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1. Having now gone through the family of Deucalion, we have next to speak of that of Inachus.

Ocean and Tethys had a son Inachus, after whom a river in Argos is called Inachus.1 He and Melia, daughter of Ocean, had sons, Phoroneus, and Aegialeus. Aegialeus having died childless, the whole country was called Aegialia; and Phoroneus, reigning over the whole land afterwards named Peloponnese, begat Apis and Niobe by a nymph Teledice. Apis converted his power into a tyranny and named the Peloponnese after himself Apia; but being a stern tyrant he was conspired against and slain by Thelxion and Telchis. He left no child, and being deemed a god was called Sarapis.2 But Niobe had by Zeus ( and she was the first mortal woman with whom Zeus cohabited) a son Argus, and also, so says Acusilaus, a son Pelasgus, after whom the inhabitants of the Peloponnese were called Pelasgians. However, Hesiod says that Pelasgus was a son of the soil. [2]

About him I shall speak again.3 But Argus received the kingdom and called the Peloponnese after himself Argos; and having married Evadne, daughter of Strymon and Neaera, he begat Ecbasus, Piras, Epidaurus, and Criasus,4 who also succeeded to the kingdom.

Ecbasus had a son Agenor, and Agenor had a son Argus, the one who is called the All-seeing. He had eyes in the whole of his body,5 and being exceedingly strong he killed the bull that ravaged Arcadia and clad himself in its hide;6 and when a satyr wronged the Arcadians and robbed them of their cattle, Argus withstood and killed him. It is said, too, that Echidna,7 daughter of Tartarus and Earth, who used to carry off passers-by, was caught asleep and slain by Argus. He also avenged the murder of Apis by putting the guilty to death. [3]

Argus and Ismene, daughter of Asopus, had a son Iasus, who is said to have been the father of Io.8 But the annalist Castor and many of the tragedians allege that Io was a daughter of Inachus;9 and Hesiod and Acusilaus say that she was a daughter of Piren. Zeus seduced her while she held the priesthood of Hera, but being detected by Hera he by a touch turned Io into a white cow10 and swore that he had not known her; wherefore Hesiod remarks that lover's oaths do not draw down the anger of the gods. But Hera requested the cow from Zeus for herself and set Argus the All-seeing to guard it. Pherecydes says that this Argus was a son of Arestor;11 but Asclepiades says that he was a son of Inachus, and Cercops says that he was a son of Argus and Ismene, daughter of Asopus; but Acusilaus says that he was earth-born.12 He tethered her to the olive tree which was in the grove of the Mycenaeans. But Zeus ordered Hermes to steal the cow, and as Hermes could not do it secretly because Hierax had blabbed, he killed Argus by the cast of a stone;13 whence he was called Argiphontes.14 Hera next sent a gadfly to infest the cow,15 and the animal came first to what is called after her the Ionian gulf. Then she journeyed through Illyria and having traversed Mount Haemus she crossed what was then called the Thracian Straits but is now called after her the Bosphorus.16 And having gone away to Scythia and the Cimmerian land she wandered over great tracts of land and swam wide stretches of sea both in Europe and Asia until at last she came to Egypt, where she recovered her original form and gave birth to a son Epaphus beside the river Nile.17 Him Hera besought the Curetes to make away with, and make away with him they did. When Zeus learned of it, he slew the Curetes; but Io set out in search of the child. She roamed all over Syria, because there it was revealed to her that the wife of the king of Byblus was nursing her son;18 and having found Epaphus she came to Egypt and was married to Telegonus, who then reigned over the Egyptians. And she set up an image of Demeter, whom the Egyptians called Isis,19 and Io likewise they called by the name of Isis.20 [4]

Reigning over the Egyptians Epaphus married Memphis, daughter of Nile, founded and named the city of Memphis after her, and begat a daughter Libya, after whom the region of Libya was called.21 Libya had by Poseidon twin sons, Agenor and Belus.22 Agenor departed to Phoenicia and reigned there, and there he became the ancestor of the great stock; hence we shall defer our account of him.23 But Belus remained in Egypt, reigned over the country, and married Anchinoe, daughter of Nile, by whom he had twin sons, Egyptus and Danaus,24 but according to Euripides, he had also Cepheus and Phineus. Danaus was settled by Belus in Libya, and Egyptus in Arabia; but Egyptus subjugated the country of the Melampods and named it Egypt < after himself>. Both had children by many wives; Egyptus had fifty sons, and Danaus fifty daughters. As they afterwards quarrelled concerning the kingdom, Danaus feared the sons of Egyptus, and by the advice of Athena he built a ship, being the first to do so, and having put his daughters on board he fled. And touching at Rhodes he set up the image of Lindian Athena.25 Thence he came to Argos and the reigning king Gelanor surrendered the kingdom to him;26 < and having made himself master of the country he named the inhabitants Danai after himself>. But the country being waterless, because Poseidon had dried up even the springs out of anger at Inachus for testifying that the land belonged to Hera,27 Danaus sent his daughters to draw water. One of them, Amymone, in her search for water threw a dart at a deer and hit a sleeping satyr, and he, starting up, desired to force her; but Poseidon appearing on the scene, the satyr fled, and Amymone lay with Poseidon, and he revealed to her the springs at Lerna.28 [5]

But the sons of Egyptus came to Argos, and exhorted Danaus to lay aside his enmity, and begged to marry his daughters. Now Danaus distrusted their professions and bore them a grudge on account of his exile; nevertheless he consented to the marriage and allotted the damsels among them.29 First, they picked out Hypermnestra as the eldest to be the wife of Lynceus, and Gorgophone to be the wife of Proteus; for Lynceus and Proteus had been borne to Egyptus by a woman of royal blood, Argyphia; but of the rest Busiris, Enceladus, Lycus, and Daiphron obtained by lot the daughters that had been borne to Danaus by Europe, to wit, Automate, Amymone, Agave, and Scaea. These daughters were borne to Danaus by a queen; but Gorgophone and Hypermnestra were borne to him by Elephantis. And Istrus got Hippodamia; Chalcodon got Rhodia; Agenor got Cleopatra; Chaetus got Asteria; Diocorystes got Hippodamia; Alces got Glauce; Alcmenor got Hippomedusa; Hippothous got Gorge; Euchenor got Iphimedusa; Hippolytus got Rhode. These ten sons were begotten on an Arabian woman; but the maidens were begotten on Hamadryad nymphs, some being daughters of Atlantia, and others of Phoebe. Agaptolemus got Pirene; Cercetes got Dorium; Eurydamas got Phartis; Aegius got Mnestra; Argius got Evippe; Archelaus got Anaxibia; Menemachus got Nelo. These seven sons were begotten on a Phoenician woman, and the maidens on an Ethiopian woman. The sons of Egyptus by Tyria got as their wives, without drawing lots, the daughters of Danaus by Memphis in virtue of the similarity of their names; thus Clitus got Clite; Sthenelus got Sthenele; Chrysippus got Chrysippe. The twelve sons of Egyptus by the Naiad nymph Caliadne cast lots for the daughters of Danaus by the Naiad nymph Polyxo: the sons were Eurylochus, Phantes, Peristhenes, Hermus, Dryas, Potamon, Cisseus, Lixus, Imbrus, Bromius, Polyctor, Chthonius; and the damsels were Autonoe, Theano, Electra, Cleopatra, Eurydice, Glaucippe, Anthelia, Cleodore, Evippe, Erato, Stygne, Bryce. The sons of Egyptus by Gorgo, cast lots for the daughters of Danaus by Pieria, and Periphas got Actaea, Oeneus got Podarce, Egyptus got Dioxippe, Menalces got Adite, Lampus got Ocypete, Idmon got Pylarge. The youngest sons of Egyptus were these: Idas got Hippodice; Daiphron got Adiante ( the mother who bore these damsels was Herse); Pandion got Callidice; Arbelus got Oeme; Hyperbius got Celaeno; Hippocorystes got Hyperippe; the mother of these men was Hephaestine, and the mother of these damsels was Crino.

When they had got their brides by lot, Danaus made a feast and gave his daughters daggers; and they slew their bridegrooms as they slept, all but Hypermnestra; for she saved Lynceus because he had respected her virginity:30 wherefore Danaus shut her up and kept her under ward. But the rest of the daugters of Danaus buried the heads of their bridegrooms in Lerna31 and paid funeral honors to their bodies in front of the city; and Athena and Hermes purified them at the command of Zeus. Danaus afterwards united Hypermnestra to Lynceus; and bestowed his other daughters on the victors in an athletic contest.32

Amymone had a son Nauplius by Poseidon.33 This Nauplius lived to a great age, and sailing the sea he used by beacon lights to lure to death such as he fell in with.34 It came to pass, therefore, that he himself died by that very death. But before his death he married a wife; according to the tragic poets, she was Clymene, daughter of Catreus; but according to the author of The Returns,35 she was Philyra; and according to Cercops she was Hesione. By her he had Palamedes, Oeax, and Nausimedon.

1 As to Inachus and his descendants, see Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 177 (who follows Apollodorus); Paus. 2.15.5; Scholiast on Eur. Or. 932; Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.22. According to Apion, the flight of the Israelites from Egypt took place during the reign of Inachus at Argos. See Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelii, x.10.10ff. On the subject of Phoroneus there was an ancient epic Phoronis, of which a few verses have survived. See Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 209ff.

2 Apollodorus identifies the Argive Apis with the Egyptian bull Apis, who was in turn identified with Serapis (Sarapis). As to the Egyptian Apis, see Hdt. 2.153 (with Wiedemann's note), iii.27, 28. As to Apia as a name for Peloponnese or Argos, see Aesch. Supp. 260ff.; Paus. 2.5.7; Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.22; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 177; Stephanus Byzantius, s.v. Ἀπία.

3 See below, Apollod. 3.8.1.

4 Compare Scholiast on Eur. Or. 932; Hyginus, Fab. 145.

5 As to Argus and his many eyes, compare Aesch. Supp. 303ff.; Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 1116; Ov. Met. 1.625ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 145; Serv. Verg. A. 7.790; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 5ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 18).

6 Compare Dionysius, quoted by the Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 1116, who says merely that Argus was clad in a hide and had eyes all over his body.

7 As to the monster Echidna, half woman, half snake, see Hes. Th. 295ff.

8 Compare Paus. 2.16.1; Scholiast on Eur. Or. 932.

9 Compare Aesch. PB 589ff.; Hdt. 1.1; Plut. De Herodoti malignitate 11; Lucian, Dial. Deorum iii.; Lucian, Dial. Marin. vii.1; Paus. 3.18.13; Ov. Met. 1.583ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 145.

10 Compare Aesch. Supp. 291ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Il. 2.103 (who cites the present passage of Apollodorus); Ov. Met. 1.588ff.

11 The passage of Pherecydes is quoted by the Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 1116.

12 So Aesch. PB 305.

13 Compare Scholiast on Aesch. Prom. 561; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ii.103.

14 That is, slayer of Argus.

15 For the wanderings of Io, goaded by the gadfly, see Aesch. Supp. 540ff., Aesch. PB 786(805)ff.; Ov. Met. 1.724ff.

16 Bosphoros, ”Cow's strait” or ” Oxford.”

17 Compare Aesch. PB 846(865)ff.; Hdt. 2.153 Hdt. 3.27; Ov. Met. 1.748ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 145.

18 Isis, whom the ancients sometimes identified with Io (see below), is said to have nursed the infant son of the king of Byblus. See Plut. Isis et Osiris 15ff. Both stories probably reflect the search said to have been instituted by Isis for the body of the dead Osiris.

19 For the identification of Demeter with Isis, see Hdt. 2.59, Hdt. 2.156; Diod. 1.13.5, Diod. 1.25.1, Diod. 1.96.5.

20 Herodotus remarked (Hdt. 2.41) that in art Isis was represented like Io as a woman with cow's horns. For the identification of Io and Isis, see Diod. 1.24.8; Lucian, Dial. Deorum iii.; Clement of Alexandria, Strom. i.21.106, p. 382, ed. Potter; Prop. iii.20.17ff.; Juvenal vi.526ff.; Statius, Sylv. iii.2.101ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 145.

21 Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 894.

22 Compare Tzetzes, Chiliades vii.349ff.

23 See below, Apollod. 3.1.

24 The following account of Egyptus and Danaus, including the settlement of Danaus and his daughters at Argos, is quoted verbally, with a few omissions and changes, by the Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.42, who mentions the second book of Apollodorus as his authority. Compare Aesch. Supp. 318ff.; Scholiast on Eur. Hec. 886, and Scholiast on Eur. Or. 872; Hyginus, Fab. 168; Serv. Verg. A. 10.497.

25 Compare Hdt. 2.182; Marmor Parium 15-17, pp. 544, 546, ed. C. Müller (Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, vol. i); Diod. 5.58.1; Strab. 14.2.11; Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelii iii.8. As to the worship of the goddess, see Cecil Torr, Rhodes in Ancient Times (Cambridge, 1885), pp. 74ff., 94 sq. In recent years a chronicle of the temple of Lindian Athena has been discovered in Rhodes: it is inscribed on a marble slab. See Chr. Blinkenberg, La Chronique du temple Lindien (Copenhagen, 1912).

26 Compare Paus. 2.16.1, Paus. 2.19.3.

27 Compare Paus. 2.15.5.

28 Compare Eur. Ph. 187ff.; Lucian, Dial. Marin. vi.; Philostratus, Imagines, i.8; Scholiast on Hom. Il. iv.171; Prop. iii.18.47ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 169. There was a stream called Amymone at Lerna. See Strab. 8.6.8; Paus. 2.37.1, Paus. 2.37.4; Hyginus, Fab. 169.

29 For the marriage of the sons of Egyptus with the daughters of Danaus, and its tragic sequel, see Zenobius, Cent. ii.6; Scholiast on Eur. Hec. 886 and Or. 872; Scholiast on Hom. Il. iv.171; Hyginus, Fab. 168; Serv. Verg. A. 10.497. With the list of names of the bridal pairs as recorded by Apollodorus, compare the list given by Hyginus, Fab. 170.

30 Compare Pind. N. 7.1.6(10), with the Scholiast; Paus. 2.19.6, Paus. 2.20.7, Paus. 2.21.1; Hor. Carm. 3.11.30ff.; Ovid, Her. xiv.

31 Compare Zenobius, Cent. iv.86. According to Paus. 2.24.2) the heads of the sons of Egyptus were buried on the Larisa, the acropolis of Argos, and the headless trunks were buried at Lerna.

32 Compare Pind. P. 9.112(195), with the Scholiasts; Paus. 3.12.2. The legend may reflect an old custom of racing for a bride. See The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, ii.299ff. It is said that Danaus instituted games which were celebrated every fifth (or, as we should say, every fourth) year, and at which the prize of the victor in the footrace was a shield. See Hyginus, Fab. 170.

33 Compare Strab. 8.6.2; Paus. 2.38.2, Paus. 4.35.2.>

34 See below, Apollod. E. E.6.7-11.

35 Nostoi, an epic poem describing the return of the Homeric heroes from Troy. See Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 52ff.; D. B. Monro, in his edition of Homer, Odyssey, Bks. xiii.- xxiv. pp. 378-382.

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    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 305
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 589
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 786
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 846
    • Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens, 260
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    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Epitome, e.6.7
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.1
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    • Euripides, Orestes, 932
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    • Hesiod, Theogony, 295
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.18.13
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.15.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.16.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.19.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.19.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.20.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.21.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.24.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.37.1
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    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.35.2
    • Pindar, Pythian, 9
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    • Strabo, Geography, 8.6.8
    • Strabo, Geography, 14.2.11
    • Strabo, Geography, 8.6.2
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.583
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.724
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.748
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 10.497
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 7.790
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