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[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.1 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.2

1 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.

2 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).

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