previous next


And Athena threw a thunderbolt at the ship of Ajax; and when the ship went to pieces he made his way safe to a rock, and declared that he was saved in spite of the intention of Athena. But Poseidon smote the rock with his trident and split it, and Ajax fell into the sea and perished; and his body, being washed up, was buried by Thetis in Myconos.1

1 As to the shipwreck and death of the Locrian Ajax, compare Hom. Od. 4.499-511; Hagias, Returns, summarized by Proclus, in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, p. 53; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiii.66; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiv.530-589; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 365, 387, 389, 402; Verg. A. 1.39-45; Hyginus, Fab. 116; Seneca, Agamemnon 532-556; Dictys Cretensis vi.1. In his great picture of the underworld, which Polygnotus painted at Delphi, the artist depicted Ajax as a castaway, the brine forming a scurf on his skin (Paus. 10.31.1). According to the Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiii.66 Ajax was cast up on the shore of Delos, where Thetis found and buried him. But as it was unlawful to be buried or even to die in DelosThuc. 3.104), the statement of Apollodorus that Ajax was buried in Myconus, a small island to the east of Delos, is more probable. It is said that on hearing of his death the Locrians mourned for him and wore black for a year, and every year they laded a vessel with splendid offerings, hoisted a black sail on it, and, setting the ship on fire, let it drift out to sea, there to burn down to the water's edge as a sacrifice to the drowned hero. See Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 365. Sophocles wrote a tragedy, The Locrian Ajax, on the crime and punishment of the hero. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 8ff.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Sir James George Frazer)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Delos (Greece) (3)
Delphi (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: