But Eurylochus saw these things and reported them to Ulysses. And Ulysses went to Circe with moly,1 which he had received from Hermes, and throwing the moly among her enchantments, he drank and alone was not enchanted. Then drawing his sword, he would have killed her, but she appeased his wrath and restored his comrades. And when he had taken an oath of her that he should suffer no harm, Ulysses shared her bed, and a son, Telegonus, was born to him.2
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 As to moly, see Hom. Od. 10.302-306. Homer says that it was a plant dug up from the earth, with a black root and a white flower. According to Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. ix.15.7, moly resembled Allium nigrum, which was found in the valley of Pheneus and on Mount Cyllene in northern Arcadia; he says it had a round root, like an onion, and a leaf like a squill, and that it was used as an antidote to spells and enchantments. But probably the moly of Homer grew on no earthly hill or valley, but only in “fairyland forlorn.”
2 Telegonus is unknown to Homer, who mentions no offspring of Ulysses by the enchantress Circe. He is named as a son of Ulysses and Circe by Hesiod in a line which is suspected, however, of being spurious （Hes. Th. 1014）. He was recognized by Hagias in his epic, The Returns, and by another Cyclic poet Eugammon of Cyrene; indeed Eugammon composed an epic called the Telegony on the adventures of Telegonus, but according to him Telegonus was a son of Ulysses by Calypso, not by Circe. See Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 56, 57ff.; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xvi.118, p. 1796. According to Hyginus, Fab. 125, Ulysses had two sons, Nausithous and Telegonus, by Circe. As to Telegonus, see also below, Apollod. E.7.36ff.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.