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[3]

Taygete had by Zeus a son Lacedaemon, after whom the country of Lacedaemon is called.1 Lacedaemon and Sparta, daughter of Eurotas ( who was a son of Lelex,2 a son of the soil, by a Naiad nymph Cleocharia), had a son Amyclas and a daughter Eurydice, whom Acrisius married. Amyclas and Diomede, daughter of Lapithus, had sons, Cynortes and Hyacinth.3 They say that this Hyacinth was beloved of Apollo and killed by him involuntarily with the cast of a quoit.4 Cynortes had a son Perieres, who married Gorgophone, daughter of Perseus, as Stesichorus says, and she bore Tyndareus, Icarius, Aphareus, and Leucippus.5 Aphareus and Arene, daughter of Oebalus, had sons Lynceus and Idas and Pisus; but according to many, Idas is said to have been gotten by Poseidon. Lynceus excelled in sharpness of sight, so that he could even see things underground.6 Leucippus had daughters, Hilaira and Phoebe: these the Dioscuri carried off and married.7 Besides them Leucippus begat Arsinoe: with her Apollo had intercourse, and she bore Aesculapius. But some affirm that Aesculapius was not a son of Arsinoe, daughter of Leucippus, but that he was a son of Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas in Thessaly.8 And they say that Apollo loved her and at once consorted with her, but that she, against her father's judgment, preferred and cohabited with Ischys, brother of Caeneus. Apollo cursed the raven that brought the tidings and made him black instead of white, as he had been before; but he killed Coronis. As she was burning, he snatched the babe from the pyre and brought it to Chiron, the centaur,9 by whom he was brought up and taught the arts of healing and hunting. And having become a surgeon, and carried the art to a great pitch, he not only prevented some from dying, but even raised up the dead; for he had received from Athena the blood that flowed from the veins of the Gorgon, and while he used the blood that flowed from the veins on the left side for the bane of mankind, he used the blood that flowed from the right side for salvation, and by that means he raised the dead.10 I found some who are reported to have been raised by him,11 to wit, Capaneus and Lycurgus,12 as Stesichorus says in the Eriphyle; Hippolytus,13 as the author of the Naupactica reports; Tyndareus, as Panyasis says;14 Hymenaeus, as the Orphics report; and Glaucus, son of Minos,15 as Melesagoras relates.


1 Compare Paus. 3.1.2; Scholiast on Eur. Or. 626.

2 According to Paus. 3.1.1, Eurotas was a son of Myles, who was a son of Lelex.

3 Compare Paus. 3.1.3.

4 See above, Apollod. 1.3.3; Nicander, Ther. 901ff., with the Scholiast on Lycophron 902; Paus. 3.1.3; Paus. 3.19.5; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.241ff.; Ov. Met. 10.161-219; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxi.66; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 37, 135ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 117; Second Vatican Mythographer 181). The tomb of Hyacinth was shown at Amyclae under the great image of Apollo; a bronze door opened into the tomb, and sacrifices were there offered to him as a hero. See Paus. 3.19.3. Compare Adonis, Attis, Osiris, 3rd ed., i.313ff.

5 See above, Apollod. 1.9.5, where Apollodorus represents Perieres as the son of Aeolus (compare Apollod. 1.7.3), though he adds that many people regarded him as the son of Cynortas. See below Apollod. 3.10.4 note.

6 Compare Pind. N. 10.62(116); Paus. 4.2.7 (who seems to have misunderstood the foregoing passage of Pindar); Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 553; Hyginus, Fab. 14, p. 42, ed. Bunte.

7 See below, Apollod. 3.11.2.

8 The ancients were divided with regard to the mother of Aesculapius, some maintaining that she was a Messenian woman Arsinoe, daughter of Leucippus, others that she was a Thessalian woman Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas. See the Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.8(14), who quotes authorities on both sides: amongst the champions of Arsinoe were Asclepiades and an Argive writer named Socrates. The claims of the Messenian Arsinoe were naturally supported by patriotic Messenians, who looked on the god and his sons as in a sense their fellow countrymen. See Paus. 2.26.3-7; Paus. 4.3.2; Paus. 4.31.12. Apollodorus apparently accepted the Messenian view. But on the other side a long array of authorities declared in favour of Coronis, and her claim to be the mother of the god had the powerful support of the priesthood of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, one of the principal seats of the worship of the healing god. See the HH Ascl.; Pind. P. 3.8(14)ff.; Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.616ff.; Diod. 4.71.1, Diod. 5.74.6; Paus. 2.26.3-7; Hyginus, Fab. 202; Hyginus, Ast. ii.40; Serv. Verg. A. 6.617; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.506; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 17, 37 (First Vatican Mythographer 46, 115). Pausanias, who expressly rejects the claim of Arsinoe, quotes in favour of Coronis a Delphic oracle, which he regards as decisive: for who should know the true mother of Aesculapius better than his own father Apollo? The testimony of the deity for once was quite unambiguous. It ran thus:— “O born to be the world's great joy, Aesculapius, Offspring of love, whom Phlegyas' daughter, fair Coronis, bore to me in rugged Epidaurus.” See Paus. 2.26.7. In modern times the stones of Epidaurus, if we may say so, have risen up to testify to the truth of this oracle. For in the course of the modern excavations at the great Epidaurian sanctuary of Aesculapius there was discovered a limestone tablet inscribed with a hymn in honour of Apollo and Aesculapius, in which the family tree of the junior god is set out with the utmost precision, and it entirely confirms the Delphic oracle. The author of the hymn was a certain native of Epidaurus, by name Isyllus, a man of such scrupulous accuracy that before publishing his hymn he took the precaution of submitting it to the fount of knowledge at Delphi with an inquiry whether the god would sanction its publication. The deity granted his permission in very cordial terms; hence we may look on the hymn as an authentic document bearing the imprimatur of the Delphic Apollo himself. In it the pedigree of Aesculapius is traced as follows: Father Zeus bestowed the hand of the Muse Erato on Malus in holy matrimony (ὁσίοισι γάμοις.) The pair had a daughter Cleophema, who married Phlegyas, a native of Epidaurus; and Phlegyas had by her a daughter Aegla, otherwise known as Coronis, whom Phoebus of the golden bow beheld in the house of her grandfather Malus, and falling in love he got by her a child, Aesculapius. See Ἐφημερὶς ἀρχαιολογική, iii. (1885) coll. 65ff.; H. Collitz and F. Bechtel, Sammlung der griechischen Dialekt-Inschriften, iii.1, pp. 162ff., No. 3342.

9 The story how Coronis played her divine lover false and was killed by him, and how the god rescued his child from the burning pyre and carried him to Chiron, is told by Pind. P. 3.8(14)ff. Compare the Scholiast on this passage of Pindar, especially 27(48); Paus. 2.26.6 (according to whom it was Hermes, not Apollo, who snatched the child from the burning pyre); Hyginus, Fab. 202; Hyginus, Ast. ii.40; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.506; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 17, 37, and 118 (First Vatican Mythographer 46, 115; Second Vatican Mythographer 128). All these writers, except Pindar and Pausanias, relate the story of the tell-tale raven and his punishment. The story is also told by Ov. Met. 2.534ff. and Ant. Lib. 20, but neither of them mentions Aesculapius. It was narrated by Pherecydes, who may have been the source from which the other writers drew their information. See Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.34(59). The name of the human lover of Coronis is given as Ischys, son of Elatus, by Pindar and Pausanias in agreement with Apollodorus. But Antoninus Liberalis calls him Alcyoneus; Lactantius Placidus and the Second Vatican Mythographer call him Lycus; and the First Vatican Mythographer describes him (Hyginus, Fab. 115) simply as the son of Elatus. As to the connexion of Coronis with the raven or the crow in Greek legendary lore, see Frazer, note on Paus. ii.17.11 (vol. iii. pp. 72ff.). Compare D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Glossary of Greek Birds, p. 93.

10 Compare Zenobius, Cent. i.18, who probably copied Apollodorus. According to Eur. Ion 999ff., Pallas gave Erichthonius two drops of the Gorgon's blood, one of them a deadly poison, the other a powerful medicine for the healing of diseases.

11 For other lists of dead men whom Aesculapius is said to have restored to life, see Sextus Empiricus, p. 658, ed. Bekker; Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.54(96); Scholiast on Eur. Alc. 1. These two Scholiasts mention that according to Pherecydes the people who died at Delphi were raised from the dead by Aesculapius. To the list of dead men whom Aesculapius restored to life, Propertius adds Androgeus, son of Minos (Prop. ii.1.61ff.).

12 The resurrection of these two men by the power of Aesculapius is mentioned also, on the authority of Stesichorus, by the Scholiast on Eur. Alc. 1, and the Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.54(96). Otherwise the event is apparently not noticed by ancient writers, and of the many legendary persons who bore the name of Lycurgus we do not know which is referred to. Heyne conjectured that the incident took place in the war of the Epigoni against Thebes, when Capaneus, one of the original Seven against Thebes, and Lycurgus, son of Pronax (as to whom see Apollod. 1.9.13) may have been restored to life by Aesculapius. This conjecture is confirmed by a passage of Sextus Empiricus (p. 658 ed. Bekker), where we read: “Stesichorus in his Eriphyle says that he (Aesculapius) raised up some of those who fell at Thebes.”

13 As to the restoration of Hippolytus to life by Aesculapius see Pind. P. 3.54(96)ff., with the Scholiast; Sextus Empiricus, p. 658, ed. Bekker (who quotes as his authority Staphylus in his book on the Arcadians); Scholiast on Eur. Alc. 1 (who quotes Apollodorus as his authority); Eratosthenes, Cat. 6; Hyginus, Fab. 49; Hyginus, Ast. ii.14; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.434, vi.353(375). After his resurrection Hippolytus is said to have gone to dwell at Aricia, on the Alban Hills, near Rome, where he reigned as a king and dedicated a precinct to Diana. See Paus. 2.27.4; Verg. A. 7.761ff., with the commentary of Servius; Ovid, Fasti iii.263ff., v.735ff.; Ov. Met. 15.297ff.; Scholiast on Persius, Sat. vi.56, pp. 347ff., ed. O. Jahn; Lactantius, Divin. Inst. i.17; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 118 (Second Vatican Mythographer 128). The silence of Apollodorus as to this well-known Italian legend, which was told to account for the famous priesthood of Diana at Aricia, like his complete silence as to Rome, which he never mentions, tends to show that Apollodorus either deliberately ignored the Roman empire or wrote at a time when there was but little intercourse between Greece and that part of Italy which was under Roman rule.

14 For the raising of Tyndareus from the dead by Aesculapius see also Sextus Empiricus, p. 658, ed. Bekker; Scholiast on Eur. Alc. 1 (both these writers cite Panyasis as their authority); Lucian, De saltatione 45; Zenobius, Cent. i.47; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxix.3.

15 See above, Apollod. 3.3.1.

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