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4.

When Acrisius inquired of the oracle how he should get male children, the god said that his daughter would give birth to a son who would kill him.1 Fearing that, Acrisius built a brazen chamber under ground and there guarded Danae.2 However, she was seduced, as some say, by Proetus, whence arose the quarrel between them;3 but some say that Zeus had intercourse with her in the shape of a stream of gold which poured through the roof into Danae's lap. When Acrisius afterwards learned that she had got a child Perseus, he would not believe that she had been seduced by Zeus, and putting his daughter with the child in a chest, he cast it into the sea. The chest was washed ashore on Seriphus, and Dictys took up the boy and reared him. [2] Polydectes, brother of Dictys, was then king of Seriphus and fell in love with Danae, but could not get access to her, because Perseus was grown to man's estate. So he called together his friends, including Perseus, under the pretext of collecting contributions towards a wedding gift for Hippodamia, daughter of Oenomaus.4 Now Perseus having declared that he would not stick even at the Gorgon's head, Polydectes required the others to furnish horses, and not getting horses from Perseus ordered him to bring the Gorgon's head. So under the guidance of Hermes and Athena he made his way to the daughters of Phorcus, to wit, Enyo, Pephredo, and Dino; for Phorcus had them by Ceto, and they were sisters of the Gorgons, and old women from their birth.5 The three had but one eye and one tooth, and these they passed to each other in turn. Perseus got possession of the eye and the tooth, and when they asked them back, he said he would give them up if they would show him the way to the nymphs. Now these nymphs had winged sandals and the kibisis, which they say was a wallet. [ But Pindar and Hesiod in The Shield say of Perseus:—6

“ “ But all his back had on the head of a dread monster,
< The Gorgon,> and round him ran the kibisis. ”

The kibisis is so called because dress and food are deposited in it. ]7 They had also the cap < of Hades>. When the Phorcides had shown him the way, he gave them back the tooth and the eye, and coming to the nymphs got what he wanted. So he slung the wallet (kibisis) about him, fitted the sandals to his ankles, and put the cap on his head. Wearing it, he saw whom he pleased, but was not seen by others. And having received also from Hermes an adamantine sickle he flew to the ocean and caught the Gorgons asleep. They were Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. Now Medusa alone was mortal; for that reason Perseus was sent to fetch her head. But the Gorgons had heads twined about with the scales of dragons, and great tusks like swine's, and brazen hands, and golden wings, by which they flew; and they turned to stone such as beheld them. So Perseus stood over them as they slept, and while Athena guided his hand and he looked with averted gaze on a brazen shield, in which he beheld the image of the Gorgon,8 he beheaded her. When her head was cut off, there sprang from the Gorgon the winged horse Pegasus and Chrysaor, the father of Geryon; these she had by Poseidon.9 [3] So Perseus put the head of Medusa in the wallet (kibisis) and went back again; but the Gorgons started up from their slumber and pursued Perseus: but they could not see him on account of the cap, for he was hidden by it.

Being come to Ethiopia, of which Cepheus was king, he found the king's daughter Andromeda set out to be the prey of a sea monster.10 For Cassiepea, the wife of Cepheus, vied with the Nereids in beauty and boasted to be better than them all; hence the Nereids were angry, and Poseidon, sharing their wrath, sent a flood and a monster to invade the land. But Ammon having predicted deliverance from the calamity if Cassiepea's daughter Andromeda were exposed as a prey to the monster, Cepheus was compelled by the Ethiopians to do it, and he bound his daughter to a rock. When Perseus beheld her, he loved her and promised Cepheus that he would kill the monster, if he would give him the rescued damsel to wife. These terms having been sworn to, Perseus withstood and slew the monster and released Andromeda. However, Phineus, who was a brother of Cepheus, and to whom Andromeda had been first betrothed, plotted against him; but Perseus discovered the plot, and by showing the Gorgon turned him and his fellow conspirators at once into stone. And having come to Seriphus he found that his mother and Dictys had taken refuge at the altars on account of the violence of Polydectes; so he entered the palace, where Polydectes had gathered his friends, and with averted face he showed the Gorgon's head; and all who beheld it were turned to stone, each in the attitude which he happened to have struck. Having appointed Dictys king of Seriphus, he gave back the sandals and the wallet (kibisis) and the cap to Hermes, but the Gorgon's head he gave to Athena. Hermes restored the aforesaid things to the nymphs and Athena inserted the Gorgon's head in the middle of her shield. But it is alleged by some that Medusa was beheaded for Athena's sake; and they say that the Gorgon was fain to match herself with the goddess even in beauty. [4]

Perseus hastened with Danae and Andromeda to Argos in order that he might behold Acrisius. But he, learning of this and dreading the oracle,11 forsook Argos and departed to the Pelasgian land. Now Teutamides, king of Larissa, was holding athletic games in honor of his dead father, and Perseus came to compete. He engaged in the pentathlum, but in throwing the quoit he struck Acrisius on the foot and killed him instantly.12 Perceiving that the oracle was fulfilled, he buried Acrisius outside the city,13 and being ashamed to return to Argos to claim the inheritance of him who had died by his hand, he went to Megapenthes, son of Proetus, at Tiryns and effected an exchange with him, surrendering Argos into his hands.14 So Megapenthes reigned over the Argives, and Perseus reigned over Tiryns, after fortifying also Midea and Mycenae.15 [5] And he had sons by Andromeda: before he came to Greece he had Perses, whom he left behind with Cepheus ( and from him it is said that the kings of Persia are descended); and in Mycenae he had Alcaeus and Sthenelus and Heleus and Mestor and Electryon,16 and a daughter Gorgophone, whom Perieres married.17

Alcaeus had a son Amphitryon and a daughter Anaxo by Astydamia, daughter of Pelops; but some say he had them by Laonome, daughter of Guneus, others that he had them by Hipponome, daughter of Menoeceus; and Mestor had Hippothoe by Lysidice, daughter of Pelops. This Hippothoe was carried off by Poseidon, who brought her to the Echinadian Islands, and there had intercourse with her, and begat Taphius, who colonized Taphos and called the people Teleboans, because he had gone far18 from his native land. And Taphius had a son Pterelaus, whom Poseidon made immortal by implanting a golden hair in his head.19 And to Pterelaus were born sons, to wit, Chromius, Tyrannus, Antiochus, Chersidamas, Mestor, and Eueres.

Electryon married Anaxo, daughter of Alcaeus,20 and begat a daughter Alcmena,21 and sons, to wit, Stratobates, Gorgophonus, Phylonomus, Celaeneus, Amphimachus, Lysinomus, Chirimachus, Anactor, and Archelaus; and after these he had also a bastard son, Licymnius, by a Phrygian woman Midea.22

Sthenelus had daughters, Alcyone and Medusa, by Nicippe,23 daughter of Pelops; and he had afterwards a son Eurystheus, who reigned also over Mycenae. For when Hercules was about to be born, Zeus declared among the gods that the descendant of Perseus then about to be born would reign over Mycenae, and Hera out of jealousy persuaded the Ilithyias to retard Alcmena's delivery,24 and contrived that Eurystheus, son of Sthenelus, should be born a seven-month child.25 [6]

When Electryon reigned over Mycenae, the sons of Pterelaus came with some Taphians and claimed the kingdom of Mestor, their maternal grandfather,26 and as Electryon paid no heed to the claim, they drove away his kine; and when the sons of Electryon stood on their defence, they challenged and slew each other.27 But of the sons of Electryon there survived Licymnius, who was still young; and of the sons of Pterelaus there survived Everes, who guarded the ships. Those of the Taphians who escaped sailed away, taking with them the cattle they had lifted, and entrusted them to Polyxenus, king of the Eleans; but Amphitryon ransomed them from Polyxenus and brought them to Mycenae. Wishing to avenge his sons' death, Electryon purposed to make war on the Teleboans, but first he committed the kingdom to Amphitryon along with his daughter Alcmena, binding him by oath to keep her a virgin until his return.28 However, as he was receiving the cows back, one of them charged, and Amphitryon threw at her the club which he had in his hands. But the club rebounded from the cow's horns and striking Electryon's head killed him.29 Hence Sthenelus laid hold of this pretext to banish Amphitryon from the whole of Argos, while he himself seized the throne of Mycenae and Tiryns; and he entrusted Midea to Atreus and Thyestes, the sons of Pelops, whom he had sent for. 0

Amphitryon went with Alcmena and Licymnius to Thebes and was purified by Creon30 and gave his sister Perimede to Licymnius. And as Alcmena said she would marry him when he had avenged her brothers' death, Amphitryon engaged to do so, and undertook an expedition against the Teleboans, and invited Creon to assist him. Creon said he would join in the expedition if Amphitryon would first rid the Cadmea of the vixen; for a brute of a vixen was ravaging the Cadmea.31 But though Amphitryon undertook the task, it was fated that nobody should catch her. [7] As the country suffered thereby, the Thebans every month exposed a son of one of the citizens to the brute, which would have carried off many if that were not done. So Amphitryon betook him to Cephalus, son of Deioneus, at Athens, and persuaded him, in return for a share of the Teleboan spoils, to bring to the chase the dog which Procris had brought from Crete as a gift from Minos32; for that dog was destined to catch whatever it pursued. So then, when the vixen was chased by the dog, Zeus turned both of them into stone. Supported by his allies, to wit, Cephalus from Thoricus in Attica, Panopeus from Phocis, Heleus, son of Perseus, from Helos in Argolis, and Creon from Thebes, Amphitryon ravaged the islands of the Taphians. Now, so long as Pterelaus lived, he could not take Taphos; but when Comaetho, daughter of Pterelaus, falling in love with Amphitryon, pulled out the golden hair from her father's head, Pterelaus died,33 and Amphitryon subjugated all the islands. He slew Comaetho, and sailed with the booty to Thebes,34 and gave the islands to Heleus and Cephalus; and they founded cities named after themselves and dwelt in them. [8]

But before Amphitryon reached Thebes, Zeus came by night and prolonging the one night threefold he assumed the likeness of Amphitryon and bedded with Alcmena35 and related what had happened concerning the Teleboans. But when Amphitryon arrived and saw that he was not welcomed by his wife, he inquired the cause; and when she told him that he had come the night before and slept with her, he learned from Tiresias how Zeus had enjoyed her. And Alcmena bore two sons, to wit, Hercules, whom she had by Zeus and who was the elder by one night, and Iphicles, whom she had by Amphitryon. When the child was eight months old, Hera desired the destruction of the babe and sent two huge serpents to the bed. Alcmena called Amphitryon to her help, but Hercules arose and killed the serpents by strangling them with both his hands.36 However, Pherecydes says that it was Amphitryon who put the serpents in the bed, because he would know which of the two children was his, and that when Iphicles fled, and Hercules stood his ground, he knew that Iphicles was begotten of his body. [9]

Hercules was taught to drive a chariot by Amphitryon, to wrestle by Autolycus, to shoot with the bow by Eurytus, to fence by Castor, and to play the lyre by Linus.37 This Linus was a brother of Orpheus; he came to Thebes and became a Theban, but was killed by Hercules with a blow of the lyre; for being struck by him, Hercules flew into a rage and slew him.38 When he was tried for murder, Hercules quoted a law of Rhadamanthys, who laid it down that whoever defends himself against a wrongful aggressor shall go free, and so he was acquitted. But fearing he might do the like again, Amphitryon sent him to the cattle farm; and there he was nurtured and outdid all in stature and strength. Even by the look of him it was plain that he was a son of Zeus; for his body measured four cubits,39 and he flashed a gleam of fire from his eyes; and he did not miss, neither with the bow nor with the javelin.

While he was with the herds and had reached his eighteenth year he slew the lion of Cithaeron, for that animal, sallying from Cithaeron, harried the kine of Amphitryon and of Thespius.40 [10] Now this Thespius was king of Thespiae, and Hercules went to him when he wished to catch the lion. The king entertained him for fifty days, and each night, as Hercules went forth to the hunt, Thespius bedded one of his daughters with him( fifty daughters having been borne to him by Megamede, daughter of Arneus); for he was anxious that all of them should have children by Hercules. Thus Hercules, though he thought that his bed-fellow was always the same, had intercourse with them all.41 And having vanquished the lion, he dressed himself in the skin and wore the scalp42 as a helmet. [11]

As he was returning from the hunt, there met him heralds sent by Erginus to receive the tribute from the Thebans.43 Now the Thebans paid tribute to Erginus for the following reason. Clymenus, king of the Minyans, was wounded with a cast of a stone by a charioteer of Menoeceus, named Perieres, in a precinct of Poseidon at Onchestus; and being carried dying to Orchomenus, he with his last breath charged his son Erginus to avenge his death. So Erginus marched against Thebes, and after slaughtering not a few of the Thebans he concluded a treaty with them, confirmed by oaths, that they should send him tribute for twenty years, a hundred kine every year. Falling in with the heralds on their way to Thebes to demand this tribute, Hercules outraged them; for he cut off their ears and noses and hands, and having fastened them by ropes from their necks, he told them to carry that tribute to Erginus and the Minyans. Indignant at this outrage, Erginus marched against Thebes. But Hercules, having received weapons from Athena and taken the command, killed Erginus, put the Minyans to flight, and compelled them to pay double the tribute to the Thebans. And it chanced that in the fight Amphitryon fell fighting bravely. And Hercules received from Creon his eldest daughter Megara as a prize of valor,44 and by her he had three sons, Therimachus, Creontiades, and Deicoon. But Creon gave his younger daughter to Iphicles, who already had a son Iolaus by Automedusa, daughter of Alcathus. And Rhadamanthys, son of Zeus, married Alcmena after the death of Amphitryon, and dwelt as an exile at Ocaleae in Boeotia.45

Having first learned from Eurytus the art of archery,46 Hercules received a sword from Hermes, a bow and arrows from Apollo,47 a golden breastplate from Hephaestus, and a robe from Athena; for he had himself cut a club at Nemea. [12]

Now it came to pass that after the battle with the Minyans Hercules was driven mad through the jealousy of Hera and flung his own children, whom he had by Megara, and two children of Iphicles into the fire;48 wherefore he condemned himself to exile, and was purified by Thespius, and repairing to Delphi he inquired of the god where he should dwell.49 The Pythian priestess then first called him Hercules, for hitherto he was called Alcides.50 And she told him to dwell in Tiryns, serving Eurystheus for twelve years and to perform the ten labours imposed on him, and so, she said, when the tasks were accomplished, he would be immortal.51


1 The following legend of Perseus (Apollod. 2.4.1-4) seems to be based on that given by Pherecydes in his second book, which is cited as his authority by the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1091, 1515, whose narrative agrees closely with that of Apollodorus. The narrative of Apollodorus is quoted, for the most part verbally, but as usual without acknowledgment, by Zenobius, Cent. i.41, who, however, like the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1091, 1515, passes over in silence the episode of Andromeda. Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 838 (who may have followed Apollodorus); Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.319. The story of Danae, the mother of Perseus, was the theme of plays by Sophocles and Euripides. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 143ff., 168ff., 453ff. The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 38ff., 115ff.

2 Compare Soph. Ant. 944ff. Horace represents Danae as shut up in a brazen tower (Hor. Carm. 3.16.1ff.).

3 That is, between Acrisius and Proetus. See above, Apollod. 2.2.1.

4 That is, he pretended to be a suitor for the hand of Hippodamia and to be collecting a present for her, such as suitors were wont to offer to their brides. As to Hippodamia and her suitors, see Apollod. E.2.4ff.

5 As to the Phorcides, compare Hes. Th. 270ff.; Aesch. PB 794ff.; Eratosthenes, Cat. 22; Ov. Met. 4.774ff.; Hyginus, Ast. ii.12. Aeschylus wrote a satyric play on the subject. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 83ff.

6 Hes. Sh. 223ff.

7 The word κίβισις is absurdly derived by the writer from κεῖσθαι and ἐσθής. The gloss is probably an interpolation.

8 Compare Ov. Met. 4.782ff.

9 Compare Hes. Th. 280ff.; Ov. Met. 4.784ff., vi.119ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 151.

10 For the story of Andromeda, see Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 836; Conon 40 (who rationalizes the story); Eratosthenes, Cat. 16, 17, and 36; Ov. Met. 4.665ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 64; Hyginus, Ast. ii.11; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 24ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 73). According to the first two of these writers, the scene of the tale was laid at Joppa. The traces of Andromeda's fetters were still pointed out on the rocks at Joppa in the time of Josephus (Jos. Bell. Jud. iii.9.2). Sophocles and Euripides composed tragedies on the subject, of which some fragments remain. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 157ff., 392ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, i.78ff.

11 That is, the oracle which declared that he would be killed by the son of Danae. See above, Apollod. 2.4.1.

12 Compare Paus. 2.16.2.

13 According to another account, the grave of Acrisius was in the temple of Athena on the acropolis of Larissa. See Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. iii.45, p. 39, ed. Potter.

