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Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica
by Homer and Hesiod
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(l. 5) And so hail to you, lord! I seek your favour with my song.



XXII. TO POSEIDON (7 lines)

(ll. 1-5) I begin to sing about Poseidon, the great god, mover of the earth and fruitless sea, god of the deep who is also lord of Helicon and wide Aegae. A two-fold office the gods allotted you, O Shaker of the Earth, to be a tamer of horses and a saviour of ships!

(ll. 6-7) Hail, Poseidon, Holder of the Earth, dark-haired lord! O blessed one, be kindly in heart and help those who voyage in ships!



XXIII. TO THE SON OF CRONOS, MOST HIGH (4 lines)

(ll. 1-3) I will sing of Zeus, chiefest among the gods and greatest, all-seeing, the lord of all, the fulfiller who whispers words of wisdom to Themis as she sits leaning towards him.

(l. 4) Be gracious, all-seeing Son of Cronos, most excellent and great!



XXIV. TO HESTIA (5 lines)

(ll. 1-5) Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise—draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.



XXV. TO THE MUSES AND APOLLO (7 lines)

(ll. 1-5) I will begin with the Muses and Apollo and Zeus. For it is through the Muses and Apollo that there are singers upon the earth and players upon the lyre; but kings are from Zeus. Happy is he whom the Muses love: sweet flows speech from his lips.

(ll. 6-7) Hail, children of Zeus! Give honour to my song! And now I will remember you and another song also.



XXVI. TO DIONYSUS (13 lines)

(ll. 1-9) I begin to sing of ivy-crowned Dionysus, the loud-crying god, splendid son of Zeus and glorious Semele. The rich-haired Nymphs received him in their bosoms from the lord his father and fostered and nurtured him carefully in the dells of Nysa, where by the will of his father he grew up in a sweet-smelling cave, being reckoned among the immortals. But when the goddesses had brought him up, a god oft hymned, then began he to wander continually through the woody coombes, thickly wreathed with ivy and laurel. And the Nymphs followed in his train with him for their leader; and the boundless forest was filled with their outcry.

(ll. 10-13) And so hail to you, Dionysus, god of abundant clusters! Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season, and from that season onwards for many a year.



XXVII. TO ARTEMIS (22 lines)

(ll. 1-20) I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earthquakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of Delphi, there to order the lovely dance of the Muses and Graces. There she hangs up her curved bow and her arrows, and heads and leads the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all they utter their heavenly voice, singing how neat-ankled Leto bare children supreme among the immortals both in thought and in deed.

(ll. 21-22) Hail to you, children of Zeus and rich-haired Leto! And now I will remember you and another song also.



XXVIII. TO ATHENA (18 lines)

(ll. 1-16) I begin to sing of Pallas Athene, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia. From his awful head wise Zeus himself bare her arrayed in warlike arms of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, shaking a sharp spear: great Olympus began to reel horribly at the might of the bright-eyed goddess, and earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly: the bright Son of Hyperion stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athene had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders. And wise Zeus was glad.

(ll. 17-18) And so hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis! Now I will remember you and another song as well.



XXIX. TO HESTIA (13 lines)

(ll. 1-6) Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honour: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet,—where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.

(ll. 7-10) [2533] And you, slayer of Argus, Son of Zeus and Maia, messenger of the blessed gods, bearer of the golden rod, giver of good, be favourable and help us, you and Hestia, the worshipful and dear. Come and dwell in this glorious house in friendship together; for you two, well knowing the noble actions of men, aid on their wisdom and their strength.

(ll. 12-13) Hail, Daughter of Cronos, and you also, Hermes, bearer of the golden rod! Now I will remember you and another song also.



XXX. TO EARTH THE MOTHER OF ALL (19 lines)

(ll. 1-16) I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with ever-fresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus is it with those whom you honour O holy goddess, bountiful spirit.

(ll. 17-19) Hail, Mother of the gods, wife of starry Heaven; freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart! And now I will remember you and another song also.



XXXI. TO HELIOS (20 lines)

(ll. 1-16) [2534] And now, O Muse Calliope, daughter of Zeus, begin to sing of glowing Helios whom mild-eyed Euryphaessa, the far-shining one, bare to the Son of Earth and starry Heaven. For Hyperion wedded glorious Euryphaessa, his own sister, who bare him lovely children, rosy-armed Eos and rich-tressed Selene and tireless Helios who is like the deathless gods. As he rides in his chariot, he shines upon men and deathless gods, and piercingly he gazes with his eyes from his golden helmet. Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face: a rich, fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him. Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven to Ocean.

(ll. 17-19) Hail to you, lord! Freely bestow on me substance that cheers the heart. And now that I have begun with you, I will celebrate the race of mortal men half-divine whose deeds the Muses have showed to mankind.



XXXII. TO SELENE (20 lines)

(ll. 1-13) And next, sweet voiced Muses, daughters of Zeus, well-skilled in song, tell of the long-winged [2535] Moon. From her immortal head a radiance is shown from heaven and embraces earth; and great is the beauty that ariseth from her shining light. The air, unlit before, glows with the light of her golden crown, and her rays beam clear, whensoever bright Selene having bathed her lovely body in the waters of Ocean, and donned her far-gleaming, shining team, drives on her long-maned horses at full speed, at eventime in the mid-month: then her great orbit is full and then her beams shine brightest as she increases. So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men.

(ll. 14-16) Once the Son of Cronos was joined with her in love; and she conceived and bare a daughter Pandia, exceeding lovely amongst the deathless gods.

(ll. 17-20) Hail, white-armed goddess, bright Selene, mild, bright-tressed queen! And now I will leave you and sing the glories of men half-divine, whose deeds minstrels, the servants of the Muses, celebrate with lovely lips.



XXXIII. TO THE DIOSCURI (19 lines)

(ll. 1-17) Bright-eyed Muses, tell of the Tyndaridae, the Sons of Zeus, glorious children of neat-ankled Leda, Castor the tamer of horses, and blameless Polydeuces. When Leda had lain with the dark-clouded Son of Cronos, she bare them beneath the peak of the great hill Taygetus,—children who are delivers of men on earth and of swift-going ships when stormy gales rage over the ruthless sea. Then the shipmen call upon the sons of great Zeus with vows of white lambs, going to the forepart of the prow; but the strong wind and the waves of the sea lay the ship under water, until suddenly these two are seen darting through the air on tawny wings. Forthwith they allay the blasts of the cruel winds and still the waves upon the surface of the white sea: fair signs are they and deliverance from toil. And when the shipmen see them they are glad and have rest from their pain and labour.

(ll. 18-19) Hail, Tyndaridae, riders upon swift horses! Now I will remember you and another song also.



HOMER'S EPIGRAMS [2601]

I. (5 lines) (ll. 1-5) Have reverence for him who needs a home and stranger's dole, all ye who dwell in the high city of Cyme, the lovely maiden, hard by the foothills of lofty Sardene, ye who drink the heavenly water of the divine stream, eddying Hermus, whom deathless Zeus begot.

II. (2 lines) (ll. 1-2) Speedily may my feet bear me to some town of righteous men; for their hearts are generous and their wit is best.

III. (6 lines) (ll. 1-6) I am a maiden of bronze and am set upon the tomb of Midas. While the waters flow and tall trees flourish, and the sun rises and shines and the bright moon also; while rivers run and the sea breaks on the shore, ever remaining on this mournful tomb, I tell the passer-by that Midas here lies buried.

IV. (17 lines) (ll. 1-17) To what a fate did Zeus the Father give me a prey even while he made me to grow, a babe at my mother's knee! By the will of Zeus who holds the aegis the people of Phricon, riders on wanton horses, more active than raging fire in the test of war, once built the towers of Aeolian Smyrna, wave-shaken neighbour to the sea, through which glides the pleasant stream of sacred Meles; thence [2602] arose the daughters of Zeus, glorious children, and would fain have made famous that fair country and the city of its people. But in their folly those men scorned the divine voice and renown of song, and in trouble shall one of them remember this hereafter—he who with scornful words to them [2603] contrived my fate. Yet I will endure the lot which heaven gave me even at my birth, bearing my disappointment with a patient heart. My dear limbs yearn not to stay in the sacred streets of Cyme, but rather my great heart urges me to go unto another country, small though I am.

V. (2 lines) (ll. 1-2) Thestorides, full many things there are that mortals cannot sound; but there is nothing more unfathomable than the heart of man.

VI. (8 lines) (ll. 1-8) Hear me, Poseidon, strong shaker of the earth, ruler of wide-spread, tawny Helicon! Give a fair wind and sight of safe return to the shipmen who speed and govern this ship. And grant that when I come to the nether slopes of towering Mimas I may find honourable, god-fearing men. Also may I avenge me on the wretch who deceived me and grieved Zeus the lord of guests and his own guest-table.

VII. (3 lines) (ll. 1-3) Queen Earth, all bounteous giver of honey-hearted wealth, how kindly, it seems, you are to some, and how intractable and rough for those with whom you are angry.

VIII. (4 lines) (ll. 1-4) Sailors, who rove the seas and whom a hateful fate has made as the shy sea-fowl, living an unenviable life, observe the reverence due to Zeus who rules on high, the god of strangers; for terrible is the vengeance of this god afterwards for whosoever has sinned.

IX. (2 lines) (ll. 1-2) Strangers, a contrary wind has caught you: but even now take me aboard and you shall make your voyage.

X. (4 lines) (ll. 1-4) Another sort of pine shall bear a better fruit [2604] than you upon the heights of furrowed, windy Ida. For there shall mortal men get the iron that Ares loves so soon as the Cebrenians shall hold the land.

XI. (4 lines) (ll. 1-4) Glaucus, watchman of flocks, a word will I put in your heart. First give the dogs their dinner at the courtyard gate, for this is well. The dog first hears a man approaching and the wild-beast coming to the fence.

XII. (4 lines) (ll. 1-4) Goddess-nurse of the young [2605], give ear to my prayer, and grant that this woman may reject the love-embraces of youth and dote on grey-haired old men whose powers are dulled, but whose hearts still desire.

XIII. (6 lines) (ll. 1-6) Children are a man's crown, towers of a city; horses are the glory of a plain, and so are ships of the sea; wealth will make a house great, and reverend princes seated in assembly are a goodly sight for the folk to see. But a blazing fire makes a house look more comely upon a winter's day, when the Son of Cronos sends down snow.

XIV. (23 lines) (ll. 1-23) Potters, if you will give me a reward, I will sing for you. Come, then, Athena, with hand upraised [2606] over the kiln. Let the pots and all the dishes turn out well and be well fired: let them fetch good prices and be sold in plenty in the market, and plenty in the streets. Grant that the potters may get great gain and grant me so to sing to them. But if you turn shameless and make false promises, then I call together the destroyers of kilns, Shatter and Smash and Charr and Crash and Crudebake who can work this craft much mischief. Come all of you and sack the kiln-yard and the buildings: let the whole kiln be shaken up to the potter's loud lament. As a horse's jaw grinds, so let the kiln grind to powder all the pots inside. And you, too, daughter of the Sun, Circe the witch, come and cast cruel spells; hurt both these men and their handiwork. Let Chiron also come and bring many Centaurs—all that escaped the hands of Heracles and all that were destroyed: let them make sad havoc of the pots and overthrow the kiln, and let the potters see the mischief and be grieved; but I will gloat as I behold their luckless craft. And if anyone of them stoops to peer in, let all his face be burned up, that all men may learn to deal honestly.

XV. (13 lines) [2607] (ll. 1-7) Let us betake us to the house of some man of great power,—one who bears great power and is greatly prosperous always. Open of yourselves, you doors, for mighty Wealth will enter in, and with Wealth comes jolly Mirth and gentle Peace. May all the corn-bins be full and the mass of dough always overflow the kneading-trough. Now (set before us) cheerful barley-pottage, full of sesame....

((LACUNA))

(ll. 8-10) Your son's wife, driving to this house with strong-hoofed mules, shall dismount from her carriage to greet you; may she be shod with golden shoes as she stands weaving at the loom.

(ll. 11-13) I come, and I come yearly, like the swallow that perches light-footed in the fore-part of your house. But quickly bring....

XVI. (2 lines) (ll. 1-2) If you will give us anything (well). But if not, we will not wait, for we are not come here to dwell with you.

XVII. HOMER: Hunters of deep sea prey, have we caught anything?

FISHERMAN: All that we caught we left behind, and all that we did not catch we carry home. [2608]

HOMER: Ay, for of such fathers you are sprung as neither hold rich lands nor tend countless sheep.



FRAGMENTS OF THE EPIC CYCLE



THE WAR OF THE TITANS (fragments)

Fragment #1—Photius, Epitome of the Chrestomathy of Proclus: The Epic Cycle begins with the fabled union of Heaven and Earth, by which they make three hundred-handed sons and three Cyclopes to be born to him.

Fragment #2—Anecdota Oxon. (Cramer) i. 75: According to the writer of the "War of the Titans" Heaven was the son of Aether.

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 1165: Eumelus says that Aegaeon was the son of Earth and Sea and, having his dwelling in the sea, was an ally of the Titans.

Fragment #4—Athenaeus, vii. 277 D: The poet of the "War of the Titans", whether Eumelus of Corinth or Arctinus, writes thus in his second book: 'Upon the shield were dumb fish afloat, with golden faces, swimming and sporting through the heavenly water.'

Fragment #5—Athenaeus, i. 22 C: Eumelus somewhere introduces Zeus dancing: he says—'In the midst of them danced the Father of men and gods.'

Fragment #6—Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 554: The author of the "War of the Giants" says that Cronos took the shape of a horse and lay with Philyra, the daughter of Ocean. Through this cause Cheiron was born a centaur: his wife was Chariclo.

Fragment #7—Athenaeus, xi. 470 B: Theolytus says that he (Heracles) sailed across the sea in a cauldron [2701]; but the first to give this story is the author of the "War of the Titans".

Fragment #8—Philodemus, On Piety: The author of the "War of the Titans" says that the apples (of the Hesperides) were guarded.



THE STORY OF OEDIPUS (fragments)

Fragment #1—C.I.G. Ital. et Sic. 1292. ii. 11: ....the "Story of Oedipus" by Cinaethon in six thousand six hundred verses.

Fragment #2—Pausanias, ix. 5.10: Judging by Homer I do not believe that Oedipus had children by Iocasta: his sons were born of Euryganeia as the writer of the Epic called the "Story of Oedipus" clearly shows.

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Euripides Phoen., 1750: The authors of the "Story of Oedipus" (say) of the Sphinx: 'But furthermore (she killed) noble Haemon, the dear son of blameless Creon, the comeliest and loveliest of boys.'



THE THEBAID (fragments)

Fragment #1—Contest of Homer and Hesiod: Homer travelled about reciting his epics, first the "Thebaid", in seven thousand verses, which begins: 'Sing, goddess, of parched Argos, whence lords...'

Fragment #2—Athenaeus, xi. 465 E: 'Then the heaven-born hero, golden-haired Polyneices, first set beside Oedipus a rich table of silver which once belonged to Cadmus the divinely wise: next he filled a fine golden cup with sweet wine. But when Oedipus perceived these treasures of his father, great misery fell on his heart, and he straight-way called down bitter curses there in the presence of both his sons. And the avenging Fury of the gods failed not to hear him as he prayed that they might never divide their father's goods in loving brotherhood, but that war and fighting might be ever the portion of them both.'

Fragment #3—Laurentian Scholiast on Sophocles, O.C. 1375: 'And when Oedipus noticed the haunch [2801] he threw it on the ground and said: "Oh! Oh! my sons have sent this mocking me..." So he prayed to Zeus the king and the other deathless gods that each might fall by his brother's hand and go down into the house of Hades.'

Fragment #4—Pausanias, viii. 25.8: Adrastus fled from Thebes 'wearing miserable garments, and took black-maned Areion [2802] with him.'

Fragment #5—Pindar, Ol. vi. 15: [2803] 'But when the seven dead had received their last rites in Thebes, the Son of Talaus lamented and spoke thus among them: "Woe is me, for I miss the bright eye of my host, a good seer and a stout spearman alike."'

Fragment #6—Apollodorus, i. 74: Oeneus married Periboea the daughter of Hipponous. The author of the "Thebais" says that when Olenus had been stormed, Oeneus received her as a prize.

Fragment #7—Pausanias, ix. 18.6: Near the spring is the tomb of Asphodicus. This Asphodicus killed Parthenopaeus the son of Talaus in the battle against the Argives, as the Thebans say; though that part of the "Thebais" which tells of the death of Parthenopaeus says that it was Periclymenus who killed him.



THE EPIGONI (fragments)

Fragment #1—Contest of Homer and Hesiod: Next (Homer composed) the "Epigoni" in seven thousand verses, beginning, 'And now, Muses, let us begin to sing of younger men.'

Fragment #2—Photius, Lexicon: Teumesia. Those who have written on Theban affairs have given a full account of the Teumesian fox. [2901] They relate that the creature was sent by the gods to punish the descendants of Cadmus, and that the Thebans therefore excluded those of the house of Cadmus from kingship. But (they say) a certain Cephalus, the son of Deion, an Athenian, who owned a hound which no beast ever escaped, had accidentally killed his wife Procris, and being purified of the homicide by the Cadmeans, hunted the fox with his hound, and when they had overtaken it both hound and fox were turned into stones near Teumessus. These writers have taken the story from the Epic Cycle.

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 308: The authors of the "Thebais" say that Manto the daughter of Teiresias was sent to Delphi by the Epigoni as a first fruit of their spoil, and that in accordance with an oracle of Apollo she went out and met Rhacius, the son of Lebes, a Mycenaean by race. This man she married—for the oracle also contained the command that she should marry whomsoever she might meet—and coming to Colophon, was there much cast down and wept over the destruction of her country.



THE CYPRIA (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, i: This [3001] is continued by the epic called "Cypria" which is current is eleven books. Its contents are as follows.

Zeus plans with Themis to bring about the Trojan war. Strife arrives while the gods are feasting at the marriage of Peleus and starts a dispute between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite as to which of them is fairest. The three are led by Hermes at the command of Zeus to Alexandrus [3002] on Mount Ida for his decision, and Alexandrus, lured by his promised marriage with Helen, decides in favour of Aphrodite.

Then Alexandrus builds his ships at Aphrodite's suggestion, and Helenus foretells the future to him, and Aphrodite order Aeneas to sail with him, while Cassandra prophesies as to what will happen afterwards. Alexandrus next lands in Lacedaemon and is entertained by the sons of Tyndareus, and afterwards by Menelaus in Sparta, where in the course of a feast he gives gifts to Helen.

After this, Menelaus sets sail for Crete, ordering Helen to furnish the guests with all they require until they depart. Meanwhile, Aphrodite brings Helen and Alexandrus together, and they, after their union, put very great treasures on board and sail away by night. Hera stirs up a storm against them and they are carried to Sidon, where Alexandrus takes the city. From there he sailed to Troy and celebrated his marriage with Helen.

In the meantime Castor and Polydeuces, while stealing the cattle of Idas and Lynceus, were caught in the act, and Castor was killed by Idas, and Lynceus and Idas by Polydeuces. Zeus gave them immortality every other day.

Iris next informs Menelaus of what has happened at his home. Menelaus returns and plans an expedition against Ilium with his brother, and then goes on to Nestor. Nestor in a digression tells him how Epopeus was utterly destroyed after seducing the daughter of Lycus, and the story of Oedipus, the madness of Heracles, and the story of Theseus and Ariadne. Then they travel over Hellas and gather the leaders, detecting Odysseus when he pretends to be mad, not wishing to join the expedition, by seizing his son Telemachus for punishment at the suggestion of Palamedes.

All the leaders then meet together at Aulis and sacrifice. The incident of the serpent and the sparrows [3002] takes place before them, and Calchas foretells what is going to befall. After this, they put out to sea, and reach Teuthrania and sack it, taking it for Ilium. Telephus comes out to the rescue and kills Thersander and son of Polyneices, and is himself wounded by Achilles. As they put out from Mysia a storm comes on them and scatters them, and Achilles first puts in at Scyros and married Deidameia, the daughter of Lycomedes, and then heals Telephus, who had been led by an oracle to go to Argos, so that he might be their guide on the voyage to Ilium.

When the expedition had mustered a second time at Aulis, Agamemnon, while at the chase, shot a stag and boasted that he surpassed even Artemis. At this the goddess was so angry that she sent stormy winds and prevented them from sailing. Calchas then told them of the anger of the goddess and bade them sacrifice Iphigeneia to Artemis. This they attempt to do, sending to fetch Iphigeneia as though for marriage with Achilles.

Artemis, however, snatched her away and transported her to the Tauri, making her immortal, and putting a stag in place of the girl upon the altar.

Next they sail as far as Tenedos: and while they are feasting, Philoctetes is bitten by a snake and is left behind in Lemnos because of the stench of his sore. Here, too, Achilles quarrels with Agamemnon because he is invited late. Then the Greeks tried to land at Ilium, but the Trojans prevent them, and Protesilaus is killed by Hector. Achilles then kills Cycnus, the son of Poseidon, and drives the Trojans back. The Greeks take up their dead and send envoys to the Trojans demanding the surrender of Helen and the treasure with her. The Trojans refusing, they first assault the city, and then go out and lay waste the country and cities round about. After this, Achilles desires to see Helen, and Aphrodite and Thetis contrive a meeting between them. The Achaeans next desire to return home, but are restrained by Achilles, who afterwards drives off the cattle of Aeneas, and sacks Lyrnessus and Pedasus and many of the neighbouring cities, and kills Troilus. Patroclus carries away Lycaon to Lemnos and sells him as a slave, and out of the spoils Achilles receives Briseis as a prize, and Agamemnon Chryseis. Then follows the death of Palamedes, the plan of Zeus to relieve the Trojans by detaching Achilles from the Hellenic confederacy, and a catalogue of the Trojan allies.

Fragment #2—Tzetzes, Chil. xiii. 638: Stasinus composed the "Cypria" which the more part say was Homer's work and by him given to Stasinus as a dowry with money besides.

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Homer, Il. i. 5: 'There was a time when the countless tribes of men, though wide-dispersed, oppressed the surface of the deep-bosomed earth, and Zeus saw it and had pity and in his wise heart resolved to relieve the all-nurturing earth of men by causing the great struggle of the Ilian war, that the load of death might empty the world. And so the heroes were slain in Troy, and the plan of Zeus came to pass.'

Fragment #4—Volumina Herculan, II. viii. 105: The author of the "Cypria" says that Thetis, to please Hera, avoided union with Zeus, at which he was enraged and swore that she should be the wife of a mortal.

Fragment #5—Scholiast on Homer, Il. xvii. 140: For at the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, the gods gathered together on Pelion to feast and brought Peleus gifts. Cheiron gave him a stout ashen shaft which he had cut for a spear, and Athena, it is said, polished it, and Hephaestus fitted it with a head. The story is given by the author of the "Cypria".

Fragment #6—Athenaeus, xv. 682 D, F: The author of the "Cypria", whether Hegesias or Stasinus, mentions flowers used for garlands. The poet, whoever he was, writes as follows in his first book:

(ll. 1-7) 'She clothed herself with garments which the Graces and Hours had made for her and dyed in flowers of spring—such flowers as the Seasons wear—in crocus and hyacinth and flourishing violet and the rose's lovely bloom, so sweet and delicious, and heavenly buds, the flowers of the narcissus and lily. In such perfumed garments is Aphrodite clothed at all seasons.

((LACUNA))

(ll. 8-12) Then laughter-loving Aphrodite and her handmaidens wove sweet-smelling crowns of flowers of the earth and put them upon their heads—the bright-coiffed goddesses, the Nymphs and Graces, and golden Aphrodite too, while they sang sweetly on the mount of many-fountained Ida.'

Fragment #7—Clement of Alexandria, Protrept ii. 30. 5: 'Castor was mortal, and the fate of death was destined for him; but Polydeuces, scion of Ares, was immortal.'

Fragment #8—Athenaeus, viii. 334 B: 'And after them she bare a third child, Helen, a marvel to men. Rich-tressed Nemesis once gave her birth when she had been joined in love with Zeus the king of the gods by harsh violence. For Nemesis tried to escape him and liked not to lie in love with her father Zeus the Son of Cronos; for shame and indignation vexed her heart: therefore she fled him over the land and fruitless dark water. But Zeus ever pursued and longed in his heart to catch her. Now she took the form of a fish and sped over the waves of the loud-roaring sea, and now over Ocean's stream and the furthest bounds of Earth, and now she sped over the furrowed land, always turning into such dread creatures as the dry land nurtures, that she might escape him.'

Fragment #9—Scholiast on Euripides, Andr. 898: The writer [3003] of the Cyprian histories says that (Helen's third child was) Pleisthenes and that she took him with her to Cyprus, and that the child she bore Alexandrus was Aganus.

Fragment #10—Herodotus, ii. 117: For it is said in the "Cypria" that Alexandrus came with Helen to Ilium from Sparta in three days, enjoying a favourable wind and calm sea.

Fragment #11—Scholiast on Homer, Il. iii. 242: For Helen had been previously carried off by Theseus, and it was in consequence of this earlier rape that Aphidna, a town in Attica, was sacked and Castor was wounded in the right thigh by Aphidnus who was king at that time. Then the Dioscuri, failing to find Theseus, sacked Athens. The story is in the Cyclic writers.

Plutarch, Thes. 32: Hereas relates that Alycus was killed by Theseus himself near Aphidna, and quotes the following verses in evidence: 'In spacious Aphidna Theseus slew him in battle long ago for rich-haired Helen's sake.' [3004]

Fragment #12—Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. x. 114: (ll. 1-6) 'Straightway Lynceus, trusting in his swift feet, made for Taygetus. He climbed its highest peak and looked throughout the whole isle of Pelops, son of Tantalus; and soon the glorious hero with his dread eyes saw horse-taming Castor and athlete Polydeuces both hidden within a hollow oak.'

Philodemus, On Piety: (Stasinus?) writes that Castor was killed with a spear shot by Idas the son of Aphareus.

Fragment #13—Athenaeus, 35 C: 'Menelaus, know that the gods made wine the best thing for mortal man to scatter cares.'

Fragment #14—Laurentian Scholiast on Sophocles, Elect. 157: Either he follows Homer who spoke of the three daughters of Agamemnon, or—like the writer of the "Cypria"—he makes them four, (distinguishing) Iphigeneia and Iphianassa.

Fragment #15—[3005] Contest of Homer and Hesiod: 'So they feasted all day long, taking nothing from their own houses; for Agamemnon, king of men, provided for them.'

Fragment #16—Louvre Papyrus: 'I never thought to enrage so terribly the stout heart of Achilles, for very well I loved him.'

Fragment #17—Pausanias, iv. 2. 7: The poet of the "Cypria" says that the wife of Protesilaus—who, when the Hellenes reached the Trojan shore, first dared to land—was called Polydora, and was the daughter of Meleager, the son of Oeneus.

Fragment #18—Eustathius, 119. 4: Some relate that Chryseis was taken from Hypoplacian [3006] Thebes, and that she had not taken refuge there nor gone there to sacrifice to Artemis, as the author of the "Cypria" states, but was simply a fellow townswoman of Andromache.

Fragment #19—Pausanias, x. 31. 2: I know, because I have read it in the epic "Cypria", that Palamedes was drowned when he had gone out fishing, and that it was Diomedes and Odysseus who caused his death.

Fragment #20—Plato, Euthyphron, 12 A: 'That it is Zeus who has done this, and brought all these things to pass, you do not like to say; for where fear is, there too is shame.'

Fragment #21—Herodian, On Peculiar Diction: 'By him she conceived and bare the Gorgons, fearful monsters who lived in Sarpedon, a rocky island in deep-eddying Oceanus.'

Fragment #22—Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis vii. 2. 19: Again, Stasinus says: 'He is a simple man who kills the father and lets the children live.'



THE AETHIOPIS (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: The "Cypria", described in the preceding book, has its sequel in the "Iliad" of Homer, which is followed in turn by the five books of the "Aethiopis", the work of Arctinus of Miletus. Their contents are as follows. The Amazon Penthesileia, the daughter of Ares and of Thracian race, comes to aid the Trojans, and after showing great prowess, is killed by Achilles and buried by the Trojans. Achilles then slays Thersites for abusing and reviling him for his supposed love for Penthesileia. As a result a dispute arises amongst the Achaeans over the killing of Thersites, and Achilles sails to Lesbos and after sacrificing to Apollo, Artemis, and Leto, is purified by Odysseus from bloodshed.

Then Memnon, the son of Eos, wearing armour made by Hephaestus, comes to help the Trojans, and Thetis tells her son about Memnon.

