BOOK 2 / 4

Apollonius Rhodius

(ll. 1-10) Here were the oxstalls and farm of Amycus, the
haughty king of the Bebrycians, whom once a nymph, Bithynian
Melie, united to Poseidon Genethlius, bare the most arrogant of
men; for even for strangers he laid down an insulting ordinance,
that none should depart till they had made trial of him in
boxing; and he had slain many of the neighbours. And at that
time too he went down to the ship and in his insolence scorned to
ask them the occasion of their voyage, and who they were, but at
once spake out among them all:

(ll. 11-18) "Listen, ye wanderers by sea, to what it befits you
to know. It is the rule that no stranger who comes to the
Bebrycians should depart till he has raised his hands in battle
against mine. Wherefore select your bravest warrior from the
host and set him here on the spot to contend with me in boxing.
But if ye pay no heed and trample my decrees under foot,
assuredly to your sorrow will stern necessity come upon you.

(ll. 19-21) Thus he spake in his pride, but fierce anger seized
them when they heard it, and the challenge smote Polydeuces most
of all. And quickly he stood forth his comrades' champion, and

(ll. 22-24) "Hold now, and display not to us thy brutal
violence, whoever thou art; for we will obey thy rules, as thou
sayest. Willingly now do I myself undertake to meet thee."

(ll. 25-54) Thus he spake outright; but the other with rolling
eyes glared on him, like to a lion struck by a javelin when
hunters in the mountains are hemming him round, and, though
pressed by the throng, he reeks no more of them, but keeps his
eyes fixed, singling out that man only who struck him first and
slew him not. Hereupon the son of Tyndareus laid aside his
mantle, closely-woven, delicately-wrought, which one of the
Lemnian maidens had given him as a pledge of hospitality; and the
king threw down his dark cloak of double fold with its clasps and
the knotted crook of mountain olive which he carried. Then
straightway they looked and chose close by a spot that pleased
them and bade their comrades sit upon the sand in two lines; nor
were they alike to behold in form or in stature. The one seemed
to be a monstrous son of baleful Typhoeus or of Earth herself,
such as she brought forth aforetime, in her wrath against Zeus;
but the other, the son of Tyndareus, was like a star of heaven,
whose beams are fairest as it shines through the nightly sky at
eventide. Such was the son of Zeus, the bloom of the first down
still on his cheeks, still with the look of gladness in his eyes.
But his might and fury waxed like a wild beast's; and he poised
his hands to see if they were pliant as before and were not
altogether numbed by toil and rowing. But Amycus on his side
made no trial; but standing apart in silence he kept his eyes
upon his foe, and his spirit surged within him all eager to dash
the life-blood from his breast. And between them Lyeoreus, the
henchman of Amycus, placed at their feet on each side two pairs
of gauntlets made of raw hide, dry, exceeding tough. And the
king addressed the hero with arrogant words:

(ll. 55-59) "Whichever of these thou wilt, without casting lots,
I grant thee freely, that thou mayst not blame me hereafter.
Bind them about thy hands; thou shalt learn and tell another how
skilled I am to carve the dry oxhides and to spatter men's cheeks
with blood."

(ll. 60-66) Thus he spake; but the other gave back no taunt in
answer, but with a light smile readily took up the gauntlets that
lay at his feet; and to him came Castor and mighty Talaus, son of
Bias, and they quickly bound the gauntlets about his hands, often
bidding him be of good courage. And to Amycus came Aretus and
Ornytus, but little they knew, poor fools, that they had bound
them for the last time on their champion, a victim of evil fate.

(ll. 67-97) Now when they stood apart and were ready with their
gauntlets, straightway in front of their faces they raised their
heavy hands and matched their might in deadly strife. Hereupon
the Bebrycian king even as a fierce wave of the sea rises in a
crest against a swift ship, but she by the skill of the crafty
pilot just escapes the shock when the billow is eager to break
over the bulwark--so he followed up the son of Tyndareus,
trying to daunt him, and gave him no respite. But the hero, ever
unwounded, by his skill baffled the rush of his foe, and he
quickly noted the brutal play of his fists to see where he was
invincible in strength, and where inferior, and stood unceasingly
and returned blow for blow. And as when shipwrights with their
hammers smite ships' timbers to meet the sharp clamps, fixing
layer upon layer; and the blows resound one after another; so
cheeks and jaws crashed on both sides, and a huge clattering of
teeth arose, nor did they cease ever from striking their blows
until laboured gasping overcame both. And standing a little
apart they wiped from their foreheads sweat in abundance, wearily
panting for breath. Then back they rushed together again, as two
bulls fight in furious rivalry for a grazing heifer. Next Amycus
rising on tiptoe, like one who slays an ox, sprung to his full
height and swung his heavy hand down upon his rival; but the hero
swerved aside from the rush, turning his head, and just received
the arm on his shoulder; and coming near and slipping his knee
past the king's, with a rush he struck him above the ear, and
broke the bones inside, and the king in agony fell upon his
knees; and the Minyan heroes shouted for joy; and his life was
poured forth all at once.

(ll. 98-144) Nor were the Bebrycians reckless of their king; but
all together took up rough clubs and spears and rushed straight
on Polydeuces. But in front of him stood his comrades, their
keen swords drawn from the sheath. First Castor struck upon the
head a man as he rushed at him: and it was cleft in twain and
fell on each side upon his shoulders. And Polydeuces slew huge
Itymoneus and Mimas. The one, with a sudden leap, he smote
beneath the breast with his swift foot and threw him in the dust;
and as the other drew near he struck him with his right hand
above the left eyebrow, and tore away his eyelid and the eyeball
was left bare. But Oreides, insolent henchman of Amycus, wounded
Talaus son of Bias in the side, but did not slay him, but only
grazing the skin the bronze sped under his belt and touched not
the flesh. Likewise Aretus with well-seasoned club smote
Iphitus, the steadfast son of Eurytus, not yet destined to an
evil death; assuredly soon was he himself to be slain by the
sword of Clytius. Then Ancaeus, the dauntless son of Lycurgus,
quickly seized his huge axe, and in his left hand holding a
bear's dark hide, plunged into the midst of the Bebrycians with
furious onset; and with him charged the sons of Aeacus, and with
them started warlike Jason. And as when amid the folds grey
wolves rush down on a winter's day and scare countless sheep,
unmarked by the keen-scented dogs and the shepherds too, and they
seek what first to attack and carry off; often glaring around,
but the sheep are just huddled together and trample on one
another; so the heroes grievously scared the arrogant Bebrycians.
And as shepherds or beekeepers smoke out a huge swarm of bees in
a rock, and they meanwhile, pent up in their hive, murmur with
droning hum, till, stupefied by the murky smoke, they fly forth
far from the rock; so they stayed steadfast no longer, but
scattered themselves inland through Bebrycia, proclaiming the
death of Amycus; fools, not to perceive that another woe all
unforeseen was hard upon them. For at that hour their vineyards
and villages were being ravaged by the hostile spear of Lycus and
the Mariandyni, now that their king was gone. For they were ever
at strife about the ironbearing land. And now the foe was
destroying their steadings and farms, and now the heroes from all
sides were driving off their countless sheep, and one spake among
his fellows thus:

(ll. 145-153) "Bethink ye what they would have done in their
cowardice if haply some god had brought Heracles hither.
Assuredly, if he had been here, no trial would there have been of
fists, I ween, but when the king drew near to proclaim his rules,
the club would have made him forget his pride and the rules to
boot. Yea, we left him uncared for on the strand and we sailed
oversea; and full well each one of us shall know our baneful
folly, now that he is far away."

