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Medieval and Classical Library

Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica

(Expedition of Amphiarus to the Cercopes)

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #8


Fragment #1 --
Pseudo-Herodotus, Life of Homer:
Sitting there in the tanner's yard, Homer recited his poetry to
them, the "Expedition of Amphiarus to Thebes" and the "Hymns to
the Gods" composed by him.


Fragment #1 --
Eustathius, 330. 41:
An account has there been given of Eurytus and his daughter Iole,
for whose sake Heracles sacked Oechalia.  Homer also seems to
have written on this subject, as that historian shows who relates
that Creophylus of Samos once had Homer for his guest and for a
reward received the attribution of the poem which they call the
"Taking of Oechalia".  Some, however, assert the opposite; that
Creophylus wrote the poem, and that Homer lent his name in return
for his entertainment.  And so Callimachus writes: `I am the work
of that Samian who once received divine Homer in his house.  I
sing of Eurytus and all his woes and of golden-haired Ioleia, and
am reputed one of Homer's works.  Dear Heaven!  how great an
honour this for Creophylus!'

Fragment #2 --
Cramer, Anec. Oxon. i. 327:
`Ragged garments, even those which now you see.'  This verse
("Odyssey" xiv. 343) we shall also find in the "Taking of

Fragment #3 --
Scholaist on Sophocles Trach., 266:
There is a disagreement as to the number of the sons of Eurytus. 
For Hesiod says Eurytus and Antioche had as many as four sons;
but Creophylus says two.

Fragment #4 --
Scholiast on Euripides Medea, 273:
Didymus contrasts the following account given by Creophylus,
which is as follows: while Medea was living in Corinth, she
poisoned Creon, who was ruler of the city at that time, and
because she feared his friends and kinsfolk, fled to Athens. 
However, since her sons were too young to go along with her, she
left them at the altar of Hera Acraea, thinking that their father
would see to their safety.  But the relatives of Creon killed
them and spread the story that Medea had killed her own children
as well as Creon.

THE PHOCAIS (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Pseudo-Herodotus, Life of Homer:
While living with Thestorides, Homer composed the "Lesser Iliad"
and the "Phocais"; though the Phocaeans say that he composed the
latter among them.

THE MARGITES (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Suidas, s.v.:
Pigres.  A Carian of Halicarnassus and brother of Artemisia, wife
of Mausolus, who distinguished herself in war... (1)  He also
wrote the "Margites" attributed to Homer and the "Battle of the
Frogs and Mice".

Fragment #2 --
Atilius Fortunatianus, p. 286, Keil:
`There came to Colophon an old man and divine singer, a servant
of the Muses and of far-shooting Apollo.  In his dear hands he
held a sweet-toned lyre.'

Fragment #3 --
Plato, Alcib. ii. p. 147 A:
`He knew many things but knew all badly...'

Aristotle, Nic. Eth. vi. 7, 1141:
`The gods had taught him neither to dig nor to plough, nor any
other skill; he failed in every craft.'

Fragment #4 --
Scholiast on Aeschines in Ctes., sec. 160:
He refers to Margites, a man who, though well grown up, did not
know whether it was his father or his mother who gave him birth,
and would not lie with his wife, saying that he was afraid she
might give a bad account of him to her mother.

Fragment #5 --
Zenobius, v. 68:
`The fox knows many a wile; but the hedge-hog's one trick (2) can
beat them all.' (3)


(1)  This Artemisia, who distinguished herself at the battle of
     Salamis (Herodotus, vii. 99) is here confused with the later
     Artemisia, the wife of Mausolus, who died 350 B.C.
(2)  i.e. the fox knows many ways to baffle its foes, while the
     hedge-hog knows one only which is far more effectual.
(3)  Attributed to Homer by Zenobius, and by Bergk to the

THE CERCOPES (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Suidas, s.v.:
Cercopes.  These were two brothers living upon the earth who
practised every kind of knavery.  They were called Cercopes (1)
because of their cunning doings: one of them was named Passalus
and the other Acmon.  Their mother, a daughter of Memnon, seeing
their tricks, told them to keep clear of Black-bottom, that is,
of Heracles.  These Cercopes were sons of Theia and Ocean, and
are said to have been turned to stone for trying to deceive Zeus.

`Liars and cheats, skilled in deeds irremediable, accomplished
knaves.  Far over the world they roamed deceiving men as they
wandered continually.'


(1)  i.e. `monkey-men'.