A battle takes place in which Antilochus is slain by Memnon and Memnon by Achilles. Eos then obtains of Zeus and bestows upon her son immortality; but Achilles routs the Trojans, and, rushing into the city with them, is killed by Paris and Apollo. A great struggle for the body then follows, Aias taking up the body and carrying it to the ships, while Odysseus drives off the Trojans behind. The Achaeans then bury Antilochus and lay out the body of Achilles, while Thetis, arriving with the Muses and her sisters, bewails her son, whom she afterwards catches away from the pyre and transports to the White Island. After this, the Achaeans pile him a cairn and hold games in his honour. Lastly a dispute arises between Odysseus and Aias over the arms of Achilles.

Fragment #2—Scholiast on Homer, Il. xxiv. 804: Some read: 'Thus they performed the burial of Hector. Then came the Amazon, the daughter of great-souled Ares the slayer of men.'

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Pindar, Isth. iii. 53: The author of the "Aethiopis" says that Aias killed himself about dawn.



THE LITTLE ILIAD (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: Next comes the "Little Iliad" in four books by Lesches of Mitylene: its contents are as follows. The adjudging of the arms of Achilles takes place, and Odysseus, by the contriving of Athena, gains them. Aias then becomes mad and destroys the herd of the Achaeans and kills himself. Next Odysseus lies in wait and catches Helenus, who prophesies as to the taking of Troy, and Diomede accordingly brings Philoctetes from Lemnos. Philoctetes is healed by Machaon, fights in single combat with Alexandrus and kills him: the dead body is outraged by Menelaus, but the Trojans recover and bury it. After this Deiphobus marries Helen, Odysseus brings Neoptolemus from Scyros and gives him his father's arms, and the ghost of Achilles appears to him.

Eurypylus the son of Telephus arrives to aid the Trojans, shows his prowess and is killed by Neoptolemus. The Trojans are now closely besieged, and Epeius, by Athena's instruction, builds the wooden horse. Odysseus disfigures himself and goes in to Ilium as a spy, and there being recognized by Helen, plots with her for the taking of the city; after killing certain of the Trojans, he returns to the ships. Next he carries the Palladium out of Troy with help of Diomedes. Then after putting their best men in the wooden horse and burning their huts, the main body of the Hellenes sail to Tenedos. The Trojans, supposing their troubles over, destroy a part of their city wall and take the wooden horse into their city and feast as though they had conquered the Hellenes.

Fragment #2—Pseudo-Herodotus, Life of Homer: 'I sing of Ilium and Dardania, the land of fine horses, wherein the Danai, followers of Ares, suffered many things.'

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Aristophanes, Knights 1056 and Aristophanes ib: The story runs as follows: Aias and Odysseus were quarrelling as to their achievements, says the poet of the "Little Iliad", and Nestor advised the Hellenes to send some of their number to go to the foot of the walls and overhear what was said about the valour of the heroes named above. The eavesdroppers heard certain girls disputing, one of them saying that Aias was by far a better man than Odysseus and continuing as follows:

'For Aias took up and carried out of the strife the hero, Peleus' son: this great Odysseus cared not to do.'

To this another replied by Athena's contrivance:

'Why, what is this you say? A thing against reason and untrue! Even a woman could carry a load once a man had put it on her shoulder; but she could not fight. For she would fail with fear if she should fight.'

Fragment #4—Eustathius, 285. 34: The writer of the "Little Iliad" says that Aias was not buried in the usual way [3101], but was simply buried in a coffin, because of the king's anger.

Fragment #5—Eustathius on Homer, Il. 326: The author of the "Little Iliad" says that Achilles after putting out to sea from the country of Telephus came to land there: 'The storm carried Achilles the son of Peleus to Scyros, and he came into an uneasy harbour there in that same night.'

Fragment #6—Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. vi. 85: 'About the spear-shaft was a hoop of flashing gold, and a point was fitted to it at either end.'

Fragment #7—Scholiast on Euripides Troades, 822: '...the vine which the son of Cronos gave him as a recompense for his son. It bloomed richly with soft leaves of gold and grape clusters; Hephaestus wrought it and gave it to his father Zeus: and he bestowed it on Laomedon as a price for Ganymedes.'

Fragment #8—Pausanias, iii. 26. 9: The writer of the epic "Little Iliad" says that Machaon was killed by Eurypylus, the son of Telephus.

Fragment #9—Homer, Odyssey iv. 247 and Scholiast: 'He disguised himself, and made himself like another person, a beggar, the like of whom was not by the ships of the Achaeans.'

The Cyclic poet uses 'beggar' as a substantive, and so means to say that when Odysseus had changed his clothes and put on rags, there was no one so good for nothing at the ships as Odysseus.

Fragment #10—[3102] Plutarch, Moralia, p. 153 F: And Homer put forward the following verses as Lesches gives them: 'Muse, tell me of those things which neither happened before nor shall be hereafter.'

And Hesiod answered:

'But when horses with rattling hoofs wreck chariots, striving for victory about the tomb of Zeus.'

And it is said that, because this reply was specially admired, Hesiod won the tripod (at the funeral games of Amphidamas).

Fragment #11—Scholiast on Lycophr., 344: Sinon, as it had been arranged with him, secretly showed a signal-light to the Hellenes. Thus Lesches writes:—'It was midnight, and the clear moon was rising.'

Fragment #12—Pausanias, x. 25. 5: Meges is represented [3103] wounded in the arm just as Lescheos the son of Aeschylinus of Pyrrha describes in his "Sack of Ilium" where it is said that he was wounded in the battle which the Trojans fought in the night by Admetus, son of Augeias. Lycomedes too is in the picture with a wound in the wrist, and Lescheos says he was so wounded by Agenor...

Pausanias, x. 26. 4: Lescheos also mentions Astynous, and here he is, fallen on one knee, while Neoptolemus strikes him with his sword...

Pausanias, x. 26. 8: The same writer says that Helicaon was wounded in the night-battle, but was recognised by Odysseus and by him conducted alive out of the fight...

Pausanias, x. 27. 1: Of them [3104], Lescheos says that Eion was killed by Neoptolemus, and Admetus by Philoctetes... He also says that Priam was not killed at the heart of Zeus Herceius, but was dragged away from the altar and destroyed off hand by Neoptolemus at the doors of the house... Lescheos says that Axion was the son of Priam and was slain by Eurypylus, the son of Euaemon. Agenor—according to the same poet—was butchered by Neoptolemus.

Fragment #13—Aristophanes, Lysistrata 155 and Scholiast: 'Menelaus at least, when he caught a glimpse somehow of the breasts of Helen unclad, cast away his sword, methinks.' Lesches the Pyrrhaean also has the same account in his "Little Iliad".

Pausanias, x. 25. 8: Concerning Aethra Lesches relates that when Ilium was taken she stole out of the city and came to the Hellenic camp, where she was recognised by the sons of Theseus; and that Demophon asked her of Agamemnon. Agamemnon wished to grant him this favour, but he would not do so until Helen consented. And when he sent a herald, Helen granted his request.

Fragment #14—Scholiast on Lycophr. Alex., 1268: 'Then the bright son of bold Achilles led the wife of Hector to the hollow ships; but her son he snatched from the bosom of his rich-haired nurse and seized him by the foot and cast him from a tower. So when he had fallen bloody death and hard fate seized on Astyanax. And Neoptolemus chose out Andromache, Hector's well-girded wife, and the chiefs of all the Achaeans gave her to him to hold requiting him with a welcome prize. And he put Aeneas[3105], the famous son of horse-taming Anchises, on board his sea-faring ships, a prize surpassing those of all the Danaans.'



THE SACK OF ILIUM (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: Next come two books of the "Sack of Ilium", by Arctinus of Miletus with the following contents. The Trojans were suspicious of the wooden horse and standing round it debated what they ought to do. Some thought they ought to hurl it down from the rocks, others to burn it up, while others said they ought to dedicate it to Athena. At last this third opinion prevailed. Then they turned to mirth and feasting believing the war was at an end. But at this very time two serpents appeared and destroyed Laocoon and one of his two sons, a portent which so alarmed the followers of Aeneas that they withdrew to Ida. Sinon then raised the fire-signal to the Achaeans, having previously got into the city by pretence. The Greeks then sailed in from Tenedos, and those in the wooden horse came out and fell upon their enemies, killing many and storming the city. Neoptolemus kills Priam who had fled to the altar of Zeus Herceius (1); Menelaus finds Helen and takes her to the ships, after killing Deiphobus; and Aias the son of Ileus, while trying to drag Cassandra away by force, tears away with her the image of Athena. At this the Greeks are so enraged that they determine to stone Aias, who only escapes from the danger threatening him by taking refuge at the altar of Athena. The Greeks, after burning the city, sacrifice Polyxena at the tomb of Achilles: Odysseus murders Astyanax; Neoptolemus takes Andromache as his prize, and the remaining spoils are divided. Demophon and Acamas find Aethra and take her with them. Lastly the Greeks sail away and Athena plans to destroy them on the high seas.

Fragment #2—Dionysus Halicarn, Rom. Antiq. i. 68: According to Arctinus, one Palladium was given to Dardanus by Zeus, and this was in Ilium until the city was taken. It was hidden in a secret place, and a copy was made resembling the original in all points and set up for all to see, in order to deceive those who might have designs against it. This copy the Achaeans took as a result of their plots.

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Euripedes, Andromache 10: The Cyclic poet who composed the "Sack" says that Astyanax was also hurled from the city wall.

Fragment #4—Scholiast on Euripedes, Troades 31: For the followers of Acamus and Demophon took no share—it is said—of the spoils, but only Aethra, for whose sake, indeed, they came to Ilium with Menestheus to lead them. Lysimachus, however, says that the author of the "Sack" writes as follows: 'The lord Agamemnon gave gifts to the Sons of Theseus and to bold Menestheus, shepherd of hosts.'

Fragment #5—Eustathius on Iliad, xiii. 515: Some say that such praise as this [3201] does not apply to physicians generally, but only to Machaon: and some say that he only practised surgery, while Podaleirius treated sicknesses. Arctinus in the "Sack of Ilium" seems to be of this opinion when he says:

(ll. 1-8) 'For their father the famous Earth-Shaker gave both of them gifts, making each more glorious than the other. To the one he gave hands more light to draw or cut out missiles from the flesh and to heal all kinds of wounds; but in the heart of the other he put full and perfect knowledge to tell hidden diseases and cure desperate sicknesses. It was he who first noticed Aias' flashing eyes and clouded mind when he was enraged.'

Fragment #6—Diomedes in Gramm., Lat. i. 477: 'Iambus stood a little while astride with foot advanced, that so his strained limbs might get power and have a show of ready strength.'



THE RETURNS (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: After the "Sack of Ilium" follow the "Returns" in five books by Agias of Troezen. Their contents are as follows. Athena causes a quarrel between Agamemnon and Menelaus about the voyage from Troy. Agamemnon then stays on to appease the anger of Athena. Diomedes and Nestor put out to sea and get safely home. After them Menelaus sets out and reaches Egypt with five ships, the rest having been destroyed on the high seas. Those with Calchas, Leontes, and Polypoetes go by land to Colophon and bury Teiresias who died there. When Agamemnon and his followers were sailing away, the ghost of Achilles appeared and tried to prevent them by foretelling what should befall them. The storm at the rocks called Capherides is then described, with the end of Locrian Aias. Neoptolemus, warned by Thetis, journeys overland and, coming into Thrace, meets Odysseus at Maronea, and then finishes the rest of his journey after burying Phoenix who dies on the way. He himself is recognized by Peleus on reaching the Molossi.

Then comes the murder of Agamemnon by Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra, followed by the vengeance of Orestes and Pylades. Finally, Menelaus returns home.

Fragment #2—Argument to Euripides Medea: 'Forthwith Medea made Aeson a sweet young boy and stripped his old age from him by her cunning skill, when she had made a brew of many herbs in her golden cauldrons.'

Fragment #3—Pausanias, i. 2: The story goes that Heracles was besieging Themiscyra on the Thermodon and could not take it; but Antiope, being in love with Theseus who was with Heracles on this expedition, betrayed the place. Hegias gives this account in his poem.

Fragment #4—Eustathius, 1796. 45: The Colophonian author of the "Returns" says that Telemachus afterwards married Circe, while Telegonus the son of Circe correspondingly married Penelope.

Fragment #5—Clement of Alex. Strom., vi. 2. 12. 8: 'For gifts beguile men's minds and their deeds as well.' [3301]

Fragment #6—Pausanias, x. 28. 7: The poetry of Homer and the "Returns"—for here too there is an account of Hades and the terrors there—know of no spirit named Eurynomus.

Athenaeus, 281 B: The writer of the "Return of the Atreidae" [3302] says that Tantalus came and lived with the gods, and was permitted to ask for whatever he desired. But the man was so immoderately given to pleasures that he asked for these and for a life like that of the gods. At this Zeus was annoyed, but fulfilled his prayer because of his own promise; but to prevent him from enjoying any of the pleasures provided, and to keep him continually harassed, he hung a stone over his head which prevents him from ever reaching any of the pleasant things near by.



THE TELEGONY (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: After the "Returns" comes the "Odyssey" of Homer, and then the "Telegony" in two books by Eugammon of Cyrene, which contain the following matters. The suitors of Penelope are buried by their kinsmen, and Odysseus, after sacrificing to the Nymphs, sails to Elis to inspect his herds. He is entertained there by Polyxenus and receives a mixing bowl as a gift; the story of Trophonius and Agamedes and Augeas then follows. He next sails back to Ithaca and performs the sacrifices ordered by Teiresias, and then goes to Thesprotis where he marries Callidice, queen of the Thesprotians. A war then breaks out between the Thesprotians, led by Odysseus, and the Brygi. Ares routs the army of Odysseus and Athena engages with Ares, until Apollo separates them. After the death of Callidice Polypoetes, the son of Odysseus, succeeds to the kingdom, while Odysseus himself returns to Ithaca. In the meantime Telegonus, while travelling in search of his father, lands on Ithaca and ravages the island: Odysseus comes out to defend his country, but is killed by his son unwittingly. Telegonus, on learning his mistake, transports his father's body with Penelope and Telemachus to his mother's island, where Circe makes them immortal, and Telegonus marries Penelope, and Telemachus Circe.

Fragment #2—Eustathias, 1796. 35: The author of the "Telegony", a Cyrenaean, relates that Odysseus had by Calypso a son Telegonus or Teledamus, and by Penelope Telemachus and Acusilaus.



NON-CYCLIC POEMS ATTRIBUTED TO HOMER



THE EXPEDITION OF AMPHIARAUS (fragments)

Fragment #1—Pseudo-Herodotus, Life of Homer: Sitting there in the tanner's yard, Homer recited his poetry to them, the "Expedition of Amphiarus to Thebes" and the "Hymns to the Gods" composed by him.



THE TAKING OF OECHALIA (fragments)

Fragment #1—Eustathius, 330. 41: An account has there been given of Eurytus and his daughter Iole, for whose sake Heracles sacked Oechalia. Homer also seems to have written on this subject, as that historian shows who relates that Creophylus of Samos once had Homer for his guest and for a reward received the attribution of the poem which they call the "Taking of Oechalia". Some, however, assert the opposite; that Creophylus wrote the poem, and that Homer lent his name in return for his entertainment. And so Callimachus writes: 'I am the work of that Samian who once received divine Homer in his house. I sing of Eurytus and all his woes and of golden-haired Ioleia, and am reputed one of Homer's works. Dear Heaven! how great an honour this for Creophylus!'

Fragment #2—Cramer, Anec. Oxon. i. 327: 'Ragged garments, even those which now you see.' This verse ("Odyssey" xiv. 343) we shall also find in the "Taking of Oechalia".

Fragment #3—Scholaist on Sophocles Trach., 266: There is a disagreement as to the number of the sons of Eurytus. For Hesiod says Eurytus and Antioche had as many as four sons; but Creophylus says two.

Fragment #4—Scholiast on Euripides Medea, 273: Didymus contrasts the following account given by Creophylus, which is as follows: while Medea was living in Corinth, she poisoned Creon, who was ruler of the city at that time, and because she feared his friends and kinsfolk, fled to Athens. However, since her sons were too young to go along with her, she left them at the altar of Hera Acraea, thinking that their father would see to their safety. But the relatives of Creon killed them and spread the story that Medea had killed her own children as well as Creon.



THE PHOCAIS (fragments)

Fragment #1—Pseudo-Herodotus, Life of Homer: While living with Thestorides, Homer composed the "Lesser Iliad" and the "Phocais"; though the Phocaeans say that he composed the latter among them.



THE MARGITES (fragments)

Fragment #1—Suidas, s.v.: Pigres. A Carian of Halicarnassus and brother of Artemisia, wife of Mausolus, who distinguished herself in war... [3401] He also wrote the "Margites" attributed to Homer and the "Battle of the Frogs and Mice".

Fragment #2—Atilius Fortunatianus, p. 286, Keil: 'There came to Colophon an old man and divine singer, a servant of the Muses and of far-shooting Apollo. In his dear hands he held a sweet-toned lyre.'

Fragment #3—Plato, Alcib. ii. p. 147 A: 'He knew many things but knew all badly...'

Aristotle, Nic. Eth. vi. 7, 1141: 'The gods had taught him neither to dig nor to plough, nor any other skill; he failed in every craft.'

Fragment #4—Scholiast on Aeschines in Ctes., sec. 160: He refers to Margites, a man who, though well grown up, did not know whether it was his father or his mother who gave him birth, and would not lie with his wife, saying that he was afraid she might give a bad account of him to her mother.

Fragment #5—Zenobius, v. 68: 'The fox knows many a wile; but the hedge-hog's one trick [3402] can beat them all.' [3403]



THE CERCOPES (fragments)

Fragment #1—Suidas, s.v.: Cercopes. These were two brothers living upon the earth who practised every kind of knavery. They were called Cercopes [3501] because of their cunning doings: one of them was named Passalus and the other Acmon. Their mother, a daughter of Memnon, seeing their tricks, told them to keep clear of Black-bottom, that is, of Heracles. These Cercopes were sons of Theia and Ocean, and are said to have been turned to stone for trying to deceive Zeus.

'Liars and cheats, skilled in deeds irremediable, accomplished knaves. Far over the world they roamed deceiving men as they wandered continually.'



THE BATTLE OF FROGS AND MICE (303 lines)

(ll. 1-8) Here I begin: and first I pray the choir of the Muses to come down from Helicon into my heart to aid the lay which I have newly written in tablets upon my knee. Fain would I sound in all men's ears that awful strife, that clamorous deed of war, and tell how the Mice proved their valour on the Frogs and rivalled the exploits of the Giants, those earth-born men, as the tale was told among mortals. Thus did the war begin.

(ll. 9-12) One day a thirsty Mouse who had escaped the ferret, dangerous foe, set his soft muzzle to the lake's brink and revelled in the sweet water. There a loud-voiced pond-larker spied him: and uttered such words as these.

(ll. 13-23) 'Stranger, who are you? Whence come you to this shore, and who is he who begot you? Tell me all this truly and let me not find you lying. For if I find you worthy to be my friend, I will take you to my house and give you many noble gifts such as men give to their guests. I am the king Puff-jaw, and am honoured in all the pond, being ruler of the Frogs continually. The father that brought me up was Mud-man who mated with Waterlady by the banks of Eridanus. I see, indeed, that you are well-looking and stouter than the ordinary, a sceptred king and a warrior in fight; but, come, make haste and tell me your descent.'

(ll. 24-55) Then Crumb-snatcher answered him and said: 'Why do you ask my race, which is well-known amongst all, both men and gods and the birds of heaven? Crumb-snatcher am I called, and I am the son of Bread-nibbler—he was my stout-hearted father—and my mother was Quern-licker, the daughter of Ham-gnawer the king: she bare me in the mouse-hole and nourished me with food, figs and nuts and dainties of all kinds. But how are you to make me your friend, who am altogether different in nature? For you get your living in the water, but I am used to each such foods as men have: I never miss the thrice-kneaded loaf in its neat, round basket, or the thin-wrapped cake full of sesame and cheese, or the slice of ham, or liver vested in white fat, or cheese just curdled from sweet milk, or delicious honey-cake which even the blessed gods long for, or any of all those cates which cooks make for the feasts of mortal men, larding their pots and pans with spices of all kinds. In battle I have never flinched from the cruel onset, but plunged straight into the fray and fought among the foremost. I fear not man though he has a big body, but run along his bed and bite the tip of his toe and nibble at his heel; and the man feels no hurt and his sweet sleep is not broken by my biting. But there are two things I fear above all else the whole world over, the hawk and the ferret—for these bring great grief on me—and the piteous trap wherein is treacherous death. Most of all I fear the ferret of the keener sort which follows you still even when you dive down your hole. [3601] I gnaw no radishes and cabbages and pumpkins, nor feed on green leeks and parsley; for these are food for you who live in the lake.'

(ll. 56-64) Then Puff-jaw answered him with a smile: 'Stranger you boast too much of belly-matters: we too have many marvels to be seen both in the lake and on the shore. For the Son of Chronos has given us Frogs the power to lead a double life, dwelling at will in two separate elements; and so we both leap on land and plunge beneath the water. If you would learn of all these things, 'tis easy done: just mount upon my back and hold me tight lest you be lost, and so you shall come rejoicing to my house.'

(ll. 65-81) So said he, and offered his back. And the Mouse mounted at once, putting his paws upon the other's sleek neck and vaulting nimbly. Now at first, while he still saw the land near by, he was pleased, and was delighted with Puff-jaw's swimming; but when dark waves began to wash over him, he wept loudly and blamed his unlucky change of mind: he tore his fur and tucked his paws in against his belly, while within him his heart quaked by reason of the strangeness: and he longed to get to land, groaning terribly through the stress of chilling fear. He put out his tail upon the water and worked it like a steering oar, and prayed to heaven that he might get to land. But when the dark waves washed over him he cried aloud and said: 'Not in such wise did the bull bear on his back the beloved load, when he brought Europa across the sea to Crete, as this Frog carries me over the water to his house, raising his yellow back in the pale water.'

(ll. 82-92) Then suddenly a water-snake appeared, a horrid sight for both alike, and held his neck upright above the water. And when he saw it, Puff-jaw dived at once, and never thought how helpless a friend he would leave perishing; but down to the bottom of the lake he went, and escaped black death. But the Mouse, so deserted, at once fell on his back, in the water. He wrung his paws and squeaked in agony of death: many times he sank beneath the water and many times he rose up again kicking. But he could not escape his doom, for his wet fur weighed him down heavily. Then at the last, as he was dying, he uttered these words.

(ll. 93-98) 'Ah, Puff-jaw, you shall not go unpunished for this treachery! You threw me, a castaway, off your body as from a rock. Vile coward! On land you would not have been the better man, boxing, or wrestling, or running; but now you have tricked me and cast me in the water. Heaven has an avenging eye, and surely the host of Mice will punish you and not let you escape.'

(ll. 99-109) With these words he breathed out his soul upon the water. But Lick-platter as he sat upon the soft bank saw him die and, raising a dreadful cry, ran and told the Mice. And when they heard of his fate, all the Mice were seized with fierce anger, and bade their heralds summon the people to assemble towards dawn at the house of Bread-nibbler, the father of hapless Crumb-snatcher who lay outstretched on the water face up, a lifeless corpse, and no longer near the bank, poor wretch, but floating in the midst of the deep. And when the Mice came in haste at dawn, Bread-nibbler stood up first, enraged at his son's death, and thus he spoke.

(ll. 110-121) 'Friends, even if I alone had suffered great wrong from the Frogs, assuredly this is a first essay at mischief for you all. And now I am pitiable, for I have lost three sons. First the abhorred ferret seized and killed one of them, catching him outside the hole; then ruthless men dragged another to his doom when by unheard-of arts they had contrived a wooden snare, a destroyer of Mice, which they call a trap. There was a third whom I and his dear mother loved well, and him Puff-jaw has carried out into the deep and drowned. Come, then, and let us arm ourselves and go out against them when we have arrayed ourselves in rich-wrought arms.'

(ll. 122-131) With such words he persuaded them all to gird themselves. And Ares who has charge of war equipped them. First they fastened on greaves and covered their shins with green bean-pods broken into two parts which they had gnawed out, standing over them all night. Their breast plates were of skin stretched on reeds, skilfully made from a ferret they had flayed. For shields each had the centre-piece of a lamp, and their spears were long needles all of bronze, the work of Ares, and the helmets upon their temples were pea-nut shells.

(ll. 132-138) So the Mice armed themselves. But when the Frogs were aware of it, they rose up out of the water and coming together to one place gathered a council of grievous war. And while they were asking whence the quarrel arose, and what the cause of this anger, a herald drew near bearing a wand in his paws, Pot-visitor the son of great-hearted Cheese-carver. He brought the grim message of war, speaking thus:

(ll. 139-143) 'Frogs, the Mice have sent me with their threats against you, and bid you arm yourselves for war and battle; for they have seen Crumb-snatcher in the water whom your king Puff-jaw slew. Fight, then, as many of you as are warriors among the Frogs.'

(ll. 144-146) With these words he explained the matter. So when this blameless speech came to their ears, the proud Frogs were disturbed in their hearts and began to blame Puff-jaw. But he rose up and said:

(ll. 147-159) 'Friends, I killed no Mouse, nor did I see one perishing. Surely he was drowned while playing by the lake and imitating the swimming of the Frogs, and now these wretches blame me who am guiltless. Come then; let us take counsel how we may utterly destroy the wily Mice. Moreover, I will tell you what I think to be the best. Let us all gird on our armour and take our stand on the very brink of the lake, where the ground breaks down sheer: then when they come out and charge upon us, let each seize by the crest the Mouse who attacks him, and cast them with their helmets into the lake; for so we shall drown these dry-hobs [3602] in the water, and merrily set up here a trophy of victory over the slaughtered Mice.'

(ll. 160-167) By this speech he persuaded them to arm themselves.

They covered their shins with leaves of mallows, and had breastplates made of fine green beet-leaves, and cabbage-leaves, skilfully fashioned, for shields. Each one was equipped with a long, pointed rush for a spear, and smooth snail-shells to cover their heads. Then they stood in close-locked ranks upon the high bank, waving their spears, and were filled, each of them, with courage.

(ll. 168-173) Now Zeus called the gods to starry heaven and showed them the martial throng and the stout warriors so many and so great, all bearing long spears; for they were as the host of the Centaurs and the Giants. Then he asked with a sly smile; 'Who of the deathless gods will help the Frogs and who the Mice?'

And he said to Athena;

(ll. 174-176) 'My daughter, will you go aid the Mice? For they all frolic about your temple continually, delighting in the fat of sacrifice and in all kinds of food.'

(ll. 177-196) So then said the son of Cronos. But Athena answered him: 'I would never go to help the Mice when they are hard pressed, for they have done me much mischief, spoiling my garlands and my lamps too, to get the oil. And this thing that they have done vexes my heart exceedingly: they have eaten holes in my sacred robe, which I wove painfully spinning a fine woof on a fine warp, and made it full of holes. And now the money-lender is at me and charges me interest which is a bitter thing for immortals. For I borrowed to do my weaving, and have nothing with which to repay. Yet even so I will not help the Frogs; for they also are not considerable: once, when I was returning early from war, I was very tired, and though I wanted to sleep, they would not let me even doze a little for their outcry; and so I lay sleepless with a headache until cock-crow. No, gods, let us refrain from helping these hosts, or one of us may get wounded with a sharp spear; for they fight hand to hand, even if a god comes against them. Let us rather all amuse ourselves watching the fight from heaven.'

(ll. 197-198) So said Athena. And the other gods agreed with her, and all went in a body to one place.

(ll. 199-201) Then gnats with great trumpets sounded the fell note of war, and Zeus the son of Cronos thundered from heaven, a sign of grievous battle.

(ll. 202-223) First Loud-croaker wounded Lickman in the belly, right through the midriff. Down fell he on his face and soiled his soft fur in the dust: he fell with a thud and his armour clashed about him. Next Troglodyte shot at the son of Mudman, and drove the strong spear deep into his breast; so he fell, and black death seized him and his spirit flitted forth from his mouth. Then Beety struck Pot-visitor to the heart and killed him, and Bread-nibbler hit Loud-crier in the belly, so that he fell on his face and his spirit flitted forth from his limbs. Now when Pond-larker saw Loud-crier perishing, he struck in quickly and wounded Troglodyte in his soft neck with a rock like a mill-stone, so that darkness veiled his eyes. Thereat Ocimides was seized with grief, and struck out with his sharp reed and did not draw his spear back to him again, but felled his enemy there and then. And Lickman shot at him with a bright spear and hit him unerringly in the midriff. And as he marked Cabbage-eater running away, he fell on the steep bank, yet even so did not cease fighting but smote that other so that he fell and did not rise again; and the lake was dyed with red blood as he lay outstretched along the shore, pierced through the guts and shining flanks. Also he slew Cheese-eater on the very brink....

((LACUNA))

(ll. 224-251) But Reedy took to flight when he saw Ham-nibbler, and fled, plunging into the lake and throwing away his shield. Then blameless Pot-visitor killed Brewer and Water-larked killed the lord Ham-nibbler, striking him on the head with a pebble, so that his brains flowed out at his nostrils and the earth was bespattered with blood. Faultless Muck-coucher sprang upon Lick-platter and killed him with his spear and brought darkness upon his eyes: and Leeky saw it, and dragged Lick-platter by the foot, though he was dead, and choked him in the lake. But Crumb-snatcher was fighting to avenge his dead comrades, and hit Leeky before he reached the land; and he fell forward at the blow and his soul went down to Hades. And seeing this, the Cabbage-climber took a clod of mud and hurled it at the Mouse, plastering all his forehead and nearly blinding him. Thereat Crumb-snatcher was enraged and caught up in his strong hand a huge stone that lay upon the ground, a heavy burden for the soil: with that he hit Cabbage-climber below the knee and splintered his whole right shin, hurling him on his back in the dust. But Croakperson kept him off, and rushing at the Mouse in turn, hit him in the middle of the belly and drove the whole reed-spear into him, and as he drew the spear back to him with his strong hand, all his foe's bowels gushed out upon the ground. And when Troglodyte saw the deed, as he was limping away from the fight on the river bank, he shrank back sorely moved, and leaped into a trench to escape sheer death. Then Bread-nibbler hit Puff-jaw on the toes—he came up at the last from the lake and was greatly distressed....

((LACUNA))

(ll. 252-259) And when Leeky saw him fallen forward, but still half alive, he pressed through those who fought in front and hurled a sharp reed at him; but the point of the spear was stayed and did not break his shield. Then noble Rueful, like Ares himself, struck his flawless head-piece made of four pots—he only among the Frogs showed prowess in the throng. But when he saw the other rush at him, he did not stay to meet the stout-hearted hero but dived down to the depths of the lake.

(ll. 260-271) Now there was one among the Mice, Slice-snatcher, who excelled the rest, dear son of Gnawer the son of blameless Bread-stealer. He went to his house and bade his son take part in the war. This warrior threatened to destroy the race of Frogs utterly [3603], and splitting a chestnut-husk into two parts along the joint, put the two hollow pieces as armour on his paws: then straightway the Frogs were dismayed and all rushed down to the lake, and he would have made good his boast—for he had great strength—had not the Son of Cronos, the Father of men and gods, been quick to mark the thing and pitied the Frogs as they were perishing. He shook his head, and uttered this word:

(ll. 272-276) 'Dear, dear, how fearful a deed do my eyes behold! Slice-snatcher makes no small panic rushing to and fro among the Frogs by the lake. Let us then make all haste and send warlike Pallas or even Ares, for they will stop his fighting, strong though he is.'

(ll. 277-284) So said the Son of Cronos; but Hera answered him: 'Son of Cronos, neither the might of Athena nor of Ares can avail to deliver the Frogs from utter destruction. Rather, come and let us all go to help them, or else let loose your weapon, the great and formidable Titan-killer with which you killed Capaneus, that doughty man, and great Enceladus and the wild tribes of Giants; ay, let it loose, for so the most valiant will be slain.'

(ll. 285-293) So said Hera: and the Son of Cronos cast a lurid thunderbolt: first he thundered and made great Olympus shake, and the cast the thunderbolt, the awful weapon of Zeus, tossing it lightly forth. Thus he frightened them all, Frogs and Mice alike, hurling his bolt upon them. Yet even so the army of the Mice did not relax, but hoped still more to destroy the brood of warrior Frogs. Only, the Son of Cronos, on Olympus, pitied the Frogs and then straightway sent them helpers.

(ll. 294-303) So there came suddenly warriors with mailed backs and curving claws, crooked beasts that walked sideways, nut-cracker-jawed, shell-hided: bony they were, flat-backed, with glistening shoulders and bandy legs and stretching arms and eyes that looked behind them. They had also eight legs and two feelers—persistent creatures who are called crabs. These nipped off the tails and paws and feet of the Mice with their jaws, while spears only beat on them. Of these the Mice were all afraid and no longer stood up to them, but turned and fled. Already the sun was set, and so came the end of the one-day war.



OF THE ORIGIN OF HOMER AND HESIOD, AND OF THEIR CONTEST

(aka "The Contest of Homer and Hesiod")

Everyone boasts that the most divine of poets, Homer and Hesiod, are said to be his particular countrymen. Hesiod, indeed, has put a name to his native place and so prevented any rivalry, for he said that his father 'settled near Helicon in a wretched hamlet, Ascra, which is miserable in winter, sultry in summer, and good at no season.' But, as for Homer, you might almost say that every city with its inhabitants claims him as her son. Foremost are the men of Smyrna who say that he was the Son of Meles, the river of their town, by a nymph Cretheis, and that he was at first called Melesigenes. He was named Homer later, when he became blind, this being their usual epithet for such people. The Chians, on the other hand, bring forward evidence to show that he was their countryman, saying that there actually remain some of his descendants among them who are called Homeridae. The Colophonians even show the place where they declare that he began to compose when a schoolmaster, and say that his first work was the "Margites".

As to his parents also, there is on all hands great disagreement.

Hellanicus and Cleanthes say his father was Maeon, but Eugaeon says Meles; Callicles is for Mnesagoras, Democritus of Troezen for Daemon, a merchant-trader. Some, again, say he was the son of Thamyras, but the Egyptians say of Menemachus, a priest-scribe, and there are even those who father him on Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. As for his mother, she is variously called Metis, Cretheis, Themista, and Eugnetho. Others say she was an Ithacan woman sold as a slave by the Phoenicians; other, Calliope the Muse; others again Polycasta, the daughter of Nestor.

Homer himself was called Meles or, according to different accounts, Melesigenes or Altes. Some authorities say he was called Homer, because his father was given as a hostage to the Persians by the men of Cyprus; others, because of his blindness; for amongst the Aeolians the blind are so called. We will set down, however, what we have heard to have been said by the Pythia concerning Homer in the time of the most sacred Emperor Hadrian. When the monarch inquired from what city Homer came, and whose son he was, the priestess delivered a response in hexameters after this fashion:

'Do you ask me of the obscure race and country of the heavenly siren? Ithaca is his country, Telemachus his father, and Epicasta, Nestor's daughter, the mother that bare him, a man by far the wisest of mortal kind.' This we must most implicitly believe, the inquirer and the answerer being who they are—especially since the poet has so greatly glorified his grandfather in his works.

Now some say that he was earlier than Hesiod, others that he was younger and akin to him. They give his descent thus: Apollo and Aethusa, daughter of Poseidon, had a son Linus, to whom was born Pierus. From Pierus and the nymph Methone sprang Oeager; and from Oeager and Calliope Orpheus; from Orpheus, Dres; and from him, Eucles. The descent is continued through Iadmonides, Philoterpes, Euphemus, Epiphrades and Melanopus who had sons Dius and Apelles. Dius by Pycimede, the daughter of Apollo had two sons Hesiod and Perses; while Apelles begot Maeon who was the father of Homer by a daughter of the River Meles.

According to one account they flourished at the same time and even had a contest of skill at Chalcis in Euboea. For, they say, after Homer had composed the "Margites", he went about from city to city as a minstrel, and coming to Delphi, inquired who he was and of what country? The Pythia answered:

'The Isle of Ios is your mother's country and it shall receive you dead; but beware of the riddle of the young children.' [3701]

Hearing this, it is said, he hesitated to go to Ios, and remained in the region where he was. Now about the same time Ganyctor was celebrating the funeral rites of his father Amphidamas, king of Euboea, and invited to the gathering not only all those who were famous for bodily strength and fleetness of foot, but also those who excelled in wit, promising them great rewards. And so, as the story goes, the two went to Chalcis and met by chance. The leading Chalcidians were judges together with Paneides, the brother of the dead king; and it is said that after a wonderful contest between the two poets, Hesiod won in the following manner: he came forward into the midst and put Homer one question after another, which Homer answered. Hesiod, then, began:

'Homer, son of Meles, inspired with wisdom from heaven, come, tell me first what is best for mortal man?'

HOMER: 'For men on earth 'tis best never to be born at all; or being born, to pass through the gates of Hades with all speed.'

Hesiod then asked again:

'Come, tell me now this also, godlike Homer: what think you in your heart is most delightsome to men?'

Homer answered:

'When mirth reigns throughout the town, and feasters about the house, sitting in order, listen to a minstrel; when the tables beside them are laden with bread and meat, and a wine-bearer draws sweet drink from the mixing-bowl and fills the cups: this I think in my heart to be most delightsome.'

It is said that when Homer had recited these verses, they were so admired by the Greeks as to be called golden by them, and that even now at public sacrifices all the guests solemnly recite them before feasts and libations. Hesiod, however, was annoyed by Homer's felicity and hurried on to pose him with hard questions. He therefore began with the following lines:

'Come, Muse; sing not to me of things that are, or that shall be, or that were of old; but think of another song.'

Then Homer, wishing to escape from the impasse by an apt answer, replied:—

'Never shall horses with clattering hoofs break chariots, striving for victory about the tomb of Zeus.'

Here again Homer had fairly met Hesiod, and so the latter turned to sentences of doubtful meaning [3702]: he recited many lines and required Homer to complete the sense of each appropriately. The first of the following verses is Hesiod's and the next Homer's: but sometimes Hesiod puts his question in two lines.

HESIOD: 'Then they dined on the flesh of oxen and their horses' necks—'

HOMER: 'They unyoked dripping with sweat, when they had had enough of war.'

HESIOD: 'And the Phrygians, who of all men are handiest at ships—'

HOMER: 'To filch their dinner from pirates on the beach.'

HESIOD: 'To shoot forth arrows against the tribes of cursed giants with his hands—'

HOMER: 'Heracles unslung his curved bow from his shoulders.'

