellanikus (ap. Athen. ix. p. 410) mentioning this incident, in two differ 
tut works, called the attendant by two different names. 


accustomed to carry over passengers for hire. Nessus carried 
over Deianeira, but when he had arrived on the other side, began 
to treat her with rudeness, upon which Herakles slew him with 
an arrow tinged by the poison of the Lernoean hydra. The dying 
Centaur advised Deianeira to preserve the poisoned blood which 
flowed from his wound, telling her that it would operate as a 
philtre to regain for her the affections of Herakles, in case she 
should ever be threatened by a rival. Some time afterwards the 
hero saw and loved the beautiful lole, daughter of Eurytos, king 
of CEchalia : he stormed the town, killed Eurytos, and made lole 
his captive. The misguided Deianeira now had recourse to her 
supposed philtre : she sent as a present to Herakles a splendid 
tunic, imbued secretly with the poisoned blood of the Centaur. 
Herakles adorned himself with the tunic on the occasion of offer- 
ing a solemn sacrifice to Zeus on the promontory of Kenaeon in 
Euboea : but the fatal garment, when once put on, clung to him 
indissolubly, burnt his skin and flesh, and occasioned an agony 
of pain from which he was only relieved by death. Deianeira 
slew herself in despair at this disastrous catastrophe. 1 

1 The beautiful drama of the Trachiniae has rendered this story familiar : 
compare Apollod. ii. 7, 7. Hygin. f. 36. Diodor. iv. 36-37. 

The capture of CEchalia (Ofta^ta? a/lwaif) was celebrated in a very an 
cient epic poem by Kreophylos, of the Homeric and not of the Hesiodic 
character : it passed with many as the -work of Homer himself. ( See Diint- 
zer, Fragm. Epic. Graecor. p. 8. Welcker, Dcr Epische Cyclus, p. 229). 
The same subject was also treated in the Hesiodic Catalogue, or in the Eoiai 
(see Hesiod, Fragm. 129, ed. Marktsch.) : the number of the children ol 
Eurytos was there enumerated. 

This exploit seems constantly mentioned as the last performed by H6ra- 
kles, and as immediately preceding his death or apotheosis on Mount (Eta: 
but whether the legend of Deianeira and the poisoned tunic be very old, we 
cannot tell. 

The tale of the death of Iphitos, son of Eurytos, by Herakle's, is as ancient 
as the Odyssey (xxi. 19-40) : but it is there stated, that Eurytos dying kft 
his memorable bow to his son Iphitos (the bow is given afterwards by Iphi- 
tos to Odysseus, and is the weapon so fatal to the suitors), a statement not 
very consistent with the story that GEchalia was taken and Eurytos slain by 
Herakles. It is plain that these were distinct and contradictory legends. 
Compare Soph. Trachin. 260-285 (where Iphitos dies before Eurytos), not 
only with the passage just cited from the Odyssey, but also with Pherekyde's, 
Fragm. 34, Didot. 

Hyginus (f. 33) differs altogether in the parentage of Deianeira: he calif 


We have not yet exhausted the eventful career of CEneus and 
his family ennobled among the .ZEtolians especially, both bj 
religious worship and by poetical eulogy and favorite themei 
not merely in some of the Hesiodic poems, but also in other 
ancient epic productions, the Alkmasenis and the Cyclic Thebais. 1 
By another marriage, CEneus had for his son Tydeus, whose 
poetical celebrity is attested by the many different accounts given 
both of the name and condition of his mother. Tydeus, having 
slain his cousins, the sons of Melas, who were conspiring against 
CEneus, was forced to become an exile, and took refuge at Argos 
with Adrastus, whose daughter Deipyle he married. The issue 
of this marriage was Diomedes, whose brilliant exploits in the 
siege of Troy were not less celebrated than those of his father at 
the siege of Thebes. After the departure of Tydeus, CEneus 
was deposed by the sons of Agrios, and fell into extreme poverty 
and wretchedness, from which he was only rescued by his grand- 
son Diomedes, after the conquest of Troy. 2 The sufferings of 
this ancient warrior, and the final restoration and revenge by 
Diomedes, were the subject of a lost tragedy of Euripides, which 
even the ridicule of Aristophanes demonstrates to have been 
eminently pathetic. 3 

Though the genealogy just given of CEneus is in part Ho- 
meric, and seems to have been followed generally by the mytho- 
graphers, yet we find another totally at variance with it in 
Hekataeus, which he doubtless borrowed from some of the old 
poets : the simplicity of the story annexed to it seems to attest 
its antiquity. Orestheus, son of Deukalion, first passed into 

her daughter of Dexamenos : his account of her marriage with Herakle's is 
in every respect at variance with Apollodorus. In the latter, Mnesimach6 
is the daughter of Dexamenos ; Heraklcs rescues her from the importunities 
of the Centaur Eurytion (ii. 5, 5). 

1 See the references in Apollod. i, 8, 45. Pindar, Isthm. iv. 32. Me/lerav 
5e aofiaraif Atdf IKOTI irpoafiakov ce^L^ofievoi 'Ev [lev AiraZuv ftvoiaiai 
^ocvvatf OiveiSai uparepol, etc. 

* Hekat. Fragm. 341, Didot. In this story CEneus is connected with tho 
first discovery of the vine and the making of wine (olvoc) : compare Hygin. 
f. 129, and Servius ad Virgil. Georgic. i. 9. 

* See Welcker (Griechisch. Tragod. ii. p. 583) on the lost tragedy called 

THE PELOttDS. 153 

Jbitolia, and acquired the kingdom : he was father of Phytios, 
who was father of OEneus. JEtolus was son ol (Eneus. 1 

The original migration of jEtolus from Elis to (Etolia and 
the subsequent establishment in Elis of Oxylus, his descendant 
in the tenth generation, along with the Dorian invaders of Pelo- 
ponnesus were commemorated by two inscriptions, one in the 
agora of Elis, the other in that of the JEtolian chief town, 
Thermum, engraved upon the statues of JEtolus and Oxylus, 2 



AMONG the ancient legendary genealogies, there was none 
which figured with greater splendor, or which attracted to itself 

1 Timokles, Comic, ap. Athenae. vii. p. 223. 

Tepuv TIC; U.TVX.EI ; Ka-efia&ev rov Olvea. 

Ovid. Heroid. ix. 153. 

" Heu ! devota domus ! Solio sedet Agrios alto 
CEnea dcsertum nuda senecta premit." 

The account here given is in Hyginus (f. 175) : but it is in many points 
different both from Apollodorus (i. 8, 6 ; Pausaa ii. 25) and Pherekydes 
(Fragm. 83, Didot). It seems to be borrowed from the lost tragedy of Euri- 
pides. Compare Schol. ad Aristoph. Acharn. 417. Antonin. Liberal, c. 37. 
In the Iliad, CEneus is dead before the Trojan war (ii. 641). 

The account of Ephorus again is different (ap. Strabo. x. p. 462) ; he joins 
Alkmason with Diomedes: but his narrative has the air of a tissue of quasi- 
historical conjectures, intended to explain the circumstance that the .JStolian 
Diomedes is king of Argos during the Trojan war. 

Pausanias and Apollodorus affirm that CEneus was buried at CEnoe be- 
tween Argos and Mantineia, and they connect the name of this place with 
him. But it seems more reasonable to consider him as the eponymous ter 
of CEniadae in ./Etolia. 

* Ephor. Fragm. 29. Didot ap. Strab. x. 



a higher decree of poetical interest and pathos, than that of the 
Pelopids Tantalus, Pelops, Atreus and Thyestes, Agamemnon 
and Menelaus and jEgisthus, Helen and Klytaemnestra, Orestes 
and Elektra and Hermione. Each of these characters is a star 
of the first magnitude in the Grecian hemisphere : each name 
suggests the idea of some interesting romance or some harrowing 
tragedy : the curse which taints the family from the beginning 
inflicts multiplied wounds at every successive generation. So, at 
least, the story of the Pelopids presents itself, after it had been 
successively expanded and decorated by epic, lyric and tragic 
poets. It will be sufficient to touch briefly upon events with 
which every reader of Grecian poetry is more or less familiar, 
and to offer some remarks upon the way in which they were col- 
ored and modified by different Grecian authors. 

Pelops is the eponym or name-giver of the Peloponnesus : to 
find an eponym for every conspicuous local name was the invaria- 
ble turn of Grecian retrospective fancy. The name Peloponnesus 
is not to be found either in the Iliad or the Odyssey, nor any other 
denomination which can be attached distinctly and specially to 
the entire peninsula. But we meet with the name in one of the 
most ancient post-Homeric poems of which any fragments have 
been preserved the Cyprian Verses a poem which many 
(seemingly most persons) even of the contemporaries of Herodo- 
tus ascribed to the author of the Iliad, though Herodotus contra- 
dicts the opinion. 1 The attributes by which the Pelopid Aga- 
memnon and his house are marked out and distinguished from 
the other heroes of the Iliad, are precisely those which Grecian 
imagination would naturally seek in an eponymus superior 
wealth, power, splendor and regality. Not only Agamemnon 

1 Hesiod. ii. 117. Fragment Epicc. Grsec. Diintzer, ix. Kinrpta, 8. 

Atya re Avy/cet)? 

TaiiyeTov irpoae/3aive iroaiv ra^eeoai Trejrni&ijf, 
'Axporarov 6' uvaftaf dieSepKETO vqaov unaaav 

Also the Homeric Hymn. Apoll. 419, 430, and Tyrtaeus, Fragm. I. 
(Ei vofila) 'Evpeiav IleAoTrof vi/aov u 

The Schol. ad Iliad, ix. 246, intimates that the name Ue^oTrovvrjffOf occurred 
m one or more of the Hesiodic epics. 


himself, but his brother Menelaus, is " more of a king * even than 
Nestor or Diomedes. The gods have not given to the king of 
the " much-golden " Mykense greater courage, or strength, or 
ability, than to T arious other chiefs ; but they have conferred 
upon him a marked superiority in riches, power and dignity, and 
have thus singled him out as the appropriate leader of the 
forces. 1 He enjoys this preeminence as belonging to a privileged 
family and as inheriting the heaven-descended sceptre of Pelops, 
the transmission of which is described by Homer in a very 
remarkable way. The sceptre was made " by Hephaestos, who 
presented it to Zeus ; Zeus gave it to Hermes, Hermes to the 
charioteer Pelops ; Pelops gave it to Atreus, the ruler of men ; 
Atreus at his death left it to Thyestes, the rich cattle-owner ; 
Thyestes in his turn left it to his nephew Agamemnon to carry, 
that he might hold dominion over many islands and over all 
Argos." 2 

We have here the unrivalled wealth and power of the " king 
of men, Agamemnon," traced up to his descent from Pelops, and 
accounted for, in harmony with the recognized epical agencies, 
by the present of the special sceptre of Zeus through the hands 
of Hermes ; the latter being the wealth-giving god, whose bless 

1 Iliad, ix. 37. Compare ii. 580. Diomedes addresses Agamemnon - 
2oi <Je fiiuv6i%a <5<je Kpovov naif u-yKvTiO/ifjTeu 


'A/Ui)v (5' OVTOI duKev, 5, TE Kparof earl peyurrov. 

A similar contrast is drawn by Nestor (H. i. 280) between Agamemnon and 
Achilles. Nestor says to Agamemnon (fl. ix. 60) 

'Arpeidri, ai) /*ev up%e ai) -yap /3 a a i^siirar 6 f kaoi. 

And this attribute attaches to Menelans as well as to his brother. For when 
Diomedes is about to choose his companion for the night expedition intc 
Ihe Trojan camp, Agamemnon thus addresses him (x. 232) : 

Tbv 6r] Irapov Y aiprjaeai, ov K' b&eXycr&a 

rbv upiarov, brel fiffiaaai -ye iroAAoi 
av y 1 aldo/ievo? of/ai 6peal, rbv ftev upeiu 
ai) 6e %Eipov' d-daaeai aldoi CIKUV, 
^V 6pouv, el ical /3aai^.evrfp6f i<mv. 
'Cc l<par\ eddeiae 6e irepl S-av&iJ Meve^oy. 
Iliad, ii. 101. 


ing is most efficacious in furthering the process of acquisition, 
whether by theft or by accelerated multiplication of flocks and 
herds. 1 The wealth and princely character of the Atreids were 
proverbial among the ancient epic poets. Paris not only carries 
away Hellen, but much property along with her : 2 the house of 
Menelaus, when Telemachus visits it in the Odyssey, is so re- 
splendent with gold and silver and rare ornament, 3 as to strike 
the beholder with astonishment and admiration. The attributes 
assigned to Tantalus, the father of Pelops, are in conformity with 
the general idea of the family superhuman abundance and en- 
joyments, and intimate converse with the gods, to such a degree 
that his head is turned, and he commits inexpiable sin. But 
though Tantalus himself is mentioned, in one of the most suspi- 
cious passages of the Odyssey (as suffering punishment in the 
under-world), he is not announced, nor is any one else announced, 
as father of Pelops, unless we are to construe the lines in the 
Iliad as implying that the latter was son of Hermes. In the con- 
ception of the author of the Iliad, the Pelopids are, if not of di- 
vine origin, at least a mortal breed specially favored and enno- 
bled by the gods beginning with Pelops, and localized at My- 
kenae. No allusion is made to any connection of Pelops either 
with Pisa or with Lydia. 

The legend which connected Tantalus and Pelops with Mount 
Sipylus may probably have grown out of the JEolic settlements 
at Magnesia and Kyme. Both the Lydian origin and the Pisatic 
sovereignty of Pelops are adapted to times later than the Iliad, 
when the Olympic games had acquired to themselves the general 
reverence of Greece, and had come to serve as the religious and 
recreative centre of the Peloponnesus and when the Lydian 

1 Iliad, xiv. 491. Hcsiod. Theog. 444. Homer, Hymn. Mercur. 52G-56S 
'QAfjov Kal jr/lovrov 6uou TrepiKuTi^ea pufSSov. Compare Eustath. ad Iliad, 
xvi. 182. 

* Iliad, iii. 72 ; vii. 363. In the Hcsiodic Eoiai was the followin couplet 
CFrngm. 55. p. 43, Diintzer) : 

'KT^KTjv ftev yup eduntv 'OTiVfimo f AJ.aKt6-yaiv, 
Novv (5' 'Afivdaovidatf, TT^OVTOV J' 7rop' 'Arpettfym. 
Again, Tyrtseus, Fragm. 9, 4. 

Oid' el Tavro/lWeu IleAoTroj Pacifairfpof elif, etc. 

* Odvss. iv. 45-71. 


and Phrygian heroic names, Midas and Gyges, were the typea 
of wealth and luxury, as well as of chariot driving, in the imag- 
ination of a Greek. The inconsiderable villages of the Pisatid 
derived their whole importance from the vicinity of Olympia : 
they are not deemed worthy of notice in the Catalogue of Homer. 
Nor could the genealogy which connected the eponym of the en- 
tire peninsula with Pisa have obtained currency in Greece unless 
it had been sustained by preestablished veneration for the locality 
of Olympia. But if the sovereign of the humble Pisa was to be 
recognized as forerunner of the thrice-wealthy princes of Mikenoe, 
it became necessary to assign some explanatory cause of his 
riches. Hence the supposition of his being an immigrant, son of 
a wealthy Lydian named Tantalus, who was the offspring of Zeus 
and Plouto. Lydian wealth and Lydian chariot-driving render- 
ed Pelops a fit person to occupy his place in the legend, both as 
ruler of Pisa and progenitor of the Mykenaean Atreids. Even 
with the admission of these two circumstances there is considera- 
ble difficulty, for those who wish to read the legends as consecu- 
tive history, in making the Pelopids pass smoothly and plausibly 
from Pisa to Mykenaa. 

I shall briefly recount the legends of this great heroic family 
as they came to stand in their full and ultimate growth, after the 
localization of Pelops at Pisa had been tacked on as a preface to 
Homer's version of the Pelopid genealogy. 

Tantalus, residing near Mount Sipylus in Lydia, had two chil- 
dren, Pelops and Niobe. He was a man of immense possessions 
and preeminent happiness, above the lot of humanity : the gods 
communicated with him freely, received him at their banquets, 
and accepted of his hospitality in return. Intoxicated with such 
prosperity, Tantalus became guilty of gross wickedness. He 
stole nectar and ambrosia from the table of the gods, and reveal- 
ed their secrets to mankind : he killed and served up to them at 
a feast his own son Pelops. The gods were horror-struck when 
they discovered the meal prepared for them : Zeus restored the 
mangled youth to life, and as Demeter, then absorbed in grief 
for the loss of her daughter Persephone, had eaten a portion of 
the shoulder, he supplied an ivory shoulder in place oi it. Tan- 
talus expiated his guilt by exemplary punishment. He was 
placed in the under-world, with fruit and water seemingly clos 


to Lira, yet eluding his touch as often as he tried to grasp them 
and leaving his hunger and thirst incessant and unappeased.> 
Pindar, in a very remarkable passage, finds this old legend re- 
volting to his feelings : he rejects the tale of the flesh of Pelops 
having been served up and eaten, as altogether unworthy of the 
gods. 2 

Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus, was married to Amphion, 
and had a numerous and flourishing offspring of seven sons and 
seven daughters. Though accepted as the intimate friend and 
companion of Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemas, 3 she was 
presumptuous enough to triumph over that goddess, and to place 
herself on a footing of higher dignity, on account of the superior 
number of her children. Apollo and Artemas avenged this in- 
sult by killing all the sons and all the daughters : Niobe, thus 
left a childless and disconsolate mother, wept herself to death, 
and was turned into a rock, which the later Greeks continued 
always to identify on Mount Sipylus. 4 

Some authors represented Pelops as not being a Lydian, but a 
king of Paphlagonia ; by others it was said that Tantalus, hav- 
ing become detested from his impieties, had been expelled from 
Asia by Ilus the king of Troy, an incident which served the 
double purpose of explaining the transit of Pelops to Greece, 
and of imparting to the siege of Troy by Agamemnon the charac- 
ter of retribution for wrongs done to his ancestor. 5 When Pe- 
lops came over to Greece, he found CEnomaus, son of the god 
Args and Harpinna, in possession of the principality of Pisa. 

DiodOr. iv. 77. Horn. Odyss. xi. 582. Pindar gives a different version 
of the punishment inflicted on Tantalus : a vast stone was perpetually im- 
pending over his head, and threatening to fall (Olymp. i. 56 ; Isthm. vii. 20). 

* Pindar, Olymp. i. 45. Compare the sentiment of Iphigeneia in Eurip- 
ide-s, Iph. Taur. 387. 

3 Sappho (Fragm. 82, Schneidewin) 

A<ZTG> K.a.1 Nto/3a fiuXa filv tyikai ijaav kralpat. 

Sappho assigned to Niobe eighteen children (Aul. Gell. N. A. iv. A. xx. 7) ; 
Hesiod gave twenty ; Homer twelve (Apollod. iii. 5). 

The Lydian historian Xanthus gave a totally different version both of tba 
genealogy and of the misfortunes of Niche" (Parthen. Narr. 33). 

4 Ovid, 164-311. Pausan.i. 21, 5 ; viii. 2, 3. 

Apollon. Uhorl ii. 358, and Schol.; Ister. Fragment. 59, Dindorf; Die- 
I8r. iv. 74. 


immediately bordering on the district of Olympia. QEnomaus, 
having been apprized by an oracle that death would overtake him 
if he permitted his daughter Hippodameia to marry, refused to 
give her in marriage except to some suitor who should beat him 
in a chariot-race from Olympia to the isthmus of Corinth ;i the 
ground here selected for the legendary victory of Pelops deserves 
attention, inasmuch as it is a line drawn from the assumed centre 
of Peloponnesus to its extremity, and thus comprises the whole 
territory with which Pelops is connected as eponym. Any suitor 
overmatched in the race was doomed to forfeit his life ; and the 
fleetness of the Pisan horses, combined with the skill of the 
charioteer Myrtilus, had already caused thirteen unsuccessful 
competitors to perish by the lance of GEnomaus. 2 Pelops enter- 
ed the lists as a suitor : his prayers moved the god Poseidon to 
supply him with a golden chariot and winged horses ; or accord- 
ing to another story, he captivated the affections of Hippoda- 
meia herself, who persuaded the charioteer Myrtilus to loosen 
the wheels of CEnomaus before he started, so that the latter was 
overturned and perished in the race. Having thus won the hand 
of Hippodameia, Pelops became Prince of Pisa. 3 He put to 
death the charioteer Myrtilus, either from indignation at his 
treachery to CEnomaus, 4 or from jealousy on the score of Hip- 
podameia : but Myrtilus was the son of Hermes, and though 
Pelops erected a temple in the vain attempt to propitiate that 
god, he left a curse upon his race which future calamities were 
destined painfully to work out. 5 

Pelops had a numerous issue by Hippodameia: Pittheus, 
Troezen and Epidaurus, the eponyms of the two Argolic cities 

1 Diodor. iv. 74. 

2 Pausanias (vi. 21, 7) had read their names in the Hesiodic Eoiai. 

3 Pindar, Olymp. i. 140. The chariot race of Pelops and CEnomaus was 
represented on the chest of Kypselus at Olympia : the horses of the former 
were given as having wings (Pausan, v. 17, 4). Pherekydes gave the same 
story (ap. Schol. ad Soph. Elect. 504). 

4 It is noted by Herodotus and others as a remarkable fact, that no mnlea 
were ever bred in the Eleian territory : an Eleian who wished to breed a 
mule sent his mare for the time out of the region. The Eleians themselTca 
ascribed this phenomenon to a disability brought on the land by a carso 
from the lips of CEnomaus 'Herod, iv. 30; Plutarch, Quaest. Graec. p. 303). 

5 Paus. v. 1, 1; Sophok. Elektr. 508; Eurip. Orest. 985, with Schol.. 
Plato, Kratyl. p 395 


BO called, are said to have been among them : Atreus and Thy- 
estes were also his sons, and his daughter Nikippe married Sthe- 
nelus of Mykenae, and became the mother of Eurystheus. 1 We 
hear nothing of the principality of Pisa afterwards : the Pisatid 
villages became absorbed into the larger aggregate of Elis, after 
a vain struggle to maintain their separate right of presidency 
over the Olympic festival. But the legend ran that Pelops left 
his name to the whole peninsula : according to Thucycides, he 
was enabled to do this because of the great wealth which he had 
brought with him from Lydia into a poor territory. The histo 
rian leaves out all the romantic interest of the genuine legends 
preserving only this one circumstance, which, without being bet- 
ter attested than the rest, carries with it, from its common-place 
and prosaic character, a pretended historical plausibility. 2 

Besides his numerous issue by Hippodameia, Pelops had an 
Illegitimate son named Chrysippus, of singular grace and beauty, 
towards whom he displayed so much affection as to rouse the 
jealousy of Hippodameia and her sons. Atreus and Thyestes 
conspired together to put Chrysippus to death, for which they 
were banished by Pelops and retired to Mykenae, 3 an event 
which brings us into the track of the Homeric legend. For 
Thucydides, having found in the death of Chrysippus a suitable 
ground for the secession of Atreus from Pelops, conducts him at 
once to Mykenae, and shows a train of plausible circumstances 
to account for his having mounted the throne. Eurystheus, king 
of Mykenae, was the maternal nephew of Atreus: when he 
engaged in any foreign expedition, he naturally entrusted the 
regency to his uncle ; the people of Mykenae thus became accus- 
tomed to be governed by him, and he on his part made efforts to 
conciliate them, so that when Eurystheus was defeated mid slain 
in Attica, the Mykenaean people, apprehensire of an invasion 
from the Herakleids, chose Atreus as at once the most powerful 

1 Apollod. ii. 4, 5. Pausan. ii. 30, 8; 26, 3 ; v. 8, 1. Hesiod. ap. Schol 
ad Iliad, xx. 116. 

* Thucyd. i. 5. 

3 We find two distinct legends respecting Chrysippus: his abduction by 
Laius king of Thebes, on which the lost drama of Euripides called Chry- 
nippus turned (see Welcker, Griech. Tragodien, ii. p. 536), and his death bj 
he hands of his half-brothere. Hyginns (f. 85) blends the two together. 


and most acceptable person for his successor. 1 Such was the tale 
which Thucydides derived " from those who had learnt ancient 
Peloponnesian matters most clearly from their forefathers." The 
introduction of so much sober and quasi-political history, unfor- 
tunately unauthenticated, contrasts strikingly with the highly poet- 
ical legends of Pelops and Atreus, which precede and follow it. 

Atreus and Thyestes are known in the Iliad only as successive 
possessors of the sceptre of Zeus, which Thyestes at his death 
bequeathes to Agamemnon. The family dissensions among this 
fated race commence, in the Odyssey, with Agamemnon the son 
of Atreus, and ^Egisthus the son of Thyestes. But subsequent 
poets dwelt upon an implacable quarrel between the two fathers, 
The cause of the bitterness was differently represented: some al- 
leged that Thyestes had intrigued with the Kretan Aerope, the 
wife of his brother ; other narratives mentioned that Thyestes 
procured for himself surreptitiously the possession of a lamb 
with a golden fleece, which had been designedly introduced 
among the flocks of Atreus by the anger of Hermes, as a cause 
of enmity and ruin to the whole family. 2 Atreus, after a violent 

1 Thucyd. i. 9. heyovai SI oi TU Hel.oirovvr/oiuv cra^eorara fivf/fir/ irapa TUV 
-irporepov Sedey/iEvoi.. According to Hellanikus, Atreus the elder son re- 
turns to Pisa after the death of Pelops with a great army, and makes him- 
self master of his father's principality (Hellanik. ap Iliad, ii. 105) 
Hellanikus does not seem to have heen so solicitous as Thucydides to bring 
the story into conformity with Homer. The circumstantial genealogy giv- 
en in Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 5. makes Atreus and Thyestes reside during 
their banishment at Makestus in Triphylia : it is given without any special 
authority, but may perhaps come from Hellanikus. 

2 JEschil. Agamem. 1204, 1253, 1608; Hygin. 86 ; Attii Fragm.19. This 
was the story of the old poem entitled Alkmaeonis ; seemingly also of Phe- 
rekydes, though the latter rejected the story that Hermes had produced the 
golden lamb with the special view of exciting discord between the two broth- 
ers, in order to avenge the death of Myrtilus by Pelops (see Schol. ad 
Eurip. Orest. 996J. 

A different legend, alluded to in Soph. Aj. 1295 (see Schol. ad foe.), 
recounted that Aerope 1 had been detected by her father Katreus in unchaste 
commerce with a low-born person ; he entrusted her in his anger to Nau- 
plius, with directions to throw her into the sea : Nauplius however not only 
epared her life, but betrothed her to Pleisthenes, father of Agamemnon 
and son of Atreus. 

The tragedy entitled Atreus of the Lctin poet Attius, seems to hav 

VOL. I. 11 OC. 


burst of indignation/pretended to be reconciled, and invited Thy- 
estes to a banquet, in which he served up to him the limbs of 
his own son, and the father ignorantly partook of the fatal meal. 
Even the all-seeing Helios is said to have turned back his chariot 
to the east in order that he might escape the shocking spectacle 
of this Thyestean banquet : yet the tale of Thyestean revenge 
the murder of Atreus perpetrated by JEgisthus, the incestuous 
offspring of Thy estes by his daughter Pelopia is no less replete 
with horrors. 1 

Homeric legend is never thus revolting. Agamemnon and 
Menelaus are known to us chiefly with their Homeric attributes, 
which have not been so darkly overlaid by subsequent poets as 
those of Atreus and Thyestes. Agamemnon and Menelaus are 
affectionate brothers : they marry two sisters, the daughters of 
Tyndareus king of Sparta, Klytsemnestra and Helen ; for Helen, 
the real offspring of Zeus, passes as the daughter of Tyndarius. 2 
The " king of men " reigns at Mykenae ; Menelaus succeeds Tyn- 
dareus at Sparta. Of the rape of Helen, and the siege of Troy 
consequent upon it, I shall speak elsewhere : I now touch only 
upon the family legends of the Atreids. Menelaus, on his return 
from Troy with the recovered Helen, is driven by storms far 
away to the distant regions of Phoenicia and Egypt, and is ex- 
posed to a thousand dangers and hardships before he again sets 
foot in Peloponnesus. But at length he reaches Sparta, resumes 
his kingdom, and passes the rest of his days in uninterrupted 
happiness and splendor : being moreover husband of the godlike 
Helen and son-in-law of Zeus, he is even spared the pangs of 
death. When the fulness of his days is past he is transported 
to the Elysian fields, there to dwell along with " the golden-haired 
Ilhadamanthus " in a delicious climate and in undisturbed re 
pose. 3 

Far different is the fate of the king of men, Agamemnon. 

brought out, with painful fidelity, the harsh and savage features of this 
family legend (see Aul. Gell. xiii. 2, and the fragments of Attius now remain 
ing, together with the tragedy called Thyestes, of Seneca). 

1 Hygin. fab. 87-88. 

* So we must say, in conformity to the ideas of antiquity : compare Ho 
mer, Diad, xvi. 176 and Herodot. vi. 53. 

1 Horn. Odyss. iii. 280-300 ; iv. 83-560. 


During his absence, the unwarlike ^gisthus, son of Thyestes, 
had seduced his wife Klytaemnestra, in spite of the special warn- 
ing of the gods, who, watchful over this privileged family, had 
sent their messenger Hermes expressly to deter him from the 
attempt. 1 A venerable bard had been left by Agamemnon as 
the companion and monitor of his wife, and so long as that guar 
dian was at hand, JEgisthus pressed his suit in vain. But he got 
rid of the bard by sending him to perish in a desert island, and 
then won without difficulty the undefended Klytaemnestra. Igno- 
rant of what had passed, Agamemnon returned from Troy vic- 
torious and full of hope to his native country ; but he had scarcely 
landed when -ZEgisthus invited him to a banquet, and there with 
the aid of the treacherous Klytasmnestra, in the very hall of fes 
tivity and congratulation, slaughtered him and his companions 
" like oxen tied to the manger. " His concubine Kassandra, the 
prophetic daughter of Priam, perished along with him by the 
hand of Klytcemnestra herself. 2 The boy Orestes, the only male 
offspring of Agamemnon, was stolen away by his nurse, and 
placed in safety at the residence of the Phokian Strophius. 

For seven years JEgisthus and Klytsemnestra reigned in tran 
quillity at Mykenae on the throne of the murdered Agamemnon. 
But in the eighth year the retribution announced by the gods over- 
took them : Orestes, grown to manhood, returned and avenged 
his father by killing ^JEgisthus, according to Homer ; subsequent 
poets add, his mother also. He recovered the kingdom of My- 
kenae, and succeeded Menelaus in that of Sparta. Hermione, the 
only daughter of Menelaus and Helen, was sent into the realm 
of the Myrmidons in Thessaly, as the bride of Neoptolemus, son 
of Achilles, according to the promise made by her father during 
the siege of Troy. 3 

Here ends the Homeric legend of the Pelopids, the final act 
of Orestes being cited as one of unexampled glory. 4 Later poets 
made many additions : they dwelt upon his remorse and hardly- 

1 Odyss. i. 38 ; iii. 310. avfamdor Alyiadoto. 

2 Odyss. iii. 260-275; iv. 512-537 ; xi. 408. Dcinias in his Argolica, and 
other historians of that territory, fixed the precise day of the murder of 
Agamemnon, the thirteenth of the month Gamelion (Schol. ad Sophokl 
Elektr. 275). 

1 Odyss. iii 30C ; iv. 9 4 Odrss. i. 299. 


earned pardon for the murder of his mother, and upon his de- 
voted friendship for Pylades ; they wove many interesting tales, 
too, respecting his sisters Iphigeneia and Elektra and his cousin 
Hermione, names which have become naturalized in every 
climate and incorporated with every form of poetry. 

These poets did not at all scruple to depart from Homer, and 
to give other genealogies of their own, with respect to the chief 
persons of the Pelopid family. In the Iliad and Odyssey, Aga- 
memnon is son of Atreus : in the Hesiodic Eoiai and in Stesicho- 
rus, he is son of Plsisthenes the son of Atreus. 1 In Homer, he 
is specially marked as reigning at Mykense ; but Stesichorus, Si 
monides and Pindar 2 represented him as having both resided 
and perished at Sparta or at Amyklas. According to the ancient 
Cyprian Verses, Helen was represented as the daughter of Zeus 
and Nemesis : in one of the Hesiodic poems she was introduced 
as an Oceanic nymph, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. 3 The 
genealogical discrepancies, even as to the persons of the principal 
heroes and heroines, are far too numerous to be cited, nor is it 
necessary to advert to them, except as they bear upon the un- 
availing attempt to convert such legendary parentage into a basi? 
of historical record or chronological calculation. 

The Homeric poems probably represent that form of the le- 
gend, respecting Agamemnon and Orestes, which was current 
and popular among the ^Eolic colonists. Orestes was the great 
heroic chief of the ^Eolic emigration ; he, or his sons, or his de- 
scendants, are supposed to have conducted the Achgeans to seek 

1 Hesiod. Fragtn. 60. p. 44, cd. Dantzer; Stesichor. Fragm. 44, Kleine. 
The Scholiast ad Soph. Elektr. 539, in reference to another discrepancy be- 
tween Homer and the Hesiodic poems about the children of Helen, remarks 
that we ought not to divert our attention from that which is moral and sal- 
utary to ourselves in the poets (T& T/'&IKU Kalxpf)ot.[i.a.r][uv rolf Ivrvyxuvovot), 
in order to cavil at their genealogical contradictions. 

Welcker in vain endeavors to show that Pleisthenes was originally intro- 
duced as the father of Atreus, not as his son (Griech. Tragod. p. 678). 

2 Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 40. "Opqpoc kv JJLvn^vatf tpijai r& paaiAela TOV 
'Aya/ie/^vovof SriyoY^opof <5e Kal S'./iuvidqc, Iv AaKetiaifiovip. Pindar, Pyth. 
xi. 31 ; Nem. viii. 21. Stesichorns had composed an 'Opeareia, copied in 
many points from a still more ancient lyric Oresteia by Xanthus : compare 
Athen. xii. p. 513, and JElian, V. II. ir. 26. 

3 Heaiod, ap. Schol. ad Pindar, Nem. x. 150. 


a new home, when they were no longer able to make head against 
the invading Dorians: the great families at Tenedos and other 
^Eolic cities even during the historical rcra, gloried in tracing 
back their pedigrees to this illustrious source. 1 The legends con- 
nected with the heroic worship of these mythical ancestors form 
the basis of the character and attributes of Agamemnon and his 
family, as depicted in Homer, in which Mykenas appears as the 
first place in Peloponnesus, and Sparta only as the second : the 
former the special residence of " the king of men ; " the latter 
that of his younger and inferior brother, yet still the seat of a 
member of the princely Pelopids, and moreover the birth-place 
of the divine Helen. Sparta, Argos and Mykenoe are all three 
des*<2jnated in the Iliad by the goddess Here as her favorite cities; 2 
yet ihe connection of Mykena3 with Argos, though the two towns 
were only ten miles distant, is far less intimate than the connec- 
tion of Mykenas with Sparta. When we reflect upon the very 
peculiar manner in which Homer identifies Here with the Grecian 
host and its leader, for she watches over the Greeks with the 
active solicitude of a mother, and her antipathy against the Tro- 
jans is implacable to a degree which Zeus cannot comprehend, 3 
and when we combine this with the ancient and venerated 
Herseon, or temple of Here, near Mykenas, we may partly ex- 
plain to ourselves the preeminence conferred upon Mykense in 
the Iliad and Odyssey. The Heraon was situated between Argos 
and Mykenae ; in later times its priestesses were named and its 
affairs administered by the Argeians : but as it was much nearer 

1 See the ode of Pindar addressed to Aristagoras of Tenedos (Ncm. xi 
35 ; Strabo, xiii. p. 582). There were Penthilids at Mitylene, from Pcnthi- 
lus, son of Orestes (Aristot. Polit. v. 8, 13, Schneid.). 
1 Iliad, iv. 52. Compare Euripid. Herakleid. 350 
' Iliad, iv. 31. Zeus says to Here, 

Aoj / uoi't^, ri vv as Upta/tof, Tlpia/Mto re iraiocf 
Toaaa KaKii pefraKov or' uoTrepxec [tevcaivete 
'lAtov Ifa/luTrafru kvurifievov KToXiedpov ; 
Et <5e ay y\ elaeh&ovaa wi 
'Qftdv pe/Bpudoic Hpiafioio 
'A/lXovf re 1 jua;, rort xev %6%.ov kS 
Again, xviii. 358, 

if pa vv aelo 
'Ef airr; tyivovro ttapijKOfioavTee ' 


to Mykenae than to Argos, we may with probability conclude that 
it originally belonged to the former, and that the increasing power 
of the latter enabled them to usurp to themselves a religious 
privilege which was always an object of envy and contention 
among the Grecian communities. The JEolic colonists doubtless 
took out with them in their emigration the divine and heroic 
legends, as well as the worship and ceremonial rites, of the He- 
raeon ; and in those legends the most exalted rank would be as 
signed to the close-adjoining and administering city. 

Mykenae maintained its independence even down to the Persian 
invasion. Eighty of its heavy-armed citizens, in the ranks of 
Leonidas at Thermopylae, and a number not inferior at Plataea, 
upheld the splendid heroic celebrity of their city during a season 
of peril, when the more powerful Argos disgraced itself by a 
treacherous neutrality. Very shortly afterwards Mykenae was 
enslaved and its inhabitants expelled by the Argeians. Though 
this city so long maintained a separate existence, its importance 
had latterly sunk to nothing, while that of the Dorian Argos was 
augmented very much, and that of the Dorian Sparta still more. 

The name of Mykenas is imperishably enthroned in the Iliad 
and Odyssey ; but all the subsequent fluctuations of the legend 
tend to exalt the glory of other cities at its expense. The recog 
nition of the Olympic games as the grand religious festival ol 
Peloponnesus gave vogue to that genealogy which connected Pe- 
lops with Pisa or Elis and withdrew him from Mykenae. More- 
ever, in the poems of the great Athenian tragedians, Mykenae is 
constantly confounded and treated as one with Argos. If any 
one of the citizens of the former, expelled at the time of its final 
subjugation by the Argeians, had witnessed at Athens a drama of 
-ZEschylus, Sophokles, or Euripides, or the recital of an ode of 
Pindar, he would have heard with grief and indignation the city 
of his oppressors made a partner in the heroic glories of his 
own. 1 But the great political ascendency acquired by Sparta 
contributed still farther to degrade Mykenae, by disposing subse- 
quent poets to treat the chief of the Grecian armament against 
Troy as having been a Spartan. It has been already mentioned 
that Stesichorus, Simonides and Pindar adopted this version of 

1 See the preface of Dissen to the tenth Nem. of Pindar 


the legend : we know that Zeus Agamemnon, as well as the here 
Menelaus, was worshipped at the Dorian Sparta, 1 and the feeling 
of intimate identity, as well as of patriotic pride, which had grown 
up in the minds of the Spartans connected with the name of 
Agamemnon, is forcibly evinced by the reply of the Spartan Sy- 
agrus to Gelon of Syracuse at the time of the Persian invasion 
of Greece. Gelon was solicited to lend his aid in the imminent 
danger of Greece before the battle of Salamis : he offered to 
furnish an immense auxiliary force, on condition that the supreme 
command should be allotted to him. " Loudly indeed would the 
Pelopid Agamemnon cry out (exclaimed Syagrus in rejecting this 
application), if he were to learn that the Spartans had been de- 
prived of the headship by Gelon and the Tyracusans." 2 Nearly 
a century before this event, in obedience to the injunctions of the 
Delphian oracle, the Spartans had brought back from Tegea to 
Sparta the bones of " the Laconian Orestes," as Pindar denomi- 
nates him : 3 the recovery of these bones was announced to them 
as the means of reversing a course of ill-fortune, and of procuring 
victory in their war against Tegea. 4 The value which they set 
upon this acquisition, and the decisive results ascribed to it, ex- 
hibit a precise analogy with the recovery of the bones of Theseus 
from Skyros by the Athenian Cimon shortly after the Persian 
invasion. 5 The remains sought were those of a hero properly 
belonging to their own soil, but who had died in a foreign land, 
and of whose protection and assistance they were for that reason 
deprived. And the superhuman magnitude of the bones, which 
were contained in a coffin seven cubits long, is well suited to the 
legendary grandeur of the son of Agamemnon. 

1 Clemens Alexandr. Admonit. ad Gent. p. 24. 'Ayapefivova yovv riva 
Aia kv ~L-xdpTi) Tifiucrdai 2~a0u/lof iaropei. See also CEnomaus ap. Euseb. 
Praeparat. Evangel, v. 28. 

2 Herodot. vii. 159. T H KS fiey' olfiu^cisv 6 HeTiomdrif 'A.yafie/j.vuv, *rw$- 
uevoe ZitapTtTfTac inrapaipTjff&m TTJV fiyefj.ovi.av v-jrb TeXuvof re Kal ruv Zvp- 
Kovaiuv : compare Homer, Iliad, vii. 1 25. See what appears to be an imi- 
tation of the same passage in Josephus, De Bello Judaico, iii. 8, 4. 'H 
u&ahay' uv arevu^eiav oi iruTpioi VOJJ.QI, etc. 

* Pindar. Pyth. xi. 16. 4 Herodot. i 68. 

'Plutarch. Theseus, c. 36, Cimon, c. 8; Pausan. iii. 3, 6. 




THE earliest names in Laconian genealogy are, an autoch- 
thonous Lelex and a Naiad nymph Kleochareia. From this pair 
sprung a son Eurotas, and from him a daughter Sparta, who be- 
came the wife of Lacedasmon, son of Zeus and Taygete, daughter 
of Atlas. Amyklas, son of Lacedcemon, had two sons, Kynortas 
and Hyacinthus the latter a beautiful youth, the favorite of 
Apollo, by whose hand he was accidentally killed while playing 
at quoits : the festival of the Hyacinthia, which the Lacedaemo- 
nians generally, and the Amyklaeans with special solemnity, cele- 
brated throughout the historical ages, was traced back to this 
legend. Kynortas was succeeded by his son Perieres, who mar- 
ried Gorgophone, daughter of Perseus, and had a numerous issue 
Tyndareus, Ikarius, Aphareus, Leukippus, and Hippokoon. 
Some authors gave the genealogy differently, making Perieres, 
son of .jEolus, to be the father of Kynortas, and OEbalus son of 
Kynortas, from whom sprung Tyndareus, Ikarius and Hippo- 
koon. 1 

Both Tyndareus and Ikarius, expelled by their brother Hip- 
pokoon, were forced to seek shelter at the residence of Thestius, 
king of Kalydon, whose daughter, Leda, Tyndareus espoused. 
It is numbered among the exploits of the omnipresent Herakles, 
that he slew Hippokoon and his sons, and restored Tyndareus to 
his kingdom, thus creating for the subsequent Herakleidan kings 
a mythical title to the throne. Tyndareus, as well as his brothers, 
are persons of interest in legendary narrative : he is the father 
of Kastor, of Timandra, married lo Echemus, the hero of Tegea, 2 
and of Klytaemnestra, married to Agamemnon. Pollux and the 
erer-memorable Helen are the offspring of Leda by Zeus. Jka- 

1 Compare Apollocl. iii. 10, 4. Pansan. iii. 1, 4. 
3 Hesiod. ap Schol Pindar. Olymp. xi. 79. 


nus is the father of Penelope, wife of Odysseus: the contrast 
between her behavior and that of Klytaemnestra and Helen 
became the more striking in consequence of their being so nearly 
related. Aphareus is the father of Idas and Lynkeus, while 
Leukippus has for his daughters, Phoebe and Eaeira. Accord- 
ing to one of the Hesiodic poems, Kastor and Pollux were both 
sons of Zeus by Leda, while Helen was neither daughter of Zeus 
nor of Tyndareus, but of Oceanus and Tethys. 1 

The brothers Kastor and (Polydeukes, or) Pollux are no less 
celebrated for th'jir fraternal affection than for their great bodily 
accomplishments : Kastor, the great charioteer and horse-master; 
Pollux, the first of pugilists. They are enrolled both among the 
hunters of the Kalydonian boar and among the heroes of the 
Argonautic expedition, in which Pollux represses the insolence 
of Amykus, king of the Bebrykes, on the coast of Asiatic Thrace 
the latter, a gigantic pugilist, from whom no rival has ever 
escaped, challenges Pollux, but is vanquished and killed in the 

The two brothers also undertook an expedition into Attica, for 
the purpose of recovering their sister Helen, who had been 
carried off by Theseus in her early youth, and deposited by him 
at Aphidna, while he accompanied Perithous to the under-world, 
in order to assist his friend in carrying off Persephone. The 
force of Kastor and Pollux was irresistible, and when they re- 
demanded their sister, the people of Attica were anxious to restore 
her: but no one knew where Theseus had deposited his prize. 
The invaders, not believing in the sincerity of this denial, pro- 
ceeded to ravage the country, Avhich would have been utterly 
ruined, had not Dekelus, the eponymus of Dekeleia, been able to 
indicate Aphidna as the place of concealment. The autochtho- 
nous Titakus betrayed Aphidna to Kastor and Pollux, and Helen 

1 Hesiod. ap. Schol. Pindar. Nem. x. 150. Fragm. Hcsiod. Diintzer, 58. 
p. 44. Tyndarcus was worshipped as a god at Lacedaemon ("Varro ap. Serv. 
ad Virgil. JEneid. viii. 275). 

2 Apollon. Rhod. ii. 1-96. Apollod. i. 9, 20. Theocrit. xxii. 26-133. In 
the account of Apollonius and Apollodorus, Amykns is slain in the contest; 
in that of Theocritus he is only conquered and forced to give in, with a 
promise to renounce for the future his brutal conduct; the, re were several 
different narratives. See Schol. Apollon. Rhod ii. 106. 

VOL V 8 


was recovered : the brothers in evacuating Attica, carried awaj 
into captivity JEthra, the mother of Theseus. In after-days, 
when Kastor and Pollux, under the title of the Dioskuri, had 
come to be worshipped as powerful gods, and when the Athenians 
were greatly ashamed of this act of Theseus the revelation 
made by Dekelus was considered as entitling him to the lasting 
gratitude of his country, as well as to the favorable remembrance 
of the Lacedaemonians, who maintained the Dekeleians in the 
constant enjoyment of certain honorary privileges at Sparta, 1 and 
even spared that deme in all their invasions of Attica. Nor is it 
improbable that the existence of this legend had some weight in 
determining the Lacedaemonians to select Dekelia as the place of 
their occupation during the Peleponnesian war. 

The fatal combat between Kastor and Polydeukes on the one 
side, and Idas and Lynkeus on the other, for the possession of 
the daughters of Leukippus, was celebrated by more than one 
ancient poet, and forms the subject of one of the yet remaining 
Idylls of Theocritus. Leukippus had formally betrothed his 
daughters to Idas and Lynkeus ; but the Tyndarids, becoming 
enamored of them, outbid their rivals in the value of the cus- 
tomary nuptial gifts, persuaded the father to violate his promise, 
and carried off Phoebe and Ilaeira as their brides. Idas and 
Lynkeus pursued them and remonstrated against the injustice : 
according to Theocritus, this was the cause of the combat. But 
there was another tale, which seems the older, and which assigns 
a different cause to the quarrel. The four had jointly made a 
predatory incursion into Arcadia, and had driven off some cattle, 
but did not agree about the partition of the booty Idas carried 
off into Messenia a portion of it which the Tyndarids claimed as 

1 Diodor. iv. 63. Herod, iv. 73. Ae/ce/let>v 6e rtiv TOTE tpyaaafievuv ep- 
yov xpfoipov ? rbv TruvTa xpovov, uf aiirol 'Adrivaloi "heyovoi. According 
to other authors, it was Akademus who made the revelation, and the spot 
called Akademia, near Athens, which the Lacedaemonians spared in con- 
sideration of this service (Plutarch, The'sens, 31, 32, 33, where he gives 
several different versions of this tale by Attic writers, framed with the view 
of exonerating Theseus). The recovery of Helen and the captivity of JEthra 
were represented on the ancient chest of Kypselus, with the following cnrioui 
inscription : 

Tvvdaptda ' EAt'vnv tyiperov, A.l'&pav 6' 'Atfe'vatffv 

Pausan. v. 19 1 


Iheir own. To re\enge and reimburse themselves, the Tyndarids 
invaded Messenia, placing themselves in ambush in the hollow of 
an ancient oak. But Ljnkeus, endued with preternatural pow- 
ers of vision, mounted to the top of Taygetus, from whence, as he 
could see over the whole Peleponnesus, he detected them in their 
chosen place of concealment. Such was the narrative of the 
ancient Cyprian Verses. Kastor perished by the hand of Idas. 
Lynkeus by that of Pollux. Idas, seizing a stone pillar from the 
tomb of his father Aphareus, hurled it at Pollux, knocked him 
down and stunned him ; but Zeus, interposing at the critical 
moment for the protection of his son, killed Idas with a thunder- 
bolt. Zeus would have conferred upon Pollux the gift of immor- 
tality, but the latter could not endure existence without his brother: 
he entreated permission to share the gift with Kastor, and both 
were accordingly permitted to live, but only on every other day. 1 

The Dioskuri, or sons of Zeus, as the two Spartan heroes, 
Kastor and Pollux, were denominated, were recognized in the 
historical days of Greece as gods, and received divine honors. 
This is even noticed in a passage of the Odyssey, 2 which is at any 
rate a very old interpolation, as well as in one of the Homeric 
hymns. What is yet more remarkable is, that they were invoked 
during storms at sea, as the special and all-powerful protectors of 
the endangered mariner, although their attributes and their 
celebrity seem to be of a character so dissimilar. They were 
worshipped throughout most parts of Greece, but with preeminent 
sanctity at Sparta. 

Kastor and Pollux being removed, the Spartan genealogy 
passes from Tyndareus to Menelaus, and from him to Orestes. 

Originally it appears that Messene was a name for the western 
portion of Lacdnia, bordering on what was called Pylos : it is so 
represented in the Odyssey, and Ephorus seems to have included 
it amongst the possessions of Orestes and his descendants. 

1 Cypria Carm. Fragm. 8. p. 13, Diintzcr. Lycophron, 538-566 with 
Schol. Apollod. iii. 11, 1. Pindar, Nem. x. 55-90. irep^fiepov u-davacriav 
also Homer, Odyss. xi. 302, with the Commentary of Nitzsch, vol. iii. p. 245. 

The combat thus ends more favorably to the Tyndarids; but probably tha 
account least favorable to them is the oldest, since their dignity went on con 
tinually increasing, until at last they became great deities. 

' Odyss. xxi. 15. Diodor. xv. 66. 


Throughout the whole duration of the Messenico-Dorian king, 
dom, there never was any town called Messene: the town was 
first founded by Epameinondas, after the battle of Leuctra. The 
heroic genealogy of Messenia starts from the same name as that 
of Laconia from the autochthonous Lelex: his younger son, 
Polykaon, marries Messene, daughter of the Argeian Triopas, 
and settles the country. Pausanias tells us that the posterity of 
this pair occupied the country for five generations ; but he in 
vain searched the ancient genealogical poems to find the names 
of their descendants. 1 To them succeeded Perieres, son of 
^Eolus ; and Aphareus and Leukippus, according to Pausanias, 
were sons of Perieres. Idas and Lynkeus are the only heroes, 
distinguished for personal exploits and memorable attributes, 
belonging to Messenia proper. They are the counterpart of the 
Dioskuri, and were interesting persons in the old legendary 
poems. Marpessa was the daughter of Euenus, and wooed by 
Apollo : nevertheless Idas 2 carried her off by the aid of a winged 
chariot which he had received from Poseidon, Euenus pursued 
them, and when he arrived at the river Lykormas, he found 
himself unable to overtake them : his grief caused him to throw 
himself into the river, which ever afterwards bore his name. Idas 
brought Marpe'ssa safe to Messenia, and even when Apollo there 
claimed her of him, he did not fear to risk a combat with the god. 
But Zeus interfered as mediator, and permitted the maiden to 
choose which of the two she preferred. She attached herself to 
Idas, being apprehensive that Apollo would desert her in her old 
age : on the death of her husband she slew herself. Both Idas 
and Lynkeus took part in the Argonautic expedition and in 
the KalydSnian boar-hunt. 3 

1 Pausan. iv. 2, 1. 

* Iliad, ix. 553. Simonides had handled this story in detail (Schol. Yen. 
II. ix. p. 553). Bacchylides Cap, Schol. Pindar. Isthm. iv. 92) celebrated in 
one of his poems the competition among many eager suitors for the hand of 
Marpessa, under circumstances similar to the competition for Hippodamcia, 
daughter of CEnomaus. Many unsuccessful suitors perished by the hand of 
Euenas : their skulls were affixed to the wall of the temple of Poseidon. 

3 Apollod. i. 7, 9. Pausan. iv. 2, 5. Apollonius Rhodius describes Idas as 
fall of boast and self-confidence, heedless of the necessity of divine aid. 
Probably this was the character of the brothers in the old legend, as the 
enemies of the Dioskuri. 

The wrath of the Dioskuri against Messenia was treated, even in the 


Aphareus, after the death of his sons, founded the tv/wa of 
Arene, and made over most part of his dominions to hi 
Neleus, with whom we pass into the Pylian genealogy. 



THE Arcadian divine or heroic pedigree begins with Pelasgus, 
whom both Hesiod and Asius considered as an indigenous man, 
though Akusilaus the Argeian represented him as brother of 
Argos and son of Zeus by Niobe, daughter of Phoroneus : this 
logographer wished to establish a community of origin between 
the Argeians and the Arcadians. 

Lykaen, son of Pelasgus and king of Arcadia, had, by different 
wives, fifty sons, the most savage, impious and wicked of man- 
kind : Maenalus was the eldest of them. Zeus, in order that he 
might himself become a witness of their misdeeds, presented 
himself to them in disguise. They killed a child and served it 
up to him for a meal; but the god overturned the table and 
struck dead with thunder Lykaon and all his fifty sons, with the 
single exception of Nyktimus, the youngest, whom he spared at 
the earnest intercession of the goddess Gsea (the Earth). The 
town near which the table was overturned received the name of 
Trapezus (Tabletown). 

This singular legend (framed on the same etymological type 
as that of the ants in -ZEgina, recounted elsewhere) seems ancient, 
and may probably belong to the Hesiodic Catalogue. But Pau- 
sanias tells us a story in many respects different, which was 
represented to him in Arcadia as the primitive local account, and 
which becomes the more interesting, as he tells us that he himself 
fully believes it. Both tales indeed go to illustrate the same 

historical times, as the grand cause of the subjection of the Messenians by 
the Spartans : that wrath had been appeased at the time when Epameinondai 
reconstituted Messene (Pausan. iy. 27, I). 


point the ferocity of Lyka6n's character, as well a3 the cruel 
rites which he practised. The latter was the first who e&tablished 
the worship and solemn games of Zeus Lykasus : he offered up a 
child to Zeus, and made libations with the blood upon the altar. 
Immediately after having perpetrated this act, he was changed 
into a wolf. 1 

"Of the truth of this narrative (observes Pausanias) I feel 
persuaded : it has been repeated by the Arcadians from old times, 
and it carries probability along with it. For the men of that day, 
from their justice and piety, were guests and companions at table 
with the gods, who manifested towards them approbation when 
they were good, and anger if they behaved ill, in a palpable man- 
ner : indeed at that time there were some, who having once been 
men, became gods, and who yet retain their privileges as such 
Aristseus, the Kretan Britomartis, Herakles son of Alkmena, Am- 
phiaraus the son of Oikles, and Pollux and Kastor besides. We 
may therefore believe that Lykaon became a wild beast, and that 
Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus, became a stone. But in my 
time, wickedness having enormously increased, so as to overrun 
the whole earth and all the cities in it, there are no farther 
examples of men exalted into gods, except by mere title and from 
adulation towards the powerful: moreover the anger of the gods 
falls tardily upon the wicked, and is reserved for them after their 
departure from hence." 

1 Apollodor. iii. 8, 1. Hygin. fab. 176. Eratosthen. Catasterism. 8. Pau- 
san. viii. 2, 2-3. A different story respecting the immolation of the child is 
in Nikolaus Damask. Frag. p. 41, OrelJi. Lykaon is mentioned as the first 
founder of the temple of Zeus Lykaeus in Schol. Eurip. Orest. 1662; but 
nothing is there said about the human sacrifice or its consequences. In the 
historical times, the festival and solemnities of the Lykaea do not seem to 
have been distinguished materially from the other agones of Greece (Pindar, 
Olymp. xiii. 104; Nem. x. 46): Xenias the Arcadian, one of the generals 
in the army of Cyrus the younger, celebrated the solemnity with great mag- 
nificence in the march through Asia Minor (Xen. Anab. i. 2, 10). But the 
fable of the human sacrifice, and the subsequent transmutation of the person 
who had eaten human food into a wolf, continued to be told in connection 
with them (Plato, de Republic, viii. c. 15. p. 417). Compare Pliny, H. N. 
viii. 34. This passage of Plato seems to afford distinct indication that the 
practice of offering human victims at the altar of the Lykaean Zeus waa 
neither prevalent nor recent, but at most only traditional and antiquated* 
and it therefore limits the sense or invalidates the authority of the Pseudo- 
Platonic dialogue, Minos, c. 5. 


Pausanias then proceeds to censure those who, by multiplying 
talse miracles in more recent times, tended to rob the old and 
genuine miracles of their legitimate credit and esteem. The 
passage illustrates forcibly the views which a religious and in- 
structed pagan took of his past time how inseparably he blend- 
ed together in it gods and men, and how little he either recognized 
or expected to find in it the naked phenomena and historical 
laws of connection which belonged to the world before him. He 
treats the past as the province of legend, the present as that of 
history ; and in doing this he is more sceptical than the persons 
with whom he conversed, who believed not only in the ancient, 
but even in the recent and falsely reported miracles. It is true 
that Pausanias does not always proceed consistently with this 
position : he often rationalizes the stories of the past, as if he 
expected to find historical threads of connection ; and sometimes, 
though more rarely, accepts the miracles of the present. But in 
the present instance he draws a broad line of distinction between 
present and past, or rather between what is recent and what is 
ancient : his criticism is, in the main, analogous to that of Arrian in 
regard to the Amazons denying their existence during times 
of recorded history, but admitting it during the early and un- 
recorded ages. 

In the narrative of Pausanias, the sons of Lykaon, instead of 
perishing by thunder from Zeus, become the founders of the 
various towns in Arcadia. And as that region was subdivided 
into a great number of small and independent townships, each 
having its own eponym, so the Arcadian heroic genealogy appears 
broken up and subdivided. Pallas, Orestheus, Phigalus, Trape- 
zeus, Mamalus, Mantineus, and Tegeates, are all numbered among 
the sons of Lykaon, and are all eponyms of various Arcadian 
towns. 1 

The legend respecting Kallisto and Arkas, the eponym of 
Arcadia generally, seems to have been originally quite independ 
ent of and distinct from that of Lykaon. Eumelus, indeed, and 
F.ome other poets made Kallisto daughter of Lykaon ; but neither 
Hesiod, nor Asius, nor Pherekydes, acknowledged any relation- 
ship between them. 2 The beautiful Kallisto, companion of 

1 P*us. viii. 3. Hygin. fab. 177. 8 Apollod. iii. 8, 2. 


Artemis in the cLase, had bound herself by a vow of chastity 
Zeus, either by persuasion or by force, obtained a violation of the 
vow, to the grievous displeasure both of Here and Artemi?. The 
former changed Kallisto into a bear, the latter when she was in 
that shape killed her with an arrow. Zeus gave to the unfortu- 
nate Kallisto a place among the stars, as the constellation of the 
Bear: he also preserved the child Arkas, of which she was 
pregnant by him, and gave it to the Atlantid nymph Maia to 
bring up. 1 

Arkas, when he became king, obtained from Triptolemus and 
communicated to his people the first rudiments of agriculture ; 
he also taught them to make bread, to spin, and to weave. He 
had three sons Azan, Apheidas, and Elatus : the first was the 
eponym of Azania, the northern region of Arcadia ; the second 
was one of the heroes of Tegea ; the third was father of Ischys 
(rival of Apollo for the affections of Koronis)) as well as of 
jEpytus and Kyllen : the name of JEpytus among the heroes of 
Arcadia is as old as the Catalogue in the Iliad. 2 

Aleus, son of Apheidas and king of Tegea, was the founder 
of the celebrated temple and worship of Athene Alea in that 
town. Lykurgus and Kepheus were his sons, Auge his daugh- 
ter, who was seduced by Herakles, and secretly bore to him a 
child : the father, discovering what had happened, sent Auge to 
Nauplius to be sold into slavery : Teuthras, king of Mysia in 
Asia Minor, purchased her and made her his wife : her tomb was 
shown at Pergamus on the river Kaikus even in the time of 
Pausanias. 3 

1 Pausan. viii. 3, 2. Apollod. iii. 8, 2. Hcsiod. apud Eratosthen. Catas- 
terism. 1. Fragm. 182, Marktsch. Hygin. f. 177. 

2 Homer, Iliad, ii. 604. Pind. Olymp. vi. 44-63. 

The tomb of JEpytus, mentioned in the Iliad, was shown to Pausania* 
between Pheneus and Stymphalus (Pausan. viii. 16, 2). JEpytus was a cog- 
nomen of Hermes (Pausan. viii. 47, 3). 

The hero Arkas was worshipped at Mantineia, under the special injunc- 
tion of the Delphian oracle (Pausan. viii. 9, 2). 

3 Pausan. viii. 4, 6. Apollod. iii. 9, 1. Diodor. iv. 33. 

A separate legend respecting Auge and the birth of Telephus was current 
at Tegea, attached to the temple, statue, and cognomen of Eileithyia in the 
Tegeatic agora (Pausan. viii. 48, 5). 

Hekataeus seems to have narrated in dctul the adventures of Auge (Pair 
san. viii. 4, 4 ; 47, 3. Hekatae. Fragm. 345, Didot). 

EuripidCs followed a different story about Auge and the birth of Telephei 


The child Telephus, exposed on Mount Parthenius, was won- 
derfully sustained by the milk of a doe : the herdsmen of Kory- 
thus brought him up, and he was directed by the Delphian oracle 
to go and find his parents in Mysia. Teuthras adopted him, and 
he succeeded to the throne : in the first attempt of the army of 
Agamemnon against Troy, on which occasion they mistook their 
point and landed in Mysia, his valor signally contributed to the 
repulse of the Greeks, though he was at last vanquished and 
desperately wounded by the spear of Achilles by whom how- 
ever he was afterwards healed, under the injunction of the ora- 
cle, and became the guide of the Greeks in their renewed attaoi 
upon the Trojans. 1 

From Lykurgus, 2 the son of Aleus and brother of Auge, we 
pass to his son Ankseus, numbered among the Argonauts, finally 
killed in the chase of the Kalydonian boar, and father of Agape- 
nor, who leads the Arcadian contingent against Troy, (the 
adventurers of his niece, the Tegeatic huntress Atalanta, have 
already been touched upon), then to Echemus, son of Aeropus 
and grandson of the brother of Lykurgus, Kepheus. Echemus 
is the chief heroic ornament of Tegea. When Hyllus, the son 
of Herakles, conducted the Herakleids on their first expedi- 
tion against Peloponnesus, Echemus commanded the Tegean 
troops who assembled along with the other Peloponnesians at the 
isthmus of Corinth to repel the invasion : it was agreed that the 
dispute should be determined by single combat, and Echemus, as 
the champion of Peloponnesus, encountered and killed Hyllus. 

in his lost tragedy called Auge (See Strabo, xiii. p. 615). Respecting the 
Mtxro? of .^Eschylus, and the two lost dramas, 'Afaadai and Mvaol of Sopho- 
kles, little can be made out. (See Welcker, Griechisch. Tragod. p. 53, 

1 Telephus and his exploits were much dwelt upon in the lost old epic 
poem, the Cyprian Verses. See argument of that poem ap. DUntzer, 
Ep. Fragm. p. 10. His exploits were also celebrated by Pindar (Olymp. 
ix. 70-79J; he is enumerated along with Hector, Cycnns, Memnon, the 
most distinguished opponents of Achilles (Isthm. iv. 46). His birth, as 
well as his adventures, became subjects with most of the great Attic trage- 

* There were other local genealogies of Tegea deduced from Lykurgus : 
Botachus, eponym of the Deme Botachidac at that place, was his grandson 
(Nicolans ap. Steph. Byz. v. Bwra^Wat). 

VOL. i. 8* 12oc. 


Pursuant to the stipulation by which they had bound themselves, 
the Herakleids retired, and abstained for three generations from 
pressing their claim upon Peloponnesus-. This valorous exploit of 
their great martial hero was cited and appealed to by the Tegeates 
before the battle of Plataea, as the principal evidence of their 
claim to the second post in the combined army, next in point of 
honor to that of the Lacedaemonians, and superior to that of the 
Athenians : the latter replied to them by producing as counter-evi- 
dence the splendid heroic deeds of Athens, the protection of the 
Herakleids against Eurystheus, the victory over the Kadmeians 
of Thebes, and the complete defeat of the Amazons in Attica. 1 
Nor can there be any doubt that these legendary glories were 
both recited by the speakers, and heard by the listeners, with 
profound and undoubting faith, as well as with heart-stirring 

One other person there is Ischys, son of Elatus and grand 
son of Arkas in the fabulous genealogy of Arcadia whom it 
would be improper to pass over, inasmuch as his name and 
adventures are connected with the genesis of the memorable god 
or hero ^Esculapius, or Asklepius. Koronis, daughter of Phleg- 
yas, and resident near the lake Bcebeis in Thessaly, was beloved 
by Apollo and became pregnant by him : unfaithful to the god, 
she listened to the propositions of Ischys son of Elatus, and con- 
sented to wed him : a raven brought to Apollo the fatal news, 
which so incensed him that he changed the color of the bird 
from white, as it previously had been, into black. 2 Artemis, to 

1 Herodot. ix. 27. Echcmus is described by Pindar (01. xi. 69) as gaining 
the prize of wrestling in the fabulous Olympic games, on their first estab- 
lishment by Herakles. He also found a place in the Hesiodic Catalogue aa 
husband of Timandra, the sister of Helen and Klytaemnestra (Hesiod 
Fragm. 105, p. 318, Marktscheff.). 

* Apollodor. iii. 10,3; Hesiod, Fragm. 141-142, Maiktscheff. ; Strab. b 
p. 442 ; Pherekydes, Fragm. 8 ; Akusilaus, Fragm. 25, Didot. 

T^J [lev up 1 dyyeAof ^Ai?e Kopa!;, Ifp^f uirb dairbf 
Hv&u if q-yct'&eijv, KOI /5' eQpaaev IpY tuSr l 'ka 
$ot/?<f) aKcpasKOfiy, STI 'lff%vf yfip-e Kopuviv 
EiA<mJ;?f, $7.Yvao SioyvfiToio -Biiyarpa. (Hesiod, Fr.) 

The change of the color of the crow is noticed both in Ovid, Metamorph. 
u. 632, in Antonin. Liberal, c. 20, and in Servius ad Virgil. ^Eneid. vii. 761 



Avenge the wounded dignity of her brother, put Koronis to 
death ; but Apollo preserved the male child of which she was 
about to be delivered, and consigned it to the Centaur Cheiron to 
be brought up. The child was named Asklepius or ^Esculapius, 
and acquired, partly from the teaching of the beneficent leech 
Cheiron, partly from inborn and superhuman aptitude, a knowl- 
edge of the virtues of herbs and a mastery of medicine and sur- 
gery, such as had never before been witnessed. He not only 
cured the sick, the wounded, and the dying, but even restored the 
dead to life. Kapaneus, Eriphyle, Hippolytus, Tyndareus and 
Glaukus were all affirmed by different poets and logographers to 
have been endued by him with a new life. 1 But Zeus now found 
himself under the necessity of taking precautions lest mankind, 
thus unexpectedly protected against sickness and death, should 
no longer stand in need of the immortal gods : he smote Askle- 
pius with thunder and killed him. Apollo was so exasperated 
by this slaughter of his highly-gifted son, that he killed the 
Cyclopes who had fabricated the thunder, and Zeus was about to 
condemn him to Tartarus for doing so ; but on the intercession 
of Latona he relented, and was satisfied with imposing upon him 
a temporary servitude in the house of Admetus at Pherae. 

Asklepius was worsliipped with very great solemnity at Trikka, 
at Kos, at Knidus, and in many different parts of Greece, but espe- 
cially at Epidaurus, so that more than one legend had grown up 

though the name " Corvo custode cjus " is there printed with a capital letter, 
as if it were a man named Corvus. 

1 Schol. Eurip. Alkest. 1 ; Diodor. iv. 71 ; Apollodor. iii. 10, 3; Pindar, 
Pyth. iii. 59 ; Sextns Empiric, adv. Grammatic. i. 12. p. 271. Stesichorus 
named Eriphyle the Naupaktian verses, Hippolytus (compare Servius 
ad Virgil. ^Eneid. vii. 761) ; Panyasis, Tyndareus; a proof of the popularity 
of this tale among the poets. Pindar says that ^sculapius was " tempted by 
gold "to raise a man from the dead, and Plato (Legg. iii. p. 408) copies 
him : this seems intended to afford some color for the subsequent punish- 
ment. " Mercede id captum (observes Boeckh. ad Pindar. 1. c.) JEscula- 
pium fecisse recentior est fictio ; Pindari fortasse ipsius, quern tragici secuti 
sunt : baud dubie a medicorum avaris moribus profecta, qui Graecorum 
medicis nostrisque communes sunt." The rapacity of the physicians (grant- 
ing it to be ever so well-founded, both then and now) appears to me less 
likely to have operated upon the mind of Pindar, than the disposition to 
extenuate the cruelty of Zeus, by imputing guilty and sordid views to Askle 
piufl. Compare the citation from Diksearchus, infrb. p. 249, note 1. 



"especting the details of his birth and adventures : in particular, 
his mother was by some called Arsinoe. But a formal applica- 
tion had been made on this subject (so the Epidaurians told 
Pausanias) to the oracle of Delphi, and the god in reply acknowl- 
edged that Asklepius was his son by Koronis. 1 The tale above 
recounted seems to have been both the oldest and the most cur- 
rent. It is adorned by Pindar in a noble ode, wherein however 
he omits all mention of the raven as messenger not specifying 
who or what the spy was frym whom Apollo learnt the infidelity 
of Koronis. By many this was considered as an improvement in 
respect of poetical effect, but it illustrates the mode in which the 
characteristic details and simplicity of the old fables 3 came to be 
exchanged for dignified generalities, adapted to the altered taste 
of society. 

Machaon and Podaleirius, the two sons of Asklepius, com 
mand the contingent from Trikka, in the north-west region of 
Thessaly, at the siege of Troy by Agamemnon. 3 They are the 
leeches of the Grecian army, highly prized and consulted by all 
the wounded chiefs. Their medical renown was further pro- 
longed in the subsequent poem of Arktinus, the Iliu-Persis, 
wherein the one was represented as unrivalled in surgical opera- 
tions, the other as sagacious in detecting and appreciating morbid 
symptoms. It was Podaleirius who first noticed the glaring 

1 Pausan. ii. 26, where several distinct stories are mentioned, each spring 
ing up at some one or other of the sanctuaries of the god : quite enough to 
justify the idea of these JEsculapii (Cicero, N. D. iii. 22). 

Homer, Hymn, ad ^Esculap. 2. The tale briefly alluded to in the Homeric 
Hymn, ad Apollin. 209. is evidently different : Ischys is there the companion 
of Apollo, and Koronis is an Arcadian damsel. 

Aristide's, the fervent worshipper of Asklepius, adopted the story of Koro- 
nis, and composed hymns on the Kopuvidor Kal yeveciv TOV tfeoi 
(Orat. 23. p. 463, Bind.). 

2 See Pindar, Pyth. iii. The Scholiast puts a construction upon Pindar's 
words which is at any rate far-fetched, if indeed it be at all admissible : he 
supposes that Apollo knew the fact from his own omniscience, without any in- 
formant, and he praises Pindar for having th as transformed the old fable. But 
the words ov6 J shade GKOITOV seem certainly to imply some informant : to 
suppose that CTKOTTOV means the god's own mind, is a strained interpretation. 

3 Iliad, ii. 730. The Messnians laid claim to the sons of Asklepius at 
their heroes, and tried to justify tke pretension by a forced construction, oi 
Homer { Pausan. iii. 4, 2\ 


eyes and disturbed deportment which preceded the suicide of 
Ajax. 1 

Galen appears uncertain whether Asklepius (as well as Dion- 
ysus) was originally a god, or wheth.r he was first a man and 
then became afterwards a god ; 2 but Apollodorus professed to fix 
the exact date of his apotheosis. 3 Throughout all the historical 
ages the descendants of Asklepius were numerous and widely 
diffused. The many families or gentes called Asklepiads, who 
devoted themselves to the study and practice of medicine, and 
who principally dwelt near the temples of Asklenius whither 
sick and suffering men came to obtain relief all recognized the 
god not merely as the object of their common worship, but also 
as their actual progenitor. Like Solon, who reckoned Neleus 
and Poseidon as his ancestors, or the Milesian Hekatasus, who 
traced his origin through fifteen successive links to a god like 
the privileged gens at Pelion in Thessaly, 4 who considered the 
wise Centaur Cheiron as their progenitor, and who inherited from 
him their precious secrets respecting the medicinal herbs of which 

1 Arktinus, Epicc. Grose. Fragm. 2. p. 22, Duntzer. The Ilias Minor men- 
tioned the death of Machaon by Eurypylus, son of Telephus (Fragm. 5. p. 
19, Diintzcr). 

8 'Aoxfyniof yi rot nal Aiovvaof, elr' uv&pUTtoi -xporepov f/arr/v elre KOL 
apxifisv deoi (Galen, Protreptic. 9. t. 1. p. 22, Kuhn.). Pausanias considers 
Win as i?e6f ef upx?/C (" 26, 7). In the important temple at Smyrna he 
was worsnipped as Zcvf 'AcrA7/7ri6f (Aristides, Or. 6. p. 64 ; Or. 23. p. 456, 

3 Apollodor. ap. Clem. Alex. Strom, i. p. 381 ; see Heyne, Fragment. 
Apollodor. p. 410. According to Apollodorus, the apotheosis of Herakles 
and of jEsculapius took place at the same time, thirty-eight years after He- 
rakles began to reign at Argos. 

4 About Hekataeus, Herodot. ii. 143 ; about Solon, Diogen. Laert, Vit. 
Platon. init. 

A curious fragment, preserved from the lost works of Dikaearchus, tells us 
of the descendants of the Centaur Cheiron at the town of Pelion, or perhaps 
at the neighboring town of Demetrias, it is not quite certain which, per- 
haps at bofti (see Diksearch Fragment, ed. Fuhr, p. 408). Tavrrjv tie TJJV 
diivafiiv ev TUV irofartiv olSe -yevof, 6 67) Aeyertu Xeipuvof unoyovov dvai 
irapafiiSuGt 6e icai deiKvvai iraTTjp vi), KOI ovruf i) 6vvafiL( <j>v%.uaaerat, uf 
oi>6eif uA/lof olds ruv Tro/liroiv oi>x oaiov 6e Toiif iucrTa/j,vovf T& <j>ap[iana 
iu<r&ov rolf nafivoiai /3o7]deiv, iiTJiii TrpoiKa. Republ iii. 4 (p. 391). 'A^<XA<)f VTT) ri co^urory Xeipuvi 
Compare Xenophon, De Venr.t. c. 1 


their neighborhood was full, Asklepiads, even of the late* 
times, numbered and specified all the intermediate links which 
separated them from their primitive divine parent. One of these 
genealogies has been preserved to us, and we may be sure that 
there were many such, as the Asklepiads were found in many 
different places. 1 Among them were enrolled highly instructed 
and accomplished men, such as the great Hippocrates and the 
historian Ktesias, who prided themselves on the divine origin of 
themselves and their gens 2 so much did the legendary element 
pervade even the most philosophical and positive minds of his- 
torical Greece. Nor can there be any doubt that their means of 
medical observation must have been largely extended by their 
vicinity to a temple so much frequented by the sick, who came in 
confident hopes of divine relief, and who, whilst they offered up 
sacrifice and prayer to JEsculapius, and slept in his temple in 
order to be favored with healing suggestions in their dreams, 
might, in case the god withheld his supernatural aid, consult his 

1 See the genealogy at length in Le Clerc, Historic de la Mcdecine, lib. ii. 
c. 2. p. 78, also p. 287 ; also Littr6, Introduction aux (Euvres Completes 
d'Hippocrate, t. i. p. 35. Hippocrates was the seventeenth from ^Escula 

Theopompus the historian went at considerable length into the pedigree 
of the Asklepiads of Kos and Knidus, tracing them np to Podaleirius and 
his first settlement at Syruus in Karia (see Theopomp. Fragm. Ill, Didot) : 
Polyanthus of Kyrene composed a special treatise Tepi r^f ruv ' 'Aflf/cA^Tna- 
6uv yeveffeue (Sextus Empiric, adv. Grammat. i. 12. p. 271); see Stephan. 
Byz. v. Kwf, and especially Aristides, Oral. vii. Ascltpiadce. The Asklepiads 
were even reckoned among the ' ApxyyeTcu of Rhodes, jointly with the He- 
rakleids (Aristides, Or. 44, ad Rhod. p. 839, Dind.). 

In the extensive sacred enclosure at Epidaurus stood the statues of Asklc- 
pius and his wife Epione (Pausan. ii. 29, 1) : two daughters are coupled with 
him by Aristophanes, and he was considered especially evirate (Plutns, 654) 
Jaso, Panakeia and Hygieia are named by Aristide's. 

* Plato, Protagor. c. 6 (p. 311). 'ImroKpurri rbv Kwov, rbv ruv 'AerK/\7?- 
Kiaduv; also Phsedr. c. 121. (p. 270). About Ktesias, Galen, Opp. t v. p. 
652, Basil.; and Bahrt, Fragm. Ktesiae, p. 20. Aristotle (see Stahr. Aristo- 
telia, i. p. 32) and Xenophon, the physician of the emperor Claudius, were 
both Askldpiads (Tacit. Annal. xii. 61). Plato, de Republ. iii. 405, calls 
them roi)f KOfnpoiie 'Aovc/ltfTaadaf. 

Pausanias, a distinguished physician at Ge,'a in Sicily, and contemporary 
of the philosopher Empedokles, was also an Asklepiad : sec the verses of 
Empedoklttg upon him, Diogen. Lafirt. viii. 61. 


living descendants. 1 The sick visitors at Kos, or Trikka, or 
Epidaurus, were numerous and constant, and the tablets usually 
hung up to record the particulars of their maladies, the remedies 
resorted to, and the cures operated by the god, formed both an 
interesting decoration of the sacred ground and an instructive 
memorial to the Asklepiads. 2 

The genealogical descent of Hippocrates and the other Askle- 
piads from the god Asklepius is not only analogous to that of 
Hekatseus and Solon from their respective ancestoral gods, but 
also to that of the Lacedaemonian kings from Herakles, upon the 
basis of which the whole supposed chronology of the ante-histo- 
rical times has been built, from Eratosthenes and Apollodorus 
down to the chronologers of the present century .3 I shall revert 
to this hereafter. 

1 Strabo, viii. p. 374 ; Aristophan. Vcsp. 122 ; Plutus, 635-750 ; where the 
visit to the temple of JEsculapius is described in great detail, though with 
a broad farcical coloring. 

During the last illness of Alexander the Great, several of his principal 
officers slept in the temple of Sernpis. in the hope that remedies would be 
suggested to them in their dreams (Arrian, vii. 26). 

Pausanias, in describing the various temples of Asklepius which he saw, 
announces as a fact quite notorious and well-understood, " Here cures are 
wrought by the god" (ii. 36, 1 ; iii. 26. 7 ; vii. 27, 4) : see Suidas, v. 'Apia- 
rapxo^. The Orations of Aristides, especially the 6th and 7th, Asklepius 
and the Asklepiadce, are the most striking manifestations of faith and thanks* 
giving towards ^Esculapius, as well as attestations of his extensive working 
throughout the Grecian world ; also Orat. 23 and 25, 'lepuv Aoyof, 1 and 3 ; 
and Or. 45 (De Ehetorica, p. 22. Dind.), al T' fa 'Atr/c^Tnov TUV asl diarpi- 
06vTuv, etc. 

* Pausan. ii. 27, 3; 36, 1. Tavraic kyyeypu.mj.Eva ia-.i nal uvtipuv ml 
yvvaiKuv bvofiara uKEa&evTuv itirb TOV 'Aff/c^TTtoii, Trpoaen 6e ical v6ffjjfj.a, 
o. TI EKaarof ivoaqas, Kal ojruf la&ij, the cures are wrought by the god 

3 "Apollodorus aetatem Hercnlis pro cardine chronologi habuit " (Heyue, 
ad Apollodfr. Fragm. p. 410). 




THE memorable heroic genealogy of the JEakids establishes a 
fabulous connection between JEgina, Salamis, and Phthia, which 
we can only recognize as a fact, without being able to trace ita 

jEakus was the son of Zeus, born of ^Egina, daughter of Aso- 
pus, whom the god had carried off and brought into the island to 
which he gave her name : she was afterwards married to Aktor, 
and had by him Menoetius, father of Patroclus. As there were 
two rivers named Asopus, one between Phlius and Sikyon, and 
another between Thebes and Plataea so the JEginetan heroic 
genealogy was connected both with that of Thebes and with that 
of Phlius : and this belief led to practical consequences in the 
minds of those who accepted the legends as genuine history. For 
when the Thebans, in the 68th Olympiad, were hard-pressed in 
war by Athens, they were directed by the Delphian oracle to 
ask assistance of their next of kin : recollecting that Thebe and 
JEgina had been sisters, common daughters of Asopus, they were 
induced to apply to the JEginotans as their next of kin, and the 
JEgine'tans gave them aid, first by sending to them their common 
heroes, the JEakids, next by actual armed force. 1 Pindar dwells 
emphatically on the heroic brotherhood between Thebes, his native 
city, and JEgina. 2 

JEakus was alone in JEgina: to relieve him from this solitudti, 
Zeus changed all the ants in the island into men, and thus pro- 
vided him with a numerous population, who, from their origin, 
were called Myrmidons. 3 By his wife Endeis, daughter of Chei- 

1 Herodot. v. 81. 2 Ncm. iv. 22. Isthm. vii. 16. 

3 This tale, respecting the transformation of the ants into men, is as old 
as the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women. See Diintzer, Fragm. Epicc. 21. p. 
34 ; evidently an etymological tale from the name Myrmidones. Pausanias 
throws aside both the etymology and the details of the miracle : he says 


ron, JEakus had for his sons Peleus and Telamon : by the Nereid 
Psamathe, he had Phokus. A monstrous crime had then recently 
been committed by Pelops, in killing the Arcadian prince, Stym- 
phalus, under a simulation of friendship and hospitality : for this 
the gods had smitten all Greece with famine and barrenness. 
The oracles affirmed that nothing could relieve Greece from this 
intolerable misery except the prayers of -ZEakus, the most pious 
of mankind. Accordingly envoys from all quarters flocked to 
^Egina, to prevail upon yEakus to put up prayers for them : on his 
supplications the gods relented, and the suffering immediately 
ceased. The grateful Greeks established in .ZEgina the temple 
and worship of Zeus Panhellenius, one of the lasting monuments 
and institutions of the island, on the spot where -ZEakus had 
offered up his prayer. The statues of the envoys who had come 
to solicit him were yet to be seen in the JEakeium, or sacred 
edifice of JEakus, in the time of Pausanias : and the Athenian 
Isokrates, in his eulogy of Evagoras, the despot of Salamis in 
Cyprus (who traced his descent through Teukrus to JEakus), 
enlarges upon this signal miracle, recounted and believed by 
other Greeks as well as by the JEginetans, as a proof both of 
the great qualities and of the divine favor and patronage dis- 
played in the career of the JEakids. 1 .^Eakus was also employed 
to aid Poseidon and Apollo in building the walls of Troy. 2 
Peleus and Telamon, the sons of JEakus, contracting a jeal- 

that Zeus raised men from the earth, at the prayer of JEakus (ii. 29, 2) : 
other authors retained the etymology of Myrmidons from fivppqKef, but gave 
a different explanation (Kallimachus, Fragm. 114, Ddntzer). Mvpfudovuv 
iffar/va (Strabo, viii. p. 375). 'Eaaqv, 6 omcmfc (Hygin. fab. 52). 

According to the Thessalian legend, Myrmidon was the son of Zeus by 
Eurymedusa, daughter of Kletor ; Zeus having assumed the disguise of an 
ant (Clemens Alex. Admon. ad Gent. p. 25. Sylb.). 

1 Apollod. iii. 12, 6. Isokrat. Evagor. Encom. vol. ii. p. 278, Auger. Pau- 
san. i. 45, 13; ii. 29, 6. Schol. Aristoph. Equit. 1253. 

So in the 106th Psalm, respecting the Israelites and Phinees, v. 29, " They 
provoked the Lord to anger by their inventions, and the plague was great 
among them;" "Then stood up Phinees and prayed, and so the plague 
ceased ; " " And that was counted unto him for righteousness, among all 
posterities for evermore." 

* Pindar, Olymp. viii. 41, with the Scholia. Didymu? did not find thil 
story in any other poet older than Pindar 


ousy of their bastard brother, Phokus, in consequence of his 
eminent skill in gymnastic contests, conspired to put him to death. 
Telamon flung his quoit at him while they were playing together, 
and Peleus despatched him by a blow with his hatchet in the 
back. They then concealed the dead body in a wood, but JEakus, 
having discovered both the act and the agents, banished the 
brothers from the island. 1 For both of them eminent destinies 
were in store. 

While we notice the indifference to the moral quality of ac- 
tions implied in the old Hesiodic legend, when it imputes dis- 
tinctly and nakedly this proceeding to two of the most admired 
persons of the heroic world it is not less instructive to witness 
the change of feeling which had taken place in the age of Pindar. 
That warm eulogist of the great JEakid race hangs down his 
head with shame, and declines to recount, though he is obliged 
darkly to glance at the cause which forced the pious JEakus to 
banish his sons from JEgina. It appears that Kallimachus, if 
we may judge by a short fragment, manifested the same repug- 
nance to mention it. 2 

Telamon retired to Salamis, then ruled by Kychreus, the sou 
of Poseidon and Salamis, who had recently rescued the island 
from the plague of a terrible serpent. This animal, expelled 
from Salamis, retired to Eleusis in Attica, where it was received 
and harbored by the goddess Demeter in her sacred domicile. 3 
Kychreus dying childless left his dominion to Telamon, who, mar- 

1 Apollod. iii. 12, 6, who relates the tale somewhat differently; but the old 
epic poem Alkmasonis gave the details (ap. SchoL Eurip. Andromach. 685) 
"Ev&a fj.ev uvri'dfof Te^a/iav Tpo^oeidsi diaK^t 
TDtfjl; Kapr] II^/let)f 6e $o<5f uvu %ipa ravvaaas 
'A.i;ivT]v kvxah.K.ov ETreir'h.fiyei fjteru. vura. 

* Pindar, Nem. v. 15, with Scholia, and Kallimach. Frag. 136. Apolloni- 
us Rhodius represents the fratricide as inadvertent and unintentional (i. 92) ; 
one instance amongst many of the tendency to soften down and moralize 
the ancient tales. 

Pindar, however, seems to forget this incident when he speaks in other 
places of the general character of Peleus (Olymp. ii. 75-86. Isthm. vii. 40). 

3 Apollod. iii. 12, 7. Euphorion, Fragm. 5, Diintzer, p. 43, Epicc. Graec. 
There may have been a tutelary serpent in the temple at Eleusis, as there was 
in that of Athene Polias at Athens (Herodot viii. 41. Photius, v. O'tKovpov 
tyw. Aristophnn. Lysistr. 759, with the SchoL). 


tying Periboea, daughter of Alkathoos, and grand-daughter of 
Pelops, had for his son the celebrated Ajax. Telamon took 
part both in the chase of the Kalydonian boar and in the Argo- 
nautic expedition : he was also the intimate friend and companion 
of Herakles, whom he accompanied in his enterprise against the 
Amazons, and in the attack made with only six ships upon Lao- 
medon, king of Troy. This last enterprise having proved com- 
pletely successful, Telamon was rewarded by Herakles with the 
possession of the daughter of Laomedon, Hesione who bore to 
him Teukros, the most distinguished archer amidst the host of 
Agamennon, and the founder of Salamis in Cyprus. 1 

Peleus went to Phthia, where he married the daughter of 
Eurytion, son of Aktor, and received from him the third part of 
his dominions. Taking part in the Kalydonian boar-hunt, he 
unintentionally killed his father-in-law Eurytion, and was obliged 
to flee to lolkos, where he received purification from Akastus, 
son of Pelias : the danger to which he became exposed by the 
calumnious accusations of the enamoured wife of Akastus has 
already been touched upon in a previous section. Peleus also 
was among the Argonauts ; the most memorable event in his life 
however was his marriage with the sea-goddess Thetis. Zeus 
and Poseidon had both conceived a violent passion for Thetis. 
But the former, having been forewarned by Prometheus that 
Thetis was destined to give birth to a son more powerful than 
his father, compelled her, much against her own will, to marry 
Peleus ; who, instructed by the intimations of the wise Cheiron, 
was enabled to seize her on the coast called Sepias in the south- 
ern region of Thessaly. She changed her form several tunes, 
but Peleus held her fast until she resumed her original appear- 
ance, and she was then no longer able to resist. All the gods 
were present, and brought splendid gifts to these memorable nup- 
tials : Apollo sang with his harp, Poseidon gave to Peleus the 
immortal horses Xanthus and Balius, and Cheiron presented a 

1 Appollod. iii. 12, 7. Hesiod. ap. Strab. ix. p. 393. 

The libation and prayer of Herakles, prior to the birth of Ajax, and his 
hxing the name of the yet unborn child, from an eagle (aterdf ) which ap- 
peared in response to his words, was detailed in the Hesiodic Eoia, and la 
celebrated by Pindar (Isthm v. 30-54). See also the Scholia. 


formidable spear, cut from an ash-tree on Mount Pelion. Wo 
shall have reason hereafter to recognize the value of both these 
gifts in the exploits of Achilles. 1 

The prominent part assigned to Thetis in the Iliad is well 
known, and the post-Homeric poets of the Legend of Troy in- 
troduced her as actively concurring first to promote the glory, 
finally to bewail the death of her distinguished son. 2 Peleus, 
having survived both his son Achilles and his grandson Neopto- 
lemus, is ultimately directed to place himself on the very spot 
where he had originally seized Thetis, and thither the goddess 
comes herself to fetch him away, in order that he may exchange 
the desertion and decrepitude of age for a life of immortality 
along with the Nereids. 3 The spot was indicated to Xerxes when 
he marched into Greece by the lonians who accompanied him, 
and his magi offered solemn sacrifices to her as well as to the 
other Nereids, as the presiding goddesses and mistresses of the 
oast. 4 

Neoptolemus or Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, too young to 
engage in the commencement of the siege of Troy, comes on the 
stage after the death of his father as the indispensable and pro- 
minent agent in the final capture of the city. He returns victor 
from Troy, not to Phthia, but to Epirus, bringing with him the 
captive Andromache, widow of Hector, by whom Molossus is 

1 Appollodor. iii. 13, 5. Homer, Iliad, xviii. 434 ; xxiv. 62. Pindar, 
Ncin. iv. S'O-GS; Isthm. vii. 27-50. Hcrodot. vii. 192. Catullus, Carm. 64. 
Epithal. Pel. et Thetidos, with the prefatory remarks of Dcering. 

The nuptials of Peleus and Thetis were much celebrated in the Hesiodic 
Catalogue, or perhaps in the Eoiai (Diintzer, Epic. Grtec. Frag. 36. p. 39), 
and jEgimius see Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iv. 8G9 where there is a 
curious attempt of Staphylus to rationalize the marriage of Peleus and 

There was a town, seemingly near Pharsalus in Thessaly, called Thetide 
inm. Thetis is said to have been carried by Peleus to both these places : 
probably it grew up round a temple and sanctuary of this goddess (Pherekyd. 
Frag. 16, Didot; Hellank. ap. Steph. Byz. 6e<m<Jctov). 

* See the arguments of the lost poems, the Cypria and the ^Ethiopia, as 
given by Proclus, in DQntzer, Fragm. Epic. Gr. p. 11-16; also Schol. ad 
Iliad, xvi. 140; and the extract from the lost ^v^oara^ia of JEschylus, ap, 
Plato, de Republic, ii. c. 21 (p. 382, St.). 

3 Eurip. Androm. 1242-1260; Pindar, Olymp. ii. 86. 
Herodot. vii. 198. 


born to him. He himself perishes in the full vigor of life at 
Delphi by the machinations of Orestes, son of Agamemnon. But 
his son Molossus like Fleance, the son of Banquo, in Macbeth 
becomes the father of the powerful race of Molossian kings, 
who played so conspicuous a part during the declining vigor of 
the Grecian cities, and to whom the title and parentage of -3Dakids 
was a source of peculiar pride, identifying them by community 
of heroic origin with genuine and undisputed Hellenes. 1 

The glories of Ajax, the second grandson of JEakus, before 
Troy, are surpassed only by those of Achilles. He perishes by 
his own hand, the victim of an insupportable feeling of humilia- 
tion, because a less worthy claimant is allowed to carry oft' from 
him the arms of the departed Achilles. His son Philaeus receives 
the citizenship of Athens, and the gens or deme called Philaidae 
traced up fo him its name and its origin : moreover the distin 
guished Athenians, Militiades and Thucydides, were regarded as 
members of this heroic progeny. 2 

Teukrus escaped from the perils of the siege of Troy as well 
as from those of the voyage homeward, and reached Salamis in 
safety. But his father Telamon, indignant at his having return- 
ed without Ajax, refused to receive him, and compelled him to 
expatriate. He conducted his followers to Cyprus, where he 
founded the city of Salamis : his descendant Evagoras was re- 
cognized as a Teukrid and as an JEakid even in the time of 
Isokrates. 3 

1 Plutarch, Pyrrh. 1; Justin, xi. 3; Eurip. Androni. 1253; Arrian, Exp. 
Alcxand. i. 11. 

2 Pherekydes and Hellanikus ap. Marcellin. Vit. Thucydid. init. ; Pausan. 
ii. 29, 4; Plutarch, Solon, 10. According to Apollodorus, however, Phcrc 
kydes said that Telamon was only the friend of Peleus, not his brother, 
not the son of JEakus ("iii. 12, 7) : this seems an inconsistency. There w**s 
however a warm dispute between the Athenians and the Megarians respect- 
ing the title to the hero Ajax, who was claimed by both (see Pausan. i. 42, 
4 ; Plutarch, /. c.) : the Megarians accused Peisistratus of having interpolated 
a line into the Catalogue in the Iliad (Strabo, ix. p. 394). 

3 Herodot. vii. 90; Isokrat. Enc. Evag. ut sup.; Sophokl. Ajax, 984-995; 
Vellei. Patercul. i. 1 ; ^schyl. Pers. 891, and Schol. The return from Troy 
of Teukrns, h/s banishment by Telamon, and his settlement in Cyprus, form- 
ed the subject of the Tevupof of Sophokles, and of a tragedy under a similar 


Such was the splendid heroic genealogy of the JEakids, a 
family renowned for military excellence. The jEakeion at -ZEgi- 
na, in which prayer and sacrifice were offered to JEakus, remain- 
ed in undiminished dignity down to the time of Pausanias. 1 This 
genealogy connects together various eminent gentes in Achaia 
Phthiotis, in JEgina, in Salamis, hi Cyprus, and amongst the 
Epirotic Molossians. Whether we are entitled to infer from it 
that the island of JEgina was originally peopled by Myrmidones 
from Achaia Phthiotis, as O. Miiller imagines, 2 I will not pretend 
to affirm. These mythical pedigrees seem to unite together spe 
cial clans or gentes, rather than the bulk of any community 
just as we know that the Athenians generally had no part in the 
JEakid genealogy, though certain particular Athenian families laid 
claim to it. The intimate friendship between Achilles and the 
Opuntian hero Patroclus and the community of name and fre- 
quent conjunction between the Locrian Ajax, son of Oileus, and 
Ajax, son of Telamon connect the JEakids with Opus and the 
Opuntian Locrians, in a manner which we have no farther means 
of explaining. Pindar too represents Mencetius, father of Patro- 
clus, as son of Aktor and JEgina, and therefore maternal brother 
of ^Eakus.3 

title by Pacuvias (Cicero de Orat. i. 58 ; ii. 46) ; Sophokl. Ajax, 892 ; Pacuvii 
Fragm. Tcucr. 15. 

" Tc repudio, nee recipio, natum abdico, 


The legend of Teukros was connected in Attic archaeology with the peculiar 
functions and formalities of the judicature, lv Quarrel (Paasan. i. 28, 1 2 j 
ii. 29, 7). 

1 Hesiod, Fragm. Diintz. Eoiai, 55, y. 43. 

'AA/c^v ftev yap eJw/cev 'OAti/OTtof AlaKidaim, 
NoOv cP ' A.[iv&aovidai, IT?J>VTOV S 1 lirop 1 'ArpettJyo-t. 
Polyb. v. 2. 

Alanidas, Teokeuty /ce^apjyorrtf rjvri 6airi. 
9 See his JEginetica, p. 14, his earliest work. 

3 Pindar, Olymp. ix. 74. The hero Ajax, son of Ollcus, was especially 
worshipped at Opus ; solemn festivals and games were celebrated in his 




THE most ancient name in Attic archaeology, as far as our 
means of information reach, is that of Erechtheus, who is men- 
tioned both in the Catalogue of the Iliad and in a brief allusion 
of the Odyssey. Born of the Earth, he is brought up by the 
goddess Athene, adopted by her as her ward, and installed in her 
temple at Athens, where the Athenians offer to him annual sac- 
rifices. The Athenians are styled in the Iliad, " the people of 
Erechtheus." 1 This is the most ancient testimony concerning 
Erechtheus, exhibiting him as a divine or heroic, certainly a su- 
perhuman person, and identifying him with the primitive ger- 
mination (if I may use a term, the Grecian equivalent of which 
would have pleased an Athenian ear) of Attic man. And he 
was recognized in this same character, even at the close of the 
fourth century before the Christian gera, by the Butadae, one of 
the most ancient and important Gentes at Athens, who boasted 
of him as their original ancestor: the genealogy of the great 
Athenian orator Lykurgus, a member of this family, drawn up 
by his son Abron, and painted on a public tablet in the Erechthe- 
ion, contained as its first and highest name, Erechtheus, son of 
Hephsestos and the Earth. In the Erechtheion, Erechtheus was 
worshipped conjointly with Athene" : he was identified with the 
god Poseidon, and bore the denomination of Poseidon Erech- 

1 Iliad, ii. 546. Odyss. vii. 81. 

Oi (5' dp' 'Ai?^vaf el%ov 

&r/fiov 'EpF#;?oc //eya/l^ropof, 6v TTOT' 'A&rjvii 
Qpeipe, Atdc dvyaTqp, TEKS (5e fridupoe "Apavpa t 
Ka6 6' Iv ' ' A.&Tjvria' elaev iu kvl niovi vyy, 
'Ev#a<Je fuv ruvpoiai xal upveiotf iXaovrai 
Kovpoi 'Atfj/ixiHJV- irtoire^ouEvuv cviavruv. 


thcus : one of the family of the Butadae, chosen among themselves 
by lot, enjoyed the privilege and performed the functions of his 
hereditary priest. 1 Herodotus also assigns the same earth-born 
origin to Erechtheus : 2 but Pindar, the old poem called the Da- 
nais, Euripides and Apollodorus all name Erichthonius, son of 
Hephaestos and the Earth, as the being who was thus adopted 
and made the temple-companion of Athene, while Apollodorus in 
another place identifies Erichthonius with Poseidon. 3 The Ho- 
meric scholiast treated Erechtheus and Erichthonius as the same 
person under two names : 4 and since, in regard to such mythical 
persons, there exists no other test of identity of the subject ex- 
cept perfect similarity of the attributes, this seems the reasonable 

We may presume, from the testimony of Homer, that the first 
and oldest conception of Athens and its sacred acropolis places it 
under the special protection, and represents it as the settlement 
and favorite abode of Athene, jointly with Poseidon ; the latter 
being the inferior, though the chosen companion of the former, 
and therefore exchanging his divine appellation for the cog- 
nomen of Erechtheus. But the country called Attica, which, 
during the historical ages, forms one social and political aggregate 
with Athens, was originally distributed into many independent 

1 See the Life of Lykurgus, in Plutarch's (I call it by that name, as it is 
always printed with his works) Lives of the Ten Orators, torn. iv. p. 382- 
384, Wytt. KaTTjyov 6e rb yevof airb TOVTUV nal 'Epe^i9euf TOV TV/f Kal 
'HijtaiffTov ......... KO.I iariv O.VTJ) ij Karayuyr] TOV yevovt; TUV iepaaafiivuv 

TOV Hoaeidurof, etc. "Of rrjv lepuavvqv Hoaet6uvo 'Epe^tfccjf el^e (pp. 
382, 383). Erechthcns Tlupetipo<; of Athene Aristides, Panathcnaic. p. 
184, with the Scholia of Trommel. 

Butes, the eponymus of the Butadse, is the first priest of Poseidon Erich- 
thonius: Apollod. iii. 15, 1. So Kallais (Xenoph. Sympos. viii. 40), 

Herodot. viii. 55. 

Harpokration, v. Aiiro t?uv. 'O <5e Hiv6apof nai 6 rfv AavaWa ircnoujnui 
'Eptx&oviov I!- 'H<j>aiarov Kal Tf/f ^avrjvai. Euripides, Ion. 21- 
Apollod. iii. 14, 6 ; 15, 1. Compare Plato, Timaeus, c. 6. 

* Schol. ad Iliad. 5i. 546, where he cites also Kallimachus for the story of 
Erichthonius. Etymologicon Magn. 'Epex&evc. Plato (Kritias, c. 4) em- 
ploys vague and general language to describe the agency of HSphPEStos and 
Athen6, which the old fable in Apollodorus (iii. 14, 6) details in coarser 
terms. See Ovid, Metam. ii. 757. 


dfirnes or cantons, and included, besides, various religious clans 
or hereditary sects (if the expression may be permitted) ; that 
is, a multitude of persons not necessarily living together in the 
same locality, but bound together by an hereditary communion of 
sacred rites, and claiming privileges, as well as performing obli- 
gations, founded upon the traditional authority of divine persons 
for whom they had a common veneration. Even down to the 
beginning of the Peloponnesian war, the demota of the various 
Attic demes, though long since embodied in the larger political 
union of Attica, and having no wish for separation, still retained 
the recollection of their original political autonomy. They lived 
in their own separate localities, resorted habitually to their own 
temples, and visited Athens only occasionally for private or po- 
litical business, or for the great public festivals. Each of these 
aggregates, political as well as religious, had its own eponymous 
god or hero, with a genealogy more or less extended, and a train 
of mythical incidents more or less copious, attached to his name, 
according to the fancy of the local exegetes and poets. The 
eponymous heroes Marathon, Dekelus, Kolonus, or Phlius, had 
sach their own title to worship, and their own position as themes 
of legendary narrative, independent of Erechtheus, or Poseidon, 
or Athene, the patrons of the acropolis common to all of them. 

But neither the archaeology of Attica, nor that of its various 
component fractions, was much dwelt upon by the ancient epic 
poets of Greece. Theseus is noticed both in the Iliad and 
Odyssey as having carried off from Krete Ariadne, the daugh- 
ter of Minos thus commencing that connection between the 
Kretan and Athenian legends which we afterwards find so large- 
ly amplified and the sons of Theseus take part in the Trojan 
war. 1 The chief collectors and narrators of the Attic mythes 
were, the prose logographers, authors of the many compositions 
called Atthides, or works on Attic archaeology. These writers 
Hellanikus, the contemporary of Herodotus, is the earliest com- 
poser of an Atthis expressly named, though Pherekydes also 
touched upon the Attic fables these writers, I say, interwove 
into one chronological series the legends which either greatly oc- 
cupied their own fancy, or commanded the most general reverence 

1 ^Ethra, mother of Theseus, is also mentioned (Homer, Iliad, iii. 144). 

VOL. i. 9 13oc. 


among their countrymen. In this way the religious and political 
legends of Eleusis, a town originally independent of Athens, but 
incorporated with it before the historical age, were worked into 
one continuous sequence along with those of the Erechtheids. 
In this way, Kekrops, the eponymous hero of the portion of 
Attica called Kekropia, came to be placed in the mythical chro- 
nology at a higher point even than the primitive god or hero 

Ogyges is said to have reigned in Attica l 1020 years before the 
first Olympiad, or 1796 years B. c. In his time happened the 
deluge of Deukalion, which destroyed most of the inhabitants of 
the country : after a long interval, Kekrops, an indigenous person, 
half man and half serpent, is given to us by Apollodorus as the 
first king of the country : he bestowed upon the land, which had 
before been called Acte, the name of Kekropia. In his day there 
ensued a dispute between Athene and Poseidon respecting the 
possession of the acropolis at Athens, which each of them cov- 
eted. First, Poseidon struck the rock with his trident, and 
produced the well of salt water which existed in it, called the 
Erechtheis : next came Athene, who planted the sacred olive-tree 
ever afterwards seen and venerated in the portion of Erech- 
theion called the cell of Pandrosus. The twelve gods decided the 
dispute ; and Kekrops having testified before them that Athene 
had rendered this inestimable service, they adjudged the spot to 
her in preference to Poseidon. Both the ancient olive-tree and 
the well produced by Poseidon were seen on the acropolis, in the 
temple consecrated jointly to Athene and Erechtheus, throughout 
the historical ages. Poseidon, as a mark of his wrath for tho 

1 Hellanikus, Fragm. 62 ; Philochor. Fragra. 8, ap. Euseb. Prtep. Evang. 
x. 10. p. 489. Larcher (Chronologic d'Herodote, ch. ix. s. 1. p. 278) treats 
both the historical personality and the date of Ogyges as perfectly well au- 

It is not probable that Philochorns should have given any calculation of 
time having reference to Olympiads ; and hardly conceivable that Hellani- 
kus should have done so. Justin Martyr quotes Hellanikus and Philochorus 
as having mentioned Moses, (if atyodpa ap%aiov KOI Tra7*aiov TUV 'Iov6aicji> 
upxovrof MwiJcrewf fiEfivrjvTcu which is still more incredible even than the 
assertion of Eusebius about their having fixed the date of OgygfC ly Olym- 
piads (see Philochor. Fragm. 9). 


preference given to Athene, inundated the Thriasian plain with 
water. 1 

During the reign of Kekrops, Attica was laid waste by Karian 
pirates on the coast, and by invasions of the Aonian inhabitants 
from Boeotia. Kekrops distributed the inhabitants of Attica into 
twelve local sections Kekropia, Tetrapolis, Epakria, Dekeleia, 
Eleusis, Aphidna, Thorikus, Brauron, Kytherus, Sphettus, Ke- 
phisius, Phalerus. Wishing to ascertain the number of inhabitants, 
he commanded each man to cast a single stone into a general heap : 
the number of stones was counted, and it was found that there 
were twenty thousand. 2 

Kekrops married the daughter of Aktaeus, who (according to 
Pausanias's version) had been king of the country before him, 
and had called it by the name of Akttea. 3 By her he had three 
daughters, Aglaurus, Erse and Pandrosus, and a son, Erysichthon. 
Kekrops is called by Pausanias contemporary of the Arcadian 
Lykaon, and is favorably contrasted with that savage prince in re- 
spect of his piety and humanity. 4 Though he has been often desig- 
nated in modern histories as an immigrant from Egypt into Attica, 

1 Apollod. iii. 14, 1 ; Herodot. viii. 55 ; Ovid. Metam. vi. 72. The story 
current among the Athenians represented Kekrops as the judge of this con- 
troversy (Xenoph. Memor. iii. 5, 10). 

The impressions of the trident of Poseidon were still shown upon the rock 
in the time of Pausanias (Pausan. i. 26, 4). For the sanctity of the ancient 
olive-tree, see the narrative of Herodotus (I. c.), relating what happened to it 
when Xerxes occupied the acropolis. As this tale seems to have attached it- 
self specially to the local peculiarities of the Erechtheiam, the part which Po- 
seidon plays in it is somewhat mean: that god appears to greater advantage 
in the neighborhood of the 'iTrTrorfc Kohuvof, as described in the beautiful 
Chorus of Sophokles (CEdip. Colon. 690-712). 

A curious rationalization of the monstrous form ascribed to Kekrops 
(Si^vTie) in Plutarch (Sera Num. Vindict. p. 551). 

2 Philochor. ap. Strabo. ix. p. 397. 

3 The Parian chronological marble designates Akteeus as an autochthonous 
person. Marmor Parium, Epoch. 3. Pausan. i. 2, 5. Philochorus treated 
Aktasus as a fictitious name (Fragm. 8, ut sup.). 

4 Pausan. viii. 2. 2. The three daughters of Kekrops were not unnoticed 
in the mythes (Ovid, Metam. ii. 739) : the tale of Kephalus, son of Herse by 
Hermes, who was stolen away by the goddess Eos or Hemera in consequence 
of his surpassing beauty, was told in more than one of the Hesiodic poenn 
I Pausan. i. 3, 1; Hesiod. Theog. 986). See also Eurip. Ion. 269. 


yet the far greater number of ancient authorities represent him 
as indigenous or earth-born. 1 

Erysichthon died without issue, and Kranaus succeeded him, 
another autochthonous person and another eponymus, for the 
name Kranai was an old denomination of the inhabitants of At- 
tica. 2 Kranaus was dethroned by Amphiktyon, by some called 
an autochthonous man ; by others, a son of Deukalion : Amphik- 
tyon in his turn was expelled by Erichthonius, son of Hephaestos 
and the Earth, the same person apparently as Erechtheus, but 
inserted by Apollodorus at this point of the series. Erichthonius, 
the pupil and favored companion of Athene, placed in the acropo- 
lis the original Palladium or wooden statue of that goddess, said 
to have dropped from heaven : he was moreover the first to cele- 
brate the festival of the Panathenasa. He married the nymph 
Pasithea, and had for his son and successor Pandion. 3 Erichtho- 
nius was the first person who taught the art of breaking in horses 
to the yoke, and who drove a chariot and four. 4 

In the time of Pandion, who succeeded to Erichthonius, Dio- 
nysus and Demeter both came into Attica : the latter was received 
by Keleos at Eleusis. 5 Pandion married the nymph Zeuxippe, 
and had twin sons, Erechtheus and Butes, and two daughters, 
Prokne and Philomela. The two latter are the subjects of a memo- 
rable and well-known legend. Pandion having received aid in 
repelling the Thebans from Tereus, king of Thrace, gave him his 
daughter Prokne in marriage, by whom he had a son, Itys. The 
beautiful Philomela, going to visit her sister, inspired the barbarous 
Thracian with an irresistible passion : he violated her person, con- 
fined her in a distant pastoral hut, and pretended that she was dead, 
cutting out her tongue to prevent her from revealing the truth. Af- 
ter a long interval, Philomela found means to acquaint her sister of 
the cruel deed which had been perpetrated ; she wove into a gar- 
ment words describing her melancholy condition, and despatched it 

1 Jul. Africanus also (ap. Euscb. x. 9. p. 486-488) calls Kekrops 777/61% 
and aiirox&uv. 

* Herod, viii. 44. Kpavaal 'A.'&r/vat, Pindar. 

3 Apollod. iii. 14. Pausan. i. 2G, 7. 4 Virgil, Gcorgic iii. 114. 

5 The mythe of the visit of Deme'ter to Eleusis, on which occasion she 
Touchsafed to teach her holy rites to the leading Eleusinians, is more 
touched upon in a previous chapter (see ante, p. 50). 


by a trusty messenger. Prokne, overwhelmed with sorrow and an- 
ger, took advantage of the free egress enjoyed by women during the 
Bacchanalian festival to go and release her sister : the two sis- 
ters then revenged themselves upon Tereus by killing the boy Itys, 
and serving him up for his father to eat : after the meal had been 
finished, the horrid truth was revealed to him. Tereus snatched a 
hatchet to put Prokne to death : she fled, along with Philomela, 
and all the three were changed into birds Prokne became a swal- 
low, Philomela a nightingale, and Tereus an hoopoe. 1 This tale, 
so popular with the poets, and so illustrative of the general char- 
acter of Grecian legend, is not less remarkable in another point of 
view that the great historian Thucydides seems to allude to it 
as an historical fact, 2 not however directly mentioning the final 

After the death of Pandion, Erechtheus succeeded to the king- 
dom, and his brother, Butes, became priest of Poseidon Erich- 
thonius, a function which his descendants ever afterwards exer- 
cised, the Butadae or Eteobutadae. Erechtheus seems to appear 
in three characters in the fabulous history of Athens as a god, 

1 Apollod. iii. 14, 8 ; JEsch. Supplic. 61; Soph. Elektr. 107 ; Ovid, Meta- 
morph. vi. 425670. Hyginus gives the fable with some additional circum 
stances, fab. 45. Antoninus Liberalis (Narr. 11), or Bceus, from whom he 
copies, has composed a new narrative by combining together the names of 
Pandareos and Aedon, as given in the Odyssey, xix. 523, and the adven- 
tures of the old Attic fable. The hoopoe still continued the habit of chasing 
the nightingale ; it was to the Athenians a present fact. See Schol. Aristoph. 
Aves, 212. 

8 Thucyd, ii. 29. He makes express mention of the nightingale in con- 
nection with the story, though not of the metamorphosis. See below, chap, 
xvi. p. 544, note 2. So also does Pausanias mention and reason upon it as a 
real incident : he founds upon it several moral reflections (i. 5, 4 ; x. 4, 5) : 
the author of the Aoyoj- 'ETrtra^tof, ascribed to Demosthenes, treats it in the 
same manner, as a fact ennobling the tribe Pandionis, of which Pandion was 
the eponymus. The same author, in touching upon Kekrops, the eponymus 
of the Kekropis tribe, cannot believe literally the story of his being half man 
and half serpent : he rationalizes it by saying that Kekrops was so called be- 
cause in wisdom he was like a man, in strength like a serpent (Demosth, 
p. 1397, 1398, Eeiske). Hcsiod glances at the fable (Opp. Di. 566), optfpoyoij 
Uavdiovlf upro ^cAidwv ; see also jElian., V. H. xii. 20. The subject wai 
handled by Sophokles in his lost Tereus. 


Poseidon Erechtheus 1 as a hero, Erechtheus, son of the Earth 
and now, as a king, son of Pandion : so much did the ideas of 
divine and human rule become confounded and blended together 
in the imagination of the Greeks in reviewing their early times. 

The daughters of Erechtheus were not less celebrated in Athe- 
nian legend than those of Pandion. Prokris, one of them, is 
among the heroines seen by Odysseus in Hades : she became the 
wife of Kephalus, son of Deiones, and lived in the Attic deme of 
Thorikus. Kephalus tried her fidelity by pretending that he 
was going away for a long period ; but shortly returned, disguis- 
ing his person and bringing with him a splendid necklace. He 
presented himself to Prokris without being recognized, and suc- 
ceeded in triumphing over her chastity. Having accomplished 
this object, he revealed to her his true character : she earnestly 
besought his forgiveness, and prevailed upon him to grant it. 
Nevertheless he became shortly afterwards the unintentional au- 
thor of her death : for he was fond of hunting, and staid out a 
long time on his excursions, so that Prokris suspected him of 
visiting some rival. She determined to watch him by concealing 
herself in a thicket near the place of his midday repose ; and 
when Kephalus implored the presence of Nephele (a cloud) to 
protect him from the sun's rays, she suddenly started from her 
hiding-place : Kephalus, thus disturbed, cast his hunting-spear 
unknowingly into the thicket and slew his wife. Erechtheus in- 
terred her with great magnificence, and Kephalus was tried for 
the act before the court of Areopagus, which condemned him to 
exile. 2 

Kreiisa, another daughter of Erechtheus, seduced by Apollo, 
becomes the mother of Ion, whom she exposes immediately after 
his birth in the cave north of the acropolis, concealing the fact 
from every one. Apollo prevails upon Hermes to convey the 
new-born child to Delphi, where he is brought up as a servant of 
the temple, without knowing his parents. Kreiisa marries Xuthus, 
son of .jiEolus, but continuing childless, she goes with Xuthus to 

1 Pjseidon is sometimes spoken of under the name of Erechtheus simply 
(Lycophron, 158). See Hesychius, v. 'Epex&ei<. 

* Pherekyd6s,Fragm.77,Didot; ap. Schol. ad Odyss. xi. 320; Hellanikus 
Fr. 82; ap. Schol. Eurip. Crest 1648. Apollodoras (iii 15, 1) gives the 
story differently. 


die Delphian oracle to inquire for a remedy. The god presents 
to them Ion, and desires them to adopt him as their son : their 
eon Achfeus is afterwards born to them, and Ion and Achasus 
become the eponyms of the lonians and Achoeans. 1 

Oreithyia, the third daughter of Erechtheus, was stolen away 
by the god Boreas while amusing herself on the banks of the 
Hissus, and carried to his residence in Thrace. The two sons of 
this marriage, Zetes and Kalais, were born with wings : they 
took part in the Argonautic expedition, and engaged in the pur- 
suit of the Harpies : they were slain at Tenos by Heraklea. 
Kleopatra, the daughter of Boreas and Oreithyia, was married to 
Phineus, and had two sons, Plexippus and Pandion ; but Phineus 
afterwards espoused a second wife, Idaaa, the daughter of Darda- 
nus, who. detesting the two sons of the former bed, accused them 
falsely of attempting her chastity, and persuaded Phineus in his 
wrath to put out the eyes of both. For this cruel proceeding he 
was punished by the Argonauts in the course of their voyage. 2 

On more than one occasion the Athenians derived, or at least 
believed themselves to have derived, important benefits from this 
marriage of Boreas with the daughter of their primaeval hero : 
one inestimable service, rendered at a juncture highly critical for 

1 Upon this story of Ion is founded the tragedy of Euripides which bears 
that name. I conceive many of the points of that tragedy to be of the in- 
vention of Euripides himself: but to represent Ion as son of Apollo, not of 
Xuthus, seems a genuine Attic legend. Respecting this drama, see 0. Miil- 
ler, Hist of Dorians, ii. 2. 13-15. I doubt however the distinction which he 
draws between the lonians and the other population of Attica. 

* Apollodor. iii. 15, 2 ; Plato, Phaadr. c. 3 ; Sophok. Antig. 984 ; also the 
copious Scholion on Apollon. Rhod. i. 21 2. 

The tale of Phineus is told very differently in the Argonautic expedition 
as given by Apollonius Rhodius, ii. 180. From Sophokles we learn that 
this was the Attic version. 

The two winged sons of Boreas and their chase of the Harpies were no- 
ticed in the Hesiodic Catalogue (see Schol. Apollon. Rhod. ii. 296). But 
whether the Attic legend of Oreithyia was recognized in the Hesiodic poems 
seems not certain. 

Both JEschylus and Sophokles composed dramas on the subject of Orei- 
thyia (Longin. de Sublimit. c. 3). " Orithyia Atheniensis, filia Terrigenae, 
et a Borea in Thraciam rapta." (Servius ad Virg. jEneid. xii. 83). Ter- 
rigena is the yrj-yevr/c 'Epexdevf. Philochorus (Fragm. 30) rationalized the 
itory, and said that it alluded to the effects of a violent wind. 


Grecian independence, deserves to be specified. 1 At the tit of 
the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, the Grecian fleet was assem- 
bled at Chalcis and Artemision in Eubcea, awaiting the approach 
of the Persian force, so overwhelming in its numbers as well by 
sea as on land. The Persian fleet had reached the coast of Mag- 
nesia and the south-eastern corner of Thessaly without any ma- 
terial damage, when the Athenians were instructed by an oracle 
u to invoke the aid of their son-in-law." Understanding the ad- 
vice to point to Boreas, they supplicated his aid and that of Orei- 
thyia, most earnestly, as well by prayer as by sacrifice, 2 and the 
event corresponded to their wishes. A furious north-easterly wind 
immediately arose, and continued for three days to afflict the Per- 
sian fleet as it lay on an unprotected coast : the number of ships 
driven ashore, both vessels of war and of provision, was immense, 
and the injury done to the armament was never thoroughly re- 
paired. Such was the powerful succor which the Athenians de- 
rived, at a time of their utmost need, from their son-in-law Boreas ; 
and their gratitude was shown by consecrating to him a new tem- 
ple on the banks of the Ilissus. 

The three remaining daughters of Erechtheus he had six in 
alp were in Athenian legend yet more venerated than their 
sisters, on account of having voluntarily devoted themselves to 
death for the safety of their country. Eumolpus of Eleusis was 
the son of Poseidon and the eponymous hero of the sacred gens 
called the Eumolpids, in whom the principal functions, appertain- 
ing to the mysterious rites of Demeter at Eleusis, were vested 
by hereditary privilege : he made war upon Erechtheus and the 

1 Herodot. vii. 189. Ot 6' uv 'A&Tjvatoi a<pi teyovai ftorj-dr/aavTa rbv 'Boprjv 
npoTepov, not TOTE EKelvo KaTep-yaaaa'&ai /cat ipbv uTe/li?6vref Bopew itipv. 
ffai/ro Trapa norafibv "l^iaaov 

2 Herodot. 1. C. 'Atfj/vaiot rbv Bopqv K -deoirpomov k-KEK.akioa.vTO, iWov- 
TOf 0(j>i uXXov xpil aTr lp' lov > T ^ v yafiflpbv tmtcovpov Kateoaa&ai. Bop^f 6e, 
Karii rbv 'EAA^vwv "koyov lx ei yvvalna 'Arrtx^v, 'Qpef&viijv TTJV 'Epf$^0f. 
Kara dff rb KfjSof TOVTO, ol 'Adrjvaloi, avupaTifao/tevoi ofa rbv Bop^v -yafj(3pbv 
elvat, etc. 

* Suidas and Photius, v. Hupdevoi : Protogeneia and Pandora are given 
as the names of two of them. The sacrifice of Pandora, in the Iambi of 
Hipponax (Hipponact. Fragm. xxi. Welck. ap. Athen. ix. p. 3"Q), seems tc 
allude to this daughter of Erechtheus. 


Athenians, with, the aid of a body of Thracian allies ; indeed it 
appears that the legends of Athens, originally foreign and un- 
friendly to those of Eleusis, represented him as having been him- 
self a Thracian born and an immigrant into Attica. 1 Respecting 
Eumolpus however and his parentage, the discrepancies much 
exceed even the measure of license usual in the legendary ge 
nealogies, and some critics, both ancient and modern, have sought 
to reconcile these contradictions by the usual stratagem of sup- 
posing two or three different persons of the same name. Even 
Pausanias, so familiar with this class of unsworn witnesses, com- 
plains of the want of native Eleusinian genealogists, 2 and of the 
extreme license of fiction in which other authors had indulged. 

In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the most ancient testimony 
before us, composed, to all appearance, earlier than the com- 
plete incorporation of Eleusis with Athens, Eumolpus appears 
(to repeat briefly what has been stated in a previous chapter) as 
one of the native chiefs or princes of Eleusis, along with Tripto- 

1 Apollodor. iii. 15,3; Thucyd. ii. 15; Iskorates (Panegyr, t. i. p. 206; 
Panathenaic. t. ii. p. 560, Auger), Lykurgus, cont. Leocrat. p. 201, Rciske, 
Pausan. i. 38, 3 ; Euripid. Erechth. Fragm. The Schol. ad. Soph. (Ed. CoL 
1048 gives valuable citations from Ister, Akestodorus and Androtion : we 
see that the inquirers of antiquity found it difficult to explain how the Eumol- 
pids could have acquired their ascendant privileges in the management of 
the Eleusinia. seeing that Eumolpus himself was a foreigner. ZTJTEITCIC, ri 
6ijTroTe ol Ev/j.o^,7r'i6ai riJv re^eruv i^dpxovai, Zevoi ovrsf. Thucydide's does 
not call Enmolpus a Thracian : Strabo's language is very large and vague 
(vii. p. 321): Iskorates says that he assailed Athens in order to vindicate 
the rights of his father Poseidon to the sovereign patronage of the city. Hy- 
ginus copies this (fab. 46). 

* Pausan. i. 38. 3. 'Ehcvaivioi re upxaloi, are ov Trpoaovruv a<j>iai yevea- 
\6yuv, aAAa re Tr%aaa(r&at Sedunaai KOL fiahiGTa EC T& "yevrj TUV r/puuv. Sea 
Heyne ad Apollodor. iii. 15, 4. " Eumolpi nomen modo communicatum 
pluribus, modo plurium hominum res et facta cnmnlata in nnnm. Is ad 
quern Hercules venisse dicitur, serior aetate fuit : antiquior est is de quo hoc 

loco agitur antecessisse tamen hunc debet alias, qni cum Triptolemo 

vixit," etc. See the learned and valuable comments of Lobeck in his Aglao- 
phamus, torn. i. p. 206-213: in regard to the discrepancies of this narrative 
ha observes, I think, with great justice (p. 211), " quo uno exemplo ex innu- 
mrabilibus delecto, arguitur eorum temeritas, qui ex variis discordibusque 
poetarum et mythographorum narratiunculis, antiquae famae formam et quasi 
lineamenta recognosci posse sperant." 



lemus, Diokles, Polyxeinus and Dolichus : Keleos is the king, 
or principal among these chiefs, the son or lineal descendant of 
the eponymous Eleusis himself. To these chiefs, and to the three 
daughters of Keleos, the goddess Demeter comes in her sorrow 
for the loss of her daughter Persephone : heing hospitably enter- 
tained by Keleos she reveals her true character, commands that 
a temple shall be built to her at Eleusis, and prescribes to them 
the rites according to which they are to worship her. 1 Such 
seems to have been the ancient story of the Eleusinians respect- 
ing their own religious antiquities: Keleos, with Metaneira his 
wife, and the other chiefs here mentioned, were worshipped at 
Eleusis, and from thence transferred to Athens as local gods or 
heroes. 2 Eleusis became incorporated with Athens, apparently 
not very long before the time of Solon ; and the Eleusinian wor- 
ship of Demeter was then received into the great religious 
solemnities of the Athenian state, to which it owes its remarkable 
subsequent extension and commanding influence. In the Atti- 
cized worship of the Eleusinian Demeter, the Eumolpids and the 
Kerykes were the principal hereditary functionaries : Eumolpus, 
the eponym of this great family, came thus to play the principal 
part in the Athenian legendary version of the war between 
Athens and Eleusis. An oracle had pronounced that Athens 
could only be rescued from his attack by the death of the three 
daughters of Erechtheus ; their generous patriotism consented to 
the sacrifice, and their father put them to death. He then went 
forth confidently to the battle, totally vanquished the enemy, and 

1 Homer, Hymn, ad Cerer. 153-475. 

'H 6e Kiovaa tfe^toroTro/loff fiaaikevai 

lf//^ re, At6/cA re nA.T/i-i'inry, 
ty, Ke/Uu i9' r)yr)-opi Aativ, 
vrjv epuv. 
Also v. 105. 

TTJV 6s ISov KeAecuo ' Ehevaividao fivyaTpef. 

The hero Eleusis is mentioned in Pausanias, i. 38, 7 : some said that he was 
ttie son of Hermes, others that he was the son of Ogygus. Compare Hygin. 
f. 147. 

3 Keleos and Metaneira were worshipped by the Athenians with divino 
honors ( Athenagoras, Legat. p. 53, ed. Oxon.) : perhaps he confounds divino 
and heroic honors, as the Christian controversialists against Paganism were 
disposed to do. Triptolemus had a temple at Ele&nU (Pausan. i. 38, 6 ) 


Killed Eumolpus with his own hand. 1 Erechtheus was wor- 
shipped as a god, and his daughters as goddesses, at Athens.^ 
Their names and their exalted devotion were cited along with 
those of the warriors of Marathon, in the public assembly of 
Athens, by orators who sought to arouse the languid patriot, or 
to denounce the cowardly deserter; and the people listened both 
to one and the other with analogous feelings of grateful veneration, 
as well as with equally unsuspecting faith in the matter of fact. 3 

1 Apollodor. iii. 15, 4. Some said that Immaradus, son of Eumolpus, had 
been killed by Erechtheus (Tausan. i. 5, 2) ; others, that both Eumolpus and 
his son had experienced this fate (Schol. ad Eurip. Phceniss. 854). But we 
learn from Pausanias himself what the story in the interior of the Erechtheion 
was, that Erechtheus killed Eumolpus (i. 27, 3). 

2 Cicero, Nat.Deor. iii. 19 ; Philochor. ap. Schol. CEdip. Col. 100. Three 
daughters of Erechtheus perished, and three daughters were worshipped 
(Apollodor. iii. 15,4; Hesychius, Zevyoe rpnrap-&evov ; Eurip. Erechtheus. 
Fragm. 3, Dindorf) ; but both Euripides and Apollodorus said that Erech- 
theus was only required to sacrifice, and only did sacrifice, one, the other 
two slew themselves voluntarily, from affection for their sister. I cannot but 
think ("in spite of the opinion of Welcker to the contrary, Griechisch. Trago'd- 
ii. p. 722) that the genuine legend represented Erechtheus as having sacrificed 
all three, as appears in the Ion of Euripides (276) : 

losr. Harf/p ' Epex&Eitf auf e-dvoe avyybvovq ; 
CREUSA. "Er/l?? irpb yaiai atydyia Ttapdevovf KTOVCIV. 

low. 20 (T efe<TCJ$7?f TTUJ- Kaar/vr/ruv povi] ; 
CKEDSA. Bpe<pof veoyvov /J.J/TP^ fyv iv dyKuhaif. 

Compare with this passage, Demosthen. Aoyof 'ETrtra^. p. 1397, Reisk 
Just before, the death of the three daughters of Kekrops, for infringing the 
commands of Athene, had been mentioned. Euripides modified this in his 
Erechtheus, for he there introduced the mother Praxithea consenting to the 
immolation of one daughter, for the rescue of the country from a foreign in 
vader : to propose to a mother the immolation of three daughters at once, 
would have been too revolting. In most instances we find the strongly 
marked features, the distinct and glaring incidents as well as the dark con- 
trasts, belong to the Hesiodic or old Post-Homeric legend ; the changes made 
afterwards go to soften, dilute, and to complicate, in proportion as the feel- 
ings of the public become milder and more humane ; sometimes however the 
later poets add new horrors. 

3 See the striking evidence contained in the oration of Lykurgus against 
Leocrates (p. 201-204. Reiske ; Demosthen. Aoy. ' ExiraQ. 1. c. ; and Xeno- 
phon, Memor. iii. 5, 9) : from the two latter passages we see that the Athe- 
nian story represented the invasion under Eumolpus as a combined assault 
from the western continent. 


Though Erechtheus gained the victory over Eumolpus, yet 
the story represents Poseidon as having put an end to the life 
and reign of Erechtheus, who was (it seems) slain in the battle. 
He was succeeded by his son Kekrops II., and the latter again by 
his son Pandion II., 1 two names unmarked by any incidents, 
and which appear to be mere duplication of the former Kekrops 
and Pandion, placed there by the genealogizers for the purpose 
of filling up what seemed to them a chronological chasm. The 
Attic legends were associated chiefly with a few names of respect- 
ed eponymous personages ; and if the persons called the children 
of Pandion were too numerous to admit of their being con- 
veniently ascribed to one father, there was no difficulty in sup- 
posing a second prince of the same name. 

Apollodorus passes at once from Erechtheus to his son Kekrops 
II., then to Pandion II., next to the four sons of the latter, ^Egeus, 
Pallas, Nisus and Lykus. But the tragedians here insert the 
story of Xuthus, Kreiisa and Ion ; the latter being the son of 
Kreiisa by Apollo, but given by the god to Xuthus, and adopted 
by the latter as his own. Ion becomes the successor of Erech- 
theus, and his sons Teleon, Hoples, Argades and Aigikores 
become the eponyms of the four ancient tribes of Athens, which 
subsisted until the revolution of Kleisthenes. Ion himself is the 
eponym of the Ionic race both in Asia, in Europe, and in the 
JEgean islands : Dorus and Achaeus are the sons of Kreiisa by 
Xuthus, so that Ion is distinguished from both of them by being 
of divine parentage. 2 According to the story given by Philocho- 
rus, Ion rendered such essential service in rescuing the Athenians 
from the attack of the Thracians under Eumolpus, that he was 
afterwards made king of the country, and distributed all the in- 
habitants into four tribes or castes, corresponding to different 
modes of life, soldiers, husbandmen, goatherds, and artisans. 3 
And it seems that the legend explanatory of the origin of the 
festival Boedromia, originally important enough to furnish a name 

1 Apollodor. iii. 15, 5 ; Eurip. Ion, 282 ; Ercchth. Fragm. 20, Dindorf. 

* Enrip. Ion. 1570-1595 The Kreiisa of Sophokles, a lost tragedy, seems 
to have related to the same subject. 

Pansanias (vii. 1, 2) tells us that Xuthus was chosen to arbitrate between 
the contending claims of the sons of Erechtheus. 

3 Philochor. ap. Harpccrat. v. BoTjdpouia ; Strabo, viii. p. 383 


to one of the Athenian months, was attached to the aid thus ren- 
dered by Ion. 1 

"We pass from Ion to persons of far greater mythical dignity 
and interest, JEgeus and his son Theseus. 

Pandion had four sons, JEgeus, Nisus, Lykus, and Pallas, 
between whom he divided his dominions. Nisus received the 
territory of Megaris, which had been under the sway of Pandion, 
and there founded the seaport of Niscea. Lykus was made king 
of the eastern coast, but a dispute afterwards ensued, and he quit- 
ted the country altogether, to establish himself on the southern 
coast of Asia Minor among the Termilge, to whom he gave the 
name of Lykians. 2 .^Egeus, as the eldest of the four, became 
king of Athens ; but Pallas received a portion both of the south- 
western coast and the interior, and he as well as his children 
appear as frequent enemies both to ^Egeus and to Theseus. 
Pallas is the eponym of the deme Pallene, and the stories 
respecting him and his sons seem to be connected with old and 
standing feuds among the different demes of Attica, originally 
independent communities. These feuds penetrated into the 
legend, and explain the story which we find that JEgeus and 
Theseus were not genuine Erechtheids, the former being denomi- 
nated a supposititious child to Pandion. 3 

-ZEgeus 4 has little importance in the mythical history except as 
the father of Theseus : it may even be doubted whether his name 
is anything more than a mere cognomen of the god Poseidon, who 
was (as we are told) the real father of this great Attic Herakles. 
As I pretend only to give a very brief outline of the general 
territory of Grecian legend, I cannot permit myself to recount in 

1 Philochor. ap. Harpocrat. v. 

9 Sophokl. ap. Strab. ix, p. 392 ; Herodot. i. 173 ; Strabo, xii. p. 573. 

3 Plutarch, Theseus, c. 13, Atydif derbe jevo/j.evof Ilavdiovi, KOI 
roif ' Epexdsidaif TTpoat/Kuv. Apollodor. iij. 15, 6. 

4 JEgeus had by Medea (who took refuge at Athens after her flight from 
Corinth J a son named Medus, who passed into Asia, and was considered as 
the eponymus and progenitor of the Median people. Datis, the general who 
commanded the invading Persian army at the battle of Marathon, sent a 
formal communication to the Athenians announcing himself as the descend- 
ant of Medos, and requiring to be admitted as king of Attica: snch is th 
statement of Dbdoros (Exc. Vatic. vii.-x. 48: see also Schol. Aristophao 
Pc. 289). 


detail the chivalrous career of Theseus, who is found both in the 
Kalydonian boar-hunt and in the Argonautic expedition his 
personal and victorious encounters with the robbers Sinnis, Pro- 
crustes, Periphetes, Sciron and others his valuable service in 
ridding his country of the Krommyonian sow and the Maratho 
nian bull his conquest of the Minotaur in Krete, and his escape 
from the dangers of the labyrinth by the aid of Ariadne, whom 
he subsequently carries off and abandons his many amorous 
adventures, and his expeditions both against the Amazons and 
into the under- world along with Peirithous. 1 

Thucydides delineates the character of Theseus as a man who 
combined sagacity with political power, and who conferred upon 
his country the inestimable benefit of uniting all the separate and 
self-governing demes of Attica into one common political society . a 
From the well-earned reverence attached to the assertion of 
Thucydides, it has been customary to reason upon this assertion 
as if it were historically authentic, and to treat the romantic 
attributes which we find in Plutarch and Diodorus as if they were 
fiction superinduced upon this basis of fact. Such a view of the 
case is in my judgment erroneous. The athletic and amorous 
knight-errant is the old version of the character the profound 

1 Ovid, Metamorph. vii. 433. 

.................. " Te, maxime Theseu, 

Mirata est Marathon Cretsei sanguine Tauri : 
Quodque Suis securus arat Cromyona colonus, 
Munus opusque tuum est. Tellus Epidauria per te 
Clavigeram vidit Vulcani occumbere prolem : 
Vidit et immanem Cephisias ora Procrustem. 
Cercyonis letura vidit Cerealis Eleugin. 
Occidit ille Sinis," etc. 

Eespecting the amours of The'seus, Ister especially seems to have entered 
into great details ; but some of them were noticed both in the Hesiodic 
poems and by Kekrops, not to mention Pherekydes (Athen. xiii. p. 557^. 
Peirithous, the intimate friend and companion of Theseus, is the eponymous 
hero of the Attic deme or gens Perithoidae (Ephorus ap. Photium, v. Ilfpi- 

* Thuc. ii. 15. ' Eiretcty <Je Qrjaei>s l(3aai%Evoe, yevofievof perti TOV l-vverov 
Kal dviarbf, rd re aM.a duKOfffiqae rijv wpav, Kal Kara^vaaf ruv 
*6\cuv TU re povfavrripia Kal Tuf ap^df , f TT)V vvv iroltv 


and long-sighted politician is a subsequent correction, introduced 
indeed by men of superior mind, but destitute of historical war- 
ranty, and arising out of their desire to find reasons of their own 
for concurring in the veneration which the general public paid 
more easily and heartily to their national hero. Theseus, in the 
Iliad and Odyssey, fights with the Lapithge against the Centaurs : 
Theseus, in the Hesiodic poems, is misguided by his passion for 
the beautiful -<Egle, daughter of Panopeus: 1 and the Theseus 
described in Plutarch's biography is in great part a continuation 
and expansion of these same or similar attributes, mingled with 
many local legends, explaining, like the Fasti of Ovid, or the 
lost Aitia of Kallimachus, the original genesis of prevalent reli- 
gious and social customs. 2 Plutarch has doubtless greatly soften- 
ed down and modified the adventures which he found in the Attic 
logographers as well as in the poetical epics called Theseis. 
For in his preface to the life of Theseus, after having emphati- 
cally declared that he is about to transcend the boundary both of 
the known and the knowable, but that the temptation of comparing 
the founder of Athens with the founder of Rome is irresistible, 
he concludes with the following remarkable words : " I pray that 
this fabulous matter may be so far obedient to my endeavors as 
to receive, when purified by reason, the aspect of history: in 
those cases where it haughtily scorns plausibility and will admit 
no alliance with what is probable, I shall beg for indulgent hear- 
ers, willing to receive antique narrative in a mild spirit." 3 We 
see here that Plutarch sat down, not to recount the old fables as 
he found them, but to purify them by reason and to impart to 
them the aspect of history. We have to thank him for having 
retained, after this purification, so much of what is romantic and 
marvellous ; but we may be sure that the sources from which he 
borrowed were more romantic and marvellous still. It was the 

1 Iliad, i. 265 ; Odyss. xi. 321. I do not notice the suspected line, Odyss. 
xi. 630. 

* Diodorus also, from his disposition to assimilate Theseus to Herakles, 
has given us his chivalrous as well as his political attributes(iv. 61). 

3 Plutarch, Th6seus, i. EtT? ovv T//J.IV, iKKadaipofievov Aoy^> rd pvd&6e( 
VTraxovoai Kal Aa/3cZv ioTopiaf oiftiv' otrov d' uv av&aduc ~ov iridavov irepi- 
j, Kal pi) 6exi)Tai TTJV irpdfrb elubf pi f iv, evyvufiovuv anpoaruv 
irppuf rf/v upxawlioyiav 


tendency of the enlightened men of Athens, from the days of 
Solon downwards, to refine and politicize the character of The- 
seus : l even Peisistratus expunge-I from one of the Hesiodic 
poems the line which described the violent passion of the hero 
for the fair ./Egle : 2 and the tragic poets found it more congenial 
to the feelings of their audience to exhibit him as a dignified 
and liberal sovereign, rather than as an adventurous single-handed 
fighter. But the logographers and the Alexandrine poets re- 
mained more faithful to the old fables. The story of Hekale, the 
hospitable old woman who received and blessed Theseus when 
he went against the Marathonian bull, and whom he found dead 
when he came back to recount the news of his success, was 
treated by Kallimachus : 3 and Virgil must have had his mind 
full of the unrefined legends when he numbered this Attic Hera- 
kles among the unhappy sufferers condemned to endless penan.ce 
in the under-world. 4 

Two however among the Theseian fables cannot be dismissed 
without some special notice, the war against the Amazons, and 
the expedition against Krete. The former strikingly illustrates 
the facility as well as the tenacity of Grecian legendary faith ; 
the latter embraces the story of Daedalus and Minos, two of the 
most eminent among Grecian ante-historical personages. 

The Amazons, daughters of Ares and Harmonia, 5 are both 

1 See Isokratfis, Panathenaic. (t. ii. p. 510-512, Auger) ; Xcnoph. Memor. 
iii. 5, 10. In the Helenas Encomium, Isokrates enlarges more upon the per- 
sonal exploits of Theseus in conjunction with his great political merits (t. ii. 
p. 342-350, Auger). 

3 Plutarch, Theseus, 20. 

3 See the epigram of Krinagoras, Antholog. Pal. vol. ii. p. 144 ; cp. xv. 
ed. Brunck. and Kallimach. Frag. 40. 

'Aeidet 6' (Kallimachus) 'E/cuAj/f re (tn^o^eivoio Kafaijv, 

Kal Qijael Mapaduv oiif itre:-&r]KE novovf. 

Some beautiful lines are preserved by Suidas, v. 'E7ravA<a, Trfpt 'EnuXtif 
davovaijf (probably spoken by Theseus himself, see Plutarch Theseus c. 

'I&i, irprjfla yvvaiK&v, 

Tr)v 6<Jdv, TJV aviat tivftaXyees oil irepouaiv 
HoAAa/ci ael\ u fiaia, (j>t?>oS;eivoio KaXifig 
Mvfio6fie&a- gvvbv yap liraiifaov lanv uTraai. 

4 Virgil, JEneid, vi. 617. " Sedet aeternumque sedebit Infelix Theseiu 
' Pherekyd. Fragm. 25, Didot. 


early creations and frequent reproductions of the ancient epic 
which was indeed, we may generally remark, largely occupied 
both with the exploits and sufferings of women, or heroines, the 
wives and daughters of the Grecian heroes and which recog- 
nized in Pallas Athene the finished type of an irresistible female 
warrior. A nation of courageous, hardy and indefatigable women, 
dwelling apart from men, permitting only a short temporary in- 
tercourse for the purpose of renovating their numbers, and burn- 
ing out their right breast with a view of enabling themselves to 
draw the bow freely, this was at once a general type stimu- 
lating to the fancy of the poet and a theme eminently popular 
with his hearers. Nor was it at all repugnant to the faith of the 
latter who had no recorded facts to guide them, and no other 
standard of credibility as to the past except such poetical nar- 
ratives themselves to conceive communities of Amazons as 
having actually existed in anterior time. Accordingly we find 
these warlike females constantly reappearing in the ancient poems, 
and universally accepted as past realities. In the Iliad, when 
Priam wishes to illustrate emphatically the most numerous host 
in which he ever found himself included, he tells us that it was 
assembled in Phyrgia, on the banks of the Sangarius, for the 
purpose of resisting the formidable Amazons. When Bellero- 
phon is to be employed on a deadly and perilous undertaking,! 
by those who indirectly wish to procure his death, he is despatch- 
ed against the Amazons. In the JEthiopis of Arktinus, describing 
the post-Homeric war of Troy, Penthesileia, queen of the Ama- 
zons, appears as the most effective ally of the besieged city, and 
as the most formidable enemy of the Greeks, succumbing only 
to the invincible might of Achilles. 2 The Argonautic heroes find 
the Amazons on the river Thermodon, in their expedition along 

Iliad, iii. 186 ; vi. 152. 

2 See Proclus's Argument of the lost jEthiopis (Fragm. Epicor. Graecor. 
ed. Diintzcr, p. 16). We are reduced to the first book of Quintus Smyrnaens 
for some idea of the valor of Penthesileia ; it is supposed to be copied more 
or less closely from the ./Ethiopia. See Tychsen's Dissertation prefixed to 
his edition of Quintus, sections 5 and 12. Compare Dio. Chrysostom. Or. 
JLI. p. 350, Reiske. Philostratns (Heroica, c. 19. p. 751) gives a strange 
transformation of this old epical- narrative into a descent of Amazons upon 
the island sacred to Achilles. 

VOL. I. 140C. 


the southern coast of the Euxine. To the same spot Heracles 
goes to attack them, in the performance of the ninth labor im- 
posed upon him by Eurystheus, for the purpose of procuring the 
girdle of the Amazonian queen, Hippolyte; 1 and we are told 
that they had not yet recovered from the losses sustained in this 
severe aggression when Theseus also assaulted and defeated them, 
carrying off their queen, Antiope. a This injury they avenged 
by invading Attica, an undertaking as Plutarch justly observes) 
"neither trifling nor feminine," especially if according to the 
statement of Hellanikus, they crossed the Cimmerian Bosporus 
on the winter ice, beginning their march from the Asiatic side of 
the Paulus Maeotis. 3 They overcame all the resistances and dif 
ficulties of this prodigious march, and penetrated even into Athens 
itself, where the final battle, hard-fought and at one time doubt- 
ful, by which Theseus crushed them, was fought in the very 

1 Apollon. Khod. ii. 966, 1004; Apollod. ii. 5-9; Diodor. ii. 46; iv. 16. 
The Amazons were supposed to speak the Thracian language ( Schol. Apoll 
Rhod. ii. 953), though some authors asserted them to be natives of Libyia, 
others of JEthiopia (ib. 965). 

Hellanikus (Frag. 33, ap. Schol. Pindar. Nem. iii. 65) said that all the 
Argonauts had assisted Herakles in this expedition : the fragment of the old 
epic poem (perhaps the 'Ajitafovto) there quoted mentions Telamon specially. 

2 The many diversities in the story respecting Theseus and the Amazon 
Antiopeare well set forth in Bachet de Meziriac (Commentaires sur Ovide, 

Welcker (T)er Epische Cyclus, p. 313) supposes that the ancient epic poem 
called by Suidas 'A/iofovta, related to the invasion of Attica by the Ama- 
zons, and that this poem is the same, under another title, as the 'Ar#f of 
Hegesinous cited by Pausanias : I cannot say that he establishes this con- 
jecture satisfactorily, but the chapter is well worth consulting. The epic 
Theseis seems to have given a version of the Amazonian contest in many 
respects different from that which Plutarch has put together out of the logo- 
graphers (see Plut. Thes. 28) : it contained a narrative of many unconnect- 
ed exploits belonging to Theseus, and Aristotle censures it on that account 
as ill-constructed (Poetic, c. 17). 

The 'AjUaforfc or 'ApaZoviKu of Onasus can hardly have been (as Heyno 
supposes, ad Apollod. ii. 5, 9) an epic poem : we may infer from the ration- 
alizing tendency of the citation from it (Schol. ad Theocrit. xiii. 4G, and 
Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 1207) that it was a work in prose- There was an 
'A/faCovic by Possis of Magnesia ("Athenseas, vii. p. 296). 

* Plutarch, Theseus, 27. Pindar (Olymp. xiii. 84) represents the Amazonf 
as having come from the extreme north, when Bcllerophon conquers them. 


heart of the city. Attic antiquaries confidently pointed out tne 
exact position of the two contending armies : the left wing of the 
Amazons rested upon the spot occupied by the commemorative 
monument called the Amazoneion ; the right wing touched the 
Pnyx, the place in which the public assemblies of the Athenian 
democracy were afterwards held. The details and fluctuations 
of the combat, as well as the final triumph and consequent truce, 
were recounted by these authors with as complete faith and as 
much circumstantiality as those of the battle of Platasa by Herod- 
otus. The sepulchral edifice called the Amazoneion, the tomb 
or pillar of Antiope near the western gate of the city the spot 
called the Horkomosion near the temple of Theseus even the 
hill of Areiopagus itself, and the sacrifices which it was custom- 
ary to offer to the Amazons at the periodical festival of the The- 
seia were all so many religious mementos of this victory ; l 
which was moreover a favorite subject of art both with the 
sculptor and the painter, at Athens as well as in other parts of 

No portion of the ante-historical epic appears to have been more 
deeply worked into the national mind of Greece than this inva- 
sion and defeat of the Amazons. It was not only a constant theme 
of the logographers, but was also familiarly appealed to by the 
popular orators along with Marathon and Salamis, among those 
antique exploits of which their fellow-citizens might justly be proud. 
It formed a part of the retrospective faith of Herodotus, Lysias, 
Plato and Isokrates, 2 and the exact date of the event was settled 

1 Plutarch, Theseus, 27-28 ; Pausan. i. 2, 4 ; Plato, Axiochus, c. 2 ; Har- 
pocration, v. 'Afta&velov ; Aristophan. Lysistrat. 678, with the Scholia. JE>s- 
chyl. (Eumenid. 685) says that the Amazons assaulted the citadel from the 
Areiopagus : 

TLuyov T' 'Apeiov rovS\ 'Afta^ovuv ISpav 

2j?vaf r\ or' ^Ai?oj> Qqaeuc Kara <j>&6vov 

^TpaTtjXarovffai, Kal itoKiv vEomokiv 

Tf/v6' v-^'iTTvpyov avreirvpyuaav irore. 

9 Herodot. ix. 27, Lysias (Epitaph, c. 3) represents the Amazons as dp- 
I'ovaat TroAAwv E-&VUV : the whole race, according to him, was nearly extin- 
guished in their unsuccessful and calamitous invasion of Attica. Isokrates 
(Panegyric, t. i. p. 206, Auger) says the same ; also Panathenaic, t. iii. p. 560, 
Auger; Demosth. Epitaph, p. 1391. Reisk. Pausanias quotes Pindar's no- 
tice of the invasion, and with the fullest belief of its historical reality (vii. 2,4) 


by the chronologists. 1 Nor did the Athenians stand alone in such 
a belief. Throughout many other regions of Greece, both Euro- 
pean and Asiatic, traditions and memorials of the Amazons wer& 
found. At Megara, at Trrezen, in Laconia near Cape Taenarus, 
at Chaeroneia in Breotia, and in more than one part of Thessaly, 
sepulchres or monuments of the Amazons were preserved. The 
warlike women (it was said), on their way to Attica, had not 
traversed those countries, without leaving some evidences of their 
passage. 2 

Amongst the Asiatic Greeks the supposed traces of the Amazons 
were yet more numerous. Their proper territory was asserted to 
be the town and plain of Themiskyra, near the Grecian colony of 
Amisus, on the river Thermodon, a region called after their name 
by Roman historians and geographers. 3 But they were believed 
to have conquered and occupied in early times a much wider range 
of territory, extending even to the coast of Ionia and JEolis. 
Ephesus, Smyrna, Kyme, Myrina, Paphos and Sinope were af- 
firmed to have been founded and denominated by them. 4 Some 

Plato mentions the invasion of Attica by the Amazons in the Menexenus 
(c. 9), but the passage in the treatise DC Legg. c. ii. p. 804, UKOVUV yap 6% 
/j.i>dovf Trahaiovf TTTreicr[, etc. is even a stronger evidence of his own be- 
lief. And Xenophon in the Anabasis, when he compares the quiver and the 
hatchet of his barbarous enemies to " those which the Amazons carry," evi- 
dently believed himself to be speaking of real persons, though he could have 
seen only the costumes and armature of those painted by Mikon and others 
(Anabas. iv. 4, 10 ; compare ^Eschl. Supplic. 293, and Aristophan. Lysistr. 
678; Lucian. Anachars, c. 34. v. iii. p. 318). 

How copiously the tale was enlarged upon by the authors of the Atthides, 
we see in Plutarch, Theseus, 27-28. 

Hekatseus (ap. Steph. Byz. 'A./ua&veiov ; also Fragm. 350, 351, 352, Di- 
dot) and Xanthus (ap. Hesychium, v. ~Bov7(.e^il7}) both treated of the Ama- 
zons : the latter passage ought to be added to the collection of the Fragments 
of Xanthus by Didst. 

1 Clemens AlexancJr. Stromat, i. p. 336; Marmor Parium, Epoch. 21. 

1 Plutarch, Thes. 27-28. Steph. Byz. v. 'A/zafoveZov. Pausan. ii. 32, 8j 
iii. 25, 2. 

3 Phcrekydes ap. Schol. Apollon. Eh. ii. 373-992 ; Justin, ii. 4 ; Strabo, 
xii. p. 547, QefiiaKvpav, rd TUV J \fj.a6vuv oinTjTTipiov ; Diodor. ii. 45-46; 
Sallust ap. Serr. ad Virgil. JEneid. xi. 659 ; Pompon. Mela, i. 19 ; Plin. H. 
N. vi. 4. The geography of Quintus Curtius (vi. 4) and of Philostratus (He- 
roic c. 19) is on this point indefinite, and even inconsistent. 

F/phor. Fragm. 87, Didot. Strabo, xi. p. 505 ; xiii p. 573 ; xiii. p. 622 


Authors placed them in Libya or Ethiopia ; and when the Pontic 
Greeks on the north-western shore of the Euxine had become 
acquainted with the hardy and daring character of the Sarmatian 
maidens, who were obliged to have slain each an enemy in 
battle as the condition of obtaining a husband, and who artificially 
prevented the growth of the right breast during childhood, - they 
could imagine no more satisfactory mode of accounting for such 
attributes than by deducing the Sarmatians from a colony of va- 
grant Amazons, expelled by the Grecian heroes from their terri- 
tory on the Thermodon. 1 Pindar ascribed the first establishment 
of the memorable temple of Artemis at Ephesus to the Amazons. 
And Pausanias explains in part the preeminence which this tem- 
ple enjoyed over every other in Greece by the widely diffused 
renown of its female founders, 2 respecting whom he observes 
(with perfect truth, if we admit the historical character of the old 
epic), that women possess an unparalleled force of resolution in 
resisting adverse events, since the Amazons, after having been 
first roughly handled by Herakles and then completely defeated 

Pausan. iv. 31,6 ; vii. 2. 4. Tacit. Ann. iii. 61. Scbol. Apollon. Ehod. ii. 

The derivation of the name Sinope from an Amazon was given by Heka 
trcns (Fragm. 352). Themiskyra also had one of the Amazons for its epony- 
mus (Appian, Bell. Mithridat. 78). 

Some of the most venerated religious legends at Sinop6 were attached to 
the expedition of Herakles against the Amazons : Autolykns, the oracle- 
giving hero, worshipped with great solemnity even at the time when the town 
was besieged by Lucullus, was the companion of Heracles (Appian, ib. c.83). 
Even a small mountain village in the territory of Ephesus, called Latorcia, 
derived its name from one of the Amazons ( Athenae. i. p. 31 ). 

1 Herodot. iv. 108-117, where he gives the long tale, imagined by the Pon- 
tic Greeks, of the origin of the Sarmatian nation. Compare Hippokrates, De 
Ae're, Locis et Aquis, c. 17; Ephorus, Fragm. 103 ; Skymn. Chius, v. 102; 
Plato, Legg. vii. p. 804 ; Diodor. ii. 34. 

The testimony of Hippokrates certifies the practice of the Sarmatian wo- 
men to check the growth of the right breast : Tdv de^iov 6s fiat^bv OVK 
Tlaidioiai -yap kovaiv en vijirioiaiv ai fir)Tepef ^aX/cetov rerexyrjfievov 7r' 
rovTf,) dicnrvpov TTOteovaat, Trpbf rbv fj.aov rt&eaai rdv de^iov nal 
SXJTE TTJV av^ijaiv ty&eiptw&ai, if de rbv de^iov ufibv nal Bpa^tova xHaav Tt/v 
ioxvv /cat ri> 7r/^i?of K.6i66vai. 

Ktesias also compares a warlike Sakian woman to the Amazons (Fragm. 
Persic, ii. pp. 221,449, Bahr). 

2 Pausan. iv. 31,6; vii. 2, 4. Dionys. Perieget. 828 


by Theseus, could yet find courage to play so conspicuous a part 
in the defence of Troy against the Grecian besiegers. 1 

It is thus that in what is called early Grecian history, as th 
Greeks themselves looked back upon it, the Amazons were among 
the most prominent and undisputed personages. Nor will the cir- 
cumstance appear wonderful if we reflect, that the belief in them 
was first established at a time when the Grecian mind was fed 
with nothing else but religious legend and epic poetry, and that 
the incidents of the supposed past, as received from these sources, 
were addressed to their faith and feelings, without being required 
to adapt themselves to any canons of credibility drawn from 
present experience. But the time came when the historians of 
Alexander the Great audaciously abused this ancient credence. 
Amongst other tales calculated to exalt the dignity of that monarch, 
they affirmed that after his conquest and subjugation of the Per- 
sian empire, he had been visited in Hyrcania by Thalestris, queen 
of the Amazons, who admiring his warlike prowess, was anxious to 
be enabled to return into her own country in a condition to produce 
offspring of a breed so invincible. 2 But the Greeks had now been 
accustomed for a century and a half to historical and philosophical 
criticism and that uninquiring faith, which was readily accorded 
to the wonders of the past, could no longer be invoked for them 
when tendered as present reality. For the fable of the Amazons 
was here reproduced in its naked simplicity, without being ration- 
alized or painted over with historical colors. 

Some literary men indeed, among whom were Demetrius ot 
Skepsis, and the Mitylenaean Theophanes, the companion of Pom- 
pey in his expeditions, still continued their belief both in Ama- 
zons present and Amazons past ; and when it becomes notorious 
that at least there were none sucn on the banks of the Thermodon, 
these authors supposed them to have migrated from their original 
locality, and to have settled in the unvisited regions north of 
Mount Caucasus. 3 Strabo, on the contrary, feeling that the grounds 

1 Pausan. i. 15, 2. 

* Arrian, Exped. Alex, vii. 13; compare iv. 15 ; Quint. Curt. vi. 4; Jus- 
tin, xlii. 4. The note of Freinshemius on the above passage of Quintus Cur- 
tins is full of valuable references on the subject of the Amazons. 

* Strabo, xi. p. 503-504 ; Appian, Bell. Mithridat. c. 103 ; Plutarch, Pott 


of disbelief applied with equal force to the ancient stories and to 
the modern, rejected both the one and the other. But he remarks 
at the same time, not without some surprise, that it was usual 
with most persons to adopt a middle course, to retain the Ama 
zons as historical phenomena of the remote past, but to disallow 
them as realities of the present, and to maintain that the breed 
had died out. 1 The accomplished intellect of Julius Caesar did not 
scruple to acknowledge them as having once conquered and held 
in dominion a large portion of Asia; 2 and the compromise be- 
tween early, traditional, and religious faith on the one hand, and 

pcius, c. 35. Plin. N. H. vi. 7. Plutarch still retains the old description of 
Amazons from the mountains near the Thermodon. Appian keeps clear of 
this geographical error, probably copying more exactly the language of The- 
ophanes, who must have been well aware that when Lucullus besieged The- 
miskyra, he did not find it defended by the Amazons (see Appian, Bell. Mith- 
ridat. c. 78). Ptolemy (v. 9) places the Amazons in the imperfectly known 
regions of Asiatic Sarmatia, north of the Caspian and near the river Rha 
(Volga). " This fabulous community of women (observes Forbiger) Hand 
Such der alten Geographic, ii. 77, p. 457) was a phenomenon much too inter- 
esting for the geographers easily to relinquish." 

1 Strabo, xi. p. 505. '\Siov 6e TL ov[t(3ej37)Ke TU> 2,6yo Trepl ruv 'A/j.a6vuv 
Oi jiev yap aTJkoL rb #ui?c5(5ef KOI TO iaTOpiKov 6tupia/j.Evov %ovai ' TU yap ira- 
Aaiu Kal ipevtifj Kal TspaTudTj, fiv$oi KaXovvrai' [Note. Strabo does not always 
speak of the fivdoi in this disrespectful tone ; he is sometimes much displeased 
with those who dispute the existence of an historical kernel in the inside, 
especially with regard to Homer.] ij 6' iaropla fiovktrai rdAjytfef, avre xatM- 
ibv, O.VTE VEOV Kal Tb TEpar<J6ef f) OVK exei, TI airaviov. Tlepl (5e TUV 'A^/afovuv 
rH aiiru Aeyerat Kal vvv /cat KoXal, reparudrj r 1 ovra, Kal niareuf iroppu. 
Tif ~y<ip uv marvaeiev, uf yvvaiKuv ffrparof, ^ Tro/ltc, i) et9vof, awran/ av TTOTE 
%uplf avfipuv ; Kal ov p.6vov ovaTair;, d^-Aa Kal E(f>66ovf KOifjaaiTo kirl rf/v aA- 
JiOTpiav, Kal KparrjasiEv ov T<JV kyyi><; fiovov, uars Kal [tsxpi rf/f vi>v 'Iwv/af 
TrpoeTi&Etv, u^a Kal dianovnov arel^aiTO arpariav fJ-expi rrt 'A.TTIKTJC ; "A/l/ld 
fiijv ravTa ye aiiTti Kal vvv Aeyrrat irepl avruv e irtr si v s i 6e TTJV 
IdioTijTa Kal T b TT IGT eveadai r a ira?.aia fj.a%.%,ov f) r<J 
vvv . There are however, other passages in which he speaks of the Ama- 
zons as realities. 

Justin (ii. 4) recognizes the great power and extensive conquests of the 
Amazons in very early times, but says that they gradually declined down to 
the reign of Alexander, in whose time there were just a ftio remaining ; the 
queen with these few visited Alexander, but shortly afterwards the whole 
breed became extinct. This hypothesis has the merit of convenience, per 
haps of ingenuity. 

' Suetonius, Jul. Caesar, c 22. "In SyriA quoque regrasse Semiramia 


established habits of critical research on the other, adopted by 
the historian Arrian, deserves to be transcribed in his own words, 
as illustrating strikingly the powerful sway of the old legends 
even over the most positive-minded Greeks : " Neither Aris- 
tobulus nor Ptolemy (he observes), nor any other competent wit- 
ness, has recounted this (visit of the Amazons and their queen 
to Alexander) : nor does it seem to me that the race of the 
Amazons was preserved down to that time, nor have they been 
noticed either by any one before Alexander, or by Xenophon, 
though he mentions both the Phasians and the Kolchians, and 
the other barbarous nations which the Greeks saw both before 
and after their arrival at Trapezus, in which marches they must 
have met with the Amazons, if the latter had been still in exist- 
ence. Yet it is incredible to me that this race of women, celebra- 
ted as they have been by authors so many and so commanding, 
should never have existed at all. The story tells of Herakles, 
that he set out from Greece and brought back with him the 
girdle of their queen Hippolyte ; also of Theseus and the Athe- 
nians, that they were the first who defeated in battle and repel- 
led these women in their invasion of Europe ; and the combat 
of the Athenians with the Amazons has been painted by Mikon, 
not less than that between the Athenians and the Persians. More- 
over Herodotus has spoken in many places of these women, and 
those Athenian orators who have pronounced panegyrics on the 
citizens slain in battle, have dwelt upon the victory over the 
Amazons as among the most memorable of Athenian exploits. 
If the satrap of Media sent any equestrian women at all to Alex- 
ander, I think that they must have come from some of the neigh- 
boring tribes, practised in riding and equipped in the costume 
generally called Amazonian." 1 

There cannot be a more striking evidence of the indelible force 

(Julius Caesar said this), magnamque Asise partem Ama'.onas tenuisse quon- 

In the splendid triumph of the emperor Aurelian at Rome after the defeat 
of Zenobia, a few Gothic women who had been taken in arms were exhibited 
among the prisoners ; the official placard carried along with them announ- 
ced them as Amazons (Vopiscus Aurel. in Histor- August. Scrip, p. 260, ed 

1 Arrian. Expedit. Alexand. vii. 13. 


with which these ancient legends were worked into the national 
faith and feelings of the Greeks, than these remarks of a judi- 
cious historian upon the fable of the Amazons. Probably if any 
plausible mode of rationalizing it, and of transforming it into a 
quasi-political event, had been offered to Arrian, he would have 
been better pleased to adopt such a middle term, and would have 
rested comfortably in the supposition that he believed the legend 
in its true meaning, while his less inquiring countrymen were 
imposed upon by the exaggerations of poets. But as the story 
was presented to him plain and unvarnished, either for accept- 
ance or rejection, his feelings as a patriot and a religious man 
prevented him from applying to the past such tests of credibility 
as his untrammelled reason acknowledged to be paramount in 
regard to the present. When we see moreover how much his 
belief was strengthened, and all tendency to scepticism shut out by 
the familiarity of his eye and memory with sculptured or painted 
Amazons 1 we may calculate the irresistible force of this sensi- 
ble demonstration on the convictions of the unlettered public, at 
once more deeply retentive of passive impressions, and unaccus- 
tomed to the countervailing habit of rational investigation into 
evidence. Had the march of an army of warlike women, from 
the Thermodon or the Tanais into the heart of Attica, been re- 
counted to Arrian as an incident belonging to the time of Alexan- 
der the Great, he would have rejected it no less emphatically than 
Strabo ; but cast back as it was into an undefined past, it took 
rank among the hallowed traditions of divine or heroic antiquity, 
gratifying to extol by rhetoric, but repulsive to scrutinize in 
argument. 2 

1 Ktesias described as real animals, existing in wild and distant regions, 
the heterogeneous and fantastic combinations which he saw sculptured in 
the East (see this stated and illustrated in Bahr, Preface to the Fragm. of 
Ktesias, pp. 58, 59). 

2 Hcyne observes (Apollodor. ii. 5, 9) with respect to the fable of the Ama- 
zons, "In his historiarum fidem aut vestigia nemo qusesiverit." Admitting 
the wisdom of this counsel (and I think it indisputable), why are we required 
to presume, in the absence of all proof, an historical basis for each of those 
other narratives, such as the Kalydonian boar-hunt, the Argonautic expedi- 
tion, or the siege of Troy, which go to make up, along with the story of the 
Amazons, the aggregate matter of Grecian legendary faith ? If the tale of 

voi . T. 10 




To understand the adventures of Theseus in Krete, it will be 
necessary to touch briefly upon Minos and the Kretan heroic 

Minos and Rhadamanthus, according to Homer, are sons of 
Zeus, by Europe, 1 daughter of the widely-celebrated Phoenix, 

the Amazons could gain currency without any such support, why not other 
portions of the ancient epic 1 

An author of easy belief, Dr. F. Nagel, vindicates the historical reality 
of the Amazons (Geschichte der Amazoncn, Stutgart, 1838). I subjoin 
here a different explanation of the Amazonian talc, proceeding from another 
author who rejects the historical basis, and contained in a work of learning 
and value ( Guhl, Ephesiaca, Berlin, 1843. p. 132) : 

" Id tantum monendum videtur, Amazonas nequaquam historice accipicn 
das csse, sed e contrario totas ad mythologiam pcrtincre. Earum enim 
fabulas quum ex frequentium hierodularum gregibus in cultibus et sacris 
Asiaticis ortas esse ingeniose ostenderit Tolken, jam inter omnes mythologias 
peritos constat, Amazonibus nihil fere nisi peregrini cujusdam cultus notio- 
nem expressum esse, ejusque cum Graecorum religione certamen frequent- 
ibus istis pugnis designatum esse, quas cum Amazonibus tot Groecorum 
heroes habuisse credcbantur, Hercules, Bellerophon, Theseus, Achilles, ct 
vel ipse, quern Ephesi cultum fuisse supra ostendimus, Dionysus. Quaj 
Amazon um notio primaria, quum paulatim Eucmeristica (ut ita dicam) 
ratione ita transformaretur, ut Amazones pro vero feminarum populo habe- 
rentur, necesse quoque crat, ut omnibus fere locis, ubi ejusmodi religionum 
ccrtamina locum habuerunt, Amazones habitasse, vel eo usque proccssissc, 
crcderentur. Quod cum nusquam manifestius fuerit, quam in Asia minore. 
et potissimum in ea parte qua? Grscciam versus vergit, haud mirandum es< 
omnes fere ejus orse urbes ab Amazonibus conditas putari." 

I do not know the evidence upon which this conjectural interpretation 
vts, but the statement of it, though it boasts so many supporters among 
mythological critics, carries no appearance of probability to my mind. Priam 
fights against the Amazons as well as the Grecian heroes. 

1 Europe was worshipped with very peculiar solemnity in the island ol 
Krete (see Dietys Crctcnsis, DC Bcllo Trojano, i. c. 2). 

The venerable plane-tree, under which Zeus and Europe had reposed, wa 


born in Krete. Minos is the father of Deukalion, whose son 
Idomeneus, in conjunction with Meriones, conducts the Kretan 
troops to the host of Agamemnon before Troy. Minos is ruler 
of Knossus, and familiar companion of the great Zeus. He is 
spoken of as holding guardianship in Krete not necessarily 
meaning the whole of the island : he is farther decorated with a 
golden sceptre, and constituted judge over the dead in the under- 
world to settle their disputes, in which function Odysseus finds 
him this however by a passage of comparatively late interpola- 
tion into the Odyssey. He also had a daughter named Ariadne, 
for whom the artist Daedalus fabricated in the town of Knossus 
the representation of a complicated dance, and who was ultimate- 
ly carried off by Theseus : she died in the island of Dia, de- 
serted by Theseus and betrayed by Dionysos to the fatal wrath 
of Artemis. Rhadamanthus seems to approach to Minos both 
in judicial functions and posthumous dignity. He is conveyed 
expressly to Eubce, by the semi-divine sea-carriers the Phaea- 
cians, to inspect the gigantic corpse of the earth-born Tityus 
the longest voyage they ever undertook. He is moreover aftei 
death promoted to an abode of undisturbed bliss in the Elysiar 
plain at the extremity of the earth. 1 

According to poets later than Homer, Europe is brought over 
by Zeus from Phoenicia to Krete, where she bears to him three 
sons, Minos, Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon. The latter leaves 
Krete and settles in Lykia, the population of which, as well as 
that of many other portions of Asia Minor, is connected by va- 

still shown, hard by a fountain at Goctyn in Krete, in the time of Theophras- 
tus : it was said to be the only plane-tree in the neighborhood which never 
cast its leaves (Theophrast. Hist. Plant, i. 9). 

'Homer, Iliad, xiii. 249,450; xiv. 321. Odyss. xi. 322-568; xix. 179; 
iv. 564-vii. 321. 

The Homeric Minos in the under-world is not a judge of the previous 
lives of the dead, so as to determine whether they deserve reward or pun- 
ishment for their conduct on earth : such functions arc not assigned to him 
earlier than the time of Plato. He administers justice q.mong the dead, who 
are conceived as a sort of society, requiring some presiding judge : -&e^ia- 
revovTci venveaai, with regard to Minos, is said very much like (Odyss. xi. 
484^ viiv <5' avTE [leya KpaTeeif veKveaa with regard to Achilles. See this 
matter partially illustrated in Heync's Excursus xi. to the sixth book of the 
of Virgil. 


rious mythical genealogies with Krete, though the Sarpedon ol 
the Iliad has no connection with Krete, and is not the son of 
Europe. Sarpedon having become king of Lykia, was favored 
by his father, Zeus, with permission to live for three generations. 1 
At the same time the youthful Miletus, a favorite of Sarpedon, 
quitted Krete, and established the city which bore his name on 
the coast of Asia Minor. Rhadamanthus became sovereign of 
and lawgiver among the islands in the JEgean : he subsequently 
went to Boeotia, where he married the widowed Alkmeno, 
mother of Herakles. 

Europe finds in Krete a king Asterius, who marries her and 
adopts her children by Zeus : this Asterius is the son of Kres, 
the eponym of the island, or (according to another genealogy by 
which it was attempted to be made out that Minos was of Dorian 
race) he was a son of the daughter of Kres by Tektamus, the 
son of Dorus, who had migrated into the island from Greece. 

Minos married Pasiphae, daughter of the god Helios and Per- 
se'is, by whom he had Katreus, Deukalion, Glaukus, Androgeos, 
names marked in the legendary narrative, together with seve- 
ral daughters," among whom were Ariadne and Phaedra. He 
offended Poseidon by neglecting to fulfil a solemnly-made vow, 
and the displeased god afflicted his wife Pasiphae v. r ith a mon- 
strous passion for a bull. The great artist Daedalus, son of Eu- 
palamus, a fugitive from Athens, became the confidant of this 
amour, from which sprang the Minotaur, a creature half man and 
half bull. 2 This Minotaur was imprisoned by Minos in the laby- 
rinth, an inextricable inclosure constructed by Daedalus for that 
express purpose, by order of Minos. 

Minos acquired great nautical power, and expelled the Karian 
inhabitants from many of the islands of the JEgean, which he 
placed under the government of his sons on the footing of tribu- 

1 Apollodor. iii. 1, 2. Kdi avrfi diduai Zevf lirl rpsif -yevtuf yv. This 
tircumstancc is evidently imagined by the logographers to account for the 
appearance of Sarpedon in the Trojan war, fighting against Idomeneus, the 
grandson of Minos. Nisus is the eponymus of Nisaea, the port of the town 
of Megara : his tomb was shown at Athens (Pausan. i. 19, 5). Minos is the 
eponym of the island of Minoa (opposite the port of Nisaea), where it was 
affirmed that the fleet of Minos was stationed (Pausan. i. 44, 5). 

1 Apollodor iii. 1 2. 


taries. He undertook several expeditions against various place? 
on the coast one against Nisos, the son of Pandion, king of Me- 
gara, who had amongst the hair of his head one peculiar lock of 
a purple color : an oracle had pronounced that his life and reign 
would never be in danger so long as he preserved this precious 
lock. The city would have remained inexpugnable, if Scylla. 
the daughter of Nisus, had not conceived a violent passion for 
Minos. While her father was asleep, she cut off the lock on 
which his safety hung, so that the Kretan king soon became vic- 
torious. Instead of performing his promise to carry Scylla away 
with him to Krete, he cast her from the stern of his vessel into 
the sea : l both Scylla and Nisus were changed into birds. 

Androgeos, son of Minos having displayed such rare qualities 
as to vanquish all his competitors at the Panathenaic festival in 
Athens, was sent by .2Egeus the Athenian king to contend against 
the bull of Marathon, an enterprise in which he perished, and 
Minos made war upon Athens to avenge his death. He was for 
n long time unable to take the city : at length he prayed to his 
father Zeus to aid him in obtaining redress from the Athenians, 
and Zeus sent upon them pestilence and famine. In vain did 
they endeavor to avert these calamities by offering up as pro- 
pitiatory sacrifices the four daughters of Hyacinthus. Their 
sufferings still continued, and the oracle directed them to submit 
to any terms which Minos might exact. He required that they 
should send to Krete a tribute of seven youths and seven mai- 
dens, periodically, to be devoured by the Minotaur, 2 offered to 
him in a labyrinth constructed by Daedalus, including countless 
different passages, out of which no person could escape. 

Every ninth year this offering was to be despatched. The 
more common story was, that the youths and maidens thus des- 
tined to destruction were selected by lot but the logographer 
Hellanikus said that Min6s came to Athens and chose them him- 
self- 3 The third period for despatching the victims had arrived, 

1 Apollodor. iii. 15, 8. See the Ciris of Virgil, a juvenile poem on the 
subject of this fable; also Hyginus, f. 198; Schol. Eurip. Hippol. 120tt 
Propertius (iii. 19, 21) gives the features of the story with tolerable fidel 
ity ; Grid takes considerable liberties with it (Metam. viii. 5-150). 

* Apollodor. iii. 15, 8. 

* See, on the subject of Theseus and the Minotaur, Eckermann, Lchrbodi 


and Athens was plunged in the deepest affliction, when Theseus 
determined to devote himself as one of them, and either to ter- 
minate the sanguinary tribute or to perish. He prayed to Posei- 
46n for help, and the Delphian god assured him that Aphrodite 
would sustain and extricate him. On arriving at Knossus he 
was fortunate enough to captivate the affections of Ariadne, the 
daughter of Minos, who supplied him with a sword and a cluo of 
thread. With the former he contrived to kill the Minotaur, the 
latter served to guide his footsteps in escaping from the labyrinth. 
Having accomplished this triumph, he left Krete with his ship 
and companions unhurt, carrying off Ariande, whom however he 
soon abandoned on the island of Naxos. On his way home to 
Athens, he stopped at Delos, where he offered a grateful sacrifice 
to Apollo for his escape, and danced along with the young men 
and maidens whom he had rescued from the Minotaur, a dance 
called the Geranus, imitated from the twists and convolutions of 
the Kretan labyrinth. It had been concerted with his father 
^Egeus, that if he succeeded in his enterprise against the Mino- 
taur, he should on his return hoist white sails in his ship in place 
of the black canvas which she habitually carried when employed 
on this mournful embassy. But Theseus forgot to make the 
change of sails ; so that jEgeus, seeing the ship return with her 
equipment of mourning unaltered, was impressed with the sorrow- 
ful conviction that his son had perished, and cast himself into the 
sea. The ship which made this voyage was preserved by the 
Athenians with careful solicitude, being constantly repaired with 
new timbers, down to the time of the Phalerian Demetrius : every 
year she was sent from Athens to Delos with a solemn sacrifice 
and specially-nominated envoys. The priest of Apollo decked 
her stern with garlands before she quitted the port, and during 
the time which elapsed until her return, the city was understood 
to abstain from all acts carrying with them public impurity, so 
that it was unlawful to put to death any person even under for- 
mal sentence by the dikastery. This accidental circumstance 

dcr Religions Geschichte und Mytbologie, vol. ii. ch. xiii. p. 133. He main- 
tains that the tribute of these human victims paid by Athens to Minos is an 
historical fact. Upon what this belief is grounded, I confes* I do not 


becomes especially memorable, from its having postponed for 
thirty days the death of the lamented Socrates. 1 

The legend respecting Theseus, and his heroic; rescue of the 
seven noble youths and maidens from the jaws of the Minotaur, 
was thus both commemorated and certified to the Athenian public, 
by the annual holy ceremony and by the unquestioned identity 
of the vessel employed in it. There were indeed many varieties 
in the mode of narrating the incident; and some of the Attic 
logographers tried to rationalize the fable by transforming the 
Minotaur into a general or a powerful athlete, named Taurus, 
whom Theseus vanquished in Krete.' 2 But this altered version 
never overbore the old fanciful character of the tale as maintain- 
ed by the poets. A great number of other religious ceremonies 
and customs, as well as several chapels or sacred enclosures in 
honor of different heroes, were connected with different acts and 
special ordinances of Theseus. To every Athenian who took 

1 Plato, Phaidon, c. 2, 3 ; Xcnoph. Memor. iv. 8. 2. Plato especially notic- 
ed rove 6lf ITTTO. kKelvov^, the seven youths and the seven maidens whom 
Theseus conveyed to Krete and brought back safely : this number seems an 
old and constant feature in the legend, maintained by Sappho and Bacchy- 
lides as well as by Euripides (Here. Fur. 1318). See Servius ad Virgil 
JEncid. vi. 21. 

2 For the general narrative and its discrepancies, sec Plutarch, Thes 
c. 15-19; Diodor. iv. 60-G2; Pausan. i. 17,3; Ovid, Epist. Ariadn. Thes 
104. In that other portion of the work of Diodorus which relates more es- 
pecially to Krete. and is borrowed from Kretan logographers and historians 
(v. 64-80), he mentions nothing at all respecting the war of Minos with 

In the drama of Euripides called Theseus, the genuine story of the youths 
and maidens about to be offered as food to the Minotaur was introduced 
(Schol. ad Aristoph. Vesp. 312). 

Ariadne figures in the Odyssey along with Theseus : she is the daughter of 
Minos, carried off by Theseus from Krete, and killed by Artemis in the way 
home : there is no allusion to Minotaur, or tribute, or self-devotion of The 1 - 
seus (Odyss. xi. 324). This is probably the oldest and simplest form of the 
legend one of the many amorous (compare Theognis, 1232) adventures 
of Theseus : the rest is added by post-Homeric poets. 

The respect of Aristotle for Minos induces him to adopt the hypothesis 
that the Athenian youths and maidens were not put to death in Krete, but 
grew old in servitude (Aristot. Fragm. "RorTiaiuv HoXtreia, p. 106. ed 
Neumann, of the Fragments of the treatise Tlepl Ho/Urauv. Plutarch, Quzes* 
Graec. p. 298). 


part in the festivals of the Oschophoria, the Pyanepsia, or the 
Kybernesia, the name of this great hero was familiar, and the 
motives for offering to him solemn worship at his own special 
festival of the Theseia, became evident and impressive. 

The same Athenian legends which ennobled and decorated the 
character of Theseus, painted in repulsive colors the attributes 
of Minos; and the traits of the old Homeric comrade of Zeus 
were buried under those of the conqueror and oppressor of 
Athens. His history like that of the other legendary personages 
of Greece, consists almost entirely of a string of family romances 
and tragedies. His son Katreus, father of Aerope, wife of Atreus, 
was apprized by an oracle that he would perish by the hand of 
one of his own children : he accordingly sent them out of the 
island, and Althgemenes, his son, established himself in Rhodes. 
Katreus having become old, and fancying that he had outlived 
the warning of the oracle, went over to Rhodes to see Althae- 
menes. In an accidental dispute which arose between his atten- 
dants and the islanders, Althcemenes inadvertently took part and 
slew his father without knowing him. Glaukus, the youngest 
son of Minos, pursuing a mouse, fell into a reservoir of honey and 
was drowned. No one knew what had become of him, and bis 
father was inconsolable ; at length the Argeian Polyeidus, a 
prophet wonderfully endowed by the gods, both discovered the 
boy and restored him to life, to the exceeding joy of Minos. 1 

The latter at last found his death in an eager attempt to over- 
take and punish Daedalus. This great artist, the eponymous 
hero of the Attic gens or deme called the Daedalidoe, and the 
descendant of Erechtheus through Metion, had been tried at the 
tribunal of Areiopagus and banished for killing his nephew 
Talos, whose rapidly improving skill excited his envy. 2 He took 
refuge in Krete, where he acquired the confidence of Minos, and 
was employed (as has been already mentioned) in constructing 
the labyrinth; subsequently however he fell under the displeasure 
of Minos, and was confined as a close prisoner in the inextricable 
windings of his own edifice. His unrivalled skill and rescxirce 
however did not forsake him. He manufactured wings both for 

1 Apollodor. iii. cap. 2-3. 

* Pherekyd. Fragm. 105 ; Hellanik. Fragm. 82 (Diclot) ; Pausan. vii. 4,5 


himself and for his son Ikarus, with which they flew over the 
sea : the father arrived safely in Sicily at Kamikus, the residence 
of the Sikanian king Kokalus, but the son, disdaining paternal 
example and admonition, flew so high that his wings were melted 
by the sun and he fell into the sea, which from him was called 
the Ikarian sea. 1 

Daedalus remained for some time in Sicily, leaving in various 
parts of the island many prodigious evidences of mechanical and 
architectural skill. 2 At length Minos bent upon regaining posses- 
sion of his person, undertook an expedition against Kokalus with 
a numerous fleet and army. Kokalus affecting readiness to de- 
liver up the fugitive, and receiving Minos with apparent friend- 
ship, ordered a bath to be prepared for him by his three daugh 
ters, who, eager to protect Daedalus at any price, drowned the 
Kretan king in the bath with hot water. 3 Many of the Kretans 
who had accompanied him remained in Sicily and founded the 
town of Minoa, which they denominated after him. But not long 
afterwards Zeus roused all the inhabitants of Krete (except the 
towns of Polichna and Praesus) to undertake with one accord an 
expedition against Kamikus for the purpose of avenging the 
death of Minos. They besieged Kamikus in vain for five years, 
until at last famine compelled them to return. On their way 
along the coast of Italy, in the Gulf of Tarentum, a terrible 
storm destroyed their fleet and obliged them to settle perma- 
nently in the country : they founded Hyria with other cities, and 
became Messapian lapygians. Other settlers, for the most part 
Greeks, immigrated into Krete to the spots which this movement 

1 Diodor. iv. 79 ; Ovid, Metamorph. viii. 181. Both Ephorus and Philis- 
tus mentioned the coming of Daedalus to Kokalus in Sicily (Ephor. Fr. 99 ; 
Philist. Fragm. 1, Didot) : probably Antiochus noticed it also (Diodor. xii. 
71 ). Kokalus was the point of commencement for the Sicilian historians. 

8 Diodor. iv. 80. 

3 Pausan. vii. 4, 5 ; Schol. Pindar. Nem. iv. 95 ; Hygin. fab. 44 ; Conon 
Narr. 25 ; Ovid. Ibis, 291. 

I; Vel tua maturet, sicut Minoia fata, 

Per caput infuste fervidus humor aquae." 

This sijiy formed the subject of a lost drama of Sophokles, KapiKiot, tst 
Mivuf ; it was also told by Kallimachus, iv AiTtoif, as well as by Philns**- 
onanus CScho 1 . Iliad, ii. 145). 

TOL. 1. 10* 150C. 


had left vacant, and in the second generation after Minos occur- 
red the Trojan war. The departed Minos was exceedingly of- 
fended with the Kretans for cooperating in avenging the injury 
to Menelaus, since the Greeks generally had lent no aid to the 
Kretans in their expedition against the town of Kamikus. He 
sent upon Krete, after the return of Idomeneus from Troy, such 
terrible visitations of famine and pestilence, that the population 
again died out or expatriated, and was again renovated by fresh 
immigrations. The intolerable suffering 1 thus brought upon the 
Kretans by the anger of Minos, for having cooperated in the 
general Grecian aid to Menelaus, was urged by them to the 
Greeks as the reason why they could take no part in resisting 
the invasion of Xerxes ; and it is even pretended that they were 
advised and encouraged to adopt this ground of excuse by the 
Delphian oracle. 2 

Such is the Minos of the poets and logographers, with his 
legendary and romantic attributes : the familiar comrade of the 
great Zeus, the judge among the dead in Hades, the husband 
of Pasiphae, daughter of the god Helios, the father of the god- 
dess Ariadne, as well as of Androgeos, who perishes and is wor- 
shipped at Athens, 3 and of the boy Glaukus, who is miraculously 
restored to life by a prophet, the person beloved by Scylla, and 
the amorous pursuer of the nymph or goddess Britomartis,'* 

1 This curious and very characteristic narrative is given by Hcrodot. vii 

2 Heredot. vii. 169. The answer ascribed to the Delphian oracle, on the 
question being put by the Kretan envoys whether it would be better for them 
to aid the Greeks against Xerxes or not, is highly emphatic and poetical : 
T iZ vr]T>ioi, i7rififi<j>(r&e baa vfuv kit ruv Mf vtkiu TifiupijfiuTuv Mfvuf ineppe 
UJji'iuv 6aK.pvfj.aTa, OTI oi fiev oil ^vve^enp^avro avru rbv tv Ka/u/c^) ftuvarov 
ygvo/ievov, vfj.ei 6e neivotffi TTJV /e STraprjyc aprra^-d elaav UTT' uvdpdf papfia- 
pov -yvvaiKa. 

If such an answer was ever returned at til, I cannot but think that it 
most have been from some oracle in Krete itself, not from Delphi. The 
Delphian oracle could never have so far forgotten its obligations to the 
general cause of Greece, at that critical moment, which involved moreovei 
the safety of all its own treasures, as to deter the Kretans from giving assist- 

* Hesiod, Theogon. 949; Pausan. i. 1, 4. 

4 Kallimach. Hvmn. ad Dian. 189. Strabo (x. p. 476) dwells also upon 


the proprietor of the Labyrinth and of the Minotaur, and the 
exacter of a periodical tribute of youths and maidens from Athens 
as food for this monster, lastly, the follower of the fugitive 
artist Daedalus to Kamikus, and the victim of the three ill-dis 
posed daughters of Kokalus in a bath. With this strongly- 
marked portrait, the Minos of Thucydides and Aristotle has 
scarcely anything in common except the name. He is the first 
to acquire Tfialassokraty, or command of the JEgaean sea : he ex- 
pels the Karian inhabitants from the Cyclades islands, and sends 
thither fresh colonists under his own sons ; he puts down piracy, 
in order that he may receive his tribute regularly ; lastly, he at- 
tempts to conquer Sicily, but fails in the enterprise and perishes. 1 
Here we have conjectures, derived from the analogy of the 
Athenian maritime empire in the historical times, substituted in 
place of the fabulous incidents, and attached to the name of 

In the fable, a tribute of seven youths and seven maidens is 
paid to him periodically by the Athenians ; in the historicized 
narrative this character of a tribute-collector is preserved, but 
the tribute is money collected from dependent islands ;2 and Aris- 

the strange contradiction of the legends concerning Minos : I agree with 
Hoeckh (Kreta, ii. p. 93) that <5a<r/z6Aoyof in this passage refers to the tribute 
exacted from Athens for the Minotaur. 

1 Thuycd. i. 4. M/VCJC yp, Tro/leurarof uv UKOT/ lafiev, vavrtKov eKTr/traro, 
Kal TJ]<; vvv ''E/JXrjvLKfi^ &a/Maarjf km K^EiaTov knpiiTijae, Kal ruv Kv/c/laduv 
vr/auv 7]p$e re Kal o'lKiarr/f avTof TUV nTiEtaruv eyevETO, Kupaf EJeTiaoae Kal 
TOVC eavrov traldag ijyffiovag eyKaraar^ffaf TO re hr/ariKdv, &e e'iKbf, Ka&y- 
psi iic TTJC $aAa<T<T)7C, i<jf daov rjdvvaro, TOV raj Trpoaodvf [tal^ov levai ai>r<f>. 
See also c. 8. 

Aristot. Polit. ii. 7, 2, Ao/ctt <5' rj vr/croc Kai npbf TTJV ap%r/v TJJV 'EWriviKjjv 

it(j>VKvai Kal Keicr&ai aAwf dib Kal Tqv TT/C -daAuaajjc upx^v Kare- 

ff%Ev 6 Mfvuf, Kal rae vfjaove raf fiev e^etpaiffaro, rac <5e $Kiae reAoc (}' ETCI 
i?e//cvoc ry IiiKsXia rdv fi'iov eTefaiiTriGev iKei trepl KU/MKOV. 

Ephorns (ap. Skymn. Chi. 542) repeated the same statement: he men 
tioned also the autochthonous king Kres. 

2 It is curious that Herodotus expressly denies this, and in language which 
shows that he had made special inquiries about it : he says that the Karians 
or Leleges in the islands (who were, according to Thucydides, expelled by 
Minos) paid no tribute to Minos, but manned his navy, i. e. they stood to 
Minos much in the same relation as Chios and Lesbos stood to Athena 
(Herodot. i. 171). One may trace here the influence of those discussions 


totle points out to us how conveniently Krete is situated to ex- 
ercise empire over t!ie .ZEgaean. The expedition against Kami 
kus, instead of being directed to the recovery of the fugitive 
Daedalus, is an attempt on the part of the great thalassokrat to 
conquer Sicily. Herodotus gives us generally the same view of 
the character of Minos as a great maritime king, but his notice 
of the expedition against Kamicus includes the mention of Dae- 
dalus as the intended object of it. 1 Ephorus, while he described 
Minos as a commanding and comprehensive lawgiver imposing 
his commands under the sanction of Zeus, represented him as 
the imitator of an earlier lawgiver named Rhadamanthus, and 
also as an immigrant into Krete from the JEolic Mount Ida, along 
with the priests or sacred companions of Zeus called the Idaei 
Dactyli. Aristotle too points him out as the author of the Sys- 
sitia, or public meals common in Krete as well as at Sparta, 
other divergences in a new direction from the spirit of the old 

The contradictory attributes ascribed to Minos, together with 
the perplexities experienced by those who wished to introduce a 
regular chronological arrangement into these legendary events, 
has led both in ancient and in modern times to the supposition of 
two kings named Minos, one the grandson of the other, Minos 
I., the son of Zeus, lawgiver and judge, Minos II., the thalas- 
sokrat, a gratuitous conjecture, which, without solving the prob- 
lem required, only adds one to the numerous artifices employed 
for imparting the semblance of history to the disparate matter of 
legend. The Kretans were at all times, from Homer downward, 
expert and practised seamen. But that they were ever united 

which must have been prevalent at that time respecting the maritime empire 
of Athens. 

1 Herodot. vii. 170. AeyeTai yap Mivu Kara ^rtjffiv Aaidu'hov airiicofiEVOv 
if SiKaviriv, TTJV vvv ZinaXirjv Ka^ovfievj/v, aTrodavelv J3tai<f) davdru. 'AvU 
de xpovov Kp^raf , dsov <T02 errorp vvovrof, etc. 

* Aristot. Polit. ii. 7, 1 ; vii. 9, 2. Ephorus, Fragm. 63, 64, 65. He set 
aside altogether the Homeric genealogy of Minos, which makes him brother 
of Rhadamanthus and born in Krete. 

Strabo, in pointing out the many contradictions respecting Minos, re- 
marks, "Ecm de KOI a/lAof Aoyof ov% fyohoyoiifievof, TUV pev gevov TTJ<; vi/aov 
rbv Mivu fayovruv, ruv tit iTri^upnv. By the former he doubtless mean* 
Ephorus. though he has not here specified him (x. p. 477). 


under one government, or ever exercised maritime dominion in 
the JEgsean is a fact which we are neither able to affirm nor to 
deny. The Odyssey, in so far as it justifies any inference at all, 
points against such a supposition, since it recognizes a great di- 
versity both of inhabitants and of languages in the island, and 
designates Minos as king specially of Knossus : it refutes still 
more positively the idea that Minos put down piracy, which the 
Homeric Kretans as well as others continue to practise without 

Herodotus, though he in some places speaks of Minos as a per- 
son historically cognizable, yet in one passage severs him point- 
edly from the generation of man. The Samian despot " Poly- 
krates (he tells us) was the first person who aspired to nautical 
dominion, excepting Minos of Knossus, and others before him 
(if any such there ever were) who may have ruled the sea ; but 
Polykrates is the first of that which is called the generation of 
man who aspired with much chance of success to govern Ionia 
and the islands of the ^Egtean." 1 Here we find it manifestly in- 
timated that Minos did not belong to the generation of man, and 
the tale given by the historian respecting the tremendous calam- 
ities which the wrath of the departed Minos inflicted on Krete 
confirms the impression. The king of Knossus is a god or a 
hero, but not a man ; he belongs to legend, not to history. He 
is the son as well as the familiar companion of Zeus ; he mar- 
ries the daughter of Helios, and Ariadne is numbered among his 
offspring. To this superhuman person are ascribed the oldest 
and most revered institutions of the island, religious and politi- 
cal, together with a period of supposed ante-historical dominion. 
That there is much of Kretan religious ideas and practice em- 
bodied in the fables concerning Minos can hardly be doubted : 
nor is it improbable that the tale of the youths and maidens sent 

1 Herodot. iii. 122. Tlo^vKpuTrie -yap earl irpuroc TUV qfiEic Idpev ' 
vuv, of da^aaooKpa-eeiv tTrtvorjdT), 7rape TAivuof re TOV Kvuoaiov, nai el St) 
Tic aP-/*,Of Tporepof TOVTOV fyp^e r?;f i?a2,arrj?f T?jf de uv& p UTTTJI q( 
Xey o ftiv rj f y ev erj f Ho7MKpur^g tori Trpurof i faidaf 7ro^,/luf i%uv 'Iwvi//j 
re nal VTJGUV up^eiv. 

The expression exactly corresponds to that of Pausan'as, ix. 5, 1, im TUV 
Ka7iovfj.svuv 'Hpuuv, for the age preceding the avtipu'irqir yEVEtj ; also viii. 2 
I, if rcl u-jurepu TOV uir&puirav jevovc. 


from Athens may be based in some expiatory offerings ren- 
dered to a Kretan divinity. The orgiastic worship of Zeus, sol 
emnized by the armed priests with impassioned motions and vio- 
lent excitement, was of ancient date in that island, as well as the 
connection with the worship of Apollo both at Delphi and at 
Delos. To analyze the fables and to elicit from them any trust- 
worthy particular facts, appears to me a fruitless attempt. The 
religious recollections, the romantic invention, and the items of 
matter of fact, if any such there be, must forever remain indis- 
solubly amalgamated as the poet originally blended them, for the 
amusement or edification of his auditors. Hoeckh, in his in- 
structive and learned collection of facts respecting ancient Krete, 
construes the mythical genealogy of Minos to denote a combina- 
tion of the orgiastic worship of Zeus, indigenous among the 
Eteokretes, with the worship of the moon imported from Phre- 
nicia, and signified by the names Europe, Pasiphae, and Ariad- 
ne. 1 This is specious as a conjecture, but I do not venture to 
speak of it in terms of greater confidence. 

From the connection of religious worship and legendary tales 
between Krete and various parts of Asia Minor, the Troad, 
the coast of Miletus and Lykia, especially between Mount Ida 
in Krete and Mount Ida in .ZEolis, it seems reasonable to infer 
an ethnographical kindred or relationship bet ween the inhabitants 
anterior to the period of Hellenic occupation. The tales of Kre- 
tan settlement at Minoa and Engyion on the south-western coast 
of Sicily, and in lapygia on the Gulf of Tarentum, conduct us 
to a similar presumption, though the want of evidence forbids our 
tracing it farther. In the time of Herodotus, the Eteokretes, or 
aboriginal inhabitants of the island, were confined to Polichna 
and Prsesus ; but in earlier times, prior to the encroachments of 
the Hellenes, they had occupied the larger portion, if not the 
whole of the island. MinGs was originally their hero, subse- 
quently adopted by the immigrant Hellenes, at least Herodotus 
considers him as barbarian, not Hellenic. 2 

1 Hoeckh, Kreta, vol. ii. pp. 56-67. K. O. Miiller also (Dorier. ii. 2, 14) 
?uts a religious interpretation upon these Kreto-Attic legends, br t he ex- 
plains them in a manner totally different from Hoeckh. 

* Herodc*. i. 1 73 




THE ship Argo was the theme of many songs during the old- 
est periods of the Grecian epic, even earlier than the Odyssey. 
The king jiEetes, from whom she is departing, the hero Jason, 
who commands her, and the goddess Here, who watches over 
him, enabling the Argo to traverse distances and to escape dan- 
gers which no ship had ever before encountered, are all circum- 
stances briefly glanced at by Odysseus in his narrative to Alki- 
nous. Moreover, Euneus, the son of Jasdn and Hypsipyle", 
governs Lemnos during the siege of Troy by Agamemnon, and 
carries on a friendly traffic with the Grecian camp, purchasing 
from them their Trojan prisoners. 1 

The legend of Halus in Achaia Phthiotis, respecting the re- 
ligious solemnities connected with the family of Athamas and 
Phryxus (related in a previous chapter), is also interwoven with 
the voyage of the Argonauts ; and both the legend and the solemni- 
ties seem evidently of great antiquity. We know further, that the 
adventures of the Arg6 were narrated not only by Hesiod and in 
the Hesiodic poems, but also by Eumelus and the author of the 
Naupactian verses by the latter seemingly at considerable 
length. 2 But these poems are unfortunately lost, nor have we 

1 Odyss. xii. 69. 

Oti] 6% KEtvT) ye irapewfet irovTOKopof vqvf, 
'Apyw -Kaai[ikovaa, Trap' A/jjrao irXeovaa 
Ka vi> Ke TTJV lv$' una {Jahev [ irorl Trerpaf, 
'AM,' "Hptj TrapsTTefiiptv, eirei 

See also Iliad, vii. 470. 

2 See Hesiod, Fragm. Catalog/. Fr. 6. p. 33, Diintz. ; Eoiai, Frag. 36. p 
39; Frag. 72. p. 47. Compare Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 45; ii. 178-297, 
1125; iv. 254-284. Other poetical sources 

The old epic poem JEgimius, Frag. 5. p. 57, Duntz. 


any means of determining what the original story was ; for the 
narrative, as we have it, borrowed from later sources, is enlarged 
by local tales from the subsequent Greek colonies Ky zikus, 
Herakleia, Sinope, and others. 

Jason, commanded by Pelias to depart in quest of the golden 
fleece belonging to the speaking ram which had carried away 
Phryxus and Helle, was encouraged by the oracle to invite the 
noblest youth of Greece to his aid, and fifty of the most distin 
guished amongst them obeyed the call. Herakles, Theseus, 
Telamon and Peleus, Kastor and Pollux, Idas and Lynkeus 
Zetes and Kalais, the winged sons of Boreas Meleager, Am- 
phiaraus, Kepheus, Laertes, Autolykus, Menoatius, Aktor, Ergi- 
nus, Euphemus, Ankoeus, Poeas, Periklymenus, Augeas, Eurytus, 
Admetus, Akastus, Kseneus, Euryalus, Peneleos and Leitus, 
Askalaphus and lalmenus, were among them. Argus the son 
of Phryxus, directed by the promptings of Athene, built the ship, 
inserting in the prow a piece of timber from the celebrated oak 
of Dodona, which was endued with the faculty of speech :* Ti- 
phys was the steersman, Idmon the son of Apollo and Mopsus 

Kincethdn in tho Herakleia touched upon the death of Hylas near Kius in 
Mysia (Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 1357). 

The epic poem Naupactia, Frag. 1 to 6, Diintz. p. 61. 

Eumtlus, Frag. 2, 3, 5, p. 65, Diintz. 

Epimenides, the Kretan prophet and poet, composed a poem in 6500 lines, 
'ApyoCf vavirjjyiav re, nal 'laaovof elf KoA^ovf inron^ovv (Diogen. Lae'r. i. 
10, 5), which is noticed more than once in the Scholia on Apollonius, on 
subjects connected with the poem (ii. 1125 ; iii. 42). See Mimnerm. Frag. 

10, Schneidewin, p. 15. 

Antimachus, in his poem Lyd, touched upon the Argonautic expedition, 
and has been partially copied by Apollonius Rhod. (Schol. Ap. Rh. i. 1290; 

11. 296: iii. 410; iv. 1153). 

The logographers Pherekydes and Ilekataeus seem to have related the ex- 
pedition at considerable length. 

The Bibliothek der alten Literatur und Knnst (Gottingen, 1786, 2Us 
Stuck, p. 61) contains an instructive Dissertation by Groddeck, Ueber die 
Argonautika, a summary of the various authorities respecting this expedi- 

1 Apollon. Rhod. i. 525 ; iv. 580. Apollodor. i. 9, 16. Valerius Flaccus 
(i. 300) softens down the speech of the ship Argo into a dream of Jason. 
Alexander Polyhistor explained what wood was used (Plin. II. N. xiii 


accompanied them as prophets, while Orpheus came to amuse 
their weariness and reconcile tl.eir quarrels with his harp. 1 

First they touched at the island of Lemnos, in which at that 
time there were no men ; for the women, infuriated by jealousy 
and ill-treatment, had put to death their fathers, husbands and 
brothers. The Argonauts, after some difficulty, were received with 
friendship, and even admitted into the greatest intimacy. They 
?iaid some months, and the subsequent population of the island was 

1 Apollonius Rhodius, Apollodorus, Valerius Flaccus, the Orphic Argonau- 
tica, and Hyginus, have all given Catalogues of the Argonautic heroes (there 
was one also in the lost tragedy called A.JJ/J.VKU of Sophokles, see Welcker 
Gr. Trag. i. 327) : the discrepancies among them are numerous and irreconcil 
able. Burmann, in the Catalogus Argonautarum, prefixed to his edition of 
Valerius Flaccus, has discussed them copiously. I transcribe one or two of 
the remarks of this conscientious and laborious critic, out of many of a simi- 
lar tenor, on the impracticability of a fabulous chronology. Immediately 
before the first article, Acastus " Neque enim in aetatibus Argonautarum 
ullam rationem temporum constare, neque in stirpe et stemmate deducendA 
ordinem ipsum naturae congruere videbam. Nam et huic militise adscribi 
videbam Heroas, qui per nature leges et ordinem fati eo usque vitam ex- 
trahcre non potuere, ut aliis ab hac expeditione remotis Heroum militiis no- 
mina dedisse narrari deberent a Poetis et Mythologis. In idem etiam tempus 
avos et Nepotes conjici, consanguineos setate longe inferiores prioribus nt 
sequales adjungi, concoquere vix posse videtur." Art. Ancceus : " Scio objici 
posse, si seriem illam majorem respiciamus, hunc Ancseum simul cum proa 
vo suo Talao in eandem profectum fuisse expeditionem. Sed similia exem- 
pla in aliis occurrent, et in fabulis rationem temporum non semper accura- 
tam licet deducere." Art. Jas6n: "Herculi enim jam provecta aetate ad 
haesit Theseus juvenis, et in Amazonia expeditione socius fuit, interfuit huic 
expeditioni, venatui apri Calydonii, et rapuit Helenam, quae circa Trojanum 
helium maxime floruit : quae omnia si Theseus tot temporum intervallis 
distincta egit, secula duo vel tria vixisse debuit. Certe Jason Hypsipylem 
neptem Ariadnes, nee videre, nee Lemni cognoscere potuit." Art. Melea- 
ger : " Unum est quod alicui longum ordinem majorum recensenti scrupu- 
lum movere possit : nimis longum intervallum inter ./Eolum et Meleagmm 
intercedere, ut potuerit interfuisse huic expeditioni : cum nonus fere numer- 
etur ab JEolo, et plurimi ut Jason, Argus, et alii tertia tantum ab JEolo 
g^neratione distent. Sed saspe jam notavimus, frustra temporum concor- 
iLam in fabulis quaeri." 

Read also the articles Castdr and Pollux, Nest6r Peleus, Staphylus, etc. 

We may stand excused for keeping clear of a clironology which is fertile 
only in difficulties, and ends in nothing but ill :sions. 


the fruit of their visit. Hypsipyle, the queen of the island, bore 
to Jason two sons. 1 

They then proceeded onward along the coast of Thrace, up the 
Hellespont, to the southern coast of the Propontis, inhabited by 
the Doliones and their king Kyzikus. Here they were kindly 
entertained, but after their departure were driven back to the 
same spot by a storm ; and as they landed in the dark, the inhabi- 
tants did not know them. A battle took place, in which the 
chief, Kyzikus, was killed by Jason ; whereby much grief was 
occasioned as soon as the real facts became known. After Kyzi- 
kus had been interred with every demonstration of mourning and 
solemnity, the Argonauts proceeded along the coast of Mysia. 2 
In this part of the voyage they left Herakles behind. For Hylas, 
his favorite youthful companion, had been stolen away by the 
nymphs of a fountain, and Herakles, wandering about in search 
of him, neglected to return. At last he sorrowfully retired, ex- 
acting hostages from the inhabitants of the neighboring town of 
Kius that they would persist in the search. 3 

1 Apollodor. i. 9, 17 ; Apollon. Rhod. i. 609-915 ; Herodot. iv. 145. Theocri- 
tus (Idyll, xiii. 29) omits all mention of Lemnos, and represents the Argu 
as arriving on the third day from lolkos at the Hellespont. Diodorus (iv 
41 ) also leaves out Lemnos. 

2 Apollon. Rhod. 940-1020 ; Apollodor. i. 9, 18 

3 Apollodor. i. 9, 19. This was the religious legend, explanatory of a cere 
mony performed for many centuries by the people of Prusa: they ran round 
.he lake Askanias shouting and clamoring for Hylas " ut littus Hyla, Hyla 

cmne sonaret." (Virgil, Eclog.) "in cujus memoriam adhuc 

solemni cursatione lacum populus circuit et Hylam voce clamat." Solinus, 
C. 42. 

There is endless discrepancy as to the concern of Herakles with the 
Argonautic expedition. A story is alluded to in Aristotle (Politic, iii. 9) 
that the ship Argo herself refused to take him on board, because he was BO 
much superiot in stature and power to all the other heroes ol yap bd&eiv 
avrbv uyeiv TJJV 'Apyc) U.CTU TUV uKKuv, d>f {i7rep/3u/lAorra nohi> TUIV nZuTqpuv. 
This was the story of Pherekydes (Fr. 67, Didot) as well as cf Antimachns 
(Schol. Apoll. Rhod. i. 1290) : it is probably a very ancient portion of the 
legend, inasmuch as it ascribes to the ship sentient powers, in consonance 
with her other miraculous properties. The etymology of Aphetae in Thcs 
aly was connected with the tale of Herakles having there been put on shore 
from the Argo (Herodot. vii. 193): Ephorus said that he staid away volun- 
tarily from fondness for Omphale (Frag. 9, Didot). The old epic poet 


They next stopped in the country of the Bebrykians, where 
the boxing contest took place between the king Amykus and the 
Argonaut Pollux: 1 they then proceeded onward to Bithynia, 
the residence of the blind prophet Phineus. His blindness had 
been inflicted by Poseidon as a punishment for having communi- 
cated to Phryxus the way to Kolchis. The choice had been al- 
lowed to him between death and blindness, and he had preferred 
the latter. 2 He was also tormented by the harpies, winged mon- 
sters who came down from the clouds whenever his table was 
set, snatched the food from his lips and imparted to it a foul 
and unapproachable odor. In the midst of this misery, he hail- 
ed the Argonauts as his deliverers his prophetic powers having 
enabled him to foresee their coming. The meal being prepared 
for him, the harpies approached as usual, but Zetes and Kalais, 
the winged sons of Boreas, drove them away and pursued them. 
They put forth all their speed, and prayed to Zeus to be enabled 
to overtake the monsters ; when Hermes appeared and directed 
them to desist, the harpies being forbidden further to molest 
Phineus, 3 and retiring again to their native cavern in Krete. 4 

Phineus, grateful for the relief afforded to him by the Argo- 
nauts, forewarned them of the dangers of their voyage and of the 
precautions necessary for their safety; and through his suggestions 
they were enabled to pass through the terrific rocks called Sym- 
plegades. These were two rocks which alternately opened and 

Kinsethon said that Ilerakles had placed the Kian hostages at Trachin, and 
that the Kians ever afterwards maintained a respectful correspondence with 
that place (Schol. Ap. Eh. i. 1357). This is the explanatory legend con- 
nected with some existing custom, which we are unable further to unravel 

1 See above, chap. viii. p, 1 69. 

2 Such was the old narrative of the Hesiodic Catalogue and Eoiai. See 
Schol. Apollon. Rhod. ii. 181-296. 

3 This again was the old Hesiodic story (Schol. Apoll. Rhod. ii. 296), 

Apollodorus (i. 9, 21), Apollonius (178-300), and Valerius Flacc. v iv. 428- 
530) agree in most of the circumstances. 

4 Such was the fate of the harpies as given in the old Naupaktian Verses 
(See Fragm. Ep. Grace. Duntzer, Naupakt. Fr. 2. p. 61). 

The adventure of the Argonauts with Phineus is given by Diodorus in a 
manner totally different (Diodor. iv. 44) : he seems to follow Dionysius of 
Mitylene (see Schol. Apolion. Rhod. ii. 207). 


ehut, with a swift and violent collision, so that it was difficult even 
for a bird to fly through during the short interval. When the 
Argo arrived at the dangerous spot, Euphemus let loose a dove, 
which flew through and just escaped with the loss of a few feath. 
ers of her tail. This was a signal to the Argonauts, according 
to the prediction of Phineus, that they might attempt the pas- 
sage with confidence. Accordingly they rowed with all theii 
might, and passed safely through: the closing rocks, held for 
a moment asunder by the powerful arms of Athene, just crushed 
the ornaments at the stern of their vessel. It had been decreed 
by the gods, that so soon as any ship once got through, the pas- 
sage should forever afterwards be safe and easy to all. The rocks 
became fixed in their separate places, and never again closed. 1 
After again halting on the coast of the Maryandinians, where 
their steersman Tiphys died, as well as in the country of the 
Amazons, and after picking up the sons of Phryxus, who had 
been cast away by Poseidon in their attempt to return from Kol- 
chis to Greece, they arrived in safety at the river Phasis and the 
residence of JEetes. In passing by Mount Caucasus, they saw 
the eagle which gnawed the liver of Prometheus nailed to the 
rock, and heard the groans of the sufferer himself. The sons of 
Phryxus were cordially welcomed by their mother Chalciope. 5 
Application was made to .ZEetes, that he would grant to the Ar- 
gonauts, heroes of divine parentage and sent forth by the man- 
date of the gods, possession of the golden fleece : their aid in 
return was proffered to him against any or all of his enemies. 
But the king was wroth, and peremptorily refused, except upon 
conditions which seemed impracticable. 3 Hephaestos had given 
him two ferocious and untamable bulls, with brazen feet, which 
breathed fire from their nostrils : Jason was invited, as a proof 
both of his illustrious descent and of the sanction of the gods to 
his voyage, to harness these animals to the yoke, so as to plough 
a large field and sow it with dragon's teeth. 4 Perilous as the 
condition was, each one of the heroes volunteered to make the 

1 Apollodor. i. 9, 22. Apollon. Rhod. ii. 310-615. 

* Apollodor. i. 9, 23. Apollon. Rhod. ii. 850-1257. 

* Apollon. Rhod. iii. 320-385. 

4 Apollon. Rhod. iii. 410 Apollodor. i. 9, 11 


attempt. Idmon especially encouraged Jason to undertake it. 1 
and the goddesses Here and Aphrodite made straight the way 
for him. 2 Medea, the daughter of JEetes and Eidvia, having 
seen the youthful hero in his interview with her father, had con- 
ceived towards him a passion which disposed her to employ every 
means for his salvation and success. She had received from 
Hekate preeminent magical powers, and she prepared for Jason 
the powerful Prometheian unguent, extracted froman herb which 
had grown where the blood of Prometheus dropped. The body 
of Jason having been thus pre-medicated, became invulnerable 3 
either by fire or by warlike weapons. He undertook the enter- 
prise, yoked the bulls without suffering injury, and ploughed the 
field : when he had sown the dragon's teeth, armed men sprung 
out of the furrows. But he had been forewarned by Medea to 
cast a vast rock into the midst of them, upon which they began 
to fight with each other, so that he was easily enabled to subdue 
them all. 4 

The task prescribed had thus been triumphantly performed. 
Yet JEetes not only refused to hand over the golden fleece, but 
even took measures for secretly destroying the Argonauts and 
burning their vessel. He designed to murder them during the 
night after a festal banquet; but Aphrodite, watchful for the 
safety of Jason, 5 inspired the Kolchian king at the critical mo- 
ment with an irresistible inclination for his nuptial bed. While 
he slept, the wise Idmon counselled the Argonauts to make their 
escape, and Medea agreed to accompany them. 5 She lulled to 
Bleep by a magic potion the dragon who guarded the golden fleece, 

1 This was the story of the Naupaktian Verses (Schol. Apollon. Rhod. 
iii. 515-525) : Apollonius and others altered it. Idmon, according to them, 
died in the voyage before the arrival at Kolchis. 

