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Medieval and Classical Library

Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica


Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #8

Fragment #1 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 128:
Hesiod in the "Marriage of Ceyx" says that he (Heracles) landed
(from the Argo) to look for water and was left behind in Magnesia
near the place called Aphetae because of his desertion there.

Fragment #2 --
Zenobius (1), ii. 19:
Hesiod used the proverb in the following way: Heracles is
represented as having constantly visited the house of Ceyx of
Trachis and spoken thus: `Of their own selves the good make for
the feasts of good.'

Fragment #3 --
Scholiast on Homer, Il. xiv. 119:
`And horse-driving Ceyx beholding...'

Fragment #4 --
Athenaeus, ii. p. 49b:
Hesiod in the "Marriage of Ceyx" -- for though grammar-school
boys alienate it from the poet, yet I consider the poem ancient
 -- calls the tables tripods.

Fragment #5 --
Gregory of Corinth, On Forms of Speech (Rhett. Gr. vii. 776):
`But when they had done with desire for the equal-shared feast,
even then they brought from the forest the mother of a mother
(sc. wood), dry and parched, to be slain by her own children'
(sc. to be burnt in the flames).


(1)  A Greek sophist who taught rhetoric at Rome in the time of
     Hadrian.  He is the author of a collection of proverbs in
     three books.

THE GREAT EOIAE (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Pausanius, ii. 26. 3:
Epidaurus.  According to the opinion of the Argives and the epic
poem, the "Great Eoiae", Argos the son of Zeus was father of

Fragment #2 --
Anonymous Comment. on Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, iii. 7:
And, they say, Hesiod is sufficient to prove that the word
PONEROS (bad) has the same sense as `laborious' or `ill-fated';
for in the "Great Eoiae" he represents Alcmene as saying to
Heracles: `My son, truly Zeus your father begot you to be the
most toilful as the most excellent...'; and again: `The Fates
(made) you the most toilful and the most excellent...'

Fragment #3 --
Scholiast on Pindar, Isthm. v. 53:
The story has been taken from the "Great Eoiae"; for there we
find Heracles entertained by Telamon, standing dressed in his
lion-skin and praying, and there also we find the eagle sent by
Zeus, from which Aias took his name (1).

Fragment #4 --
Pausanias, iv. 2. 1:
But I know that the so-called "Great Eoiae" say that Polycaon the
son of Butes married Euaechme, daughter of Hyllus, Heracles' son.

Fragment #5 --
Pausanias, ix. 40. 6:
`And Phylas wedded Leipephile the daughter of famous Iolaus: and
she was like the Olympians in beauty.  She bare him a son
Hippotades in the palace, and comely Thero who was like the beams
of the moon.  And Thero lay in the embrace of Apollo and bare
horse-taming Chaeron of hardy strength.'

Fragment #6 --
Scholiast on Pindar, Pyth. iv. 35:
`Or like her in Hyria, careful-minded Mecionice, who was joined
in the love of golden Aphrodite with the Earth-holder and Earth-
Shaker, and bare Euphemus.'

Fragment #7 --
Pausanias, ix. 36. 7:
`And Hyettus killed Molurus the dear son of Aristas in his house
because he lay with his wife.  Then he left his home and fled
from horse-rearing Argos and came to Minyan Orchomenus.  And the
hero received him and gave him a portion of his goods, as was

Fragment #8 --
Pausanias, ii. 2. 3:
But in the "Great Eoiae" Peirene is represented to be the
daughter of Oebalius.

Fragment #9 --
Pausanias, ii. 16. 4:
The epic poem, which the Greek call the "Great Eoiae", says that
she (Mycene) was the daughter of Inachus and wife of Arestor:
from her, then, it is said, the city received its name.

Fragment #10 --
Pausanias, vi. 21. 10:
According to the poem the "Great Eoiae", these were killed by
Oenomaus (2): Alcathous the son of Porthaon next after Marmax,
and after Alcathous, Euryalus, Eurymachus and Crotalus.  The man
killed next after them, Aerias, we should judge to have been a
Lacedemonian and founder of Aeria.  And after Acrias, they say,
Capetus was done to death by Oenomaus, and Lycurgus, Lasius,
Chalcodon and Tricolonus.... And after Tricolonus fate overtook
Aristomachus and Prias on the course, as also Pelagon and Aeolius
and Cronius.

Fragment #11 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. iv. 57:
In the "Great Eoiae" it is said that Endymion was transported by
Zeus into heaven, but when he fell in love with Hera, was
befooled with a shape of cloud, and was cast out and went down
into Hades.

Fragment #12 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 118:
In the "Great Eoiae" it is related that Melampus, who was very
dear to Apollo, went abroad and stayed with Polyphantes.  But
when the king had sacrificed an ox, a serpent crept up to the
sacrifice and destroyed his servants.  At this the king was angry
and killed the serpent, but Melampus took and buried it.  And its
offspring, brought up by him, used to lick his ears and inspire
him with prophecy.  And so, when he was caught while trying to
steal the cows of Iphiclus and taken bound to the city of Aegina,
and when the house, in which Iphiclus was, was about to fall, he
told an old woman, one of the servants of Iphiclus, and in return
was released.

Fragment #13 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. iv. 828:
In the "Great Eoiae" Scylla is the daughter of Phoebus and

Fragment #14 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. ii. 181:
Hesiod in the "Great Eoiae" says that Phineus was blinded because
he told Phrixus the way (3).

Fragment #15 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. ii. 1122:
Argus.  This is one of the children of Phrixus.  These....
....Hesiod in the "Great Eoiae" says were born of Iophossa the
daughter of Aeetes.  And he says there were four of them, Argus,
Phrontis, Melas, and Cytisorus.

Fragment #16 --
Antoninus Liberalis, xxiii:
Battus.  Hesiod tells the story in the "Great Eoiae"....
....Magnes was the son of Argus, the son of Phrixus and Perimele,
Admetus' daughter, and lived in the region of Thessaly, in the
land which men called after him Magnesia.  He had a son of
remarkable beauty, Hymenaeus.  And when Apollo saw the boy, he
was seized with love for him, and would not leave the house of
Magnes.  Then Hermes made designs on Apollo's herd of cattle
which were grazing in the same place as the cattle of Admetus. 
First he cast upon the dogs which were guarding them a stupor and
strangles, so that the dogs forgot the cows and lost the power of
barking.  Then he drove away twelve heifers and a hundred cows
never yoked, and the bull who mounted the cows, fastening to the
tail of each one brushwood to wipe out the footmarks of the cows.

He drove them through the country of the Pelasgi, and Achaea in
the land of Phthia, and through Locris, and Boeotia and Megaris,
and thence into Peloponnesus by way of Corinth and Larissa, until
he brought them to Tegea.  From there he went on by the Lycaean
mountains, and past Maenalus and what are called the watch-posts
of Battus.  Now this Battus used to live on the top of the rock
and when he heard the voice of the heifers as they were being
driven past, he came out from his own place, and knew that the
cattle were stolen.  So he asked for a reward to tell no one
about them.  Hermes promised to give it him on these terms, and
Battus swore to say nothing to anyone about the cattle.  But when
Hermes had hidden them in the cliff by Coryphasium, and had
driven them into a cave facing towards Italy and Sicily, he
changed himself and came again to Battus and tried whether he
would be true to him as he had vowed.  So, offering him a robe as
a reward, he asked of him whether he had noticed stolen cattle
being driven past.  And Battus took the robe and told him about
the cattle.  But Hermes was angry because he was double-tongued,
and struck him with his staff and changed him into a rock.  And
either frost or heat never leaves him (4).


(1)  When Heracles prayed that a son might be born to Telamon and
     Eriboea, Zeus sent forth an eagle in token that the prayer
     would be granted.  Heracles then bade the parents call their
     son Aias after the eagle (`aietos').
(2)  Oenomaus, king of Pisa in Elis, warned by an oracle that he
     should be killed by his son-in-law, offered his daughter
     Hippodamia to the man who could defeat him in a chariot
     race, on condition that the defeated suitors should be slain
     by him.  Ultimately Pelops, through the treachery of the
     charioteer of Oenomaus, became victorious.
(3)  sc. to Scythia.
(4)  In the Homeric "Hymn to Hermes" Battus almost disappears
     from the story, and a somewhat different account of the
     stealing of the cattle is given.

THE MELAMPODIA (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Strabo, xiv. p. 642:
It is said that Calchis the seer returned from Troy with
Amphilochus the son of Amphiaraus and came on foot to this place
(1).  But happening to find near Clarus a seer greater than
himself, Mopsus, the son of Manto, Teiresias' daughter, he died
of vexation.  Hesiod, indeed, works up the story in some form as
this: Calchas set Mopsus the following problem:

`I am filled with wonder at the quantity of figs this wild fig-
tree bears though it is so small.  Can you tell their number?'

And Mopsus answered: `Ten thousand is their number, and their
measure is a bushel: one fig is left over, which you would not be
able to put into the measure.'

So said he; and they found the reckoning of the measure true. 
Then did the end of death shroud Calchas.

Fragment #2 --
Tzetzes on Lycophron, 682:
But now he is speaking of Teiresias, since it is said that he
lived seven generations -- though others say nine.  He lived from
the times of Cadmus down to those of Eteocles and Polyneices, as
the author of "Melampodia" also says: for he introduces Teiresias
speaking thus:

`Father Zeus, would that you had given me a shorter span of life
to be mine and wisdom of heart like that of mortal men!  But now
you have honoured me not even a little, though you ordained me to
have a long span of life, and to live through seven generations
of mortal kind.'

Fragment #3 --
Scholiast on Homer, Odyssey, x. 494:
They say that Teiresias saw two snakes mating on Cithaeron and
that, when he killed the female, he was changed into a woman, and
again, when he killed the male, took again his own nature.  This
same Teiresias was chosen by Zeus and Hera to decide the question
whether the male or the female has most pleasure in intercourse. 
And he said:

`Of ten parts a man enjoys only one; but a woman's sense enjoys
all ten in full.'

For this Hera was angry and blinded him, but Zeus gave him the
seer's power.

Fragment #4 -- (2)
Athenaeus, ii. p. 40:
`For pleasant it is at a feast and rich banquet to tell
delightful tales, when men have had enough of feasting;...'

Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis vi. 2 26:
`...and pleasant also it is to know a clear token of ill or good
amid all the signs that the deathless ones have given to mortal

Fragment #5 --
Athenaeus, xi. 498. A:
`And Mares, swift messenger, came to him through the house and
brought a silver goblet which he had filled, and gave it to the

Fragment #6 --
Athenaeus, xi. 498. B:
`And then Mantes took in his hands the ox's halter and Iphiclus
lashed him upon the back.  And behind him, with a cup in one hand
and a raised sceptre in the other, walked Phylacus and spake
amongst the bondmen.'

Fragment #7 --
Athenaeus, xiii. p. 609 e:
Hesiod in the third book of the "Melampodia" called Chalcis in
Euboea `the land of fair women'.

Fragment #8 --
Strabo, xiv. p. 676:
But Hesiod says that Amphilochus was killed by Apollo at Soli.

Fragment #9 --
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, v. p. 259:
`And now there is no seer among mortal men such as would know the
mind of Zeus who holds the aegis.'


(1)  sc. Colophon.  Proclus in his abstract of the "Returns" (sc.
     of the heroes from Troy) says Calchas and his party were
     present at the death of Teiresias at Colophon, perhaps
     indicating another version of this story.
(2)  ll. 1-2 are quoted by Athenaeus, ii. p. 40; ll. 3-4 by
     Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis vi. 2. 26.  Buttman saw
     that the two fragments should be joined.  (NOTE: These two
     fragments should be read together. -- DBK)

AEGIMIUS (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. iii. 587:
But the author of the "Aegimius" says that he (Phrixus) was
received without intermediary because of the fleece (1).  He says
that after the sacrifice he purified the fleece and so: `Holding
the fleece he walked into the halls of Aeetes.'

Fragment #2 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. iv. 816:
The author of the "Aegimius" says in the second book that Thetis
used to throw the children she had by Peleus into a cauldron of
water, because she wished to learn where they were mortal....
....And that after many had perished Peleus was annoyed, and
prevented her from throwing Achilles into the cauldron.

Fragment #3 --
Apollodorus, ii. 1.3.1:
Hesiod and Acusilaus say that she (Io) was the daughter of
Peiren.  While she was holding the office of priestess of Hera,
Zeus seduced her, and being discovered by Hera, touched the girl
and changed her into a white cow, while he swore that he had no
intercourse with her.  And so Hesiod says that oaths touching the
matter of love do not draw down anger from the gods: `And
thereafter he ordained that an oath concerning the secret deeds
of the Cyprian should be without penalty for men.'

Fragment #4 --
Herodian in Stephanus of Byzantium:
`(Zeus changed Io) in the fair island Abantis, which the gods,
who are eternally, used to call Abantis aforetime, but Zeus then
called it Euboea after the cow.' (2)

Fragment #5 --
Scholiast on Euripides, Phoen. 1116:
`And (Hera) set a watcher upon her (Io), great and strong Argus,
who with four eyes looks every way.  And the goddess stirred in
him unwearying strength: sleep never fell upon his eyes; but he
kept sure watch always.'

Fragment #6 --
Scholiast on Homer, Il. xxiv. 24:
`Slayer of Argus'.  According to Hesiod's tale he (Hermes) slew
(Argus) the herdsman of Io.

Fragment #7 --
Athenaeus, xi. p. 503:
And the author of the "Aegimius", whether he is Hesiod or Cercops
of Miletus (says): `There, some day, shall be my place of
refreshment, O leader of the people.'

Fragment #8 --
Etym. Gen.:
Hesiod (says there were so called) because they settled in three
groups: `And they all were called the Three-fold people, because
they divided in three the land far from their country.'  For (he
says) that three Hellenic tribes settled in Crete, the Pelasgi,
Achaeans and Dorians.  And these have been called Three-fold


(1)  sc. the golden fleece of the ram which carried Phrixus and
     Helle away from Athamas and Ino.  When he reached Colchis
     Phrixus sacrificed the ram to Zeus.
(2)  Euboea properly means the `Island of fine Cattle (or Cows)'.


Fragment #1 --
Diogenes Laertius, viii. 1. 26: (1)
`So Urania bare Linus, a very lovely son: and him all men who are
singers and harpers do bewail at feasts and dances, and as they
begin and as they end they call on Linus....'

Clement of Alexandria, Strom. i. p. 121:
`....who was skilled in all manner of wisdom.'

Fragment #2 --
Scholiast on Homer, Odyssey, iv. 232:
`Unless Phoebus Apollo should save him from death, or Paean
himself who knows the remedies for all things.'

Fragment #3 --
Clement of Alexandria, Protrept, c. vii. p. 21:
`For he alone is king and lord of all the undying gods, and no
other vies with him in power.'

Fragment #4 --
Anecd. Oxon (Cramer), i. p. 148:
`(To cause?) the gifts of the blessed gods to come near to

Fragment #5 --
Clement of Alexandria, Strom. i. p. 123:
`Of the Muses who make a man very wise, marvellous in utterance.'

Fragment #6 --
Strabo, x. p. 471:
`But of them (sc. the daughters of Hecaterus) were born the
divine mountain Nymphs and the tribe of worthless, helpless
Satyrs, and the divine Curetes, sportive dancers.'

Fragment #7 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 824:
`Beseeching the offspring of glorious Cleodaeus.'

Fragment #8 --
Suidas, s.v.:
`For the Olympian gave might to the sons of Aeacus, and wisdom to
the sons of Amythaon, and wealth to the sons of Atreus.'

Fragment #9 --
Scholiast on Homer, Iliad, xiii. 155:
`For through his lack of wood the timber of the ships rotted.'

Fragment #10 --
Etymologicum Magnum:
`No longer do they walk with delicate feet.'

Fragment #11 --
Scholiast on Homer, Iliad, xxiv. 624:
`First of all they roasted (pieces of meat), and drew them
carefully off the spits.'

Fragment #12 --
Chrysippus, Fragg. ii. 254. 11:
`For his spirit increased in his dear breast.'

Fragment #13 --
Chrysippus, Fragg. ii. 254. 15:
`With such heart grieving anger in her breast.'

Fragment #14 --
Strabo, vii. p. 327:
`He went to Dodona and the oak-grove, the dwelling place of the

Fragment #15 --
Anecd. Oxon (Cramer), iii. p. 318. not.:
`With the pitiless smoke of black pitch and of cedar.'

Fragment #16 --
Schliast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 757:
`But he himself in the swelling tide of the rain-swollen river.'

Fragment #17 --
Stephanus of Byzantium:
(The river) Parthenius, `Flowing as softly as a dainty maiden

Fragment #18 --
Scholiast on Theocritus, xi. 75:
`Foolish the man who leaves what he has, and follows after what
he has not.'

Fragment #19 --
`The deeds of the young, the counsels of the middle-aged, and the
prayers of the aged.'

Fragment #20 --
Porphyr, On Abstinence, ii. 18. p. 134:
`Howsoever the city does sacrifice, the ancient custom is best.'

Fragment #21 --
Scholiast on Nicander, Theriaca, 452:
`But you should be gentle towards your father.'

Fragment #22 --
Plato, Epist. xi. 358:
`And if I said this, it would seem a poor thing and hard to

Fragment #23 --
Bacchylides, v. 191-3:
Thus spake the Boeotian, even Hesiod (2), servant of the sweet
Muses: `whomsoever the immortals honour, the good report of
mortals also followeth him.'


(1)  This and the following fragment are meant to be read
     together. -- DBK
(2)  cp. Hesiod "Theogony" 81 ff.  But Theognis 169, `Whomso the
     god honour, even a man inclined to blame praiseth him', is
     much nearer.


Fragment #1 --
Galen, de plac. Hipp. et Plat. i. 266:
`And then it was Zeus took away sense from the heart of Athamas.'

Fragment #2 --
Scholiast on Homer, Od. vii. 104:
`They grind the yellow grain at the mill.'

Fragment #3 --
Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. ii. 1:
`Then first in Delos did I and Homer, singers both, raise our
strain -- stitching song in new hymns -- Phoebus Apollo with the
golden sword, whom Leto bare.'

Fragment #4 --
Julian, Misopogon, p. 369:
`But starvation on a handful is a cruel thing.'

Fragment #5 --
Servius on Vergil, Aen. iv. 484:
Hesiod says that these Hesperides.... ....daughters of Night,
guarded the golden apples beyond Ocean: `Aegle and Erythea and
ox-eyed Hesperethusa.' (1)

Fragment #6 --
Plato, Republic, iii. 390 E:
`Gifts move the gods, gifts move worshipful princes.'

Fragment #7 -- (2)
Clement of Alexandria, Strom. v. p. 256:
`On the seventh day again the bright light of the sun....'

Fragment #8 --
Apollonius, Lex. Hom.:
`He brought pure water and mixed it with Ocean's streams.'

Fragment #9 --
Stephanus of Byzantium:
`Aspledon and Clymenus and god-like Amphidocus.' (sons of

Fragment #10 --
Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. iii. 64:
`Telemon never sated with battle first brought light to our
comrades by slaying blameless Melanippe, destroyer of men, own
sister of the golden-girdled queen.'

(1)  Cf. Scholion on Clement, "Protrept." i. p. 302.
(2)  This line may once have been read in the text of "Works and
     Days" after l. 771.