(ll. 154-163) Thus he spake, but all these things had been
wrought by the counsels of Zeus. Then they remained there
through the night and tended the hurts of the wounded men, and
offered sacrifice to the immortals, and made ready a mighty meal;
and sleep fell upon no man beside the bowl and the blazing
sacrifice. They wreathed their fair brows with the bay that grew
by the shore, whereto their hawsers were bound, and chanted a
song to the lyre of Orpheus in sweet harmony; and the windless
shore was charmed by their song; and they celebrated the
Therapnaean son of Zeus. (1)

(ll. 164-177) But when the sun rising from far lands lighted up
the dewy hills and wakened the shepherds, then they loosed their
hawsers from the stem of the baytree and put on board all the
spoil they had need to take; and with a favouring wind they
steered through the eddying Bosporus. Hereupon a wave like a
steep mountain rose aloft in front as though rushing upon them,
ever upheaved above the clouds; nor would you say that they could
escape grim death, for in its fury it hangs over the middle of
the ship, like a cloud, yet it sinks away into calm if it meets
with a skilful helmsman. So they by the steering-craft of Tiphys
escaped, unhurt but sore dismayed. And on the next day they
fastened the hawsers to the coast opposite the Bithynian land.

(ll. 178-208) There Phineus, son of Agenor, had his home by the
sea, Phineus who above all men endured most bitter woes because
of the gift of prophecy which Leto's son had granted him
aforetime. And he reverenced not a whit even Zeus himself, for
he foretold unerringly to men his sacred will. Wherefore Zeus
sent upon him a lingering old age, and took from his eyes the
pleasant light, and suffered him not to have joy of the dainties
untold that the dwellers around ever brought to his house, when
they came to enquire the will of heaven. But on a sudden,
swooping through the clouds, the Harpies with their crooked beaks
incessantly snatched the food away from his mouth and hands. And
at times not a morsel of food was left, at others but a little,
in order that he might live and be tormented. And they poured
forth over all a loathsome stench; and no one dared not merely to
carry food to his mouth but even to stand at a distance; so
foully reeked the remnants of the meal. But straightway when he
heard the voice and the tramp of the band he knew that they were
the men passing by, at whose coming Zeus' oracle had declared to
him that he should have joy of his food. And he rose from his
couch, like a lifeless dream, bowed over his staff, and crept to
the door on his withered feet, feeling the walls; and as he
moved, his limbs trembled for weakness and age; and his parched
skin was caked with dirt, and naught but the skill held his bones
together. And he came forth from the hall with wearied knees and
sat on the threshold of the courtyard; and a dark stupor covered
him, and it seemed that the earth reeled round beneath his feet,
and he lay in a strengthless trance, speechless. But when they
saw him they gathered round and marvelled. And he at last drew
laboured breath from the depths of his chest and spoke among them
with prophetic utterance:

(ll. 209-239) "Listen, bravest of all the Hellenes, if it be
truly ye, whom by a king's ruthless command Jason is leading on
the ship Argo in quest of the fleece. It is ye truly. Even yet
my soul by its divination knows everything. Thanks I render to
thee, O king, son of Leto, plunged in bitter affliction though I
be. I beseech you by Zeus the god of suppliants, the sternest
foe to sinful men, and for the sake of Phoebus and Hera herself,
under whose especial care ye have come hither, help me, save an
ill-fated man from misery, and depart not uncaring and leaving me
thus as ye see. For not only has the Fury set her foot on my
eyes and I drag on to the end a weary old age; but besides my
other woes a woe hangs over me the bitterest of all. The
Harpies, swooping down from some unseen den of destruction, ever
snatch the food from my mouth. And I have no device to aid me.
But it were easier, when I long for a meal, to escape my own
thoughts than them, so swiftly do they fly through the air. But
if haply they do leave me a morsel of food it reeks of decay and
the stench is unendurable, nor could any mortal bear to draw near
even for a moment, no, not if his heart were wrought of adamant.
But necessity, bitter and insatiate, compels me to abide and
abiding to put food in my cursed belly. These pests, the oracle
declares, the sons of Boreas shall restrain. And no strangers
are they that shall ward them off if indeed I am Phineus who was
once renowned among men for wealth and the gift of prophecy, and
if I am the son of my father Agenor; and, when I ruled among the
Thracians, by my bridal gifts I brought home their sister
Cleopatra to be my wife."

(ll. 240-243) So spake Agenor's son; and deep sorrow seized each
of the heroes, and especially the two sons of Boreas. And
brushing away a tear they drew nigh, and Zetes spake as follows,
taking in his own the hand of the grief-worn sire:

(ll. 244-253) "Unhappy one, none other of men is more wretched
than thou, methinks. Why upon thee is laid the burden of so many
sorrows? Hast thou with baneful folly sinned against the gods
through thy skill in prophecy? For this are they greatly wroth
with thee? Yet our spirit is dismayed within us for all our
desire to aid thee, if indeed the god has granted this privilege
to us two. For plain to discern to men of earth are the reproofs
of the immortals. And we will never check the Harpies when they
come, for all our desire, until thou hast sworn that for this we
shall not lose the favour of heaven."

(ll. 254-255) Thus he spake; and towards him the aged sire
opened his sightless eyes, and lifted them up and replied with
these words:

(ll. 256-261) "Be silent, store not up such thoughts in thy
heart, my child. Let the son of Leto be my witness, he who of
his gracious will taught me the lore of prophecy, and be witness
the ill-starred doom which possesses me and this dark cloud upon
my eyes, and the gods of the underworld--and may their curse be
upon me if I die perjured thus--no wrath from heaven will fall
upon you two for your help to me."

(ll. 262-287) Then were those two eager to help him because of
the oath. And quickly the younger heroes prepared a feast for
the aged man, a last prey for the Harpies; and both stood near
him, to smite with the sword those pests when they swooped down.
Scarcely had the aged man touched the food when they forthwith,
like bitter blasts or flashes of lightning, suddenly darted from
the clouds, and swooped down with a yell, fiercely craving for
food; and the heroes beheld them and shouted in the midst of
their onrush; but they at the cry devoured everything and sped
away over the sea after; and an intolerable stench remained. And
behind them the two sons of Boreas raising their swords rushed in
pursuit. For Zeus imparted to them tireless strength; but
without Zeus they could not have followed, for the Harpies used
ever to outstrip the blasts of the west wind when they came to
Phineus and when they left him. And as when, upon the mountain-
side, hounds, cunning in the chase, run in the track of horned
goats or deer, and as they strain a little behind gnash their
teeth upon the edge of their jaws in vain; so Zetes and Calais
rushing very near just grazed the Harpies in vain with their
finger-tips. And assuredly they would have torn them to pieces,
despite heaven's will, when they had overtaken them far off at
the Floating Islands, had not swift Iris seen them and leapt down
from the sky from heaven above, and cheeked them with these

(ll. 288-290) "It is not lawful, O sons of Boreas, to strike
with your swords the Harpies, the hounds of mighty Zeus; but I
myself will give you a pledge, that hereafter they shall not draw
near to Phineus."

(ll. 291-300) With these words she took an oath by the waters of
Styx, which to all the gods is most dread and most awful, that
the Harpies would never thereafter again approach the home of
Phineus, son of Agenor, for so it was fated. And the heroes
yielding to the oath, turned back their flight to the ship. And
on account of this men call them the Islands of Turning though
aforetime they called them the Floating Islands. And the Harpies
and Iris parted. They entered their den in Minoan Crete; but she
sped up to Olympus, soaring aloft on her swift wings.

(ll. 301-310) Meanwhile the chiefs carefully cleansed the old
man's squalid skin and with due selection sacrificed sheep which
they had borne away from the spoil of Amycus. And when they had
laid a huge supper in the hall, they sat down and feasted, and
with them feasted Phineus ravenously, delighting his soul, as in
a dream. And there, when they had taken their fill of food and
drink, they kept awake all night waiting for the sons of Boreas.
And the aged sire himself sat in the midst, near the hearth,
telling of the end of their voyage and the completion of their

(ll. 311-315) "Listen then. Not everything is it lawful for you
to know clearly; but whatever is heaven's will, I will not hide.
I was infatuated aforetime, when in my folly I declared the will
of Zeus in order and to the end. For he himself wishes to
deliver to men the utterances of the prophetic art incomplete, in
order that they may still have some need to know the will of

(ll. 316-340) "First of all, after leaving me, ye will see the
twin Cyanean rocks where the two seas meet. No one, I ween, has
won his escape between them. For they are not firmly fixed with
roots beneath, but constantly clash against one another to one
point, and above a huge mass of salt water rises in a crest,
boiling up, and loudly dashes upon the hard beach. Wherefore now
obey my counsel, if indeed with prudent mind and reverencing the
blessed gods ye pursue your way; and perish not foolishly by a
self-sought death, or rush on following the guidance of youth.
First entrust the attempt to a dove when ye have sent her forth
from the ship. And if she escapes safe with her wings between
the rocks to the open sea, then no more do ye refrain from the
path, but grip your oars well in your hands and cleave the sea's
narrow strait, for the light of safety will be not so much in
prayer as in strength of hands. Wherefore let all else go and
labour boldly with might and main, but ere then implore the gods
as ye will, I forbid you not. But if she flies onward and
perishes midway, then do ye turn back; for it is better to yield
to the immortals. For ye could not escape an evil doom from the
rocks, not even if Argo were of iron.

(ll. 341-359) "O hapless ones, dare not to transgress my divine
warning, even though ye think that I am thrice as much hated by
the sons of heaven as I am, and even more than thrice; dare not
to sail further with your ship in despite of the omen. And as
these things will fall, so shall they fall. But if ye shun the
clashing rocks and come scatheless inside Pontus, straightway
keep the land of the Bithynians on your right and sail on, and
beware of the breakers, until ye round the swift river Rhebas and
the black beach, and reach the harbour of the Isle of Thynias.
Thence ye must turn back a little space through the sea and beach
your ship on the land of the Mariandyni lying opposite. Here is
a downward path to the abode of Hades, and the headland of
Acherusia stretches aloft, and eddying Acheron cleaves its way at
the bottom, even through the headland, and sends its waters forth
from a huge ravine. And near it ye will sail past many hills of
the Paphlagonians, over whom at the first Eneteian Pelops
reigned, and of his blood they boast themselves to be.

(ll. 360-406) "Now there is a headland opposite Helice the Bear,
steep on all sides, and they call it Carambis, about whose crests
the blasts of the north wind are sundered. So high in the air
does it rise turned towards the sea. And when ye have rounded it
broad Aegialus stretches before you; and at the end of broad
Aegialus, at a jutting point of coast, the waters of the river
Halys pour forth with a terrible roar; and after it his flowing
near, but smaller in stream, rolls into the sea with white
eddies. Onward from thence the bend of a huge and towering cape
reaches out from the land, next Thermodon at its mouth flows into
a quiet bay at the Themiscyreian headland, after wandering
through a broad continent. And here is the plain of Doeas, and
near are the three cities of the Amazons, and after them the
Chalybes, most wretched of men, possess a soil rugged and
unyielding sons of toil, they busy themselves with working iron.
And near them dwell the Tibareni, rich in sheep, beyond the
Genetaean headland of Zeus, lord of hospitality. And bordering
on it the Mossynoeci next in order inhabit the well-wooded
mainland and the parts beneath the mountains, who have built in
towers made from trees their wooden homes and well-fitted
chambers, which they call Mossynes, and the people themselves
take their name from them. After passing them ye must beach your
ship upon a smooth island, when ye have driven away with all
manner of skill the ravening birds, which in countless numbers
haunt the desert island. In it the Queens of the Amazons, Otrere
and Antiope, built a stone temple of Ares what time they went
forth to war. Now here an unspeakable help will come to you from
the bitter sea; wherefore with kindly intent I bid you stay. But
what need is there that I should sin yet again declaring
everything to the end by my prophetic art? And beyond the island
and opposite mainland dwell the Philyres: and above the Philyres
are the Macrones, and after them the vast tribes of the Becheiri.
And next in order to them dwell the Sapeires, and the Byzeres
have the lands adjoining to them, and beyond them at last live
the warlike Colchians themselves. But speed on in your ship,
till ye touch the inmost bourne of the sea. And here at the
Cytaean mainland and from the Amarantine mountains far away and
the Circaean plain, eddying Phasis rolls his broad stream to the
sea. Guide your ship to the mouth of that river and ye shall
behold the towers of Cytaean Aeetes and the shady grove of Ares,
where a dragon, a monster terrible to behold, ever glares around,
keeping watch over the fleece that is spread upon the top of an
oak; neither by day nor by night does sweet sleep subdue his
restless eyes."

(ll. 408-410) Thus he spake, and straightway fear seized them as
they heard. And for a long while they were struck with silence;
till at last the hero, son of Aeson, spake, sore dismayed at
their evil plight:

(ll. 411-418) "O aged sire, now hast thou come to the end of the
toils of our sea-journeying and hast told us the token, trusting
to which we shall make our way to Pontus through the hateful
rocks; but whether, when we have escaped them, we shall have a
return back again to Hellas, this too would we gladly learn from
thee. What shall I do, how shall I go over again such a long
path through the sea, unskilled as I am, with unskilled comrades?
And Colchian Aea lies at the edge of Pontus and of the world."

(ll. 419-425) Thus he spake, and him the aged sire addressed in
reply: "O son, when once thou hast escaped through the deadly
rocks, fear not; for a deity will be the guide from Aea by
another track; and to Aea there will be guides enough. But, my
friends, take thought of the artful aid of the Cyprian goddess.
For on her depends the glorious issue of your venture. And
further than this ask me not."

(ll. 426-437) Thus spake Agenor's son, and close at hand the
twin sons of Thracian Boreas came darting from the sky and set
their swift feet upon the threshold; and the heroes rose up from
their seats when they saw them present. And Zetes, still drawing
hard breath after his toil, spake among the eager listeners,
telling them how far they had driven the Harpies and how his
prevented their slaying them, and how the goddess of her grace
gave them pledges, and how those others in fear plunged into the
vast cave of the Dictaean cliff. Then in the mansion all their
comrades were joyful at the tidings and so was Phineus himself.
And quickly Aeson's son, with good will exceeding, addressed him:

(ll. 438-442) Assuredly there was then, Phineus, some god who
cared for thy bitter woe, and brought us hither from afar, that
the sons of Boreas might aid thee; and if too he should bring
sight to thine eyes, verily I should rejoice, methinks, as much
as if I were on my homeward way."

(ll. 443-447) Thus he spake, but Phineus replied to him with
downcast look: "Son of Aeson, that is past recall, nor is there
any remedy hereafter, for blasted are my sightless eyes. But
instead of that, may the god grant me death at once, and after
death I shall take my share in perfect bliss."