HESIOD: 'This man is the son of a brave father and a weakling—'

HOMER: 'Mother; for war is too stern for any woman.'

HESIOD: 'But for you, your father and lady mother lay in love—'

HOMER: 'When they begot you by the aid of golden Aphrodite.'

HESIOD: 'But when she had been made subject in love, Artemis, who delights in arrows—'

HOMER: 'Slew Callisto with a shot of her silver bow.'

HESIOD: 'So they feasted all day long, taking nothing—'

HOMER: 'From their own houses; for Agamemnon, king of men, supplied them.'

HESIOD: 'When they had feasted, they gathered among the glowing ashes the bones of the dead Zeus—'

HOMER: 'Born Sarpedon, that bold and godlike man.'

HESIOD: 'Now we have lingered thus about the plain of Simois, forth from the ships let us go our way, upon our shoulders—'

HOMER: 'Having our hilted swords and long-helved spears.'

HESIOD: 'Then the young heroes with their hands from the sea—'

HOMER: 'Gladly and swiftly hauled out their fleet ship.'

HESIOD: 'Then they came to Colchis and king Aeetes—'

HOMER: 'They avoided; for they knew he was inhospitable and lawless.'

HESIOD: 'Now when they had poured libations and deeply drunk, the surging sea—'

HOMER: 'They were minded to traverse on well-built ships.'

HESIOD: 'The Son of Atreus prayed greatly for them that they all might perish—'

HOMER: 'At no time in the sea: and he opened his mouth said:'

HESIOD: 'Eat, my guests, and drink, and may no one of you return home to his dear country—'

HOMER: 'Distressed; but may you all reach home again unscathed.'

When Homer had met him fairly on every point Hesiod said:

'Only tell me this thing that I ask: How many Achaeans went to Ilium with the sons of Atreus?'

Homer answered in a mathematical problem, thus:

'There were fifty hearths, and at each hearth were fifty spits, and on each spit were fifty carcases, and there were thrice three hundred Achaeans to each joint.'

This is found to be an incredible number; for as there were fifty hearths, the number of spits is two thousand five hundred; and of carcasses, one hundred and twenty thousand...

Homer, then, having the advantage on every point, Hesiod was jealous and began again:

'Homer, son of Meles, if indeed the Muses, daughters of great Zeus the most high, honour you as it is said, tell me a standard that is both best and worst for mortal-men; for I long to know it.' Homer replied: 'Hesiod, son of Dius, I am willing to tell you what you command, and very readily will I answer you. For each man to be a standard will I answer you. For each man to be a standard to himself is most excellent for the good, but for the bad it is the worst of all things. And now ask me whatever else your heart desires.'

HESIOD: 'How would men best dwell in cities, and with what observances?'

HOMER: 'By scorning to get unclean gain and if the good were honoured, but justice fell upon the unjust.'

HESIOD: 'What is the best thing of all for a man to ask of the gods in prayer?'

HOMER: 'That he may be always at peace with himself continually.'

HESIOD: 'Can you tell me in briefest space what is best of all?'

HOMER: 'A sound mind in a manly body, as I believe.'

HESIOD: 'Of what effect are righteousness and courage?'

HOMER: 'To advance the common good by private pains.'

HESIOD: 'What is the mark of wisdom among men?'

HOMER: 'To read aright the present, and to march with the occasion.'

HESIOD: 'In what kind of matter is it right to trust in men?'

HOMER: 'Where danger itself follows the action close.'

HESIOD: 'What do men mean by happiness?'

HOMER: 'Death after a life of least pain and greatest pleasure.'

After these verses had been spoken, all the Hellenes called for Homer to be crowned. But King Paneides bade each of them recite the finest passage from his own poems. Hesiod, therefore, began as follows:

'When the Pleiads, the daughters of Atlas, begin to rise begin the harvest, and begin ploughing ere they set. For forty nights and days they are hidden, but appear again as the year wears round, when first the sickle is sharpened. This is the law of the plains and for those who dwell near the sea or live in the rich-soiled valleys, far from the wave-tossed deep: strip to sow, and strip to plough, and strip to reap when all things are in season.' [3703]

Then Homer:

'The ranks stood firm about the two Aiantes, such that not even Ares would have scorned them had he met them, nor yet Athena who saves armies. For there the chosen best awaited the charge of the Trojans and noble Hector, making a fence of spears and serried shields. Shield closed with shield, and helm with helm, and each man with his fellow, and the peaks of their head-pieces with crests of horse-hair touched as they bent their heads: so close they stood together. The murderous battle bristled with the long, flesh-rending spears they held, and the flash of bronze from polished helms and new-burnished breast-plates and gleaming shields blinded the eyes. Very hard of heart would he have been, who could then have seen that strife with joy and felt no pang.' [3704]

Here, again, the Hellenes applauded Homer admiringly, so far did the verses exceed the ordinary level; and demanded that he should be adjudged the winner. But the king gave the crown to Hesiod, declaring that it was right that he who called upon men to follow peace and husbandry should have the prize rather than one who dwelt on war and slaughter. In this way, then, we are told, Hesiod gained the victory and received a brazen tripod which he dedicated to the Muses with this inscription:

'Hesiod dedicated this tripod to the Muses of Helicon after he had conquered divine Homer at Chalcis in a contest of song.'

After the gathering was dispersed, Hesiod crossed to the mainland and went to Delphi to consult the oracle and to dedicate the first fruits of his victory to the god. They say that as he was approaching the temple, the prophetess became inspired and said:

'Blessed is this man who serves my house,—Hesiod, who is honoured by the deathless Muses: surely his renown shall be as wide as the light of dawn is spread. But beware of the pleasant grove of Nemean Zeus; for there death's end is destined to befall you.'

When Hesiod heard this oracle, he kept away from the Peloponnesus, supposing that the god meant the Nemea there; and coming to Oenoe in Locris, he stayed with Amphiphanes and Ganyetor the sons of Phegeus, thus unconsciously fulfilling the oracle; for all that region was called the sacred place of Nemean Zeus. He continued to stay a somewhat long time at Oenoe, until the young men, suspecting Hesiod of seducing their sister, killed him and cast his body into the sea which separates Achaea and Locris. On the third day, however, his body was brought to land by dolphins while some local feast of Ariadne was being held. Thereupon, all the people hurried to the shore, and recognized the body, lamented over it and buried it, and then began to look for the assassins. But these, fearing the anger of their countrymen, launched a fishing boat, and put out to sea for Crete: they had finished half their voyage when Zeus sank them with a thunderbolt, as Alcidamas states in his "Museum". Eratosthenes, however, says in his "Hesiod" that Ctimenus and Antiphus, sons of Ganyetor, killed him for the reason already stated, and were sacrificed by Eurycles the seer to the gods of hospitality. He adds that the girl, sister of the above-named, hanged herself after she had been seduced, and that she was seduced by some stranger, Demodes by name, who was travelling with Hesiod, and who was also killed by the brothers. At a later time the men of Orchomenus removed his body as they were directed by an oracle, and buried him in their own country where they placed this inscription on his tomb:

'Ascra with its many cornfields was his native land; but in death the land of the horse-driving Minyans holds the bones of Hesiod, whose renown is greatest among men of all who are judged by the test of wit.'

So much for Hesiod. But Homer, after losing the victory, went from place to place reciting his poems, and first of all the "Thebais" in seven thousand verses which begins: 'Goddess, sing of parched Argos whence kings...', and then the "Epigoni" in seven thousand verses beginning: 'And now, Muses, let us begin to sing of men of later days'; for some say that these poems also are by Homer. Now Xanthus and Gorgus, son of Midas the king, heard his epics and invited him to compose a epitaph for the tomb of their father on which was a bronze figure of a maiden bewailing the death of Midas. He wrote the following lines:—

'I am a maiden of bronze and sit upon the tomb of Midas. While water flows, and tall trees put forth leaves, and rivers swell, and the sea breaks on the shore; while the sun rises and shines and the bright moon also, ever remaining on this mournful tomb I tell the passer-by that Midas here lies buried.'

For these verses they gave him a silver bowl which he dedicated to Apollo at Delphi with this inscription: 'Lord Phoebus, I, Homer, have given you a noble gift for the wisdom I have of you: do you ever grant me renown.'

After this he composed the "Odyssey" in twelve thousand verses, having previously written the "Iliad" in fifteen thousand five hundred verses [3705]. From Delphi, as we are told, he went to Athens and was entertained by Medon, king of the Athenians. And being one day in the council hall when it was cold and a fire was burning there, he drew off the following lines:

'Children are a man's crown, and towers of a city, horses are the ornament of a plain, and ships of the sea; and good it is to see a people seated in assembly. But with a blazing fire a house looks worthier upon a wintry day when the Son of Cronos sends down snow.'

From Athens he went on to Corinth, where he sang snatches of his poems and was received with distinction. Next he went to Argos and there recited these verses from the "Iliad":

'The sons of the Achaeans who held Argos and walled Tiryns, and Hermione and Asine which lie along a deep bay, and Troezen, and Eiones, and vine-clad Epidaurus, and the island of Aegina, and Mases,—these followed strong-voiced Diomedes, son of Tydeus, who had the spirit of his father the son of Oeneus, and Sthenelus, dear son of famous Capaneus. And with these two there went a third leader, Eurypylus, a godlike man, son of the lord Mecisteus, sprung of Talaus; but strong-voiced Diomedes was their chief leader. These men had eighty dark ships wherein were ranged men skilled in war, Argives with linen jerkins, very goads of war.' [3706]

This praise of their race by the most famous of all poets so exceedingly delighted the leading Argives, that they rewarded him with costly gifts and set up a brazen statue to him, decreeing that sacrifice should be offered to Homer daily, monthly, and yearly; and that another sacrifice should be sent to Chios every five years. This is the inscription they cut upon his statue:

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