previous next

and there made a flame to flare up bright, showing forth the splendor of his shafts, so that their radiance [445] filled all Crisa, and the wives and well-girded daughters of the Crisaeans raised a cry at that outburst of Phoebus; for he cast great fear upon them all. From his shrine he sprang forth again, swift as a thought, to speed again to the ship, bearing the form of a man, brisk and sturdy, [450] in the prime of his youth, while his broad shoulders were covered with his hair: and he spoke to the Cretans, uttering winged words:

“Strangers, who are you? Whence come you sailing along the paths of the sea? Are you for traffic, or do you wander at random over the sea as pirates do who put [455] their own lives to hazard and bring mischief to men of foreign parts as they roam? Why rest you so and are afraid, and do not go ashore nor stow the gear of your black ship? For that is the custom of men who live by bread, whenever they come to land in their dark ships from the main, [460] spent with toil: at once desire for sweet food catches them about the heart.”

So speaking, he put courage in their hearts, and the master of the Cretans answered him and said: “Stranger —though you are nothing like mortal men [465] in shape or stature, but are as the deathless gods —hail and all happiness to you, and may the gods give you good. Now tell me truly that I may surely know it: what country is this, and what land, and what men live herein? As for us, with thoughts set otherwards, we were sailing over the great sea [470] to Pylos from Crete (for from there we declare that we are sprung), but now are come on shipboard to this place by no means willingly —another way and other paths —and gladly would we return. But one of the deathless gods brought us here against our will.”

Then far-working Apollo answered them and said: [475] “Strangers who once dwelt about wooded Cnossos but now shall return no more each to his loved city and fair house and dear wife; here shall you keep my rich temple that is honored by many men. [480] I am the son of Zeus; Apollo is my name: but you I brought here over the wide gulf of the sea, meaning you no hurt; nay, here you shall keep my rich temple that is greatly honored among men, and you shall know the plans of the deathless gods, and by their will [485] you shall be honored continually for all time. And now come, make haste and do as I say. First loose the sheets and lower the sail, and then draw the swift ship up upon the land. Take out your goods and the gear of the straight ship, [490] and make an altar upon the beach of the sea: light fire upon it and make an offering of white meal. Next, stand side by side around the altar and pray:

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 Notes (Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, 1904)
load focus Greek (Hugh G. Evelyn-White)
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.
Pylos (Greece) (1)
Crisa (Greece) (1)
Crete (Greece) (1)
Cnossus (Greece) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO DEMETER
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: