1. Third, he slew at Crommyon the sow that was called Phaea after the old woman who bred it;1 that sow, some say, was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon. [2] Fourth, he slew Sciron, the Corinthian, son of Pelops, or, as some say, of Poseidon. He in the Megarian territory held the rocks called after him Scironian, and compelled passers-by to wash his feet, and in the act of washing he kicked them into the deep to be the prey of a huge turtle. [3] But Theseus seized him by the feet and threw him into the sea.2 Fifth, in Eleusis he slew Cercyon, son of Branchus and a nymph Argiope. This Cercyon compelled passers-by to wrestle, and in wrestling killed them. But Theseus lifted him up on high and dashed him to the ground.3 [4] Sixth, he slew Damastes, whom some call Polypemon.4 He had his dwelling beside the road, and made up two beds, one small and the other big; and offering hospitality to the passers-by, he laid the short men on the big bed and hammered them, to make them fit the bed; but the tall men he laid on the little bed and sawed off the portions of the body that projected beyond it.

So, having cleared the road, Theseus came to Athens. [5] But Medea, being then wedded to Aegeus, plotted against him5 and persuaded Aegeus to beware of him as a traitor. And Aegeus, not knowing his own son, was afraid and sent him against the Marathonian bull. [6] And when Theseus had killed it, Aegeus presented to him a poison which he had received the selfsame day from Medea. But just as the draught was about to be administered to him, he gave his father the sword, and on recognizing it Aegeus dashed the cup from his hands.6 And when Theseus was thus made known to his father and informed of the plot, he expelled Medea. [7]

And he was numbered among those who were to be sent as the third tribute to the Minotaur; or, as some affirm, he offered himself voluntarily.7 And as the ship had a black sail, Aegeus charged his son, if he returned alive, to spread white sails on the ship.8 [8] And when he came to Crete, Ariadne, daughter of Minos, being amorously disposed to him, offered to help him if he would agree to carry her away to Athens and have her to wife. Theseus having agreed on oath to do so, she besought Daedalus to disclose the way out of the labyrinth. [9] And at his suggestion she gave Theseus a clue when he went in; Theseus fastened it to the door, and, drawing it after him, entered in.9 And having found the Minotaur in the last part of the labyrinth, he killed him by smiting him with his fists; and drawing the clue after him made his way out again. And by night he arrived with Ariadne and the children10 at Naxos. There Dionysus fell in love with Ariadne and carried her off;11 and having brought her to Lemnos he enjoyed her, and begat Thoas, Staphylus, Oenopion, and Peparethus.12 [10]

In his grief on account of Ariadne, Theseus forgot to spread white sails on his ship when he stood for port; and Aegeus, seeing from the acropolis the ship with a black sail, supposed that Theseus had perished; so he cast himself down and died.13 [11] But Theseus succeeded to the sovereignty of Athens, and killed the sons of Pallas, fifty in number;14 likewise all who would oppose him were killed by him, and he got the whole government to himself. [12]

On being apprized of the flight of Theseus and his company, Minos shut up the guilty Daedalus in the labyrinth, along with his son Icarus, who had been borne to Daedalus by Naucrate, a female slave of Minos. But Daedalus constructed wings for himself and his son, and enjoined his son, when he took to flight, neither to fly high, lest the glue should melt in the sun and the wings should drop off, nor to fly near the sea, lest the pinions should be detached by the damp. [13] But the infatuated Icarus, disregarding his father's injunctions, soared ever higher, till, the glue melting, he fell into the sea called after him Icarian, and perished.15 But Daedalus made his way safely to Camicus in Sicily. [14] And Minos pursued Daedalus, and in every country that he searched he carried a spiral shell and promised to give a great reward to him who should pass a thread through the shell, believing that by that means he should discover Daedalus. And having come to Camicus in Sicily, to the court of Cocalus, with whom Daedalus was concealed, he showed the spiral shell. Cocalus took it, and promised to thread it, and gave it to Daedalus; [15] and Daedalus fastened a thread to an ant, and, having bored a hole in the spiral shell, allowed the ant to pass through it. But when Minos found the thread passed through the shell, he perceived that Daedalus was with Cocalus, and at once demanded his surrender.16 Cocalus promised to surrender him, and made an entertainment for Minos; but after his bath Minos was undone by the daughters of Cocalus; some say, however, that he died through being drenched with boiling water.17 [16]

Theseus joined Hercules in his expedition against the Amazons and carried off Antiope, or, as some say, Melanippe; but Simonides calls her Hippolyte.18 Wherefore the Amazons marched against Athens, and having taken up a position about the Areopagus19 they were vanquished by the Athenians under Theseus. And though he had a son Hippolytus by the Amazon, [17] Theseus afterwards received from Deucalion20 in marriage Phaedra, daughter of Minos; and when her marriage was being celebrated, the Amazon that had before been married to him appeared in arms with her Amazons, and threatened to kill the assembled guests. But they hastily closed the doors and killed her. However, some say that she was slain in battle by Theseus. [18] And Phaedra, after she had borne two children, Acamas and Demophon, to Theseus, fell in love with the son he had by the Amazon, to wit, Hippolytus, and besought him to lie with her. Howbeit, he fled from her embraces, because he hated all women. But Phaedra, fearing that he might accuse her to his father, cleft open the doors of her bed-chamber, rent her garments, and falsely charged Hippolytus with an assault. [19] Theseus believed her and prayed to Poseidon that Hippolytus might perish. So, when Hippolytus was riding in his chariot and driving beside the sea, Poseidon sent up a bull from the surf, and the horses were frightened, the chariot dashed in pieces, and Hippolytus, entangled in the reins, was dragged to death. And when her passion was made public, Phaedra hanged herself.21 [20]

Ixion fell in love with Hera and attempted to force her; and when Hera reported it, Zeus, wishing to know if the thing were so, made a cloud in the likeness of Hera and laid it beside him; and when Ixion boasted that he had enjoyed the favours of Hera, Zeus bound him to a wheel, on which he is whirled by winds through the air; such is the penalty he pays. And the cloud, impregnated by Ixion, gave birth to Centaurus.22 [21]

“ And Theseus allied himself with Pirithous,23 when he engaged in war against the centaurs. For when Pirithous wooed Hippodamia, he feasted the centaurs because they were her kinsmen. But being unaccustomed to wine, they made themselves drunk by swilling it greedily, and when the bride was brought in, they attempted to violate her. But Pirithous, fully armed, with Theseus, joined battle with them, and Theseus killed many of them.

Zenobius, Cent. v. 33.

Caeneus was formerly a woman, but after that Poseidon had intercourse with her, she asked to become an invulnerable man; wherefore in the battle with the centaurs he thought scorn of wounds and killed many of the centaurs; but the rest of them surrounded him and by striking him with fir trees buried him in the earth.24 [23]

Having made a compact with Pirithous that they would marry daughters of Zeus, Theseus, with the help of Pirithous, carried off Helen from Sparta for himself, when she was twelve years old,25 and in the endeavor to win Persephone as a bride for Pirithous he went down to Hades. And the Dioscuri, with the Lacedaemonians and Arcadians, captured Athens and carried away Helen, and with her Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, into captivity;26 but Demophon and Acamas fled. And the Dioscuri also brought back Menestheus from exile, and gave him the sovereignty of Athens.27 [24] But when Theseus arrived with Pirithous in Hades, he was beguiled; for, on the pretence that they were about to partake of good cheer, Hades bade them first be seated on the Chair of Forgetfulness, to which they grew and were held fast by coils of serpents. Pirithous, therefore, remained bound for ever, but Hercules brought Theseus up and sent him to Athens.28 Thence he was driven by Menestheus and went to Lycomedes, who threw him down an abyss and killed him.29

1 Compare Bacch. 17(18).23ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59.4; Plut. Thes. 9; Paus. 2.1.3; Hyginus, Fab. 38, who calls the animal a boar. Plutarch notices a rationalistic version of the story, which converted the sow Phaea into a female robber of that name. No ancient writer but Apollodorus mentions the old woman Phaea who nursed the sow, but she appears on vase paintings which represent the slaughter of the sow by Theseus. See Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums, iii. pp. 1787ff., 1789, fig. 1873; Hofer, in W. H. Roscher, Lexikon der griech. und röm. Mythologie, ii.1450ff.

2 Compare Bacch. 17(18).24ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59.4; Plut. Thes. 10; Paus. 1.44.8; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 979; Scholiast on Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus 21, p. 65, ed. H. Rabe; Ov. Met. 7.443ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 38; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. i.333; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 52, 117 (First Vatican Mythographer 167; Second Vatican Mythographer 127). Curiously enough, the Second Vatican Mythographer attributes the despatching of Sciron, not to Theseus, but to the artist Daedalus. The Megarians, as we learn from Plutarch, indignantly denied the defamatory reports current as to the character and pursuits of their neighbour Sciron, whom they represented as a most respectable man, the foe of robbers, the friend of the virtuous, and connected by marriage with families of the highest quality; but their efforts to whitewash the blackguard appear to have been attended with little success. The Scironian Rocks, to which Sciron was supposed to have given his name, are a line of lofty cliffs rising sheer from the sea; a narrow, crumbling ledge about half way up their face afforded a perilous foothold, from which the adventurous traveller looked down with horror on the foam of the breakers far below. The dangers of the path were obviated about the middle of the nineteenth century by the construction of a road and railway along the coast. See Frazer's note on Paus. 1.44.6 (vol. ii. pp. 546ff. ).

3 Compare Bacch. 17(18).26ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59.5; Plut. Thes. 11; Paus. 1.39.3; Scholiast on Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus 21, p. 65, ed. H. Rabe; Ov. Met. 7.439; Hyginus, Fab. 38, who calls Cercyon a son of Vulcan (Hephaestus). The place associated with the story, known as the wrestling-school of Cercyon, was near Eleusis, on the road to MegaraPausanias, 1.39.3). The Scholiast on Lucian, l.c. says that it was near Eleutherae, but he is probably in error; for if the place were near Eleutherae, it must have been on the road from Eleusis to Thebes, which is not the road that Theseus would take on his way from the Isthmus of Corinth to Athens.

4 More commonly known as Procrustes. See Bacch. 17(18).27ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59.5; Plut. Thes. 11; Paus. 1.38.5; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 977; Ov. Met. 7.438; Hyginus, Fab. 38. Ancient authorities are not agreed as to the name of this malefactor. Apollodorus and Plutarch call him Damastes; but Apollodorus says that some people called him Polypemon, and this latter name is supported by Pausanias, who adds that he was surnamed Procrustes. Ovid in two passages (Ov. Met. 7.438, Her. ii. 69) calls him simply Procrustes, but in a third passage (Ovid, Ibis 407) he seems to speak of him as the son of Polypemon. The Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 977 wrongly names him Sinis. The reference of Bacchylides to him is difficult of interpretation. Jebb translates the passage: “The mighty hammer of Polypemon has dropt from the hand of the Maimer [Prokoptes], who has met with a stronger than himself.” Here Jebb understands Prokoptes to be another name for Procrustes, who received the hammer and learned the use of it from Polypemon, his predecessor, perhaps his father. But other translations and explanations have been proposed. See the note in Jebb's Appendix, pp. 490ff.; W. H. Roscher, Lexikon der griech. und röm. Mythologie, iii.2683, 2687ff. The hammer in question was the instrument with which Procrustes operated on the short men, beating them out till they fitted the long bed, as we learn from the Scholiast on Euripides as well as from Apollodorus; a handsaw was probably the instrument with which he curtailed the length of the tall men. According to Apollodorus, with whom Hyginus agrees, Procrustes had two beds for the accommodation of his guests, a long one for the short men, and a short one for the long men. But according to Diodorus Siculus, with whom the Scholiast on Euripides agrees, he had only one bed for all comers, and adjusted his visitors to it with the hammer or the handsaw according to circumstances.

5 That Theseus was sent against the Marathonian bull at the instigation of Medea is affirmed also by the First Vatican Mythographer. See Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 18, (First Vatican Mythographer, Fab. 48). Compare Plut. Thes. 14; Paus. 1.27.10; Ov. Met. 7.433ff. As to Medes at Athens, see above, Apollod. 1.9.28.

6 Compare Plut. Thes. 12; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xi.741; Ov. Met. 7.404-424. According to Ovid, the poison by which Medea attempted the life of Theseus was aconite, which she had brought with her from Scythia. The incident seems to have been narrated by Sophocles in his tragedy Aegeus. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 15ff.

7 Compare Plut. Thes. 17; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.320, p. 1688; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.322, and Il. xviii.590; Hyginus, Fab. 41; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. 192. The usual tradition seems to have been that he volunteered for the dangerous service; but a Scholiast on Hom. Il. 18.590 speaks as if the lot had fallen on him with the other victims. According to Hellanicus, cited by Plut. Thes. 17, the victims were not chosen by lot, but Minos came to Athens and picked them for himself, and on this particular occasion Theseus was the first on whom his choice fell.

8 As to the black and white sails, see Diod. 4.61.4; Plut. Thes. 17 and Plut. Thes. 22; Paus. 1.22.5; Catul. 64.215-245; Hyginus, Fab. 41, 43; Serv. Verg. A. 3.74. According to Simonides, quoted by Plut. Thes. 22, the sail that was to be the sign of safety was not white but scarlet, which, by contrast with the blue sea, would have caught the eye almost as easily as a white sail at a great distance.

9 Compare Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.322, Scholiast on Hom. Il. xviii.590; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.320, p. 1688; Diod. 4.61.4; Plut. Thes. 19; Hyginus, Fab. 42; Serv. Verg. A. 6.14, and on Georg. i.222; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. xii.676; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 16, 116ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 43; Second Vatican Mythographer 124). The clearest description of the clue, with which the amorous Ariadne furnished Theseus, is given by the Scholiasts and Eustathius on Homer l.c.. From them we learn that it was a ball of thread which Ariadne had begged of Daedalus for the use of her lover. He was to fasten one end of the thread to the lintel of the door on entering into the labyrinth, and holding the ball in his hand to unwind the skein while he penetrated deeper and deeper into the maze, till he found the Minotaur asleep in the inmost recess; then he was to catch the monster by the hair and sacrifice him to Poseidon; after which he was to retrace his steps, gathering up the thread behind him as he went. According to the Scholiast on the Odyssey (l.c.), the story was told by Pherecydes, whom later authors may have copied.

10 That is, the boys and girls whom he had rescued from the Minotaur.

11 Compare Diod. 4.61.5; Plut. Thes. 20; Paus. 1.20.3; Paus. 10.29.4; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.997; Scholiast on Theocritus ii.45; Catul. 64.116ff.; Ovid, Her. x.; Ovid, Ars Am. i.527ff.; Ov. Met. 8.174ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 43; Serv. Verg. G. 1.222; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 116ff. (Second Vatican Mythographer 124). Homer's account of the fate of Ariadne is different. He says (Hom. Od. 11.321-325) that when Theseus was carrying off Ariadne from Crete to Athens she was slain by Artemis in the island of Dia at the instigation of Dionysus. Later writers, such as Diodorus Siculus identified Dia with Naxos, but it is rather “the little island, now Standia, just off Heraclaion, on the north coast of Crete. Theseus would pass the island in sailing for Athens” (Merry on Hom. Od. xi.322). Apollodorus seems to be the only extant ancient author who mentions that Dionysus carried off Ariadne from Naxos to Lemnos and had intercourse with her there.

12 Compare Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.997. Others said that Ariadne bore Staphylus and Oenopion to Theseus (Plut. Thes. 20).

13 Compare Diod. 4.61.6ff.; Plut. Thes. 22; Paus. 1.22.5; Hyginus, Fab. 43; Serv. Verg. A. 3.74; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 117 (Second Vatican Mythographer 125). The three Latin writers say that Aegeus threw himself into the sea, which was hence called the Aegean after him. The Greek writers say that he cast himself down from the rock of the acropolis. Pausanius describes the exact point from which he fell, to wit the lofty bastion at the western end of the acropolis, on which in after ages the elegant little temple of Wingless Victory stood and still stands. It commands a wonderful view over the ports of Athens and away across the sea to Aegina and the coast of Peloponnese, looming clear and blue through the diaphanous Attic air in the far distance. A better look out the old man could not have chosen from which to watch, with straining eyes, for the white or scarlet sail of his returning son.

14 Pallas was the brother of Aegeus (see above, Apollod. 3.15.5); hence his fifty sons were cousins to Theseus. So long as Aegeus was childless, his nephews hoped to succeed to the throne; but when Theseus appeared from Troezen, claiming to be the king's son and his heir apparent, they were disappointed and objected to his succession, on the ground that he was a stranger and a foreigner. Accordingly, when Theseus succeeded to the crown, Pallas and his fifty sons rebelled against him, but were defeated and slain. See Plut. Thes. 3 and Plut. Thes. 13; Paus. 1.22.2; Paus. 1.28.10; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 35, who quotes from Philochorus a passage about the rebellion. In order to be purified from the guilt incurred by killing his cousins, Theseus went into banishment for a year along with his wife Phaedra. The place of their exile was Troezen, where Theseus had been born; and it was there that Phaedra saw and conceived a fatal passion for her stepson Hippolytus, and laid the plot of death. See Eur. Hipp. 34ff.; Paus. 1.22.2. According to a different tradition, Theseus was tried for murder before the court of the Delphinium at Athens, and was acquitted on the plea of justifiable homicide (Paus. 1.28.10).