2 Apollon. Rhod. iii. 50-200. Valer. Flacc. vi. 440-480. Hygin. fab. 22. 

3 Apollon. Rhod. iii. 835. Apollodor. i. 9, 23. Valer. Flacc. vii. 356 
Ovid, Epist. xii. 15. 

' ; Isset anhelatos non praemedicatus in ignes 
Immemor JEsonides, oraque adunca bourn." 

4 Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1230-1400. 

5 The Naupaktian Verses stated this (see the Fragm. 6, ed. Ddntzer, p. 
61), ap. Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iv. 59-86). 

8 Such was the story of the Naupaktian Verses (See Fragm. 6. p 61 
Daniser ap. Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iv. 59, 86, 87). 


placed that much-desired prize on board the vessel, accora 
panied Jason with his companions in their flight, carrying along 
with her the young Apsyrtus, her brother. 1 

.2Eetes, profoundly exasperated at the flight of the Argonauts 
with his daughter, assembled his forces forthwith, and put to sea 
in pursuit of them. So energetic were his efforts that he shortly 
overtook the retreating vessel, when the Argonauts again owed 
their safety to the stratagem of Medea. She killed her brother 
Apsyrtus, cut his body in pieces and strewed the limbs round 
about in the sea. JEetes on reaching the spot found these sorrow- 
ful traces of his murdered son ; but while he tarried to collect the 
scattered fragments, and bestow upon the body an honorable in- 
terment, the Argonauts escaped. 2 The spot on which the unfor- 
tunate Apsyrtus was cut up received the name of Tomi. 3 This 
fratricide of Medea, however, so deeply provoked the indignation 
of Zeus, that he condemned the Argo and her crew to a trying 

1 Apollodor. i. 9, 23. Apoll&n. Rhod. iv. 220. 
Pherekydes said that Jason killed the dragon (Fr. 74, Did.). 

2 This is the story of Apollodorus (i. 9, 24), who seems to follow Phere- 
kydes (Fr. 73, Didot). Apollonius (iv. 225-480) and Valerius Flaccus (viii. 
262 seq.) give totally different circumstances respecting the death of Apsyr- 
tus ; but the narrative of Pherekydes seems the oldest : so revolting a story 
as that of the cutting up of the little boy cannot have been imagined in later 

Sophokles composed two tragedies on the adventures of Jason and Medea, 
both lost the KoA^'dcf and the 2/citfcu. In the former he represented tho 
murder of the child Apsyrtus as having taken place in the house of JEetes : 
in the latter he introduced the mitigating circumstance, that Apsyrtus was 
the sonofyEetes by ft different mother from Medea ( Schol. Apollon Rhod. 
iv. 223). 

3 Apollodor. i. 9, 24, rbv TOTTOV irpoaqyopevas Tfyovf. Ovid. Trist. iii. 9. 
The story that Apsyrtus was cut in pieces, is the etymological legend expla- 
natory of the name Tomi. 

There was however a place called Apsarus, on the southern coast of the 
Eaxine, west of Trapezus, where the tomb of Apsyrtus was shown, and 
where it was affirmed that he had been put to death. He was the eponymas 
of the town, which was said to have been once called Apsyrtus, and only 
corrupted by a barbarian pronunciation ( Arrian. Periplns, Euxin. p. 6 ; 
Geogr. Min. v. 1 \. Compare Procop. Bell. Goth. iv. 2. 

Strabo connects the death of Apsyrtus with the Apsyrtides, islands off th 
coast of Ulyria, in the Adriatic (vii p. 315). 


voyage, full of hardship and privation, before she was permitted 
to reach home. The returning heroes traversed an immeasurable 
length both of sea and of river : first up the river Phasis into the 
ocean which flows round the earth then following the course of 
that circumfluous stream until its junction with the Nile, 1 they 
came down the Nile into Egypt, from whence they carried the 
Argo on their shoulders by a fatiguing land-journey to the lake 
Tritonis in Libya. Here they were rescued from the extremity 
of want and exhaustion by the kindness of the local god Triton, 
who treated them hospitably, and even presented to Euphemus a 
clod of earth, as a symbolical promise that his descendants should 
one day found a city on the Libyan shore. The promise was 
amply redeemed by the flourishing and powerful city of Kyrene, 2 
whose princes the Battiads boasted themselves as lineal descend- 
ants of Euphemus. 

Refreshed by the hospitality of Triton, the Argonauts found 
themselves again on the waters of the Mediterranean in their way 
homeward. But before they arrived at lolkos they visited Circe, 
at the island of -ZEaea, where Medea was purified for the murder 
of Apsyrtus : they also stopped at Korkyra, then called Drepan*, 
where Alkinous received and protected them. The cave in that 
island where the marriage of Medea with Jason was consum- 
mated, was still shown in the time of the historian Timaeus, as 
well as the altars to Apollo which she had erected, and the rites 

1 The original narrative was, that the Argo returned by navigating the 
circumfluous ocean. This would be almost certain, even without positive 
testimony, from the early ideas entertained by the Greeks respecting geog- 
raphy ; but we know further that it was the representation of the Hesiodic 
poems, as well as of Mimnermus, Hekatseas and Pindar, and even of Anti- 
machns. Schol. Parisina Ap. Khod. iv. 254. 'Eicaraiof 6e 6 'MiTi.^aicf 6i& 
TOV $aai6of avsh&elv tyrjalv avToiJf elf rbv 'i2/ceavov did. derov 'fiKcavoo 
elv elf rbv NeiTiov eK 6e TOV NetAov elf rrjv /cai?' rjfio.f tiu^aoacv. 
61 nal Ilivdapof iv Hvdioviicaif nal 'Avn'yUa^oc ev Attiy 6ia rot) 
'Qiteavov tyaalv eh-delv avToiJf elf TT/V AI^VTJV elra /Jaoracravraf TTJV 'Apyu 
elf rb f/fiETepov u<j>iK(r&ai TreAayof. Compare the Schol. Edit, ad iv. 259. 

* See the fourth Pythian Ode of Pindar, and Apollon. Ehod. iv. 1551-1756. 

The tripod of Jason was preserved by the Euesperitac in Libya, Diod. iv, 
56 : but the legend, connecting the Argonauts with the lake Tritonis in Libya; 
is given with some considerable differences in Herodotus, iv. 179. 


and sacrifices which she had first instituted. 1 After leaving 
Korkyra, the Argo was overtaken by a perilous storm near the 
island of Thera. The heroes were saved from imminent peril by 
the supernatural aid of Apollo, who, shooting from his golden bow 
an arrow which pierced the waves like a track of light, caused a 
new island suddenly to spring up in their track and present to 
them a port of refuge. The island was called Anaphe ; and the 
grateful Argonauts established upon it an altar and sacrifices in 
honor of Apollo JEgletes, which were ever afterwards continued, 
and traced back by the inhabitants to this originating adventure. 9 
On approaching the coast of Krete, the Argonauts were pre- 
vented from landing by Talos, a man of brass, fabricated by 
Hephaestos, and presented by him to Minos for the protection of 
the island. 3 This vigilant sentinel hurled against the approach- 
ing vessel fragments of rock, and menaced the heroes with de- 
struction. But Medea deceived him by a stratagem and killed 
him ; detecting and assailing the one vulnerable point in his body. 
The Argonauts were thus enabled to land and refresh themselves. 
They next proceeded onward to .ZEgina, where however they 
again experienced resistance before they could obtain water 
then along the coast of Euboea and Locris back to lolkos in *he 
gulf of Pagasae, the place from whence they had started. The 
proceedings of Pelias during their absence, and the signal revenge 
taken upon him by Medea after their return, have already been 
narrated in a preceding section. 4 The ship Argo herself, in 
which the chosen heroes of Greece had performed so long a 
voyage and braved so many dangers, was consecrated by Jason to 
Poseidon at the isthmus of Corinth. According to another 

1 Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1153-1217. Timaeus, Fr. 7-8, Didot. Tipaioc Iv 
Kepnvpa Xeyuv yeveo&ai roi)f yauovf, ical ntpl rf/f dvaiac laTopel, TI nal vvy 
liiyuv uyea&ai avrrjv /car' ivtavrbv, M^cte? irpCJTOv dvouarjf kv TCJ roti ATO^- 
Xwvof <ep<p. Ka2 fiuftovc 6e <f>i]Cfi fivjjfiela TUV yapuv ISpvoaa-Qat, avvryyi)r 
V.EV rij? daMiaaiif, ovpzupuv (5e :% froAewf. 'Ovo/zuCowrt 6& rbv per, Nvpptiv 
rdv de, Nj?pj?(5uv. 

1 Apollodor. i. 9, 25. Apollon. Hhod. iv. 1700-1725. 

* Some called Tales a remnant of the brazen race of men (Schol. Apo'l 
Rhod. iv. 1641 ). 

Apollodor. i. 9, 26. Apolloa Rhod. iv 1638. 


account, she was translated to the stars by Athene, and became a 
constellation. 1 

Traces of the presence of the Argonauts were found not only 
in the regions which lay between lolkos and Kolchis, but also in 
the western portion of the Grecian world distributed more or 
less over all the spots visited by Grecian mariners or settled by 
Grecian colonists, and scarcely less numerous than the wander- 
ings of the dispersed Greeks and Trojans after the capture of 
Troy. The number of Jasonia, or temples for the heroic worship 
of Jason, was very great, from Abdera in Thrace, 2 eastward along 
the coast of the Euxine, to Armenia and Medea. The Argonauts 
had left their anchoring-stone on the coast of Bebrykia, near 
Kyzikus, and there it was preserved during the historical ages in 
the temple of the Jasonian Athene. 3 They had founded the great 
temple of the Idasan mother on the mountain Dindymon, near 
Kyzikus, and the Hieron of Zeus Urios on the Asiatic point ai 
the mouth of the Euxine, near which was also the harbor of 
Phryxus. 4 Idmon, the prophet of the expedition, who was 
believed to have died of a wound by a wild boar on the Mary- 
andynian coast, was worshipped by the inhabitants of the Pontic 
Herakleia with great solemnity, as their Heros Poliuchus, and 
that too by the special direction of the Delphian god. Autolykus, 
another companion of Jason, was worshipped as CEkist by the 
inhabitants of Sinope. Moreover, the historians of Herakleia 
pointed out a temple of Hekate in the neighboring country of 

1 Diodor. iv. 53. Eratosth. Catasterism. c. 35. 

2 Strabo.xi. p. 526-531. 

3 Apollon. Rhod. i. 955-960, and the Scholia. 

There was in Kyzikus a temple of Apollo under different tTnuhrjaeis ; 
Borne called it the temple of the Jasonian Apollo. 

Another anchor however was preserved in the temple of Rhea on the banks 
of the Phasis, which was affirmed to he the anchor of the ship Argo. Arrian 
paw it there, hut seems to have doubted its authenticity CPeriplus, Euxin. 
Pont. p. 9. Geogr. Min. v. 1). 

4 Neanthes ap. strabo. i. p. 45. Apollon. Rhod. i. 1125, and Schol. Stcph. 
Bvz. v. 4>pffof. 

Apollonius mentions the fountain called Jasonerc, on the hill of Dindymon. 
Apollon. Rbod. ii. 532, and the citations from Timosthenes and Herodorus in 
die Scholia. See also Appian. Syriac. c. 63. 

TOL. I. 11 IGOC- 


Paphlagonia, first erected by Medea -, 1 and the important town tf 
Pantikapteon, on the European side of the Cimmerian Bosponi3, 
ascribed its first settlement to a son of JEetes. 2 When the return- 
ing ten thousand Greeks sailed along the coast, called the Jaso- 
nian shore, from Sinope to Herakleia, they were told that the 
grandson of uEetes was reigning king of the territory at the mouth 
of the Phasis, and the anchoring-places where the Argo had 
stopped were specially pointed out to them. 3 In the lofty re- 
gions of the Moschi, near Kolchis, stood the temple of Leukothea, 
founded by Phryxus, which remained both rich and respected 
down to the times of the kings of Pontus, and where it was an 
inviolable rule not to offer up a ram. 4 The town of Dioskurias, 
north of the river Phasis, was believed to have been hallowed by 
the presence of Kastor and Pollux in the Argo, and to have re- 
ceived from them its appellation. 5 Even the interior of Medea 
and Armenia was full of memorials of Jason and Medea and 
their son Medus, or of Armenus the son of Jason, from whom the 
Greeks deduced not only the name and foundation of the Medes 
and Armenians, but also the great operation of cutting a channel 
through the mountains for the efflux of the river Araxes, which 
they compared to that of the Peneius in Thessaly. 6 And the 

1 See the historians of Hurakleia, Nymphis and Promathidas, Fragm. Orelli, 
pp. 99, 100-104. Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iv. 247. Strabo, xii. p. 546. 
Autolykus, whom he calls companion of Jason, was, according to another 
legend, comrade of Herakles in his expedition against the Amazons. 

2 Stephan. Byz. v. TlavTiKairaiov, Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieget. 311. 

3 Xenophon, Anabas. vi. 2, 1 ; v. 7, 37. 4 Strabo, xi. p. 499. 
* Appian, Mithridatic. c. 101. 

8 Strabo, xi. p. 499, 503, 526, 531; i. p. 45-48. Justin, xlii. 3, whose 
statements illustrate the way in which men found a present home and appli- 
cation for the old fables, " Jason, primus humanorurn post Herculem et 
Liberum, qni reges Orientis fuisse tradnntur, cam cceli plagam domuisse 
dicitnr. Cum Albanis fbedus percussit, qui Herculem ex Italia ab Albano 
monte, cum, Geryone extincto, armenta ejus per Italiam duceret, secuti 
dicuntnr ; quique, memores Italioae originis, exercitum Cn. Pompeii hello 
Mithridatico fratres consalutavere. Itaque Jasoni totns fere Oriens, ut con- 
ditori, divinos honores templaqne constituit ; qnae Parmenico, dux Alexandra 
Magni, post multos annos dirui jussit, ne cujusquam nomen in Orientc VCHO 
rabilius quam Alexandri esset." 

The Thessalian companions of Alexander the Great, placed by his victors 
in possession of rich acquisitions in these regions, pleased themselves by 


Roman general Pompey, after having completed the conquest and 
expulsion of Mithridates, made long marches through Kolchis 
into the regions of Caucasus, for the express purpose of contem- 
plating the spots which had been ennobled by the exploits of the 
Argonauts, the Dioskuri and Herakles. 1 

In the west, memorials either of the Argonauts or of the pur 
suing Kolchians were pointed out in Korkyra, in Krete, in Epi- 
rus near the Akrokeraunian mountains, in the islands called Ap- 
syrtides near the Illyrian coast, at the bay of Caieta as well as at 
Poseidonia on the southern coast of Italy, in the island of ^Etha- 
lia or Elba, and in Libya. 2 

Such is a brief outline of the Argonautic expedition, one of 
the most celebrated and widely-diffused among the ancient tales 
of Greece. Since so many able men have treated it as an un- 
disputed reality, and even made it the pivot of systematic chro- 
nological calculations, I may here repeat the opinion long ago 
expressed by Heyne, and even indicated by Burmann, that the 
process of dissecting the story, in search of a basis of fact, is one 
altogether fruitless. 3 Not only are we unable to assign the date 

vivifying and multiplying all these old fables, proving an ancient kindred 
between the Modes and Thessalians. See Strabo, xi. p. 530. The temples 
of Jason were Ti/iupeva otj>6fipa into rdv /3apf3upuv (ib. p. 526J. 

The able and inquisitive geographer Eratosthenes was among those who 
fully belie red that Jason had left his ships in the Phasis, and had undertaken 
a land expedition into the interior country, in which he had conquered Media 
and Armenia (Strabo, i. p. 48). 

1 Appian, Mithridatic. 103 : roi)f KoA^ovc ETTJJEI, KOI?' laroplav T7/f 'Apyo 
i>avT(Jv Kal AioctKOvpuv Kal 'Hpa/c/leovf imdTjfiiai;, Kal fiuXiara TO 7rai9of Ideiv 
idehuv, o lipofiri-del <paal ycvea&ai trepl TO KavKaaov opoi;. The lofty crag 
of Caucasus called Strobilus, to which Prometheus had been attached, 
was pointed out to Arrian himself in his Periplns (p. 12. Geogr. Minor 
vol. i.). 

3 Strabo, i. pp. 21, 45,46; v. 224-252. Pompon. Mel. ii 3. Diodor. IT. 
56. Apollon. Ilhod. iv. 656. Lycophron, 1273. 

Tvpaiv fiaKeSvu.^ ufKpl Ktp/caiov vairaf 
'ApyoCf re ufaivdv oppov ^Irirrjv peyav. 

' Hevne, Observ. ad Apollodor. i. 9, 16. p. 72. " Mirum in modum fallitnrj 
qni in his commentis ccrtum fundum historicum vel geographicnm ant ex- 


or identify the crew, or decipher the log-book, of the Argo, hut 
we have no means of settling even the preliminary question, 
whether the voyage be matter of fact badly reported, or legend 
from the beginning. The widely-distant spots in which the mon- 
uments of the voyage were shown, no less than the incidents of 
the voyage itself, suggests no other parentage than epical fancy. 
The supernatural and the romantic not only constitute an insep- 
arable portion of the narrative, but even embrace all the promi- 
nent and characteristic features ; if they do not comprise the 
whole, and if there be intermingled along with them any sprink 
ling of historical or geographical fact, a question to us indeter- 
minable, there is at least no solvent by which it can be disen- 
gaged, and no test by which it can be recognized. Wherever 
the Grecian mariner sailed, he carried his religious and patriotic 
mythes along with him. His fancy and his faith were alike full 
of the long wanderings of Jason, Odysseus, Perseus, Herakles, 
Dionysus, Triptolemus or 16 ; it was pleasing to him in success, 
and consoling to him in difficulty, to believe that their journeys 
had brought them over the ground which he was himself travers- 
ing. There was no tale amidst the wide range of the Grecian 
epic more calculated to be popular with the seaman, than the 
history of , the primaeval ship Argo and her distinguished crew, 
comprising heroes from all parts of Greece, and especially the 

quirere studet, aut se reperisse, atquc historicam vel geographicam aliquam 
doctrinam, systema nos dicimus, inde procudi posse, putat," etc. 

See also the observations interspersed in Burmann's Catalogus Argonauta 
rum, prefixed to his edition of Valerius Flaccus. 

The Persian antiquarians whom Herodotus cites at the beginning of his 
history (i. 2-4 it is much to be regretted that Herodotus did not inform us 
who they were, and whether they were the same as those who said that Per- 
seus was an Assyrian by birth and had become a Greek, vi. 54), joined 
together the abductions of 16 and of Europe, of Medea and of Helen, as 
pairs of connected proceedings, the second injury being a retaliat : on for the 
first, they drew up a debtor and creditor account of abductions between 
Asia and Europe. The Kolchian king ("they said) had sent a herald to 
Greece to ask for his satisfaction for the wrong done to him by Jason and to 
re-demand his daughter Medea ; but he was told in reply that the Greeks had 
received no satisfaction for the previous rape of 16. 

There was some ingenuity in thus binding together the old fables, so as to 
represent the invasions of Greece by Darius and Xerxes as retaliations fol 
the unexpiated destruction wrought by Agamemnon. 


Tyndarids Kastor and Pollux, the heavenly pi elector*, .invoked 
dui'ing storm and peril. He localized the legend anew wherever 
he went, often with some fresh circumstances suggested either by 
his own adventures or by the scene before him. He took a sort 
of religious possession of the spot, connecting it by a bond of 
faith with his native land, and erecting in it a temple or an altar 
with appropriate commemorative solemnities. The Jasonium 
thus established, and indeed every visible object called after the 
name of the hero, not only served to keep alive the legend of 
the Argo in the minds of future comers or inhabitants, but was 
accepted as an obvious and satisfactory proof that this marvellous 
vessel had actually touched there in her voyage. 

The epic poets, building both on the general love of fabulous 
incident and on the easy faith of the people, dealt with distant 
and unknown space in the same manner as with past and unre- 
corded time. They created a mythical geography for the for- 
mer, and a mythical history for the latter. But there was this 
material difference between the two : that while the unrecorded 
time was beyond the reach of verification, the unknown space 
gradually became trodden and examined. In proportion as au- 
thentic local knowledge was enlarged, it became necessary to 
modify the geography, or shift the scene of action, of the old 
mythes ; and this perplexing problem was undertaken by some 
of the ablest historians and geographers of antiquity, for it was 
painful to them to abandon any portion of the old epic, as if it 
were destitute of an ascertainable basis of truth. 

Many of these fabulous localities are to be found in Homer 
and Hesiod, and the other Greek poets and logographers, Ery- 
theia, the garden of the Hesperides, the garden of Phoebus, 1 tc 
which Boreas transported the Attic maiden Orithyia, the deli- 
cious country of the Hyperboreans, the Elysian plain, 2 the fleet 
ing island of -ZEolus, Thrinakia, the country of the^ZEthiopians, the 

1 Sojihokl. ap. Strabo. vii. p. 295. 

TE T7WTOV 7TUV~' it' Iff^OTa OVOf, 

rof re m)yu<; ovpai'ov T' uva~rt>;fuf, 
QoijBov re jrahaiov KT/TTOV. 

1 Odyss. iv. 562. The Islands of the Blessed, in Hesiod, are near UM 
ocean (Opp. Di. 169). 


Laestrygones, the Kyklopes, the Lotophagi, the Sirens, the Cim 
merians and the Gorgons, 1 etc. These are places which (to us 
the expression of Pindar respecting the Hyperboreans) you can- 
not approach either by sea or by land : 9 the wings of the poet 
alone can carry you thither. They were not introduced into the 
Greek mind by incorrect geographical reports, but, on the con- 
trary, had their origin in the legend, and passed from thence into 
the realities of geography, 3 which they contributed much to per- 
vert and confuse. For the navigator or emigrant, starting with 
an unsuspicious faith in their real existence, looked out for them 
in his distant voyages, and constantly fancied that he had seen or 
heard of them, so as to be able to identify their exact situation. 
The most contradictory accounts indeed, as might be expected, 
were often given respecting the latitude and longitude of such 
fanciful spots, but this did not put an end to the general belief 
in their real existence. 

In the present advanced state of geographical knowledge, the 
story of that man who after reading Gulliver's Travels went to 

1 Hesiod, Thcogon. 275-290. Homer, Iliad, i. 423. Odyss. i. 23 ; ix 
BG-206 ; x 4-83 ; xii. 135. Mimncrm. Fragm. 13, Sclmcidcwin. 
' Pindar, Pyth. x. 29. 

Naval <5' ovrc irs^df luv uv evpoif 

'Ef "fTreppopeuv uyuva Qavfiarav tdov. 

Hap' olf -store Uepaevf idaiaaTO T^ajETuf, etc. 

Hesiod, and the old epic poem called the Epigoni, both mentioned the Hypei 
boreans (Herod, iv. 32-34). 

3 This idea is well stated and sustained by Volcker (Mythische Geographic 
der Griechen und Romer, cap. i. p. 11^, and by Nitzsch in his Comments on 
the Odyssey Introduct. Remarks to b. ix. p. xii.-xxxiii. The twelfth 
and thirteenth chapters of the History of Orchomenos, by 0. Miillcr, aro 
also full of good remarks on the geography of the Argonautic voyage (pp. 

The most striking evidence of this disposition of the Greeks is to be 
found in the legendary discoveries of Alexander and his companions, when 
they marched over the untrodden regions in the east of the Persian empire 
(see Arrian, Hist. Al. v. 3 : compare Lucian. Dialog. Mortuor. xiv. vol. i. p. 
212. Tauch;, because these ideas were first broached at a time when geo- 
graphical science was sufficiently advanced to canvass and criticize them. 
The early settlers in Italy, Sicily and the Euxine, indulged their fanciful 
vision without the fear of any such monitor: there was no surh thing as i 
map before the days of Anaximander, the disciple of Thales. 


look in his map for Lilliput, appears an absurdity. But those 
who fixed the exact locality of the floating island of uEolus or 
the rocks of the Sirens did much the same ;' and, with their ig- 
norance of geography and imperfect appreciation of historical 
evidence, the error was hardly to be avoided. The ancient be- 
lief which fixed the Sirens on the islands of Sirenusa? off the 
coast of Naples the Kyklopes, Erytheia, and the La^strygoues 
in Sicily the Lotophagi on the island of Meninx 2 near the 
Lesser Syrtis the Phasakians at Korkyra and the goddess 
Circe at the promontory of Circeium took its rise at a time 
when these regions were first Hellenized and comparatively little 
visited. Once embodied in the local legends, and attested by vis- 
ible monuments and ceremonies, it continued for a long time un- 
assailed ; and Thucydides seems to adopt it, in reference to Kor- 
kyra and Sicily before the Hellenic colonization, as matter of 
fact generally unquestionable, 3 though little avouched as to de- 
tails. But when geograpical knowledge became extended, and 
the criticism upon the ancient epic was more or less systematized 
by the literary men of Alexandria and Pergamus, it appeared to 
many of them impossible that Odysseus could have seen so 
many wonders, or undergone such monstrous dangers, within 
limits so narrow, and in the familiar track between the Nile and 
the Tiber. The scene of his weather-driven course was then 
shifted further westward. Many convincing evidences were dis- 
covered, especially by Asklepiades of Myrlea, of his having vis- 
ited various places in Iberia : 4 several critics imagined that he 

1 See Mr. Payne Knight, Prolegg. ad Homer, c. 49. Comparo Spohn 
i: de extrema Odysscae partc" p. 97. 

2 Strabo. xvii. p. 834. An altar of Odysseus was shown upon this island, 
as well as some other evidences (av/j./30/M.) of his visit to the place. 

Apollonius Rhodius copies the Odyssey in speaking of the island of Thri- 
nakia and the cattle of Helios ("iv. 965, with Schol.J. He conceives Sicily 
as Thrinakia, a name afterwards exchanged for Trinakria. The Scholiast 
ad Apoll. (1. c.) speaks of Trinax king of Sicily. Compare iv. 291 with the 

3 Thucyd. i. 25-vi. 2. These local legends appear in the eyes of Strabo 
convincing evidence (i. p. 23-26), the tomb of the siren Parthenope at 
Naples, the stories at Cumse and Dikacarchia about the veKvofiavrelov of 
Avernus, and the existence of places named after Bains and Misenus, the 
companions of Odysseus, etc. 

* Etrabo, iii. p. 150-157. Ov yap povov ol KOTU TTJV 'Ira/U'&v KOI 


had wandered about in the Atlantic Ocean outside of the Strait 
of Gibraltar, 1 and they recognized a section of Lotophagi on the 

TOTTOl KOi U/lAoi TlVEf TUV TOIOVTUV G71/J.ia i)irOJpU.^OV<JlV, U/Utt KOi v TT) 

'Ipqpia 'Odvaaeia TroAtf de'iKwrat, /cat 'A.$7]vu cepbv, Kai a/lAa //vpta IX. VT > 
r/'/f SKS'LVOV Tr^uvrjf., nal uTiXuv ruv in Tov TpuiKov iTohefiov xepi,yevo/j.eva>v 
(I adopt Grosskurd's correction of tlie text from yevofievuv to Trepi-yevo/tevuv, 
in the note to his German translation of Strabo). 

Asklepiades (of Myrlca in Bithynia, about 170 B. c.) resided some time 
in Turditania, the south-western region of Spain along the Guadalquivir, 
as a teacher of Greek literature (-^au^evaa^ T& jpafi[j.aTLK<j,), and com 
posed a periegesis of the Iberian tribes, which unfortunately has not been 
preserved. He made various discoveries in archaeology, and successfully 
connected his old legends with several portions of the territory before him. 
His discoveries were, 1. In the temple of Athene, at this Iberian town of 
Odysseia, there were shields and beaks of ships affixed to the walls, monii 
ments of the visit of Odysseus himself. 2. Among the Kallaeki, in the 
northern part of Portugal, several of the companions of Tetikros had set- 
tled and left descendants : there were in that region two Grecian cities, one 
called Hellenes, the other called Amphilochi ; for Amphilochus also, the son 
of Amphiaraus, had died in Iberia, and many of his soldiers had taken up 
their permanent residence in the interior. 3. Many new inhabitants had 
come into Iberia with the expedition of Herakles ; some also after the con- 
quest of Mesene by the Lacedaemonians. 4. In Cantabria, on the north, 
coast of Spain, there was a town and region of Lacedaemonian colonists. 
5. In the same portion of the country there was the town of Opsikella, 
founded by Opsikellas, one of the companions of Anterior in his emigration 
from Troy (Strabo, iii. p. 157). 

This is a specimen of the manner in which the seeds of Grecian mythus 
came to be distributed over so large a surface. To an ordinary Greek 
reader, these legendary discoveries of Asklepiades would probably be more 
interesting than the positive facts which he communicated respecting the 
Iberian tribes ; and his Turditanian auditors would be delighted to hear 
while he was reciting and explaining to them the animated passage of the 
Iliad, in which Agamemnon extols the inestimable value of the bow of 
Teukros (viii. 281 ) that the heroic archer and his companions had actually 
set foot in the Iberian peninsula. 

' This was the opinion of Krates of Mallus, one of the most distinguished 
of the critics on Homer : it was the subject of an animated controversy be- 
tween him and Aristarchus (Aulus Gellins, N. A. xiv. 6 ; Strabo, iii. p. 157). 
See the instructive treatise of Lehrs, De Aristarchi Studiis, c. v. 4. p. 251. 
Much controversy also took place among the critics respecting the ground 
which Menelaus went over in his wanderings (Odyss. iv.). Krates affiimed 
that he had circumnavigated the southern extremity of Africa and gone to 


coast of Mauritania, over and above those who dwelt on th< 
island of Meninx. 1 On the other hand, Eratosthenes and Apol 
lodorus treated the places visited by Odysseus as altogether un 
real, for which scepticism they incurred much reproach. 2 

The fabulous island of Erytheia, the residence of the three 
headed Geryon with his magnificent herd of oxen, under the 
custody of the two-headed dog Orthrus, and described by He- 
8iod, like the garden of the Hesperides, as extra-terrestrial, on the 
farther side of the circumfluous ocean ; this island was sup- 
posed by the interpreters of Stesichorus the poet to be named by 
him off the south-western region of Spain called Tartessus, and 
in the immediate vicinity of Gades. But the historian Heka- 
treus, in his anxiety to historicize the old fable, took upon him- 
self to remove Erytheia from Spain nearer home to Epirus. He 
thought it incredible that Herakles should have traversed Europe 
from east to west, for the purpose of bringing the cattle of Ger- 
yon to Eurystheus at Mykenae, and he pronounced Geryon to 
have been a king of Epirus, near the Gulf of Ambrakia. The 
oxen reared in that neighborhood were proverbially magnificent, 
and to get them even from thence and bring them to Mykena; 
(he contended) was no inconsiderable task. Arrian, who cites 
this passage from Hekatosus, concurs in the same view, an il- 
lustration of the license with which ancient authors fitted on 
their fabulous geographical names to the real earth, and brought 
down the ethereal matter of legend to the lower atmosphere of 
history. 3 

India: the critic Aristonikus, Strabo's contemporary, enumerated all the 
different opinions (Strabo, i. p. 38). 

1 Strabo, iii. p. 157. * Strabo, i. p. 22-44 ; vii. p. 299 

3 Stesichori Fragm. ed. Kleine ; Geryonis, Fr. 5. p. 60 ; ap. Strabo. iii. p. 
148 ; Herodot. iv. 8. It seems very doubtful whether Stesichorus meant to 
indicate any neighboring island as Erytheia, if we compare Fragm. 10. p. 
67 of the Geryonis, and the passages of Athenaeus and Eustathius there 
ctied. He seems to have adhered to the old fable, placing Erytheia on 
the opposite side of the ocean-stream, for Herakles crosses the ocean to get 
to it. 

Hekataius, ap. Arrian. Histor. Alex. ii. 16. Skylax places Erythcia, 
" whither Geryon is said to have come to feed his oxen," in the Kastid terri- 
tory near the Greek city of Apollonia on the Ionic Gulf, northward of the 
Keraunian mountains. There were splendid cattle consecrated to Helio* 



Both the. track and the terminus of the Argonautic voyage ap- 
pear in the most ancient epic as little within the conditions of real- 
ity, as the speaking timbers or the semi-divine crew of the vessel. 
In the Odyssey, JEetes and Circe (Hesiod names Medea also) are 
brother and sister, offspring of Helios. The-ZEoean island, adjoining 
the circumfluous ocean, " where the house and dancing-ground of 
Eos are situated, and where Helios rises," is both the residence of 
Circe and of JEetes, inasmuch as Odysseus, in returning from the 
former, follows the same course as the Argo had previously taken 
in returning from the latter. 1 Even in the conception of Mimner- 
mus, about 600 B. c., JEa still retained its fabulous attributes in 
conjunction with the ocean and Helios, without having been yet 
identified with any known portion of the solid earth ; 2 and it was 
justly remarked by Demetrius of Skepsis in antiquity 3 (though 

near Apollonia, watched by the citizens of the place with great care ( Hero- 
dot, ix. 93; Skylax, c. 26). 

About Erytheia, Cellerius observes (Gcogr. Ant. ii. 1, 227), "Insula Ery- 
theia, quam veteres adjungunt Gadibus, vel demersa est, vel in scopulis quae- 
renda, vel pars est ipsarum Gadium, neque hodie ejus formae aliqua, uti 
descripta est, fertur superesse." To make the disjunctive catalogue complete, 
he ought to have added, "or it never really existed," not the least proba- 
ble supposition of all. 

1 Hesiod, Theogon. 956-992; Homer, Odyss xii. 3-69. 
Nijoov if A.lairjv, 5$t T' 'Hot)f ripiyeveirjf 
OlKia not xP OL civ^i K( u uvTohai qefaoio. 

* Mimnerm. Fragm. 10-11, Schneidewin; Athenae. vii. p. 277. 
Qiiie /cor' uv /neya K<iaf uvfiyaysv avrbf 'Iqcruv 

'El Atjyf TeAecraf ukyivosaaav odbv, 
'Y/JpiOTT? TleTdy reTi-cuv ^aA,e7r^pf aedTiov, 
OvS 1 uv tir' 'Qiccavov /caAov IKOVTO >nov. 

* * * * * 

Aiqrao iroXiv, TO&I r' w/ 

'AKTivef xpvct-V KeiaraL tv 
'2/teavov napti. xsifaff', Iv' 1 

3 Strabo, i. p. 45-46. Ae^f/rpiof 6 2/c^tof Trpdf Neuv#? rdv 

Kijvdv ij>i XOTI/J.OT ep uf avriheyuv, eiirovra, on. ol ' ' Apyovavrai 

elf Quoiv rbv i<j>' 'Qfifjpov not TUV uTJiuv o/ioAoyov/zevov irtovv, idpvaavro 

ra TTJC 'Idataf [j.T}Tpbf Itpti ini KV&KOV op^jyv frjoi fitj S 1 el d tv a i 

ri)v elf Qua iv uir odr] fiiav rov 'luorovof "Ofirjpov. Again, p. 
46, napa^afluv fidprvpa Mifivepftov, of iv rij> 'Qiteavij) Trotrjaaf oltcrjcriv A<^TOV, 

The adverb QiXoTLfioTcpuf reveals to us the municipal rivalry and conten 

-EETES.-CIECE.-^A. 51 

Strubo vanity tries to refute him), that neither Homer nor Mim- 
nermus designates Kolchis either as the residence of JEetes, or 
as the terminus of the Argonautic voyage. Hesiod carried the 
returning Argonauts through the river Phasis into the ocean. 
But some of the poems ascribed to Eumelus were the first 
which mentioned JEetes and Kolchis, and interwove both of 
them into the Corinthian mythical genealogy. 1 These poems seem 
to have been composed subsequent to the foundation of Sinope, 
and to the commencement of Grecian settlement on the Borys- 
thenes, between the years 600 and 500 B. c. The Greek mari- 
ners who explored and colonized the southern coast of the Eux- 
ine, found at the extremity of their voyage the river Phasis 
and its barbarous inhabitants : it was the easternmost point 
which Grecian navigation (previous to the time of Alexander the 
Great) ever attained, and it was within sight of the impassable 
barrier of Caucasus. 2 They believed, not unnaturally, that they 
had here found " the house of Eos (the morning) and the rising 
place of the sun," and that the river Phasis, if they could follow 
it to its unknown beginning, would conduct them to the circum- 
fluous ocean. They gave to the spot the name of JEa, and the 
fabulous and real title gradually became associated together into 
one compound appellation, the Kolchian JEa, or JEa of Kol- 
chis. 3 "While Kolchis was thus entered on the map as a fit re- 
presentative for the Homeric " house of the morning," the nar- 
row strait of the Thracian Bosporus attracted to itself the 
poetical fancy of the Symplegades, or colliding rocks, through 
which the heaven-protected Argo had been the first to pass. 
The powerful Greek cities of Kyzikus, Herakleia and Sinope, 
each fertile in local legends, still farther contributed to give this 
direction to the voyage ; so that in the time of Hekataeus it had 
become the established belief that the Argo had started frorr 
lolkos and gone to Kolchis. 

JEetes thus received his home from the legendary faith and 

tion between the small town Skepsis and its powerful neighbor Kyzikus, 
respecting points of comparative archaeology. 

1 Eumelus, Fragm. Evpuma 7, Kopiv&iaKu 2-5. pp. 63-68, DQntzer. 

* Arrian, Periplus Pont. Euxin. p. 1 2 ; ap. Geogr. Minor, vol. i. He saw 
the Caucasus from Dioskurias. 

* Heroilot i. 2 ; vii. 193-197. Eurip. Med. 2. Valer. Flacc. v. 57 



fancy of the eastern Greek navigators : his sister Circe, origi- 
nally his fellow -resident, was localized by the western. The 
Hesiodic and other poems, giving expression to the imaginative 
impulses of the inhabitants of Cumse and other early Grecian 
settlers in Italy and Sicily, 1 had referred the wanderings of 
Odysseus to the western or Tyrrhenian sea, and had planted the 
Cyclopes, the Lsestrygones, the floating island of JEolus, the 
Lotophagi, the Phseacians, etc., about the coast of Sicily, Italy, 
Libya, and Korkyra. In this way the JEaean island, the resi 
dence of Circe, and the extreme point of the wanderings of 
Odysseus, from whence he passes only to the ocean and into 
Hades came to be placed in the far west, while the JEa, of 
-ZEetes was in the far east, not unlike our East and West In- 
dies. The Homeric brother and sister were separated and sent 
to opposite extremities of the Grecian terrestrial horizon. 2 

The track from lolkos to Kolchis, however, though plausible 
as far as it went, did not realize all the conditions of the genuine 
fabulous voyage : it did not explain the evidences of the visit of 
these maritime heroes which were to be found in Libya, in Krete 

1 Strabo, i. p. 23. Volcker (Ueber Homerische Geographic, v. 66) is in 
structive upon this point, as upon the geography of the Greek poets gene- 
rally. He recognizes the purely mythical character of -5a in Homer and 
Hesiod, but he tries to prove unsuccessfully, in my judgment that 
Homer places jEetes in the east, while Circe is in the west, and that Homer 
refers the Argonautic voyage to the Euxine Sea. 

2 Strabo (or Polybius, whom he has just been citing) contends that Homer 
knew the existence of -<Eetes in Kolchis, and of Circe at Circeium, as histor- 
ical persons, as well as the voyage of Jason to JEa as an historical fact. 
Upon this he (Homer) built a superstructure of fiction (irpoafjLv-&EVpM) : ho 
invented the brotherhood between them, and he placed both the one and the 
other in the exterior ocean (avyyeveiaf re etr'kaae TUV OVTU diuKicrfievuv, a? 
c^ u/j.<j>oiv, i. p. 20) ; perhaps also Jason might have wandered as 
far as Italy, as evidences (ffTjjuelu Tiva) are shown that he did (ib.). 

But the idea that Homer conceived JEetes in the extreme east and Circe 
in the extreme west, is not reconcilable with the Odyssey. The supposition 
of Strabo is alike violent and unsatisfactory. 

Circe was worshipped as a goddess at Circeii (Cicero, Nat. Deor. iii. 19). 
Hesiod, in the Theogony, represents the two sons of Circe by Odysseus as 
reigning over all the warlike Tyrrhenians (Theog. 1012), an undefined 
western sovereignty. The great Mamilian gens at Tusculum traced thkii 
descent to Odysseus and Circe (Dionys. Hal. iv. 45). 


m Anaphe, in Korkyra, in the Adriati; Gulf, in Italy and ic 
JEthalia. It became necessary to devise another route for them 
in their return, and the Hesiodic narrative was (as I have before 
observed), that they came back by the circumfluous ocean ; first 
going up the river Phasis into the circumfluous ocean; follow- 
ing that deep and gentle stream until they entered the Nile, 
and came down its course to the coast of Libya. This seem? 
also to have been the belief of Hekatseus. 1 But presently sev- 
eral Greeks (and Herodotus among them) began to discard the 
idea of a circumfluous ocean-stream, which had pervaded their 
old geographical and astronomical fables, and which explained 
the supposed easy communication between one extremity of the 
earth and another. Another idea was then started for the return- 
ing voyage of the Argonauts. It was supposed that the river 
Ister, or Danube, flowing from the Hhipaean mountains in tbj 
north-west of Europe, divided itself into two branches, one of 
which fell into the Euxine Sea, and the other into the Adriatic. 

The Argonauts, fleeing from the pursuit of JEetes, had been 
obliged to abandon their regular course homeward, and had gone 
from the Euxine Sea up the Ister ; then passing down the othei 
branch of that river, they had entered into the Adriatic, the 
Kolchian pursuers following them. Such is the story given by 
Apollonius Rhodius from Timagetus, and accepted even by so 
able a geographer as Eratosthenes who preceded him by one 
generation, and who, though sceptical in regard to the localities 
visited by Odysseus, seems to have been a firm believer in the 
reality of the Argonautic voyage. 2 Other historians again, among 

1 See above, p. 239. There is an opinion cited from Hekataeus in Schol. 
Apoll. Rhod. iv. 284. contrary to this, which is given by the same scholiast 
on iv. 259. But, in spite of the remarks of Klausen (ad Fragment. Heka- 
tsei, 187. p. 98), I think that the Schol. ad. iv. 284 has made a mistake in 
citing Hekataeus ; the more so as the scholiast, as printed from the Codex 
Parisinus, cites the same opinion without mentioning Hekattens. Accord 
ing to the old Homeric idea, the ocean stream flowed all round the earth, 
and was the source of all the principal rivers which flowed into the great in- 
ternal sea, or Mediterranean (see Hekataeus, Fr. 349 ; Klausen, ap. Arrian. 
ii. 16, where he speaks of the Mediterranean as the (teyuhri ddhaaaa). Re- 
taining this old idea of the ocean-stream, Hekataeus would naturally belicv<< 
that the Phasis joined it: nor can I agree with Klausen (ad Fr. 187) thai 
this implies a degree of ignorance too gross to impute to him. 

2 Apollon. Rhod. iv. 287 ; Schol. ad iv. 284 : Pindar, Pyth. iv. 447, witi 

25-i ffiSTORY OF GREECi. 

whom was Tim sous, though they considered the ocean as an out- 
er sea, and no longer admitted the existence of the old Homeric 
ocean-stream, yet imagined a story for the return-voyage of the 
Argonauts somewhat resembling the old tale of Hesiod and 
HekatJEUs. They alleged that the Argo, after entering into the 
Palus Maiotis, had followed the upward course of the river Ta< 
nais ; that she had then been carried overland and launched in a 
river which had its mouth in the ocean or great outer sea. When 
in the ocean, she had coasted along the north and west of Europe 
until she reached Gades and the Strait of Gibraltar, where she 
entered into the Mediterranean, and there visited the many places 
specified in the fable. Of this long voyage, in the outer sea to 
the north and west of Europe, many traces were affirmed to 
exist along the coast of the ocean. 1 There was again a third 
version, according to which the Argonauts came back as they 
went, through the Thracian Bosporus and the Hellespont. In 
this way geographical plausibility was indeed maintained, but a 
large portion of the fabulous matter was thrown overboard. 2 

Such were the various attempts made to reconcile the Argo- 
nautic legend with enlarged geographical knowledge and improv- 
ed historical criticism. The problem remained unsolved, but the 

Schol. ; Strabo, i. p. 46-57 ; Aristot. Mirabil. Auscult. c. 105. Altars were 
shown in the Adriatic, which had been erected both by Jason and by Medea 

Aristotle believed in the forked course of the Ister, with one embochurc in 
the Euxine and another in the Adriatic : he notices certain fishes called rpt- 
\tai, who entered the river (like the Argonauts) from the Euxine, went up 
it as far as the point of bifurcation and descended into the Adriatic (Histor. 
Animal, viii. 15). Compare Ukert, Geographic der Gricch. undRomer. vol. 
iii. p. 145-147, about the supposed course of the Istcr. 

1 Diodor. iv. 56 ; Timaeus, Fragm. 53. Goller. Skymnns the geographer 
also adopted this opinion (Schol. Apoll. Rhod. 284-287). The psendo-Or- 
phens in the poem called Argonautica seems to give a jumble of all the dif- 
ferent stories. 

2 Diodor. iv. 49. This was the tale both of Sophokles and of Kallimachns 
(Schol. Apoll. Rhod. iv. 2?4). 

Sec the Dissertation of Ukert, Beylage iv. vol. i. part 2. p. 320 of his 
Geographic der Gricchen nnd RSmer, which treats of the Argonautic voy- 
age at some length ; also J. H. Voss, Alte Weltkunde Qber die Gestalt dei 
Erdc, published in the second volume of the Kritische Blatter, pp. 162, 314- 
326 ; and Forbiger, Handbuch der Ahen Geographie-Einlcitung, p. 8. 


faith in the l3gend did not the less continue. It was a faith 
originally generated at a time when the unassisted narrative of 
the inspired poet sufficed for the conviction of his hearers; it 
consecrated one among the capital exploits of that heroic and 
superhuman race, whom the Greek was accustomed at once to 
look back upon as his ancestors and to worship conjointly with 
his gods : it lay too deep in his mind either to require historical 
evidence for its support, or to be overthrown by geographical 
difficulties as th'ey were then appreciated. Supposed traces of 
the past event, either preserved in the names of places, or embo- 
died in standing religious customs with their explanatory com- 
ments, served as sufficient authentication in the eyes of the curious 
inquirer. And even men trained in a more severe school of 
criticism contented themselves with eliminating the palpable con- 
tradictions and softening down the supernatural and romantic 
events, so as to produce an Argonautic expedition of their own 
invention as the true and accredited history. Strabo, though he 
can neither overlook nor explain the geographical impossibilities 
of the narrative, supposes himself to have discovered the basis 
of actual fact, which the original poets had embellished or exag- 
gerated. The golden fleece was typical of the great wealth of 
Kolchis, arising from gold-dust washed down by the rivers ; and 
the voyage of Jason was in reality an expedition at the head of 
a considerable army, with which he plundered this wealthy coun- 
try and made extensive conquests in the interior. 1 Strabo has 
nowhere laid down what he supposes to have been the exact 
measure and direction of Jason's march, but he must have re- 
garded it as very long, since he classes Jason with Dionysus and 
Herakles, and emphatically characterizes all the three as having 

1 Strabo, i. p. 45. He speaks here of the voyage of Phryxus, as well as 
that of Jason, as having been a military undertaking (orpare/a) : so again, 
iii. p. 149, he speaks of the military expedition of Odysseus TJ rov '06va- 
oeuf arparia, and i) 'Hpa/c,leot;f arparia (ib.). Again xi. p. 498. Ql fiv-Q-ot, 
alviTTOfiEvoi rrfv 'luaovof (TTpaTstav irposTi'&ovTOf fiEXpi Kal M.ij6iaf ETI 6% 
TTDOTEpov TTjv 4>pi'fov. Compare also Justin, xlii. 2-3 ; Tacit. Annal. vi. 34. 

Strabo cannot speak of the old fables with literal fidelity : he unconscious- 
ly transforms them into quasi-historical incidents of his own imagination. 
Diodorus gives a narrative of the same kind, with decent substitutes for the 
fabulous elements (iv. 40-47-56). 


traversed wider spaces of ground than any moderns could equal. 1 
Such was the compromise which a mind like that of Strabo made 
with the ancient legends. He shaped or cut them down to the 
level of his own credence, and in this waste of historical criticism, 
without any positive evidence, he took to himself the credit of 
greater penetration than the literal believers, while he escaped 
the necessity of breaking formally with the bygone heroic world 



THE Boeotians generally, throughout the historical age, though 
well endowed with bodily strength and courage, 2 are represented 
as proverbially deficient in intelligence, taste and fancy. But 
the legendary population of Thebes, the Kadmeians, are rich in 
mythical antiquities, divine as well as heroic. Both Dionysus 
and Herakles recognize Thebes as their natal city. Moreover, 
tho two sieges of Thebes by Adrastus, even taken apart from 

1 Strabo, i. p. 48. The far-extending expeditions undertaken in the east- 
ern regions by Dionysus and Herakles were constantly present to the mind 
of Alexander the Great as subjects of comparison with himself: he imposed 
upon his followers perilous and trying marches, from anxiety to equal or 
surpass the alleged exploits of Semiramis, Cyrus, Perseus, and Herakles. 
(Arrian, v. 2, 3 ; vi. 24, 3 ; vii. 10, 12. Strabo, iii. p. 171 ; xv. p. 686 ; xvii. 
p. 81). 

2 The eponym Boeotus is son of Poseidon and Arne (Euphorion ap. 
Eustath. ad Iliad, ii. 507). It was from Arne in Thessaly that the Boeotians 
were said to have come, when they invaded and occupied Bceotia. Euri- 
pides made him son of Poseidon and Melanippe. Another legend recited 

rBoeotus and Hellen as sons of Poseidon and Antiope (Hygin. f. 157-186). 

The Tanagrsean poetess Korinna (the rival of Pindar, whose compositions 
in the Boeotian dialect are unfortunately lost) appears to have dwelt upon 
this native Boeotian genealogy : she derived the Ogygian gates of ThC-bes 
from Ogygus, son of Bceotus (Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1178), also the Frajr 
mcnts of Korinna in Schneidewin's edition, fr. 2. p. 432. 


Kadmus, Antiope, Amphion and Zethus, etc., are the most pro- 
minent and most characteristic exploit?., next to the siege of Troy, 
of that preexisting race of heroes who lived in the imagination 
of the historical Hellenes. 

It is not Kadmus, but the brothers Amphion and Zethus, who 
are given to us in the Odyssey as the first founders of Thebes 
and the first builders of its celebrated walls. They are the sons 
of Zeus by Antiope, daughter of Asopus. The scholiasts who 
desire to reconcile this tale with the more current account of the 
foundation of Thebes by Kadmus, tell us that after the death of 
Amphion and Zethus, Eurymachus, the warlike king of the 
Phlegyae, invaded and ruined the newly-settled town, so that 
Kadmus on arriving was obliged to re-found it. 1 But Apollo- 
dorus, and seemingly the older logographers before him, placed 
Kadmus at the top, and inserted the two brothers at a lower 
point in the series. According to them, Belus and Agenor were 
the sons of Epaphus, son of the Argeian 16, by Libya. Agenor 
went to Phoenicia and there became king : he had for his off- 
spring Kadmus, Phoenix, Kilix, and a daughter Europa ; though 
in the Iliad E*uropa is called daughter of Phoenix.2 Zeus fell in 
love with Europa, and assuming the shape of a bull, carried her 
across the sea upon his back from Egpyt to Krete, where she 
bore to him Minos, Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon. Two out of 
the three sons sent out by Agenor in search of their lost sister, 
wearied out by a long-protracted as well as fruitless voyage, 
abandoned the idea of returning home : Kilix settled in Kilikia, 
and Kadmus in Thrace. 3 Thasus, the brother or nephew of 

' Homer, Odyss. xi. 262, and Eustath. ad loc. Compare Schol. ad Iliad, 
xiii. 301. 

2 Iliad, xiv. 321. 16 is nspocaaa Kfiopurup of the Thebans. Eurip. Phce- 
niss. 247-676. 

3 Apollodor. ii. 1, 3; iii. 1,8. In the Hesiodic poems (ap. Schol. Apoll. 
Khod. ii. 178), Phoenix was recognized as son of Agenov. Pherekydes also 
described both Phoenix and Kadmus as sons of Agenor (Pherekyd. Fragm. 
40, Didot). Compare Servius ad. Virgil. .32neid. 1. 338. Pherekydes ex- 
pressly mentioned Kilix (Apollod. ib.). Besides the Evpuireia of Stesicho- 
rus (see Stesichor. Fragm. xv. p. 73, ed. Kleine), there were several other 
ancient poems on the adventures of Europa ; one in particular by Eumelus 
(Schol. ad Iliad, vi. 138), which however can hardly be the same as the rd 

VOL. I. 170C. 


Kadmus, who had accompanied them in the voyage, settled and 
gave name to the island of Phasus. 

Both Herodotus and Euripides represent Kadmus as an emi- 
grant from Phoenicia, conducting a body of followers in quest oi 
Europa. The account of Apollodorus describes him as having 
come originally from Libya or Egypt to Phoenicia : we may 
presume that this wau also the statement of the earlier logo- 
graphers Pherekydes and Hellanikus. Conon, who historicizes 
and politicizes the whole legend, seems to have found two differ- 
ent accounts ; one connecting Kadmus with Egypt, another bring- 
ing him from Phoenicia. He tries to melt down the two into 
one, by representing that the Phoenicians, who sent out Kadmus, 
had acquired great power in Egypt that the seat of their king- 
dom was the Egyptian Thebes that Kadmus was despatched, 
under pretence indeed of finding his lost sister, but really on a 
project of conquest and that the name Thebes, which he gave 
to his new establishment in Bceotia, was borrowed from Thebes 
in Egypt, his ancestorial seat. 1 

Kadmus went from Thrace to Delphi to procure information 
respecting his sister Europa, but the god directed him to take no 
further trouble about her; he was to follow the guidance of a 
cow, and to found a city on the spot where the animal should lie 
down. The condition was realized on the site of Thebes. The 
neighboring fountain Areia was guarded by a fierce dragon, the 
offspring of Ares, who destroyed all the persons sent to fetch 
water. Kadmus killed the dragon, and at the suggestion of 
Athene sowed his teeth in the earth : 2 there sprang up at once 
the armed men called the Sparti, among whom he flung stones, 

lirri TU elf Evpunqv alluded to by Pausanias (ix. 5, 4). See Wollner dc 
Cyclo Epico, p. 57 (Monster 1825). 

i * Conon, Narrat. 37. Perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is the 
tone of unbounded self-confidence with which Conon winds up this tissue 
of uncertified suppositions irepl [lev Kudfiov Kal Qrjfitiv oiKiaeuc ovrof 6 
dAj/tf^f Aoyof rb 6e aAAo pi/doe KOI yojjTela UKO/JC. 

j * Stesichor. (Fragm. 16; Kleine) ap. Schol. Eurip. Phceniss. 680. Tho 
place where the heifer had lain down was still shown in the time of Pausa- 
nias (ix. 12, 1). 

! Lysimachus, a lost author who wrote ThebaTca, mentioned Europa as 
having come with Kadmus to Thebes, and told the story in many other re- 
pects very differently (Schol Apoll. Rhod. iii. 1179). 


and they immediately began to assault each other until all were 
slain except five. Ares, indignant at this slaughter, was about 
to kill Kadmus ; but Zeus appeased him, condemning Kadmus 
to an expiatory servitude of eight years, after which he married 
Harmonia, the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite presenting to 
her the splendid necklace fabricated by the hand of Hephass- 
tos, which had been given by Zeus to Europa. 1 All the gods 
came to the Kadmeia, the citadel of Thebes, to present congrat- 
ulations and gifts at these nuptials, which seem to have been 
hardly less celebrated in tho mythical world than those of Peleus 
and Thetis. The issue of the marriage was one son, Polydorus, 
and four daughters, Autonoe, Ino, Semele and Agave. 2 

From the five who alone survived of the warriors sprung from 
the dragon's teeth, arose five great families or gentes in Thebes ; 
the oldest and noblest of its inhabitants, coeval with the founda- 
tion of the town. They were called Sparti, and their name 
seems to have given rise, not only to the fable of the sowing of 
the teeth, but also to other etymological narratives. 3 

All the four daughters of Kadmus are illustrious in fabulous 
history. Ino, wife of Athamas, the son of ./Eolus, has already 
been included among the legends of the -SColids. Semele became 
the mistress of Zeus, and inspired Here with jealousy. Mis- 
guided by the malicious suggestions of that goddess, she solicited 
Zeus to visit her with all the solemnity and terrors which sur- 

1 Apollodor. iii. 4, 1-3. Pherekydes gave this account of the necklace, 
which seems to imply that Kadmus must have found his sister Europa. The 
narrative here given is from Hellanikus ; that of Pherekydes differed from 
it in some respects : compare Hellanik. Fragm. 8 and 9, and Pherekyd. Frag. 
44. The resemblance of this story with that of Jason and JEetes (see above, 
chap. xiii. p. 237) will strike every one. It is curious to observe how the 
old logographer Pherekydes explained this analogy in his narrative ; he said 
that Athene had given half the dragon's teeth to Kadmus and half to ^Eetes 
(see Schol. Pindar. Isthm. vi. 13). 

2 Hesiod, Theogon. 976. Leukothea, the sea-goddess, daughter of Kad 
mus, is mentioned in the Odyssey, v. 334 ; Diodor. iv. 2. 

3 Eurip. Phceniss. 680, with the Scholia; Pherekydes, Fragm. 44 ; Andru- 
tion, ap. Schol. Pindar. Isthm. vi. 13. Dionysius (1) called the Sparti an 
e&vof BoiaTiaf (Schol. Phosniss. 1. c.). 

Even in the days of Plutarch, there were persons living who traced their 
descent to the Sparti of Thebes (Plutarch, Ser. Num. Vindict. p 563). 


rounded him when he approached Here herself. The god un- 
willingly consented, and came in his chariot in the midst of 
thunder and lightning, under which awful accompaniments the 
mortal frame of Semele perished. Zeus, taking from her (he 
child of which she was pregnant, sewed it into his own thigh : 
after the proper interval the child was brought out and born, and 
became the great god Dionysus or Bacchus. Hermes took him 
to Ino and Athamas to receive their protection. Afterwards, 
however, Zeus having transformed him into a kid to conceal him 
from the persecution of Here, the nymphs of the mountain Nysa 
became his nurses. 1 

Aulonoe, the third daughter of Kadmus, married the pastoral 
hero or god Aristaeas, and was mother of Aktaeon, a devoted 
hunter and a favorite companion of the goddess Artemis. She 
however became displeased with him either because he looked 
into a fountain while she was bathing and saw her naked or 
according to the legend set forth by the poet Stesichorus, because 
he loved and courted Semele or according to Euripides, be- 
cause he presumptuously vaunted himself as her superior in the 
chase. She transformed him into a stag, so that his own dogs 
set upon and devoured him. The rock upon which Aktaeon used 
to sleep when fatigued with the chase, and the spring whose 
transparent waters had too clearly revealed the form of the god- 
dess, were shown to Pausanias near Plataea, on the road to 
Megara. 2 

1 Apollodor. iii. 4, 2-9 ; Diodor. iv. 2. 

8 See Apollodor. iii. 4, 3 ; Stesichor. Fragm. xvii. Kleine ; Pansan. ix. 2, 
3; Eurip. Bacch. 337; Diodor. iv. 81. The old logographer Akusilaus 
copied Stesichorus. 

Upon this well-known story it is unnecessary to multiply references. I 
shall however briefly notice the remarks made upon it by Diodorus and by 
Pausanias, as an illustration of the manner in which the literary Greeks of a 
later day dealt with their old national legends. 

Both of them appear implicitly to believe the fact, that Aktoeon was 
devoured by his own dogs, but they differ materially in the explanation 
of it 

Diodorus accepts and vindicates the miraculous interposition of the dis- 
pleased goddess to punish Aktason, who, according to one story, had boasted 
of his superiority in the chase to Artemis, according to another story, had 
presumed to solicit the goddess in marriage, emboldened by the great num- 
bers of the feet of animals slain in the chase which he had hung up as offer- 


Aga<re, the remaining daughter of Kadmus, married Echion, 
one of the Sparti. The issue of these nuptials was Pentheus, 
who, when Kadmus became old succeeded him as king of Thebes. 
In his reign Dionysus appeared as a god, the author or discoverer 
of the vine with all its blessings. He had wandered over Asia, 
India and Thrace, at the head of an excited troop of female en- 
thusiasts communicating and inculcating everywhere the Bac- 
chic ceremonies, and rousing in the minds of women that 
impassioned religious emotion which led them to ramble in 
solitary mountains at particular seasons, there to give vent to 
violent fanatical excitement, apart from the men, clothed in fawn- 
skins and armed with the thyrsus. The obtrusion of a male spec- 
tator upon these solemnities was esteemed sacrilegious. Though 
the rites had been rapidly disseminated and fervently welcomed 
in many parts of Thrace, yet there were some places in which 
they had been obstinately resisted and their votaries treated with 
rudeness ; especially by Lykurgus, king of the Edonian Thra- 
cians, upon whom a sharp and exemplary punishment was 
inflicted by Dionysus. 

Thebes was the first city of Greece to which Dionysus came, 

ings in her temple. "It is not improbable (observes Diodorus) that the god 
dess was angry on both these accounts. For whether Aktaeon abused these 
hunting presents so far as to make them the means of gratifying his own 
desires towards one unapproachable in wedlock, or whether he presumed to 
call himself an abler hunter than her with whom the gods themselves will 
not compete in this department, in either case the wrath of the goddess 
against him was just and legitimate (6fj.oho-yov/iV7jv Kat diKaiav bpyjjv la^e 
Trpoc avrbv f] i?e6f). With perfect propriety therefore (Ka$6/lcw 6e irt&avuf) 
was he transformed into an animal such as those he had hunted, and torn to 
pieces by the very dogs who had killed them." (Didot. iv. 80.) 

Pausanias, a man of exemplary piety, and generally less inclined to 
scepticism than Diodorus, thinks the occasion unsuitable for a miracle or 
special interference. Having alluded to the two causes assigned for the dis- 
pleasure of Artemis (they are the two first-mentioned in my text, and dis- 
tinct from the two noticed by Diodorus), he proceeds to say, "But I believe 
that the dogs of Aktaeon went mad, without the interference of the goddess : 
in this state of madness they would have torn in pieces without distinction 
any one whom they met (Pans, ix. 2, 3. yc> 6s KOI uvev deov irei^opai. voaov 
Tiiiaaav kiripafalv TOV 'AnTaiuvof roijf Kvvaf)." He retains the truth of the 
final catastrophe, but rationalizes it, excluding the special intervention of 


at the nead of his Asiatic troop of females, to obtain divine hon 
ors and to establish his peculiar rites in his native city. The 
venerable Kadraus, together with his daughters and the prophet 
Teiresias, at once acknowledged the divinity of the new god, and 
began to offer their worship and praise to him along with the 
solemnities which he enjoined. But Pentheus vehemently op- 
posed the new ceremonies, reproving and maltreating the god 
who introduced them : nor was his unbelief at all softened by 
the miracles which Dionysus wrought for his own protection and 
for that of his followers. His mother Agave, with her sisters. 
and a large body of other women from Thebes, had gone out 
from Thebes to Mount Kithaeron to celebrate their solemnities 
under the influence of the Bacchic frenzy. Thither Pentheus 
followed to watch them, and there the punishment due to his 
impiety overtook him. The avenging touch of the god having 
robbed him of his senses, he climbed a tall pine for the purpose 
of overlooking the feminine multitude, who detected him in this 
position, pulled down the tree, and tore him in pieces. Agave, 
mad and bereft of consciousness, made herself the foremost in 
this assault, and carried back in triumph to Thebes the head of 
her slaughtered son. The aged Kadmus, with his wife Harmo- 
nia, retired among the Illyrians, and at the end of their lives 
were changed into serpents, Zeus permitting them to be trans- 
ferred to the Elysian fields. 1 

1 Apollod. iii. 5, 3-4 ; Thcocrit. Idyll, xxvi. Eurip. Bacch. passim. Such 
ia the tragical plot of this memorable drama. It is a striking proof of the 
deep-seated reverence of the people of Athens for the sanctity of the Bacchic 
ceremonies, that they could have borne the spectacle of Agave on the stage 
with her dead son's head, and the expressions of triumphant sympathy in 
her action on the part of the Chorus (1168), MUKOI^ 'Ayavij ! This drama, 
written near the close of the life of Euripides, and exhibited by his son after 
his death ( Sehol. Aristoph. Ran. 67 j, contains passages strongly inculcating 
the necessity of implicit deference to ancestorial authority in matters of re- 
ligion, and favorably contrasting the uninquiring faith of the vulgar with the 
dissenting and inquisitive tendencies of superior minds: see v. 196; com- 
oare w. 389 and 422. 

Ovdev ao<j>it, roiai 

Harpiovf itapadoxw;, <if 

Ke/cr^uei?', ovdelf avrii Kara/Babel Aoyof, 

OW 7/i> 61' unpuv Td aoijtbv etipriTat. typevuv. 
Such reproofs " insanieutis sapientiae " certainly do not fall in with the plot 


Polydorus and Labdakus successively became kings of Thebes : 
the latter at his death left an infant son, Laius, who was deprived 
of his throne by Lykus. And here we approach the legend of 
Antiope, Zethus and Amphion, whom the fabulists insert at this 
point of the Theban series. Antiope" is here the daughter of Nyk- 
teus, the brother of Lykus. She is deflowered by Zeus, and 
then, while pregnant, flies to Epopeus king of Sikyon : Nykteus 
dying entreats his brother to avenge the injury, and Lykus 
accordingly invades Sikyon, defeats and kills Epopeus, and brings 
back Antiope prisoner to Thebes. In her way thither, in a cave 
near Eleutherae, which was shown to Pausanias, 1 she is delivered 
of the twin sons of Zeus Amphion and Zethus who, exposed 
to perish, are taken up and nourished by a shepherd, and pass 
their youth amidst herdsmen, ignorant of their lofty descent. 

Antiope is conveyed to Thebes, where, after undergoing a long 
persecution from Lykus and his cruel wife Dirke, she at length 
escapes, and takes refuge in the pastoral dwelling of her sons, 
now grown to manhood. Dirke pursues and requires her to be 
delivered up ; but the sons recognize and protect their mother, 
taking an ample revenge upon her persecutors. Lykus is slain, 
and Dirke is dragged to death, tied to the horns of a bull. 2 

of the drama itself, in which Pentheus appears as a Conservative, resisting 
the introduction of the new religious rites. Taken in conjunction with the 
emphatic and submissive piety which reigns through the drama, they coun- 
tenance the supposition of Tyrwhitt, that Euripides was anxious to repel 
the imputations, so often made against him, of commerce with the philoso- 
phers and participation in sundry heretical opinions. 

Pacuvius in his Penthcns seems to have closely copied Euripides ; see 
Servius ad Virg. ^Eneid. iv. 469. 

The old Thespis had composed a tragedy on the subject of Pentheus : 
Suidas, 9e<T7nf ; also ^Eschylus ; compare his Eumenides, 25. 

According to Apollodorus (iii. 5, 5), Labdakus also perished in a similar 
way to Pentheus, and from the like impiety, knewy fypovuv Trapan^aia, 

1 Pausan. i. 38, 9. 

2 For the adventures of Antiope and her sons, see Apollodor. iii. 5 ; 
Pausan. ii. 6, 2 ; ix. 5, 2. 

The narrative given respecting Epopeus in the ancient Cyprian verses 
seems to have been very different from this, as far as we can judge from the 
brief notice in Proclus's Argument, wf 'ETrwTretJf (j>-&eipa<; rfiv Avuovpyov 
(AvKou) jvvaiKa Et-eTropftr/drj : it approaches more nearly to the story given 
in the seventh fable of Hygiuus, and followed by Propertius (iii. 15); thfl 


Amphion and Zethus, having banished Laius, become kings of 
Thebes. The former, taught by Hermes, and possessing exquis- 
ite skill on the lyre, employs it in fortifying the city, the stones 
of the walls arranging themselves spontaneously in obedience to 
the rhythm of his song. 1 

Zethus marries Aedon, who, in the dark and under a fatal mis- 
take, kills her son Itylus : she is transformed into a nightingale, 
while Zethus dies of grief. 2 Amphion becomes the husband of 
Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, and the father of a numerous off- 
spring, the complete extinction of which by the hands of Apollo 
and Artemis has already been recounted in these pages. 

Here ends the legend of the beautiful Antiope and her twin 
sons the rude and unpolished, but energetic, Zethus and the 
refined and amiable, but dreamy, Amphion. For so Euripides, 
in the drama of Antiope unfortunately lost, presented the twc 

eighth fable of Hyginus contains the tale of Antiope as given by Euripides 
and Ennius. The story of Pausanias differs from both. 

The Scholiast ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 735. says that there were twc persons 
named Antiope ; one, daughter of Asopus, the other, daughter of Nykteus. 
Pausanias is content with supposing one only, really the daughter of Nyk- 
teus, but there was a tyfjfiri that she was daughter of Asopus (ii. 6, 2). Asius 
made Antiope daughter of Asopus, and mother (both by Zeus and by Epo- 
peus : such a junction of divine and human paternity is of common occur 
rence in the Greek legends) of Zethus and Amphion (ap. Paus. 1. c.). 

The contradictory versions of the story are brought together, though no/ 
very perfectly, in Sterk's Essay De Labdacidamm Historia, p. 38-43 (Ley- 
den, 1829). 

1 This story about the lyre of Amphion is not noticed in Homer, but il 
was narrated in the ancient ITD? if 'Evpunr/v which Pausanias had read : the 
wild beasts as well as the stones were obedient to his strains (Paus ix. 5, 4). 
Pherekydes also recounted it (Pherekyd. Fragm. 102, Didot). The tablet 
of inscription (' Avaypap?}) at Sikyon recognized Amphion as the first com 
poser of poetry and harp-music (Plutarch, de Musica, c. 3. p. 1132). 

* The tale of the wife and son of Zethus is as old as the Odyssey (xix. 
525). Pausanias adds the statement that Zethus died of grief (ix. 5, 5 : 
Pherekydes, Fragm. 102, Did.). Pausanias, however, as well as Apollodo- 
ros, tells us that Zethus married Thebe, from whom the name Thebes was 
given to the city. To reconcile the conflicting pretensions of Zethus and 
Amphion with those of Kadmus, as founders of Thebes, Pausanias supposes 
that the latter was the original Settler of the hill of the Kadmeia, while thf 
two forme* extended the settlement to the lower city (ix. 5, 1-3). 


brothers, in affectionate union as well as in striking contrast. 1 It 
is evident that the whole story stood originally quite apart from 
the Kadmeian family, and so the rudiments of it yet stand in 
the Odyssey ; but the logographers, by their ordinary connecting 
artifices, have opened a vacant place for it in the descending se- 
ries of Theban mythes. And they have here proceeded in a 
manner not usual with them. For whereas they are generally 
fond of multiplying entities, and supposing different historical 
personages of the same name, in order to introduce an apparent 
smoothness in the chronology they have here blended into one 
person Amphion the son of Antiope and Amphion the father of 
Chloris, who seem clearly distinguished from each other in the 
Odyssey. They have further assigned to the same person all the 
circumstances of the legend of Niobe, which seems to have been 
originally framed quite apart from the sons of Antiope. 