14 As to this exchange of kingdoms, compare Paus. 2.16.3.

15 As to the fortification or foundation of Mycenae by Perseus, see Paus. 2.15.4, Paus. 2.16.3.

16 As to the sons of Perseus and Andromeda, compare Scholiast on Hom. Il. xix.116; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.747. The former agrees with Apollodorus as to the five sons born to Perseus in Mycenae, except that he calls one of them Aelius instead of Heleus; the latter mentions only four sons, Alcaeus, Sthenelus, Mestor, and Electryon.

17 See below, Apollod. 3.10.3.

18 The name Teleboans is derived by the writer from “telou ebē” (τηλοῦ ἔβη), “he went far.” The same false etymology is accepted by Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 932;. Strabo says (Strab. 10.2.20) that the Taphians were formerly called Teleboans.

19 See below, Apollod. 2.4.7.

20 Thus Electryon married his niece, the daughter of his brother Alcaeus (see above, Apollod. 2.4.5). Similarly Butes is said to have married the daughter of his brother Erechtheus (Apollod. 3.15.1), and Phineus is reported to have been betrothed to the daughter of his brother Cepheus (Apollod. 2.4.3). Taken together, these traditions perhaps point to a custom of marriage with a niece, the daughter of a brother.

21 According to another account, the mother of Alcmena was a daughter of Pelops (Eur. Herc. 210ff.), her name being variously given as Lysidice (Scholiast on Pind. O. 7.27(49);; Plut. Thes. 6) and Eurydice (Diod. 4.9.1).

22 Compare Scholiast on Pind. O. 7.27(49).

23 According to other accounts, her name was Antibia (Scholiast on Hom. Il. xix.119) or Archippe (Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.172, 192).

24 Compare Hom. Il. 19.95-133, where (v. 119) the Ilithyias, the goddesses of childbirth, are also spoken of in the plural. According to Ov. Met. 9.292ff., the goddess of childbirth (Lucina, the Roman equivalent of Ilithyia) delayed the birth of Herakles by sitting at the door of the room with crossed legs and clasped hands until, deceived by a false report that Alcmena had been delivered, she relaxed her posture and so allowed the birth to take place. Compare Paus. 9.11.3; Ant. Lib. 29, according to whom it was the Fates and Ilithyia who thus retarded the birth of Herakles. Among the Efiks and Ibibios, of Southern Nigeria, “the ancient custom still obtains that locks should be undone and knots untied in the house of a woman who is about to bear a babe, since all such are thought, by sympathetic magic, to retard delivery. A case was related of a jealous wife, who, on the advice of a witch doctor versed in the mysteries of her sex, hid a selection of padlocks beneath her garments, then went and sat down near the sick woman's door and surreptitiously turned the key in each. She had previously stolen an old waist-cloth from her rival, which she knotted so tightly over and over that it formed a ball, and, as an added precaution, she locked her fingers closely together and sat with crossed legs, exactly as did Juno Lucina of old when determined to prevent the birth of the infant Herakles” (D. Amaury Talbot, Woman's Mysteries of a Primitive People, the Ibibios of Southern Nigeria (London, etc. 1915), p. 22). See further Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, pp. 294ff.

25 Compare Scholiast on Hom. Il. xix.119; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.172ff., 192ff.

26 Taphius, the father of Pterelaus, was a son of Hippothoe, who was a daughter of Mestor. See above, Apollod. 2.4.5. Thus Mestor was not the maternal grandfather, but the great-grandfather of the sons of Pterelaus. Who the maternal grandfather of the sons of Pterelaus was we do not know, since the name of their mother is not recorded. The words “their maternal grandfather” are probably a gloss which has crept into the text. See the Critical Note. Apart from the difficulty created by these words, it is hard to suppose that Electryon was still reigning over Mycenae at the time of this expedition of the sons of Pterelaus, since, being a son of Perseus, he was a brother of their great-grandfather Mestor.

27 Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.747-751, with the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.747; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 932, whose account seems based on that of Apollodorus.

28 Compare Hes. Sh. 14ff., where it is said that Amphitryon might not go in to his wife Alcmena until he had avenged the death of her brothers, the sons of Electryon, who had been slain in the fight with the Taphians. The tradition points to a custom which enjoined an avenger of blood to observe strict chastity until he had taken the life of his enemy.

29 A similar account of the death of Electryon is given by Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 932, who seems to follow Apollodorus. According to this version of the legend, the slaying of Electryon by Amphitryon was purely accidental. But according to Hes. Sh. 11ff.; Hes. Sh. 79ff., the two men quarrelled over the cattle, and Amphitryon killed Electryon in hot blood. Compare the Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.323.

30 That is, for the killing of Electryon. Compare Hes. Sh. 79ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 932; Eur. Herc. 16ff.

31 The animal had its lair at Teumessus, and hence was known as the Teumessian fox. See Paus. 9.19.1; Ant. Lib. 41; Apostolius, Cent. xvi.42; Suidas, s.v. Τευμησία; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.553ff. (who refers to Apollodorus as his authority); Ov. Met. 7.762ff. By an easy application of the rationalistic instrument, which cuts so many mythological knots, the late Greek writer Palaephatus (De Incredib. 8) converted the ferocious animal into a gentleman (καλὸς κἀγαθὸς) named Fox, of a truculent disposition and predatory habits, who proved a thorn in the flesh to the Thebans, until Cephalus rid them of the nuisance by knocking him on the head.

32 As to Procris, see below, Apollod. 3.15.1.

33 Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 932. For the similar story of Nisus and his daughter Megara, see below, Apollod. 3.15.8.

34 In the sanctuary of Ismenian Apollo at Thebes, the historian Herodotus saw a tripod bearing an inscription in “Cadmean letters,” which set forth that the vessel had been dedicated by Amphitryon from the spoils of the Teleboans. See Hdt. 5.59. Among the booty was a famous goblet which Poseidon had given to his son Teleboes, and which Teleboes had given to Pterelaus. See Athenaeus xi.99, p. 498 C; Plaut. Amph. 256ff. For the expedition of Amphitryon against the Teleboans or Taphians, see also Strab. 10.2.20; Paus. 1.37.6; Plaut. Amph. 183-256.

35 For the deception of Alcmena by Zeus and the birth of Herakles and Iphicles, see Hes. Sh. 27-56; Diod. 4.9; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.323, and Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.266; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 33; Hyginus, Fab. 29. The story was the subject of plays by Sophocles and Euripides which have perished (TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 156, 386ff. The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C Pearson, i.76ff.); and it is the theme of a well-known comedy of Plautus the Amphitryo, which is extant. In that play (Plaut. Amph. 112ff.), Plautus mentions the lengthening of the night in which Jupiter (Zeus) begat Herakles. The Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.323 says that Zeus persuaded the Sun not to rise for three days; and the threefold night is mentioned also by Diod. 4.9.2. The whole story was told by Pherecydes, as we learn from the Scholiasts on Hom. Il. xiv.323; Od. xi.266; and it is likely that Apollodorus here follows him, for he refers to Pherecydes a few lines below.

36 As to the infant Herakles and the serpents, compare Pind. N. 1.33(50)ff.; Theocritus xxiv; Diod. 4.10.1; Paus. 1.24.2; Plaut. Amph. 1123ff.; Verg. A. 8.288ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 30. According to Theocritus xxiv.1, Herakles was ten months old when he strangled the serpents.

37 As to the education of Herakles, see Theocritus xxiv.104ff., according to whom Herakles learned wrestling not from Autolycus but from Harpalycus, son of Hermes.

38 Compare Diod. 3.67.2; Paus. 9.29.9; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.213ff.

39 Four cubits and one foot, according to the exact measurement of the historian Herodorus. See Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.210ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 662.

40 According to another account, the lion of Cithaeron was killed by Alcathous (Paus. 1.41.3ff.). But Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.216ff. agrees with Apollodorus, whose account of Herakles he seems to follow.

41 As to Herakles and the daughters of Thespius, compare Diod. 4.29.2ff.; Paus. 9.27.6ff.; Athenaeus xiii.4, p. 556 F; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.221ff. The father of the damsels is called Thestius by Pausanias and Athenaeus, who refers to Herodorus as his authority. See the Critical Note.

42 More exactly, “the gaping mouth.” In Greek art Herakles is commonly represented wearing the lion's skin, often with the lion's scalp as a hood on his head. See, for example, Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums, i. figs. 724, 726, 729, 730.

43 As to Herakles and Erginus, compare Diod. 4.10.3-5; Paus. 9.37.2ff.; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.226ff.

44 Compare Diod. 4.10.6; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.228. As to the sons of Herakles by Megara, compare below, Apollod. 2.7.8. The ancients differed considerably as to the number and names of the children whom Herakles had by Megara. According to Pind. I. 4.63ff. there were eight of them. Euripides speaks of three (Eur. Herc. 995ff.). See Scholiast on Pind. I. 4.61(104); Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 48, 663; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.269 (who agrees with Apollodorus and quotes Asclepiades as his authority); Hyginus, Fab. 31, 32. The Thebans celebrated an annual festival, with sacrifices and games, in honour of the children. See Pind. I. 4.61 (104)ff, with the Scholiast.

45 Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 50, who says that Rhadamanthys fled from Crete because he had murdered his own brother. He agrees with Pausanias that the worthy couple took up their abode at Ocaleae (or Ocalea) in Boeotia. Their tombs were shown near Haliartus, in Boeotia. See Plut. Lys. 28. The grave of Alcmena was excavated in antiquity, during the Spartan occupation of the Cadmea. It was found to contain a small bronze bracelet, two earthen-ware jars, and a bronze tablet inscribed with ancient and unknown characters. See Plut. De genio Socratis 5. A different story of the marriage of Rhadamanthys and Alcmena was told by Pherecydes. According to him, when Alcmena died at a good old age, Zeus commanded Hermes to steal her body from the coffin in which the sons of Herakles were conveying it to the grave. Hermes executed the commission, adroitly substituting a stone for the corpse in the coffin. Feeling the coffin very heavy, the sons of Herakles set it down, and taking off the lid they discovered the fraud. They took out the stone and set it up in a sacred grove at Thebes, where was a shrine of Alcmena. Meantime Hermes had carried off the real Alcmena to the Islands of the Blest, where she was married to Rhadamanthys. See Ant. Lib. 33. This quaint story is alluded to by Pausanias, who tells us (Paus. 9.16.7) that there was no tomb of Alcmena at Thebes, because at her death she had been turned to stone.

46 See above Apollod. 2.4.9. According to another account, Herakles learned archery from the exile Rhadamanthys (Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 50), and if we accept the MS. reading αὐτοῦ in the present passage (see Critical Note), this was the version of the story here followed by Apollodorus. But it seems more likely that αὐτοῦ is a scribe's mistake for Εὐρύτου than that Apollodorus should have contradicted himself flatly in two passages so near each other. The learned Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 50 mentions no less than three different men—Teutarus, Eurytus, and Rhadamanthys—to whom the honour of having taught Herakles to shoot was variously assigned by tradition.

47 As to the gifts of the gods to Herakles, see Diod. 4.13.3, who, besides the sword and bow given by Hermes and Apollo, mentions horses given by Poseidon.

48 Compare Eur. Herc. 967ff.; Moschus iv.13ff.; Diod. 4.11.1ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 38; Nicolaus Damascenus, Frag. 20, in Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, ed. C. Müller, iii.369; Hyginus, Fab. 32.

49 Compare Diod. 4.10.7.

50 Herakles was called Alcides after his grandfather Alcaeus, the father of Amphitryon. See above, Apollod. 2.4.5. But, according to another account, the hero was himself called Alcaeus before he received the name of Herakles from Apollo. See Sextus Empiricus, pp. 398ff., ed. Bekker; Scholiast on Pind. O. 6.68(115).

51 For the labours of Herakles, see Soph. Trach. 1091ff.; Eur. Herc. 359ff.; Eur. Herc. 1270ff.; Diod. 4.10ff.; Paus. 5.10.9; Paus. 5.26.7; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica vi.208ff.; Tzetzes, Chiliades 229ff.; Verg. A. 8.287ff.; Ov. Met. 9.182ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 30.

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    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 223
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    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 794
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Epitome, e.2.4
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.10.3
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.2.1
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.4.1
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.4.3
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.4.5
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.4.7
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.4.9
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.7.8
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.15.1
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.15.8
    • Euripides, Heracles, 16
    • Euripides, Heracles, 210
    • Euripides, Heracles, 359
    • Euripides, Heracles, 967
    • Euripides, Heracles, 995
    • Euripides, Heracles, 1270
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.59
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 11
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 14
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 223
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 79
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 27
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 280
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 270
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.41.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.16.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.16.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.10.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.11.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.27.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.24.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.37.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.15.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.26.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.16.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.19.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.29.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.37.2
    • Pindar, Isthmean, 4
    • Pindar, Nemean, 1
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 944
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1091
    • Homer, Iliad, 19.95
    • Strabo, Geography, 10.2.20
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.665
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.774
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.782
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.784
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.762
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.182
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.292
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 1.1
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 8.287
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 8.288
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 1.prol
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 5.1
    • Plutarch, Lysander, 28
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 6
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