15 Compare Strab. 14.1.19; Lucian, Gallus 23; Arrian, Anabasis vii.20.5; Zenobius, Cent. iv.92; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.498ff.; Severus, Narr. 5, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum, 32. p. 373; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ii.145; Ov. Met. 8.183-235; Hyginus, Fab. 40; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 16, 117 (First Vatican Mythographer 43, Second Vatican Mythographer 125). According to one account, Daedalus landed from his flight at Cumae, where he dedicated his wings to Apollo. See Verg. A. 6.14ff.; Juvenal iii.25. The myth of the flight of Daedalus and Icarus is rationalized by Diod. 4.77.5ff. and Paus. 9.11.4ff. According to Diodorus, the two were provided by Pasiphae with a ship in which they escaped, but in landing on a certain island Icarus fell into the sea and was drowned. According to Pausanias, father and son sailed in separate ships, scudding before the wind with sails, which Daedalus had just invented and spread for the first time to the sea breeze. The only writer besides Apollodorus who mentions the name of Icarus's mother is Tzetzes; he agrees with Apollodorus, whom he may have copied, in describing her as a slave woman named Naucrate.

16 The story of the quaint device by which Minos detected Daedalus is repeated by Zenobius, Cent. iv.92, who probably copied Apollodorus. The device was mentioned by Sophocles in a lost play, The Camicians, in which he dealt with the residence of Daedalus at the court of Cocalus in Sicily. See Athenaeus iii.32, p. 86 CD; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.3ff.

17 Compare Zenobius, Cent. iv.92; Diod. 4.79.2; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.508ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ii.145; Scholiast on Pind. N. 4.59(95); Ovid, Ibis 289ff., with the Scholia. The account of Zenobius agrees closely with that of Apollodorus, except that he makes the daughters of Cocalus pour boiling pitch instead of boiling water on the head of their royal guest. The other authorities speak of boiling water. The Scholiast on Pindar informs us that the ever ingenious Daedalus persuaded the princesses to lead a pipe through the roof, which discharged a stream of boiling water on Minos while he was disporting himself in the bath. Other writers mention the agency of the daughters of Cocalus in the murder of Minos, without describing the mode of his taking off. See Paus. 7.4.6; Conon 25; Hyginus, Fab. 44. Herodotus contents himself with saying (Hdt. 7.169ff.) that Minos died a violent death at Camicus in Sicily, whither he had gone in search of Daedalus. The Greek expression which I have translated “was undone” (ἔκλυτος ἐγένετο) is peculiar. If the text is sound (see Critical Note), the words must be equivalent to ἐξελύθη, “was relaxed, unstrung, or unnerved.” Compare Aristot. Prob. 862b 2ff., κατεψυγμένου παντὸς τοῦ σώματος καὶ ἐκλελυμένου πρὸς τοὺς πόνους. Aristotle also uses the adjective ἔκλυτος to express a supple, nerveless, or effeminate motion of the hands (Aristot. Physiog. 80a 14); and he says that tame elephants were trained to strike wild elephants,ἕως ἂν ἐκλύσωσιναὐτούς, “until they relax or weaken them” (Aristot. Hist. anim. 9.610a 27). Isocrates speaks of a mob ὄχλοςπρὸς τὸν πόλεμον ἐκλελυμένοςIsoc. 4.150). The verb ἐκλύειν is used in the sense of making an end of something troublesome or burdensome (Soph. OT 35ff. with Jebb's note); from which it might perhaps be extended to persons regarded as troublesome or burdensome. We may compare the parallel uses of the Latin dissolvere, as applied both to things (Hor. Carm. 1.9.5, dissolve frigus) and to persons (Sallust, Jugurtha 17, plerosque senectus dissolvit).

