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1. Having now run over the family of Inachus and described them from Belus down to the Heraclids, we have next to speak of the house of Agenor. For as I have said,1 Libya had by Poseidon two sons, Belus and Agenor. Now Belus reigned over the Egyptians and begat the aforesaid sons; but Agenor went to Phoenicia, married Telephassa, and begat a daughter Europa and three sons, Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix.2 But some say that Europa was a daughter not of Agenor but of Phoenix.3 Zeus loved her, and turning himself into a tame bull, he mounted her on his back and conveyed her through the sea to Crete.4 There Zeus bedded with her, and she bore Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthys;5 but according to Homer, Sarpedon was a son of Zeus by Laodamia, daughter of Bellerophon.6 On the disappearance of Europa her father Agenor sent out his sons in search of her, telling them not to return until they had found Europa. With them her mother, Telephassa, and Thasus, son of Poseidon, or according to Pherecydes, of Cilix,7 went forth in search of her. But when, after diligent search, they could not find Europa, they gave up the thought of returning home, and took up their abode in divers places; Phoenix settled in Phoenicia; Cilix settled near Phoenicia, and all the country subject to himself near the river Pyramus he called Cilicia; and Cadmus and Telephassa took up their abode in Thrace and in like manner Thasus founded a city Thasus in an island off Thrace and dwelt there.8 [2]

Now Asterius, prince of the Cretans, married Europa and brought up her children.9 But when they were grown up, they quarrelled with each other; for they loved a boy called Miletus, son of Apollo by Aria, daughter of Cleochus.10 As the boy was more friendly to Sarpedon, Minos went to war and had the better of it, and the others fled. Miletus landed in Caria and there founded a city which he called Miletus after himself; and Sarpedon allied himself with Cilix, who was at war with the Lycians, and having stipulated for a share of the country, he became king of Lycia.11 And Zeus granted him to live for three generations. But some say that they loved Atymnius, the son of Zeus and Cassiepea, and that it was about him that they quarrelled. Rhadamanthys legislated for the islanders12 but afterwards he fled to Boeotia and married Alcmena13; and since his departure from the world he acts as judge in Hades along with Minos. Minos, residing in Crete, passed laws, and married Pasiphae, daughter of the Sun14 and Perseis; but Asclepiades says that his wife was Crete, daughter of Asterius. He begat sons, to wit, Catreus,15 Deucalion, Glaucus, and Androgeus: and daughters, to wit, Acalle, Xenodice, Ariadne, Phaedra; and by a nymph Paria he had Eurymedon, Nephalion, Chryses, and Philolaus; and by Dexithea he had Euxanthius. [3]

Asterius dying childless, Minos wished to reign over Crete, but his claim was opposed. So he alleged that he had received the kingdom from the gods, and in proof of it he said that whatever he prayed for would be done. And in sacrificing to Poseidon he prayed that a bull might appear from the depths, promising to sacrifice it when it appeared. Poseidon did send him up a fine bull, and Minos obtained the kingdom, but he sent the bull to the herds and sacrificed another.16 [ Being the first to obtain the dominion of the sea, he extended his rule over almost all the islands. ]17 [4] But angry at him for not sacrificing the bull, Poseidon made the animal savage, and contrived that Pasiphae should conceive a passion for it.18 In her love for the bull she found an accomplice in Daedalus, an architect, who had been banished from Athens for murder.19 He constructed a wooden cow on wheels, took it, hollowed it out in the inside, sewed it up in the hide of a cow which he had skinned, and set it in the meadow in which the bull used to graze. Then he introduced Pasiphae into it; and the bull came and coupled with it, as if it were a real cow. And she gave birth to Asterius, who was called the Minotaur. He had the face of a bull, but the rest of him was human; and Minos, in compliance with certain oracles, shut him up and guarded him in the Labyrinth. Now the Labyrinth which Daedalus constructed was a chamber “ that with its tangled windings perplexed the outward way. ”20 The story of the Minotaur, and Androgeus, and Phaedra, and Ariadne, I will tell hereafter in my account of Theseus.21 2.

But Catreus, son of Minos, had three daughters, Aerope, Clymene, and Apemosyne, and a son, Althaemenes.22 When Catreus inquired of the oracle how his life should end, the god said that he would die by the hand of one of his children. Now Catreus hid the oracles, but Althaemenes heard of them, and fearing to be his father's murderer, he set out from Crete with his sister Apemosyne, and put in at a place in Rhodes, and having taken possession of it he called it Cretinia. And having ascended the mountain called Atabyrium, he beheld the islands round about; and descrying Crete also and calling to mind the gods of his fathers he founded an altar of Atabyrian Zeus.23 But not long afterwards he became the murderer of his sister. For Hermes loved her, and as she fled from him and he could not catch her, because she excelled him in speed of foot, he spread fresh hides on the path, on which, returning from the spring, she slipped and so was deflowered. She revealed to her brother what had happened, but he, deeming the god a mere pretext, kicked her to death. [2] And Catreus gave Aerope and Clymene to Nauplius to sell into foreign lands; and of these two Aerope became the wife of Plisthenes, who begat Agamemnon and Menelaus; and Clymene became the wife of Nauplius, who became the father of Oeax and Palamedes. But afterwards in the grip of old age Catreus yearned to transmit the kingdom to his son Althaemenes, and went for that purpose to Rhodes. And having landed from the ship with the heroes at a desert place of the island, he was chased by the cowherds, who imagined that they were pirates on a raid. He told them the truth, but they could not hear him for the barking of the dogs, and while they pelted him Althaemenes arrived and killed him with the cast of a javelin, not knowing him to be Catreus. Afterwards when he learned the truth, he prayed and disappeared in a chasm. 3.

To Deucalion were born Idomeneus and Crete and a bastard son Molus.24 But Glaucus, while he was yet a child, in chasing a mouse fell into a jar of honey and was drowned.25 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.26 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.27 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.28 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.29 [2] Minos had now got back his son, but even so he did not suffer Polyidus to depart to Argos until he had taught Glaucus the art of divination. Polyidus taught him on compulsion, and when he was sailing away he bade Glaucus spit into his mouth. Glaucus did so and forgot the art of divination.30 Thus much must suffice for my account of the descendants of Europa. 4.

When Telephassa died, Cadmus buried her, and after being hospitably received by the Thracians he came to Delphi to inquire about Europa. The god told him not to trouble about Europa, but to be guided by a cow, and to found a city wherever she should fall down for weariness.31 After receiving such an oracle he journeyed through Phocis; then falling in with a cow among the herds of Pelagon, he followed it behind. And after traversing Boeotia, it sank down where is now the city of Thebes. Wishing to sacrifice the cow to Athena, he sent some of his companions to draw water from the spring of Ares. But a dragon, which some said was the offspring of Ares, guarded the spring and destroyed most of those that were sent. In his indignation Cadmus killed the dragon, and by the advice of Athena sowed its teeth. When they were sown there rose from the ground armed men whom they called Sparti.32 These slew each other, some in a chance brawl, and some in ignorance. But Pherecydes says that when Cadmus saw armed men growing up out of the ground, he flung stones at them, and they, supposing that they were being pelted by each other, came to blows. However, five of them survived, Echion, Udaeus, Chthonius, Hyperenor, and Pelorus.33 [2] But Cadmus, to atone for the slaughter, served Ares for an eternal year; and the year was then equivalent to eight years of our reckoning.34

After his servitude Athena procured for him the kingdom, and Zeus gave him to wife Harmonia, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares. And all the gods quitted the sky, and feasting in the Cadmea celebrated the marriage with hymns.35 Cadmus gave her a robe and the necklace wrought by Hephaestus, which some say was given to Cadmus by Hephaestus, but Pherecydes says that it was given by Europa, who had received it from Zeus.36 And to Cadmus were born daughters, Autonoe, Ino, Semele, Agave, and a son Polydorus.37 Ino was married to Athamas, Autonoe to Aristaeus, and Agave to Echion. [3] But Zeus loved Semele and bedded with her unknown to Hera.38 Now Zeus had agreed to do for her whatever she asked, and deceived by Hera she asked that he would come to her as he came when he was wooing Hera. Unable to refuse, Zeus came to her bridal chamber in a chariot, with lightnings and thunderings, and launched a thunderbolt. But Semele expired of fright, and Zeus, snatching the sixth-month abortive child39 from the fire, sewed it in his thigh. On the death of Semele the other daughters of Cadmus spread a report that Semele had bedded with a mortal man, and had falsely accused Zeus, and that therefore she had been blasted by thunder. But at the proper time Zeus undid the stitches and gave birth to Dionysus, and entrusted him to Hermes. And he conveyed him to Ino and Athamas, and persuaded them to rear him as a girl.40 But Hera indignantly drove them mad, and Athamas hunted his elder son Learchus as a deer and killed him,41 and Ino threw Melicertes into a boiling cauldron,42 then carrying it with the dead child she sprang into the deep. And she herself is called Leucothea, and the boy is called Palaemon, such being the names they get from sailors; for they succour storm-tossed mariners.43 And the Isthmian games were instituted by Sisyphus in honor of Melicertes.44 But Zeus eluded the wrath of Hera by turning Dionysus into a kid,45 and Hermes took him and brought him to the nymphs who dwelt at Nysa in Asia, whom Zeus afterwards changed into stars and named them the Hyades.46 [4]

Autonoe and Aristaeus had a son Actaeon, who was bred by Chiron to be a hunter and then afterwards was devoured on Cithaeron by his own dogs.47 He perished in that way, according to Acusilaus, because Zeus was angry at him for wooing Semele; but according to the more general opinion, it was because he saw Artemis bathing. And they say that the goddess at once transformed him into a deer, and drove mad the fifty dogs in his pack, which devoured him unwittingly. Actaeon being gone, the dogs sought their master howling lamentably, and in the search they came to the cave of Chiron, who fashioned an image of Actaeon, which soothed their grief.

“ [ The names of Actaeon's dogs from the . . . . So
Now surrounding his fair body, as it were that of a beast,
The strong dogs rent it. Near Arcena first.
. . . . after her a mighty brood,
Lynceus and Balius goodly-footed, and Amarynthus. —
And these he enumerated continuously by name.
And then Actaeon perished at the instigation of Zeus.
For the first that drank their master's black blood
Were Spartus and Omargus and Bores, the swift on the track.
These first ate of Actaeon and lapped his blood.
And after them others rushed on him eagerly . . . .
To be a remedy for grievous pains to men. ]


Dionysus discovered the vine,48 and being driven mad by Hera49 he roamed about Egypt and Syria. At first he was received by Proteus, king of Egypt,50 but afterwards he arrived at Cybela in Phrygia.51 And there, after he had been purified by Rhea and learned the rites of initiation, he received from her the costume and hastened through Thrace against the Indians. But Lycurgus, son of Dryas, was king of the Edonians, who dwell beside the river Strymon, and he was the first who insulted and expelled him.

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