8. When Hercules had been translated to the gods, his sons fled from Eurystheus and came to Ceyx.1 But when Eurystheus demanded their surrender and threatened war, they were afraid, and, quitting Trachis, fled through Greece. Being pursued, they came to Athens, and sitting down on the altar of Mercy, claimed protection.2 Refusing to surrender them, the Athenians bore the brunt of war with Eurystheus, and slew his sons, Alexander, Iphimedon, Eurybius, Mentor and Perimedes. Eurystheus himself fled in a chariot, but was pursued and slain by Hyllus just as he was driving past the Scironian cliffs; and Hyllus cut off his head and gave it to Alcmena; and she gouged out his eyes with weaving-pins.3  After Eurystheus had perished, the Heraclids came to attack Peloponnese and they captured all the cities.4 When a year had elapsed from their return, a plague visited the whole of Peloponnese; and an oracle declared that this happened on account of the Heraclids, because they had returned before the proper time. Hence they quitted Peloponnese and retired to Marathon and dwelt there.5 Now before they came out of Peloponnese, Tlepolemus had killed Licymnius inadvertently; for while he was beating a servant with his stick Licymnius ran in between; so he fled with not a few, and came to Rhodes, and dwelt there.6 But Hyllus married Iole according to his father's commands, and sought to effect the return of the Heraclids. So he went to Delphi and inquired how they should return; and the god said that they should await the third crop before returning. But Hyllus supposed that the third crop signified three years; and having waited that time he returned with his army7 ... of Hercules to Peloponnese, when Tisamenus, son of Orestes, was reigning over the Peloponnesians.8 And in another battle the Peloponnesians were victorious, and Aristomachus9 was slain. But when the sons of Cleodaeus10 were grown to man's estate, they inquired of the oracle concerning their return. And the god having given the same answer as before, Temenus blamed him, saying that when they had obeyed the oracle they had been unfortunate. But the god retorted that they were themselves to blame for their misfortunes, for they did not understand the oracles, seeing that by “ the third crop” he meant, not a crop of the earth, but a crop of a generation, and that by the narrows he meant the broad-bellied sea on the right of the Isthmus.11 On hearing that, Temenus made ready the army and built ships in Locris where the place is now named Naupactus from that.12 While the army was there, Aristodemus was killed by a thunderbolt,13 leaving twin sons, Eurysthenes and Procles, by Argia, daughter of Autesion.14  And it chanced that a calamity also befell the army at Naupactus. For there appeared to them a soothsayer reciting oracles in a fine frenzy, whom they took for a magician sent by the Peloponnesians to be the ruin of the army. So Hippotes, son of Phylas, son of Antiochus, son of Hercules, threw a javelin at him, and hit and killed him.15 In consequence of that, the naval force perished with the destruction of the fleet, and the land force suffered from famine, and the army disbanded. When Temenus inquired of the oracle concerning this calamity, the god said that these things were done by the soothsayer16 and he ordered him to banish the slayer for ten years and to take for his guide the Three-Eyed One. So they banished Hippotes, and sought for the Three-Eyed One.17 And they chanced to light on Oxylus, son of Andraemon, a man sitting on a one-eyed horse （ its other eye having been knocked out with an arrow）; for he had fled to Elis on account of a murder, and was now returning from there to Aetolia after the lapse of a year.18 So guessing the purport of the oracle, they made him their guide. And having engaged the enemy they got the better of him both by land and sea, and slew Tisamenus, son of Orestes.19 Their allies, Pamphylus and Dymas, the sons of Aegimius, also fell in the fight.  When they had made themselves masters of Peloponnese, they set up three altars of Paternal Zeus, and sacrificed upon them, and cast lots for the cities. So the first drawing was for Argos, the second for Lacedaemon, and the third for Messene. And they brought a pitcher of water, and resolved that each should cast in a lot. Now Temenus and the two sons of Aristodemus, Procles and Eurysthenes, threw stones; but Cresphontes, wishing to have Messene allotted to him, threw in a clod of earth. As the clod was dissolved in the water, it could not be but that the other two lots should turn up. The lot of Temenus having been drawn first, and that of the sons of Aristodemus second, Cresphontes got Messene.20  And on the altars on which they sacrificed they found signs lying: for they who got Argos by the lot found a toad; those who got Lacedaemon found a serpent; and those who got Messene found a fox.21 As to these signs the seers said that those who found the toad had better stay in the city （ seeing that the animal has no strength when it walks）; that those who found the serpent would be terrible in attack, and that those who found the fox would be wily. Now Temenus, passing over his sons Agelaus, Eurypylus, and Callias, favoured his daughter Hyrnetho and her husband Deiphontes; hence his sons hired some fellows to murder their father.22 On the perpetration of the murder the army decided that the kingdom belonged to Hyrnetho23 and Deiphontes. Cresphontes had not long reigned over Messene when he was murdered with two of his sons;24 and Polyphontes, one of the true Heraclids, came to the throne and took to wife, against her will, Merope, the wife of the murdered man.25 But he too was slain. For Merope had a third son, called Aepytus, whom she gave to her own father to bring up. When he was come to manhood he secretly returned, killed Polyphontes, and recovered the kingdom of his fathers.26
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1 Ceyx, king of Trachis, who had given shelter and hospitality to Herakles. See above, Apollod. 2.7.7. Compare Diod. 4.57, who agrees with Apollodorus as to the threats of Eurystheus and the consequent flight of the children of Herakles from Trachis to Athens. According to Hecataeus, quoted by Longinus, De sublimitate 27, king Ceyx ordered them out of the country, pleading his powerlessness to protect them. Compare Paus. 1.32.6.
2 Compare Scholiast on Aristoph. Kn. 1151, who mentions that the Heraclids took refuge at the altar of Mercy. As to the altar of Mercy see below, Apollod. 3.7.1 note. Apollodorus has omitted a famous episode in the war which the Athenians waged with the Argives in defence of the children of Herakles. An oracle having declared that victory would rest with the Athenians if a highborn maiden were sacrificed to Persephone, a voluntary victim was found in the person of Macaria, daughter of Herakles, who gave herself freely to die for Athens. See Eur. Heraclid. 406ff.; Eur. Heraclid. 488ff.; Paus. 1.32.6; Zenobius, Cent. ii.61; Timaeus, Lexicon, s.v. Βάλλ᾽ εἰς μακαρίαν; Scholiast on Plat. Hipp. Maj. 293a; Scholiast on Aristoph. Kn. 1151. The protection afforded by Athens to the suppliant Heraclids was a subject of patriotic pride to the Athenians. See Lys. 2.11-16; Isoc. 4.15, 16. The story was told by Pherecydes, who represented Demophon, son of Theseus, as the protector of the Heraclids at Athens. See Ant. Lib. 33. In this he may have been followed by Euripides, who in his play on the subject introduces Demophon as king of Athens and champion of the Heraclids （Eur. Heraclid. 111ff.）. But, according to Paus. 1.32.6, it was not Demophon but his father Theseus who received the refugees and declined to surrender them to Eurystheus
3 Traditions varied concerning the death and burial of Eurystheus. Diod. 4.57.6, in agreement with Apollodorus, says that all the sons of Eurystheus were slain in the battle, and that the king himself, fleeing in his chariot, was killed by Hyllus, son of Herakles. According to Paus. 1.44.9, the tomb of Eurystheus was near the Scironian Rocks, where he had been killed by Iolaus （not Hyllus） as he was fleeing home after the battle. According to Euripides, he was captured by Iolaus at the Scironian Rocks and carried a prisoner to Alcmena, who ordered him to execution, although the Athenians interceded for his life; and his body was buried before the sanctuary of Athena at Pallene, an Attic township situated between Athens and Marathon. See Eur. Heraclid. 843ff.; Eur. Heraclid. 928ff.; Eur. Heraclid. 1030ff. According to Strab. 8.6.19, Eurystheus marched against the Heraclids and Iolaus at Marathon; he fell in the battle, and his body was buried at Gargettus, but his head was cut off and buried separately in Tricorythus, under the high road, at the spring Macaria, and the place was hence called “the Head of Eurystheus.” Thus Strabo lays the scene of the battle and of the death of Eurystheus at Marathon. From Paus. 1.32.6 we know that the spring Macaria, named after the heroine who sacrificed herself to gain the victory for the Heraclids, was at Marathon. The name seems to have been applied to the powerful subterranean springs which form a great marsh at the northern end of the plain of Marathon. The ancient high road, under which the head of Eurystheus was buried, and of which traces existed down to modern times, here ran between the marsh on the one hand and the steep slope of the mountain on the other. At the northern end of the narrow defile thus formed by the marsh and the mountain stands the modern village of Kato-Souli, which is proved by inscriptions to have occupied the site of the ancient Tricorythus. See W. M. Leake, The Demi of Athens, 2nd ed. （London, 1841）, pp. 95ff., and Frazer, commentary on Pausanias, vol. ii. pp. 432, 439ff. But Pallene, at or near which, according to Euripides, the body of Eurystheus was buried, lay some eighteen miles or so away at the northern foot of Mount Hymettus, in the gap which divides the high and steep mountains of Pentelicus and Hymettus from each other. That gap, forming the only gateway into the plain of Athens from the north east, was strategically very important, and hence was naturally the scene of various battles, legendary or historical. Gargettus, where, according to Strabo, confirmed by Hesychius and Stephanus Byzantius （s.v. Γαργηττός）, the headless trunk of Eurystheus was interred, seems to have lain on the opposite side of the gap, near the foot of Pentelicus, where a small modern village, Garito, apparently preserves the ancient name. See W. M. Leake, op. cit. pp. 26ff., 44-47; Karten von Attika, Erläuternder Text, Heft II. von A. Milchhoefer （Berlin, 1883）, pp. 35 （who differs as to the site of Gargettus）; Guides-Joanne, Grèce, par B. Haussoullier, i. （Paris, 1896）, pp. 204ff. Thus the statements of Euripides and Strabo about the place where the body of Eurystheus was buried may be reconciled if we suppose that it was interred at Gargettus facing over against Pallene, which lay on the opposite or southern side of the gap between Pentelicus and Hymettus. For the battles said to have been fought at various times in this important pass, see Hdt. 1.62ff.; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 15, with Sir J. E. Sandys's note; Plut. Thes. 13; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 35. The statement of Apollodorus that Hyllus killed Eurystheus and brought his head to Alcmena, who gouged out his eyes with weaving-pins, is repeated by Zenobius, Cent. ii.61, who probably here, as so often, simply copied our author without acknowledgment. According to Pind. P. 9.79(137)ff., （with the Scholia）, the slayer of Eurystheus was not Hyllus but Iolaus; and this seems to have been the common tradition. Can we explain the curious tradition that the severed head and body of the foeman Eurystheus were buried separately many miles apart, and both of them in passes strategically important? According to Eur. Heraclid. 1026ff., Eurystheus, before being killed by the order of Alcmena, announced to the Athenians that, in gratitude for their merciful, though fruitless, intercession with Alcmena, he would still, after his death, lying beneath the sod, be a friend and saviour to Athens, but a stern foe to the descendants of the Heraclids—that is, to the Argives and Spartans, both of whom traced the blood of their kings to Herakles. Further, he bade the Athenians not to pour libations or shed blood on his grave, for even without such offerings he would in death benefit them and injure their enemies, whom he would drive home, defeated, from the borders of Attica. From this it would seem that the ghost of Eurystheus was supposed to guard Attica against invasion; hence we can understand why his body should be divided in two and the severed parts buried in different passes by which enemies might march into the country, because in this way the ghost might reasonably be expected to do double duty as a sentinel or spiritual outpost in two important places at the same time. Similarly the dead Oedipus in his grave at Athens was believed to protect the country and ensure its welfare. See Soph. OC 576ff.; Soph. OC 1518-1534; Soph. OC 1760-1765; Aristides, Or. xlvi. vol. ii. p. 230, ed. G. Dindorf. So Orestes, in gratitude for his acquittal at Athens, is represented by Aeschylus as promising that even when he is in his grave he will prevent any Argive leader from marching against Attica. See Aesch. Eum. 732(762)ff. And Euripides makes Hector declare that the foreigners who had fought in defence of Troy were “no small security to the city” even when “they had fallen and were lying in their heaped-up graves.” See Eur. Rh. 413-415. These examples show that in the opinion of the Greeks the ghosts even of foreigners could serve as guardian spirits of a country to which they were attached by ties of gratitude or affection; for in each of the cases I have cited the dead man who was thought to protect either Attica or Troy was a stranger from a strange land. Some of the Scythians in antiquity used to cut off the heads of their enemies and stick them on poles over the chimneys of their houses, where the skulls were supposed to act as watchmen or guardians, perhaps by repelling any foul fiends that might attempt to enter the dwelling by coming down the chimney. See Hdt. 4.103. So tribes in Borneo, who make a practice of cutting off the heads of their enemies and garnishing their houses with these trophies, imagine that they can propitiate the spirits of their dead foes and convert them into friends and protectors by addressing the skulls in endearing language and offering them food. See Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild, i.294ff. The references in Greek legend to men who habitually relieved strangers of their heads, which they added to their collection of skulls, may point to the former existence among the Greeks of a practice of collecting human skulls for the purpose of securing the ghostly protection of their late owners. See notes on Apollod. 2.5.11 （Antaeus）, Apollod. 2.7.7 （Cycnus）. Compare Apollod. E.2.5 （Oenomaus）; note on Apollod. 1.7.8 （Evenus）.
4 For the first attempted invasion of the Peloponnese by the Heraclids or sons of Herakles, see Diod. 4.58.1-4. The invasion is commonly spoken of as a return, because, though their father Herakles had been born at Thebes in Boeotia, he regarded Mycenae and Tiryns, the kingdom of his forefathers, as his true home. The word （κάθοδος） here employed by Apollodorus is regularly applied by Greek writers to the return of exiles from banishment, and in particular to the return of the Heraclids. See, for example, Strab. 8.3.30, Strab. 8.4.1, Strab. 8.5.5, Strab. 8.6.10, Strab. 8.7.1, Strab. 8.8.5, Strab. 9.1.7, Strab. 10.2.6, Strab. 13.1.3, Strab. 14.2.6; Paus. 4.3.3; Paus. 5.6.3. The corresponding verbs, κατέρχεσθαι, “to return from exile,” and κατάγειν, “to bring back from exile,” are both used by Apollodorus in these senses. See Apollod. 2.7.2-3; Apollod. 2.8.2 and Apollod. 2.8.5; Apollod. 3.10.5. The final return of the Heraclids, in conjunction with the Dorians, to the Peloponnese is dated by Thuc. 1.12.3 in the eightieth year after the capture of Troy; according to Paus. 4.3.3, it occurred two generations after that event, which tallies fairly with the estimate of Thucydides. Velleius Paterculus i.2.1 agrees with Thucydides as to the date, and adds for our further satisfaction that the return took place one hundred and twenty years after Herakles had been promoted to the rank of deity.
5 Diodorus Siculus says nothing of this return of the Heraclids to Attica after the plague, but he records （Diod. 4.58.3ff.） that, after their defeat and the death of Hyllus at the Isthmus, they retired to Tricorythus and stayed there for fifty years. We have seen （above, p. 278, note on Apollod. 2.8.1） that Tricorythus was situated at the northern end of the plain of Marathon.
6 For the homicide and exile of Tlepolemus, see Hom. Il. 2.653-670, with the Scholiast on Hom. Il. 662; Pind. O. 7.27(50)ff.; Strab. 14.2.6; Diod. 4.58.7ff. According to Pindar, the homicide was apparently not accidental, but committed in a fit of anger with a staff of olive-wood.
7 He was met by a Peloponnesian army at the Isthmus of Corinth and there defeated and slain in single combat by Echemus, king of Tegea. Then, in virtue of a treaty which they had concluded with their adversaries, the Heraclids retreated to Attica and did not attempt the invasion of Peloponnese again for fifty years. See Diod. 4.58.1-5; Paus. 8.5.1. These events may have been recorded by Apollodorus in the lacuna which follows.
9 This Aristomachus was a son of Cleodaeus （Paus. 2.7.6）, who was a son of Hyllus （Paus. 3.15.10）, who was a son of Herakles （Paus. 1.35.8）. Aristomachus was the father of Aristodemus, Temenus, and Cresphontes （Paus. 2.18.7, Paus. 8.5.6）, of whom Temenus and Cresphontes led the Heraclids and Dorians in their final invasion and conquest of Peloponnese （Paus. 2.18.7, Paus. 5.3.5ff., Paus. 5.4.1, Paus. 8.5.6, Paus. 10.38.10）. Compare Hdt. 6.52, who indicates the descent of Aristodemus from Herakles concisely by speaking of “Aristodemus, the son of Aristomachus, the son of Cleodaeus, the son of Hyllus.” Thus, according to the traditional genealogy, the conquerors of the Peloponnese were great-grandsons of Herakles. With regard to Aristomachus, the father of the conquerors, Pausanias says （Paus. 2.7.6） that he missed his chance of returning to Peloponnese through mistaking the meaning of the oracle. The reference seems to be to the oracle about “the narrows,” which is reported by Apollodorus (see below, note 2.8.2.h).
10 As Heyne pointed out, the name Cleodaeus here is almost certainly wrong, whether we suppose the mistake to have been made by Apollodorus himself or by a copyist. For Cleodaeus was the father of Aristomachus, whose death in battle Apollodorus has just recorded; and, as the sequel clearly proves, the reference is here not to the brothers but to the sons of Aristomachus, namely, Temenus and Cresphontes, the conquerors of the Peloponnese. Compare the preceding note.
11 The oracle was recorded and derided by the
cynical philosopher Oenomaus, who, having been deceived by what purported to be a
revelation of the deity, made it his business to expose the whole oracular machinery to
the ridicule and contempt of the public. This he did in a work entitled On
Oracles, or the Exposure of Quacks, of which Eusebius has preserved some
extracts. From one of these （Eusebius, v.20） we learn
that when Aristomachus applied to the oracle, he was answered, “The gods
declare victory to thee by the way of the narrows” （Νίκην σοι φαίνουσι θεοὶ δι᾽ ὁδοῖο στενύγρων）.
This the inquirer understood to mean “by the Isthmus of Corinth,” and on that understanding the
Heraclids attempted to enter Peloponnese by the
Isthmus, but were defeated. Being taxed with deception, the god explained that when he
said “the narrows” he really meant “the broads,”
that is, the sea at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth. Compare K. O. Müller, Die Dorier(2),
i.58ff., who would restore the “retort courteous” of the
oracle in two iambic lines as follows:“
γενεᾶς γάρ, οὐ γῆς καρπὸν ἐξεῖπον τρίτον
καὶ τὴν στενυγρὰν αὖ τὸν εὐρυγάστορα
—ἔχοντα κατὰ τὸν Ἰσθμὸν δεξιάν.
13 Aristodemus was a son of Aristomachus and brother of Temenus and Cresphontes, the conquerors of the Peloponnese （Paus. 2.18.7）. Some said he was shot by Apollo at Delphi for not consulting the oracle, but others said he was murdered by the children of Pylades and Electra （Paus. 3.1.6）. Apollodorus clearly adopts the former of these two accounts; the rationalistic Pausanias preferred the latter.
16 That is, by the angry spirit of the murdered man.
18 The homicide is said to have been accidental; according to one account, the victim was the homicide's brother. See Paus. 5.3.7. As to the banishment of a murderer for a year, see note on Apollod. 2.5.11.
19 Pausanias gives a different account of the death of Tisamenus. He says that, being expelled from Lacedaemon and Argos by the returning Heraclids, king Tisamenus led an army to Achaia and there fell in a battle with the Ionians, who then inhabited that district of Greece. See Paus. 2.18.8, Paus. 7.1.7ff.
20 As to the drawing of the lots, and the stratagem by which Cresphontes secured Messenia for himself, see Polyaenus, Strateg. i.6; Paus. 4.3.4ff. Sophocles alludes to the stratagem （Soph. Aj. 1283ff., with the Scholiast on Soph. Aj. 1285）.
21 In the famous paintings by Polygnotus at Delphi, the painter depicted Menelaus, king of Sparta, with the device of a serpent on his shield. See Paus. 10.26.3. The great Messenian hero Aristomenes is said to have escaped by the help of a fox from the pit into which he had been thrown by the Lacedaemonians. See Paus. 4.18.6ff. I do not remember to have met with any evidence, other than that of Apollodorus, as to the association of the toad with Argos.
23 The grave of Hyrnetho was shown at Argos, but she is said to have been accidentally killed by her brother Phalces near Epidaurus, and long afterwards she was worshipped in a sacred grove of olives and other trees on the place of her death. See Paus. 2.23.3; Paus. 2.28.3-7.
25 Compare Hyginus, Fab. 137.
26 Compare Paus. 4.3.7ff. （who does not name Polyphontes）; Hyginus, Fab. 184. According to Hyginus, the name of the son of Cresphontes who survived to avenge his father's murder was Telephon. This story of Merope, Aepytus, and Polyphontes is the theme of Matthew Arnold's tragedy Merope, an imitation of the antique.
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