18 As to Theseus and the Amazons, see Diod. 4.28; Plut. Thes. 26-28; Paus. 1.2.1; Paus. 1.15.2; Paus. 1.41.7; Paus. 2.32.9; Paus. 5.11.4 and Paus. 5.11.7; Zenobius, Cent. v.33. The invasion of Attica by the Amazons in the time of Theseus is repeatedly referred to by Isocrates (Isoc. 4.68, 70, 4.42, 7.75, 12.193). The Amazon whom Theseus married, and by whom he had Hippolytus, is commonly called Antiope (Plut. Thes. 26; Plut. Thes. 28; Diod. 4.28; Paus. 1.2.1; Paus. 1.41.7; Seneca, Hippolytus 927ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 30). But according to Clidemus, in agreement with Simonides, her name was Hippolyte (Plut. Thes. 27), and so she is called by Isocrates (Isoc. 12.193). Pausanias says that Hippolyte was a sister of Antiope (Paus. 1.41.7). Tzetzes expressly affirms that Antiope, and not Hippolyte, was the wife of Theseus and mother of Hippolytus (Scholiast on Lycophron 1329). The grave of Antiope was shown both at Athens and MegaraPaus. 1.2.1; Paus. 1.41.7).

19 According to Diod. 4.28.2, the Amazons encamped at the place which was afterwards called the Amazonium. The topography of the battle seems to have been minutely described by the antiquarian Clidemus, according to whom the array of the Amazons extended from the Amazonium to the Pnyx, while the Athenians attacked them from the Museum Hill on one side and from Ardettus and the Lyceum on the other. See Plut. Thes. 27.

20 This Deucalion was a son of Minos and reigned after him; he was thus a brother of Phaedra. See above, Apollod. 3.1.2; Diod. 4.62.1. He is not to be confounded with the more famous Deucalion in whose time the great flood took place. See above, Apollod. 1.7.2.

21 The guilty passion of Phaedra for her stepson Hippolytus and the tragic end of the innocent youth, done to death by the curses of his father Theseus, are the subject of two extant tragedies, the Hippolytus of Euripides, and the Hippolytus or Phaedra of Seneca. Compare also Diod. 4.62; Paus. 1.22, Paus. 1.22.1ff., Paus. 2.32.1-4; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.321, citing Asclepiades as his authority; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 1329; Tzetzes, Chiliades vi.504ff.; Scholiast on Plat. Laws 9, 931b; Ov. Met. 15.497ff.; Ovid, Her. iv; Hyginus, Fab. 47; Serv. Verg. A. 6.445 and vii.761; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 17, 117ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 46; Second Vatican Mythographer 128). Sophocles composed a tragedy Phaedra, of which some fragments remain, but little or nothing is known of the plot. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 294ff. Euripides wrote two tragedies on the same subject, both under the title of Hippolytus: it is the second which has come down to us. In the first Hippolytus the poet, incensed at the misconduct of his wife, painted the character and behaviour of Phaedra in much darker colours than in the second, where he has softened the portrait, representing the unhappy woman as instigated by the revengeful Aphrodite, but resisting the impulse of her fatal passion to the last, refusing to tell her love to Hippolytus, and dying by her own hand rather than endure the shame of its betrayal by a blabbing nurse. This version of the story is evidently not the one here followed by Apollodorus, according to whom Phaedra made criminal advances to her stepson. On the other hand the version of Apollodorus agrees in this respect with that of the Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.321: both writers may have followed the first Hippolytus of Euripides. As to that lost play, of which some fragments have come down to us, see the Life of Euripides in Westermann's Vitarum Scriptores Graeci Minores, p. 137; the Greek Argument to the extant Hippolytus of Euripides vol. i.163, ed. Paley; TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 491ff. Apollodorus says nothing as to the scene of the tragedy. Euripides in his extant play lays it at Troezen, whither Theseus had gone with Phaedra to be purified for the slaughter of the sons of Pallas (Eur. Hipp. 34ff.). Pausanias agrees with this account, and tells us that the graves of the unhappy pair were to be seen beside each other at Troezen, near a myrtle-tree, of which the pierced leaves still bore the print of Phaedra's brooch. The natural beauty of the spot is in keeping with the charm which the genius of Euripides has thrown over the romantic story of unhappy love and death. Of Troezen itself only a few insignificant ruins remain, overgrown with weeds and dispersed amid a wilderness of bushes. But hard by are luxuriant groves of lemon and orange with here and there tall cypresses towering like dark spires above them, while behind this belt of verdure rise wooded hills, and across the blue waters of the nearly landlocked bay lies Calauria, the sacred island of Poseidon, its peaks veiled in the sombre green of the pines. A different place and time were assigned by Seneca to the tragedy. According to him, the events took place at Athens, and Phaedra conceived her passion for Hippolytus and made advances to him during the absence of her husband, who had gone down to the nether world with Pirithous and was there detained for four years (Eur. Hipp.835ff.). Diodorus Siculus agrees with Euripides in laying the scene of the tragedy at Troezen, and he agrees with Apollodorus in saying that at the time when Phaedra fell in love with Hippolytus she was the mother of two sons, Acamas and Demophon, by Theseus. In his usual rationalistic vein Diodorus omits all mention of Poseidon and the sea-bull, and ascribes the accident which befell Hippolytus to the mental agitation he felt at his stepmother's calumny.

22 Compare Pind. P. 2.21(39)-48(88), with the Scholiast on 21(39); Diod. 4.69.4ff.; Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 1185; Scholiast on Hom. Od.xxi.303; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.62; Hyginus, Fab. 62; Serv. Verg. A. 6.286 (who does not mention the punishment of the wheel); Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.539; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 4, 110ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 14; Second Vatican Mythographer 106). Tzetzes flatly contradicts Pindar and substitutes a dull rationalistic narrative for the poet's picturesque myth (Tzetzes, Chiliades vii.30ff.). According to some, the wheel of Ixion was fiery (Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 1185); according to the Vatican Mythographer it was entwined with snakes. The fiery aspect of the wheel is supported by vase paintings. From this and other evidence Mr. A. B. Cook argues that the flaming wheel launched through the air is a mythical expression for the Sun, and that Ixion himself “typifies a whole series of human Ixions who in bygone ages were done to death as effete embodiments of the sungod.” See his book Zeus, i.198-211.

23 This passage concerning the fight of Theseus with the centaurs at the marriage of Pirithous does not occur in our text of Apollodorus, but is conjecturally restored to it from Zenobius, Cent. v.33, or rather from his interpolator, who frequently quotes passages of Apollodorus without acknowledgment. The restoration was first proposed by Professor C. Robert before the discovery of the Epitome; and it is adopted by R. Wagner in his edition of Apollodorus. See C. Robert, De Apollodori Bibliotheca, pp. 49ff.; R. Wagner, Epitoma Vaticana ex Apollodori Bibliotheca, p. 147. As Pirithous was a son of Ixion (see above, Apollod. 1.8.2), the account of his marriage would follow naturally after the recital of his father's crime and punishment. As to the wedding of Pirithous, see further Diod. 4.70.3; Plut. Thes. 30; Paus. 5.10.8; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xxi.295; Hyginus, Fab. 33; Ov. Met. 12.210-535; Serv. Verg. A. 7.304; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 51, 111 (First Vatican Mythographer 162; Second Vatican Mythographer 108). The wife of Pirithous is called Deidamia by Plutarch, but Hippodamia by Diodorus Siculus, Hyginus, and the Second Vatican Mythographer, as well as by Hom. Il. 2.742. Ovid calls her Hippodame. The scene of the battle of the Lapiths with the centaurs at the wedding of Pirithous was sculptured in the western gable of the temple of Zeus at Olympia; all the sculptures were discovered, in a more or less fragmentary state, by the Germans in their excavations of the sanctuary, and they are now exhibited in the museum at Olympia. See Paus. 5.10.8, with my commentary ( Frazer, Paus. vol. iii. pp. 516ff.).

24 As to Caeneus, his change of sex and his invulnerability, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.57-64, with the Scholiast on v. 57; Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.264; Plut. Stoic. absurd. 1; Plut. De profectibus in virtute 1; Lucian, Gallus 19; Lucian, De saltatione 57; Apostolius, Cent. iv.19; Palaephatus, De incredib. 11; Ant. Lib. 17; Verg. A. 6.448ff.; Ov. Met. 12.459-532; Hyginus, Fab. 14, pp. 39ff., ed. Bunte; Serv. Verg. A. 6.448; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. 264; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 49, 111ff., 189 (First Vatican Mythographer 154; Second Vatican Mythographer 108; Third Vatican Mythographer 6.25). According to Servius and the Vatican Mythographers, after his death Caeneus was changed back into a woman, thus conforming to an observation of Plato or Aristotle that the sex of a person generally changes at each transmigration of his soul into a new body. Curiously enough, the Urabunna and Waramunga tribes of Central Australia agree with Plato or Aristotle on this point. They believe that the souls of the dead transmigrate sooner or later into new bodies, and that at each successive transmigration they change their sex. See Sir. Baldwin Spencer and F. J. Gillen, The Northern Tribes of Central Australia (London, 1904), p. 148. According to Ov. Met. 12.524ff., a bird with yellow wings was seen to rise from the heap of logs under which Caeneus was overwhelmed; and the seer Mopsus explained the bird to be Caeneus transformed into that creature. Another tradition about Caeneus was that he set up his spear in the middle of the marketplace and ordered people to regard it as a god and to swear by it. He himself prayed and sacrificed to none of the gods, but only to his spear. It was this impiety that drew down on him the wrath of Zeus, who instigated the centaurs to overwhelm him. See the Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.264; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.57. The whole story of the parentage of Caeneus, his impiety, his invulnerability, and the manner of his death, is told by the old prose-writer Acusilaus in a passage quoted by a Greek grammarian, of whose work some fragments, written on papyrus, were discovered some years ago at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. See The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part xiii. (London, 1919), pp. 133ff. Apollodorus probably derived his account of Caeneus from Acusilaus, whom he often refers to (see Index). The fortunate discovery of this fragment of the ancient writer confirms our confidence in the excellence of the sources used by Apollodorus and in the fidelity with which he followed them. In his complete work he may have narrated the impiety of Caeneus in setting up his spear for worship, though the episode has been omitted in the Epitome.

25 See above, Apollod. 3.10.7, with the note. Diod. 4.63.2 says that Helen was ten years old when she was carried off by Theseus and Pirithous.

26 Compare Diod. 4.63.3, 5; Plut. Thes. 32 and Plut. Thes. 34; Paus. 1.17.5; Paus. 2.22.6. According to these writers, it was not Athens but Aphidna (Aphidnae) that was captured by the Dioscuri.

27 Menestheus was one of the royal family of Athens, being a son of Peteos, who was a son of Orneus, who was a son of Erechtheus. See Plut. Thes. 32; Paus. 2.25.6. That he was restored and placed on the throne by Castor and Pollux during the absence of Theseus is mentioned also by Paus. 1.17.6 and Ael., Var. Hist. iv.5. Compare Plut. Thes. 32ff.

28 As to Theseus and Pirithous in hell, and the rescue of Theseus by Hercules, see above, Apollod. 2.5.12 with the note. The great painter Polygnotus painted the two heroes seated in chairs, Theseus holding his friend's sword and his own, while Pirithous gazed wistfully at the now useless blades, that had done such good service in the world of light and life. See Paus. 10.29.9. No ancient author, however, except Apollodorus in the present passage, expressly mentions the Chair of Forgetfulness, though Horace seems to allude to it (Hor. Carm. 4.7.27ff.), where he speaks of “the Lethaean bonds” which held fast Pirithous, and which his faithful friend was powerless to break. But when Apollodorus speaks of the heroes growing to their seats, he may be following the old poet Panyasis, who said that Theseus and Pirithous were not pinioned to their chairs, but that the rock growing to their flesh held them as in a vice (Paus. 10.29.9). Indeed, Theseus stuck so fast that, on being wrenched away by Hercules, he left a piece of his person adhering to the rock, which, according to some people, was the reason why the Athenians ever afterwards were so remarkably spare in that part of their frame. See Suidas, s.v. Λίσποι; Scholiast on Aristoph. Kn. 1368; compare Aulus Gellius x.16.13.

29 Compare Plut. Thes. 35; Paus. 1.17.6; Diod. 4.62.4.

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 References (82 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (82):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.1.2
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 1.7.2
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 1.9.28
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.5.12
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.10.7
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.15.5
    • Bacchylides, Dithyrambs, 18
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 34
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 835
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.169
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 150
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 42
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 68
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 70
    • Isocrates, Panathenaicus, 193
    • Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 75
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.20.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.22.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.32.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.11.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.11.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.29.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.29.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.15.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.17.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.17.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.22
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.22.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.22.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.27.10
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.28.10
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.2.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.38.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.39.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.41.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.44.8
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.1.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.22.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.25.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.32.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.4.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.11.4
    • Pindar, Pythian, 2
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 35
    • Homer, Odyssey, 11.321
    • Strabo, Geography, 14.1.19
    • Catullus, Poems, 64
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 12.459
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 12.524
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.404
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.433
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.443
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8.174
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8.183
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.497
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 6.14
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 6.448
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 3.74
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 6.14
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 6.286
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 6.445
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 6.448
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.438
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.439
    • Servius, Commentary on the Georgics of Vergil, 1.222
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 10
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 11
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 12
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 13
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 14
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 17
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 19
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 20
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 26
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 27
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 28
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 3
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 32
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 34
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 35
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 9
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 22
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: