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In Euripides' play, Archelaus, an exile from Argos, destroys Cisseus, the treacherous king of Macedon, in his own snare, and fleeing thence founds a city, named, from the goat which led him, Aegae (Hygin. 219). He appeared on the stage as a goatherd (Dio Chrys. p. 70-1). In the other version Caranus, after helping Cisseus, the king of Orestis, to conquer the Eordi, guided by a goatherd surprised the stronghold which he renamed Aegae. Both stories emphasize the part played by a goat, and it is significant that the goat remained the standard of Macedon and the device on its coins.

ἄλλην γῆν ... Μακεδονίης. Μακεδονίς proper, the district round Aegae, the home and burial-place of the Temenid kings.

Before the Macedonian conquest Phrygians were believed to have held Edessa or Aegae, now Vodena. (For a description cf. Tozer, op. cit. i. 155.) Cf. vii. 73 n.; Euphor. fr. 24; Strabo 330, fr. 25, 680.

Midas here is the mythical founder of the royal house (cf. i. 14. 3 n.), son of Gordias and Cybele. He invented the flute (Plin. N. H. vii. 204), founded the worship of his mother, and was judge of the contest between Apollo and Marsyas; cf. Hygin. fab. 191; Orphica (Abel), fr. 310.

Silenus ordinarily figures as the oldest and wisest of the rout of Satyrs (cf. vii. 26. 3 n.); perhaps he was originally a deity of fruitful streams (Lat. silanus) and fertile gardens. He unites the wisdom of the sage with drunken sensuality, and can inspire both music and prophecy (cf. Marsyas, vii. 26. 3 n.).

ἥλω: by Midas who put wine in the spring from which Silenus was wont to drink (Xen. Anab. i. 2. 13; Paus. i. 4. 5). The fact that Pausanias places the fountain at Ancyra and Xenophon at Thymbrium, while Bion (ap. Athen. 45 E) puts it in the Paeonian land near the borders of the Maedi, is one more argument for an early migration (vii. 20 n. and App. I, p. 371 f.). Silenus is said to have been asked what was the best thing for man, and in reply to have pointed out the futility of human hopes and endeavours, and to have praised death. (Aristotle ap. Plut. Mor. 115; Theop. fr. 76, F. H. G. i. 290; Cicero, Tusc. Disp. i. 48, 114; cf. the Trausi, v. 4 n.)

ἄβατον ὑπὸ χειμῶνος, ‘impassable from the cold.’ The top is covered with perpetual snow.

τὴν ἄλλην Μακεδονίην: including much territory that before belonged to Paeonians and Thracians, who were subdued or expelled, as well as the kindred tribes of upper Macedonia, apparently dependants of Alexander I; cf. v. 17. 2 n.; vii. 112, 123. 3, 185. 2. For a rather different account of Macedonian expansion cf. Thuc. ii. 99.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.4.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.99
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.2.13
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7.56
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