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The story of Icarius who entertained Dionysus : Eratosthenes in his Erigonê.1

Saturn, when once he was entertained by a farmer2 who had a fair daughter named Entoria, seduced her and begat Janus, Hymnus, Faustus, and Felix. He then taught Icarius the use of wine and viniculture, [p. 273] and told him that he should share his knowledge with his neighbours also. When the neighbours did so and drank more than is customary, they fell into an unusually deep sleep. Imagining that they had been poisoned, they pelted Icarius with stones and killed him ; and his grandchildren in despair ended their lives by hanging themselves. When a plague had gained a wide hold among the Romans, Apollo gave an oracle that it would cease if they should appease the wrath of Saturn and the spirits of those who had perished unlawfully. Lutatius Catulus, one of the nobles, built for the god the precinct which lies near the Tarpeian Rock. He made the upper altar with four faces, either because of Icarius's grandchildren or because the year has four parts ; and he designated a month January. Saturn placed them all among the stars. The others are called Harbingers of the Vintage,3 but Janus rises before them. His star is to be seen just in front of the feet of Virgo. So Critolaüs in the fourth book of his Phaenomena.

1 Cf. Powell, Collectanea Alexandrina, pp. 64 ff., for the fragments of the Erigonê. Powell is no doubt right in ignoring this passage, of which Wyttenbach remarks ‘ Noster tenebrio omnia turbavit.

2 Presumably Icarius.

3 Cf. Aratus, Phaenomena, 138, who mentions only one star of this name, the Vindemiator, which ushers in the autumn.

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