Amphion and Zethus being removed, Laius became king of 
Thebes. With him commences the ever-celebrated series of ad- 
ventures of CEdipus and his family. Laius forewarned by the 
oracle that any son whom he might beget would kill him, caused 
CEdipus as soon as he was born to be exposed on Mount Kithse- 
ron. Here the herdsmen of Polybus king of Corinth acciden- 
tally found him and conveyed him to their master, who brought 
him up as his own child. In spite of the kindest treatment, 
however, CEdipus when he grew up found himself exposed to 
taunts on the score of his unknown parentage, and went to Delphi 
to inquire of the god the name of his real father. He received 
for answer an admonition not to go back to his country ; if he did 
so, it was his destiny to kill his father and become the husband of 
his mother. Knowing no other country but Corinth, he accord- 
ingly determined to keep away from that city, and quitted Delphi 
by the road towards Boeotia and Phokis. At the exact spot 

1 See Valckenaer. Diatribe in Eurip. Reliq. cap. 7, p. 58; Welcker, 
Gricchisch. Tragod. ii. p. 811. There is a striking resemblance between the 
Antiope of Euripides and the Tyro of Sophokles in many points. 

Plato in his Gorgias has preserved a few fragments, and a tolerably clear 
general idea of the characters of Zethus and Amphion (Gorg. 90-92) ; see 
also Horat. Epist. i. 18, 42. 

Both Livius and Pacuvius had tragedies on the scheme of this of Eurvjii 
les, the former seemirgly a translation. 
VOL. I. 12 


where the roads leading to these two countries forked, he met 
Laius in a chariot drawn by mules, when the insolence of one of 
the attendants brought on an angry quarrel, in which CEdipug 
killed Laius, not knowing him to be his father. The exact 
place where this event happened, called the Divided Way 1 , was 
memorable in the eyes of all literary Greeks, and is specialty 
adverted to by Pausanias in his periegesis. 

On the death of Laius, Kreon, the brother of Jokasta, sue 
ceeded to the kingdom of Thebes. At this time the country was 
under the displeasure of the gods, and was vexed by a terrible 
monster, with the face of a woman, the wings of a bird, and th 
tail of a lion, called the Sphinx 2 sent by the wrath of Here 
and occupying the neighboring mountain of Phikium. The 
Sphinx had learned from the Muses a riddle, which she proposed 
to the Thebans to resolve : on every occasion of failure she took 
away one of the citizens and ate him up. Still no person could 
solve the riddle ; and so great was the suffering occasioned, that 
Kreon was obliged to offer both the crown and the nuptials of 
his sister Jokasta to any one who could achieve the salvation of 
the city. At this juncture CEdipus arrived and solved the rid- 
dle : upon which the Sphinx immediately threw herself from the 
acropolis and disappeared. As a recompense for this service, 
CEdipus was made king of Thebes, and married Jokasta, not 
aware that she was his mother. 

These main tragical circumstances that CEdipus had ig- 
norantly killed his father and married his mother belong to 
the oldest form of the legend as it stands in the Odyssey. The 
gods (it is added in that poem) quickly made the facts known to 
mankind. Epikasta (so Jokasta is here called) in an agony of 
sorrow hanged herself: CEdipus remained king of the Kad- 
meians, but underwent many and great miseries, such as the 

1 See the description of the locality in K. 0. Miiller ( Orchomenos, c. i. p. 

The tombs of Laius and his attendant were still seen there in the days of 
Pausanias (x. 5, 2). 

* Apollodor. iii. 5, 8. An author named Lykus, in his work entitled Tht- 
balca, ascribed this visitation to the anger of Dionysus (Schol. Hesiod, 
Theogon. 326). The Sphinx (or Phix, from the Baotian Mount Phikiam) 
is as old as the Hcsiodic Thcogony, 4>f' bhorjv TEKE, Kadfieioiair 
(Thcog. 326;. 


Erinnyes, who avenge an injured mother, inflict. 1 A passage in 
the Iliad implies that he died at Thebes, since it mentions tl e 
funeral games which were celebrated there in honor of him. 
His misfortunes were recounted by Nestor, in the old Cyprian 
verses, among the stories of aforetime. 2 A fatal curse hun- both 
upon himself and upon his children, Eteokles, Polynikes, Anti- 
gone and Ismene. According to that narrative which the Attic 
tragedians have rendered universally current, they were his chil 
dren by Jokasta, the disclosure of her true relationship to him 
having been very long deferred. But the ancient epic called 
(Edipodia, treading more closely in the footsteps of Homer, rep- 
resented him as having after her death married* a second wife, 
Euryganeia, by whom the four children were born to him : and 
the painter Onatas adopted this story in preference to that of 
Sophokles. 3 

1 Odyss. xi. 270. Odysseus, describing what he saw in the under-world. 

Mtjrepa r' Oidtnodao I6ov, Ka^v 'ETri 
"H (leya ep-yov lpel-ev aldpdyffi vooio, 
Trifj.afj.evri $ viel 6 6' ov iraTEp 1 i 
Tf/fiev ' utiap <5' uvurrvaTa i?eot fieaav a 
'AA/l' 6 HEV ev Q?j,8ri TTO^VT/PUTU aXyea iru 
Kadjisiuv fivaaae, &etiv 6/loaf SiH fiovXa 
'H d' f/?v eif A/Jao irvhuprao Kparepolo 
/3p6%ov a'nrvv u<p irfyrfho 


Iliad, xxiii. 680, with the scholiast who cites Hesiod. Proclus, Argum 
ad Cypria, ap. DOntzer, Fragm. Epic. Gra;c. p. 10. Nt'orwp de ev KapeKpaaet 
6tr;-yelTat ...... /cat ru. Trept Olditrovv, etc. 

3 Pausan. ix. 5, 5. Compare the narrative from Peisander in Schol. ad 
Eurip. Phceniss. 1773; where, however, the blindness of CEdipus seems to 
be unconsciously interpolated out of the tragedians. In the old narrative 
of the Cyclic Thebats, CEdipus docs not seem to be represented as blind 
(Leutsch, Thebaidis Cyclici Reliquiae, Getting. 1830, p. 42). 

Pherekydes (ap. Schol. Eurip. Phceniss. 52) tells us that CEdipus had thre& 
children by Jokasta, who were all killed by Erginus and the Minyse (this 
must refer to incidents in the old poems which we cannot now recover) ; 
then the four celebrated children by Euryganeia ; lastly, that he married a 
third wife, Astymedusa. Apollodorus follows the narrative of the trage- 
dians, but alludes to the different version about Euryganeia, elat 6' ol <j>aatv i 
etc. (iii. 5, 8). 

Hellanikus (ap. Schol. Eur. Phceniss. 59) mentioned the self-inflicted blind 


The disputes of Eteokles and Polynikes for the throne of their 
father gave occasion not only to a series of tragical iamily inci- 
dents, but also to one of the great quasi-historical events of legen- 
dary Greece the two sieges of Thebes by Adrastus, king of 
Argos. The two ancient epic poems called the Thebai's and the 
Epigoni (if indeed both were not parts of one very comprehen- 
sive poem) detailed these events at great length, and as it appears, 
with distinguished poetical merit ; for Pausanias pronounces the 
Cyclic Thebai's (so it was called by the subsequent critics to dis- 
tinguish it from the more modern Thebai's of Antimachus) infe- 
rior only to the Iliad and Odyssey ; and the ancient elegiac poet 
Kallinus treated it as an Homeric composition. 1 Of this once- 
valued poem we unfortunately possess nothing but a few scanty 
fragments. The leading points of the legend are briefly glanced 
at in the Iliad ; but our knowledge of the details is chiefly derived 
from the Attic tragedians, who transformed the narratives of their 
predecessors at pleasure, and whose popularity constantly eclips- 
ed and obliterated the ancient version. Antimachus of Kolophon, 
contemporary with Euripides, in his long epic, probably took no 
less liberties with the old narrative. His Thebai'd never became 
generally popular, but it exhibited marks of study and elabora- 
tion which recommended it to the esteem of the Alexandrine 
critics, and probably contributed to discredit in their eyes the old 
cyclic poem. 

The logographers, who gave a continuous history of this siege 
of Thebes, had at least three preexisting epic poems the The- 
bi'as, the CEdipodia, and the Alkmaeonis, from which they 

ness of GEdipus; but it seems doubtful whether this circumstance was inclu- 
ded in the narrative of Pherekydes. 

1 Pausan, ix. 9. 3. 'ETroiri&r} 6s f rbv nohepov TOVTOV /cat CTIV/, Qr]3aif T& 
<5e ITTJ? ravra Ka/l/ltvof, utyiKofievof avruv f [IVTJ/LITJV, e^Tjaev 'Opijpov rdv 
xoirjoavra elvai. KcMiivy 6e trol.'Xoi TE nal agioi "kdyov Kara ravra lyvuaav 
iya) de TT)V Troir/ffiv raiirnv fiera ye 'IXiaSa not ra ZTTTI ru If 'Odvaaea iiraivu 
fiuTiiara. The name in tho text of Pausanias stands KaAatVoc, an unknown 
person : most of the critics recognize the propriety of substituting Kc/Wtvo?, 
and Leutsch and Welcker have given very sufficient reasons for doing so. 

The 'ApQiupEu i&haaia if Qriftas, alluded to in the pseudo-Herodotean 
life of Homer, seems to I the description of a special passage in this The- 



could borrow. The subject was also handled in some of the He- 
siodic poems, but we do not know to what extent.' The Thebai's 
was composed more in honor of Argos than of Thebes, as the 
first line of it, one of the few fragments still preserved, beto 
kens. 2 


The legend, about to recount fraternal dissension of the most 
implacable kind, comprehending in its results not only the imme- 
diate relations of the infuriated brothers, but many chosen com- 
panions of the heroic race along with them, takes its start from 
the paternal curse of QEdipus, which overhangs and determines 
all the gloomy sequel. 

CEdipus, though king of Thebes and father of four children 
by Euryganeia (according to the QEdipodia), has become the de- 
voted victim of the Erinnyes, in consequence of the self-inflicted 
death of his mother, which he has unconsciously caused, as well 
as of his unintentional parricide. Though he had long forsworn 
the use of all the ornaments and luxuries which his father had in- 
herited from his kingly progenitors, yet when through age he had 
come to be dependent upon his two sons, Polynikes one day broke 
through this interdict, and set before him the silver table and the 
splendid wine-cup of Kadmus, which Laius had always been ac- 
customed to employ. The old king had no sooner seen these 
precious appendages of the regal life of his father, than his mind 
was overrun by a calamitous phrenzy, and he imprecated terrible 
curses on his sons, predicting that there would be bitter and end- 
less warfare between them. The goddess Erinnys heard and 
heeded him ; and he repeated the curse again on another occasion, 
when his sons, who had always been accustomed to send to him 
the shoulder of the victims sacrificed on the altar, caused the but- 

1 Hesiod, ap. Schol. Iliad, xxiii. 680, which passage does not seem to me 
so much, at variance with the incidents stated in other poets as Lcntsch 

2 'Apyof aecde, Beu, Trofa'ityiov, evdev uvaKTef (see Leutsch, ib. c. 4. p 


lock to be served to him in place of it. 1 He resented this as an 
insult, and prayed the gods that they might perish each by the 
hand of the other. Throughout the tragedians as well as in the 
old epic, the paternal curse, springing immediately from the mis- 
guided CEdipus himself, but remotely from the parricide and 
incest with which he has tainted his breed, is seen to domineer 
over the course of events the Erinnys who executes that curse 
being the irresistible, though concealed, agent. ./Eschylus not 
only preserves the fatal efficiency of the paternal curse, but even 
briefly glances at the causes assigned for it in the Thebaiis, with- 
out superadding any new motives. In the judgment of Sopho- 
kles, or of his audience, the conception of a father cursing his 
sons upon such apparently trifling grounds was odious ; and that 
great poet introduced many aggravating circumstances, describing 
the old blind father as having been barbarously turned out of 
doors by his sons to wander abroad in exile and poverty. Though 
by this change he rendered his poem more coherent and self- 
justifying, yet he departed, from the spirit of the old legend, 

1 Fragm. of the Thebats, ap. Athenae. xii. p. 465, on ov-u TrapedrjKav /c7n.'>- 
utira u UTrriyopevKei, Jleyuv ovrwf. 

AiiTup 6 dioysvrjf ijpuf %av&bf 

lipura [iev Oldiirodi Kah 

'Ap-yvpsijv K.aSfj.010 $e6<j>povof avriip eiretTa 

Xpiiaeov e/z7r/l)?crev Kahdv denae jj6eof olvov 

AiiTup oy' uf <j>pa<r&7i n-apaneifieva Trarpof loto 

yepa, fie-ya oi Kanbv e^neac i?v/if>. 
<Je iraialv lolai fier' afi^oripoiaiv iTrapuf 
j.eaf fyparo -&ebv 6' ov huv&c.v 1 'Epivvvv 
'Qf ov ol Trarp^Ja y' vi <J>MTIJTI duaaivTO, 
Kev (5' d/LKJiQTepoif alel Tr6A.e/j,oi re fiaxai re. 
See Leutsch, Thebaid. Cycl. Reliq, p. 38. 

The other fragment frcm the same ThebaTs is cited by the Schol. ad Soph 
CKdip. Colon. 1378. 

svoijae, ^ayuai paXev, sine re [liidov 

aldef fj.oi oveideiovref eirefj.ijjav. 
EVKTO Ait 3aaikf]'i nal uA/loff udavdroiai, 
Xepaiv vir j i/lA^wv KaTO.fiiJii.Evai *Ai'<5of slau. 

Ta 81 Trapairhqata T(f) ITTOTTOM Kal Aiff^v/lof iv rolf "ETTTO km Qtjjiaf. In 
spite of the protest of Schatz, in his note, I think that the scholiast has un- 
derstood the words iriwrof rpotyus (Sept. ad Theb. 787) in their plain and 
lust meaning. 


according to which CEdipus has contracted by his unconscious 
misdeeds an incurable taint destined to pass onward to his progeny. 
His mind is alienated, and he curses them, not because he has 
suffered seriously by their guilt, but because he is made the blind 
instrument of an avenging Erinnys for the ruin of the house of 
Laius. 1 

After the death of OEdipus and the celebration of his funeral 
games, at which amongst others, Argeia, daughter of Adrastus 
(afterwards the wife of Polynikes), was present, 2 his two sons 
soon quarrelled respecting the succession. The circumstances 
are differently related ; but it appears that, according to the orig- 
inal narrative, the wrong and injustice was on the part of Poly- 
nikes, who, however, was obliged to leave Thebes and to seek 
shelter with Adrastus, king of Argos. Here he met Tydeus, a 
fugitive, at the same time, from JEtoiia : it was dark when they 
arrived, and a broil ensued between the two exiles, but Adrastus 
came out and parted them. He had been enjoined by an oracle 
to give his two daughters in marriage to a lion and a boar, and 
he thought this occasion had now arrived, inasmuch as one of the 
combatants carried on his shield a lion, the other a boar. He 
accordingly gave Deipyle in marriage to Tydeus, and Argeia to 
Polynikes : moreover, he resolved to restore by armed resistance 
both his sons-in-law to their respective countries. 3 

1 The curses of (Edipus arc very frequently and emphatically dwelt upon 
both by ^Eschylus and Sophokles (Sept. ad Theb. 70-586, 655-697, etc. ; 
(Edip. Colon. 1293-1378). The former continues the same point of view 
as the ThebaYs, when he mentions 

Td? TTSpl-&VfiOVf 

Karupaf @Aaipi(j>povo<; Oldixoda (727) ; 
or, "kbjov r' avoia not Apevuv 'Epivvvc (Soph. Antig. 584). 

The Scholiast on Sophokles ("CEd. Col. 1378) treats the cause assigned by 
the ancient ThebaYs for the curse vented by CEdipus as trivial and ludicrous. 

The JEgeids at Sparta, who traced their descent to Kadmus, suffered from 
terrible maladies which destroyed the lives of their children ; an oracle di- 
rected them to appease the Erinnyes of Laius and OEdipus by erecting a 
temple, upon which the maladies speedily ceased (Herodot. iv.). 

2 Hesiod. ap. Schol. Iliad, xxiii. 680. 

3 Apollodor. iii. 5, 9 ; Hygin. f. 69 ; JSschyl. Sept. ad Theb. 573. Hyginus 
ays that Polynikes came clothed in the skin of a lion, and Tydeus in that 
rf a boar ; perhaps after Antimachus, who said that Tydeus had been brought 


On proposing the expedition to the Argeian chiefs around hint- 
he found most of them willing auxiliaries ; but Amphiaraus 
formerly his bitter opponent, but now reconciled to him, and 
husband of his sister Eriphyle strongly opposed him. 1 He 
denounced the enterprise as unjust and contrary to the will of 
the gods. Again, being of a prophetic stock, descended from 
Melampus, he foretold the certain death both of himself and of 
the principal leaders, should they involve themselves as accom- 
plices in the mad violence of Tydeus or the criminal ambition of 
Polynikes. Amphiaraus, already distinguished both in the Kaly- 
donian boar-hunt and in the funeral games of Pelias, was in the 
Theban war the most conspicuous of all the heroes, and absolutely 
indispensable to its success. But his reluctance to engage in it 
was invincible, nor was it possible to prevail upon him except 
through the influence of his wife Eriphyle. Polynikes, having 
brought with him from Thebes the splendid robe and necklace 
given by the gods to Harmonia on her marriage with Kadmus, 
offered it as a bribe to Eriphyle, on condition that she would 
influence the determination of Amphiaraus. The sordid wife, 
seduced by so matchless a present, betrayed the lurking-place of 
her husband, and involved him in the fatal expedition. 2 Amphia- 
raus, reluctantly dragged forth, and foreknowing the disastrous 
issue of the expedition both to himself and to his associates, 
addressed his last injunctions, at the moment of mounting his 
chariot, to his sons Alkmaeon and Amphilochus, commanding 
Alkmoeon to avenge his approaching death by killing the venal 
Eriphyle, and by undertaking a second expedition against Thebes. 

The Attic dramatists describe this expedition as having been 
conducted by seven chiefs, one to each of the seven celebrated 
gates of Thebes. But the Cyclic Thebais gave to it a much 

up by swineherds (Antimach. Fragm. 27, ed. Diintzer; ap. Schol. Iliad, iv. 
400). Very probably, however, the old ThebaTs compared Tydeus and Poly- 
nikes to a lion and a boar, on account of their courage and fierceness ; a 
simile quite in the Homeric character. Mnaseas gave the words of the oracle 
(ip. Schol. Eurip. Phoeniss. 41 1). 

1 See Pindar, Nem. ix. 30, with the instructive Scholium 
3 Apollodor. iii. 6, 2. The treachery of " the hateful Eriphyle" is noticed 
in the Odyssey, xi. 327 : Odysseus sees her in the under-world along xith 
the many wives and daughters of the heroes. 


more comprehensive character, mentioning auxiliaries from 
Arcadia, Messene, and various parts of Peloponnesus j 1 aud the 
application of Tydeus and Polynikes at Mykenae in the course of 
their circuit made to collect allies, is mentioned in the Iliad. 
They were well received at Mykenae ; but the warning signals 
given by the gods were so terrible that no Mykencean could 
venture to accompany them. 2 The seven principal chiefs how- 
ever were Adrastus, Arnphiaraus, Kapaneus, Hippomedon, Par- 
thenopaeus.. Tydeus and Polynikes. 3 When the army had 
advanced as far as the river Asopus, a halt was made for sacrifice 
and banquet ; while Tydeus was sent to Thebes as envoy to 
demand the restoration of Polynikes to his rights. His demand 
was refused ; but finding the chief Kadmeians assembled at the 
banquet in the house of Eteokles, he challenged them all to con- 
tend with him in boxing or wrestling. So efficacious was the aid 
of the goddess Athene that he overcame them all ; and the Kad- 
meians were so indignant at their defeat, that they placed an 
ambuscade of fifty men to intercept him in his way back to the 
army. All of them perished by the hand of this warrior, small 
in stature and of few words, but desperate and irresistible in the 
fight. One alone was spared, Maeon, in consequence of special 
signals from the gods. 4 

The Kadmeians, assisted by their allies the Phokians and the 
Phlegyae, marched out to resist the invaders, and fought a battle 

1 Pausan. ii. 20,4; ix. 9, 1. His testimony to this, as he had read and 
ndmircd the Cyclic Theba'is, seems quite sufficient, in spite of the opinion ot 
Welcker to the contrary (^Eschylische Trilogie. p. 375). 

* Iliad, iv. 376. 

3 There are differences in respect to the names of the seven : JEschylus 
(Sept. ad Theb. 461) leaves out Adrastus as one of the seven, and includes 
Eteoklus instead of him ; others left out Tydeus and Polynikes, and inserted 
Eteoklus and Mekisteus (Apollodor. iii. 6, 3). Antimachus, in his poetical 
T/itbats, called Parthenopseus an Argeian, not an Arcadian (Schol. ad 
^schyl. Sept. ad. Theb. 532). 

4 Iliad, iv. 381-400, with the Schol. The first celebration of the Nemean 
games is connected with this march of the army of Adrastns against Thebes- 
they were celebrated in honor of Archemorus, the infant son of Lykurgus, 
who had been killed by a serpent while his nurse Hypsipyle went to show the 
fountain to the thirsty Argeian chiefs (Apollod. iii 6,4; Schol. ad Pindar 
Nem. 1) 

VOL. i. 12* 18oc 


near tae Ismenian hill, in which they were defeated and lorced to 
retire within the walls. The prophet Teiresias acquainted them 
that if Menockeus, son of Kreon, would offer himself as a victim 
to Ares, victory would be assured to Thebes. The generous 
youth, as soon as he learnt that his life was to be the price of 
safety to his country, went and slew himself before the gates. 
The heroes along with Adrastus now commenced a vigorous 
attack upon the town, each of the seven selecting one of the gates 
to assault. The contest was long and strenuously maintained 
but the devotion of Menoekeus had procured for the Thebans the 
protection of the gods. Parthenopseus was killed with a stone by 
Periklymenus ; and when the furious Kapaneus, having planted 
a scaling-ladder, had mounted the walls, he was smitten by a 
thunderbolt from Zeus and cast down dead upon the earth. This 
event struck terror into the Argeians, and Adrastus called back 
his troops from the attack. The Thebans now sallied forth to 
pursue them, when Eteokles, arresting the battle, proposed to 
decide the controversy by single combat with his brother. The 
challenge, eagerly accepted by Polynikes, was agreed to by 
Adrastus : a single combat ensued between the two brothers, in 
which both were exasperated to fury and both ultimately slain by 
each other's hand. This equal termination left the result of the 
general contest still undetermined, and the bulk of the two armies 
renewed the fight. In the sanguinary struggle which ensued the 
sons of Astakus on the Theban side displayed the most conspicu- 
ous and successful valor. One of them, 1 Melanippus, mortally 
wounded Tydeus while two others, Leades and Amphidikus, 
killed Eteoklus and Hippomedon. Amphiaraus avenged Tydeug 
by killing Melanippus ; but unable to arrest the rout of the army, 

1 The story recounted that the head of Melanippus was brought to Tydeus 
as he was about to expire of his wound, and that he knawed it with his teeth, 
a story touched upon by Sophokles (apud Herodian. in Rhetor. Gnec. t. viii. 
p. 601, Walz.). 

The lyric poet Bacchylides (ap. Schol. Aristoph. Aves, 1535) seems to have 
handled the story even earlier than Sophokles. 

We find the same allegation embodied in charges against real historical 
men: the invective of Montanus against Aquilius Regulus, at the beginning 
of the reign of Vespasian, affirmed, " datam interfectori Pisonis pectin iam a 
Hegulo, appetitumque morsu Pisonis cap 4" 'Tacit. Hist. iv. 42). 



he fled with the rest, closely pursued by Periklymenus. The 
latter was about to pierce him with his spear, when the beneficence 
of Zeus rescued him from this disgrace miraculously opening 
the earth under him, so that Amphiaraus with his chariot and 
horses was received unscathed into her bosom. 1 The exact spot 
where this memorable incident happened was indicated by a se- 
pulchral building, and shown by the Thebans down to the days of 
Pausanias its sanctity being attested by the fact, that no animal 
would consent to touch the herbage which grew within the sacred 
inclosure. Amphiaraus, rendered immortal by Zeus, was wor- 
sliipped as a god at Argos, at Thebes and at Oropus and for 
many centuries gave answers at his oracle to the questions of the 
pious applicant. 2 

1 Apollodor. iii. 6,8. Pindar, Olymp. vi. 11; Nem. ix. 13-27. Pausan. 
ix. 8, 2; 18, 2-4. 

Euripides, in the Phcenissa: fl!22 s&]q.), describes the battle generally; see 
also JEsch. S. Th. 392. It appears by Pausanias that the Thebans had 
poems or legends of their own, relative to this war : they dissented in various 
points from the Cyclic Thebais (ix. 18, 4). The Thebai's said that Perikly- 
menus had killed Parthenopams ; the Thebans assigned this exploit to 
Asphodikus, a warrior not commemorated by any of the poets known to us. 

The village of Harma, between Tanagra and Mykalessus, was affirmed by 
some to have been the spot where Amphiaraus closed his life (Strabo, ix. p 
404) : Sophokles placed the scene at the Amphiarasium near Oropus (up 
Strabon. ix. p. 399). 

2 Pindar, Olymp. vi. 16. "ETTTO ff ETreiTa nvpuv veicpuv Tefoa&evTuv 
'TaAa'iovidas EtTrev iv &tj[3ai(Ti TOIOVTOV n enof HO&EU orpartuf o^'&a^./ 
fydf 'Afj.<j>OTfpov, pavTiv T* ayadbv nal Sovpl fiaxEa&ai. 

The scholiast affirms that these last expressions are borrowed by Pindai 
from the Cyclic Thfibats. 

The temple of Amphiaraus (Tausan. ii. 23, 2), his oracle, seems to have 
been inferior in estimation only to that of Delphi CHerodot. i. 52 ; Pausan. i. 
34 ; Cicero, Divin. i. 40 J. Croesus sent a rich present to Amphiaraus, TTV&O- 
fiEvof avrov rriv TE aperftv KOI rijv Kd-&i)v ("Herod. 1. c) ; a striking proof how 
these interesting legends were recounted and believed as genuine historical 
facts. Other adventures of Amphiaraus in the expedition against Thebes 
were commemorated in the carvings on the Thronus at Amyklas ("Pausan. 
iii. 18,4). 

^Eschylns ("Sept. Theb. 611) seems to enter into the The'ban view, doubt- 
less highly respectful towards Amphiaraus, when he places in the month of 
the Kadmeian king Eteokles such high encomiums on Amphiaraus, and so 
marked a contrast with the other chiefs from Argos. 


Adrastus, thus deprived of the prophet and warrior whom he 
regarded as " the eye of his army," and having seen the other 
chiefs killed in the disastrous fight, was forced to take flight sin- 
gly, and was preserved by the matchless swiftness of his horse 
Areion, the offspring of Poseidon. He reached Argos on his 
return, bringing with him nothing except " his garments of woe 
and his black-maned steed." 1 

Kreon, father of the heroic youth Mencekeus, succeeding to 
the administration of Thebes after the death of the two hostile 
brothers and the repulse of Adrastus, caused Eteokles to be 
buried with distinguished honor, but cast out ignominiously the 
body of Polynikes as a traitor to his country, forbidding every 
one on pain of death to consign it to the tomb. He likewise 
refused permission to Adrastus to inter the bodies of his fallen 
comrades. This proceeding, so offensive to Grecian feeling, gave 
rise to two further tales ; one of them at least of the highest 
pathos and interest. Antigone, the sister of Polynikes, heard 
with indignation the revolting edict consigning her brother's body 
to the dogs and vultures, and depriving it of those rites which 
were considered essential to the repose of the dead. Unmoved 
by the dissuading counsel of an affectionate but timid sister, and 
unable to procure assistance, she determined to brave the hazard 
and to bury the body with her own hands. She was detected in 
the act ; and Kreon, though forewarned by Teiresias of the con- 
sequences, gave orders that she should be buried alive, as having 
deliberately set at naught the solemn edict of the city. His son 
Haemon, to whom she was engaged to be married, in vain inter- 
ceded for her life. In an agony of despair he slew himself in 
the sepulchre to which the living Antigone had been consigned ; 

1 Pausan. viii. 25, 5, from the Cyclic ThebaTs, Ec^ara Avypd <(ifpuv ai>v 
'Apelovi KvavoxaiTq ; also Apollodor. iii. 6, 8. 

The celebrity of the horse Areion was extolled in the Iliad (xxiii. 346), 
in the Cyclic Thebals, and also in the Thebats of Antimachus (Pausan. 1. 
c.) : by the Arcadians of Thelpusia he was said to be the offspring of Dcme- 
ter by Poseidon, he, and a daughter whose name Pausanias will not com- 
municate to the uninitiated (fa TO ovofta if uTfTiearovf Aeyetv ov vo/j.iovai t 
1. C.). A different story is in the Schol. Iliad, xxiii. 346 ; and in Antimach- 
us, who affirmed that " Gaea herself had produced him, as a wonder to mor 
tal men" /ce Antimach. Frag. 16. p. 102 ; Epic. Grace. Frag. ed. Diintzer). 


and bis mother Eurydike, the wife of Kreon, inconsolable for his 
death, perished by her own hand. And thus the new light which 
seened to be springing up over the last remaining scion of the 
devoted family of CEdipus, is extinguished amidst gloom and 
horrors which overshadowed also the house and dynasty of 
Kreon. 1 

The other tale stands more apart from the original legend, 
and seems to have had its origin in the patriotic pride of the 
Athenians. Adrastus, unable to obtain permission from the The- 
bans to inter the fallen chieftains, presented himself in suppliant 
e;uise, accompanied by their disconsolate mothers, to Theseus at 
Eleusis. lie implored the Athenian warrior to extort from the 
perverse Thebans that last melancholy privilege which no decent 
or pious Greeks ever thought of withholding, and thus to stand 
forth as the champion of Grecian public morality in one of its 
most essential points, not less than of the rights of the subterra- 
nean gods. The Thebans obstinately persisting in their refusal, 
Theseus undertook an expedition against their city, vanquished 
them in the field, and compelled them by force of arms to permit 
the -sepulture of their fallen enemies. This chivalrous interposi- 
tion, celebrated in one of the preserved dramas of Euripides, 
formed a subject of glorious recollection to the Athenians through 
out the historical age : their orators dwelt upon it in terms of 
animated panegyric ; and it seems to have been accepted as a 
real fact of the past time, with not less implicit conviction than 
the battle of Marathon. 2 But the Thebans, though equally per- 
suaded of the truth of the main story, dissented from the Athe- 
nian version of it, maintaining that they had given up the bodies 
for sepulture voluntarily and of their own accord. The tomb of 

1 Sophokl. Antigon. 581. Nvv yap ea^araf vnsp 'Pi&e ereraro <j>dof h> 
Qidiirov (Jojizoif, etc. 

The pathetic tale here briefly recounted forms the subject of this beautiful 
tragedy of Sophokles, the argument of which is supposed by Boeckh to have 
been borrowed in its primary rudiments from the Cyclic, ThebaTs or the 
CEdipodia (Boeckh, Dissertation appended to his translation of the Anti- 
gone, c. x. p. 146) ; see Apollodor. iii. 7, 1. 

JEschylus also touches upon the heroism of Antigone (Sep. Theb. 981). 

* Apollodor. iii. 7, 1 ; Eurip. Supp. passim ; Herbdot. ix. 27 ; Plato, Menex 
*in. c. 9; Lysias, Epitaph, c 4 ; Isokrat. Orat. Panegyr. p 196, Auger 


the chieftains was shown near Eleusis even ill the days of Pau 
sanias. 1 

A large proportion both of the interesting persons and of the 
exalted acts of legendary Greece belongs to the female sex. Nor 
can we on this occasion pass over the name of Evadne, the de- 
voted widow of Kapaneus, who cast herself on the funeral pile 
of her husband and perished. 2 

The defeat of the seven chiefs before Thebes was amply aven- 
ged by their sons, again under the guidance of Adrastus : ^Egia- 
leus son of Adrastus, Thersander son of Polynikes, Alkmaaon 
and Amphilochus, sons of Amphiaraus, Diomedes son of Tydeus, 
Sthenelus son of Kapaneus, Promachus son of Parthenopaeus, and 
Euryalus son of Mekistheus, joined in this expedition. Though 
all these youthful warriors, called the Epigoni, took part in the 
expedition, the grand and prominent place appears to have been 
occupied by Alkmaeon, son of Amphiaraus. Assistance was 
given to them from Corinth and Megara, as well as from Mes- 
sene and Arcadia ; while Zeus manifested his favorable disposi- 
tions by signals not to be mistaken. 3 At the river Glisas the 
Epigoni were met by the Thebans in arms, and a battle took 
place in which the latter were completely defeated. Laodamas, 
eon of Eteokles, killed -ZEgialeus, son of Adrastus ; but he and 
his army were routed and driven within the walls by the valor 
and energy of Alkmaeon. The defeated Kadmeians consulted 
the prophet Teiresias, who informed them that the gods had de- 
clared for their enemies, and that there was no longer any hope 
of successful resistance. By his advice they sent a herald to the 
assailants offering to surrender the town, while they themselves 
conveyed away their wives and children, and fled under the com 

1 Pausan. L 39, 2. 

2 Eurip. Supplic. 1004-1110. 

3 Homer, Iliad, iv. 406. Sthenelus. the companion of Diomedes and one 
if the Epigoni, says to Agamemnon, 

'H/j.eif TOI irarepuv [icy' upeivovef ev^o/wi?' elvai' 
'Hfielf Kal 6f/(3r]c I6of eiA.ofj.ev inTanvtoio, 
Tlavporepov Xabv ayayovW virb rei%of "Apeiov, 
HeL-&6fj.evoL repdeaai deuv Kal Zqvde upuyy- 


mand of Laodamas to the Hlyrians, 1 upon which tlie Epigoiii 
entered Thebes, and established Thersander, son of Polynikes, 
on the throne. 

Adrastus, who in the former expedition had been the single 
survivor amongst so many fallen companions, now found himself 
the only exception to the general triumph and joy of the con- 
querors : he had lost his son JEgialeus, and the violent sorrow 
arising from the event prematurely cut short his life. His soft 
voice and persuasive eloquence were proverbial in the ancient 
epic.' 2 He was worshipped as a hero both at Argos and at Sik- 
yon, but with especial solemnity in the last-mentioned place, 
where his Heroum stood in the public agora, and where his ex- 
ploits as well as his sufferings were celebrated periodically in ly- 
ric tragedies. Melanippus, son of Astakus, the brave defender 
of Thebes, who had slain both Tydeus and Mekistheus, was wor- 
shipped with no less solemnity by the Thebans. 3 The enmity 
of these two heroes rendered it impossible for both of them to be 
worshipped close upon the same spot. Accordingly it came to 
pass during the historical period, about the time of the Solonian 
legislation at Athens, that Kleisthene"s, despot of Sikyon, wishing 
to banish the hero Adrastus and abolish the religious solemnities 
celebrated in honor of the latter by the Sikyonians, first applied 
to the Delphian oracle for permission to carry this banishment 
into effect directly and forcibly. That permission being refused, 
he next sent to Thebes an intimation that he was anxious to in- 
troduce their hero Melanippus into Sikyon. The Thebans will- 
ingly consented, and he assigned to the new hero a consecrated 
spot in the strongest and most commanding portion of the Sik- 
yonian prytaneium. He did this (says the historian) " knowing 
that Adrastus would forthwith go away of his own accord ; since 

1 Apollodor. iii. 7, 4. Herodot. v. 57-61. Pausan. ix. 5, 7 ; 9, 2. Diodor. 
iv. 65-66. 

Pindar represents Adrastus as concerned in the second expedition against 
Thebes (Pyth. viii. 40-58). 

3 TTiuaaav T' 'Adpfjarov pethixoyripuv ^ot (Tyrtseus, Elcg. 9, 7, Schneide- 
win); compare Plato, Phaedr. c. 118. "Adrasti pallentis imago" meets the 
eye of JEneas in the under-world (^Eneid, vi. 480). 

3 About Melanippus, see Pindar, Nem. x. 36. His sepulchre was showB 
near the Pro3tid gates of Tnenes (Pausan. ix. 18, 1). 


Melanippus was of all persons the most odious to him, as having 
slain both his son-in-law and his brother." Kleisthenes more- 
over diverted the festivals and sacrifices which had been offered 
to Adrastus, to the newly established hero Melanippus ; and the 
lyric tragedies from the worship of Adrastus to that of Diony- 
sus. But his dynasty did not long continue after his decease, 
and the Sikyonians then reestablished their ancient solemnities. 1 

Near the Proetid gate of Thebes were seen the tombs of 
two combatants who had hated each other during life even more 
than Adrastus and Melanippus the two brothers Eteokles and 
Polynikes. Even as heroes and objects of worship, they still 
continued to manifest their inextinguishable hostility : those who 
offered sacrifices to them observed that the flame and the smokw 
from the two adjoining altars abhorred all communion, and flev 
off in directions exactly opposite. The Theban exegetes assured 
Pausanias of this fact. And though he did not himself witness 
it, yet having seen with his own eyes a miracle not very dissimi- 
lar at Pioniae in Mysia, he had no difficulty in crediting their 
assertion. 2 

Amphiaraus when forced into the first attack of Thebes 
against his own foreknowledge and against the warnings of the 

1 This very curious and illustrative story is contained in Herodot. v. 67. 
'Eirei oe b i?edf TOVTO ov Kapedidov, drceMaJv bniau (Kleisthenes, returning 
from Delphi) i<pp6vn& pr]%avjjv TgavTbf 6 'Adpiytrrof U7r 
TO. i. 'Gf 6e ol kZevprjc&at WOKEE, TTE/z^af c 0J?/3af ruf Bcu&maf, 
Inayayia&ai Mehdvinnov rbv 'AaraKov ol de Qrifialoi edoaav. 'En^yayero 
6e TOV MeAavcrTrov b K7iEia$evi)f, Kal yap TOVTO del uirri^aacr&ai, (if e^-&ia- 
TOV iovTa 'Adp^crr^ of TOV re aSi^Eov Miy/acrrea uneKTovee, Kal TOV ya//- 
Ppbv Tvdea. 

The Sikyonians (Herodotus says) TU re 6fj lM,a kTijiuv TOV 'ASptjaTov, KOI 
Trpdf TU iru&ea OVTOV Tpaymolai xopoiai kyepaipov TOV [lev Atovvaov ov Tipe- 

UVT, Tbv 61 'AdptJCTTOV. 

Adrastus was worshipped as a hero at Megara as well as at Sikyon : the 
Megarians affirmed that he had died there on his way back from Thebes 
(Pausan. i. 43, 1; Dieuchidas, ap. Schol. ad Pindar. Nem. ix. 31). His 
house at Argos was still shown when Pausanias visited the town (ii. 23, 2). 
3 Pausan. ix. 18,3. Tti eV avTolc dpu/J.eva ov deaaafievoe niara bfiu{ 
VKEihrifya elvai. Compare Hygin. f. 68. 

" Et nova fraterno veniet concordia fumo, 

Quern vetus accensi separat ira pyra." (Ovid, Ibis, 35.* 
Tho tale was copied by Ovid from Kallimachus (Trist. v. 5, 38.) 


gods had enjoined his sons Alkmaeon and Amphilochus not 
only to avenge his death upon the Thebans, but also to punish 
the treachery of their mother, " Eriphyle, the destroyer of her 
husband." 1 In obedience to this command, and having obtained 
the sanction of the Delphian oracle, Alkmoeon slew his mother ; 2 
but the awful Erinnys, the avenger of matricide, inflicted on him 
a long and terrible punishment, depriving him of his reason, and 
chasing him about from place to place without the possibility of 
repose or peace of mind. He craved protection and cure from 
the god at Delphi, who required him to dedicate at the temple, as 
an offering, the precious necklace of Kadmus, that irresistible 
bribe which had originally corrupted Eriphyle. 3 He further inti- 
mated to the unhappy sufferer, that though the whole earth was 
tainted with his crime, and had become uninhabitable for him, 
yet there was a spot of ground which was not under the eye of 
the sun at the time when the matricide was committed, and where 

1 ' A.v3pn6apavr' 'EpKbvArjv (Pindar, Nem. ix. 16). A poem Eryphite was 
included among the mythical compositions of Stesichorus : he mentioned in 
it that Asklepius had restored Kapaneus to life, and that he was for that 
reason struck dead by thunder from Zeus (Stesichor. Eragm. Kleine, 18, p. 
74). Two tragedies of Sophokles once existed, Epigoni and AlkmtEtin 
( Welcker, Griechisch. Tragod. i. p. 269) : a few fragments also remain of the 
Latin Epigoni and Alphesibcea of Attius : Ennius and Attius both composed 
or translated from the Greek a Latin Alkmcedn (Poet. Scenic. Latin, ed. Both, 
pp. 33, 164, 198). 

2 Hyginus gives the fable briefly (f. 73 ; see also Asclepiades, ap. Schol. 
Odyss. xi. 326). In like manner, in the case of the matricide of Orestes, 
Apollo not only sanctions, but enjoins the deed ; but his protection against 
the avenging Erinnyes is very tardy, not taking effect until after Orestes has 
been long persecuted and tormented by them (see JEschyl. Eumen. 76, 197 

In the Alkm<E6n of the later tragic writer Thodektes, a distinction was 
drawn: the gods had decreed that Eriphyle should die, but not that Alk- 
moon should kill her (Aristot. Rhetoric, ii. 24). Astydamas altered the 
story still more in his tragedy, and introduced Alkmseon as killing his 
mother ignorantly and without being aware who she was (Aristot. Poetic, c. 
27). The murder of Eriphyle by her son was one of the irapt^/ 
uv&o '. which could not be departed from ; but interpretations and qualifica- 
tions were resorted to, in order to prevent it from shocking the softened 
feelings of the spectators : see the criticism of Aristotle on the Alhncedn of 
Euripides (Ethic. Nicom. iii. 1, 8). 

3 Ephorus ap. Athcnse. vi. p. 232. 


therefore Alkmrcon yet might find a tranquil shelter. The 
promise was realized at the mouth of the river Achelous, whose 
turbid stream was perpetually depositing new earth and forming 
additional islands. Upon one of these, near CEniadae, Alkmaeon 
settled, permanently and in peace: he became the primitive 
hero of Akarnania, to which his son Akarnan gave name. 1 The 
necklace was found among the treasures of Delphi, together with 
that which had been given by Aphrodite to Helen, by the Pho- 
kian plunderers who stripped the temple in the time of Philip 
of Macedon. The Phokian women quarrelled about these valu- 
able ornaments : and we are told that the necklace of Eriphyle 
was allotted to a woman of gloomy and malignant disposition, 
who ended by putting her husband to death ; that of Helen to a 
beautiful but volatile wife, who abandoned her husband from a 
^reference for a young Epirot. 2 

There were several other legends respecting the distracted 
Alkmaeon, either appropriated or invented by the Attic trage- 
dians. He went to Phegeus, king of Psophis in Arcadia, whose 
daughter Arsinoe he married, giving as a nuptial present the 
necklace of Eriphyle. Being however unable to remain there, 
in consequence of the unremitting persecutions of the maternal 
Erinnys, he sought shelter at the residence of king Achelous, 
whose daughter Kallirhoe he made his wife, and on whose soil he 
obtained repose. 3 But Kallirhoe would not be satisfied without 

1 Thucyd. ii. 68-102. 2 Athcnse. 1. c. 

3 Apollodor. iii. 7, 5-6; Pausan. viii. 24, 4. These two authors have pre- 
served the story of the Akarnanians and the old form of the legend, repre- 
senting Alkmaeon as having found shelter at the abode of the person or king 
Achelous, and married his daughter : Thucydides omits the personality of 
Achelous, and merely announces the wanderer as having settled on certain 
new islands deposited by the river. 

I may remark that this is a singularly happy adaptation of a legend to an 
existing topographical fact. Generally speaking, before any such adaptation 
can be rendered plausible, the legend is of necessity much transformed ; here 
it is taken exactly as it stands, and still fits on with great precision. 

Ephorus recounted the whole sequence of events as so much political his- 
tory, divesting it altogether of the legendary character. Alkmseon and Dio- 
medes, after having taken Thebes with the other Epigoni, jointly undertook 
an expedition into jEtolia and Akarnania : they first punished the enemies of 
ihe old CEneus, grandfather of Diomedes, and established the latter as king 
in Kalydon : next they conquered Akarnania for Alkmjeon. Alkmaeon, 


the possession of the necklace of Eriphyle, and Alkmaeon went 
back to Psophis to fetch it, where Phegeus and his sons slew 
him. He had left twin sons, infants, with Kallirhoe, who prayed 
fervently to Zeus that they might be preternaturally invested 
with immediate manhood, in order to revenge the murder of their 
father. Her prayer was granted, and her sons Amphoterus and 
Akarnan, having instantaneously sprung up to manhood, proceed- 
ed into Arcadia, slew the murderers of their father, and brought 
away the necklace of Eriphyle, which they carried to Delphi. 1 

Euripides deviated still more widely from the ancient epic, by 
making Alkmoeon the husband of Manto, daughter of Teiresias, 
and the father of Amphilochus. According to the Cyclic The- 
bai's, Manto was consigned by the victorious Epigoni as a special 
offering to the Delphian god ; and Amphilochus was son of Am- 
phiaraus, not son of Alkmteon. 2 He was the eponymous hero of 
the town called the Amphilochian Argos, in Akarnania, on the 
shore of the Gulf of Ambrakia. Thucydides tells us that he 
went thither on his return from the Trojan war, being dissatisfied 
with the state of affairs which he found at the Peloponnesian 
Argos. 3 The Akarnanians were remarkable for the numerous 
prophets which they supplied to the rest of Greece : their heroes 

though invited br Agamemnon to join in the Trojan war, would not consent 
to do so (Ephor. ap. Strabo. vii. p. 326 ; x. p. 462). 

1 Apollodor. iii. 7, 7 ; Pausan. viii. 24, 3-4. His remarks upon the mis- 
chievous longing of Kallirhoe for the necklace are curious : he ushers them 
in by saying, that " many men, and still more women, are given to fall into 
absurd desires," etc. He recounts it with all the bonne foi which belongs lo 
the most assured matter of fact. 

A short allusion is in Ovid's Metamorphoses fix. 412^) 

2 Theba'id, Cy. Keliqu. p. 70, Leutsch ; Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 408. The 
following lines cited in Athenceus (vii. p. 317) are supposed by Boeckh, with 
probable reason, to be taken from the Cyclic Theba'fs ; a portion of the 
advice of Amphiaraus to his sons at the time of setting out on his last 

TloV%.V~o66c fj.01, TfKVOV, %UV VOOV, 'A/^t^.0^' T/pUff 

Tolffiv e^apfio^ov, rtiv uv KO.TU, 6r/pov IKIJOI. 

There were two tragedies composed by Euripides, under the title of 'A/U- 
paiuv, o Sib i'u^idof, and 'Afapaiuv, 6 did, 'K.opivQov (Dindorf, Fragm, 
Eurip. p. 77). 

3 Apollodor. iii. 7, 7 ; Thucyd. ii. 68. 


were naturally drawn from the great prophetic race of the Ife- 

Thus ends the legend of the two sieges of Thebes ; the great- 
est event, except the siege of Troy, in the ancient epic ; the great- 
est enterprise of war, between Greeks and Greeks, during the 
time of those who are called the Heroes. 



WE now arrive at the capital and culminating point of the 
Grecian epic, the two sieges and capture of Troy, with the 
destinies of the dispersed heroes, Trojan as well as Grecian, 
after the second and most celebrated capture and destruction of 
the city. 

It would require a large volume to convey any tolerable idea 
of the vast extent and expansion of this interesting fable, first 
handled by so many poets, epic, lyric and tragic, with their end- 
less additions, transformations and contradictions, then purged 
and recast by historical inquirers, who under color of setting 
aside the exaggerations of the poets, introduced a new vein of 
prosaic invention, lastly, moralized and allegorized by philoso- 
phers. In the present brief outline of the general field of Gre- 
cian legend, or of that which the Greeks believed to be their an- 
tiquities, the Trojan war can be regarded as only one among a 
large number of incidents upon which Hekataeus and Herodotus 
looked back as constituting their fore-time. Taken as a special 
legendary event, it is indeed of wider and larger interest than 
any other, but it is a mistake to single it out from the rest as if 
it rested upon a different and more trustworthy basis. I must 
therefore confine myself to an abridged narrative of the current 
and leading facts ; and amidst the numerous contradictory state- 
ments which are to be found respecting every one of them, I 
know no better ground of preference than comparative antiquity, 


though even the oldest tales which we possess those contained 
in the Iliad evidently presuppose others of prior date. 

The primitive ancestor of the Trojan line of kings is Dardanus, 
son of Zeus, founder and eponymus of Dardania i 1 in the account 
of later authors, Dardanus was called the son of Zeus by Elektra, 
daughter of Atlas, and was further said to have come from Samo- 
thrace, or from Arcadia, or from Italy ; 2 but of this Homer men- 
tions nothing. The first Dardanian town founded by him was in 
a lofty position on the descent of Mount Ida ; for he was not yet 
strong enough to establish himself on the plain. But his son 
Erichthonius, by the favor cf Zeus, became the wealthiest of man- 
kind. His flocks and herds having multiplied, he had in his pas- 
tures three thousand mares, the offspring of some of whom, by 
Boreas, produced horses of preternatural swiftness. Tros, the 
son of Erichthonius, and the eponym of the Trojans, had three 
sons Dus, Assaracus, and the beautiful Ganymedes, whom Zeus 
stole away to become his cup-bearer in Olympus, giving to his 
father Tros, as the price of the youth, a team of immortal horses. 

From Ilus and Assaracus the Trojan and Dardanian lines di- 
verge ; the former passing from Ilus to Laomedon, Priam and 
Hector; the latter from Assaracus to Capys, Anchises and 
^Eneas. Ilus founded in the plain of Troy the holy city of 
Ilium; Assaracus and his descendants remained sovereigns of 
Dardania. 4 

It was under the proud Laomedon, son of Hus, that Poseidon 
and Apollo underwent, by command of Zeus, a temporary servi- 
tude ; the former building the walls of the town, the latter tending 
the flocks and herds. When their task was completed and the 
penal period had expired, they claimed the stipulated reward ; 
but Laomedon angrily repudiated their demand, and even threat- 
ened to cut off their ears, to tie them hand and foot, and to sell 
them in some distant island as slaves. 5 He was punished for this 

1 Iliad, xx. 215. 

2 Hellanik. Fragm. 129, Didot; Pionys. Hal. i. 50-61 ; Apollodor. iii. 12, 
1 ; Schol. Iliad, xviii. 486 ; Varro, ap. Servium ad Virgil. ^Encid. iii 167- 
Kephalon. Gergithius ap. Steph. Byz. v. 'Apiaftrj. 

3 Iliad, T. 265 ; Hellanik. Fr. 146 ; Apcllod. ii. 5, 9. 

4 Iliad, xx. 236. 

5 Iliad, vii. 451 ; xxi. 456. Hesiod. ap. Schol. Lycophr. 393 


treachery oy a sea-monster, whom Poseidon sent to ravage hii 
fields and to destroy his subjects. Laomedon publicly offered the 
immortal horses given by Zeus to his father Tros, as a reward to any 
one who would destroy the monster. But an oracle declared that a 
virgin of noble blood must be surrendered to him, and the lot fell 
upon Hesione, daughter of Laomedon himself. Herakles arriving 
at this critical moment, killed the monster by the aid of a fort 
built for him by Athene and the Trojans, 1 so as to rescue both the 
exposed maiden and the people ; but Laomedon, by a second act 
of perfidy, gave him mortal horses in place of the matchless ani- 
mals which had been promised. Thus defrauded of his due, Ilera- 
kles equipped six ships, attacked and captured Troy and killed 
Laomedon, 1 * giving Hesione to his friend and auxiliary Telamon, 
to whom she bore the celebrated archer Teukros. 3 A painful 
sense of this expedition was preserved among the inhabitants of 
the historical town of Ilium, who offered no worship to Hera- 

Among all the sons of Laomedon, Priam 5 was the only one who 
had remonstrated against the refusal of the well-earned guerdon 
of Herakles ; for which the hero recompensed him by placing 
him on the throne. Many and distinguished were his sons and 
daughters, as well by his wife Hekabe, daughter of Kisseus, as 
by other women. 6 Among the sons were Hector, 7 Paris, Deipho- 

1 Iliad, xx. 145 ; Dionys. Hal. i. 52. 

2 Iliad, v. 640. Menekles (ap. Schol. Venet. ad loc.) affirmed that this 
expedition of Hurakles was a fiction ; but Dikaearchus gave, besides, other 
exploits of the hero in the same neighborhood, at Thebe Hypoplakie (Seh?!. 
Iliad, vi. 396). 

3 Diodor. iv. 32-49. Compare Venet. Schol. ad Iliad, viii. 284. 

4 Strabo, xiii. p. 596. 

6 As Dardanus, Tros and Ilus are respectively eponyms of Dardania 
Troy and Ilium, so Priam is eponym of the acropolis Pergamum. llpiapo is 
in the JEolic dialect Heppa^of (Hesychius) : upon which Ahrens remarks, 
" Ceeterum ex hac JEolici nominis form apparet, Priamum non minus arcis 
Hepyu.ji.uv eponymum cssc, quam Hum urbis, Troem populi : Hepyapa enim 
a ~\lepiafj.a natum est, i in y mutato." (Ahrens, De Dialecto JEo\ic&, 8, 7. p. 
5C: compare ibid. 28, 8. p. 150,7r^/V tiTruTiu). 

6 Iliad, vi. 245 ; xxiv. 495. 

7 Hector was affirmed, both by Steisichoras and Ihykus, to be the son of 
Apollo (Stesichorus, ap. Schol. Ven. ad Iliad, xxiv. 259; Ibyki Frngm. xir 


bus, Helenus, Troilus, Polites, Poiydorus ; among the daughter? 
Laodike, Kreiisa, Polyxena, and Kassandra. 

The birth of Paris was preceded by formidable presages ; for 
Hekabe dreamt that she was delivered of a firebrand, and Priam, 
on consulting the soothsayers, was informed that the son about 
to be born would prove fatal to him. Accordingly he directed 
the child to be exposed on Mount Ida ; but the inauspicious kind- 
ness of the gods preserved him, and he grew up amidst the flocks 
and herds, active and beautiful, fair of hair and symmetrical in 
person, and the special favorite of Aphrodite. 1 

It was to this youth, in his solitary shepherd's walk on Mount 
Ida, that the three goddesses Here, Athene, and Aphrodite were 
conducted, in order that he might determine the dispute respect- 
ing their comparative beauty, which had arisen at the nuptials of 
Peleus and Thetis, a dispute brought about in pursuance of the 
arrangement, and in accomplishment of the deep-laid designs, of 
Zeus. For Zeus, remarking with pain the immoderate numbers of 
the then existing heroic race, pitied the earth for the overwhelming 
burden which she was compelled to bear, and determined to 
lighten it by exciting a destructive and long-continued war. 2 

ed. Schneidewin) : both Euphorion (Fr. 125, Meineke) and Alexander JEtoI us 
follow the same idea. Stesichorus further stated, that after the siege Apollp 
had carried Hekabe away into Lykia to rescue her from captivity (Pausa- 
nias, x. 27, 1 ) : according to Euripides, Apollo had promised that she should 
die in Troy (Troad. 427). 

By Sappho, Hector was given as a surname of Zeus, Zevf "Erwp (Hesy- 
cliius, v. "EKTOpsf ) ; a prince belonging to the regal family of Chios, anterior 
to the Ionic settlement, as mentioned by the Chian poet Ion (Pausan. vii. 3, 
3), was so called. 

1 Iliad, iii. 45-55 ; Schol. Iliad, iii. 325 ; Hygin. fab. 91 ; Apollodor. iii. 12, 5. 
* This was the motive assigned to Zeus by the old epic poem, the Cyprian 
Verses (Trag. 1. Diintz. p. 12; ap. Schol. ad Iliad, i. 4): 
'H 6e iaropia napa Sracruy TU ru Kimpta TreironiKOTt, E'IKOVT ovruf 

*Hv ore ftvpta fyvha narii x&ova ir%a6[tcva 

(3apvarepvov Tr/larof a?f. 

Zet)f de iduv e^irjae, KOI ev TniKivaif npanidecfai 
Zwi9-ero Kowpiacu avdpiJTruv nafipuropa yalav, 
'Pnria-if irohepov /zeya/l^v eptv 'I/UcKOto, 
'Otipa Kevuaeiev davaTU pupof oi <5' ivl Tpoiq 
"Hpuef KTE'LVOVTO, A<<>f <T ireheieTO 0ov%,7). 
The same motive is touched upon by Eurip. Orest, 1635 ; Helen. 38 ; and 


Paris awarded the palm of beauty to Aphrodite, who promised 
him in recompense the possession of Helena, wife of the Spartan 
Menelaus, the daughter of Zeus and the fairest of living women. 
At the instance of Aphrodite, ships were built for him, and he 
embarked on the enterprise so fraught with eventual disaster 
to his native city, in spite of the menacing prophecies of his 
brother Helenus, and the always neglected wamings of Kassan- 

Paris, on arriving at Sparta, was hospitably entertained by 
Menelaus as well as by Kastor and Pollux, and was enabled to 
present the rich gifts which he had brought to Helen. 2 Menelaus 
then departed to Krete, leaving Helen to entertain his Trojan 
guest a favorable moment which was employed by Aphrodite 
to bring about the intrigue and the elopement. Paris carried 
away with him both Helen and a large sum of money belonging 
to Menelaus made a prosperous voyage to Troy and arrived 
there safely with his prize on the third day. 3 

Menelaus, informed by Iris in Krete of the perfidious return 
made by Paris for his hospitality, hastened home in grief and 

seriously maintained, as it seems, by Chrysippus, ap. Plutarch. Stoic. Rep. p. 
1049 : but the poets do not commonly go back farther than the passion of 
Paris for Helen (Theognis, 1232 ; Simonid. Amorg. Fragm. 6, 118). 

The judgment of Paris was one of the scenes represented on the ancient 
chest of Kypselus at Olympia (Pausan. v. 19, 1). 

1 Argument of the '707 KvTrpta (ap. Duntzer, p. 10). These warnings of 
Kassandra form the subject of the obscure and affected poem of Lycophron. 

J According to the Cyprian Verses, Helena was daughter of Zeus by Ne- 
mesis, who had in vain tried to evade the connection (Athenae. viii. 334). 
Hesiod (Schol. Pindar. Nem. x. 150) represented her as daughter of Oceanus 
and Tethys, an oceanic nymph: Sappho (Fragm. 17, Schneidewin), Pausa- 
nias (i. 33, 7), Apollodorus (iii. 10, 7), and Isokrates (Encom. Helen, v. ii. p. 
366, Auger) reconcile the pretensions of Leda and Nemesis to a sort of joint 
maternity (see Heinrichsen, De Carminibns Cypriis, p. 45-46J. 

3 Herodot. ii. 117. He gives distinctly the assertion of the Cyprian Verses, 
which contradicts the argument of the poem as it appears in Proclus (Fragm. 
1. 1.), according to which latter, Paris is driven out of his course by a storm 
and captures the city of Sidon. Homer (Iliad, vi. 293) seems however to 
countenance the statement in the argument. 

That Paris was guilty of robbery, as well as of the abduction of Helen, is 
several times mentioned in the Iliad (iii. 144; vii. 350-363), also in the argu- 
ment of the Cyprian Verses (sec JEschyl. Agam. 534) 


indignation to consult with his brother Agamemnon, as well as 
with the venerable Nestor, on the means of avenging the out- 
rage. They made known the event to the Greek chiefs around 
them, among whom they found universal sympathy : Nestor, Pal- 
amedes and others went round to solicit aid in a contemplated 
attack of Troy, under the command of Agamemnon, to whom 
each chief promised both obedience and unwearied exertion until 
Helen should be recovered. 1 Ten years were spent in equipping 
the expedition. The goddesses Here and Athene, incensed at 
the preference given by Paris to Aphrodite, and animated by 
steady attachment to Argos, Sparta and Mykenae, took an active 
part in the cause ; and the horses of Here were fatigued with 
her repeated visits to the different parts of Greece. 2 

By such efforts a force was at length assembled at Aulis 3 in 
Bceotia, consisting of 1186 ships and more than 100,000 men, 
a force outnumbering by more than ten to one anything that the 
Trojans themselves could oppose, and superior to the defenders 

1 The ancient epic (Schol. ad II. ii. 286-339) does not recognize the story 
of the numerous suitors of Helen, and the oath by which Tyndarcus bound 
them all before he made the selection among them, that each should swear 
not only to acquiesce, but even to aid in maintaining undisturbed possession 
to the husband whom she should choose. This story seems to have been 
first told by Stesichorus (see Fragm. 20. ed. Kleine ; Apollod. iii. 10, 8). Yet 
it was evidently one of the prominent features of the current legend in the 
time of Thucydides (i. 9; Euripid. Iphig. Aul. 51-80; Soph. Ajax, 1100). 

The exact spot in which Tyndareus exacted this oath from the suitors, 
near Sparta, was pointed out even in the time of Pausanias (iii. 20, 9). 

2 Iliad, iv. 27-55 ; xxiv. 765. Argument. Carm. Cypri. The point is em- 
phatically touched upon by Dio Chrysostom (Orat. xi. p. 335-336) in his 
assault upon the old legend. Two years' preparation in Dictys Cret. 
i. 16. 

3 The Spartan king Agesilaus, when about to start from Greece on his 
expedition into Asia Minor (396 B. c.) went to Aulis personally, in order 
that he too might sacrifice on the spot where Agamemnon had sacrificed 
when he sailed for Troy CXenoph. Hellen. iii. 4, 4). 

Skylax (c. 60) notices the iepbv at Aulis, and nothing else : it seems to 
have been like the adjoining Delium, a temple with a small village grown up 
around it 

Aulis is recognized as the port from which the expedition started, in the 
Hosiodic Works and Days (v. 650] 

TOL. I. 13 190C. 


of Troy even with all her allies included. 1 It comprised hercci 
with their followers from the extreme points of Greece from 
the north-western portions of Thessalj under Mount Olympus, 
as well as the western islands of Dulicliium and Ithaca, and the 
eastern islands of Krete and Rhodes. Agamemnon himself con- 
tributed 100 ships manned with the subjects of his kingdom of 
Mykenae, besides furnishing 60 ships to the Arcadians, who pos- 
sessed none of their own. JMenelaus brought with him GO ships, 
Nestor from Pylus 90, Idomeneus from Krete and Diomedes 
from Argos 80 each. Forty ships were manned by the Eleians, 
under four different chiefs ; the like number under Meges from 
Dulichium and the Echinades, and under Thoas from Kalydon 
and the other JEtolian towns. Odysseus from Ithaca, and Ajax 
from Salamis, brought 12 ships each. The Abantes from Eu- 
boea, under Elephenor, filled 40 vessels ; the Boeotians, under 
Peneleos and Leitus, 50 ; the inhabitants of Orchomenus and 
Aspledon, 30 ; the light-armed Locrians, under Ajax son of Oile- 
us, 2 40 ; the Phokians as many. The Athenians, under Menes- 
theus, a chief distinguished for his skill in marshalling an army, 
mustered 50 ships ; the Myrmidons from Phthia and Hellas, undei 
Achilles, assembled in 50 ships ; Protesilaus from Phylake and 
Pyrasus, and Eurypylus from Ormenium, each came with 40 
ships ; Machaon and Podaleirius, from Trikka, with 30 ; Adme- 
tus, from Pherte and the lake Bcebeis, with 11 ; and Philoktetes 
from Meliboea with 7 : the Lapithas, under Polypostes, son of 
Peirithous, filled 40 vessels ; the .ZEnianes and Perrhsebians, 
under Guneus, 3 22 ; and the Magnetes under Prothous, 40 ; these 
last two were from the northernmost parts of Thessaly, near the 
mountains Pelion and Olympus. From Rhodes, under Tlepole- 
mus, son of Herakles, appeared 9 ships ; from Syme, under the 
comely but effeminate Mreus, 3 ; from K6s, Krapathus and the 

1 Iliad, ii. 128. Uschold CGeschichtc des Trojanischcn Kricgs, p. 9, Stutgart 
1836) makes the total 135,000 men. 

2 The Hesiodic Catalogue notices Oilens, or Dens, with a singular ctymo 
logy of his name (Fragm. 136, ed. Marktscheffel). 

3 Tovveiie is the Heros Eponymus of the town of Gonnus in Thessaly ; tin 
duplication of the consonant and shortening of the vowe\ oelonc to th 
jftolic dialect (Ahrcns. De Dialect, ^olic. 50, 4. p. 220). 


neighboring islands, 30, under the orders of Pheidippus and An- 
tiphus, sons of Thessalus and grandsons of Herakles. 1 

Among this band of heroes were included the distinguished 
warriors Ajax and Diomedes, and the sagacious Nestor ; while 
Agamemnon himself, scarcely inferior to either of them in prow- 
ess, brought with him a high reputation for prudence in command. 
But the most marked and conspicuous of all were Achilles and 
Odysseus ; the former a beautiful youth born of a divine mother, 
swift in the race, of fierce temper and irresistible might ; the lat- 
ter not less efficient as an ally from his eloquence, his untiring 
endurance, his inexhaustible resources under difficulty, and the 
mixture of daring courage with deep-laid cunning which never 
deserted him : 2 the blood of the arch-deceiver Sisyphus, through 
an illicit connection with his mother Antikleia, was said to flow 
in his veins, 3 and he was especially patronized and protected by 
the goddess Athene. Odysseus, unwilling at first to take part in 
the expedition, had even simulated insanity ; but Palamedes, sent 
to Ithaca to invite him, tested the reality of his madness by plac- 
ing in the furrow where Odysseus was ploughing, his infant son 
Telemachus. Thus detected, Odysseus could not refuse to join 
the Achasan host, but the prophet Halitherses predicted to him 
that twenty years would elapse before he revisited his native 
land. 4 To Achilles the gods had promised the full effulgence of 

1 See the Catalogue in the second book of the Iliad. There must pr> 
ably have been a Catalogue of the Greeks also in the Cyprian Verses ; for 
a Catalogue of the allies of Troy is specially noticed in the Argument of 
Proclus (p. 12. Diintzer). 

Euripides (Iphig. Aid. 165-300) devotes one of the songs of the Chorus 
to a partial Catalogue of the chief heroes. 

According to Dictys Cretensis, all the principal heroes engaged in the 
expedition were kinsmen, all Pelopids (i. 14) : they take an oath not to lay 
down their arms until Helen shall have been recovered, and they receive 
from Agamemnon a large sum of gold. 

2 For the character of Odysseus, Iliad, iii. 202-220 ; x. 247. Odyss. xiii. 

The Philoktetes of Sophokles carries out very justly the character of the 
Homeric Odysseus (see v. 1035) more exactly than the Ajax of the samo 
poet depicts it. 

3 Sophokl. Philoktet. 417, and Schol. also Schol. ad Soph. Ajac. 190. 

4 Homer, Odyss. xxiv. 115 ; JEschyl. Agam, 841 ; Sophokl. Philoktet. 1011 


heroic glory before the walls of Troy ; nor could the place be 
taken without both his cooperation and that of his son after him. 
But they hud forewarned him that this brilliant career would be 
rapidly brought to a close ; and that if he desired a long life, he 
must remain tranquil and inglorious in his native land. In spite 
of the reluctance of his mother Thetis, he preferred few years 
with bright renown, and joined the Achaean host. 1 When Nes- 
tor and Odysseus came to Phthia to invite him, both he and his 
intimate friend Patroclus eagerly obeyed the call. 2 

Agamemnon and his powerful host set sail from Aulis ; but 
being ignorant of the locality and the direction, they landed by 
mistake in Teuthrania, a part of Mysia near the river Kaikus, 
and began to ravage the country under the persuasion that it 
was the neighborhood of Troy. Telephus, the king of the coun- 
try, 3 opposed and repelled them, but was ultimately defeated and 
severely wounded by Achilles. The Greeks now, discovering 
their mistake, retired ; but their fleet was dispersed by a storm 
and driven back to Greece. Achilles attacked and took Skyrus, 
and there married Deidamia, the daughter of Lycomedes. 4 Te- 
lephus, suffering from his wounds, was directed by the oracle to 
come to Greece and present himself to Achilles to be healed, by 
applying the scrapings of the spear with which the wound had 
been given : thus restored, he became the guide of the Greeks 
when they were prepared to renew their expedition. 5 

with the Schol. Argument of the Cypria in Heinrichsen, De Carmin. Cypr. 
p. 23 (the sentence is left out in Dllntzer, p. 11). 

A lost tragedy of Sophokles, 'OSvcoeve Maivo/uevoe, handled this subject. 

Other Greek chiefs were not less reluctant than Odysseus to take part in 
the expedition : see the tale of Pcemandrus, forming a part of the temple- 
legend of the Achilleium at Tanagra in Bceotia (Plutarch, Question. Gra;c. 
p. 299). 

1 Iliad, i. 352; ix. 411. Iliad, xi. 782. 

3 Telephus was the son of Auge, daughter of king Alcus of Tegea in 
Arcadia, by HeraklSs : respecting her romantic adventures, see the previous 
chapter on Arcadian legends Strabo's faith in the story (xii. p. 572). 

The spot called the Harbor of the Achaeans, near Gryneium, was stated 
to be the place where Agamemnon and the chiefs took counsel whether they 
should attack Telephus or not (Skylax, c. 97 ; compare Strabo, xiv. p. 622). 

4 Iliad, xi. 664; Argum. Cypr. p. 11, Ddntzer; Diktys Cret. ii. 3- 4. 

5 Euripid. Telephus, Frag. 26, Pindorf ; Hygin. f. 101 ; Diktys, ii. 10. Eu 
ripide's had treated the adventure of Telephus in this lost tnuredv: he gave 


The armament was again assembled at Aulis, but the goddess 
Artemis, displeased with the boastful language of Agamemnon, 
prolonged the duration of adverse winds, and the offending chief 
was compelled to appease her by the well-known sacrifice of his 
daughter Iphigeneia. 1 They then proceeded to Tenedos, from 
whence Odysseus and Menelaus were despatched as envoys to 
Troy, to redemand Helen and the stolen property. In spite of 
the prudent counsels of Anten6r, who received the two Grecian 
chiefs with friendly hospitality, the Trojans rejected the demand, 
and the attack was resolved upon. It was foredoomed by the 
gods that the Greek who first landed should perish : Protesi- 
laus was generous enough to put himself upon this forlorn hope, 
and accordingly fell by the hand of Hector. 

Meanwhile the Trojans had assembled a large body of allies 
from various parts of Asia Minor and Thrace : Dardanians under 
.^Eneas, Lykians under Sarpedon, Mysians, Karians, Maeonians, 
Alizonians, 2 Phrygians, Thracians, and Paeonians. 3 But vain 

the miraculous cure with the dust of the spear, Kpiaroiat 
pivfifiaai. Diktys softens down the prodigy : " Achilles cum Machaone et 
Podalirio adhibcutes curam vulneri," etc. Pliny (xxxiv. 15) gives to the 
rust of brass or iron a place in the list of genuine remedies. 

" Longe omnino a Tiberi ad Caicum : quo in loco etiam Agamemnon 
errasset, nisi ducem Telephum invenisset" (Cicero, Pro L. Flacco, c. 29). 
The portions of the Trojan legend treated in the lost epics and the trage 
dians, seem to have been just as familiar to Cicero as those noticed in the 

Strabo pays comparatively little attention to any portion of the Trojan 
war except what appears in Homer. He even goes so far as to give a reason 
why the Amazons did not come to the aid of Priam : they were at enmity 
with him, because Priam had aided the Phrygians agaist them (Iliad, iii 
188 : in Strabo, roZf 'Itiaiv must be a mistake for rots $pv!;iv). Strabo can 
hardly have read, and never alludes to, Arktinus ; in whose poem the brave 
and beautiful Penthesileia, at the head of her Amazons, forms a marked 
epoch and incident of the war (Strabo, xii. 552). 

1 Nothing occurs in Homer respecting the sacrifice of Iphigeneia (seo 
Schol. Yen. ad H. ix. 145). 

2 No portion of the Homeric Catalogue gave more trouble to Demetrius 
of Skepsis and the other expositors than these Alizonians (Strabo, xii. p 
549 ; xiii. p. 603) : a fictitious place called Alizonium, in the region of Ida 
was got up to meet the difficulty (elr' 'A/Ujvtoi>, ToOr 1 rjdrj 

vov irpbf ryv TUV 'Aht&vuv vnodeaiv, etc., Strabo, 1. c.). 

3 See the Catalogue of the Trojans (Iliad, ii. 815-877). 


was the attempt to oppose the landing of the Greeks : the Tro 
jans were routed, and even the invulnerable Cycnus, 1 son of 
Poseidon, one of the great bulwarks of the defence, was slain by 
Achilles. Having driven the Trojans within their walls, Achilles 
attacked and stormed Lyrnessus, Pedasus, Lesbos and other 
places in the neighborhood, twelve towns on the sea-coast and 
eleven in the interior; he drove off the oxen of ./Eneas and 
pursued the hero himself, who narrowly escaped with his life : 
he surprised and killed the youthful Troilus, son of Priam, and 
captured several of the other sons, whom he sold as prisoners 
into the islands of the ^Egean. 2 He acquired as his captive the 
fair Brisgis, while Chryseis was awarded to Agamemnon: he 
was moreover eager to see the divine Helen, the prize and sti- 
mulus of this memorable struggle ; and Aphrodite and Thetis 
contrived to bring about an interview between them.3 

At this period of the war the Grecian army was deprived of 
Palamedes, one of its ablest chiefs. Odysseus had not forgiven 
the artifice by which Palamedes had detected his simulated in- 
sanity, nor was he without jealousy of a rival clever and cun- 
ning in a degree equal, if not superior, to himself; one who had 
enriched the Greeks with the invention of letters, of dice for 

1 Cycnus was said by later writers to be king of Kolonae in the Troail 
(Strabo, xiii. p. 589-603; Aristotel. Rhetoric, ii. 23). ^Eschylus introduced 
upon the Attic stage both Cycnus and Memnon in terrific equipments ( Aris- 
tophan. Ran. 957. OW ^ETT^JITTOV avroiig KVKVOVC ayuv Kal M-E/ivovaf KU- 
dttvoQahapoirMovf). Compare Welckcr, ^Eschyl. Trilogie, p. 433. 

2 Iliad, xxiv. 752; Argument of the Cypria, pp. 11, 12, Diintzer. These 
desultory exploits of Achilles furnished much interesting romance to the 
later Greek poets (see Parthenius, Narrat. 21). See the neat summary of 
the principal events of the war in Quintus Smyrn. xiv. 125-140; Dio Chry- 
sost. Or. XL p. 338-342. 

Troilus is only once named in the Iliad (xxiv. 253); he was mentioned 
also in the Cypria; but his youth, beauty, and untimely end made him an 
object of great interest with the subsequent poets. Sophokles had a tragedy 
called Trdilus (Welcker, Griechisch. Tragod. i. p. 124) ; Tdi> avdpoxaida 6ea- 
noTijv aTrMeaa, one of the Fragm. Even earlier than Sophokle's, his beau- 
ty was celebrated by the tragedian Phrynichus (Athense. xiii. p. 564; Virgil, 
-<Eneid, i. 474; Lycophron, 307). 

3 Argument. Cypr. p. 11, Diintz. Kal pera ravra 'A^iAAet^ 'Etevqv i-m. 
&vutl -ftedaaodai, Kal ovvrjyayov ai>Toi)<; etc rd avrb 'A^p.)6irij icai Qerif. 
icene which would have been highly interesting in the hands of Homer. 


tuucuement, of night-watches, as well as with other useful sug- 
gestions. According to the old Cyprian epic, Palamedes was 
drowned while fishing, by the hands of Odysseus and Diomedes. 1 
Neither in the Iliad nor the Odyssey does the name of Palamedes 
occur : the lofty position which Odysseus occupies in both those 
poems noticed with some degree of displeasure even by Pin- 
dar, who described Palamedes as the wiser man of the two is 
sufficient to explain the omission. 2 But in the more advanced 
period of the Greek mind, when intellectual superiority came to 
acquire a higher place in the public esteem as compared with 
military prowess, the character of Palamedes, combined with his 
unhappy fate, rendered him one of the most interesting persona- 
ges in the Trojan legend. ^Eschylus, Sophokles and Euripides 
each consecrated to him a special tragedy ; but the mode of his 
death as described in the old epic was not suitable to Athenian 
ideas, and accordingly he was represented as having been falsely 
accused of treason by Odysseus, who caused gold to be buried in 
his tent, and persuaded Agamemnon and the Grecian chiefs that 
Palamedes had received it from the Trojans. 3 He thus forfeited 
his life, a victim to the calumny of Odysseus and to the delusion 

1 Argum. Cypr. 1. 1.; Pausan. x. 31. The concluding portion of the 
Cypria seems to have passed under the title of TiaXa^rideia (see Fragm. 16 
and 18. p. 15, DUntz. ; Welcker, Der Episch. Cycl. p. 459; Eustath. ad Horn. 
Odyss. i. 107). 

The allusion of Quintus Smyrnams (v. 197) seems rather to point to tho 
story in the Cypria, which Strabo (viii. p. 368) appears not to have read. 

2 Pindar, Nem. vii. 21 ; Aristides, Orat. 46. p. 260. 

3 See the Fragments of the three tragedians, Ha^a^^f Aristeides, Or. 
xlvi. p. 260 ; Philostrat. Heroic, x. ; Hygin. fab. 95-105. Discourses for and 
against Palamedes, one by Alkidamas, and one under the name of Gorgias, 
are printed in Reiske's Orr. Graec. t. viii. pp. 64, 102 ; Virgil, JEneid, ii. 82, 
with the ample commentary of Servius Polyaen. Prooe. p. 6. 

Welcker (Griechisch. Tragod. v. i. p. 130, vol. ii. p. 500) has evolved with 
ingenuity the remaining fragments of the lost tragedies. 

According to Diktys, Odysseus and Diomedes prevail upon Palamedes to 
he let down into a deep well, and then cast stones upon him (ii. 15). 

Xenophon (De Venatione, c. 1) evidently recognizes the story in tho 
Cypria, that Odysseus and Diomedes caused the death of Palamedes ; but 
he cannot believe that two such exemplary men were really guilty of sc 
iniquitous an act KOKOI 6e ZirpaS-av TO Hpyov. 

One of the eminences near Napoli still bears the name of Palamidhi. 


of the leading Greeks. In the last speech made by the philoso- 
pher Socrates to his Athenian judges, he alludes with sclemnity 
and fellow-feeling to the unjust condemnation of Palamedes, as 
analogous to that which he himself was about to suffer, and hia 
companions seem to have dwelt with satisfaction on the compari- 
son. Palamedes passed for an instance of the slanderous enmity 
and misfortune which so often wait upon superior genius. 1 

In these expeditions the Grecian army consumed nine years, 
during which the subdued Trojans dared not give battle without 
their walls for fear of Achilles. Ten years was the fixed epical 
duration of the siege of Troy, just as five years was the duration 
of the siege of Kamikus by the Kretan armament which came 
to avenge the death of Minos : 2 ten years of preparation, ten 
years of siege, and ten years of wandering for Odysseus, were 
periods suited to the rough chronological dashes of the ancient 
epic, and suggesting no doubts nor difficulties with the original 
hearers. But it was otherwise when the same events came to be 
contemplated by the historicizing Greeks, who could not be satis- 
fied without either finding or inventing satisfactory bonds of co- 
herence between the separate events. Thucydides tells us that 
the Greeks were less numerous than the poets have represented, 
and that being moreover very poor, they were unable to procure 
adequate and constant provisions : hence they were compelled to 
disperse their army, and to employ a part of it in cultivating the 
Chersonese, a part in marauding expeditions over the neigh- 
borhood. Could the whole army have been employed against 
Troy at once (he says), the siege would have been much more 
speedily and easily concluded. 3 If the great historian could per- 
mit himself thus to amend the legend in so many points, we 
might have imagined that the simpler course would have been to 
include the duration of the siege among the list of poetical ex- 
aggerations, and to affirm that the real siege had lasted only one 

1 Plato, Apolog. Socr. c. 32 ; Xenoph. Apol. Socr. 26 ; Mcmor. ir. 3, 33 ; 
Liban. pro Socr. p. 242, ed. Morell. ; Lucian, Dial. Mort. 20. 

2 Herodot. vii. 170. Ten years is a proper mythical period for a grest war 
to last : the war between the Olympic gods and the Titan gods la**** ten 
years (Hesiod, Theogon. 636). Compare <Je/cur^ fatavriji (Hom. 

xvi. 17). 
*Thucyd. i. 11. 


year instead of ten. But it seems that the ten years' duration 
was so capital a feature in the ancient tale, that no critic ventured 
to meddle with it. 

A period of comparative intermission however was now at 
hand for the Trojans. The gods brought about the memorable 
fit of anger of Achilles, under the influence of which he refused 
to put on his armor, and kept his Myrmidons in camp. Accord- 
ing to the Cypria, this was the behest of Zeus, who had compas- 
sion on the Trojans : according to the Iliad, Apollo was the origi- 
nating cause, 1 from anxiety to avenge the injury which his priest 
Chryses had endured from Agamemnon. For a considerable 
time, the combats of the Greeks against Troy were conducted 
without their best warrior, and severe indeed was the humiliation 
which they underwent in consequence. How the remaining Gre- 
cian chiefs vainly strove to make amends for his absence how 
Hector and the Trojans defeated and drove them to their ships 
how the actual blaze of the destroying flame, applied by Hec- 
tor to the ship of Protesilaus, roused up the anxious and sympa- 
thizing Patroclus, and extorted a reluctant consent from Achil- 
les, to allow his friend and his followers to go forth and avert the 
last extremity of ruin how Achilles, when Patroclus had been 
killed by Hector, forgetting his anger in grief for the death of 
his friend, reentered the fight, drove the Trojans within their 
walls with immense slaughter, and satiated his revenge both 
upon the living and the dead Hector all these events have 
been chronicled, together with those divine dispensations on 
which most of them are made to depend, in the immortal verse 
of the Iliad. 

Homer breaks off with the burial of Hector, whose body has 
just been ransomed by the disconsolate Priam ; while the lost 
poem of Arktinus, entitled the ^Ethiopia, so far as we can judge 
from the argument still remaining of it, handled only the subse- 
quent events of the siege. The poem of Quintus Smyrnaeus, com- 
posed about the fourth century of the Christian aera, seems in its 
first books to coincide with the JEthiopis, in the subsequent 
books partly with the Hias Minor of Lesches. 2 

1 Homer, Iliad, i. 21. 

9 Tychsen, Commentat. de Quinto Smyrnaeo, iii. c. 5-7. Th 


The Trojans, dismayed by the death of Hector, were again an- 
imated with hope by the appearance of the warlike and beaut it'ul 
queen of the Amazons, Penthesileia, daughter of Ares, hitherto 
invincible in the field, who came to their assistance from Thrace 
at the head of a band of her countrywomen. She again led the 
besieged without the walls to encounter the Greeks in the open 
field ; and under her auspices the latter were at first driven back, 
until she too was slain by the invincible arm of Achilles. The 
victor, on taking off the helmet of his fair enemy as she lay on 
the ground, was profoundly affected and captivated by her 
charms, for which he was scornfully taunted by Thersites: ex- 
asperated by this rash insult, he killed Thersites on the spot with 
a blow of his fist. A violent dispute among the Grecian chiefs 
was the result, for Diomedes, the kinsman of Thersites, warmly 
resented the proceeding ; and Achilles was obliged to go to Les- 
bus, where ho was purified from the act of homicide by Odys- 
eeus. 1 

Next arrived Memnon, son of Tithonus and Eos, the most 
stately of living men, with a powerful band of black .^Ethiopians, 
to the assistance of Troy. Sallying forth against the Greeks, he 
made great havoc among them: the brave and popular Anti- 
lochus perished by his hand, a victim to filial devotion in defence 
of Nestor. 9 Achilles at length attacked him, and for a long time 
the combat was doubtful between them : the prowess of Achilles 
and the supplication of Thetis with Zeus finally prevailed ; 

Hepaie was treated both by Arktinus and by Lesches : with the latter it 
formed a part of the Ilias Minor. 

1 Argument of the JEthiopis, p. 16, Diintzcr; Quint. Smyrn. lib. i. ; Dik- 
tys Cret. iv. 2-3. 

In the Philoktetes, of Sophokles, Thersites survives Achilles (Soph. Phil 

- Odyss. xi. 522. Kelvov 6r/ KuAXtaTov I6ov, fieru, M.efj.vova 6iov : see also 
Odyss. iv. 187 ; Pindar, Pyth. vi. 31. ^schylus (ap. Strabo. xv. p. 728) 
conceives Memnon as a Persian starting from Susa. 

Ktesias gave in his history full details respecting the expedition of Mem* 
non, sent by the king of Assyria to the relief of his dependent, Priam ot 
Troy ; all this was said to be recorded in the royal an_Aivcs. The Egyp- 
tians affirmed that Memnon had come from Egypt (Diodor. ii. 22 ; compare 
iv. 77): the two stories are blended together in Pausanias, x. 31, 2. The 
Phrygians pointed out the road along which he had marched. 


whilst Eos obtained for her vanquished son the consoling gift of 
immortality. His tomb, however, 1 was shown near the Propontis, 
within a few miles of the mouth of the river -ZEsepus, and was 
visited annually by the birds called Memnonides, who swept it 
and bedewed it with water from the stream. So the traveller 
Pausanias was told, even in the second century after the Chris- 
tian sera, by the Hellespontine Greeks. 

But the fate of Achilles himself was now at hand. After 
routing the Trojans and chasing them into the town, he was slain 
near the Skaean gate by an arrow from the quiver of Paris, di- 
rected under the unerring auspices of Apollo. 2 The greatest 
efforts were made by the Trojans to possess themselves of the 
body, which was however rescued and borne off to the Grecian 
camp by the valor of Ajax and Odysseus. Bitter was th6 grief of 
Thetis for the loss of her son : she came into the camp with 
the Muses and the Nereids to mourn over him ; and when a 
magnificent funeral-pile had been prepared by the Greeks to burn 
him with every mark of honor, she stole away the body and con- 
veyed it to a renewed and immortal life in the island of Leuke in 
the Euxine Sea. According to some accounts he was there blest 
with the nuptials and company of Helen. 3 

1 Argum. JEtli. ut sup.; Quint. Smyrn. ii. 396-550; Pausan. x. 31, 1. 
Pindar, in praising Achilles, dwells much on his triumphs over Hector, Tele 
phus, Memnon, and Cycnus, but never notices Penthesileia (Olymp. ii. 90 
Nem. iii. 60 ; vi. 52. Isthm. v. 43). 

-iEschylus, in the ^v^oaraala, introduced Thetis and Eos, each in an atti- 
tude of supplication for her son, and Zeus weighing in his golden scales the 
souls of Achilles and Memnon (Schol. Ven, ad Iliad, viii. 70: Pollux, iy. 
130 ; Plutarch, De Audiend. Poet. p. 17). In the combat between Achilles 
and Memnon, represented on the chest of Kypselus at Olympia, Thetis and 
Eos were given each as aiding her son (Pausan. v. 19, 1). 

2 Iliad, xxii. 360 ; Sophokl. Philokt. 334 ; Virgil, JSneid, vi. 56. 

3 Argum. -flSthiop. ut sup. ; Quint. Smyrn. 151-583 ; Homer, Odyss. v. 310 ; 
Ovid, Metam. xiii. 284 ; Eurip. Androm. 1262 ; Pausan. iii. 19, 13. Accord- 
ing toDiktys (iv. 11), Paris and Deiphobus entrap Achilles by the promise 
of an interview with Polyxena and kill him. 

A minute and curious description of the island Lguke, or 'A^tAXewf v^dOf, 
is given in Arriau (Periplus, Pont. Euxin. p. 21 ; ap. Gcogr. Min. t. 1). 

The heroic or divine empire of Achilles in Scythia was recognized by 
ilkocus the poet (Alkau Fragm. Schneidew. Fr. 46), 'A^t/Uei), 3 ya$ St> 


Thetis celebrated splsndid funeral games in honor of her son, 
and offered the unrivalled panoply, which Hephsestos had forged 
and wrought for him, as a prize to the most distinguished warrior 
in the Grecian army. Odysseus and Ajax became rivals for the 
distinction, when Athene, together with some Trojan prisoners, 
who were asked from which of the two their country had sustained 
greatest injury, decided in favor of the former. The gallant Ajax 
lost his senses with grief and humiliation : in a fit of phrenzy he 
slew some sheep, mistaking them for the men who had wronged 
him, and then fell upon his own sword. 1 

Odysseus now learnt from.Helenus son of Priam, whom he had 
captured in an ambuscade, 2 that Troy could not be taken unless 
both Philoktetes,and Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, could be pre- 
vailed upon to join the besiegers. The former, having been stung 
in the foot by a serpent, and becoming insupportable to the 
Greeks from the stench of his wound, had been left at Lemnus in 

diKaf fiedeif. Eustathius (ad Dionys. Perieget. 307) give.? the story of his 
having followed Iphigeneia thither : compare Antonin. Liberal. 27. 

Ibykus represented Achilles as having espoused Medea in the Elysian 
Field (Idyk. Fragm. 18. Schneidewin). Simondes followed this story (ap- 
Schol. Apoll. Rhod. iv. 815). 

1 Argument of ^Ethiopia and llias Minor, and Fragm. 2 of the latter, pp. 
17, 18, Duntz.; Quint. Smyrn. v. 120-482; Horn. Odyss. xi. 550: Pindar, 
Nem. vii. 26. The Ajax of Sophokles, and the contending speeches between 
Ajax and Ulysses in the beginning of the thirteenth book of Ovid's Meta- 
morphoses, are too well known to need special reference. 

The suicide of Ajax seems to have been described in detail in the ^Ethi- 
opis : compare Pindar. Isthm. iii. 51, and the Scholia ad loc., which show the 
attention paid by Pindar to the minute circumstances of the old epic. 
See Fragm. 2 of the 'ttw Hepoif of Arktinus, inDdntz. p. 22, which would 
seem more properly to belong to the ./Ethiopia. Diktys relates the suicide 
of Ajax, as a consequence of his unsuccessful competition with Odysseus, 
not about the arms of Achilles, but about the Palladium, after the taking of 
the city (v. 14). 

There were, however, many different accounts of the manner in which 
Ajax had died, some of which are enumerated in the argument to the drama 
of Sophokles. Ajax is never wounded in the Iliad : ^schylus made him 
invulnerable except under ths armjits (see Schol. ad Sophok. Ajac. 833) 
the Trojans pelted him with mud TGJf papijdEiy iiir!) TOV Ttfaov (Schol 
Iliad, xiv. 404). 

1 Soph. Philokt. 604, 


the commencement of the expedition, and had spent ten years 1 in 
misery on that desolate island ; but he still possessed the peerless 
bow and arrows of Herakles, which were said to be essential to 
the capture of Troy. Diomedes fetched Philoktetes from Lem- 
nus to the Grecian camp, where he was healed by the skill of 
Machaon, 2 and took an active part against the Trojans en- 
gaging in single combat with Paris, and killing him with one of 
the Herakleian arrows. The Trojans were allowed to carry away 
for burial the body of this prince, the fatal cause of all their suf- 
ferings ; but not until it had been mangled by the hand of Mene- 
laus. 3 Odysseus went to the island of Skyrus to invite Neoptole- 
mus to the army. The untried but impetuous youth gladly obey- 
ed the call, and received from Odysseus his father's armor, while 
on the other hand, Eurypylus, son of Telephus, came from Mysia 
as auxiliary to the Trojans and rendered to them valuable service 
turning the tide of fortune for a time against the Greeks, and 
killing some of their bravest chiefs, amongst whom was numbered 
Peneleos, and the unrivalled leech Machaon. 4 Tho exploits of 

1 Soph. Philokt. 703. '2 /ie/lea V v "> "Of W"' olvo^vrov Tro/^arof " 

fTc/Cf TT] XPOVOV, etC. 

In the narrative of Diktys fii. 47), Philoktetes returns from Lemnus to 
Troy much earlier in the war before the death of Achilles, and without any 
assigned cause. 

y According to Sophoklts. Herakles sends Asklepius to Troy to heal Philok 
tetes (Soph. Philokt. 1415). 

The subject of Philoktetes formed the subject of a tragedy both by JEsch y 
Ins and by Euripide's (both lost) as well as by Sophokles. 

3 Argument. Iliad. Minor. Diintz. 1. c. Kal TOV vetcpbv viroMevehuov Karat- 
KicrdevTa ave%.6/j.evoi ftd-Krovaiv ol Tp&ef. See Quint. Smyrn, x. 240 : he 
differs here in many respects from the arguments of the old poems as given 
by Proclus, both as to the incidents and as to their order in time (Diktys, iv. 
20). The wounded Paris flees to CEnone, whom he had deserted in order to 
follow Helen, and entreats her to cure him by her skill in simples : she re-- 
fuses, and permits him to die ; she is afterwards stung with remorse, and 
hangs herself (Quint. Smyrn. x. 285-331; Apollodor. iii. 12, 6; Conon. 
Narrat. 23 ; see Bachet tie Meziriac, Comment, sur les Epitres d'Ovide, t. i. 
p. 456J. The story of (Enone is as old as Hellanikus and Kephalon of Ger- 
gis (see Hellan. Fragm. 126, Didot). 

4 To mark the way in which these legendary events pervaded and became 
embodied in the local worship, I may mention the received practice in the 
great temple of Asklpius (father of Machaon) at Pergamus, even in th 


Neoptoleraus were numerous, worthy of the glory of his race and 
the renown of his father. He encountered and slew Eurypylus, 
together with numbers of the Mysian warriors : he routed the 
Trojans and drove them within their walls, from whence they 
never again emerged to give battle : nor was he less distinguished 
for his good sense and persuasive diction, than for forward energy 
in the field. 1 

Troy however was still impregnable so long as the Palladium, 
a statue given by Zeus himself to Dardanus, remained in the 
citadel; and great care had been taken by the Trojans not only 
to conceal this valuable present, but to construct other statues so 
like it as to mislead any intruding robber. Nevertheless the 
enterprising Odysseus, having disguised his person with miserable 
clothing and self-inflicted injuries, found means to penetrate into 
the city and to convey the Palladium by stealth away : Helen 
alone recognized him ; but she was now anxious to return to 
Greece, and even assisted Odysseus in concerting means for the 
capture of the town. 2 

To accomplish this object, one final stratagem was resorted to. 
By the hands of Epeius of Panopeus, and at the suggestion of 
Athene, a capacious hollow wooden horse was constructed, capable 
of containing one hundred men : the elite of the Grecian heroes, 
Neoptolemus, Odysseus, Menelaus and others, concealed them- 
selves in the inside of it, and the entire Grecian army sailed away 

time of Pausanias. Telephus, father of Eurypylus. was the local hero and 
mythical king of Teuthrania, in which Pergamus was situated. In the 
hymns there sung, the proem and the invocation were addressed to Telephus j 
but nothing was said in them about Eurypylus, nor was it permitted even to 
mention his name in the temple, " they knew him to be the slayer of Ma- 
chaon : " apxovTai p.ev UTTO TriTifyov TUV v/nvuv, TrpoatfSovai 6e oidev ( rdv 
Evpinruhov, oiide upxrjv kv T& vau> dehovaiv bvofiu&iv aiirov, ola hrufT&fUlUt 
Qovea ovra Ma^aovof (Pausan. iii. 26, 7). 

The combination of these qualities in other Homeric chiefs is noted in a 
subsjquent chapter of his work, ch. xx. vol. ii. 

1 Argument. Iliad. Minor, p. 17, Diintzer. Homer, Odyss. xi. 510-520. 
Pausan. iii. 26, 7. Quint. Smyrn. vii. 553 ; viii. 201. 

2 Argument. Iliad. Minor, p. 18, Diintz. ; Arctinus ap. Dionys. Hal. i. 69; 
Homer, Odyss. iv. 246; Quint. Smyrn. x. 354 : Virgil, jEneid. ii. 164, and 
the 9th Excursus of Heyne on that book. 

Compare with this legend about the Palladium, the Roman legend respect 
Ing the Ancylia (Ovid, Fasti, III. 381 ). 


to Tenedos, burning their tents and pretending to have abandoned 
the siege. The Trojans, overjoyed to find themselves free, 
issued from the city and contemplated with astonishment the 
fabric which their enemies had left behind : they long doubted 
what should be done with it ; and the anxious heroes from within 
heard the surrounding consultations, as well as the voice of Helen 
when she pronounced their names and counterfeited the accents 
of their wives. 1 Many of the Trojans were anxious to dedicate 
it to the gods in the city as a token of gratitude for their deliver- 
ance ; but the more cautious spirits inculcated distrust of an 
enemy's legacy; and Laocoon, the priest of Poseidon, manifested 
his aversion by striking the side of the horse with his spear. 
The sound revealed that the horse was hollow, but the Trojans 
heeded not this warning of possible fraud ; and the unfortunate 
Laocoon, a victim to his own sagacity and patriotism, miserably 
perished before the eyes of his countrymen, together with one of 
his sons, two serpents being sent expressly by the gods out of 
the sea to destroy him. By this terrific spectacle, together with 
the perfidious counsels of Sinon, a traitor whom the Greeks had 
left behind for the special purpose of giving false information, 
the Trojans were induced to make a breach in their own walls, 
and to drag the fatal fabric with triumph and exultation into their 

1 Odyss. iv. 275 ; Virgil, JEneid, ii. 14; Heyne, Excurs. 3. ad JEneid. ii- 
Stcsichorus, in his 'I'Xiov Hepaig, gave the number of heroes in the wooden 
horse as one hundred ( Stesichor. Fragm. 26, ed. Kleine ; compare Athenae- 
xiii.p. 610). 

2 Odyss. viii. 492 ; xi. 522. Argument of the 'I/Uou Iltpaif of Arktinus, 
p. 21. Diintz. Hydin. f. 108-135. Bacchylides and Euphorion ap. Servium 
ad Virgil. JEneid. ii. 201. 

Both Sinon and Laocoon came originally from the old epic poem of Arkti- 
nus, though Virgil may perhaps have immediately borrowed both them, and 
other matters in his second book, from a poem passing under the name of 
Pisander (see Macrob. Satur. v. 2; Heyne, Excurs. 1. adJEn. ii. ; Welcker, 
Der Episch. Kyklus, v. 97). We cannot give credit either to Arktinus or 
Pisander for the masterly specimen of oratory which is put into the mouth of 
Sinon in the JEneid. 

In Quintus Smyrnaeus (xii. 366), the Trojans torture and mutilate Sinon 
to extort from him the truth : his endurance, sustained by the inspiration of 
Here, is proof against the extremity of suffering, and he adheres to his falsa 
tale. This is probably an incident of the old epic, though the delicate taste 


The destruction of Troy, according to the decree of the gods, 
was now irrevocably sealed. While the Trojans indulged in a 
night of riotous festivity, Sinon kindled the fire-signal to the 
Greeks at Tenedos, loosening the bolts of the wooden horse, from 
out of which the enclosed heroes descended. The city, assailed 
both from within and from without, was thoroughly sacked and de- 
stroyed, with the slaughter or captivity of the larger portion of its 
heroes as well as its people. The venerable Priam perished by 
the hand of Neoptolemus, having in vain sought shelter at the 
domestic altar of Zeus Herkeios ; but his son Deiphobus, who 
since the death of Paris had become the husband of Helen, de- 
fended his house desperately against Odysseus and Menelaus, and 
sold his life dearly. After he was slain, his body was fearfully 
mutilated by the latter. 1 - 

Thus was Troy utterly destroyed the city, the altars and 
temples, 2 and the population. .^Eneas and Antenor were permit- 
ted to escape, with their families, having been always more 
favorably regarded by the Greeks than tlie remaining Trojans. 
According to one version of the story, they had betrayed the 

of Virgil, and his sympathy with the Trojans, lias induced him to omit it. 
Euphorion ascribed the proceedings of Sinon to Odysseus : he also gave a 
different cause for the death of Laocoon (Fr. 3.J-36. p. 55, cd. Diintz., in toe 
Fragments of Epic Poets after Alexander the Great). Sinon is traipse 
'Odvaaeuf in Pausan. x. 27, 1 . 

1 Odyss. viii. 515; Argument of Arktinas, ut sup.; Euripid. Hecub. 903, 
Virg. JEn. vi. 497 ; Quint. Smyrn. xiii. 35-229 ; Lesches ap. Pausan. x. 27, 
2; Diktys, v. 12. Ibykus and SimonidC-s also represented Deiphobus as the 
uvTcpaaTjjf 'EAev^f (Schol. Horn. Iliad, xiii. 517). 

The night-battle in the interior of Troy was described with all its fearful 
details both by Lesches and Arktinus : the ' 1/iiov Hepaif of the latter seems to 
have been a separate poem, that of the former constituted a portion of the 
Ilias Minor (see Welcker, Der Epische Kyklus, p. 215): the 'I/Uov Tlepcnc 
by the lyric poets Sakadas and Stesichorus probably added many new inci- 
dents. Polygnotus had painted a succession of the various calamitous scenes, 
drawn from the poem of Lesches, on the walls of the lesche at Delphi, with 
the name written over each figure (Pausan. x. 25-26). 

Hellanikus fixed the precise day of the month on which the capture took 
place (Hellan. Fr. 143-144), the twelfth day of Thargelion. 

* vF,schyi. Agamemn. 527. 

Bcj/zot (P aiaroi /cat tfeuv idpv/tara, 
Kal aireppa irdarif kZ 


city to the Greeks : a panther's skin had been hung over the 
door of Antenor's house as a signal for the victorious besiegers to 
spare it in the general plunder. 1 In the distribution of the prin- 
cipal captives, Astyanax, the infant son of Hector, was cast from 
the top of the wall and killed, by Odysseus or Neoptolemus : 
Polyxena, the daughter of Priam, was immolated on the tomb of 
Achilles, in compliance with a requisition made by the shade of 
the deceased hero to his countrymen ; 2 while her sister Kassandra 
was presented as a prize to Agamemnon. She had sought 
sanctuary at the altar of Athene, where Ajax, the son of Oileus, 
making a guilty attempt to seize her, had drawn both upon him- 
self and upon the army the serious wrath of the goddess, insomuch 
that the Greeks could hardly be restrained from stoning him to 
death. 3 Andromache and Helenus were both given to Neopto- 
lemus, who, according to the Ilias Minor, carried away also 
JEneas as his captive. 4 

Helen gladly resumed her union with Menelaus : she accom- 
panied him back to Sparta, and lived with him there many years 
in comfort and dignity, 5 passing afterwards to a happy immortality 

1 This symbol of treachery also figured in the picture of Polygnotus. 
A different story appears in Schol. Iliad, iii. 206. 

2 Euripid. Hecub. 38-114, and Troad. 716; Lesches ap.Pausan. x. 25, 9; 
Virgil, JEneid, iii. 322, and Servius ad loc. 

A romantic tale is found in Diktys respecting the passion of Achilles for 
Polyxena (iii. 2). 

3 Odyss. xi. 422. Arktinus, Argum. p. 21, Diintz. Theognis, 1232 
Pausan. i. 15, 2; x. 26, 3 ; 31, 1. As an expiation of this sin of their 
national hero, the Lokrians sent to Ilium periodically some of their maidens, 
to do menial service in the temple of Athene (Plutarch. Ser. Numin. Vindict 
p. 557, with the citation from Euphorion or Kallimachus, Diintzer, Epicc. 
Vet. p. 118). 

4 Lesches, Fr. 7, DQntz.; ap. Schol. Lycophr. 1263. Compare Schol. ad. 
1232, for the respectful recollection of Andromache, among the traditions of 
ths Molossian kings, as their heroic mother, and Strabo, xiii. p. 594. 

Such is the story of the old epic ("see Odyss. iv. 260, and the fourth book 
generally; Argument of Ilias Minor, p. 20. DOntz.). Polygnotus, in thu 
paintings above alluded to, followed the same tale (Pausan. x. 25, 3^. 

The anger of the Greeks against Helen, and the statement that Menelaus 

after the capture of Troy approached her with revengeful purposes, but was 

so mollified by her surpassing beauty as to cast away his uplifted sword, 

belongs to the age of the tragedians (JEschyl. Agamem. 685-1455 : Eurip, 

VOL, I. 200C. 


in the Elysian fields. She was worshipped as a goddess with her 
brothers the Dioskuri and her hushand, having her temple, statue 
and altar at Therapnas and elsewhere, and various examples of 
her miraculous interventions were cited among the Greeks. 1 The 
lyric poet Stesichorus had ventured to denounce her, conjointly 
with her sister Klytaemnestra, in a tone of rude and plain-spoken 
severity, resembling that of Euripides and Lycophron afterwards, 
but strikingly opposite to the delicacy and respect with which she 
is always handled by Homer, who never admits reproaches against 
her except from her own lips. 2 He was smitten with blindness, 

Androm. 600-629 ; Helen. 75-120 ; Troad. 890-1057 ; compare also the fine 
lines in the JEneid, ii. 567-588). 

1 See the description in Herodot. vi. 61, of the prayers offered to her, and 
of the miracle which she -wrought, to remove the repulsive ugliness of a little 
Spartan girl of high family. Compare also Pindar, Olymp. iii. 2, and the 
Scholia at the beginning of the ode; Eurip. Helen. 1662, and Orest. 1652- 
1706; Isokrat. Encom. Helen, ii. p. 368, Auger; Dio Chrysost. Or. xi. p. 
311. -&edf hon'iadr) irapa rolg "EMijai ; Theodectes ap. Aristot. Pol. i. 2, 19 
Qeiuv air' ufiyoiv eayovov pi^ufiuruv. 

2 Euripid. Troad. 982 set/.; Lycophron ap. Stcph. Byz. v. A.lyvf, Ste- 
sichorus ap. Schol. Eurip. Orest. 239 ; Fragm. 9 and 10 of the ' ITiiov 
Schneidewin : 

Ovveica Tvvdupeue pi^uv anusi i?oZf fiidc Actfer ' 

KimptSof Ksiva 6s Tvvdupeu Kovpawi 
Kat MireGitv 

Further ' EAevj; knova ' amjpe, etc. 

He had probably contrasted her with other females carried away by force. 

Stesichorus also affirmed that Iphigeneia was the daughter of Helen, by 
Theseus, born at Argos before her marriage with Menelaus and made over 
to Klytaemnestra : this tale was perpetuated by the temple of Eileithyia at 
Argos, which the Argeians affirmed to have been erected by Helen (Pausan. 
ii. 22, 7). The ages ascribed by Hellanikus and other logographcrs (Hellan. 
Fr. 74) to Theseus and Helen he fifty years of age and she a child of seven 
when he carried her off to Aphidnae, can never have been the original form 
of any poetical legend : these ages were probably imagined in order to make 
the mythical chronology run smoothly; for Theseus belongs to the genera- 
tion before the Trojan war. But we ought always to recollect that Helen 
never grows old (rrjv ytlp (j>arcf Ifiuev' 1 uyijpu Quint. Smyrn. x. 312), and 
that her chronology consists only with an immortal being. Servins observes 
("ad ^Eneid. ii. 601 ) " Helenam immortalem fuisse indicat tempus. Nam 
constat fratres ejus cum Argonantis fuisse. Argonautarum filii cum Theba- 
His ("Thebano Eteoclis et Polynicis bello) dimicavcrunt. Item illorum filii 


and made sensible of his impiety; t>ut having repented and com 
posed a special poem formally retracting the calumny, was per- 
mitted to recover his sight. In his poem of recantation (the 
famous palinode now unfortunately lost) he pointedly contradicted 
the Homeric narrative, affirming that Helen had never been to 
Troy at all, and that the Trojans had carried thither nothing but 
her image or eidolon. 1 It is, probably, to the excited religious 
feelings of Stesichorus that we owe the first idea of this glaring 
deviation from the old legend, which could never have been 
recommended by any considerations of poetical interest. 

Other versions were afterwards started, forming a sort of com- 
promise between Homer and Stesichorus, admitting that Helen 
had never really been at Troy, without altogether denying her 
elopement. Such is the story of her having been detained in 
Egypt during the whole term of the siege. Paris, on his de- 
parture from Sparta, had been driven thither by storms, and the 
Egyptian king Proteus, hearing of the grievous wrong which he 

contra Trojam bella gesserunt. Ergo, si immortalis Helena non fuisset, tot 
sine dubio seculis durare non posset." So Xenophon, after enumerating 
many heroes of different ages, all pupils of Cheiron, says that the life of 
Cheiron suffices for all, he being brother of Zeus ("De Venatione, c. I). 

The daughters of Tyndareus are Klytoemnestra, Helen, and Timandra, all 
open to the charge advanced by Stesichorus : see about Timandra, wife of 
the Tegeatc Echemus, the new fragment of the Hesiodic Catalogue, recently 
restored by Geel (Gb'ttling, Pref. Hesiod. p. Ixi.J. 

It is curious to read, in Bayle's article Hel&ne, his critical discussion of the 
adventures ascribed to her as if they were genuine matter of history, more 
or less correctly reported. 

1 Plato, Kepublic. ix. p. 587. c. 10. uairep rb 7% 'Elevrie eldulov LTI)- 
ai^opof (j>ijffi Trept.[ta%i)rov yEveafiai iv Tpoir/, ayvoia TOV dA^tfovc. 

Isokrat. Encom. Helen, t. ii. p. 370, Auger; Plato, Phacdr. c. 44. p. 243- 
244; Max. Tyr. Diss. xi. p. 320, Davis; Conon, Narr. 18; Dio Chrysost. 
Or. xi. p. 323. Tov fiev Sr^tn^opov kv ry varepov udy T^ejeiv, wf rb irapa- 
irav ov6e irbeiiaeiev i] 'Ehevi) ovAdfioae. Horace, Od. i. 17 , 
Epod. xvii. 42. 

" Infamis Helenas Castor offensus vice, 
Fraterque magni Castoris, victi prece, 
Adempta vati reddidere lumina." 

Pausan. iii. 19, 5. Virgil, surveying the war from the point of view of the 
Trojans, had no motive to look upon Helen with particular tenderness : 
Deiphobus imputes to her the basest treachery (JEneid, vL 511. "sceliu 
vritiale Laexnce. ;" compare ii. 567 ). 


had committed towards Menelaus, had sen'; him away from the 
country with severe menaces, detaining Helen until her lawful 
husband should come to seek her. When the Greeks reclaimed 
Helen from Troy, the Trojans assured them solemnly, that she 
neither was, nor ever had been, in the town ; but the Greeks, 
treating this allegation as fraudulent, prosecuted the siege until 
their ultimate success confirmed the correctness of the statement, 
nor did Menelaus recover Helen until, on his return from Troy, 
he visited Egypt. 1 Such was the story told by the Egyptian 
priests to Herodotus, and it appeared satisfactory to his his- 
toricizing mind. " For if Helen had really been at Troy (he 
argues) she would certainly have been given up, even had she 
been mistress of Priam himself instead of Paris : the Trojan 
king, with all his family and all his subjects, would never know- 
ingly have incurred utter and irretrievable destruction for the 
purpose of retaining her : their misfortune was, that while they 
did not possess, and therefore could not restore her, they yet 
found it impossible to convince the Greeks that such was the 
fact." 'Assuming the historical character of the war of Troy, 
the remark of Herodotus admits of no reply ; nor can we great- 
ly wonder that he acquiesced in the tale of Helen's Egyptian 
detention, as a substitute for the " incredible insanity" which the 

1 Herodot. ii. 120. ov yup drj OVTU ye 0pex>o/3/la/?^f TJV 6 Tlpiafiof, ovS 1 ol 
uTihoi -npoariKovTee airw, etc. The passage is too long to cite, but is highly 
curious : not the least remarkable part is the religious coloring which he 
gives to the new version of the story which he is adopting, "the Trojans, 
though they had not got Helen, yet could not persuade the Greeks that this 
was the fact ; for it was the divine will that they should be destroyed root 
and branch, in order to make it plain to mankind that upon great crimes the 
gods inflict great punishments." 

Dio Chrysostom (Or. xi. p. 333) reasons in the same way as Herodotus 
against the credibility of the received narrative. On the other hand, Iso- 
krates, in extolling Helen, dwells on the calamities of the Trojan war as a test 
of the peerless value of the prize CEncom. Hel. p. 360, Aug.) : in the view 
of Pindar (Olymp. xiii. 56), as well as in that of Hesiod (Opp. Di. 165), 
Helen is the one prize contended for. 

Euripides, in his tragedy of Helen, recognizes the detention of Helen in 
Egypt and the presence of her eUuhov at Troy, but he follows Stesichorus 
in denying her elopement altogether, Hermes had carried her to Egypt in 
a cloud (Helen. 35-45, 706) : compare Von Hoff, DC Mytho Hclenoe Euri- 
pideffi, cap. 2. p. 35 (Leydcn, 1843). 


genuine legend imputes to Priam and the Trojans. Pansanias, 
upon the same ground and by the same mode of reasoning, pro- 
nounces that the Trojan horse must have been in point of fact a 
battering-engine, because to admit the literal narrative would be 
to impute utter childishness to the defenders of the city. And 
Mr. Payne Knight rejects Helen altogether as the real cause of 
the Trojan war, though she may have been the pretext of it ; for 
he thinks that neither the Greeks nor the Trojans could have 
been so mad and silly as to endure calamities of such magni- 
tude " for one little woman." 1 Mr. Knight suggests various po- 
litical causes as substitutes ; these might deserve consideration, 
either if any evidence could be produced to countenance them, 
or if the subject on which they are brought to bear could be 
shown to belong to the domain of history. 

The return of the Grecian chiefs from Troy furnished matter 
to the ancient epic hardly less copious than the siege itself, and 
the more susceptible of indefinite diversity, inasmuch as those 
who had before acted in concert were now dispersed and iso- 
lated. Moreover the stormy voyages and compulsory wanderings 
of the heroes exactly fell in with the common aspirations after 
an heroic founder, and enabled even the most remote Hellenic 
settlers to connect the origin of their town with this prominent 
event of their ante-historical and semi-divine world. And an 
absence of ten years afforded room for the supposition of many 
domestic changes in their native abode, and many family misfor- 
tunes and misdeeds during the interval. One of these heroic 
'* Returns," that of Odysseus, has been immortalized by the verse 
)f Homer. The hero, after a series of long-protracted suffering 
and expatriation, inflicted on him by the anger of Poseidon, at 
last reaches his native island, but finds his wife beset, his youth- 
ful son insulted, and his substance plundered, by a troop of inso- 
lent suitors ; he is forced to appear as a wretched beggar, and to 
endure in his own person their scornful treatment; but finally, 
by the interference of Athene coming in aid of his own courage 

Pansan. i. 23, 8 ; Payne Knight, Prolegg. ad Homer, c. 53. Euphorion 
construed the wooden horse into a Grecian ship called "Imrof, " The Herte 
(Euphorion, Fragm. 34. ap. Diintzer, Fragm. Epicc. Graec. p. 55). 
See Thucyd. i 12; vi. 2. 


and stratagem, he is enabled to overwhelm his enemies, to resumn 
his family position, and to recover his property. The return of 
several other Grecian chiefs was the subject of an epic poem by 
Hagias, which is now lost, but of which a brief abstract or argu- 
ment still remains : there were in antiquity various other poems 
of similar title and analogous matter. 1 

As usual with the ancient epic, the multiplied sufferings of this 
back- voyage are traced to divine wrath, justly provoked by the 
sins of the Greeks ; who, in the fierce exultation of a victory pur- 
chased by so many hardships, had neither respected nor even 2 
spared the altars of the gods in Troy ; and Athene, who had been 
their most zealous ally during the siege, was so incensed by their 
final recklessness, more especially by the outrage of Ajax, son 
of Oileus, that she actively harassed and embittered their return, 
in spite of every effort to appease her. The chiefs began to 
quarrel among themselves ; their formal assembly became a 
scene of drunkenness ; even Agamemnon and Menelaus lost 
their fraternal harmony, and each man acted on his own separate 
resolution. 3 Nevertheless, according to the Odyssey, Nestor, 
Diomedes, Neoptolemus, Idomeneus and Philoktetes reached 
home speedily and safely : Agamemnon also arrived in Pelopon- 
nesus, to perish by the hand of a treacherous wife ; but Mene- 
laus was condemned to long wanderings and to the severest pri- 
vations in Egypt, Cyprus and elsewhere, before he could set foot 
in his native land. The Lokrian Ajax perished on the Gyrasan 
rock. 4 Though exposed to a terrible storm, he had already 
reached this place of safety, when he indulged in the rash boast 
of having escaped in defiance of the gods : no sooner did Po- 
seidon hear this language, than he struck with his trident tho 

1 Suidas, v. N6<rrof. Wiillner, De Cyclo Epico, p. 93. Also a poem 
'Arpeid&v nudodof (Athenae. vii. p. 281). 

* Upon this the turn of fortune in Grecian affairs depends (^Eschyl. Aga- 
memn. 338 ; Odyss. iii. 130; Eurip. Troad. 69-95). 

3 Odyss. iii. 130-161 ; ^Eschyl. Agamemn. 650-662. 

* Odyss, iii. 188-196; ir. 5-87. The Egyptian city cf Kanopus, at tht 
month of the Nile, was believed to have taken its name from the pilot of 
Menelaus, who had died and was buried there (Strabo, xvii. p. 801 ; Tacit 
Ann. ii. 60). MeveAaiof vo/tof, so called after Menelaus (Dio Ch'/yscst. xi 
p. 361). 


rock which Ajax was grasping and precipitated both into the sea. 1 
Kalchas the soothsayer, together with Leonteus and Polypoetes, 
proceeded by land from Troy to Kolophon. 2 

In respect however to these and other Grecian heroes, tales 
were told different from those in the Odyssey, assigning to them 
a long expatriation and a distant home. Nestor went to Italy, 
where he founded Metapontum, Pisa and Herakleia: 3 Philok- 
tgtes 4 also went to Italy, founded Petilia and Krimisa, and sent 
settlers to Egesta in Sicily. Neoptolemus, under the advice of 
Thetis, marched by land across Thrace, met with Odysseus, who 
had come by sea, at Maroneia, and then pursued his journey to 
Epirus, where he became king of the Molossians. 5 Idomeneus 
came to Italy, and founded Uria in the Salentine peninsula. Di- 
omedes, after wandering far and wide, went along the Italian 
coast into the innermost Adriatic gulf, and finally settled in Dau- 
nia, founding the cities of Argyrippa, Beneventum, Atria and 
Dionaedeia : by the favor of Athene he became immortal, and 
was worshipped as a god in many different places. 6 The Lo- 

1 Odyss. iv. 500. The epic Nooroi of Hagias placed this adventure of 
Ajax on the rocks of Kaphareus, a southern promontory of Eubcea ("Argura. 
Noorot, p. 23, Diintzer). Deceptive lights were kindled on the dangerous 
rocks by Nauplius, the father of Palamedes, in revenge for the death of his 
son (Sophokles, Nav;rAfOf TlvpKaevg, a lost tragedy; Hygin. f. 116 ; Senec. 
Agamemn. 567). 

2 Argument. NOCTTOJ, ut sup. There were monuments of Kalchas near 
Sipontum in Italy also (Strabo, vi. p. 284), as well as at Selge in Pisidia 
(Strabo, xii. p. 570). 

3 Strabo, v. p. 222 j vi. p. 264. Vellei. Paterc. i. 1 ; Servius ad JEa. x. 179. 
He had built a temple to Athene in the island of Keos (Strabo, x. p. 487). 

4 Strabo, vi. pp. 254, 272 ; Virgil, -iEn. iii. 401, and Servius ad loc.; Ly- 
ophron, 912. 

Both the tomb of Philoktetes and the arrows of Herakles which he had 
ased against Troy, were for a long time shown at Thurium ("Justin, xx. I). 

5 Argumeut. Notrrot, p. 23, Diintz.; Pindar, Nem. iv. 51. According to 
Pindar, however, Neoptolemus comes from Troy by sea, misses the island of 
Skyrus, and sails round to the Epeirotic Ephyra (Nem. vii. 37). 

6 Pindar, Nem. x. 7, with the Scholia. Strabo, iii. p. 150 ; v. p. 214-215 ; 
vi, p. 284. Stephan. Byz. 'Apyvpiirna, ^LOfnjSeia. Aristotle recognizes him 
as buried in the Diomedean islands in the Adriatic (Anthol. Gr. Brunck. i. 
p. 178> 

The identical tripod which had been gained by Diomedes, as victor in 


krian followers of Ajax founded the Epizephyrian Lokri on the 
southernmost corner of Italy, 1 besides another settlement in Libyar 
I have spoken in another place of the compulsory exile of Teu- 
kros, who, besides founding the city of Salamis in Cyprus, is said 
to have established some settlements in the Iberian peninsula. 2 
Menestheus the Athenian did the like, and also founded both Ekea 
in Mysia and Skylletium in Italy. 3 The Arcadian chief Aga- 
penor founded Paphus in Cyprus. 4 Epeius, of Panopeus in 
Phokis, the constructor of the Trojan horse with the aid of the 
goddess Athene, settled at Lagaria near Sybaris on the coast of 
Italy ; and the very tools which he had employed in that remark- 
able fabric were shown down to a late date in the temple of 
Athene at Metapontum. 5 Temples, altars and towns were also 
pointed out in Asia Minor, in Samos and in Krete, the foundation 
of Agamemnon or of his followers. 6 The inhabitants of the Gre- 
cian town of Skione, in the Thracian peninsula called Pallene or 
Pellene", accounted themselves the offspring of the Pellenians 
from Achasa in Peloponnesus, who had served under Agamem- 
n6n before Troy, and who on their return from the siege had 
been driven on the spot by a storm and there settled.? The 
Pamphylians, on the southern coast of Asia Minor, deduced their 

the chariot-race at the funeral games of Patrocltis, was shown at Delphi in 
the time of Phanias, attested by an inscription, as well as the dagger which 
had been worn by Helikaon, son of Antenor ("Athene, vi. p. 232). 

1 Virgil, JEneid, iii. 399. ; xi. 265 ; and Servius, ibid. Ajax, the son of 
Olleus, was worshipped there as a hero (Conon, Narr. 18). 

2 Strabo, iii. p. 257; Isokrates, Evngor. Encom. p. 192; Justin, xliv. 3. 
Ajax, the son of Teukros, established a temple of Zeus, and an hereditary 
priesthood always held by his descendants ("who mostly bore the name of 
Ajax or Teukros), at Olbe in Kilikia ( Strabo, xir. p. 672). Teukros carried 
with him his Trojan captives to Cyprus (Athenae. vi. p. 256). 

3 Strabo, iii. p. 140-150 ; vi. p. 261 ; xiii. p. 622. See the epitaphs on 
Teukros and Agapenor by Aristotle (Antholog. Gr. ed. Brunck. i. p. 179-180). 

4 Strfcbo, xiv. p. 683 ; Pausan. viii. 5, 2. 

6 Strabo, vi. p. 263 ; Justin, xx. 2 ; Aristot. Mirab. Ausc. c. 108. Also tho 
epigram of the Rhodian Simmias called HeheKvc (Antholog. Gr. Brunck. i. 
p. 210). 

Vellei. Patercul. i. 1. Stephan. Byz. v. \ufnrij. Strabo, xiii. p. 605 ; xiv 
p. 639. Theopompus (Fragm. Ill, Didot) recounted that Agamemnon and 
fiis followers had possessed themselves of the larger portion of Cyprus 

7 Thucydid. iv. 120. 


origin from the wanderings of Amphilochus and Kalclias after 
the siege of Troy : the inhabitants of the Amphilochian Argos 
on the Gulf of Ambrakia revered the same Amphilochus as their 
founder. 1 The Orchomenians under lalmenus, on quitting the 
conquered city, wandered or were driven to the eastern extremity 
of the Euxine Sea ; and the barbarous Achaeans under Mount 
Caucasus were supposed to have derived their first establishment 
from this source. 2 Meriones with his Kretan followers settled 
at Engyion in Sicily, along with the preceding Kretans who had 
remained there after the invasion of Minos. The Elyminians in 
Sicily also were composed of Trojans and Greeks separately 
driven to the spot, who, forgetting their previous differences, 
united in the joint settlements of Eryx and Egesta. 3 We hear 
of Podaleirius both in Italy and on the coast of Karia ; 4 of Aka- 
mas, son of Theseus, at Amphipolis in Thrace, at Soli in Cyprus, 
and at Synnada in Phrygia ; 5 of Guneus, Prothous and Eurypy- 
lus, in Krete as well as in Libya.6 The obscure poem of Ly- 
cophron enumerates many of these dispersed and expatriated 
heroes, whose conquest of Troy was indeed a Kadmeian victory 
(according to the proverbial phrase of the Greeks), wherein the 
sufferings of the victor were little inferior to those of the van- 
quished. 7 It was particularly among the Italian Greeks, where 
they were worshipped with very special solemnity, that their 
presence as wanderers from Troy was reported and believed. 8 

1 Herodot. vii. 91 ; Thucyd. ii. 68. According to the old elegiac poet 
Kallinos, Kalchas himself had died at Klarus near Kolophon after his march 
from Troy, but Mopsus, his rival in the prophetic function, had conducted his 
followers into Pamphylia and Kilikia(Strabo, xii. p. 570; xiv.p. 668). The 
oracle of Amphilochus at Mallus in Kilikia bore the highest character for 
exactness and truth-telling in the time of Pausamas, fiavrelov uTpevdeffTarov 
TUV n' Efj-ov (Paus. i. 34, 2). Another story recognized Leonteus and Poly- 
pastes as the founders of Aspendus in Kilikia (Eustath. ad Iliad, ii. 138). 

2 Strabo, ix. p. 416. 3 Diod&r. iv. 79 ; Thucyd. vi. 2. 
4 Stephan, Byz. v. "Zvpva; Lycophron, 1047. 

8 JEschines, De Fals& Legat. c. 14 ; Strabo, xiv. p. 683 ; Stephan. Byz. 
v. 'ZvvvaSa. 

6 Lycophron, 877-902, with Scholia; Apollodor. Fragm. p. 386, Heyne. 
There is also a long enumeration of these returning wanderers and 

of new settlements in Solinus (Polyhist. c. 2_). 

7 Strabo, iii. p. 150. 

* Aristot. Mirabil. Auscult. 79, 106, 107, 109 ; ill. 
VOL. I. 14 


I pass over the numerous other tales which circulated among 
the ancients, illustrating the ubiquity of the Grecian and Trojan 
heroes as well as that of the Argonauts, one of the most strik- 
ing features in the Hellenic legendary world. 1 Amongst them 
all, the most interesting, individually, is Odysseus, whose roman- 
tic adventures in fabulous places and among fabulous persons 
have been made familiarly known by Homer. The goddesses 
Kalypso and Circe ; the semi-divine mariners of Phacacia, whose 
ships are endowed with consciousness and obey without a steers- 
man ; the one-eyed Cyclopes, the gigantic Lasstrygones, and the 
wind-ruler JEolus ; the Sirens who ensnare by their song, as the 
Lotophagi fascinate by their food all these pictures formed in- 
tegral and interesting portions of the old epic. Homer leaves 
Odysseus reestablished in his house and family ; but so marked 
a personage could never be permitted to remain in the tameness 
of domestic life : the epic poem called the Telegonia ascribed to 
him a subsequent series of adventures. After the suitors had 
been buried by their relatives, he offered sacrifice to the Nymphs, 
and then went to Elis to inspect his herds of cattle there pastur- 
ing : the Eleian Polyxenus welcomed him hospitably, and made 
him a present of a bowl : Odysseus then returned to Ithaka, and 
fulfilled the rites and sacrifices prescribed to him by Teiresias in 
his visit to the under-world. This obligation discharged, he went 
to the country of the Thesprotians, and there married the queen 
Kallidike: he headed the Thesprotians in a war against the 
Brygians, the latter being conducted by Ares himself, who fierce- 
ly assailed Odysseus ; but the goddess Athene stood by him, and 
he was enabled to make head against Ares until Apollo came 

1 Strabo, i. p. 48. After dwelling emphatically on the long voyages of 
Dionysus, Herakles, Jason, Odysseus, and Menelaus, he says, Alveiav 6r. Kal 
'AvTijvopa Kal 'EVETOVS, Kal d?r/luf roi)f IK TOV TpuiKov note/iov TrTiavy&ev-af 
elf iraaav TJ)V oiKOV/xevrfv, u^iov u}j TUV naTiaiuv av&puiruv vo/tiaat; 
Svvepr) yap (5# rotf TOTE *E/l/lj?cw, 6poiue Kal Tolf pafSapoif, 6iu rbv Tijf <rrpa- 
raaf xpovov, unopafeiv TIL re kv OIKQ Kal TTJ crpareia nopitr&evra- wore fiiT& 
TTJV TOV 'I/ltoii KaTauTpotyi/v Tovt; TE viKqaavTaf eirl ZrjaTeiav TpaKctr&ai did 
Tuf airopiaf, Kal 7ro3,/l<i pu^ov Toiif jjTTTj'&evTaf KOI irEpfyEVOfisvovc EK TOV 
no^Efiov. Kat <5?) Kal iro^Etf vTrd TOVTU v KT lo&ijvat, "Keyovrai K a T a 
iraffav TT)V l|w T^f 'EAAadof napahiav, KOTI 6' 8irov Kal TTJV 


and parted them. Odysseus then returned to Ithaka, leaving 
the Thesprotian kingdom to Polypoetes, his son by Kallidike. 
Telegonus, his son by Circe, coming to Ithaka in search of his 
father, ravaged the island and killed Odysseus without knowing 
who he was. Bitter repentance overtook the son for his un- 
designed parricide : at his prayer and by the intervention of 
his mother Circe, both Penelope and Telemachus were made im- 
mortal : Telegonus married Penelope, and Telemachus married 

We see by this poem that Odysseus was represented as the 
mythical ancestor of the Thesprotian kings, just as Neoptolemus 
was of the Molossian. 

It has already been mentioned that Antenor and JEneas stand 
distinguished from the other Trojans by a dissatisfaction with 
Priam and a sympathy with the Greeks, which is by Sophokles 
and others construed as treacherous collusion, 2 a suspicion in- 
directly glanced, though emphatically repelled, by the ^Eneas of 
Virgil. 3 In the old epic of Arktinus, next in age to the Iliad 
and Odyssey, JEneas abandons Troy and retires to Mount Ida, 
in terror at the miraculous death of Laocoon, before the entry of 
the Greeks into the town and the last night-battle : yet Lesches, 
in another of the ancient epic poems, represented him as having 
been carried away captive by Neoptolemus. 4 In a remarkable 

1 The Telcgonia, composed by Eugammon of Kyrene, is lost, but the 
Argument of it has been preserved by Proclus (p. 25, Diintzer ; Dictys, vi. 

Pausanias quotes a statement from the poem called Tkesprdtts, respecting 
a son of Odysseus and Penelope, called Ptoliporthus, born after his return 
from Troy (viii. 12, 3). Nitzsch (Hist. Homer, p. 97) as well as Lobeck 
seem to imagine that this is the same poem as the Telcgonia, under another 

Aristotle notices an oracle of Odysseus among the Eurytanes, a branch 
of the ^Etolian nation : there were also places in Epirus which boasted of 
Odysseus as their founder (Schol. ad Lycophron. 800; Stephan. Byz. v. 
Bovveipa; Etymolog. Mag. 'ApKEiaiof, Plutarch, Qusest. Gr. c. 14). 

2 Dionys. Hal. i. 46-48 ; Sophokl. ap. Strab. xiii. p. 608 ; Livy, i. 1 ; Xeno 
phai, Venat. i. 15. 

3 JEn. ii. 433. 

4 Argument of 'lAfou Ilspaif ; Fragm. 7. of Lesches, in Ddntzer's Colle* 
tion, p. 19-21. 

Hellanikus seems to have adopted this retirement of JEneas to the strong 


passage of the Iliad, Poseidon describes the family of Priam as 
having incurred the hatred of Zeus, and predicts that JEneaa 
and his descendants shall reign over the Trojans : the race of 
Dardanus, beloved by Zeus more than all his other sons, would 
thus be preserved, since .ZEneas belonged to it. Accordingly, 
when uEneas is in imminent peril from the hands of Achilles, 
Poseidon specially interferes to rescue him, and even the impla- 
cable miso-Trojan goddess Here assents to the proceeding. 1 These 
passages have been construed by various able critics to refer to a 
family of philo-Hellenic or semi-Hellenic -^Eneadac, known even 
in the time of the early singers of the Iliad as masters of some 
territory in or near the Troad, and professing to be descended 
irom, as well as worshipping, jEneas. In the town of Skepsis, 
situated in the mountainous range of Ida, about thirty miles east- 
ward of Ilium, there existed two noble and priestly families who 
professed to be descended, the one from Hector, the other from 
JEneas. The Skepsian critic Demetrius (in whose time both these 
families were still to be found) informs us that Skamandrius son 
of Hector, and Ascanius son of ./Eneas, were the archegets or 
heroic founders of his native city, which had been originally 
situated on one of the highest ranges of Ida, and was subse- 

est parts of Mount Ida, but to have reconciled it with the stories of the 
migration of JEneas, by saying that he only remained in Ida a little time, 
and then quitted the country altogether by virtue of a convention concluded 
with the Greeks (Dionys. Hal. i. 47-48). Among the infinite variety of 
stories respecting this hero, one was, that after having effected his settle- 
ment in Italy, he had returned to Troy and resumed the sceptre, bequeath- 
ing it at his death to Ascanius (Dionys. Hal. i. 53) : this was a comprelun- 
sive scheme for apparently reconciling all the legends. 
1 Iliad, xx. 300. Poseidon speaks, respecting JEneas 

'AA^,' dyei?', fifieif Trip fiiv inr' tic davarov uyuyufiev, 
M^TTwr Kal Kpovidris K%o%uffeTai, alitev 'A^t/lAet)f 
TovSe KaraKreivg uopi/iov 6e ol ear' aheacr&ai, 
*O<j>pa pr) uoirep/Ltoc yeverj Kal a<j>avTOf bT^rai 
Aapduvov, bv Kpovitirjc irspl irdvruv ty'ifano Traiduv, 
Ol &ev it-eyevovro, yvvaiK&v re dvtjTa.uv. 
"Hdj? yd,p Hpiajiov yeve^v f/x&ripe Kpoviuv 
Nvv 6e 6)) A.lveiao J3i7) Tpueaaiv ava^ei, 
Kal iraitiuv Ttaidee, TOL KEV fiETOTno&e yevuvrai. 

Again, v. 339, Poseidon tells JEneas that he has nothing to dread from anj 
other Greek than Achilles. 


quently transferred by them to the less lofty spot on which il 
stood in his time. 1 In Arisbe and Gentinus there seem to have 
been families professing the same descent, since the same arche- 
gets were acknowledged. 3 In Ophrynium, Hector had his con- 
secrated edifice, and in Ilium both he and .ZEneas were worshipped 
as gods : 3 and it was the remarkable statement of the Lesbian 
Menekrates, that .ZEneas, " having been wronged by Paris and 
stripped of the sacred privileges which belonged to him, avenged 
himself by betraying the city, and then became one of the Greeks." 4 
One tale thus among many respecting JEneas, and that too the 
most ancient of all, preserved among the natives of the Troad. 
who worshipped him as their heroic ancestor, was, that after the 
capture of Troy he continued in the country as king of the re- 
maining Trojans, on friendly terms with the Greeks. But there 
were other tales respecting him, alike numerous and irreconcil- 

1 See 0. Miiller, on the causes of the mythe of JEneas and his voyage to 
Italy, in Classical Journal, vol. xxvi. p. 308 ; Klausen, ^Eneas and die Pen,, 
ten, vol. i. p. 43-52. 

Demetrius Skeps. al>. Strab. xiii. p. 607; Nicolaus ap. Steph. Byz. v. 
' AoKavia. Demetrius conjectured that Skepsis had been the regal seat of 
.^Eneas : there was a village called JEneia near to it (Strabo, xiii. p. 603). 

2 Steph. Byz. v. 'Apiaflij, Tevrivof. Ascanins is king of Ida after the 
departure of the Greeks (Conon, Narr. 41 ; Mela, i. 18). Ascanius porlus 
between Phokse and Kyme. 

3 Strabo, xiii. p. 595; Lycophron, 1208, and Sch. ; Athenagoras, Legat 
I. Inscription in Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 86, Ot 'lAteff rbv irarpiov debv 
Aiveiav. Lucian, Deor. Concil. c. 12. i. 111. p. 534, Hemst. 

4 Menekrat. ap. Dionys. Hal. i. 48. 'A^atoiif 6e avirj dxe (after the buriaj) 
KO.I idoKeov rrjf arpanfif TTJV Kecjxikjjv a.Tri]pux&ai. "Oftut; 6e rcupov OVTU 6ai- 
<ravref, k-xokefieov yy iruoy, uxpie "I/Uof iaXu, Alveieu iv86vTO<;. Alveitjf 
yap uriTOf euv vnb 'Afat;avdpov, Kal and yepeuv iepuv tgetpyofievof, uvirpc^t 
npia/iov, epyaaafisvos 6e ravTd, elf 'Axaitiv kyeyovet,. 

Abas, in his Troica, gave a narrative different from any other preserved : 
41 Quidam ab Abante, qui Troica scripsit, relatum ferunt, post discessum a 
Troja Grsecorum Astyanacti ibi datum regnum, hunc ab Antenore expul- 
snm sociatis sibi finitimis civitatibus, inter quas et Arisba fuit : JEnean hoc 
jegre tulisse, et pro Astyanacte arma cepisse ac prospere gesta re Astyanact. 
restituisse regnum" (Servius ad Virg. ^Eneid. ix. 264). According to Dik- 
tys, An tenor remains king and -ZEneas goes away (Dikt. v. 17): Antenor 
brings the Palladium to the Greeks (Dikt. v. 8). Syncellus, on the con- 
trary, tells us that the sons of Hector recovered Ilium by the suggestions of 
Helenas, expelling the Atenorids (Syncell. p. 322, ed. Bonn). 


able : the hand of destiny marked him as a wanderer (falo pro- 
fnyxs), and his ubiquity is not exceeded even by that of Odys- 
seus. We hear of him at ^Enus in Thrace, in Pallene, at JEneia 
in the Thermaic Gulf, in Delus, at Orchomenus and Mantineia 
in Arcadia, in the islands of Kythera and Zakynthus, in Leukas 
and Ambrakia, at Buthrotum in Epirus, on the Salentine penin- 
sula and various other places in the southern region of Italy ; at 
Drepana and Segesta in Sicily, at Carthage, at Cape Palinurus, 
Cumae, Misenum, Caieta, and finally in Latium, where he lays 
the first humble foundation of the mighty Rome and her em- 
pire. 1 And the reason why his wanderings were not continued 
still further was, that the oracles and the pronounced will of the 
gods directed him to settle in Latium. 2 In each of these numer- 
ous places his visit was commemorated and certified by local 
monuments or special legends, particularly by temples and per- 
manent ceremonies in honor of his mother Aphrodite, whose 
worship accompanied him everywhere : there were also many 
temples and many different tombs of JEneas himself. 3 The vast 
ascendency acquired by Rome, the ardor with which all the 
literary Romans espoused the idea of a Trojan origin, and the 
fact that the Julian family recognized ^Eneas as their gentile 
primary ancestor, all contributed to give to the Roman version 
of his legend the preponderance over every other. The various 
other places in which monuments of JEneas were found came 
thus to be represented as places where he had halted for a time 

1 Dionys. Halic. A. R. i. 48-54; Heyne, Excurs. 1 ad JEncid. iii. ; De 
JEneae Erroribus, and Excurs. 1 ad JEn. v. ; Conon. Narr. 46 ; Livy, xl. 4; 
Stephan. Byz. A.lveia. The inhabitants of jEneia in the Thermaic Gulf 
worshipped him with great solemnity as their heroic founder (Pausan. iii. 
22, 4 ; viii. 12, 4). The tomb of Anchises was shown on the confines of the 
Arcadian Orchomenus and Mantineia (compare Steph. Byz. v. Kdd>va<), 
under the mountain called Anchisia, near a temple of Aphrodite : on the 
discrepancies respecting the death of Anchises (Heyne. Excurs. 17 ad _3Dn. 
iii.) : Segesta in Sicily founded by JEneas ("Cicero, Verr. iv. 33). 

* Tov 6e fj.TjKeri irpoourepu rfjf TZvpuirijc Tr^evaai rbv Tpu'inbv aro^ov, ol rt 
ft i]Ufiol Lyivovro alrioi, etc. (Dionys. Hal. i. 55). 

' Dionys. Hal. i. 54. Among other places, his tomb was shown at Bere. 
cynthia, in Phrygia (Festus, v. Homam, p. 224, ed. Mflller) : a curious article, 
which contains an assemblage of the most contradictory statements respect 
ing both ^Eneas and Latinus. 


an tis way from Troy to Latium. But though the legendary 
pretensions of these places were thus eclipsed in the eyes of 
those who constituted the literary public, the local belief was not 
extinguished : they claimed the hero as their permanent proper- 
ty, and his tomb was to them a proof that he had lived and died 
among them. 

Antenor, who shares with JEneas the favorable sympathy of 
the Greeks, is said by Pindar to have gone from Troy along with 
Menelaus and Helen into the region of Kyrene in Libya. 1 But 
according to the more current narrative, he placed himself at 
the head of a body of Eneti or Veneti from Paphlagonia, who 
had come as allies of Troy, and went by sea into the inner part 
of the Adriatic Gulf, where he conquered the neighboring bar- 
barians and founded the town of Patavium (the modern Padua) ; 
the Veneti in this region were said to owe their origin to his im- 
migration. 2 "We learn further from Strabo, that Opsikellas, one 
of the companions of Antenor, had continued his wanderings 
even into Iberia, and that he had there established a settlement 
bearing his name. 3 

Thus endeth the Trojan war; together with its sequel, the dis- 
persion of the heroes, victors as well as vanquished. The ac- 
count here given of it has been unavoidably brief and imperfect ; 
for in a work intended to follow consecutively the real history of 
the Greeks, no greater space can be allotted even to the most 
splendid gem of their legendary period. Indeed, although it would 
be easy to fill a large volume with the separate incidents which 
have been introduced into the " Trojan cycle," the misfortune is 
that they are for the most part so contradictory as to exclude all 
possibility of weaving them into one connected narrative. We 
are compelled to select one out of the number, generally without 
any solid ground of preference, and then to note the variations of 
the rest. No one who has not studied the original documents 

1 Pindar, Pyth. v., and the citation from the Nouroi of Lysimachus in the 
Scholia; given still more fully in the Scholia ad Lyccphron. 875. There 
was a Aopof 'Avrrivopiduv at Kyrene. 

*Livy, i. 1. Scrvius ad ^Eneid. i. 242. Strabo, i. 48; v 212. 
Fasti, iv. 75. 

i.. 157. 


can imagine the extent to which this discrepancy proceeds ; il 
covers almost every portion and fragment of the tale. 1 

But though much may have been thus omitted of what the 
reader might expect to find in an account of the Trojan war, its 
genuine character has been studiously preserved, without either 
exaggeration or abatement. The real Trojan war is that which 
was recounted by Homer and the old epic poets, and continued 
by all the lyric and tragic composers. For the latter, though 
they took great liberties with the particular incidents, and in- 
troduced to some extent a new moral tone, yet worked more or 
less faithfully on the Homeric scale : and even Euripides, who 
departed the most widely from the feeling of the old legend, nev 
er lowered down his matter to the analogy of contemporary life. 
They preserved its well-defined object, at once righteous and ro- 
mantic, the recovery of the daughter of Zeus and sister of the 
Dioskuri its mixed agencies, divine, heroic and human the 
colossal force and deeds of its chief actors its vast magnitude 
and long duration, as well as the toils which the conquerors un- 
derwent, and the Nemesis which followed upon their success. 
And these were the circumstances which, set forth in the full 
blaze of epic and tragic poetry, bestowed upon the legend its 
powerful and imperishable influence over the Hellenic mind. 
The enterprise was one comprehending all the members of the 
Hellenic body, of which each individually might be proud, and 
in which, nevertheless, those feelings of jealous and narrow pa- 
triotism, so lamentably prevalent in many of the towns, were as 
much as possible excluded. It supplied them with a grand and 
inexhaustible object of common sympathy, common faith, and 
common admiration ; and when occasions arose for bringing to- 
gether a Pan-Hellenic force against the barbarians, the prece- 
dent of the Homeric expedition was one upon which the elevated 
minds of Greece could dwell with the certainty of rousing an 
unanimous impulse, if not always of counterworking sinister by- 

1 These diversities are well set forth in the useful Dissertation of Fuchs 
Ue Varietate Fabularum Troicarum (Cologne, 1830). 

Of the number of romantic statements put forth respecting Helen and 
Achilles especially, some idea may be formed from the fourth, fifth and sixth 
chapters of Ptolemy Hephsestioit (apud Westennann. Scriptt. Mythograph 
p. 188, etc.). 


motives, among their audience. And the incidents comprised in 
the Trojan cycle were familiarized, not only to the public mind 
but also to the public eye, by innumerable representations both of 
the sculptor and the painter, those which were romantic and 
chivalrous being better adapted for this purpose, and therefore 
more constantly employed, than any other. 

Of such events the genuine Trojan war of the old epic was 
for the most part composed. Though literally believed, reveren- 
tially cherished, and numbered among the gigantic phenomena 
of the past, by the Grecian public, it is in the eyes of modern 
inquiry essentially a legend and nothing more. If we are asked 
whether it be not a legend embodying portions of historical mat- 
ter, and raised upon a basis of truth, whether there may not 
really have occurred at the foot of the hill of Ilium a war purely 
human and political, without gods, without heroes, without Helen, 
without Amazons, without Ethiopians under the beautiful son of 
Eos, without the wooden horse, without the characteristic and ex- 
pressive features of the old epical war, like the mutilated trunk 
of Dei'phobus in the under-world ; if we are asked whether there 
was not really some such historical Trojan war as this, our an- 
swer must be, that as the possibility of it cannot be denied, so 
neither can the reality of it be affirmed. We possess nothing but 
the ancient epic itself without any independent evidence : had it 
been an age of records indeed, the Homeric epic in its exquisite 
and unsuspecting simplicity would probably never have come 
into existence. Whoever therefore ventures to dissect Homer, 
Arktinus and Lesches, and to pick out certain portions as matters 
of fact, while he sets aside the rest as fiction, must do so in full 
reliance on his own powers of historical divination, without any 
means either of proving or verifying his conclusions. Among 
many attempts, ancient as well as modern, to identify real objects 
in this historical darkness, that of Dio Chrysostom deserves at- 
tention for its extraordinary boldness. In his oration addressed 
to the inhabitants of Ilium, and intended to demonstrate that the 
Trojans were not only blameless as to the origin of the war, but 
victorious in its issue he overthrows all the leading points of 
the Homeric narrative, and re-writes nearly the whole from be- 
ginning to end : Paris is the lawful husband of Helen, Achilles ig 
slain by Hector, and the Greeks retire without taking Troy, dis 

VOL. i. 14* 21oc. 


graced as well as baffled. Having shown without difficulty that 
the Iliad, if it be looked at as a history, is full of gaps, incongrui- 
ties and absurdities, he proceeds to compose a more plausible nar- 
rative of his own, which he tenders as so much authentic matter 
of fact. The most important point, however, which his Oration 
brings to view is, the literal and confiding belief with which the 
Homeric narrative was regarded, as if it were actual history, not 
only by the inhabitants of Ilium, but also by the general Grecian 
public. 1 

The small town of Ilium, inhabited by TEolic Greeks, 2 and 
raised into importance only by the legendary reverence attached 
to it, stood upon an elevated ridge forming a spur from Mount 
Ida, rather more than three miles from the town and promontory 
of Sigeium, and about twelve stadia, or less than two miles, from 
the sea at its nearest point. From Sigeium and the neighboring 
town of Achilleium (with its monument and temple of Achilles), 
to the town of Rhocteium on a hill higher up the Hellespont 
(with its monument and chapel of Ajax called the Aianteium 3 ), 
was a distance of sixty stadia, or seven miles and a half in the 
straight course by sea : in the intermediate space was a bay and 
an adjoining plain, comprehending the embouchure of the Sca- 
mander, and extending to the base of the ridge on which Ilium 
stood. This plain was the celebrated plain of Troy, in which 
the great Homeric battles were believed to have taken place : the 
portion of the bay near to Sigeium went by the name of the 
Naustathmon of the Achrcans (i. e. the spot where they dragged 
their ships ashore), and was accounted to have been the camp of 
Agamemnon and his vast army. 4 

1 Dio Chrysost. Or. xi. p. 310-322. 

3 Herodot. v. 122. Pausan. v. 8,3: viii. 12, 4. A/oAeif e/c vro/ltwf Tp^a 
<5of, the title proclaimed at the Olympic games ; like A/oAei)f uiro TAovpivaf, 
from Myrina in the more southerly region of JEolis, as we find in the list 
of visitors at the Charitesia, at Orchomenos in Boeotia (Corp. Inscrip. 
Bocckh. No. 1583> 

3 See Pausanias, i. 35, 3, for the legends current at Ilium respecting the 
v&st size of the bones of Ajax in his tomb. The inhabitants affirme-i thai 
after the shipwreck of Odysseus, the arms of Achilles, which he was carry- 
ing away with him, were washed up by the sea against the tomb of Ajax 
Pliny gives the distance at thirty stadia : modern travellers make it some 
thing more than Pliny, but considerably less than Strabo. 

4 Strabo., xiii. p. 596-598 Strabo distinguishes the 'A<U6Ji> Nauffratf/xw. 


Historical Ilium was founded, according to the questionable 
statement of Strabo, during the last dynasty of the Lydian 
kings, 1 that is, at some period later than 720 B. c. Until after 
the days of Alexander the Great indeed until the period of 
Roman preponderance it always remained a place of inconsid- 
erable power and importance, as we learn not only from the as- 
sertion of the geographer, but also from the fact that Achilleium, 
Sigeium and Rhceteium were all independent of it. 2 But incon- 
siderable as it might be, it was the only place which ever bore 
the venerable name immortalized by Homer. Like the Homeric 
Ilium, it had its temple of Athene, 3 wherein she was worshipped 
as the presiding goddess of the town : the inhabitants affirmed 
that Agamemnon had not altogether destroyed the town, but that 
it had been reoccupied after his departure, and had never ceased 
to exist. 4 Their acropolis was called Pergamum, and in it was 
shown the house of Priam and the altar of Zeus Herkeius where 
that unhappy old man had been slain : moreover there were 
exhibited, in the temples, panoplies which had been worn by the 
Homeric heroes, 5 and doubtless many other relics appreciated by 
admirers of the Iliad. 

which was near to Sigeium, from the 'A^aiwv TH/J.IJV, which was more towards 
the middle of the bay between Sigeium and Ehoeteium ; but we gather from 
his language that this distinction was not universally recognized. Alexan- 
der landed at the 'A^atuv At^v (Arrian, i. 11). 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 593. 

3 Herodot. v. 95 (his account of the war between the Athenians and Mity- 
lenrcans about Sigeium and Achilleium) ; Strabo, xiii. p. 593. TJ?V de TUV 
'I/Uewf irohiv TT/V vvv revs ftEv Kw/zoTTO/Uv eivdi (jxifft, rd lepbv ex ovaav T W 
'A&Tjvaf fiiKpbv Kal EVTE^if. 'AfoZavdpov Je avaflavra UETU. rr/v eirl TpaviKp 
VIKIJV, uva.'&Tiii.'iai re KOGfirjaai rb lepdv Kal irpoaayopevaat, nofav, etc. 

Again, Kal TO "I/Uov, o vvv karl, Kufj.6no7t.ig rif ijv ore irpurov 'Puualoi rjjf 

3 Besides Athene, the Inscriptions authenticate Zet)f Ho2-tei>s at Ilium 
(Corp. Inscrip. Bceckh. No. 3599). 

4 Strabo, xiii. p. 600. Aeyovai <T ol vvv 'Ifaeif Kal rovro, uf ovde 

TTJV itokiv Kara TTJV uAwow vnd TUV 'A%aiuv, ovd' 

The situation of Ilium (or as it is commonly, but erroneously, termed, 
New Ilium) appears to be pretty well ascertained, about two miles from the 
sea (Rennell, On the Topography of Troy, r.. 41-71 ; Dr. Clarke's Travels, 
vol. ii. p 102). 

* Xerxes passing by Adramyttium, and leaving the range of Mount Ida on 


These were testimonies which few persons in those ages were 
inclined to question, when combined with the identity of name 
and general locality ; nor does it seem that any one did question 
them until the time of Demetrius of Skepsis. Hellanikus ex- 
pressly described this Ilium as being the Ilium of Homer, for 
which assertion Strabo (or probably Demetrius, from whom the 
narrative seems to be copied) imputes to him very gratuitously 
an undue partiality towards the inhabitants of the town. 1 Hero- 
dotus relates, that Xerxes in his march into Greece visited the 
place, went up to the Pergamum of Priam, inquired with much 
interest into the details of the Homeric siege, made libations to 
the fallen heroes, and offered to the Athene of Ilium his mag- 
nificent sacrifice of a thousand oxen : he probably represented 
and believed himself to be attacking Greece as the avenger of 
the Priamid family. The Lacedaemonian admiral Mindarus, 
while his fleet lay at Abydus, went personally to Ilium to offer 
sacrifice to Athene, and saw from that elevated spot the battle 
fought between the squadron of Dorieus and the Athenians, on 
the shore near Rhceteium. 2 During the interval between the 

his left hand, f/'ie if TTJV 'IXidda yf/v ......... J A.mKOfj.ev ov 6e TOV arparoZ 

enl TOV 'SiKauavdpov ......... f rb Hpiu/tov TlEpya[J.ov uvEJ3r) t 1/j.epov sguv 

6e, Kal TTV& 6/j.evof Keivuv iKaara, TTJ 
(3ovf ^iPa'af ^otif 6e ol fj,dyQi Toiaiv ijouai* i%- 
avro ......... "Afia ?i/i.Eprj Se iiropevETO, iv upiffTEprj (tev uirspyuv 'Poirelov KOI 'O<j>pvvelov Kal Aapdavov, fyirep di) 'A/JyJtj o/wvpof toriv iv 6e^iy 
Je, Tepyr&as TevKpovf (Herod- vii. 43). 

Respecting Alexander (Arrian, i. 11), 'Ave/lflovra 6e if 'IXiov, ry 'Ai??/v(i 
Qvaat, ry 'Ifaadi, Kal TTJV TravoTT^iav TTJV avTov uvadetvai elf TQV vabv, Kal 
Ka&efalv uvTl TavTTjf TUV lepuv Tiva 6ir%uv ITL K TOV Tpu'iKov Ipyov au&- 
fieva Hal Tavra Tilyovoiv OTI ol imaainaTal l<j>epov irpd avTov if raf ftaxaf. 
Qvaai. ds avTbv inl TOV f3ufj.ov TOV Aidf TOV 'Epxeiov Tioyof /care^ei, prjvtv irapaiTovfievov Ttf> NEOTTTOASIIOV yevet, b 6^ if avTov Ka&rJKE. 

The inhabitants of Ilium also showed the lyre which had belonged to 
Paris (Plutarch, Alexand. c. 15). 

Chandler, in his History of Ilium, chap. xxii. p. 89, seems to think that 
the place called by Herodotus the Pergamum of Priam is different from the 
historical Ilium. But the mention of the Eiean Athene identifies them aa 
the same. 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 602. 'EXAuvt/cof 61 %api6ij.Evof Toif 'Ihievffiv, olo? 6 
IKELVOV ftv&oc, avvriyopel r> TTJV aiiTrjv slvai 7r67i.iv TTJV vvv Ty TOTE. Hellan- 
ikus had written a work called Tpu'iKa. 

*Xenoph. Hellen. i. 1, 10. Skylax places Ilium twenty-five stadia, 01 


Peloponnesian war and the Macedonian invasion of Persia. Ilium 
was always garrisoned as a strong position ; but its domain wag 
still narrow, and did not extend even to the sea which was so 
near to it. 1 Alexander, or. crossing the Hellespont, sent his 
army from Sestus to Abydus, under Parmenio, and sailed person- 
ally from Elaseus in the Chersonese, after having solemnly sac- 
rificed at the Elseuntian shrine of Protesilaus, to the harbor of 
the Achasans between Sigeium and Rhoeteium. He then ascended 
to Ilium, sacrificed to the Iliean Athene, and consecrated in her 
temple his own panoply, in exchange for which he took some of 
the sacred arms there suspended, which were said to have been 
preserved from tho time of the Trojan war. These arms were 
carried before him when he went to battle by his armor-bearers. 
It is a fact still more curious, and illustrative of the strong work- 
ing of the old legend on an impressible and eminently religious 
mind, that he also sacrificed to Priam himself, on the very altar 
of Zeus Herkeius from which the old king was believed to have 
been torn by Neoptolemus. As that fierce warrior was his heroic 
ancestor by the maternal side, he desired to avert from himself 
the anger of Priam against the Achilleid race. 2 

about three miles, from the sea (c. 94). But I do not understand how he 
can call Skepsis and Kebren Trofate tiri da'h.daai). 

1 See Xenoph. Hell en. iii. i. 16; and the description of the seizure of 
Ilium, along with Skepsis and Kebren, by the chief of mercenaries, Chari 
demus, in Demosthen. cont. Aristocrat, c. 38. p. 671 : compare jEneas 
Poliorcetic. c. 24, and Polysen. iii. 14. 

* Arrian, 1 . c. Dikasarchus composed a separate work respecting this 
sacrifice of Alexander, nepl r^f iv 'lUu dvalas (Athenae. xiii. p. 603; 
Dikaearch. Fragm. p. 114, ed. Fuhr). 

Theophrastus, in noticing old and venerable trees, mentions the <t>7jyol 
(Quercus cesculus) on the tomb of Ilus at Ilium, without any doubt of the 
authenticity of the place (De Plant, iv. 14) ; and his contemporary, the 
harper Stratonikos, intimates the same feeling, in his jest on the visit of a 
bad sophist to Ilium during the festival of the Ilieia (Athenae. viii. p. 351 ). 
The same may be said respecting the author of the tenth epistle ascribed to 
the orator JEschines (p. 737), in which his visit of curiosity to Ilium is 
described as well as about Apollonius of Tyana, or the writer who 
describes his life and his visit to the Troad ; it is evident that he did not dis- 
trust the upxaio'/.oyia of the Ilieans, who affirmed their town to be the real 
Troy (Philostrat. Vit. Apollon. Tyan. iv. 11). 

The god Jess Athene of Ilium was reported to have rendered valnnLU 


Alexander made to the inhabitants of Ilium many munificent 
promises, which he probably would have executed, had he not 
been prevented by untimely death : for the Trojan war was 
amongst all the Grecian legends the most thoroughly Pan-Hel- 
lenic, and the young king of Macedon, besides his own sincere 
legendary faith, was anxious to merge the local patriotism of the 
separate Greek towns in one general Hellenic sentiment under 
himself as chief. One of his successors, Antigonus, 1 founded the 
city of Alexandreia in the Troad, between Sigeium and the more 
southerly promontory of Lektum ; compressing into it the inhab- 
itants of many of the neighboring ^Eolic towns in the region 
of Ida, Skepsis, Kebren, Hamaxitus, Kolonae, and Neandria, 
though the inhabitants of Skepsis were subsequently permitted 
by Lysimachus to resume their own city and autonomous gov- 
ernment. Ilium however remained without any special mark of 
favor until the arrival of the Romans in Asia and their triumph 
over Antiochus (about 190 B. c.). Though it retained its walls 
and its defensible position, Demetrius of Skepsis, who visited it 
shortly before that event, described it as being then in a state of 
neglect and poverty, many of the houses not even having tiled 
roofs. 2 In this dilapidated condition, however, it was still mythi- 

assistance to the inhabitants of Kyzikus, when they were besieged by 
Mithridates, commemorated by inscriptions set up in Ilium (Plutarch, 
Lucull. 10). 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 603-607. 

2 Livy, xxxv. 43 ; xxxvii. 9. Polyb. v. 78-1 1 1 (passages which prove thai 
Ilium was fortified and defensible about B. c. 218). Strabo, xiii. p. 594. Ka2 
rb "lAtov <5', 6 vvv kari. /cej/zoTro/Uf n f r]v, ore Trpurdv 'Pufialot rr)<; 'Aaiaf ine- 
$i\oav Kal k&fiakov 'Avrioxov rbv peyav K 7% ivrbf TOV Tavpov. $ijai -yovv 
Art/Ltf/Tpiof 6 2/c^>f) fiEipuxiov iTTid7Jfj.j)aav etf TTJV TTO?IIV Kar' ixeivovf roiif 
Kaipoi)f, owruf ufayupqfievijv Ideiv rf/v naroiKiav, wore fujdl Kepapuruf e% elv 
raf arcyaf. 'Hy^o-tuvaf 6e, roiif FaAuraf irfpatudevrae IK rrjc EvpuTrr/f, uva- 
(ifjvai /J.EV elf T'fjv Ttohiv tieo/usvovf tpvparof, irapaxpi/pa, 6' ^/cAtTretv dia rd 
aTf'^icfTov ' fiarepov ff knavopduaiv sage KoTJ.fjv. EIr' knanuaav aitrf/v TTU- 
fav t)l fierti $ifi[)piov, etc. 

This is a very clear and precise statement, attested by an eye-witness. 
But it is thoroughly inconsistent with the statement made by Strabo in the 
previous chapter, a dozen lines before, as the text now stands ; for he there 
informs us that Lysimachus, after the death of Alexander, paid great atten- 
tion to Ilium, surrounded it with a wall of forty stadia in circumference, 
erected a temple, and aggregated to Ilium the ancient cities around, which 


cally recognized both by Antiochus and by the Roman consul 
Livius, who went up thither to sacrifice to the Hiean Athene. 
The Romans, proud of their origin from Troy and JEneas, treat- 
ed Ilium with signal munificence ; not only granting to it immu- 
nity from tribute, but also adding to its domain the neighboring 
territories of Gergis, Rhoeteium and Sigeium and making the 
Ilieans masters of the whole coast 1 from the Peraea (or conti- 

were in a state of decay. We know from Livy that the aggregation of 
Gergis and Rhceteium to Ilium was effected, not by Lysimachus, but by the 
Romans (Livy, xxxviii. 37}; so that the first statement of Strabo is not 
only inconsistent with his second, but is contradicted by an independent au- 

I cannot but think that this contradiction arises from a confusion of the 
text in Strabo's first passage, and that in that passage Strabo really meant to 
speak only of the improvements brought about by Lysimachus in Alexan 
dreia Troas ; that he never meant to ascribe to Lysimachus any improve- 
ments in Ilium, but, on the contrary, to assign the remarkable attention paid 
by Lysimachus to Alexandria* Tr6as, as the reason why he had neglected to 
fulfil the promises held out by Alexander to Ilium. The series of facts runs 
thus : 1 . Ilium is nothing better than a Kufir; at the landing of Alexander ; 
2. Alexander promises great additions, but never returns from Persia to ac- 
complish them ; 3. Lysimachus is absorbed in Alexandreia Troas, into which 
he aggregates several of the adjoining old towns, and which flourishes under 
his hands ; 4. Hence Ilium remained a KU/UJ when the Romans entered Asia, 
as it had been when Alexander entered. 

This alteration in the text of Strabo might be effected by the simple trans- 
position of the words as they now stand, and by omitting OTE KOI, qdij tVe- 
lieArr&Ti, without introducing a single new or conjectural word, so that the 
passage would read thus: Merti 6e TT)V EKEIVOV (Alexander's) re^evTr/v Avai- 
jtaxoc fidfaara T7/f 'Afaav6peiaf k^Efj.e7Ji&ri, avvyKiafievrjC 7/671 VTT' 'Avri- 
y6vov,Kalirpoa7}-yopevo/tEV7]f'', fierajSa^ovarif de rovvofia' (l<5ofeyup 
evoefiee dvat roi>f ' A?,eS;uv6pov 6ia6ea/j.svovf EKE'LVOV Tcporspov KTI&IV tKuvv- 
ftovc Trofaif, $' eavruv) Kal VEUV Kareanevaae Kal TEIXO; irepie^aXETO ocrov 
40 aradiuv avvuKiae 6e elf avrrjv r<if KVK^M nofaif upxaiac, 7/67) KEKOKUfie- 

vae. Kal (5^ Kal ovvcfieive irofauv. If this reading be adopted, the 

words beginning that which stands in Tzschucke's edition as sect. 27, and 
which immediately follow the last word TroAewv, will read quite suitably and 
coherently, Ka2 rb 'Ihiov 6\ b vvv iarl, KupoTrohif rif r/v, ore vpuTov 'Pu- 
fialoi rrjf 'Acrtac eTrep-qffav, etc., whereas with the present reading of the pas- 
gage they show a contradiction, and the whole passage is entirely confused. 

1 Livy, xxxviii. 39; Strabo, xiii. p. 600. KareaKairTai 6s Kal rb "Z'.yeiov 
iiirb TUV 'ITtieuv 6iu TJJV unei'deiav fa* EKeivoif -yup rjv varepov tj irapahia 
faaa TJ [iixpi Aaptuvov, Kal vvv in? iKEivoic Ian. 


nental possessions) of Tenedos (southward of Sigeium) to th 
boundaries of Dardanus, which had its own title to legendary 
reverence as the special sovereignty of JEneas. The inhabitants 
of Sigeium could not peaceably acquiesce in this loss of their 
autonomy, and their city was destroyed by the Ilieans. 

The dignity and power of Ilium being thus prodigiously en- 
hanced, we cannot doubt that the inhabitants assumed to them- 
selves exaggerated importance as the recognized parents of all- 
conquering Rome. Partly, we may naturally suppose, from the 
jealousies thus aroused on the part of their neighbors at Skepsis 
and Alexandreia Troas partly from the pronounced tendency 
of the age (in which Krates at Pergamus and Aristarchus at 
Alexandria divided between them the palm of literary celebrity) 
towards criticism and illustration of the old poets a blow was 
now aimed at the mythical legitimacy of Ilium. Demetrius of 
Skepsis, one of the most laborious of the Homeric critics, had 
composed thirty books of comment upon the Catalogue in the 
Iliad : Hestiaea, an authoress of Alexandreia Troas, had written 
on the same subject: both of them, well-acquainted with the 
locality, remarked that the vast battles described in the Iliad 
could not be packed into the narrow space between Ilium and 
the Naustathmon of the Greeks ; the more so, as that space, too 
small even as it then stood, had been considerably enlarged since 
the date of the Iliad by deposits at the mouth of the Skaman- 
der. 1 They found no difficulty in pointing out topographical in- 
congruities and impossibilities as to the incidents in the Iliad, 
which they professed to remove by the startling theory that the 
Homeric Ilium had not occupied the site of the city so called. 
There was a village, called the village of the Ilieans, situated 

1 Strabo, xiii. 599. Hapari^riffc 6e 6 Arj[j.f}Tpio( Kal TT)V ' A.he!;av6pivj}v *E<m- 
aiav fiupTvpa, TT/V avyjpa-^aaav nepl TTJ^ 'Qpjpov 'ITiiutiof, nw&avo/j.fvrjv, el 
nepl TT/V vvv itoh.iv 6 7r63e//of aweary, KOL rb Tpu'inbv Ttidiov TTOV EOTIV, b fie- 
rav TTJC ToAeuf KOI rf/f -&ah,daar]<; 6 Trot^rfo Qpufct rb (J.EV ydp irpb TJJI; vvv 
TroAeof dpufievov, Trpo%u[ia. elvai TUV iroTa/tuv, varepov yeyovof. 

The words TTOV lariv are introduced conjecturally by Grosskurd, the ex 
cellent German translator of Strabo, but they seem to me necessary to make 
the sense complete. 

Hesittea is cited more than once in the Homeric Scholia (Schol. Venet ad 
Diad. iii. 64 ; Enstath. ad Iliad, ii. 538). 


rather less than four miles from the city in the direction of Mount 
Ida, and further removed from the sea ; here, they affirmed the 
" holy Troy " had stood. 

No positive proof was produced to sustain the conclusion, fot 
Strabo expressly states that not a vestige of the ancient city re- 
mained at the Village of the Ilieans : l but the fundamental sup- 
position was backed by a second accessory supposition, to explain 
how it happened that all such vestiges had disappeared. Never- 
theless Strabo adopts the unsupported hypothesis of Demetrius as 
if it were an authenticated fact distinguishing pointedly be- 
tween Old and New Ilium, and even censuring Hellanikus for 
having maintained the received local faith. But I cannot find 
that Demetrius and Hestioaa have been followed in this respect 
by any other writer of ancient times excepting Strabo. Ilium 
still continued to be talked of and treated by every one as the 
genuine Homeric Troy : the cruel jests of the Eoman rebel Fim- 
bria, when he sacked the town and massacred the inhabitants 
the compensation made by Sylla, and the pronounced favor of 
Julius Caesar and Augustus, all prove this continued recogni- 
tion of identity. 2 Arrian, though a native of Nicomedia, hold- 
ing a high appointment in Asia Minor, and remarkable for the 
exactness of his topographical notices, describes the visit of 
Alexander to Ilium, without any suspicion that the place with all 
its relics was a mere counterfeit : Aristides, Dio Chrysostom, Pau- 
sanias, Appian, and Plutarch hold the same language. 3 But 
modern writers seem for the most part to have taken up the 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 599. Ovtiev J' f^vof au&rai rr/f upxaiaf TftfAeuf ELKO- 
Twf are yap kKitenop-Qrifjievuv TUV KVKku irofauv, ov re/lewf 6e Kareanaafj.e- 
vuv, oi Aj'tfot Truvrff efc rrjv kneivuv (j.Tj]Vexdijaav. 

3 Appian, Mithridat. c. 53 ; Strabo, xiii. p. 594 ; Plutarch, Sertorius, c. 1 ; 
Vclleius Paterc. ii. 23. 

The inscriptions attest Panathenaic games celebrated at Ilium in honor of 
Athene by the Ilieaus conjointly with various other neighboring cities (seo 
Corp. Inscr. Boeckh. No. 3601-3602, with Boeckh's observations). The 
valuable inscription No. 3595 attests the liberality of Antiochus Soter to- 
wards the Iliean Athene as early as 278 B. c. 

* Arrian, i. 11 ; Appian ut sup. ; also Aristides, Or. 43, Rhodiaca, p. 
820 (Dindorf p. 369). The curious Oratio xi. of Dio Chrysostom, in which 
he writes his new version of the Trojan war, is addressed to the inhabitar ta 
of Ilium. 


supposition from Strabo as implicitly as he took it from De"m 
trius. They call Ilium by the disrespectful appellation of New 
Ilium while the traveller in the Troad looks for Old Ilium as 
if it were the unquestionable spot where Priam had lived and 
moved ; the name is even formally enrolled on the best maps re- 
cently prepared of the ancient Troad. 1 

1 The controversy, now half a century old, respecting Troy and the 
Trojan war between Bryant and his various opponents, Morritt, Gilbert 
Wakefield, the British Critic, etc., seems now nearly forgotten, and I cannot 
think that the pamphlets on either side would be considered as displaying 
much ability, if published at the present day. The discussion was first 
raised by the publication of Le Chevalier's account of the plain of Troy, in 
which the author professed to have discovered the true site of Old Ilium 
(the supposed Homeric Troy), about twelve miles from the sea near Bounar- 
bashi. Upon this account Bryant published some animadversions, followed 
up by a second treatise, in which he denied the historical reality of the Trojan 
war, and advanced the hypothesis that the tale was of Egyptian origin (Dis- 
sertation on the War of Troy, and the Expedition of the Grecians as de 
scribed by Homer, showing that no such Expedition was ever undertaken, 
and that no such city of Phrygia existed, by Jacob Bryant; seemingly 1797, 
though there is no date in the title-page : Morritt's reply was published in 
1798). A reply from Mr. Bryant and a rejoinder from Mr. Morritt, as well 
as a pamphlet from G. Wakefield, appeared in 1799 and 1800, besides an 
Expostulation by the former addressed to the British Critic. 

Bryant, having dwelt both on the incredibilities and the inconsistencies of 
the Trojan war, as it is recounted in Grecian legend generally, nevertheless 
admitted that Homer had a groundwork for his story, and maintained that 
that groundwork was Egyptian. Homer (he thinks) was an Ithacan, de- 
scended from a family originally emigrant from Egypt : the war of Troy 
was originally an Egyptian war, which explains how Memnon the Ethiopian 
came to take part in it : " upon this history, which was originally Egyptian, 
Homer founded the scheme of his two principal poems, adapting things to 
Greece and Phrygia by an ingenious transposition:" he derived information 
from priests of Memphis or Thebes (Bryant, pp. 102, 108, 126). The "Hpof 
A-lyvnTiof, mentioned in the second book of the Odyssey (15), is the Egyp- 
tian hero, who affords, in his view, an evidence that the population of that 
island was in part derived from Egypt. No one since Mr. Bryant, I appre- 
hend, has ever construed the passage in the same sense. 

Bryant's Egyptian hypothesis is of no value , but the negative portion of 
his argument, summing up the particulars of the Trojan legend, and con- 
tending against its historical credibility, is not so easily put aside. Few 
persons will share in the zealous conviction by which Morritt tries to make it 
appear that the 1100 ships, the ten years of war, the large confederacy of 
princes from all parts of Greece, etc., have nothing but what is consonant with 


Strabo has heie converted into geographical matter of fact an 
hypothesis purely gratuitous, with a view of saving the accuracy 
of the Homeric topography ; though in all probability the locali- 
ty of the pretended Old Ilium would have been found open to 
difficulties not less serious than those which it was introduced to 
obviate. 1 It may be true that Demetrius and he were justified in 

historical probability ; difficulties being occasionally eliminated by the plea of 
our ignorance of the time and of the subject (Morritt, p. 7-21 ). Gilbert Wake- 
field, who maintains the historical reality of the siege with the utmost inten- 
sity, and even compares Bryant to Tom Paine (W. p. 17), is still more 
displeased with those who propound doubts, and tells us that " grave dispu- 
tation in the midst of such . darkness and uncertainty is a conflict with chi- 
mairas " (W. p. 14). 

The most plausible line of argument taken by Morritt and Wakefield is, 
where they enforce the positions taken by Strabo and so many other authors, 
ancient as well as modem, that a superstructure of fiction is to be distin 
guishcd from a basis of truth, and that the latter is to be amintaincd 
while the former is rejected (Morritt, p. 5 ; Wake. p. 7-8). To this Bryant 
replies, that " if we leave out every absurdity, we can make anything plau- 
sible ; that a fable may be made consistent, and we have many romances 
that are very regular in the assortment of characters and circumstances : this 
may be seen in plays, memoirs, and novels. But this regularity and corres- 
pondence alone will not ascertain the truth" (Expostulation, pp. 8, 12, 13) 
" That there are a great many other fables besides that of Troy, regular and 
consistent among themselves, believed and chronologized by the Greeks, and 
even looked up to by them in a religious view (p. 13), which yet no one now 
thinks of admitting as history." 

Morritt, having urged the universal belief of antiquity as evidence that 
the Trojan war was historically real, is met by Bryant, who reminds him 
that the same persons believed in centaurs, satyrs, nymphs, augury, aruspicy ; 
Homer maintaining that horses could speak, etc. To which Morritt replies, 
" What has religious belief to do with historical facts ? Is not the evidence 
on which our faith rests in matters of religion totally different in all its 
parts from that on which we ground our belief in history?" (Addit. Re- 
marks, p. 47). 

The separation between the grounds of religious and historical belief is by 
no means so complete as Mr. Morritt supposes, even in regard to modern 
times ; and when we apply his position to the ancient Greeks, it will ba 
found completely the reverse of the truth. The contemporaries of Herodo- 
tus and Thucydides conceived their early history in the most intimate con- 
junction with their religion. 

1 For example, adopting his own line of argument (not to mention those 
battles in which the pursuit and the flight reaches from the city to the ships 
and hack again), it might have been urged to him, that by supposing the 


their negative argument, so as to show that the battles described 
in the Iliad could not possibly have taken place if the city of 
Priam had stood on the hill inhabited by the Ilieans. But the 
legendary faith subsisted before, and continued -without abate- 
ment afterwards, notwithstanding such topographical impossibili- 
ties. Hellanikus, Herodotus, Mindarus, the guides of Xerxes, 
and Alexander, had not been shocked by them : the case of the 
latter is the strongest of all, because he had received the best 
education of his time under Aristotle he was a passionate ad- 
mirer and constant reader of the Iliad he was moreover per- 
sonally familiar with the movements of armies, and lived at a 
time when maps, which began with Anaximander, the disciple of 
Thales, were at least known to all who sought instruction. Now 
if, notwithstanding such advantages, Alexander fully believed in 
the identity of Ilium, unconscious of these many and glaring to- 
pographical difficulties, much less would Homer himself, or the 
Homeric auditors, be likely to pay attention to them, at a period, 
five centuries earlier, of comparative rudeness and ignorance, 
when prose records as well as geographical maps were totally 
unknown. 1 The inspired poet might describe, and his hearers 

Homeric Troy to be four miles farther off from the sea, he aggravated the 
difficulty of rolling the Trojan horse into the town : it was already sufficiently 
hard to propel this vast wooden animal full of heroes from the Greek Nau- 
stathmon to the town of Ilium. 

The Trojan horse, with its accompaniments Sinon and Laocoon, is one 
of the capital and indispensable events in the epic : Homer, Arktinus. Les- 
ches, Virgil, and Quintus Smyrnjeus, all dwell upon it emphatically as the 
proximate cause of the capture. 

The difficulties and inconsistencies of the movements ascribed to Greeks 
and Trojans in the Iliad, when applied to real topography, are well set forth 
in Spohn, De Agro Trojano, Leipsic, 1814; and Mr. Maclaren has shown 
(Dissertation on the Topography of the Trojan War, Edinburgh, 1822) that 
these difficulties are nowise obviated by removing Ilium a few miles further 
from the sea. 

1 Major Kennell argues differently from the visit of Alexander, employ- 
ing it to confute the hypothesis of Chevalier, who had placed the Homeric 
Troy at Bounarbashi, the site supposed to have been indicated by Deme- 
trius and Strabo : 

" Alexander is said to have been a passionate admirer of the Iliad, and 
he had an opportunity of deciding on the spot how far the topography was 
consistent with the narrative. Had h been shown the site of Bounarbashi 


would listen with delight to the tale, how Hector, pursued by 
Achilles, ran thrice round the city of Troy, while the trembling 
Trojans were all huddled into the city, not one daring to come out 
even at this last extremity of their beloved prince and while the 
Grecian army looked on, restraining unwillingly their uplifted 
spears at the nod of Achilles, in order that Hector might perish 
by no other hand than his ; nor were they, while absorbed by 
this impressive recital, disposed to measure distances or calculate 
topographical possibilities with reference to the site of the real 
Ilium. 1 The mistake consists in applying to Homer and to the 
Homeric siege of Troy, criticisms which would be perfectly just 
if brought to bear on the Athenian siege of Syracuse, as de- 
scribed by Thucydides; 2 in the Peloponnesian war 3 but which 

for that of Troy, he would probably have questioned the fidelity either of 
the historical part of the poem or his guides. It is not within credibility, 
that a person of so correct a judgment as Alexander could have admired a 
poem, which contained a long history of military details, and other transactions 
that could not physically have had an existence. What pleasure could he 
receive, in contemplating as subjects of history, events which could not have 
happened ? Yet he did admire the poem, and therefore must have found tie 
topography consistent : that is, Bounarbashi, surely, was not shown to him for 
Troy (Reynell, Observations on the Plain of Troy, p. 128). 

Major Rennell here supposes in Alexander a spirit of topographical criti- 
cism quite foreign to his real character. "We have no reason to believe that 
the site of Bounarbashi was shown to Alexander as the Homeric Troy, or 
that any site was shown to him except Uium, or what Strabo calls New Ilium. 
Still less reason have we to believe that any scepticism crossed his mind. 
or that his deep-seated faith required to be confirmed by measurement of 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 599. OW rj rov "Enropoc 6s irepidpo/irj ij ircpl TTJV ?r6Aiv 
e%ti TI ev'Xoyov ov yap ian Kepidpouos f] vvv, 6ia rfyv avvex^l faxw rj tie 

2 Mannert (Geographic der Griechen und Romer, th. 6. heft 3. b. 8. cap, 
8) is confused in his account of Old and New Ilium : he represents that 
Alexander raised up a new spot to the dignity of having been the Homeric 
Ilium, which is not the fact: Alexander adhered to the received local belief. 
Indeed, as far as our evidence goes, no one but Demetrius, Hestiaea, and 
Strabo appears ever to have departed from it. 

* 3 There can hardly be a more singular example of this same confusion, 
than to find elaborate military criticisms from the Emperor Napoleon, upon 
the description of the taking of Troy in the second book of the JEneid. 
He shows that gross faults are committed in it, when looked at from the 


are not more applicable to the epic narrative than they would be 
to the exploits of Amadis or Orlando. 

There is every reason for presuming that the Hium visited by 
Xerxes and Alexander was really the " holy Ilium" present to 
the mind of Homer ; and if so, it must have been inhabited, either 
by Greeks or by some anterior population, at a period earlier than 
that which Strabo assigns. History recognizes neither Troy the 
city, nor Trojans, as actually existing ; but the extensive region 
called Troas, or the Troad (more properly Troi'as), is known 
both to Herodotus and to Thucydides : it seems to include the 
territory westward of an imaginary line drawn from the north- 
east corner of the Adramyttian gulf to the Propontis at Parium, 
since both Antandrus, Kolonae, and the district immediately 
round Ilium, are regarded as belonging to the Troad. 1 Herodo- 
tus further notices the Teukrians of Gergis 2 (a township conter- 
minous with Ilium, and lying to the eastward of the road from 
Ilium to Abydus), considering them as the remnant of a larger 
Teukrian population which once resided in the country, and 
which had in very early times undertaken a vast migration from 
Asia into Europe. 3 To that Teukrian population he thinks that 
the Homeric Trojans belonged : 4 and by later writers, especially 
by Virgil and the other Romans, the names Teukrians and Tro- 
jans are employed as equivalents. As the name Trojans is not 
mentioned in any contemporary historical monument, so the 

point of view of a general (see an interesting article by Mr. G. C. Lewis, in the 
Classical Museum, vol. i. p. 205, " Napoleon on the Capture of Troy"). 

Having cited this criticism from the highest authority on the art of war, 
we may find a suitable parallel in the works of distinguished publicists. The 
attack of Odysseus on the Ciconians (described in Homer, Odyss. ix. 39-61 ) is 
cited both by Grotius (De Jure Bell, et Pac. iii. 3, 10) and by Vattel (Droit 
des Gens, iii. 202) as a case in point in international law. Odysseus is con 
sidered to have sinned against the rules of international law by attacking 
them as allies of the Trojans, without a formal declaration of war. 

1 Compare Hcrodot. v. 24-122; Thucyd. i. 131. The 'lAtuf ytj is a part 
of the Troad. 

8 Herodot. vii. 43. 

3 Herodot. v. 122. dhe /zev Ai'o^caf navraf, oaoi TJJV 'IXtuda yfjv VCUOVTOI, 
flAe 6e Tepyidas, roiif u7ro/l0i?Ef raf ~(Jv upxaiuv TevKpuv. 

For the migration of the Teukrians and Mysians into Europe, see Herodot 
ii. 20; the Paeonians, on the Strymon, called themselves their descendants 

4 Herodot. ii. 118; v. 13. 



name Teukrians never once occurs in the old epic. It appears to 
have been first noticed by the elegiac poet Kallinus, about 
660 B. c., who connected it by an alleged immigration of Teu- 
krians from Krete into the region round about Ida. Others 
again denied this, asserting that the primitive ancestor, Teukrus, 
had come into the country from Attica, 1 or that he was of indige- 
nous origin, born from Skamander and the nymph Idsea all 
various manifestations of that eager thirst after an eponymous 
hero which never deserted the Greeks. Gergithians occur in 
more than one spot in JEolis, even so far southward as the 
neighborhood of Kyme : 2 the name has no place in Homer, but 
he mentions Gorgythion and Kebriones as illegitimate sons of 
Priam, thus giving a sort of epical recognition both to Gergis 
and Kebren. As Herodotus calls the old epical Trojans by the 
name Teukrians, so the Attic Tragedians call them Phrygians ; 
though the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite represents Phrygians 
and Trojans as completely distinct, specially noting the diversity 
of language ; 3 and in the Iliad the Phrygians are simply num- 
bered among the allies of Troy from the far Ascania, without in- 
lication of any more intimate relationship. 4 Nor do the tales 
which connect Dardanus with Samothrace and Arcadia find 
countenance in the Homeric poems, wherein Dardanus is the son 
of Zeus, having no root anywhere except in Dardania. 5 The 
mysterious solemnities of Samothrace, afterwards so highly vene- 
rated throughout the Grecian world, date from a period much 
later than Homer ; and the religious affinities of that island as 
well as of Krete with the territories of Phrygia and JEolis, were 
certain, according to the established tendency of the Grecian 
mind, to beget stories of a common genealogy. 

To pass from this legendary world, an aggregate of streams 
distinct and heterogeneous, which do not willingly come into con 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 604 ; Apollodor. iii. 12, 4. 

Kephalon of Gergis called Teukrus a Kretan (Stcphan. Byz. v. 'Apttr/?)?). 

2 Clearchus ap. Athaene. vi. p. 256 ; Strabo, xiii. p. 589-616. 

3 Homer, Hymn, in Vener. 116. 

4 Iliad, ii. 863. Asius, the brother of Hecabe, lives in Phrygia on the banki 
of the Sangarins (Iliad, xvi. 717). 

5 See Hellanik.Fragm. 129. 130. ed.Didot: and Kephalon Gergithius ap. 
Steph. Byz. v. ' 


fluence, and cannot be forced to intermix, into the clearei 
vision afforded by Herodotus, we learn from him that in the year 
500 B. c. the whole coast-region from Dardanus southward to the 
promontory of Lektum (including the town of Ilium), and from 
Lektum eastward to Adramyttium, had been -^olized, or was 
occupied by JEolic Greeks likewise the inland towns of Skep- 
eis 1 and Kreben. So that if we draw a line northward from Adra- 
myttium to Kyzikus on the Propontis, throughout the whole ter- 
ritory westward from that line, to the Hellespont and the -<Egean 
Sea, all the considerable towns would be Hellenic, with the excep- 
tion of Gergis and the Teukrian population around it, all the 
towns worthy of note were either Ionic or ^Eolic. A century ear- 
lier, the Teukrian population would have embraced a wider range 
perhaps Skepsis and Kreben, the latter of which places was 
colonized by Greeks from Kyme : 2 a century afterwards, during 
the satrapy of Pharnabazus, it appears that Gergis had become 
Hellenized as well as the test. The four towns, Ilium, Gergis, 
Kebren and Skepsis, all in lofty and strong positions, were distin- 
guished each by a solemn worship and temple of Athen, and by 
the recognition of that goddess as their special patroness. 3 

The author of the Iliad conceived the whole of this region as 
-occupied by people not Greek, Trojans, Dardanians, Lykians, 
Lelegians, Pelasgians, and Kilikians. He recognizes a temple 
and worship of Athene in Ilium, though the goddess is bitterly 

1 Skepsis received some colonists from the Ionic Miletus (Anaximenes 
apud Strabo, xiv. p. 635) ; but the coins of the place prove that its dialect 
was JEolic. See Klausen, JEneas und die Penaten, torn. i. note 180. 

Arisbe also, near Abydus, seems to have been settled from Mitylene (Eu- 
stath. ad Iliad, xii 97). 

The extraordinary fertility and rich black mould of the plain around Ilium 
is noticed by modern travellers (see Franklin, Remarks and Observations on 
the Plain of Troy, London, 1800, p. 44) : it is also easily worked : " a couple 
of buffaloes or oxen were sufficient to draw the plough, whereas near Constan- 
tinople it takes twelve or fourteen. 

* Ephorus ap. Harpocrat. v. Kf/3p^va. 

3 Xenoph. Hellen. i. 1, 10 ; iii. 1, 10-15. 

One of the great motives of Dio in setting aside the Homeric narrative of the 
Trojan war, is to vindicate Athene from the charge of having unjustly de- 
troyedher own city of Ilium (Orat. xi.p. 310: piJiiara tiiti. ri)v 'Adyvuv oiruf 
ut) tour] ud'iKue diafy'&cipai TJ)V iavrjjf 'ir67i.iv). 


hostile to the Trojans : and Arktinus described the Palladium as 
the capital protection of the city. But perhaps the most remark- 
able feature of identity between the Homeric and the historical 
^Eolis, is, the solemn and diffused worship of the Sminthian Apollo. 
Chryse, Killa and Tenedos, and more than one place called Smin- 
thium, maintain the surname and invoke the protection of that 
god during later times, just as they are emphatically described to 
do by Homer. 1 

When it is said that the Post-Homeric Greeks gradually Hel- 
lenized this entire region, we are not to understand that the whole 
previous population either retired or was destroyed. The Greeks 
settled in the leading and considerable towns, which enabled them 
both to protect one another and to gratify their predominant tastes. 
Partly by force but greatly also by that superior activity, and 
power of assimilating foreign ways of thought to their own, which 
distinguished them from the beginning they invested all the 
public features and management of the town with an Hellenic air, 
distributed all about it their gods, their heroes and their legends, 
and rendered their language the medium of public administration, 
religious songs and addresses to the gods, and generally for com- 
munications wherein any number of persons were concerned. But 
two remarks are here to be made : first, in doing this they could 
not avoid taking to themselves more or less of that which belonged 

1 Strabo. x. p. 473; xiii. p. 604-605. Polemon. Fragm. 31. p. 63, ed. 

Polemon was a native of Ilium, and had written a periegesis of the place 
( about 200 B. c., therefore earlier than Demetrius of Skepsis) : he may have 
witnessed the improvement in its position effected by the Romans. He 
noticed the identical stone upon which Palamedes had taught the Greeks to 
play at dice. 

The Sminthian Apollo appears inscribed on the coin&of Alexandreia Troas ; 
and the temple of the god was memorable even down to the time of the em- 
peror Julian (Ammian. Marcellin. xxii. 8). Compare Menander (the Rhetor) 
irepl 'EmdeiKTiKtiv, iv. 14; apud Walz. Collect. Rhetor, t. ix. p. 304; also 
irtpl 'Zfifir&iaKtJv, iv. 17. 

2zuvi?of, both in the Kretan and the JEolic dialect, meant a field-mouse : 
the region seems to have been greatly plagued by these little animals. 

Polemo could not have accepted the theory of Demetrius, that Hium was 
not the gennine Troy : his Periegesis, describing the localities and relics of 
Ilium, implied the legitimacy of the place as a matter of course. 

VOL. i. 15 22oc. 


ft the |iie* with whom they fraternized, so that the result was 
i ; next, that even this was done only in the 
fully extended to the territorial domain 
smaller townships which stood to the town in 
relation. The -olic and Ionic Greeks borrowed 
from the A s "*"' g whom they had Hellenized, musical instruments 
ad new laws of rhythm and melody, which they knew how to turn 
to account : they farther adopted more or less of those violent 
and maddening religions rites, manifested occasionally in self- 
inflicted nflcring and mutilation, which were indigenous in Asia 
Minor in the worship of the Great Mother. The religion of the 
Greeks in the region of Ida as well as at Kyzikus was more 
orgiastic than the native worship of Greece Proper, just as that 
of T^a^M^m^ Priapos and Parium was more licentious. From 
the Tenkriaa region of Gergis, and from the Gergithes near 
Kyme, sprang the original Sibylline prophecies, and the legend- 
ary Sibvll who plays so important a part in the tale of -Eneas : 
the mythe of the SibyH, whose prophecies are supposed to be 
heard in the hollow blast bursting out from obscure caverns and 
apertures in the rocks, 1 was indigenous among the Gergithian 
Teukrians, and passed from the Kymoeans in JEolis. along with 
the other circumstances of the tale of .rF.neas, to their brethren 
thj inhabitants of Cumae in Italy. The date of the Gergithian 
Sibyfl, or rather of the circulation of her supposed prophecies, is 
placed during the reign of Croesus, a period when Gergis was 
thoroughly Teukrian. Her prophecies, though embodied in 
Greek verses, had their root in a Teukrian soil and feeling? : and 
the promises of future empire which they so liberally make to the 
fugitive hero escaping from the flames of Troy into Italy, become 
interesting from the remarkable way in which they were realized 
by Rome. 9 

Virgil, Mood, TV 42 : 

ExeiMB BUbuti latus ingens ropis in antmm, 
Qoo lati dncnnt aditns centum, ostia centum ; 
Unde rmmat totidem voces, mpoosa Sibvllx. 

PMHOOM, x. 12, 8; Ltantias, i 6, 12: Steph. Bjz. r. Mf^rawy; 
S-iL PUt Phjedr. p. 315, Bekker. 
TW tee of this Gergid in SibjlL or of the propbci psaing under hef 

LEGZZO) Of TE07. 33* 

At what time Ilium and Dardanus became ^iolized we have 
no information. We find th Mitylenzeans in possession of St- 
geium in the time of the poet about 000 &. c. ; and the 
Athenians daring the reign of Peisistratus, having wrested it fixm; 
them and trying to maintain their possession, vindicate the pro- 
ceeding bj saving that they had a? much right to it as the Mity- 
lenajans, " for the latter had no more claim to it than any of th* 
other Greeks who had aided Menelaus in avenging the abdnctiofa 
of Helen." 1 This is a very remarkable incident, as attesting the 
celebrity of the legend of Troy, and the value of a mythical title 
in international disj' -iingly implying that the estab- 

lishment of the Mitylenseans on that spot must have been sum 
ciently recent- The country near the junction of the Hellespont 
and the Projxratis is represented as originaDy held 2 by Bebrykian 
Thracians, while Abydus was first occupied by Milesian colonists 
in the reign aJid by the permission of the Lydian king Gyges 3 
to whom the whole Troad and the neighboring territory be- 
longed. and upon whom therefore the Teukrians of Ida must have 
been dependent. This must have been about 700 B. C-, a period 

came, is stated by Herakleides of I'onras, and there aeons BO reason for 
calling it in question. 

Klansen (JEneas und die Penaien, book ii. p. 205) bas wfcei oat o 
piously the circulation and legendary import of tie Sibylline propheoie*. 
1 Herodot v. 94. Ziyctov ...... rd cl?.c IIctfftoTparof ai%fty irapu Htn> 

?.tivaiw ...... 'A^iTvatot, mrvkaarimf ^iryu oiSb> fto&jov AltArim jtrrsi* 

TW T^uSof xupvc, * w u of 4 nin 

MfTc'/.fy ruf 'E'/JviK upirayuf- In ^scbylns (Emoenid, 4O2) 
dess Athene claims the land about the Skamander, as having ben p 
to the sons of Theseus by the general vote of the Grecian chief* : 
'A/irc* 1,K.afiia'f>pav -pjv K. 
"Hv 6% r 1 'A^atwr iffroprf rr Ktu 

Ctf TO JTtP FfHif 9 

In the days of FeiastrBtn, it seemi Athens was not bold enough or pc w- 
erf ul enough to advance thii vast preteasicin. 

* Charon of Lampsacms ap. SchoL Ajjollon. Ehod. ii. 2; Bernhardy 4 
Diony. Perit-gt-t 805. p. 747. 

3 Sach at least is the statement of Strabo (xiL p. 590) ; fliongh such u 
ettott of Lydian rule at that time seems not ea?y to reconcile with the f*v- 
vefiags of the subsequent Lydian kings. 


considerably earlier than the Mitylenaean occupation of Sigeiuin 
Lampsacus and PSRSUS, on the neighboring shores of the Propon- 
tis, were also Milesian colonies, though we do not know their date 
Pariura was jointly settled from Miletus, Erythrse and Parus. 



THE preceding sections have been intended to exhibit a sketch 
of that narrative matter, so abundant, so characteristic and so 
interesting, out of which early Grecian history and chronology 
ha^e been extracted. Raised originally by hands unseen and 
from data unassignable, it existed first in the shape of floating 
talk among the people, from whence a large portion of it passed 
into the song of the poets, who multiplied, transformed and adorn- 
ed it in a thousand various ways. 

These mythes or current stories, the spontaneous and earliest 
growth of the Grecian mind, constituted at the same time the 
entire intellectual stock of the age to which they belonged. They 
are the common root of all those different ramifications into which 
the mental activity of the Greeks subsequently diverged ; con- 
taining, as it were, the preface and germ of the positive history 
and philosophy, the dogmatic theology and the professed romance, 
which we shall hereafter trace each in its separate development. 
They furnished aliment to the curiosity, and solution to the vague 
doubts and aspirations of the age ; they explained the origin of 
those customs and standing peculiarities with which men were 
familiar ; they impressed moral lessons, awakened patriotic sym- 
pathies, and exhibited in detail the shadowy, but anxious presen- 
timents of the vulgar as to the agency of the gods : moreover 
they satisfied that craving for adventure and appetite for tho 


marvellous, which has in modern limes become the province of 
fiction proper. 

It is difficult, we may say impossible, for a man of mature age 
to carry back his mind to his conceptions such as they stood when 
he was a child, growing naturally out of his imagination and feel- 
ings, working upon a scanty stock of materials, and borrowing 
from authorities whom he blindly followed but imperfectly appre- 
hended. A similar difficulty occurs when we attempt to place 
ourselves in the historical and quasi-philosophical point of view 
which the ancient mythes present to us. We can follow perfect- 
ly the imagination and feeling which dictated these tales, and we 
can admire and sympathize with them as animated, sublime, and 
affecting poetry ; but we are too much accustomed to matter of 
fact and philosophy of a positive kind, to be able to conceive a 
time when these beautiful fancies were construed literally and 
accepted as serious reality. 

Nevertheless it is obvious that Grecian mythes cannot be either 
understood or appreciated except with reference to the system of 
conceptions and belief of the ages in which they arose. We 
must suppose a public not reading and writing, but seeing, hear- 
ing and telling destitute of all records, and careless as well as 
ignorant of positive history with its indispensable tests, yet at the 
same time curious and full of eagerness for new or impressive 
incidents strangers even to the rudiments of positive philoso- 
phy and to the idea of invariable sequences of nature either in 
the physical or moral world, yet requiring some connecting the- 
ory to interpret and regularize the phenomena before them. Such 
a theory was supplied by the spontaneous inspirations of an early 
fancy, which supposed the habitual agency of beings intelligent 
and voluntary like themselves, but superior in extent of power, 
and different in peculiarity of attributes. In the geographical 
ideas of the Homeric period, the earth was flat and round, with 
the deep and gentle ocean-stream flowing around and returning 
into itself: chronology, or means of measuring past time, there 
existed none ; but both unobserved regions might be described, 
the forgotten past unfolded, and the unknown future predicted 
through particular men specially inspired by the gods, or endow- 
ed by them with that peculiar vision which detected and inter 
preted passing signs and omens. 


If even the rudiments of scientific geography and physics, now 
BO universally diffused and so invaluable as a security against 
error and delusion, were wanting in this early stage of society, 
their place was abundantly supplied by vivacity of imagination 
and by personifying sympathy. The unbounded tendency of the 
Homeric Greeks to multiply fictitious persons, and to construe 
the phenomena which interested them into manifestations of de- 
sign, is above all things here to be noticed, because the form of 
personal narrative, universal in their mythes, is one of its many 
manifestations. Their polytheism (comprising some elements of 
an original fetichism, in which particular objects had themselves 
been supposed to be endued with life, volition, and design) recog- 
nized agencies of unseen beings identified and confounded with 
the different localities and departments of the physical world. 
Of such beings there were numerous varieties, and many grada- 
tions both in power and attributes ; there were differences of age, 
sex and local residence, relations both conjugal and filial between 
them, and tendencies sympathetic as well as repugnant. The 
gods formed a sort of political community of their own, which 
had its hierarchy, its distribution of ranks and duties, its conten- 
tions for power and occasional revolutions, its public meetings in 
the agora of Olympus, and its multitudinous banquets or festi- 
vals. 1 The great Olympic gods were in fact only the most exalted 
amongst an aggregate of quasi-human or ultra-human personages, 
dsemons, heroes, nymphs, eponymous (or name-giving) genii, 
identified with each river, mountain, 2 cape, town, village, or known 

1 Homer, Iliad, i. 603; xx. 7. Hesiod. Theogon. 802. 

2 We read in the Iliad that Asteropoeus was grandson of the beautiful 
river Axius, and Achilles, after having slain him, admits the dignity of this 
parentage, but boasts that his own descent from Zeus was much greater, 
since even the great river Achelous and Oceanus himself is inferior to Zeus 
(xxi. 157-191). Skamander fights with Achilles, calling his brother Simo'is 
to his aid (213-308). Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus, falls in love with 
Enipcus, the most beautiful of rivers (Odyss. xi. 237). Achelous appears 
as a suitor of Deianira (Sophokl. Trach. 9). 

There cannot be a better illustration of this feeling than what is told of 
the New Zealanders at the present time. The chief Heu-Heu appeals to his 
ancestor, ihe great mountain Tonga Riro : " I am the Heu-Heu, and rulo 
over you all, just as my ancestor Tonga Riro, the mountain of snow, stands 
bove all this land." (E. J. Wakefield, Adventures in New Zealand, vol. i. 


circumscription of territory, besides horses, bulls, and dogs, of 
immortal breed and peculiar attributes, and monsters of strange 

ch. 17. p. 465). Heu-IIeu refused permission to any one to ascend the moun- 
tain, ou the ground that it was his tipuna or ancestor : " he constantly iden 
tified himself with the mountain and called it his sacred ancestor" (vol. ii. c. 
4. p. 113). The mountains in New Zealand are accounted hy the natives 
masculine and feminine : Tonga Riro, and Taranaki, two male mountains, 
quarrelled about the affections of a small volcanic female mountain in the 
neighborhood (ibid. ii. c. 4. p. 97). 

The religious imagination of the Hindoos also (as described by Colonel 
Sleeman in his excellent work, Rambles and Recollections of an Indian 
Official), affords a remarkable parallel to that of the early Greeks. Colonel 
Sleeman says, 

" I asked some of the Hindoos about us why they called the river Mother 
Nerbudda, if she was really never married. Her Majesty (said they with 
great respect) would really never consent to be married after the indignity 
she suffered from her affianced bridegroom the Sohun: and we call her 
mother because she blesses us all, and we are anxious to accost her by the 
name which we consider to be the most respectful and endearing. 

" Any Englishman can easily conceive a poet in his highest calenture of 
the brain, addressing the Ocean as a steed that knows his rider, and patting 
the crested billow as his flowing mane. But he must come to India to un- 
derstand how every individual of a whole community of many millions can 
address a fine river as a living being a sovereign princess who hears and un- 
derstands all t/iey say, and exercises a kind of local superintendence over their 
affairs, without a single temple in which her image is worshipped, or a 
single priest to profit by the delusion. As in the case of the Ganges, it is 
the river itself to whom they address themselves, and not to any deity residing in t, 
or presiding over it the stream itself is the deity which fills their imagina- 
tions, and receives their homage" (Rambles and Recollections of an In- 
dian Official, ch. iii. p. 20). Compare also the remarks in the same work 
on the sanctity of Mother Nerbudda (chapter xxvii. p. 261) ; also of the holy 
personality of the earth. " The land is considered as the MOTHER of the 
prince or chief who holds it, the great parent from whom he derives all that 
maintains him, his family, and his establishments. If well-treated, she yields 
this in abundance to her son ; but if he presumes to look upon her with the 
eye of desire, she ceases to be fruitful ; or the Deity sends down hail or 
blight to destroy all that she yields. The measuring the surface of ths 
fields, and the frequently inspecting the crops by the chief himself or hi* 
immediate agents, were considered by the people in this light either it 
should not be done at all, or the duty should be delegated to inferior agents, 
whose close inspection of the great parent could not be so displeasing to the 
Deity " ( Ch. xxvii. p. 248 ) . 
See also about the gods who are believed to reside in trees the Peepol- 


lineaments and combinations, " Gorgons and Harpies and Chi- 
maeras dire." As there were in every gens or family special gen- 
tile deities and foregone ancestors who watched over its members, 
forming in each the characteristic symbol and recognized guar- 
antee of their union, so there seem to have been in each guild 
or trade peculiar beings whose vocation it was to cooperate or 
to impede in various stages of the business. 1 

The extensive and multiform personifications, here faintly 
sketched, pervaded in every direction the mental system of the 
Greeks, and were identified intimately both with their conception 
and with their description of phenomena, present as well as past. 
That which to us is interesting as the mere creation of an exube- 
rant fancy, was to the Greok genuine and venerated reality. 
Both the earth and the solid heaven (Gaea and Uranos) were both 
conceived and spoken of by him as endowed with appetite, feel- 
ing, sex, and most of the various attributes of humanity. Instead 
of a sun such as we now see, subject to astronomical laws, and 
forming the centre of a system the changes of which we can 
ascertain and foreknow, he saw the great god Helios, mounting 
his chariot in the morning in the east, reaching at mid-day the 
height of the solid heaven, and arriving in the evening at the 
western horizon, with horses fatigued and desirous of repose. 

tree, the cotton-tree, etc. (ch. ix. p. 112), and the description of the annual 
marriage celebrated between the sacred pebble, or pebble-god, Saligram, 
and the sacred shrub Toolsea, celebrated at great expense and with a nume- 
rous procession (chap. xix. p. 158 ; xxiii. p. 185). 
J See the song to the potters, in the Homeric Epigrams (14) : 
Ei filv duaers fiiadov, uelau, u Kepatiqee 
Atiip' uy' 'A&jjvaiT}, nal vxeipexe %Elpa 
E> 6e (i&av&ELEV Koruli.oi, KO.I navra Kavaarpa 
$pvxdf]vai TE /caAwf, nal Tipjg uvov upecr&ai. 

*Hv d' ETT' uvaitieiijv Tpetydevres tfievd^ ttpytn?? , 

ew <5j) Vetra KOUIV^I J^Ajf-riypaf 

f, Sfiupayov re, a? 'A<r/?eroi>, rj5s 'Zapu.KTTjv, 

of TTjtie Te%vy Kaicu Trohhii. Tropifri, etc. 
A certain kindred betwejn men and serpents (ovyyeveiuv nva npbf rodj 
o(j>sif) was recognized in the peculiar gens of the oQioyeveif near Parion, 
who possessed the gift of healing by their touches the bite of the serpent 
the original hero of this gens was said to have been transformed from a ser 
pent into a man (Strabo, xiii. p. 588). 


Helios, having favorite spots wherein his beautifu. cattle grazed, 
took pleasure in contemplating them during the course of his 
journey, and was sorely displeased if any man slew or injured 
them : he had moreover sons and daughters on earth, and as his 
all-seeing eye penetrated everywhere, he was sometimes in a 
situation to reveal secrets even to the gods themselves while 
on other occasions he was constrained to turn aside in order to 
avoid contemplating scenes of abomination. 1 To us these now 
appear puerile, though pleasing fancies, but to an Homeric Greek 

1 Odyss. ii. 388; viii. 270; xii. 4, 128, 416; xxiii. 362. Iliad, xiv. 344. 
The Homeric Hymn to Demeter expresses it neatly (63) 
'H<?/Uoi> (5' IKOVTO, &suv OKOTTOV ?]6e KCU uvdpuv. 

Also the remarkable story of Euenius of Apollonia, his neglect of the sacred 
cattle of Helios, and the awful consequences of it (Herodot. ix. 93 : compare 
Theocr. Idyll, xxv. 130). 

I know no passage in which this conception of the heavenly bodies as Per 
sons is more strikingly set forth than in the words of the German chief 
Boiocalus, pleading the cause of himself and his tribe the Ansibarii before 
the Roman legate Avitus. This tribe, expelled by other tribes from its native 
possessions, had sat down upon some of that wide extent of lands on the 
Lower Rhine which the Roman government reserved for the use of its sol- 
diers, but which remained desert, because the soldiers had neither the means 
nor the inclination to occupy them. The old chief, pleading his cause before 
Avitus, who had issued an order to him to evacuate the lands, first dwelt upon 
his fidelity of fifty years to the Roman cause, and next touched upon the enor- 
mity of retaining so large an area in a state of waste (Tacit. Ann. xiii. 55): 
" Quotam partem campi jacere, in quam pecora et armenta militum aliquan- 
do transmitterentur ? Scrvarcnt sane receptos gregibus, inter hominum 
famam : modo ne vastitatem et solitudinem mallent, quam amicos populos 
Chamavorum quondam ea arva, mox Tubantum, et post Usipiorum fuisse. 
Sicutt co3lum Diis, ita terras generi mortalium datas : qnaeque vacua;, eas 
publicas csse. Solem deinde respiciens, et ccetera sidera vocans, quasi coram 
interrogabat vellentne contueri inane solum ? potius mare superfunderent adver- 
gus terrarum ereptores. Commotus his Avitus," etc. The legate refused the 
request, but privately offered to Boiocalus lands for himself apart from the 
tribe, which that chief indignantly spurned. He tried to maintain himself in 
the lands, but was expelled by the Roman arms, and forced to seek a home 
among the other German tribes, all of whom refused it. After much wander- 
ing and privation, the whole tribe of the Ansibarii was annihilated : its war- 
riors were all slain, its women and children sold as slaves. 

I notice this afflicting sequel, in order to show that the brave old chief was 
pleading before Avitus a matter of life and death bolh to himself and his 
tribe, and that the occasion was one least of all suited for a mere rhetorical 



they seemed perfectly natural and plausible. In his view, th 
description of the sun, as given in a modern astronomical treatise, 
would have appeared not merely absurd, but repulsive and im- 
pious. Even in later times, when the positive spirit of inquiry 
had made considerable progress, Anaxagoras and other astrono- 
mers incurred the charge of blasphemy for dispersonifying Helios, 
and trying to assign invariable laws to the solar phenomena. 1 
Personifying fiction was in this way blended by the Homeric 

prosopopoeia. His appeal is one sincere and heartfelt to the personal feelings 
Bnd sympathies of Helios. 

Tacitus, in reporting the speech, accompanies it with the gloss " quasi 
coram," to mark that the speaker here passes into a different order of ideas 
from that to which himself or his readers were accustomed. If Boiocalus 
could have heard, and reported to his tribe, an astronomical lecture, he would 
have introduced some explanation, in order to facilitate to his tribe the com- 
prehension of Helios under a point of view so new to them. While Tacitus 
finds it necessary to illustrate by a comment the personification of the sun, 
Boiocalus would have had some trouble to make his tribe comprehend tho 
re-ijication of the god Iltlios. 

1 Physical astronomy was both new and accounted impious in the time of 
the Peloponnesian war : sec Plutarch, in his reference to that eclipse which 
proved so fatal to the Athenian army at Syracuse, in consequence of the 
religious feelings of Nikias : ov ydprjveixovToroi)f (pvaiKoijf nat //treopo/leff^aj 
vs aif, elf alriaf dAoyovf KO.I 6vvup.eif uirpovoi/Tovf KOI KOTIJ- 
dri diaTpiffovraf TO tielov (Plutarch, Nikias, c. 23, and Perikles, 
c. 32 ; Diodor. xii. 39 ; Demetr. Phaler. ap. Diogcn. Lae'rt, ix. 9, 1 ). 

" You strange man, Meletus," said Socrates, on his trial, to his accuser, 
" arc you seriously affirming that I do not think Helios and Selene to be 
gods, as the rest of mankind think ?" " Certainly not, gentlemen of the 
Dikastery (this is the reply of Meletus), Socrates says that the sun is a stone, 
and the moon earth." "Why, my dear Meletus, you think you are preferring 
an accusation against Anaxagoras ! You account these Dikasts so con- 
temptibly ignorant, as not to know that the books of Anaxagoras are full of 
such doctrines ! Is it from me that the youth acquire such teaching, when 
they may buy the books for a drachma in the theatre, and may thus laugh 
me to scorn if I pretended to announce such views as my own not to men- 
tion their extreme absurdity?" (uAAwf re nal ovruf urona ovra, Plato, Apolog. 
Socrat. c. 14. p. 26). 

The divinity of Helios and Selene is emphatically set forth by Plato, Lcgg. 
x. p. 886-889. He permits physical astronomy only under great restrictions 
and to a limited extent. Compare Xenoph. Memor. iv. 7, 7 ; Diogen. Lafirt. 
ii. 8 ; Plutarch, De Stoicor. Repugntnt. c. 40. p. 1053 ; and Schaubach ad 
Anaxagone Fragmenta, p. 6. 


L reeks with their conception of the physical phenomena oefore 
them, not simply in the way of poetical ornament, but as a genu- 
ine portion of their every -day belief. 

It was in this early state of the Grecian mind, stimulating so 
forcibly the imagination and the feelings, and acting through them 
upon the belief, that the great body of the mythes grew up and 
obtained circulation. They were, from first to last, personal 
narratives and adventures ; and the persons who predominated 
as subjects of them were the gods, the heroes, the nymphs, etc., 
whose names were known and reverenced, and in whom every 
one felt interested. To every god and every hero it was consis- 
tent with Grecian ideas to ascribe great diversity of human mo- 
tive and attribute : each indeed has his own peculiar type of 
character, more or less strictly defined ; but in all there was a 
wide foundation for animated narrative and for romantic incident. 
The gods and heroes of the land and the tribe belonged, in the 
conception of a Greek, alike to the present and to the past : he 
worshipped in their groves and at their festivals ; he invoked their 
protection, and believed in their superintending guardianship, 
even in his own day : but their more special, intimate, and sym- 
pathizing agency was cast back into the unrecorded past. 1 To 

1 Hesiod, Catalog. Fragm. 76. p. 48, ed. Duntzer : 

Swat yap Tore daZref eaav t;vvoi re &OUKC t, 
' Atfavarotf re deolai Kara^v^TOif r' uv&puKOtf. 

Both the Thcogonia and the Works and Days bear testimony to die same 
general feeling. Even the heroes of Homer suppose a preceding age, the 
inmates of which were in nearer contact with the gods than they themselves 
(Odyss. viii. 223; Iliad, v. 304 ; xii. 382). Compare Catullus, Carm. 64; 
Epithalam. Peleos et Thetidos, v. 382-408. 

Menander the Rhetor (following generally the steps of Dionys. Hal. Art 
Rhetor, cap. 1-8) suggests to his fellow-citizens at Alexandria Troas, proper 
and complimentary forms to invite a great man to visit their festival of the 
Sminthia : uairep yap ' AffoA/lwva iroMunif Mt'^ero TJ Tro/lif rotf 'S.fiiv&iot.^ 
T/VIKO t!-7}v '-Stove irpo<t>aviJ e-jridrj/ielv TO If a v$ p u iro tf, 
OVTU not as. T] 7r6/Uf vvv irpoaSexsrai (;rept 'EirideiKTiK. s. iv. c. 14. ap.Walz. 
Coll. Rhetor, t. ix. p. 304). Menander seems to have been a native of Aler- 
andria Troas, though Suidas calls him a Laodicean (see Walz. Prsef. ad t 
ix. p. xv.-xx. ; and Trept ^iiivdiaKuv, sect. iv. c. 17). The festival of the 
Sminthia lasted down to his time, embracing the whole duration of paganism 
from Homer downwards. 


give suitable utterance to this general sentiment, to furni< 
body and movement and detail to these divine and heroic prr- 
existences, which were conceived only in shadowy outline, U 
lighten up the dreams of what the past must have been, 1 in the 
minds of those who knew not what it really had been such was 
the spontaneous aim and inspiration of productive genius in the 
community, and such were the purposes which the Grecian 
mythes preeminently accomplished. 

The love of antiquities, which Tacitus notices as so prevalent 
among the Greeks of his day, 2 was one of the earliest, the most 
durable, and the most widely diffused of the national propensi- 
ties. But the antiquities of every state were divine and heroic, 
reproducing the lineaments, but disregarding the measure and 
limits, of ordinary humanity. The gods formed the starting-point, 
beyond which no man thought of looking, though some gods were 
more ancient than others : their progeny, the heroes, many of 
them sprung from human mothers, constitute an intermediate link 
between god and man. The ancient epic usually recognizes the 
presence of a multitude of nameless men, but they are intro- 
duced chiefly for the purpose of filling the scene, and of executing 
the orders, celebrating the valor, and bringing out the personality, 
of a few divine or heroic characters. 3 It was the glory of bards 
and storytellers to be able to satisfy those religious and patriotic 
predispositions of the public, which caused the primary demand 

1 P. A. Miiller observes justly, in his Saga-Bibtiathek, in reference to the 
Icelandic mythes, " In dem Mythischen wird das Leben der Vorzeit darges- 
tellt, wie es wirklich dem kindlichen Verstande, der jugcndlichen Einbildung- 
skraft, und dem vollen Herzen, erscheint." 

(Xange's Untcrsuchungen iiber die Nordische und Deutsche Heldensage, 
translated from P. A. Mtiller, Introd. p. 1.) 

* Titus visited the temple of the Paphian Venus in Cyprus, " spcctatd 
opulentia donisque regum, quteque alia Icetitm antiquitatibus Graecorum 
genus incertce vetustati adfingit. de navigatione primum consuluit" (Tacit 
Hist. ii. 4-5). 

3 Aristotel. Problem, xix. 48. Ot <5e #ye//6vec TUV up%aiuv fiovot fyrrav 
fjpusf oi (5e Aaoi av&puiroi,. Istros followed this opinion also: but tho 
more common view seems to have considered all who combated at Troy as 
heroes (see Schol. Iliad, ii. 110; xv. 231), and so Hcsiod treats them (Opp. 
Di. 158). 

In rcfci ;nc* to the Trojan war, Aristotle says Kadairep h> rocf ' H p u J> 
otr nep: Hptufiov uvQeverat (Ethic. Nicom. i. 9; compare vii. I). 


for their tales, and which were of a nature eminently inviting and 
expansive. For Grecian religion was many-sided and many 
colored ; it comprised a great multiplicity of persons, together 
with much diversity in the types of character ; it divinized every 
vein and attribute of humanity, the lofty as well as the mean 
the tender as well as the warlike the self-devoting and adven- 
turous as well as the laughter-loving and sensual. We shall here- 
after ?each a time when philosophers protested against such 
identification of the gods with the more vulgar 'appetites and en- 
joyments, believing that nothing except the spiritual attributes of 
man could properly be transferred to superhuman beings, and 
drawing their predicates respecting the gods exclusively from what 
was awful, majestic and terror-striking in human affairs. Such 
restrictions on the religious fancy were continually on the in- 
crease, and the mystic and didactic stamp which marked the last 
century of paganism in the days of Julian and Libanius, contrasts 
forcibly with the concrete and vivacious forms, full of vigorous 
impulse and alive to all the capricious gusts of the human temper- 
ament, which people the Homeric Olympus. 1 At present, how- 

1 Generation by a god is treated in the old poems as un act entirely human 
and physical (e^iyr) rrapfXe^aro) ; and this was the common opinion in 
the days of Plato (Plato, Apolog. Socrat. c. 15. p. 15); the hero Astrabakus 
is father of the Lacedaemonian king Demaratus (Herod, vi. 66). [Herodotus 
does not believe the story told him at Babylon respecting Belus (i. 182)] 
Euripides sometimes expresses disapprobation of the idea (Ion. 350), but 
Plato passed among a large portion of his admirers for the actual son of 
Apollo, and his reputed father Aristo on marrying was admonished in a 
dream to respect the person of his wife Periktione, then pregnant by Apollo, 
until after the birth of the child Plato (Plutarch, Qucest. Sympos. p. 717. 
viii. 1 ; Diogen. Lafirt. iii. 2 ; Origen, cont. Cels. i. p. 29). Plutarch (in Life 
of Numa, c. 4 ; compare Life of Theseus, 2) discusses the subject, and is in- 
clined to disallow everything beyond mental sympathy and tenderness in a 
god : Pausanias deals timidly with it, and is not always consistent with him- 
self; while the later rhetors spiritualize it altogether. Meander, irepl 'ETR- 
6eiKTiK(Jv, (towards the end of the third century B. c.) prescribes rules for 
praising a king : you are to praise him for the gens to which he belongs : 
perhaps you may be able to make out that he really is the son of some god ; 
for many who seem to be from men, arc really sent down by God&nA are ema- 
nations ftrm the Supreme Potency noUol rb fiev SOKEIV f uvSpuiruv elai, 
TI) d 1 utitr&eig, Ttaptl rov #eoC naravi^Ttovra /cat elaiv uirofr/toiai ovruf rov 
Kpsirrovof Kal -yap 'Hpa/^f ivofii&TO ftev 'Afi<j>irpvui>of, ry 6c d/l^iScta ^ 
\i6f. Ouru KOI f3aadevf 6 fj^e'-epof rd uev donclv i!; avdpuiruv, ry fe ahy 


ever, we have only to consider the early, or Homeric and Hesi 
odic paganism, and its operation in the genesis of the mythical 
narratives. We cannot doubt that it supplied the most powerful 
stimulus, and the only one which the times admitted, to the crea- 
tive faculty of the people ; as well from the sociability, the gra- 
dations, and the mutual action and reaction of its gods and heroes, 
as from the amplitude, the variety, and the purely human cast, 
of its fundamental types. 

i?o rijv KCL-apohfiv ovpdvo&ev #, etc. (Menander ap. Walz. Collect. Rhe- 
tor. t. ix. c. i. p. 218). Again irspl 2/j.ivdta.Kuv Zeitf yeveaiv naiduv 
til] /LI iov pj eiv tvevoTjas 'A7r6/U.wi> TTJV J A.aK%.r]iriov yeveaiv idr/fitovp- 
y r\ a E, p .322-327 ; compare Hermogenes, about the story of Apollo and 
Daphne, Progymnasm. c. 4 ; and Julian. Orat. vii. p. 220. 

The contrast of the pagan phraseology of this age (Menander had him- 
sHf composed a hymn of invocation to Apollo Kepi '~E,ynu}iiuv, c. 3. t. ix. 
y. 136, Walz.) with that of Homer is very worthy of notice. In the Hesi- 
odic Catalogue of Women much was said respecting the marriages and 
amours of the gods, so as to furnish many suggestions, like the love-songs 
of Sappho, to the composers of Epithalamic Odes (Menand. ib. sect. iv. c. 
6. p. 268). 

Menander gives a specimen of a prose hymn fit to be addressed to the 
Sminthian Apollo (p. 320) ; the spiritual character of which hymn forms the 
most pointed contrast with the Homeric hymn to the same god. 

We may remark an analogous case in which the Homeric hymn to Apollo 
is modified by Plutarch. To provide for the establishment of his temple at 
Delphi, Apollo was described as having himself, in the shape of a dolphin, 
gwam before a Kretan vessel and guided it to Ivrissa. where he directed the 
terrified crew to open the Delphian temple. But Plutarch says that this old 
statement was not correct : the god had not himself appeared in the shape 
of a dolphin he had sent a dolphin expressly to guide the vessel (Plutarch. 
de Solertia Animal, p. 983). See also a contrast between the Homeric 
Zens, and the genuine Zeus, (uTnjdivbs ) brought out in Plutarch, Defect 
Oracul. c. 30. p. 426. 

Illicit amours seem in these later times to be ascribed to the daifioveg : sec 
the singular controversy started among the fictitious pleadings of the ancient 
rhetors No^ou ovrof, irapdevove Kal Ka&apaf dvai TC itpeiaf, iepeia rif 
evps'&Ti uroKtov (pepovaa, Kal npiverai ......... 'AA/l' ipei, (j>aal, did, ruf TUV 

6ai/j.avuv m<J>oiTqaeif Kal iinftovTiuf Trepiredclcrdai Kal vruf ova u.vbr]TQ\ 
ncnidrj rb TOIOVTOV ; edei yap npbf rd HTJ uyaipEdfivat TTJV nap&eviav <j>opeli 
r* uirorpoiratov, ov IJ.TJV irpbe rb TEKSIV (Anonymi Scholia ai Hcrmogen. 
Srdcretf, ap. Walz. Coll. Rh. t. vii. p. 162). 

Apsines of Gadara, a sophist of the time of Diocletian, pretended to ba 
a son of Pan (see Suidas, v. 'Aipivtjf). The anecdote respecting the rivers 
Skamandcr and Marauder, in the tenth epistle ascribed to the orator jEschi- 
oes (p. 737), is curious, but we do not know the date of that epistle. 


Though we may thus explain the mythopoeic fertility of the 
t^>eeks, I am far from pretending that we can render any suffi- 
cient account of the supreme beauty of their chief epic and ar- 
tistical productions. There is something in the first-rate produc- 
tions of individual genius which lies beyond the compass of philo- 
sophical theory : the special breath of the Muse (to speak the 
language of ancient Greece) must be present in order to give 
them being. Even among her votaries, many are called, but few 
are chosen ; and the peculiarities of those few remain as yet her 
own secret. 

We shall not however forget that Grecian language was also 
an indispensable requisite to the growth and beauty of Grecian 
mythes its richness, its flexibility and capacity of new com- 
binations, its vocalic abundance and metrical pronunciation : and 
many even among its proper names, by their analogy to words 
really significant, gave direct occasion to explanatory or illustra- 
tive stories. Etymological mythes are found in sensible pro- 
portion among the whole number. 

To understand properly then the Grecian mythes, we must try 
to identify ourselves with the state of mind of the original my- 
thopreic age ; a process not very easy, since it requires us to 
adopt a string of poetical fancies not simply as realities, but as 
the governing realities of the mental system; 1 yet a process 

1 The mental analogy between the early stages of human civilization and 
the childhood of the individual is forcibly and frequently set forth in the 
works of Vico. That eminently original thinker dwells upon the poetical 
and religious susceptibilities as the first to develop themselves in the human 
miad, and as famishing not merely connecting threads for the explanation 
of sensible phenomena, but also aliment for the hopes and fears, and means 
of socializing influence to men of genius, at a time when reason was yet 
asleep. He points out the personifying instinct ("istinto d' animazione "_) as 
the spontaneous philosophy of man, " to make himself the rule of the uni- 
verse," and to suppose everywhere a quasi-human agency as the determining 
cause. He remarks that in an age of fancy and feeling, the conceptions and 
language of poetry coincide with those of reality and common life, instead 
of standing apart as a separate vein. These views are repeated frequently 
(and with some variations of opinion as he grew older) in his Latin work 
De Una Universi Juris Principio, as well as in the two successive redactions, 
of his great Italian work, Scienza Nuova (it must be added that Vico as an 
expositor is prolix, and does not do justice to his own powers of original 
thought) : I select the following from the second edition of the latter treatise, 


which would only reproduce something an**ogous to our own 
childhood. The age was one destitute both of recorded history 
and of positive science, but full of imagination and sentiment and 
religious impressibility; from these sources sprung that multitude 
of supposed persons around whom all combinations of sensible 

published by himself in 1744. Delia Metafisica Poetica (see vol. v. p. 189 of 
Ferrari's edition of his Works, Milan, 1836) : " Adunque la sapienza poetica, 
che fu la prima sapienza della Gentilita, dovette incominciare da una Meta- 
fisica, non ragionata ed astratta, qual e questa or degli addottrinati, ma sentita 
ed immaginata, quale dovett' essere di tai primi uomini, siccome quelli ch' 
erano di niun raziocinio, e tutti robusti sensi e vigorosissime fantasie, come 
e stato nelle degnita ("the Axioms) stabilito. Questa fu la loro propria poesia, 
la qual in essi fu una faculta loro connaturale, perchc crano di tali sensi e di 
si fatte fantasie naturalmente forniti, nata da ignoranza di cagioni la qual fu 
loro madre di maraviglia di tutte le cose, che quelli ignoranti di tutte le cose 
fortemente ammiravano. Tal poesia incominci6 in essi divina : perche nello 
stesso tempo ch' essi immaginavano le cagioni delle cose, che sentivano ed 
ammiravano, essere Dei, come ora il confermiamo con gli Americani, i quali 

tntte le cose che superano la loro picciol capacita, dicono esser Dei nello 

Btesso tempo, diciamo, alle cose ammirate davano 1' essere di sostanzc dalla 
propria lor idea : ch' e appunto la natura dei fanciulli, che osserviamo pren- 
dere tra mani cose inanimate, e transtullarsi e favellarvi, come fussero queUe 
persone vive. In cotal guisa i primi uomini delle nazioni gentili, come fan- 
ciulli del nascente gener umano, dalla lor idea creavan essi le cose per 

la loro robusta ignoranza, il facevano in forza d' una corpolcntissima fantasia, 
e perch' era corpolentissima, il facevano con una maravigliosa sublimita, tal 
e tanta, che perturbava all' eccesso essi medesimi, che fingendo le si crea- 

vano Di questa natura di cose umane resto eterna proprietk spiegata 

con nobil espressione da Tacito, che vanamente gli uomini sp&ventati Jingunt 
siinul creduntque." 

After describing the condition of rude men, terrified with thunder and 
other vast atmospheric phenomena, Vico proceeds (ib. p. 172) "In tal 
caso la natura della mente umana porta ch' ella attribuisca all' effetto la sua 
natura : e la natura loro era in tale stato d' uomini tutti robuste forze di corpo, 
che urlando, brontolando, spiegavano le loro violentissime passioni, si finsero 
il cielo esser un gran corpo animato, che per tal aspetto chiamavano Giove, 
che col fischio dei fnlmini e col fragore die tuoni volesse lor dire qualche 

cosa E si fanno di tutta la natnra un vasto corpo animato, che senta 

passioni ed affetti." 

Now the contrast with modern habits of thought : 

" Ma siccome ora per la natura delle nostre umane menti troppo ritirata 
dai sensi nel medesimo volgo con le tante astrazioni, di quante sono piene 
le lingue con tanti vocaboll astratti e di troppo assottigliata con 1' arti 
dello Bcrivere, e quasi spiritualezzata con la practica dei numeri cie natu- 


phenomena were grouped, and towards whom curiosity, sympa- 
thies, and reverence were earnestly directed. The adventures 
of such persons were the only aliment suited at Dnce both to the 
appetites and to the comprehension of an early Greek ; and the 
mythes which detailed them, while powerfully interesting his 

ralmente niegato di poter formare la vasta imagine di cotal donna che dicono 
Natura simpatelica, che mcntre con la bocca dicono, non hanno nulla in lor 
mente, perocche la lor mcntc 6 dentro il falso. che e nulla; ne* sono soccorsi 
dalla fantasia a poterne formare una falsa vastissima imagine. Cosl ora ci & 
naturalmente niegato di poter entrare nella vasta immaginativa di queiprimi uomini, 
le menti dci quali di nulla erano assottigliate, di nulla astratte, di nulla 

spiritualezzate Onde dicemmo sopra ch' ora appena intender si pud, 

affalto immaginar non s\ pu6, come pensassero i primi uomini che fondarono 
la umanita gentilesca." 

In this citation (already almost too long for a note) I have omitted several 
sentences not essential to the general meaning. It places these early divine 
fables and theological poets (so Vico calls them) in their true point of view, 
and assigns to them their proper place in the ascending movement of hu 
man society : it refers the mythes to an early religious and poetical age, in 
which feeling and fancy composed the whole fund of the human mind, over 
and above the powers of sense : the great mental change which has since 
taken place has robbed us of the power, not merely of believing them as they 
were originally believed, but even of conceiving completely that which their 
first inventors intended to express. 

The views here given from this distinguished Italian (the precursor of F. 
A. Wolf in regard to the Homeric poems, as well as of Niebnhr in regard to 
the Roman history) appear to me no less correct than profound ; and the 
obvious inference from them is, that attempts to explain (as it is commonly 
called) the mythes (/. e. to translate them into some physical, moral or his- 
torical statements, suitable to our order of thought) are, even as guesses, 
essentially unpromising. Nevertheless Vico, inconsistently with his own 
general view, bestows great labor and ingenuity in attempting to discover 
internal meaning symbolized under many of the mythes ; and eren lays 
down the position, " che i primi uomini della Gentilita essendo stati sempli- 
cissimi, quanto i fanciulli, i quali per natura son veritieri : le prime favole 
non poterono finger nulla di falso : per lo che dovettero necessariamente es- 
sere vere narrozioni." (See vol. v. p. 194 ; compare also p. 99, Axiom xvi.) 
If this position be meant simply to exclude the idea of designed imposture, 
it may for the most part be admitted ; but Vico evidently intends something 
more. He thinks that there lies hid under the fables a basis of matter of fact 
not literal but symbolized which he draws out and exhibits under the 
form of a civil history of the divine and heroic times : a confusion of doc- 
trine the more remarkable, since he distinctly tells us (in perfect conformity 
with the long passage above transcribed from him) that the special matter of 
VOL. i. 23oc. 


emotions, furnished to him at the same time a quasi-history an 3 
quasi-philosophy : they filled up the vacuum of the unrecorded 
past, and explained many of the puzzling incognita of the pres- 
ent. 1 Nor need we wonder that the same plausibility which cap- 

thcsc early mythes is " impossibility accredited as truth," " che la di lei pro- 
pria materia c /' impossibile credibile" ("p. 176, and still more fully in the first 
redaction of the Scienza Nuova, b.iii. c. 4 ; vol. iv. p. 187 of his Works). 

When we read the Canones Myt/toloyici of Vico (De Constantia Philologirc, 
Pars Posterior, c. xxx. ; vol. iii. p. 363), and his explanation of the legends 
of the Olympic gods, Hercules, Theseus, Kadmus, etc., wo see clearly that 
the meaning which he professes to bring out is one previously put in by 

There arc some just remarks to the same purpose in Karl Rittcr's Vor- 
halle Europflischer Volker Geschichten, Abschn. ii. p. 150 seq. (Berlin, 1820^) 
He too points out how much the faith of the old world (der Glaube der Vor- 
welt) has become foreign to our minds, since the recent advances of "Politik 
und Kritik," and how impossible it is for us to elicit history from their con- 
ceptions by our analysis, in cases where they have not distinctly laid it out 
for us. The great length of this note prevents me from citing the passage : 
and he seems to me also (like Vico) to pursue his own particular investiga- 
tions in forgetfulness of the principle laid down by himself. 

1 0. Muller, in his Prolegomena zu einer wissenschafdicften Mythologie (cap. 
iv. p. 108), has pointed out the mistake of supposing that there existed ori- 
ginally some nucleus of pure reality as the starting-point of the mythes, and 
that upon this nucleus fiction was superinduced afterwards : he maintains 
that the real and the ideal were blended together in the primitive conception 
of the mythes. Respecting the general state of mind out of which the mythes 
grew, see especially pages 78 and 1 10 of that work, which is everywhere full 
of instruction on the subject of the Grecian mythes, and is eminently sug- 
gestive, even where the positions of the author are not completely made out 

The short Heldensage der Gricchen by Nitzsch (Kiel, 1842, t. v.) contains more 
of just and original thought on the subject of the Grecian mythes than any 
work with which I am acquainted. I embrace completely the subjective 
point of view in which he regards them ; and although I have profited much 
from reading his short tract, I may mention that before I ever saw it, I had 
enforced the same reasonings on the subject in an article in the Westminster 
Review, May 1843, on the Heroen- Geschichten of Niebuhr. 

Jacob Grimm, in the preface to his Deutsche Myilioloyie p. 1, 1st edit. Gott. 
1835), pointedly insists on the distinction between " Sage " and history, as 
well as upon the fact that the former has its chief root in religious belief 
" Legend and history (he says) are powers each by itself, adjoining indeed 
on *he confines, but having each its own separate and exclusive ground , " 
als3 p. xxvii. of the same introduction. 

A view substantially similar is adopted by William Grimm, the other of 
the two distinguished brothers whose labors have so much elucidated Tea 


tivated his imagination and his feelings was sufficient to engendei 
spontaneous belief; or rather, that no question as to truth or 
falsehood of the narrative suggested itself to his mind. His 
faith is ready, literal and uninquiring, apart from all thought of 
discriminating fact from fiction, or of -detecting hidden and sym- 
bolized meaning ; it is enough that what he hears be intrinsically 
plausible and seductive, and that there be no special cause to pro- 
voke doubt. And if 'indeed there were, the poet overrules such 
doubts by the holy and all-sufficient authority of the Muse, whose 
omniscience is the warrant for his recital, as her inspiration is 
the cause of his success. 

The state of mind, and the relation of speaker to hearers, thus 
depicted, stand clearly marked in the terms and tenor of the an- 
cient epic, if we only put a plain meaning upon what we read. 
The poet like the prophet, whom he so much resembles 
sings under heavenly guidance, inspired by the goddess to whom 
he has prayed for her assisting impulse : she puts the word into 
his mouth and the incidents into his mind : he is a privileged man, 
chosen as her organ and speaking from her revelations. 1 As the 

tonic philology and antiquities. He examines the extent to which either his- 
torical matter of fact or historical names can be traced in the Deutsche Helden- 
saye ; and he comes to the conclusion that the former is next to nothing, the 
latter not considerable. He draws particular attention to the fact, that the 
audience for whom these poems were intended had not learned to distin- 
guish history from poetry (W. Grimm, Deutsche Heldensage, pp. 8, 337, 342 
345, 399, Go'tt. 1829). 
1 Hesiod, Theogon. 32. 

kvinvsvaav 6s (the Muses^ fioi av6f]v, 

Beiqv, uf Kfaioifu ru r' taao/teva, npo r' iovra, 

Kai [is /ceAov$' vfiveiv fj.aKu.puv -yevof aiev iovruv, etc. 

Odyss. xxii. 347 ; viii. 63, 73, 481. 489. Ay/ioSon' y ae ye Mot)<r' edidage, 

Atof iralc, f/ aef 'ATroAAwv : that is, Demodocus has either been inspired as 
a poet by the Muse, or as a prophet by Apollo : for the Homeric Apollo is 
not the god of song. Kalchas the prophet receives his inspiration from 
Apollo, who confers upon him the same knowledge both of past and future 
as the Muses give to Hesiod (Iliad, i. 69) : 

KuA^cf Qearopidijc, oluvcmo'Xuv o% J aptarof 
"Of jfiij TU r' eovra, ra r' iaa6fj.sva, irpo r' iovra 
"Hv 6ia fj,avToai)vr]v, rr/v oi Trope 4>oZ/5oc 'ATroA 
Also Iliad, ii. 485. 

Both the fiavTif and the uoidbf are standing, recognized professions 
xvii. 383), like the physician and the carpenter, dri 


Muse grants the gift of song to whem she will, sc she sometimes 
in her anger snatches it away, and the most consLinmate human 
genius is then left silent and helpless. 1 It is true that these ex- 
pressions, of the Muse inspiring and the poet singing a tale of 
past times, have passed from the ancient epic to compositions pro- 
duced under very different circumstances, and have now degen- 
erated into unmeaning forms of speech ; but they gained cur- 
rency originally in their genuine and literal acceptation. If poets 
had from the beginning written or recited, the predicate of sing- 
ing would never have been ascribed to them ; nor would it have 
ever become customary to employ the name of the Muse as a 
die to be stamped on licensed fiction, unless the practice had be- 
gun when her agency was invoked and hailed in perfect good 
faith. Belief, the fruit of deliberate inquiry and a rational scru- 
tiny of evidence, is in such an age unknown : the simple faith of 
the time slides in unconsciously, when the imagination and feel- 
ing are exalted ; and inspired authority is at once understood, 
easily admitted, and implicitly confided in. 

The word mythe (fiv&o?, fabula, story), in its original mean- 
ing, signified simply a statement or current narrative, without any 
connotative implication either of truth or falsehood. Subse- 
quently the meaning of the word (in Latin and English as well as 
in Greek) changed, and came to carry with it the idea of an old 
personal narrative, always uncertified, sometimes untrue or avow- 
edly fictitious. 2 And this change was the result of a silent alter- 
ation in the mental state of the society, of a transition on the 

1 Iliad, ii. 599. 

2 In this later sense it stands pointedly opposed to larcpia, history, which 
seems originally to have designated matter of fact, present and seen by tho 
describer, or the result of his personal inquiries (see Hcrodot. i. 1 ; Verrius 
Flacc. ap. Aul. Cell. v. 18 ; Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. iii. 12; and the observa- 
tions of Dr. Jortin, Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. p. 59). 

The original use of the word Aoyof was the same as that of fivdof a 
current tale, true or false, as the case might be ; and the term designating a 
person much conversant with the old legends (Aoyto? ) is derived from it 
(Herod. L 1 ; ii. 3). Hekataeus and Herodotus both use /Wyof in this sense. 
Herodotus calls both JEsop and Hekatams hoyoKoioi (ii. 134-143). 

Aristotle (Metaphys. i. p. 8, ed. Brandis) seems to use /ivdof in this sense, 
where he says &ib nal tjiMfiv&of 6 <j>i7i6ao(p6f iruf ionv 6 yap fiirdos 
avyKeirai kx davjj.aaiuv, etc. In the same treatise Cxi. p. 254), he uses it to 
signify fabulous amplification and transformation of a doctrine true in tha 


part of the superior minds (and more or less on the part of all) 
to a stricter and more elevated canon of credibility, in conse 
quence of familiarity with recorded history, and its essential tests, 
affirmative as well as negative. Among the original hearers of 
the mythes, all such tests were unknown ; they had not yet learn- 
ed the lesson of critical disbelief; the my the passed unquestioned 
from the mere fact of its currency, and from its harmony with 
existing sentiments and preconceptions. The very circumstances 
which contributed to rob it of literal belief in after-time, strength- 
ened its hold upon the mind of the Homeric man. He looked for 
wonders and unusual combinations in the past ; he expected to 
hear of gods, heroes and men, moving and operating together 
upon earth ; he pictured to himself the fore-time as a theatre in 
which the gods interfered directly, obviously and frequently, for 
the protection of their favorites and the punishment of their foes. 
The rational conception, then only dawning in his mind, of a sys- 
tematic course of nature was absorbed by this fervent and lively 
faith. And if he could have been supplied with as perfect and 
philosophical a history of his own real past time, as we are now 
enabled to furnish with regard to the last century of England or 
France, faithfully recording all the successive events, and ac- 
counting for them by known positive laws, but introducing no 
special interventions of Zeus and Apollo such a history would 
have appeared to him not merely unholy and unimpressive, but 
destitute of all plausibility or title to credence. It would have 
provoked in him the same feeling of incredulous aversion as a 
description of the sun (to repeat the previous illustration) in a 
modern book on scientific astronomy. 

To us these mythes are interesting fictions ; to the Homeric 
and Hesiodic audience they were " rerum divinarum et huma- 
narum scientia," an aggregate of religious, physical and his- 
torical revelations, rendered more captivating, but not less true 
and real, by the bright coloring and fantastic shapes in which they 
were presented. Throughout the whole of u mythe-bearing Hel- 
las" 1 they formed the staple of the uninstructed Greek mind, 

1 M. Ampere, in his Histoire Litteraire de la France (ch. viii. v. i. p. 310) 
distinguishes the Saga (which corresponds as nearly as possible with the 
Greek fivdos, Aoyof, ^Tt^wptof Aoyof ), as a special product of the intellect. 


upon which history and philosophy were hy so slow degrees su- 
perinduced; and they continued to be the aliment of ordinary 
thought and conversation, even after history and philosophy had 
partially supplanted the mythical faith among the leading men, 
and disturbed it more or less in the ideas of all. The men, the 
women, and the children of the remote demes and villages of 
Greece, to whom Thucydides, Hippocrates, Aristotle, or Hippar- 
chus -were unknown, still continued to dwell upon the local fables 
which formed their religious and patriotic antiquity. And Pau- 
sanias, even in his time, heard everywhere divine or heroic le- 
gends yet alive, precisely of the type of the old epic ; he found 
the conceptions of religious and mythical faith, coexistent with 
those of positive science, and contending against them at more 
or less of odds, according to the temper of the individual. Now 
it is the remarkable characteristic of the Homeric age, that no 
such coexistence or contention had yet begun. The religious 
and mythical point of view covers, for the most part, all the 
phenomena of nature ; while the conception of invariable se- 
quence exists only in the background, itself personified under the 
name of the Mrerae, or Fates, and produced generally as an ex- 
ception to the omnipotence of Zeus for all ordinary purposes. 

not capable of being correctly designated either as history, or as fiction, at 
as philosophy : 

" II est un pays, la Scandinavie, oil la tradition racontee s'est developpee 
plus completement qu'ailleurs, oil scs produits ont etc plus soigneusement 
recueillis et mieux conserve's : dans ce pays, lis ont re<ju un nom particulier, 
dont I'e'quivalent exact ne se trouve pas hors des langues Germaniques : c'est 
le mot Saga, Sage, ce qu'on dit, ce qu'on raconte, la tradition orale. Si 1'on 
prend ce mot non dans une acception restreinte, mais dans le sens general 
ou le prenait Niebuhr quand il 1'appliqtioit, par exemple, aux traditions popu- 
laires qui ont pa fournir a Tite Live une portion de son histoire, la Saga 
doit etre compte'e parmi les produits spontanes dc 1'imagination humaine. 
La Saga a son existence propre comme la pousie, comme 1'histoire, commo 
le roman. Elle n'cst pas la poe'sie, parcequ'elle n'est pas chante'e, mais par- 
le'e ; elle n'est pas 1'histoire, parcequ'elle cst denuec de critique ; elle n'est 
pas Is roman, parcequ'elle est sincere, parcequ'elle a foi a ce qu'elle raconte. 
Elle n'invente pas, mais repete : elle peut se tromper, mais elle ne ment 
jamais. Ce recit souvent merveilleux, que personne ne fabrique sciemment, 
et qne tout le monde altcre et falsifie sans le vouloir, qui se perpetue a la 
maniere des chants primitifs et populaires, ce recit, quand il se rapporte 
on a un heros, mais a un saint, s'appelle une legende." 


Voluntary agents, visible and invisible, impel and govern every, 
thing. Moreover this point of view is universal throughout the 
community, adopted with equal fervor, and carried out with 
equal consistency, by the loftiest minds and by the lowest. The 
great man of that day is he who, penetrated like others with the 
general faith, and never once imagining any other system of na- 
ture than the agency of these voluntary Beings, can clothe them 
in suitable circumstances and details, and exhibit in living body 
and action those types which his hearers dimly prefigure. Such 
men were the authors of the Iliad and the Odyssey ; embodying 
in themselves the whole measure of intellectual excellence which 
their age was capable of feeling: to us, the first of poets but 
to their own public, religious teachers, historians, and philoso- 
phers besides inasmuch as all that then represented history 
and philosophy was derived from those epical effusions and from 
others homogeneous with them. Herodotus recognizes Homer 
and Hesiod as the main authors of Grecian belief respecting the 
names and generations, the attributes and agency, the forms and 
the worship of the gods. 1 

History, philosophy, etc., properly so called and conforming to 
our ideas (of which the subsequent Greeks were the first crea- 
tors), never belonged to more than a comparatively small num- 
ber of thinking men, though their influence indirectly affected 
more or less the whole national mind. But when positive science 
and criticism, and the idea of an invariable sequence of events, 
came to supplant in the more vigorous intellects the old mythical 
creed of omnipresent personification, an inevitable scission was 
produced between the instructed few and the remaining commu- 
nity. The opposition between the scientific and the religious 
point of view was not slow in manifesting itself: in general lan- 
guage, indeed, both might seem to stand together, but in every 
particular case the admission of one involved the rejection of the 
other. According to the theory which then became predom- 
inant, the course of nature was held to move invariably on, by 
powers and attributes of its own, unless the gods chose to inter- 
fere and reverse it ; but they had the power of interfering as 
often and to as great an extent as they thought fit. Here the 

1 Herodot. ii. 53. 


question was at once opened, respecting a great variety of partic- 
ular phenomena, whether they were to be regarded as natural 
or miraculous. No constant or discernible test could be suggest- 
ed to discriminate the two : every man was called upon to settle 
the doubt for himself, and each settled it according to the extent 
of his knowledge, the force of his logic, the state of his health, 
his hopes, his fears, and many other considerations affecting his 
separate conclusion. In a question thus perpetually arising, and 
full of practical consequences, instructed minds, like Perikles, 
Thucydides, and Euripides, tended more and more to the scien- 
tific point of view, 1 in cases where the general public were con- 
stantly gravitating towards the religious. 

1 See Plutarch, Perikl. capp. 5, 32, 38; Cicero, De Republ. i. 15-16, ed. 

The phytologist Theophrastus, in his valuable collection of facts respect- 
ing vegetable organization, is often under the necessity of opposing his sci- 
entific interpretation'' of curious incidents in tne vegetable world to the 
religious interpretation of them which he found current. Anomalous phse- 
nomena in the growth or decay of trees were construed as signs from the 
gods, and submitted to a prophet for explanation (see Histor. Plantar, ii. 3 , 
iv. 16 ; v. 3). 

We may remark, however, that the old faith had still a certain hold over 
his mind. In commenting on the story of the willow-tree at Philippi, and 
the venerable old plane-tree at Antandros (more than sixty feet high, and 
requiring four men to grasp it round in the girth), having been blown down 
by a high wind, and afterwards spontaneously resuming their erect posture, 
he offers some explanations how such a phenomenon might have happened, 
but he admits, at the end, that there may be something extra-natural in the 
case, 'AA^tl ravra ptv lauf fw QvoiKrjf alriaf Zariv, etc. (Dc Cans. Plant, v, 
4) : see a similar miracle in reference to the cedar-tree of Vespasian (Tacit. 
Hist. ii. 78). 

Euripides, in his lost tragedy called MehaviKXTi 2o<^, placed in the month 
of Melanippe a formal discussion and confutation of the whole doctrine of 
repara, or supernatural indications (Dionys. Halicar. Ars Rhetoric, p. 300- 
356, Reisk). Compare the Fables of Phsedrus, iii. 3 ; Plutarch, Sept. Sap. 
Conviv. ch. 3. p. 149 ; and the curious philosophical explanation by which 
the learned men of Alexandria tranquillized the alarms of the vulgar, on 
occasion of the serpent said to have been seen entwined round the head of 
the crucified Kleomenes (Plutarch, Kleomen. c. 39). 

It is one part of the duty of an able physician, according to the Hippo- 
cratic treatise called Prognosticon (c. 1. t ii. p. 112, ed. Littre), when he 
risits his patient, to examine whether there is anything divine in the malady, 
&ua 6e not cl ri delov Iveariv kv ryci vovooiot : tliis, however, does not agree 


The age immediately prior to this unsettled condition of thought 
is the really mythopoeic age ; in which the creative faculties of 
the society know no other employment, and the mass of the so- 
ceity no other mental demand. The perfect expression of such a 
period, in its full peculiarity and grandeur, is to be found in the 
Iliad and Odyssey, poems of which we cannot determine the 
exact date, but which seem both to have existed prior to the first 
Olympiad, 776 B. c., our earliest trustworthy mark of Grecian 
time. For some time after that event, the mythopceic tendencies 
continued in vigor (Arktinus, Lesches, Eumelus, and seemingly 
most of the Hesiodic poems, fall within or shortly after the first 
century of recorded Olympiads) ; but from and after this first 
century, we may trace the operation of causes which gradually 
enfeebled and narrowed them, altering the point of view from 
which the mythes were looked at. What these causes were, it 
will be necessary briefly to intimate. 

with the memorable doctrine laid down in the treatise, De Afire, Locis et 
Aquis (c. 22. p. 78, ed. Littre), and cited hereafter, in this chapter. Nor 
does Galen seem to have regarded it as harmonizing with the general views 
of Hippocrates. In the excellent Prolegomena of Mr. Littre to his edition 
of Hippocrates (t. i. p. 76) will be found an inedited scholium, wherein the 
opinion of Baccheius and other physicians is given, that the affections of the 
plague were to be looked upon as divine, inasmuch as the disease came from 
God ; and also the opinion of Xenophon, the friend of Praxagoras, that the 
" genus of days of crisis " in fever was divine ; " For (said Xenophon) just 
as the Dioskuri, being gods, appear to the mariner in the storm and bring 
him salvation, so also do the days of crisis, when they arrive, in fever." 
Galen, in commenting upon this doctrine of Xenophon, says that the author 
" has expressed his own individual feeling, but has no way set forth the 
opinion of Hippocrates :" 'O 8e TUV Kpialftuv yivos f]/j.ptiv elirwv elvai -&ELOV, 
iavrov TI 7ru#of u/iol.oyqacv ov nqv 'InnoKpurovf ye rqv jvufirjv edeifrv 
(Galen, Opp. t. T. p. 120, ed. Basil). 

The comparison of the Dioskuri appealed to by Xenophon is a precise 
reproduction of their function as described in the Homeric Hymn (Hymn 
xxxiii. 10): his personification of the "days of crisis" introduces the old 
religious agency to fill up a gap in his medical science. 

I annex an illustration 'from the Hindoo vein of thought : "It is a rule 
with the Hindoos to bury, and not to burn, the bodies of those who die of 
the small-pox: for (say they) the small pox is not only caused by the god- 
dess Davey, but is, in fact, Davey herself; and to burn the body of a person 
affected with this disease, is, in reality, neither more nor less than to burn th 
goddess." (Slceman, Kambles and Recollections, etc vol. i. cli. xxv. p. 221.) 

VOL. T. 16 


The foremost and most general of all is, the expansive force 
of Grecian intellect itself, a quality in which this remarkable 
people stand distinguished from all their neighbors and contempo- 
raries. Most, if not all nations have had mythes, but no natiou 
except the Greeks have imparted to them immortal charm and 
universal interest ; and the same mental capacities, which raised 
the great men of the poetic age to this exalted level, also pushed 
forward their successors to outgrow the early faith in which the 
mythes had been generated and accredited. 

One great mark, as well as means, of such intellectual expan- 
sion, was the habit of attending to, recording, and combining, posi- 
tive and present facts, both domestic and foreign. In the genu- 
ine Grecian epic, the theme was an unknown and aoristic past ; 
but even as early as the "Works and Days of Hesiod, the present 
begins to figure : the man who tills the earth appears in his own 
solitary nakedness, apart from gods and heroes bound indeed 
by serious obligations to the gods, but contending against many 
difficulties which are not to be removed by simple reliance on 
their help. The poet denounces his age in the strongest terms as 
miserable, degraded and profligate, and looks back with reveren- 
tial envy to the extinct heroic races who fought at Troy and 
Thebes. Yet bad as the present time is, the Muse condescends 
to look at it along with him, and to prescribe rules for human life 
with the assurance that if a man be industrious, frugal, provi- 
dent, just and friendly in his dealings, the gods will recompense him 
with affluence and security. Nor does the Muse disdain, while 
holding out such promise, to cast herself into the most homely de- 
tails of present existence and to give advice thoroughly practical 
and calculating. Men whose minds were full of the heroes of 
Homer, called Hesiod in contempt the poet of the Helots ; and 
the contrast between the two is certainly a remarkable proof of 
the tendency of Greek poetry towards the present and the 

Other manifestations of the same tendency become visible in 
the age of Archilochus (B. c. 680-660). In an age when metri- 
cal composition and the living voice are the only means whereby 
the productive minds of a community make themselves felt, the 
invention of a new metre, new forms of song and recitaticti, or 


diversified accompaniments, constitute an epoch. The iambic, 
elegiac, choric, and lyric poetry, from Archilochus downwards, all 
indicate purposes in the poet, and impressibilities of the hearers, 
very different from those of the ancient epic. In all of them the 
personal feeling of the poet and the specialties of present 
time and place, are brought prominently forward, while in the 
Homeric hexameter the poet is a mere nameless organ of the 
historical Muse the hearers are content to learn, believe, and 
feel, the incidents of a foregone world, and the tale is hardly less 
suitable to one time and place than to another. The iambic me- 
tre (we are told) was first suggested to Archilochus by the bitter- 
ness of his own private antipathies; and the mortal wounds in- 
flicted by his lampoons, upon the individuals against whom they 
were directed, still remain attested, though the verses themselves 
have perished. It was the metre (according to the well-known 
judgment of Aristotle) most nearly approaching to common 
speech, and well suited both to the coarse vein of sentiment, and 
to the smart and emphatic diction of its inventor. 1 Simonides of 
Amorgus, the younger contemporary of Archilochus, employed 
the same metre, with less bitterness, but with an anti-heroic ten- 
dency not less decided. His remaining fragments present a mix- 
ture of teaching and sarcasm, having a distinct bearing upon 
actual life, 2 and carrying out the spirit which partially appears 
in the Hesiodic Works and Days. Of Alkseus and Sapph6, 
though unfortunately we are compelled to speak of them upon 
hearsay only, we know enough to satisfy us that their own per- 
sonal sentiments and sufferings, their relations private or public 

1 Herat, de Art. Poet. 79 : 

" Archilochum proprio rabies armavit lambo," etc. 

Compare Epist i. 19, 23, and Epod. vi. 12; Aristot. Khetor. iii. 8, 7, and 
Poetic, c. 4 also Synesius de Somniis uoxep 'AA/caiof Kal 'Ap^t'Xo^of, 
oi SedcmavTiKaai rr/v evarofiiav elf TOP O'IKSIOV (3iov tKurepof (Alcaei Frag- 
ment. Halle, 1810, p. 205). Quintilian speaks in striking language of the 
power of expression manifested by Archilochus (x. 1, 60). 

2 Simonides of Amorgus touches briefly, but in a tone of contempt upon 
the Trojan war -yvvaiKbc ovvett' ufupidt/piupevove (Simonid. Fragm. 
8. p. 36. v. 118) ; he seems to think it absurd that so destructive a struggle 
should have taken place ''pro unA mulierculd," to use the phrase of MJ. Payne 


with tne contemporary world, constituted the soul of those short 
effusions which gave them so much celebrity : l and in the few re- 
mains of the elegiac poets preserved to us Kallinus, Mimner- 
mus, Tyrtaeus the impulse of some present motive or circum 
stance is no less conspicuous. The same may also be said of So 
Ion, Theognis and Phokylides, who preach, encourage, censure, 01 
complain, but do not recount and in whom a profound ethical 
sensibility, unknown to the Homeric poems, manifests itself: the 
form of poetry (to use the words of Solon himself) is made the 
substitute for the public speaking of the agora. 2 

Doubtless all these poets made abundant use of the ancient, but it was by turning them to present account, in the 
way of illustration, or flattery, or contrast, a tendency which 
we may usually detect even in the compositions of Pindar, in 
spite of the lofty and heroic strain which they breathe through- 
out. That narrative or legendary poetry still continued to be 
composed during the seventh and sixth centuries before the Chris- 
tian aera is not to be questioned ; but it exhibited the old epical 

1 See Quintilian, x. 1, 63. Herat Od. i. 32; ii. 13. Aristot. Polit. iii. 10, 
4. Dionys. Halic. observes (Vett. Scriptt. Censur. v. p. 421) respecting 
Alkaens TfoT&axov yovv TO /lerpov el TIC neptsXoi, pijTopiKijv uv evpoi 
; and Strabo (xiii. p. 617), TU aTaaiuructi Kahovfieva TOV 'A/l/catou 

There was a large dash of sarcasm and homely banter aimed at neighbors 
and contemporaries in the poetry of Sappho, apart from her impassioned 
love- songs aTiKus aKUKTet, TOV uypoiicov vvjitytov nal TQV "Dvpupbv TOV iv 
Totf, eiiTeTieaTara Kal iv Trefrif ovoaaai /iu/U,oi> T) iv TTOIT)TI.KOIC . "flare 
ai)TTj(; puK'h.dv tdTi TU iroir/uaTa ravra SiaMy ;3$ai r) uSeiv ovft 1 uv upfioaai 
npbf Tbv xopov j) Trpbe TTJV Xitpav, el firj Tif elij ^opof diaheKTiKof (Demetr. 
Phaler, De Interpret, c. 167). 

Compare also Herodot. ii. 135, who mentions the satirical talent of Sap- 
pho, employed against her brother for an extravagance about the courtezan 

2 Solon, Fragm. iv. J, ed. Schneidewin : 

AvTbf Ktjpv!; rj^ov up Ifieprfj^ 2aAa/uvof 

Koffftov kneuv <f>6r)v UVT' ayopjjs &e[i.evof, etc. 

See Brandis, Handbuch der Griechischen Philosophic, sect, xxiv.-xxr 
Plato states that Solon, in his old age, engaged in the composition of an 
epic poem, which he left unfinished, on the subject of the supposed island 
of Atlantis and Attica (Plato, Timacus, p. 21, and Kritias, p. 113). Plu- 
tarch, Solon, c. 31. 


character without the old epical genius ; both the inspiration cf 
the composer and the sympathies of the audience had become 
more deeply enlisted in the world before them, and disposed to 
fasten on incidents of their own actual experience. From Solon 
and Theognis we pass to the abandonment of all metrical restric 
tions and to the introduction of prose writing, a fact, the im- 
portance of which it is needless to dwell upon, marking as well 
the increased familiarity with written records, as the commence- 
ment of a separate branch of literature for the intellect, apart 
from the imagination and emotions wherein the old legends had 
their exclusive root. 

Egypt was first unreservedly opened to the Greeks during 
the reign of Psammetichus, about B. c. 660 ; gradually it became 
much frequented by them for military or commercial purposes, 
or for simple curiosity, and enlarged the range of their thoughts 
and observations, while it also imparted to them that vein of 
mysticism, which overgrew the primitive simplicity of the Ho- 
meric religion, and of which I have spoken in a former chapter 
They found in it a long-established civilization, colossal wonders 
of architecture, and a certain knowledge of astronomy and geo- 
metry, elementary indeed, but in advance of their own. Moreover 
it was a portion of their present world, and it contributed to form 
in them an interest for noting and describing the actual realities 
before them. A sensible progress is made in the Greek mind 
during the two centuries from B. c. 700 to B. c. 500, in the re- 
cord and arrangement of historical facts : an historical sense arises 
in the superior intellects, and some idea of evidence as a discrim- 
inating test between fact and fiction. And this progressive ten- 
dency was further stimulated by increased communication and 
by more settled and peaceful social relations between the various 
members of the Hellenic world, to which may be added material 
improvements, purchased at the expense of a period of turbu- 
lence and revolution, in the internal administration of each sepa- 
rate state. The Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games 
became frequented by visitors from the most distant parts of 
Greece : the great periodical festival in the island of Delos brought 
together the citizens of every Ionic community, with their wives 
and children, and an ample display of wealth and ornaments.' 

1 Homer, Hymn, ad Apollin. 155 ; Thucydid. iii. 104. 


Numerous and flourishing colonies were founded in Sicily, the 
south of Italy, the coasts of Epirus and of the Euxine Sea : the 
Phokaeans explored the whole of the Adriatic, established Mas- 
salia, and penetrated even as far as the south of Iberia, with 
which they carried on a lucrative commerce. 1 The geographical 
ideas of the Greeks were thus both expanded and rectified : the 
first preparation of a map, by Anaximander the disciple of Thales, 
is an epoch in the history of science. We may note the ridicule 
bestowed by Herodotus both upon the supposed people called 
Hyperboreans and upon the idea of a circumfluous ocean-stream, 
as demonstrating the progress of the age in this department of 
inquiry. 2 And even earlier than Herodotus, Xanthus had no- 
ticed the occurrence of fossil marine productions in the interior 
of Asia Minor, which led him to reflections on the changes of the 
earth's surface with respect to land and water. 3 

If then we look down the three centuries and a half which 
elapsed between the commencement of the Olympic aera and the 
age of Herodotus and Thucydides, we shall discern a striking 
advance in the Greeks, ethical, social and intellectual. Posi- 
tive history and chronology has not only been created, but in the 
case of Thucydides, the qualities necessary to the historiographer, 
in their application to recent events, have been developed with 
a degree of perfection never since surpassed. Men's minds have 
assumed a gentler as well as a juster cast ; and acts come to be 
criticized with reference to their bearing on the internal happi- 
ness of a well-regulated community, as well as upon the stand- 

1 Herodot i. 163. 

2 Herodot. iv. 36. ye/ltJ 6e opeuv 1% irepiodove ypuipavraf iro/lAovf fjSri, 
tal oiideva voov e%ovTa<; ef^yjyaa/zevov ol 'QKEOVOV re peovra yputyovai irEpi% 
rrjv y^v, koiiaav Kvntorepea wf and ropvov, etc., a remark probably directed 
igainst Hekataeus. 

Respecting the map of Anaximander, Strabo, i. p. 7 ; Diogen. LaCrt. ii. 
\ ; Agathemer ap. Geograph. Minor, i. 1. irpuroc erokfiijaE TTJV olmvfisvTjv 
.V mvaKi ypuijjai. 

Aristagoras of Miletus, who visited Sparta to solicit aid for the revolted 
rtnians against Darius, brought with him a brazen tablet or map, by means 
jf which he exhibited the relative position of places in the Persian cmpiro 
'Herodot. v. 49). 

Xanthus ap. Stoabo. i. p. 50; xii. p. 579. Compare Creuzer, Fragments 
kanuii, p. 162. 


ing harmony of fraternal states. While Thucydides treats the 
habitual and licensed piracy, so coolly alluded to in the Homeric 
poems, as an obsolete enormity, many of the acts described in 
the old heroic and Theogonic legends were found not less repug- 
nant to this improved tone of feeling. The battles of the gods 
with the Giants and Titans, the castration of Uranus by his 
son Kronus, the cruelty, deceit and licentiousness, often sup- 
posed both in the gods and heroes, provoked strong disapproba- 
tion. And the language of the philosopher Xenophanes, who 
composed both elegiac and iambic poems for the express purpose 
of denouncing such tales, is as vehement and unsparing as that 
of the Christian writers, who, eight centuries afterwards, attack- 
ed the whole scheme of paganism. 1 

Nor was it alone as an ethical and social critic that Xeno- 
phanes stood distinguished. He was one of a great and eminent 
triad Thales and Pythagoras being the others who, in the 
sixth century before the Christian aera, first opened up those 
veins of speculative philosophy which occupied afterwards so 
large a portion of Grecian intellectual energy. Of the material 
differences between the three I do not here speak ; I regard them 
only in reference to the Homeric and Hesiodic philosophy which 
preceded them, and from which all three deviated by a step, 
perhaps the most remarkable in all the history of philosophy. 
In the scheme of ideas common to Homer and to the Hesiodic 
Theogony (as has been already stated), we find nature distribut- 
ed into a variety of personal agencies, administered according to 
the free-will of different Beings more or less analogous to man 
each of these Beings having his own character, attributes and 
powers, his own sources of pain and pleasure, and his own espe- 
cial sympathies or antipathies with human individuals ; each being 
determined to act or forbear, to grant favor or inflict injury in 
his own department of phenomena, according as men, or perhaps 
other Beings analogous to himself, might conciliate or offend him. 
The Gods, properly so called, (those who bore a proper name 
and received some public or family worship,) were the most com- 
manding and capital members amidst this vast network of agents 

1 Xenophan. ap. Sext. Empiric, adv. Mathemat. ix. 193 Fragm. 1. Poet 
Gnsc. cd. Schneidewin. Diogen. Laert. ix. 18. 


visible and invisible, spread over the universe. 1 The whole vie * 
of nature was purely religious and subjective, the spontaneous 
suggestion of the early mind. It proceeded from the instinctive 
tendencies of the feelings and imagination to transport, to the 
world without, the familiar type of free-will and conscious per- 
sonal action : above all, it took deep hold of the emotions, from 
the widely extended sympathy which it so perpetually called 
forth between man and nature. 2 

The first attempt to disenthral the philosophic intellect from 
this all-personifying religious faith, and to constitute a method of 
interpreting nature distinct from the spontaneous inspirations of 
untaught minds, is to be found in Thales, Xenophanes and Pytha- 
goras, in the sixth century before the Christian aera. It is in 
them that we first find the idea of Person tacitly set aside or 
limited, and an impersonal Nature conceived as the object of 
study. The divine husband and wife, Oceanus and Tethys, 
parents of many gods and of the Oceanic nymphs, together with 
the avenging goddess Styx, are translated into the material sub- 
stance water, or, as we ought rather to say, the Fluid: and 
Thales set himself to prove that water was the primitive element, 
out of which all the different natural substances had been formed. 3 
He, as well as Xenophanes and Pythagoras, started the problem 
of physical philosophy, with its objective character and invariable 
laws, to be discoverable by a proper and methodical application 
of the human intellect. The Greek word f&vatg, denoting nature, 
and its derivatives physics and physiology, unknown in that large 
sense to Homer or Hesiod, as well as the word Kosmos, to denote 
the mundane system, first appears with these philosophers. 4 The 

1 Hesiod, Opp. Di. 122; Homer, Hymn, ad Vener. 260. 

2 A defence of the primitive faith, on this ground, is found in Plutarch, 
Question. Sympos. vii. 4, 4, p. 703. 

3 Aristotel. Metaphys. i. 3. 

4 Plutarch, Placit. Philos. ii. 1 ; also Stobseus, Eclog. Physic, i. 22, where 
the difference between the Homeric expressions and those of the subsequent 
philosophers is seen. Damm, Lexic. Homeric, v. <H>oY ; Alexander von 
Ilumboldt, Kosmos, p. 76, the note 9 on page 62 of that admirable work. 

The title of the treatises of the early philosophers (Melissus, Dercokritus, 
Parmenides, Empedocles, Alkmaeon, etc.) was frequently Hepi Qvasuf (Galen. 
Opp. torn. i. p. 56, ed. Basil). 


elemental analysis of Thales the one unchangeable cosmic sub- 
stance, varying only in appearance, but not in reality, as suggest- 
ed by Xenophanes, and the geometrical and arithmetical 
combinations of Pythagoras, all these were different ways of 
approaching the explanation of physical phenomena, and each 
gave rise to a distinct school or succession of philosophers. But 
they all agreed in departing from the primitive method, and in 
recognizing determinate properties, invariable sequences, and 
objective truth, in nature either independent of willing or 
designing agents, or serving to these latter at once as an indispen- 
sable subject-matter and as a limiting condition. Xenophanes 
disclaimed openly all knowledge respecting the gods, and pro- 
nounced that no man could have any means of ascertaining when 
he was right and when he was wrong, in affirmations respecting 
them i 1 while Pythagoras represents in part the scientific tenden- 
cies of his age, in part also the spirit of mysticism and of special 
fraternities for religious and ascetic observance, which became 
diffused throughout Greece in the sixth century before the Chris- 
tian aera. This was another point which placed him in antipathy 
with the simple, unconscious and demonstrative faith of the old 
poets, as well as with the current legends. 

If these distinguished men, when they ceased to follow the 
primitive instinct of tracing the phenomena of nature to personal 
and designing agents, passed over, not at once to induction and 
observation, but to a misemployment of abstract words, substitut- 
ing metaphysical eideola in the place of polytheism, and to an 
exaggerated application of certain narrow physical theories we 
must remember that nothing else could be expected from the 
scanty stock of facts then accessible, and that the most profound 
study of the human mind points out such transition as an inevita- 
ble law of intellectual progress. 2 At present, we have to compart. 

1 Xenophan. ap. Sext. Empiric, vii. 50 ; riii. 326. 

Kal rd / ovv trapef ovrif uvrjp Idsv, oiire rt$ kariv 
'Elduf afMpl dsuv re Kal uaaa Aeyo irspl irdvruv 
El -yap Kal TtJ fiaXtara TV%OI rereAeff^evov elir&v, 
Aurof ofiuf OVK oldc, J6/cof d' ircl Tract rerwcrfci. 
Compare Aristotel. De Xenophane, Zenone, et Georgii, capp. 1-2. 
* See the treatise of M. Auguste Comte (Cours de Philosophic Positive), and 

VOL.I. 16* 24oc 


them only with that state of the Greek mind' which they partially 
superseded, and with which they were in decided opposition. The 
rudiments of physical science were conceived and developed 
among superior men ; but the religious feeling of the mass was 
averse to them ; and the aversion, though gradually mitigated, 
never wholly died away. Some of the philosophers were not 
backward in charging others with irreligion, while the multitude 
seems to have felt the same sentiment more or less towards all 
or towards that postulate of constant sequences, with determinate 
conditions of occurrence, which scientific study implies, and which 
they could not reconcile with their belief in the agency of the 
gods, to whom they were constantly praying for special succor 
and blessings. 

The discrepancy between the scientific and the religious point 
of view was dealt with differently by different philosophers. Thus 
Socrates openly admitted it, and assigned to each a distinct and 
independent province. He distributed phenomena into two class- 
es : one, wherein the connection of antecedent and consequent was 
invariable and ascertainable by human study, and therefore fu- 
ture results accessible to a well-instructed foresight ; the other, 
and those, too, the most comprehensive and important, which the 
gods had reserved for themselves and their own unconditional 
agency, wherein there was no invariable or ascertainable se- 
quence, and where the result could only be foreknown by some 
omen, prophecy, or other special inspired communication from 
themselves. Each of these classes was essentially distinct, and 
required to be looked at and dealt with in a manner radically in- 
compatible with the other. Socrates held it wrong to apply the 
scientific interpretation to the latter, or the theological interpre- 
tation to the former. Physics and astronomy, in his opinion, 

his doctrine of the three successive stages of the human mind in reference to 
scientific study the theological, the metaphysical, and the positive ; a 
doctrine laid down generally in his first lecture (vol. i. p. 4-12), and largely 
applied and illustrated throughout his instructive work. It is also re-stated 
and elucidated by Mr. John Stuart Mill, in his System of Logic, Ratiocinative 
and Inductive, vol. ii. p. 610. 

1 " Human wisdom (('iv&puTclvi] aoipia), as contrasted with the primitiva 
theology (oi upxaloi KO.I 6iarpipovTrf irepl ruf fteohoyiaf)," to take the word* 
of Aristotle (Meteo->log. ii. 1. pp. 41-42, ed. Tauchnitz). 


belonged to the divine class of phenomena, in which human re- 
search was insane, fruitless, and impious. 1 

On the other hand, Hippocrates, the contemporary of Socrates, 
denied the discrepancy, and merged into one those two classes of 
phenomena, the divine and the scientifically determinable, 
which the latter had put asunder. Hippocrates treated all phe- 
nomena as at once both divine and scientifically determinable. 
In discussing certain peculiar bodily disorders found among the 
Scythians, he observes, " The Scythians themselves ascribe the 
cause of this to God, and reverence and bow down to such suf- 
ferers, each man fearing that he may suffer the like ; and I my- 
self think too that these affections, as well as all others, are di- 
vine : no one among them is either more divine or more human 
than another, but all are on the same footing, and all divine ; nev- 
ertheless each of them has its own physical conditions, and not 
one occurs without such physical conditions." 2 

1 Xenoph. Memor. i. 1, 6-9. TapEv avaynaia (Sw/cpu-nyf ) <rvvej3ovheve nal 
irpuTTEtv, uf Evojii^EV uptor' uv Ttpax'&ijvai ' irspl 6s TUV udr/huv oiruc airo- 


/cat Tro/leif Ka/lc5f olnr/aEiv uavTiKrjf tj>rj TrpoadEiff&ai TEKTOVIKOV uev yap ij 
Tfa^.KEVTiKov fi yeupymbv ?/ uv&puTruv apxwdv, % TUV TOIOVTUV spyuv i^ETaa- 
, f/ hoyiGTiicdv, 7) olnovofiiKdv, TJ arparriyiKov yevfadai, navra TU ToiafTa, 
rifiaTa. KOI av&puTrov jvuftij a/perea, tvopi&v elvai TU 6e fiE-yiara TUV iv 
d>r/ roif #eot)f E avToif KaraActTrecrt^at, uv oidEV Sfj'Xov 

flvat rotf dvi9pcj7rotf Toi)f <5e fir)6ev TUV TOIOVTUV olofievovr Elvai 

datfioviov, uM^u TTUITO r^f uvdpumvi]? yvufirjf, daifiovav <pr) daiftovpv 6e 
Kai roi)f uavTEvoffEvovf a rotf uv&puTrotc Idunav oi deal iia&ovai diaicpiveiv. 

"E07/ rfe Sflv. a, ftev jj.a&6vTa^ TTOIEIV iduKav oi &EOI, fiav&avEiv a 

de: JJ.TJ 6fi?*a TOif uv&puTTOtg son, nEipda&ai Siu pavTiKTis irapa TUV -&EUV mi\- 
duv<r&ai Toi)f i9eot)f yap, olf uv uaiv I%EU, arjuaiveiv. Compare also 
Memorab. iv. 7. 7 ; and Cyropaed. i. 6, 3, 23-46. 

Physical and astronomical phenomena are classified by Socrates among 
the divine class, interdicted to human study (Memor. i. 1, 13) : TU dfla or 
6ai/j.6via as supposed to Tuv&puTTEia. Plato (Phileb. c. 16 ; Legg. x. p. 886- 
889 ; xii. p. 967) held the sun and stars to be gods, each animated vith its 
special soul : he allowed astronomical investigation to the extent necessary 
for avoiding blasphemy respecting these beings fisxp 1 Toi > M ft^atr^jjfielv 
Trept avTa (YI'I. 821 ). 

* Hippocrates, De Afire, Locis et Aquis, c. 22 Cp. 78, ed. Littre, sect. 106 
ed. Petersen) : 'Eri re irpbf TOVTEOIOI svvovxiat yiyvovTai ol irfaloToi h 
t, Kai yvvaKTiia Epyat,ovTai nal uf al ywaiKEf diateyovTai re dfioiuf 
TE oi TOIOVTOI uvavtioiEir. Oi ftsv oiiv kirixupioi Tr)v aniifv npoe 


A third distinguished philosopher of the same day, Anaxagoras, 
allegorizing Zeus and the other personal gods, proclaimed the 
doctrine of one common pervading Mind, as having first estab- 
lished order and system in the mundane aggregate, which had 
once been in a state of chaos and as still manifesting its unin- 
terrupted agency for wise and good purposes. This general doc- 
trine obtained much admiration from Plato and Aristotle ; but 
they at the same time remarked with surprise, that Anaxagoras 
never made any use at all of his own general doctrine for the ex- 
planation of the phenomena of nature, that he looked for noth- 
ing but physical causes and connecting laws, 1 so that in fact 
the spirit of his particular researches was not materially different 
from those of Demokritus or Leukippus, whatever might be the 
difference in their general theories. His investigations in meteor- 
ology and astronomy, treating the heavenly bodies as subjects for 
calculation, have been already noticed as offensive, not only to 
the general public of Greece, but even to Socrates himself among 
them : he was tried at Athens, and seems to have escaped con 
demnation only by voluntary exile. 2 

rideaai i?eu Kal aepovrai rovreovf roiif uv&puTrovf Kal TtpoaK.vve.ovai, 6e6oi 
KOTEf Kept kuvTEuv KaaToi. 'E/zot <5e Kal uvrey SoKesi ravra TU Tru.'&ea dele 
elvai, Kal TuA/.a Travra, Kal oiidev erspov erepov fieiorepov oi>c5 av&pumvu 
repov, iM.u, navra $ua IKUOTOV 6e e^et (jtiiaiv ruv TOIOVTEUV, Kal ovdit 
uvev ^vCTiOf yiyve-ai. Kal TOVTO rd Trutfof, wf pol <5o/cm yiyvea&ai, Qpuau, 

Again, sect. 112. 'A/l/lu yap, uairep Kal trporepov D.s^a, dela fiev Kal 
TUVTO, tan 6/zotwf rolai a^oiai, jiyvtrai 6e KOTO. Qvaiv iKaara. 

Compare the remarkable treatise of Hippocrates, De Morbo Sacro, capp 
I and 18, vol. vi. p. 352-394, ed. Littre. See this opinion of Hippocrateg 
illustrated by the doctrines of some physical philosophers stated in Aristotle, 
Physic, ii. 8. ueirep vei b Zevf, ov% oTrwf rbv OITOV av^r/ay, dAA' i$ avuyKTjf, 
etc. Some valuable observations on the method of Hippocrates are also 
found in Plato, Phaedr. p. 270. 

1 See the graphic picture in Plato, Phaedon. p. 97-98 (cap. 46-47) : com- 
pare Plato, Legg. xii. p. 967 ; Aristotel. Metaphysic. i. p. 13-14 (ed. Bran- 
dis) ; Plutarch, Defect. Oracul. p. 435. 

Simplicius, Commentar. in Aristotel. Physic, p. 38. Kal cmep fiebh $ai- 
6uvi 2u/cpdrj;f kyahel ro 'Ava^ayopa, rd tv rai rCtv Kara /zepof alTiohoyiatf 
(IT) T(f> vfj) KEXpno&<u, iM.a reuf vhiKalc; uirotioaEGiv, oiKelov r/v ry <j>vaio"h.oyia. 
Anaxagoras thought that the superior intelligence of men, as compared with 
other animals, arose from his possession of hands (Aristot. de Part. Animal 
ir. 10. p. 687, ed. Bekk.J. 

1 Xenophcn, Memorab. iv. 7. Socrates said, Kal rtapa^povfioai TOV raCra 


The three eminent men just named, all essentially different 
from each other, may be taken as illustrations of the philosophical 
mind of Greece during the last half of tho fifth century B. c. 
Scientific pursuits had acquired a powerful hold, and adjusted 
themselves in various -ways with the prevalent religious feelings 
of the age. Both Hippocrates and Anaxagoras modified their 
ideas of the divine agency so as to suit their thirst for scientific 
research. According to the former, the gods were the really ef- 
ficient agents in the production of all phenomena, the mean 
and indifferent not less than the terrific or tutelary. Being thus 
alike connected with all phaenomena, they were specially asso- 
ciated with none and the proper task of the inquirer was, to find 
out those rules and conditions by which (he assumed) their agency 
was always determined, and according to which it might be fore- 
told. And this led naturally to the proceeding which Plato and 
Aristotle remark in Anaxagoras, that the all-governing and 
Infinite Mind, having been announced in sublime language at 
the beginning of his treatise, was afterward left out of sight, and 
never applied to the explanation of particular phenomena, be- 
ing as much consistent with one modification of nature as with 

fj.epijivuv~a ovdev JJTTOV rj 'Avafayopaf Trapetypovt/aev, 6 neytarov 
ETtl T<j> ruf TUV -&iJv jUj^avaf e^T)yela-&at, etc. Compare Schaubach, Anax- 
agorte Fragment, p. 50-141 ; Plutarch, Kikias, 23, and Pcriklus, 6-32 ; Dio 
gen. Lafirt. ii. 10-14. 

The Ionic philosophy, from which Anaxagoras receded more in language 
than in spirit, seems to have been the least popular of all the schools, though 
some of the commentators treat it as conformable to vulgar opinion, because 
it confined itself for the most part to phenomenal explanations, and did not 
recognize the noumena of Plato, or the rd ev VOTJTOV of Pannenides, " qualis 
fuit lonicorum, quce turn dominabatur, ratio, vulgari opinione et communi 
sensu comprobata" (Karsten, Parmenidis Fragment., De Pannenidis Philo- 
sophia, p. 154). This is a mistake : the Ionic philosophers, who constantly 
searched for and insisted upon physical laws, came more directly into conflict 
with the sentiment of the multitude than the Eleatic school. 

The larger atmospheric phenomena were connected in the most intimate 
manner with Grecian religious feeling and uneasiness (see Demokritus ap. 
Sect. Empiric, ix. sect. 19-24. p. 552-554, Fabric.) : the attempts of Anax- 
agoras and Demokritus to explain them were more displeasing to the public 
than the Platonic speculations (Demokri'us ap. Aristot. Meteorol. ii 7: 
Siobceus, Eclog. Physic, p. 594 : compare Mullach, Democriti Fragments, 
lib. iv. j,. 394). 


another. Now such a view of the divine agency could ne\ei be 
reconciled with the religious feelings of the ordinary Grecian 
believer, even as they stood in the time of Anaxagoras ; still 
less could it have been reconciled with those of the Homeric 
man, more than three centuries earlier. By him Zeus and 
Athene were conceived as definite Persons, objects of special 
reverence, hopes, and fears, and animated with peculiar feelings, 
sometimes of favor, sometimes of wrath, towards himself or his 
family or country. They were propitiated by his prayers, and 
prevailed upon to lend him succor in danger but offended and 
disposed to bring evil upon him if he omitted to render thanks 
or sacrifice. This sense of individual communion with, and de- 
pendence upon them was the essence of his faith ; and with that 
faith, the all-pervading Mind proclaimed by Anaxagoras 
which had no more concern with one man or one phenomenon 
than with another, could never be brought into harmony. Nor 
could the believer, while he prayed with sincerity for special 
blessings or protection from the gods, acquiesce in the doctrine 
of Hippocrates, that their agency was governed by constant laws 
and physical conditions. 

That radical discord between the mental impulses of science 
and religion, which manifests itself so decisively during the 
most cultivated ages of Greece, and which harassed more or 
less so many of the philosophers, produced its most afflicting re- 
sult in the condemnation of Socrates by the Athenians. Accord- 
ing to the remarkable passage recently cited from Xenophon, it 
will appear that Socrates agreed with his countrymen in denounc- 
ing physical speculations as impious, that he recognized the re- 
ligious process of discovery as a peculiar branch, coordinate with 
the scientific, and that he laid down a theory, of which the ba- 
sis was, the confessed divergence of these two processes from the 
beginning thereby seemingly satisfying the exigencies of re- 
ligious hopes and fears on the one hand, and those of reason, in 
her ardor for ascertaining the invariable laws of phenomena, on 
the other. We may remark that the theory of this religious and 
extra-scientific process of discovery was at that time sufficiently 
complete ; for Socrates could point out, that those anomalous phae- 
nomena which *he gods had reserved fo