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3.

Now Zeus wedded Hera and begat Hebe, Ilithyia, and Ares,1 but he had intercourse with many women, both mortals and immortals. By Themis, daughter of Sky, he had daughters, the Seasons, to wit, Peace, Order, and Justice; also the Fates, to wit, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropus;2 by Dione he had Aphrodite;3 by Eurynome, daughter of Ocean, he had the Graces, to wit, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia;4 by Styx he had Persephone;5 and by Memory ( Mnemosyne) he had the Muses, first Calliope, then Clio, Melpomene, Euterpe, Erato, Terpsichore, Urania, Thalia, and Polymnia.6 [2]

Now Calliope bore to Oeagrus or, nominally, to Apollo, a son Linus,7 whom Hercules slew; and another son, Orpheus,8 who practised minstrelsy and by his songs moved stones and trees. And when his wife Eurydice died, bitten by a snake, he went down to Hades, being fain to bring her up,9 and he persuaded Pluto to send her up. The god promised to do so, if on the way Orpheus would not turn round until he should be come to his own house. But he disobeyed and turning round beheld his wife; so she turned back. Orpheus also invented the mysteries of Dionysus,10 and having been torn in pieces by the Maenads11 he is buried in Pieria. [3] Clio fell in love with Pierus, son of Magnes, in consequence of the wrath of Aphrodite, whom she had twitted with her love of Adonis; and having met him she bore him a son Hyacinth, for whom Thamyris, the son of Philammon and a nymph Argiope, conceived a passion, he being the first to become enamored of males. But afterwards Apollo loved Hyacinth and killed him involuntarily by the cast of a quoit.12 And Thamyris, who excelled in beauty and in minstrelsy, engaged in a musical contest with the Muses, the agreement being that, if he won, he should enjoy them all, but that if he should be vanquished he should be bereft of what they would. So the Muses got the better of him and bereft him both of his eyes and of his minstrelsy.13 [4] Euterpe had by the river Strymon a son Rhesus, whom Diomedes slew at Troy;14 but some say his mother was Calliope. Thalia had by Apollo the Corybantes;15 and Melpomene had by Achelous the Sirens, of whom we shall speak in treating of Ulysses.16 [5]

Hera gave birth to Hephaestus without intercourse with the other sex,17 but according to Homer he was one of her children by Zeus.18 Him Zeus cast out of heaven, because he came to the rescue of Hera in her bonds.19 For when Hercules had taken Troy and was at sea, Hera sent a storm after him; so Zeus hung her from Olympus.20 Hephaestus fell on Lemnos and was lamed of his legs,21 but Thetis saved him.22 [6]

Zeus had intercourse with Metis, who turned into many shapes in order to avoid his embraces. When she was with child, Zeus, taking time by the forelock, swallowed her, because Earth said that, after giving birth to the maiden who was then in her womb, Metis would bear a son who should be the lord of heaven. From fear of that Zeus swallowed her.23 And when the time came for the birth to take place, Prometheus or, as others say, Hephaestus, smote the head of Zeus with an axe, and Athena, fully armed, leaped up from the top of his head at the river Triton.24


1 As to the offspring of Zeus and Hera, see Hom. Il. 5.889ff. (Ares), Hom. Il. 11.270ff. (Ilithyia), Hom. Od. 11.603ff. (Hebe); Hes. Th. 921ff. According to Hesiod, Hera was the last consort whom Zeus took to himself; his first wife was Metis, and his second Themis (Hes. Th. 886; Hes. Th. 901; Hes. Th. 921).

2 For the daughters of Zeus and Themis, see Hes. Th. 901ff.

3 As to Dione, mother of Aphrodite, see Hom. Il. 5.370ff.; Eur. Hel. 1098; Hyginus, Fab. p. 30, ed. Bunte. Hesiod represents Aphrodite as born of the sea-foam which gathered round the severed genitals of Sky (Uranus). See Hes. Th. 188ff.

4 As to the parentage of the Graces, see Hes. Th. 907ff.; Paus. 9.35.5; Hyginus, Fab. p. 30, ed. Bunte.

5 According to the usual account, the mother of Persephone was not Styx but Demeter. See Hes. Th. 912ff.; HH Dem. 1ff.; Paus. 8.37.9; Hyginus, Fab. p. 30, ed. Bunte.

6 As to the names and parentage of the Muses, see Hes. Th. 915ff.

7 Accounts differ as to the parentage of Linus. According to one, he was a son of Apollo by the Muse Urania (Hyginus, Fab. 161); according to another, he was a son of Apollo by Psamathe, daughter of Crotopus (Paus. 2.19.8); according to another, he was a son of Apollo by Aethusa, daughter of Poseidon (Contest 314 according to another, he was a son of Magnes by the Muse Clio (Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 831).

8 That Orpheus was a son of Oeagrus by the Muse Calliope is affirmed also by Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.23ff.; Conon 45; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 831; the author of Contest 314; Hyginus, Fab. 14; and Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini. ed. G. H. Bode, i. pp. 26, 90 (First and Second Vatican Mythographers). The same view was held by Asclepiades, but some said that his mother was the Muse Polymnia (Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.23). Pausanias roundly denied that the musician's mother was the Muse Calliope (Paus. 9.30.4). That his father was Oeagrus is mentioned also by Plat. Sym.179d, Diod. 4.25.2, and Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. 7, p. 63, ed. Potter. As to the power of Orpheus to move stones and trees by his singing, see Eur. Ba. 561ff.; Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.26ff.; Diod. 4.25.2; Eratosthenes, Cat. 24; Conon 45; Hor. Carm. 1.12.7ff.; Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 1036ff.; Seneca, Herakles Furens 572ff.

9 As to the descent of Orpheus to hell to fetch up Eurydice, compare Paus. 9.30.6; Conon 45; Verg. G. 4.454ff.; Ov. Met. 10.8ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 164; Seneca, Herakles Furens 569ff.; Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 1061ff.; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. viii.59, 60; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 26ff. 90 (First Vatican Mythographer 76; Second Vatican Mythographer 44). That Eurydice was killed by the bite of a snake on which she had accidentally trodden is mentioned by Virgil, Ovid, Hyginus, and the Vatican Mythographers.

10 On Orpheus as a founder of mysteries, compare Eur. Rh. 943ff.; Arist. Frogs 1032; Plat. Prot. 369d; Plat. Rep. 2.365e-366a; Dem. 25.11; Diod. 1.23, Diod. 1.96.2-6, Diod. 3.65.6, Diod. 4.25.3, Diod. 5.77.3; Paus. 2.30.2, Paus. 9.30.4, Paus. 10.7.2; Plut. Frag. 84 (Plutarch, Didot ed., v. p. 55). According to Diod. 1.23, the mysteries of Dionysus which Orpheus instituted in Greece were copied by him from the Egyptian mysteries of Osiris. The view that the mysteries of Dionysus were based on those of Osiris has been maintained in recent years by the very able and learned French scholar, Monsieur Paul Foucart. See his treatise, Le culte de Dionysos en Attique (Paris, 1904), pp. 8ff.; Foucart, Les mystères d' Eleusis (Paris, 1914), pp. 1ff., 445ff.

11 As to the death of Orpheus at the hands of the Maenads or the Thracian women, see Paus. 9.30.5; Conon 45; Eratosthenes, Cat. 24; Verg. G. 4.520ff.; Ov. Met. 11.1ff. Usually the women are said to have been offended by the widower's constancy to the memory of his late wife, and by his indifference to their charms and endearments. But Eratosthenes, or rather the writer who took that name, puts a different complexion on the story. He says that Orpheus did not honour Dionysus, but esteemed the sun the greatest of the gods, and used to rise very early every day in order to see the sunrise from the top of Mount Pangaeum. This angered Dionysus, and he stirred up the Bassarids or Bacchanals to rend the bard limb from limb. Aeschylus wrote a tragedy on the subject called the Bassarids or Bassarae. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), (Leipsig, 1889), pp. 9ff.

12 As to the death of Hyacinth, killed by the cast of Apollo's quoit, see Nicander, Ther. 901ff.; Paus. 3.19.4ff.; Lucian, Dial. Deorum xiv.; Philostratus, Im. i.23(24); Palaephatus, De incredib. 47; Ov. Met. 10.162ff.; Serv. Verg. Ecl. 3.63; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.223; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 37, 135ff. ( First Vatican Mythographer 117; Second Vatican Mythographer 181). The usual story ran that Apollo and the West Wind, or, according to others, the North Wind, were rivals for the affection of Hyacinth; that Hyacinth preferred Apollo, and that the jealous West Wind took his revenge by blowing a blast which diverted the quoit thrown by Apollo, so that it struck Hyacinth on the head and killed him. From the blood of the slain youth sprang the hyacinth, inscribed with letters which commemorated his tragic death; though the ancients were not at one in the reading of them. Some, like Ovid, read in them the exclamation AI AI, that is, “Alas, alas!” Others, like the Second Vatican Mythographer, fancied that they could detect in the dark lines of the flower the first Greek letter (Υ) of Hyacinth's name.

13 This account of Thamyris and his contest with the Muses is repeated almost verbally by Zenobius, Cent. iv.27, and by a Scholiast on Hom. Il. 2.595. As to the bard's rivalry with the Muses, and the blindness they inflicted on him, see Hom. Il. 2.594-600; compare Eur. Rh. 915ff.; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 60 (First Vatican Mythographer 197). The story of the punishment of Thamyris in hell was told in the epic poem The Minyad, attributed to Prodicus the Phocaean (Paus. 4.33.7). In the great picture of the underworld painted by Polygnotus at Delphi, the blind musician was portrayed sitting with long flowing locks and a broken lyre at his feet (Paus. 10.30.8).

14 As to the death of Rhesus, see Hom. Il. 10.474ff.; compare Conon 4. It is the subject of Euripides's tragedy Rhesus; see particularly verses Eur. Rh. 756ff. Euripides represents Rhesus as a son of the river Strymon by one of the Muses ( Eur. Rh. 279, Eur. Rh. 915ff.), but he does not name the particular Muse who bore him.

15 Very discrepant accounts were given of the parentage of the Corybantes. Some said that they were sons of the Sun by Athena; others that their parents were Zeus and the Muse Calliope; others that their father was Cronus. See Strab. 10.3.19. According to another account, their mother was the Mother of the Gods, who settled them in Samothrace, or the Holy Isle, as the name Samothrace was believed to signify. The name of the father of the Corybantes was kept a secret from the profane vulgar, but was revealed to the initiated at the Samothracian mysteries. See Diod. 3.55.8ff.

16 As to the Sirens, see Apollod. E.7.18ff. Elsewhere (Apollod. 1.7.10) Apollodorus mentions the view that the mother of the Sirens was Sterope.

17 Compare Hes. Th. 927ff.; Lucian, De sacrificiis 6. So Juno is said to have conceived Mars by the help of the goddess Flora and without intercourse with Jupiter (Ovid, Fasti v.229ff.). The belief in the possible impregnation of women without sexual intercourse appears to have been common, if not universal, among men at a certain stage of social evolution, and it is still held by many savages. See Adonis, Attis, Osiris, 3rd ed. i.92ff.; Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, ii.204, notes; A. et G. Grandidier, Ethnographie de Madagascar, ii. (Paris, 1914), pp. 245ff. The subject is fully discussed by Mr. E. S. Hartland in his Primitive Paternity (London, 1909-1910).

18 Compare Hom. Il. 1.571ff., Hom. Il. 1.577ff. In these lines Hephaestus plainly recognizes Hera as his mother, but it is not equally clear that he recognizes Zeus as his father; the epithet “father” which he applies to him may refer to the god's general paternity in relation to gods and men.

19 See Hom. Il. 1.590ff.

20 See Hom. Il. 15.18ff., where Zeus is said to have tied two anvils to the feet of Hera when he hung her out of heaven. Compare Apollod. 2.7.1; Nonnus, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci (Brunswick, 1843), Appendix Narrationum, xxix, 1, pp. 371ff.

21 The significance of lameness in myth and ritual is obscure. The Yorubas of West Africa say that Shankpanna, the god of smallpox, is lame and limps along with the aid of a stick, one of his legs being withered. See A. B. Ellis, The Yoruba-speaking peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa (London, 1894), p. 73. The Ekoi of Southern Nigeria relate how the first fire on earth was stolen from heaven by a boy, whom the Creator (Obassi Osaw) punished with lameness for the theft. See P. Amaury Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush (London, 1912), pp. 370ff. This lame boy seems to play the part of a good fairy in Ekoi tales, and he is occasionally represented in a “stilt play” by an actor who has a short stilt bound round his right leg and limps like a cripple. See P. Amaury Talbot, op. cit. pp. 58, 285. Among the Edo of Benin “custom enjoined that once a year a lame man should be dragged around the city, and then as far as a place on the Enyai road, called Adaneha. This was probably a ceremony of purification.” See W. N. Thomas, Anthropological Report on the speaking peoples of Nigeria, Part 1. (London, 1910), p. 35. In a race called “the King's Race,” which used to be run by lads on Good Friday or Easter Saturday in some parts of the Mark of Brandenburg, the winner was called “the King,” and the last to come in was called “the Lame Carpenter.” One of the Carpenter's legs was bandaged with splints as if it were broken, and he had to hobble along on a crutch. Thus he was led from house to house by his comrades, who collected eggs to bake a cake. See A. Kuhn, Märkische Sagen und Marchen (Berlin, 1843), pp. 323ff.

22 As to the fall of Hephaestus on Lemnos, see Hom. Il. 1.590ff.; Lucian, De sacrificiis 6. The association of the fire-god with Lemnos is supposed to have been suggested by a volcano called Moschylus, which has disappeared—perhaps submerged in the sea. See H. F. Tozer, The Islands of the Aegean, pp. 269ff.; Jebb on Soph. Ph. 800, with the Appendix, pp. 243-245. According to another account, Hephaestus fell, not on Lemnos, but into the sea, where he was saved by Thetis. See Hom. Il. 18.394ff.

23 See Hes. Th. 886-900, Hes. Th. 929g-929p; Scholiast on Plat. Tim. 23d. Hesiod says that Zeus acted on the advice or warning of Earth and Sky. The Scholiast on Hesiod, quoted by Goettling and Paley in their commentaries, says that Metis had the power of turning herself into any shape she pleased.

24 Compare the Scholiast on Hom. Il. 1.195, who cites the first book of Apollodorus as his authority. According to the usual account, followed by the vase-painters, it was Hephaestus who cleft the head of Zeus with an axe and so delivered Athena. See Pind. O. 7.35(65); Scholiast on Plat. Tim. 23d. According to Euripides (Eur. Ion 454ff.), the delivery was effected by Prometheus; but according to others it was Palamaon or Hermes who split the head of the supreme god and so allowed Athena to leap forth. See the Scholiast on Pind. O. 7.35(65).

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    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Epitome, e.7.18
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 1.7.10
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.7.1
    • Aristophanes, Frogs, 1032
    • Euripides, Bacchae, 561
    • Euripides, Helen, 1098
    • Euripides, Ion, 454
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 188
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 886
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 901
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 907
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 921
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 927
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 912
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 915
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 929g
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.577
    • Homer, Iliad, 10.474
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.594
    • Homer, Odyssey, 11.603
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 2 to Demeter, 1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.30.8
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.30.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.19.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.30.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.30.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.7.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.19.8
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.33.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.37.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.30.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.35.5
    • Pindar, Olympian, 7
    • Plato, Republic, 2.365e
    • Plato, Symposium, 179d
    • Homer, Iliad, 11.270
    • Homer, Iliad, 15.18
    • Homer, Iliad, 18.394
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.195
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.571
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.590
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.595
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.370
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.889
    • Euripides, Rhesus, 279
    • Euripides, Rhesus, 756
    • Euripides, Rhesus, 915
    • Euripides, Rhesus, 943
    • Strabo, Geography, 10.3.19
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.8
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 11.1
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.162
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.454
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.520
    • Servius, Commentary on the Eclogues of Vergil, 3.63
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