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[7]

When Erichthonius died and was buried in the same precinct of Athena,1 Pandion2 became king, in whose time Demeter and Dionysus came to Attica.3 But Demeter was welcomed by Celeus at Eleusis,4 and Dionysus by Icarius, who received from him a branch of a vine and learned the process of making wine. And wishing to bestow the god's boons on men, Icarius went to some shepherds, who, having tasted the beverage and quaffed it copiously without water for the pleasure of it, imagined that they were bewitched and killed him; but by day5 they understood how it was and buried him. When his daughter Erigone was searching for her father, a domestic dog, named Maera, which had attended Icarius, discovered his dead body to her, and she bewailed her father and hanged herself.6


1 Compare Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. iii.45, p. 39, ed. Potter, who gives a list of legendary or mythical personages who were said to have been buried in sanctuaries or temples. Amongst the instances which he cites are the graves of Cinyras and his descendants in the sanctuary of Aphrodite at Paphus, and the grave of Acrisius in the temple of Athena on the acropolis of Larissa. To these examples C. G. Heyne, commenting on the present passage of Apollodorus, adds the tomb of Castor in a sanctuary at SpartaPaus. 3.13.1), the tomb of Hyacinth under the image of Apollo at Amyclae (Paus. 3.19.3), and the grave of Arcas in a temple of Hera at MantineaPaus. 8.9.3). “Arguing from these examples,” says Heyne, “some have tried to prove that the worship of the gods sprang from the honours paid to buried mortals.”

2 Compare Paus. 1.5.3, who distinguishes two kings named Pandion, first, the son of Erichtonius, and, second, the son of Cecrops the Second. This distinction is accepted by Apollodorus (see below, Apollod. 3.15.5), and it is supported by the Parian ChronicleMarmor Parium 22, 30). Eusebius also recognizes Pandion the Second, but makes him a son of Erechtheus instead of a son of Cecrops the Second (Eus. Chronic. bk. i. vol. i. col. 185, ed. A. Schoene). But like Cecrops the Second, son of Erectheus (below, Apollod. 3.15.5), Pandion the Second is probably no more than a chronological stopgap thrust into the broken framework of tradition by a comparatively late historian. Compare R. D. Hicks, in Companion to Greek Studies, ed. L. Whibley, 3rd. ed. (Cambridge, 1916), p. 76.

3 Here Apollodorus differs from the Parian Chronicle, which dates the advent of Demeter, not in the reign of Pandion, but in the reign of his son Erechtheus (Marmor Parium 23ff.). To the reign of Erechtheus the Parian Chronicle also refers the first sowing of corn by Triptolemus in the Rharian plain at Eleusis, and the first celebration of the mysteries by Eumolpus at EleusisMarmor Parium 23-29). Herein the Parian Chronicle seems to be in accord with the received Athenian tradition which dated the advent of Demeter, the beginning of agriculture, and the institution of the Eleusinian mysteries in the reign of Erechtheus. See Diod. 1.29.1-3. On the other hand, the Parian Chronicler dates the discovery of iron on the Cretan Mount Ida in the reign of Pandion the First (Marmor Parium 22ff.). He says nothing of the coming of Dionysus to Attica. The advent of Demeter and Dionysus is a mythical expression for the first cultivation of corn and vines in Attica; these important discoveries Attic tradition referred to the reigns either of Pandion the First or of his son Erechtheus.

4 See above, Apollod. 1.5.1.

5 The implication is that their wassailing had taken place by night. The Greek μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν regularly means “by day” as opposed to “by night”; it is not to be translated “the day after.” See Hdt. 2.150, οὐ νυκτὸς ἀλλὰ μετ᾽ ἡμέρην ποιεύμενον; Plat. Phaedrus 251d, ἐμμανὴς οὖσα οὔτε νυκτὸς δύναται καθεύδειν οὔτε μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν. Compare Apollod. 1.9.18, Apollod. 3.5.6νύκτωρ καὶ μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν), Apollod. 3.12.3; Apollod. E.4.5; Apollod. E.7.31μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν μὲν ὑφαίνουσα, νύκτωρ δὲ ἀναλύουσα).

6 With this story of the first introduction of wine into Attica, and its fatal consequences, compare Scholiast on Hom. Il. 22.29; Ael., Var. Hist. vii.28; Nonnus, Dionys. xlvii.34-245; Hyginus, Fab. 130; Hyginus, Ast. ii.4; Statius, Theb. xi.644-647, with the comment of Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. v. 644; Serv. Verg. G. 2.389; Probus on Verg. G. 2.385; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 6, 94ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 19; Second Vatican Mythographer 61). The Athenians celebrated a curious festival of swinging, which was supposed to be an expiation for the death of Erigone, who had hanged herself on the same tree at the foot of which she had discovered the dead body of her father Icarius (Hyginus, Ast. ii.4). See Hesychius, s.v. Αἰώρα; Etymologicum Magnum, s.v. Αἰώρα;; Athenaeus xiv.10, p. 618 EF; Festus, s.v. “Oscillantes,” p. 194, ed. C. O. Muller. Compare The Dying God, pp. 281ff. However, some thought that the Erigone whose death was thus expiated was not the daughter of Icarius, but the daughter of Aegisthus, who accused Orestes at Athens of the murder of her father and hanged herself when he was acquitted (so Etymologicum Magnum, l.c.; compare Apollod. E.6.25 with the note). Sophocles wrote a play Erigone, but it is doubtful to which of the two Erigones it referred. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 173ff. The home of Icarius was at IcariaStephanus Byzantius, s.v. Ἰκαρία. From the description of Statius, Theb. xi.644-647 we infer that the place was in the woods of Marathon, and in accordance with this description the site has been discovered in a beautiful wooded dell at the northern foot of the forest-clad slopes of Mount Pentelicus. The place is still appropriately named Dionysos. A rugged precipitous path leads down a wild romantic ravine from the deserted village of Rapentosa to the plain of Marathon situated at a great depth below. Among the inscriptions found on the spot several refer to the worship of Dionysus. See Frazer, commentary on Pausanias, vol. ii. pp. 461ff., compare p. 442.

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