previous next

To Deucalion were born Idomeneus and Crete and a bastard son Molus.1 But Glaucus, while he was yet a child, in chasing a mouse fell into a jar of honey and was drowned.2 On his disappearance Minos made a great search and consulted diviners as to how he should find him. The Curetes told him that in his herds he had a cow of three different colors, and that the man who could best describe that cow's color would also restore his son to him alive.3 So when the diviners were assembled, Polyidus, son of Coeranus, compared the color of the cow to the fruit of the bramble, and being compelled to seek for the child he found him by means of a sort of divination.4 But Minos declaring that he must recover him alive, he was shut up with the dead body. And while he was in great perplexity, he saw a serpent going towards the corpse. He threw a stone and killed it, fearing to be killed himself if any harm befell the body.5 But another serpent came, and, seeing the former one dead, departed, and then returned, bringing a herb, and placed it on the whole body of the other; and no sooner was the herb so placed upon it than the dead serpent came to life. Surprised at this sight, Polyidus applied the same herb to the body of Glaucus and raised him from the dead.6


1 Compare Diod. 5.79.4.

2 Glaucus was a son of Minos and Pasiphae. See above, Apollod. 3.1.2. For the story of his death and resurrection, see Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 811; Apostolius, Cent. v.48; Palaephatus, De incredib. 27; Hyginus, Fab. 136; Hyginus, Ast. ii.14. Sophocles and Euripides composed tragedies on the subject. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 216ff., 558ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 56ff.

3 The cow or calf (for so Hyginus describes it) was said to change colour twice a day, or once every four hours, being first white, then red, and then black. The diviner Polyidus solved the riddle by comparing the colour of the animal to a ripening mulberry, which is first white, then red, and finally black. See Hyginus, Fab. 136; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 811; Sophocles, quoted by Athenaeus ii.36, p. 51 D, and Bekker's Anecdota Graeca, i. p. 361, lines 20ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.60, frag. 395.

4 He is said to have discovered the drowned boy by observing an owl which had perched on a wine-cellar and was driving away bees. See Hyginus, Fab. 136. Compare Ael., Nat. Anim. v.2, from which it would seem that Hyginus here followed the tragedy of Polyidus by Euripides.

5 Accepting Bekker's emendation of the text. See Critical Note.

6 According to another account, Glaucus was raised from the dead by Aesculapius. See below, Apollod. 3.10.3; Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.54(96); Hyginus, Fab. 49; Hyginus, Ast. ii.14. In a Tongan tradition a dead boy is brought to life by being covered with the leaves of a certain tree. See Père Reiter, “Traditions Tonguinnes,” Anthropos, xii.-xi (1917-1918), pp. 1036ff.; and Frazer's Appendix to Apollodorus, “The Resurrection of Glaucus.”

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 Greek (Sir James George Frazer)
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.
Crete (Greece) (1)

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

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (8 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: