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Sailing by night they encountered a violent storm, and Apollo, taking his stand on the Melantian ridges, flashed lightning down, shooting a shaft into the sea. Then they perceived an island close at hand, and anchoring there they named it Anaphe, because it had loomed up (anaphanenai) unexpectedly. So they founded an altar of Radiant Apollo, and having offered sacrifice they betook them to feasting; and twelve handmaids, whom Arete had given to Medea, jested merrily with the chiefs; whence it is still customary for the women to jest at the sacrifice1.

Putting to sea from there, they were hindered from touching at Crete by Talos.2 Some say that he was a man of the Brazen Race, others that he was given to Minos by Hephaestus; he was a brazen man, but some say that he was a bull. He had a single vein extending from his neck to his ankles, and a bronze nail was rammed home at the end of the vein. This Talos kept guard, running round the island thrice every day; wherefore, when he saw the Argo standing inshore, he pelted it as usual with stones. His death was brought about by the wiles of Medea, whether, as some say, she drove him mad by drugs, or, as others say, she promised to make him immortal and then drew out the nail, so that all the ichor gushed out and he died. But some say that Poeas shot him dead in the ankle.

After tarrying a single night there they put in to Aegina to draw water, and a contest arose among them concerning the drawing of the water.3 Thence they sailed betwixt Euboea and Locris and came to Iolcus, having completed the whole voyage in four months.

1 Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1701-1730; Orphica, Argonautica 1361-1367. From the description of Apollonius we gather that the raillery between men and women at these sacrifices was of a ribald character (αἰσχροῖς ἔπεσσιν.) Here Apollodorus again departs from Apollonius, who places the intervention of Apollo and the appearance of the island of Anaphe after the approach of the Argonauts to Crete, and their repulse by Talos. Moreover, Apollonius tells how, after leaving Phaeacia, the Argonauts were driven by a storm to Libya and the Syrtes, where they suffered much hardship (Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1228-1628). This Libyan episode in the voyage of the Argo is noticed by Diod. 4.56.6, but entirely omitted by Apollodorus.

2 As to Talos, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1639- 1693; Orphica, Argonautica 1358-1360; Agatharchides, in Photius, Bibliotheca, p. 443b, lines 22-25, ed. Bekker; Lucian, De saltatione 49; Zenobius, Cent. v.85; Suidas, s.v. Σαρδάνιος γέλως; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xx.302, p. 1893; Scholiast on Plat. Rep. i, 337a. Talos would seem to have been a bronze image of the sun represented as a man with a bull's head. See The Dying God, pp. 74ff.; A. B. Cook, Zeus, i.718ff. In his account of the death of Talos our author again differs from Apollonius Rhodius, according to whom Talos perished through grazing his ankle against a jagged rock, so that all the ichor in his body gushed out. This incident seems to have been narrated by Sophocles in one of his plays (Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1638; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, i.110ff.). The account, mentioned by Apollodorus, which referred the death of Talos to the spells of Medea, is illustrated by a magnificent vase-painting, in the finest style, which represents Talos swooning to death in presence of the Argonauts, while the enchantress Medea stands by, gazing grimly at her victim and holding in one hand a basket from which she seems to be drawing with the other the fatal herbs. See A. B. Cook, Zeus, i.721, with plate XL1.

3 Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1765-1772, from whose account we gather that this story was told to explain the origin of a footrace in Aegina, in which young men ran with jars full of water on their shoulders.

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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 58b
    • George W. Mooney, Commentary on Apollonius: Argonautica, 4.1781
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