(ll. 448-467) Then they two returned answering speech, each to
other, and soon in the midst of their converse early dawn
appeared; and round Phineus were gathered the neighbours who used
to come thither aforetime day by day and constantly bring a
portion of their food. To all alike, however poor he was that
came, the aged man gave his oracles with good will, and freed
many from their woes by his prophetic art; wherefore they visited
and tended him. And with them came Paraebius, who was dearest to
him, and gladly did he perceive these strangers in the house.
For long ere now the seer himself had said that a band of
chieftains, faring from Hellas to the city of Aceres, would make
fast their hawsers to the Thynian land, and by Zeus' will would
check tho approach of the Harpies. The rest the old man pleased
with words of wisdom and let them go; Paraebius only he bade
remain there with the chiefs; and straightway he sent him and
bade him bring back the choicest of his sheep. And when he had
left the hall Phineus spake gently amid the throng of oarsmen:

(ll. 468-489) "O my friends, not all men are arrogant, it seems,
nor unmindful of benefits. Even as this man, loyal as he is,
came hither to learn his fate. For when he laboured the most and
toiled the most, then the needs of life, ever growing more and
more, would waste him, and day after day ever dawned more
wretched, nor was there any respite to his toil. But he was
paying the sad penalty of his father's sin. For he when alone on
the mountains, felling trees, once slighted the prayers of a
Hamadryad, who wept and sought to soften him with plaintive
words, not to cut down the stump of an oak tree coeval with
herself, wherein for a long time she had lived continually; but
he in the arrogance of youth recklessly cut it down. So to him
the nymph thereafter made her death a curse, to him and to his
children. I indeed knew of the sin when he came; and I bid him
build an altar to the Thynian nymph, and offer on it an atoning
sacrifice, with prayer to escape his father's fate. Here, ever
since he escaped the god-sent doom, never has he forgotten or
neglected me; but sorely and against his will do I send him from
my doors, so eager is he to remain with me in my affliction."

(ll. 490-499) Thus spake Agenor's son; and his friend
straightway came near leading two sheep from the flock. And up
rose Jason and up rose the sons of Boreas at the bidding of the
aged sire . And quickly they called upon Apollo, lord of
prophecy, and offered sacrifice upon the health as the day was
just sinking. And the younger comrades made ready a feast to
their hearts' desire. Thereupon having well feasted they turned
themselves to rest, some near the ship's hawsers, others in
groups throughout the mansion. And at dawn the Etesian winds
blew strongly, which by the command of Zeus blow over every land

(ll. 500-527) Cyrene, the tale goes, once tended sheep along the
marsh-meadow of Peneus among men of old time; for dear to her
were maidenhood and a couch unstained. But, as she guarded her
flock by the river, Apollo carried her off far from Haemonia and
placed her among the nymphs of the land, who dwelt in Libya near
the Myrtosian height. And here to Phoebus she bore Aristaeus
whom the Haemonians, rich in corn-land, call "Hunter" and
"Shepherd". Her, of his love, the god made a nymph there, of
long life and a huntress, and his son he brought while still an
infant to be nurtured in the cave of Cheiron. And to him when he
grew to manhood the Muses gave a bride, and taught him the arts
of healing and of prophecy; and they made him the keeper of their
sheep, of all that grazed on the Athamantian plain of Phthia and
round steep Othrys and the sacred stream of the river Apidanus.
But when from heaven Sirius scorched the Minoan Isles, and for
long there was no respite for the inhabitants, then by the
injunction of the Far-Darter they summoned Aristaeus to ward off
the pestilence. And by his father's command he left Phthia and
made his home in Ceos, and gathered together the Parrhasian
people who are of the lineage of Lycaon, and he built a great
altar to Zeus Icmaeus, and duly offered sacrifices upon the
mountains to that star Sirius, and to Zeus son of Cronos himself.
And on this account it is that Etesian winds from Zeus cool the
land for forty days, and in Ceos even now the priests offer
sacrifices before the rising of the Dog-star.

(ll. 528-536) So the tale is told, but the chieftains stayed
there by constraint, and every day the Thynians, doing pleasure
to Phineus, sent them gifts beyond measure. And afterwards they
raised an altar to the blessed twelve on the sea-beach opposite
and laid offerings thereon and then entered their swift ship to
row, nor did they forget to bear with them a trembling dove; but
Euphemus seized her and brought her all quivering with fear, and
they loosed the twin hawsers from the land.

(ll. 537-548) Nor did they start unmarked by Athena, but
straightway swiftly she set her feel on a light cloud, which
would waft her on, mighty though she was, and she swept on to the
sea with friendly thoughts to the oarsmen. And as when one
roveth far from his native land, as we men often wander with
enduring heart, nor is any land too distant but all ways are
clear to his view, and he sees in mind his own home, and at once
the way over sea and land seems slain, and swiftly thinking, now
this way, now that, he strains with eager eyes; so swiftly the
daughter of Zeus darted down and set her foot on the cheerless
shore of Thynia.

(ll. 549-567) Now when they reached the narrow strait of the
winding passage, hemmed in on both sides by rugged cliffs, while
an eddying current from below was washing against the ship as she
moved on, they went forward sorely in dread; and now the thud of
the crashing rocks ceaselessly struck their ears, and the
sea-washed shores resounded, and then Euphemus grasped the dove
in his hand and started to mount the prow; and they, at the
bidding of Tiphys, son of Hagnias, rowed with good will to drive
Argo between the rocks, trusting to their strength. And as they
rounded a bend they saw the rocks opening for the last time of
all. Their spirit melted within them; and Euphemus sent forth
the dove to dart forward in flight; and they all together raised
their heads to look; but she flew between them, and the rocks
again rushed together and crashed as they met face to face. And
the foam leapt up in a mass like a cloud; awful was the thunder
of the sea; and all round them the mighty welkin roared.

(ll. 568-592) The hollow caves beneath the rugged cliffs rumbled
as the sea came surging in; and the white foam of the dashing
wave spurted high above the cliff. Next the current whirled the
ship round. And the rocks shore away the end of the dove's tail-
feathers; but away she flew unscathed. And the rowers gave a
loud cry; and Tiphys himself called to them to row with might and
main. For the rocks were again parting asunder. But as they
rowed they trembled, until the tide returning drove them back
within the rocks. Then most awful fear seized upon all; for over
their head was destruction without escape. And now to right and
left broad Pontus was seen, when suddenly a huge wave rose up
before them, arched, like a steep rock; and at the sight they
bowed with bended heads. For it seemed about to leap down upon
the ship's whole length and to overwhelm them. But Tiphys was
quick to ease the ship as she laboured with the oars; and in all
its mass the wave rolled away beneath the keel, and at the stern
it raised Argo herself and drew her far away from the rocks; and
high in air was she borne. But Euphemus strode among all his
comrades and cried to them to bend to their oars with all their
might; and they with a shout smote the water. And as far as the
ship yielded to the rowers, twice as far did she leap back, and
the oar, were bent like curved bows as the heroes used their

(ll. 593-610) Then a vaulted billow rushed upon them, and the
ship like a cylinder ran on the furious wave plunging through the
hollow sea. And the eddying current held her between the
clashing rocks; and on each side they shook and thundered; and
the ship's timbers were held fast. Then Athena with her left
hand thrust back one mighty rock and with her right pushed the
ship through; and she, like a winged arrow, sped through the air.
Nevertheless the rocks, ceaselessly clashing, shore off as she
passed the extreme end of the stern-ornament. But Athena soared
up to Olympus, when they had escaped unscathed. And the rocks in
one spot at that moment were rooted fast for ever to each other,
which thing had been destined by the blessed gods, when a man in
his ship should have passed between them alive. And the heroes
breathed again after their chilling fear, beholding at the same
time the sky and the expanse of sea spreading far and wide. For
they deemed that they were saved from Hades; and Tiphys first of
all began to speak:

(ll. 611-618) "It is my hope that we have safely escaped this
peril--we, and the ship; and none other is the cause so much as
Athena, who breathed into Argo divine strength when Argus knitted
her together with bolts; and she may not be caught. Son of
Aeson, no longer fear thou so much the hest of thy king, since a
god hath granted us escape between the rocks; for Phineus,
Agenor's son, said that our toils hereafter would be lightly

(ll. 619-637) He spake, and at once he sped the ship onward
through the midst of the sea past the Bithynian coast. But Jason
with gentle words addressed him in reply: "Tiphys, why dost thou
comfort thus my grieving heart? I have erred and am distraught
in wretched and helpless ruin. For I ought, when Pelias gave the
command, to have straightway refused this quest to his face, yea,
though I were doomed to die pitilessly, torn limb from limb, but
now I am wrapped in excessive fear and cares unbearable, dreading
to sail through the chilling paths of the sea, and dreading when
we shall set foot on the mainland. For on every side are
unkindly men. And ever when day is done I pass a night of groans
from the time when ye first gathered together for my sake, while
I take thought for all things; but thou talkest at thine ease,
eating only for thine own life; while for myself I am dismayed
not a whit; but I fear for this man and for that equally, and for
thee, and for my other comrades, if I shall not bring you back
safe to the land of Hellas."

(ll. 638-640) Thus he spake, making trial of the chiefs; but
they shouted loud with cheerful words. And his heart was warmed
within him at their cry and again he spake outright among them:

(ll. 641-647) "My friends, in your valour my courage is
quickened. Wherefore now, even though I should take my way
through the gulfs of Hades, no more shall I let fear seize upon
me, since ye are steadfast amid cruel terrors. But now that we
have sailed out from the striking rocks, I trow that never
hereafter will there be another such fearful thing, if indeed we
go on our way following the counsel of Phineus."

(ll. 648-668) Thus he spake, and straightway they ceased from
such words and gave unwearying labour to the oar; and quickly
they passed by the swiftly flowing river Rhebas and the peak of
Colone, and soon thereafter the black headland, and near it the
mouth of the river Phyllis, where aforetime Dipsaeus received in
his home the son of Athamas, when with his ram he was flying from
the city of Orchomenus; and Dipsacus was the son of a meadow-
nymph, nor was insolence his delight, but contented by his
father's stream he dwelt with his mother, pasturing his flocks by
the shore. And quickly they sighted and sailed past his shrine
and the broad banks of the river and the plain, and deep-flowing
Calpe, and all the windless night and the day they bent to their
tireless oars. And even as ploughing oxen toil as they cleave
the moist earth, and sweat streams in abundance from flank and
neck; and from beneath the yoke their eyes roll askance, while
the breath ever rushes from their mouths in hot gasps; and all
day long they toil, planting their hoofs deep in the ground; like
them the heroes kept dragging their oars through the sea.

(ll. 669-685) Now when divine light has not yet come nor is it
utter darkness, but a faint glimmer has spread over the night,
the time when men wake and call it twilight, at that hour they
ran into the harbour of the desert island Thynias and, spent by
weary toil, mounted the shore. And to them the son of Leto, as
he passed from Lycia far away to the countless folk of the
Hyperboreans, appeared; and about his cheeks on both sides his
golden locks flowed in clusters as he moved; in his left hand he
held a silver bow, and on his back was slung a quiver hanging
from his shoulders; and beneath his feet all the island quaked,
and the waves surged high on the beach. Helpless amazement
seized them as they looked; and no one dared to gaze face to face
into the fair eyes of the god. And they stood with heads bowed
to the ground; but he, far off, passed on to the sea through the
air; and at length Orpheus spake as follows, addressing the

(ll. 686-693) "Come, let us call this island the sacred isle of
Apollo of the Dawn since he has appeared to all, passing by at
dawn; and we will offer such sacrifices as we can, building an
altar on the shore; and if hereafter he shall grant us a safe
return to the Haemonian land, then will we lay on his altar the
thighs of horned goats. And now I bid you propitiate him with
the steam of sacrifice and libations. Be gracious, O king, be
gracious in thy appearing."

(ll. 694-713) Thus he spake, and they straightway built up an
altar with shingle; and over the island they wandered, seeking if
haply they could get a glimpse of a fawn or a wild goat, that
often seek their pasture in the deep wood. And for them Leto's
son provided a quarry; and with pious rites they wrapped in fat
the thigh bones of them all and burnt them on the sacred altar,
celebrating Apollo, Lord of Dawn. And round the burning
sacrifice they set up a broad dancing-ring, singing, "All hail
fair god of healing, Phoebus, all hail," and with them Oeagrus'
goodly son began a clear lay on his Bistonian lyre; how once
beneath the rocky ridge of Parnassus he slew with his bow the
monster Delphyne, he, still young and beardless, still rejoicing
in his long tresses. Mayst thou be gracious! Ever, O king, be
thy locks unshorn, ever unravaged; for so is it right. And none
but Leto, daughter of Coeus, strokes them with her dear hands.
And often the Corycian nymphs, daughters of Pleistus, took up the
cheering strain crying "Healer"; hence arose this lovely refrain
of the hymn to Phoebus.

(ll. 714-719) Now when they had celebrated him with dance and
song they took an oath with holy libations, that they would ever
help each other with concord of heart, touching the sacrifice as
they swore; and even now there stands there a temple to gracious
Concord, which the heroes themselves reared, paying honour at
that time to the glorious goddess.

(ll. 720-751) Now when the third morning came, with a fresh west
wind they left the lofty island. Next, on the opposite side they
saw and passed the mouth of the river Sangarius and the fertile
land of the Mariandyni, and the stream of Lycus and the
Anthemoeisian lake; and beneath the breeze the ropes and all the
tackling quivered as they sped onward. During the night the wind
ceased and at dawn they gladly reached the haven of the
Acherusian headland. It rises aloft with steep cliffs, looking
towards the Bithynian sea; and beneath it smooth rocks, ever
washed by the sea, stand rooted firm; and round them the wave
rolls and thunders loud, but above, wide-spreading plane trees
grow on the topmost point. And from it towards the land a hollow
glen slopes gradually away, where there is a cave of Hades
overarched by wood and rocks. From here an icy breath,
unceasingly issuing from the chill recess, ever forms a
glistening rime which melts again beneath the midday sun. And
never does silence hold that grim headland, but there is a
continual murmur from the sounding sea and the leaves that quiver
in the winds from the cave. And here is the outfall of the river
Acheron which bursts its way through the headland and falls into
the Eastern sea, and a hollow ravine brings it down from above.
In after times the Nisaean Megarians named it Soonautes (2) when
they were about to settle in the land of the Mariandyni. For
indeed the river saved them with their ships when they were
caught in a violent tempest. By this way the heroes took the
ship through (3) the Acherusian headland and came to land over
against it as the wind had just ceased.

(ll. 752-773) Not long had they come unmarked by Lycus, the lord
of that land, and the Mariandyni--they, the slayers of Amycus,
according to the report which the people heard before; but for
that very deed they even made a league with the heroes. And
Polydeuces himself they welcomed as a god, flocking from every
side, since for a long time had they been warring against the
arrogant Bebrycians. And so they went up all together into the
city, and all that day with friendly feelings made ready a feast
within the palace of Lycus and gladdened their souls with
converse. Aeson's son told him the lineage and name of each of
his comrades and the behests of Pelias, and how they were
welcomed by the Lemnian women, and all that they did at Dolionian
Cyzieus; and how they reached the Mysian land and Cius, where,
sore against their will, they left behind the hero Heracles, and
he told the saying of Glaucus, and how they slew the Bebrycians
and Amycus, and he told of the prophecies and affliction of
Phineus, and how they escaped the Cyanean rocks, and how they met
with Leto's son at the island. And as he told all, Lycus was
charmed in soul with listening; and he grieved for Heracles left
behind, and spake as follows among them all:

(ll. 774-810) "O friends, what a man he was from whose help ye
have fallen away, as ye cleave your long path to Aeetes; for well
do I know that I saw him here in the halls of Dascylus my father,
when he came hither on foot through the land of Asia bringing the
girdle of warlike Hippolyte; and me he found with the down just
growing on my cheeks. And here, when my brother Priolas was
slain by the Mysians--my brother, whom ever since the people
lament with most piteous dirges--he entered the lists with
Titias in boxing and slew him, mighty Titias, who surpassed all
the youths in beauty and strength; and he dashed his teeth to the
ground. Together with the Mysians he subdued beneath my father's
sway the Phrygians also, who inhabit the lands next to us, and he
made his own the tribes of the Bithynians and their land, as far
as the mouth of Rhebas and the peak of Colone; and besides them
the Paphlagonians of Pelops yielded just as they were, even all
those round whom the dark water of Billaeus breaks. But now the
Bebrycians and the insolence of Amycus have robbed me, since
Heracles dwells far away, for they have long been cutting off
huge pieces of my land until they have set their bounds at the
meadows of deep-flowing Hypius. Nevertheless, by your hands have
they paid the penalty; and it was not without the will of heaven,
I trow, that he brought war on the Bebrycians this day--he, the
son of Tyndareus, when he slew that champion. Wherefore whatever
requital I am now able to pay, gladly will I pay it, for that is
the rule for weaker men when the stronger begin to help them. So
with you all, and in your company, I bid Dascylus my son follow;
and if he goes, you will find all men friendly that ye meet on
your way through the sea even to the mouth of the river
Thermodon. And besides that, to the sons of Tyndareus will I
raise a lofty temple on the Acherusian height, which all sailors
shall mark far across the sea and shall reverence; and hereafter
for them will I set apart outside the city, as for gods, some
fertile fields of the well-tilled plain."

(ll. 811-814) Thus all day long they revelled at the banquet.
But at dawn they hied down to the ship in haste; and with them
went Lycus himself, when he had given them countless gifts to
bear away; and with them he sent forth his son from his home.

(ll. 815-834) And here his destined fate smote Idmon, son of
Abas, skilled in soothsaying; but not at all did his soothsaying
save him, for necessity drew him on to death. For in the mead of
the reedy river there lay, cooling his flanks and huge belly in
the mud, a white-tusked boar, a deadly monster, whom even the
nymphs of the marsh dreaded, and no man knew it; but all alone he
was feeding in the wide fell. But the son of Abas was passing
along the raised banks of the muddy river, and the boar from some
unseen lair leapt out of the reed-bed, and charging gashed his
thigh and severed in twain the sinews and the bone. And with a
sharp cry the hero fell to the ground; and as he was struck his
comrades flocked together with answering cry. And quickly Peleus
with his hunting spear aimed at the murderous boar as he fled
back into the fen; and again he turned and charged; but Idas
wounded him, and with a roar he fell impaled upon the sharp
spear. And the boar they left on the ground just as he had
fallen there; but Idmon, now at the last gasp, his comrades bore
to the ship in sorrow of heart, and he died in his comrades'

(ll. 835-850) And here they stayed from taking thought for their
voyaging and abode in grief for the burial of their dead friend.
And for three whole days they lamented; and on the next they
buried him with full honours, and the people and King Lycus
himself took part in the funeral rites; and, as is the due of the
departed, they slaughtered countless sheep at his tomb. And so a
barrow to this hero was raised in that land, and there stands a
token for men of later days to see, the trunk of a wild olive
tree, such as ships are built of; and it flourishes with its
green leaves a little below the Acherusian headland. And if at
the bidding of the Muses I must tell this tale outright, Phoebus
strictly commanded the Boeotians and Nisaeans to worship him as
guardian of their city, and to build their city round the trunk
of the ancient wild olive; but they, instead of the god-fearing
Aeolid Idmon, at this day honour Agamestor.

(ll. 851-868) Who was the next that died? For then a second
time the heroes heaped up a barrow for a comrade dead. For still
are to be seen two monuments of those heroes. The tale goes that
Tiphys son of Hagnias died; nor was it his destiny thereafter to
sail any further. But him there on the spot a short sickness
laid to rest far from his native land, when the company had paid
due honours to the dead son of Abas. And at the cruel woe they
were seized with unbearable grief. For when with due honours
they had buried him also hard by the seer, they cast themselves
down in helplessness on the sea-shore silently, closely wrapped
up, and took no thought for meat or drink; and their spirit
drooped in grief, for all hope of return was gone. And in their
sorrow they would have stayed from going further had not Hera
kindled exceeding courage in Ancaeus, whom near the waters of
Imbrasus Astypalaea bore to Poseidon; for especially was he
skilled in steering and eagerly did he address Peleus:

(ll. 869-877) "Son of Aeacus, is it well for us to give up our
toils and linger on in a strange land? Not so much for my
prowess in war did Jason take me with him in quest of the fleece,
far from Parthenia, as for my knowledge of ships. Wherefore, I
pray, let there be no fear for the ship. And so there are here
other men of skill, of whom none will harm our voyaging,
whomsoever we set at the helm. But quickly tell forth all this
and boldly urge them to call to mind their task."

(ll. 878-884) Thus he spake; and Peleus' soul was stirred with
gladness, and straightway he spake in the midst of all: "My
friends, why do we thus cherish a bootless grief like this? For
those two have perished by the fate they have met with; but among
our host are steersmen yet, and many a one. Wherefore let us not
delay our attempt, but rouse yourselves to the work and cast away
your griefs."

(ll. 885-893) And him in reply Aeson's son addressed with
helpless words: "Son of Aeacus, where are these steersmen of
thine? For those whom we once deemed to be men of skill, they
even more than I are bowed with vexation of heart. Wherefore I
forebode an evil doom for us even as for the dead, if it shall be
our lot neither to reach the city of fell Aeetes, nor ever again
to pass beyond the rocks to the land of Hellas, but a wretched
fate will enshroud us here ingloriously till we grow old for

(ll. 894-898) Thus he spake, but Ancaeus quickly undertook to
guide the swift ship; for he was stirred by the impulse of the
goddess. And after him Erginus and Nauplius and Euphemus started
up, eager to steer. But the others held them back, and many of
his comrades granted it to Ancaeus.

(ll. 899-910) So on the twelfth day they went aboard at dawn,
for a strong breeze of westerly wind was blowing. And quickly
with the oars they passed out through the river Acheron and,
trusting to the wind, shook out their sails, and with canvas
spread far and wide they were cleaving their passage through the
waves in fair weather. And soon they passed the outfall of the
river Callichorus, where, as the tale goes, the Nysean son of
Zeus, when he had left the tribes of the Indians and came to
dwell at Thebes, held revels and arrayed dances in front of a
cave, wherein he passed unsmiling sacred nights, from which time
the neighbours call the river by the name of Callichorus (4) and
the cave Aulion.(5)

(ll. 911-929) Next they beheld the barrow of Sthenelus, Actor's
son, who on his way back from the valorous war against the
Amazons--for he had been the comrade of Heracles--was struck
by an arrow and died there upon the sea-beach. And for a time
they went no further, for Persephone herself sent forth the
spirit of Actor's son which craved with many tears to behold men
like himself, even for a moment. And mounting on the edge of the
barrow he gazed upon the ship, such as he was when he went to
war; and round his head a fair helm with four peaks gleamed with
its blood-red crest. And again he entered the vast gloom; and
they looked and marvelled; and Mopsus, son of Ampycus, with word
of prophecy urged them to land and propitiate him with libations.
Quickly they drew in sail and threw out hawsers, and on the
strand paid honour to the tomb of Sthenelus, and poured out drink
offerings to him and sacrificed sheep as victims. And besides
the drink offerings they built an altar to Apollo, saviour of
ships, and burnt thigh bones; and Orpheus dedicated his lyre;
whence the place has the name of Lyra.

(ll. 930-945) And straightway they went aboard as the wind blew
strong; and they drew the sail down, and made it taut to both
sheets; then Argo was borne over the sea swiftly, even as a hawk
soaring high through the air commits to the breeze its outspread
wings and is borne on swiftly, nor swerves in its flight, poising
in the clear sky with quiet pinions. And lo, they passed by the
stream of Parthenius as it flows into the sea, a most gentle
river, where the maid, daughter of Leto, when she mounts to
heaven after the chase, cools her limbs in its much-desired
waters. Then they sped onward in the night without ceasing, and
passed Sesamus and lofty Erythini, Crobialus, Cromna and woody
Cytorus. Next they swept round Carambis at the rising of the
sun, and plied the oars past long Aegialus, all day and on
through the night.

(ll. 946-965) And straightway they landed on the Assyrian shore
where Zeus himself gave a home to Sinope, daughter of Asopus, and
granted her virginity, beguiled by his own promises. For he
longed for her love, and he promised to grant her whatever her
hearts desire might be. And she in her craftiness asked of him
virginity. And in like manner she deceived Apollo too who longed
to wed her, and besides them the river Halys, and no man ever
subdued her in love's embrace. And there the sons of noble
Deimachus of Tricca were still dwelling, Deileon, Autolycus and
Phlogius, since the day when they wandered far away from
Heracles; and they, when they marked the array of chieftains,
went to meet them and declared in truth who they were; and they
wished to remain there no longer, but as soon as Argestes (6)
blew went on ship-board. And so with them, borne along by the
swift breeze, the heroes left behind the river Halys, and left
behind his that flows hard by, and the delta-land of Assyria; and
on the same day they rounded the distant headland of the Amazons
that guards their harbour.

(ll. 966-1001) Here once when Melanippe, daughter of Ares, had,
gone forth, the hero Heracles caught her by ambuscade and
Hippolyte gave him her glistening girdle as her sister's ransom,
and he sent away his captive unharmed. In the bay of this
headland, at the outfall of Thermodon, they ran ashore, for the
sea was rough for their voyage. No river is like this, and none
sends forth from itself such mighty streams over the land. If a
man should count every one he would lack but four of a hundred,
but the real spring is only one. This flows down to the plain
from lofty mountains, which, men say, are called the Amazonian
mountains. Thence it spreads inland over a hilly country
straight forward; wherefrom its streams go winding on, and they
roll on, this way and that ever more, wherever best they can
reach the lower ground, one at a distance and another near at
hand; and many streams are swallowed up in the sand and are
without a name; but, mingled with a few, the main stream openly
bursts with its arching crest of foam into the inhospitable
Pontus. And they would have tarried there and have closed in
battle with the Amazons, and would have fought not without
bloodshed for the Amazons were not gentle foes and regarded not
justice, those dwellers on the Doeantian plain; but grievous
insolence and the works of Ares were all their care; for by race
they were the daughters of Ares and the nymph Harmonia, who bare
to Ares war-loving maids, wedded to him in the glens of the
Acmonian wood had not the breezes of Argestes come again from
Zeus; and with the wind they left the rounded beach, where the
Themiscyreian Amazons were arming for war. For they dwelt not
gathered together in one city, but scattered over the land,
parted into three tribes. In one part dwelt the Themiscyreians,
over whom at that time Hippolyte reigned, in another the
Lycastians, and in another the dart-throwing Chadesians. And the
next day they sped on and at nightfall they reached the land of
the Chalybes.

(ll. 1002-1008) That folk have no care for ploughing with oxen
or for any planting of honey-sweet fruit; nor yet do they pasture
flocks in the dewy meadow. But they cleave the hard iron-bearing
land and exchange their wages for daily sustenance; never does
the morn rise for them without toil, but amid bleak sooty flames
and smoke they endure heavy labour.

(ll. 1009-1014) And straightway thereafter they rounded the
headland of Genetaean Zeus and sped safely past the land of the
Tibareni. Here when wives bring forth children to their
husbands, the men lie in bed and groan with their heads close
bound; but the women tend them with food, and prepare child-birth
baths for them.

(ll. 1015-1029) Next they reached the sacred mount and the land
where the Mossynoeci dwell amid high mountains in wooden huts,
(7) from which that people take their name. And strange are
their customs and laws. Whatever it is right to do openly before
the people or in the market place, all this they do in their
homes, but whatever acts we perform at home, these they perform
out of doors in the midst of the streets, without blame. And
among them is no reverence for the marriage-bed, but, like swine
that feed in herds, no whit abashed in others' presence, on the
earth they lie with the women. Their king sits in the loftiest
hut and dispenses upright judgments to the multitude, poor
wretch! For if haply he err at all in his decrees, for that day
they keep him shut up in starvation.

(ll. 1030-1046) They passed them by and cleft their way with
oars over against the island of Ares all day long; for at dusk
the light breeze left them. At last they spied above them,
hurtling through the air, one of the birds of Ares which haunt
that isle. It shook its wings down over the ship as she sped on
and sent against her a keen feather, and it fell on the left
shoulder of goodly Oileus, and he dropped his oar from his hands
at the sudden blow, and his comrades marvelled at the sight of
the winged bolt. And Eribotes from his seat hard by drew out the
feather, and bound up the wound when he had loosed the strap
hanging from his own sword-sheath; and besides the first, another
bird appeared swooping down; but the hero Clytius, son of Eurytus
-- for he bent his curved bow, and sped a swift arrow against the
bird--struck it, and it whirled round and fell close to the
ship. And to them spake Amphidamas, son of Aleus:

(ll. 1047-1067) "The island of Ares is near us; you know it
yourselves now that ye have seen these birds. But little will
arrows avail us, I trow, for landing. But let us contrive some
other device to help us, if ye intend to land, bearing in mind
the injunction of Phineus. For not even could Heracles, when he
came to Arcadia, drive away with bow and arrow the birds that
swam on the Stymphalian lake. I saw it myself. But he shook in
his hand a rattle of bronze and made a loud clatter as he stood
upon a lofty peak, and the birds fled far off, screeching in
bewildered fear. Wherefore now too let us contrive some such
device, and I myself will speak, having pondered the matter
beforehand. Set on your heads your helmets of lofty crest, then
half row by turns, and half fence the ship about with polished
spears and shields. Then all together raise a mighty shout so
that the birds may be scared by the unwonted din, the nodding
crests, and the uplifted spears on high. And if we reach the
island itself, then make mighty noise with the clashing of

(ll. 1068-1089) Thus he spake, and the helpful device pleased
all. And on their heads they placed helmets of bronze, gleaming
terribly, and the blood-red crests were tossing. And half of
them rowed in turn, and the rest covered the ship with spears and
shields. And as when a man roofs over a house with tiles, to be
an ornament of his home and a defence against rain, and one the
fits firmly into another, each after each; so they roofed over
the ship with their shields, locking them together. And as a din
arises from a warrior-host of men sweeping on, when lines of
battle meet, such a shout rose upward from the ship into the air.
Now they saw none of the birds yet, but when they touched the
island and clashed upon their shields, then the birds in
countless numbers rose in flight hither and thither. And as when
the son of Cronos sends from the clouds a dense hailstorm on city
and houses, and the people who dwell beneath hear the din above
the roof and sit quietly, since the stormy season has not come
upon them unawares, but they have first made strong their roofs;
so the birds sent against the heroes a thick shower of feather-
shafts as they darted over the sea to the mountains of the land

(ll. 1090-1092) What then was the purpose of Phineus in bidding
the divine band of heroes land there? Or what kind of help was
about to meet their desire?

(ll. 1093-1122) The sons of Phrixus were faring towards the city
of Orchomenus from Aea, coming from Cytaean Aeetes, on board a
Colchian ship, to win the boundless wealth of their father; for
he, when dying, had enjoined this journey upon them. And lo, on
that day they were very near that island. But Zeus had impelled
the north wind's might to blow, marking by rain the moist path of
Arcturus; and all day long he was stirring the leaves upon the
mountains, breathing gently upon the topmost sprays; but at night
he rushed upon the sea with monstrous force, and with his
shrieking blasts uplifted the surge; and a dark mist covered the
heavens, nor did the bright stars anywhere appear from among the
clouds, but a murky gloom brooded all around. And so the sons of
Phrixus, drenched and trembling in fear of a horrible doom, were
borne along by the waves helplessly. And the force of the wind
had snatched away their sails and shattered in twain the hull,
tossed as it was by the breakers. And hereupon by heaven's
prompting those four clutched a huge beam, one of many that were
scattered about, held together by sharp bolts, when the ship
broke to pieces. And on to the island the waves and the blasts
of wind bore the men in their distress, within a little of death.
And straightway a mighty rain burst forth, and rained upon the
sea and the island, and all the country opposite the island,
where the arrogant Mossynoeci dwelt. And the sweep of the waves
hurled the sons of Phrixus, together with their massy beam, upon
the beach of the island, in the murky night; and the floods of
rain from Zeus ceased at sunrise, and soon the two bands drew
near and met each other, and Argus spoke first:

(ll. 1123-1133) "We beseech you, by Zeus the Beholder, whoever
ye are, to be kindly and to help us in our need. For fierce
tempests, falling on the sea, have shattered all the timbers of
the crazy ship in which we were cleaving our path on business
bent. Wherefore we entreat you, if haply ye will listen, to
grant us just a covering for our bodies, and to pity and succour
men in misfortune, your equals in age. Oh, reverence suppliants
and strangers for Zeus' sake, the god of strangers and
suppliants. To Zeus belong both suppliants and strangers; and
his eye, methinks, beholdeth even us."

(ll. 1134-1139) And in reply the son of Aeson prudently
questioned him, deeming that the prophecies of Phineus were being
fulfilled: "All these things will we straightway grant you with
right good will. But come tell me truly in what country ye dwell
and what business bids you sail across the sea, and tell me your
own glorious names and lineage."

(ll. 1140-1156) And him Argus, helpless in his evil plight,
addressed: "That one Phrixus an Aeolid reached Aea from Hellas
you yourselves have clearly heard ere this, I trow; Phrixus, who
came to the city of Aeetes, bestriding a ram, which Hermes had
made all gold; and the fleece ye may see even now. The ram, at
its own prompting, he then sacrificed to Zeus, son of Cronos,
above all, the god of fugitives. And him did Aeetes receive in
his palace, and with gladness of heart gave him his daughter
Chalciope in marriage without gifts of wooing. (8) From
those two are we sprung. But Phrixus died at last, an aged man,
in the home of Aeetes; and we, giving heed to our father's
behests, are journeying to Orehomenus to take the possessions of
Athamas. And if thou dost desire to learn our names, this is
Cytissorus, this Phrontis, and this Melas, and me ye may. call

(ll. 1157-1159) Thus he spake, and the chieftains rejoiced at
the meeting, and tended them, much marvelling. And Jason again
in turn replied, as was fitting, with these words:

(ll. 1160-1178) "Surely ye are our kinsmen on my father's side,
and ye pray that with kindly hearts we succour your evil plight.
For Cretheus and Athamas were brothers. I am the grandson of
Cretheus, and with these comrades here I am journeying from that
same Hellas to the city of Aeetes. But of these things we will
converse hereafter. And do ye first put clothing upon you. By
heaven's devising, I ween, have ye come to my hands in your sore

(ll. 1168-1178) He spake, and out of the ship gave them raiment
to put on. Then all together they went to the temple of Ares to
offer sacrifice of sheep; and in haste they stood round the
altar, which was outside the roofless temple, an altar built of
pebbles; within a black stone stood fixed, a sacred thing, to
which of yore the Amazons all used to pray. Nor was it lawful
for them, when they came from the opposite coast, to burn on this
altar offerings of sheep and oxen, but they used to slay horses
which they kept in great herds. Now when they had sacrificed and
eaten the feast prepared, then Aeson's son spake among them and
thus began:

(ll. 1179-1195) "Zeus' self, I ween, beholds everything; nor do
we men escape his eye, we that be god-fearing and just, for as he
rescued your father from the hands of a murderous step-dame and
gave him measureless wealth besides; even so hath he saved you
harmless from the baleful storm. And on board this ship ye may
sail hither and thither, where ye will, whether to Aea or to the
wealthy city of divine Orthomenus. For our ship Athena built and
with axe of bronze cut her timbers near the crest of Pelion, and
with the goddess wrought Argus. But yours the fierce surge hath
shattered, before ye came nigh to the rocks which all day long
clash together in the straits of the sea. But come, be
yourselves our helpers, for we are eager to bring to Hellas the
golden fleece, and guide us on our voyage, for I go to atone for
the intended sacrifice of Phrixus, the cause of Zeus' wrath
against the sons of Aeolus."

(ll. 1196-1199) He spake with soothing words; but horror seized
them when they heard. For they deemed that they would not find
Aeetes friendly if they desired to take away the ram's fleece.
And Argus spake as follows, vexed that they should busy
themselves with such a quest:

(ll. 1200-1215) "My friends, our strength, so far as it avails,
shall never cease to help you, not one whit, when need shall
come. But Aeetes is terribly armed with deadly ruthlessness;
wherefore exceedingly do I dread this voyage. And he boasts
himself to be the son of Helios; and all round dwell countless
tribes of Colchians; and he might match himself with Ares in his
dread war-cry and giant strength. Nay, to seize the fleece in
spite of Aeetes is no easy task; so huge a serpent keeps guard
round and about it, deathless and sleepless, which Earth herself
brought forth on the sides of Caucasus, by the rock of Typhaon,
where Typhaon, they say, smitten by the bolt of Zeus, son of
Cronos, when he lifted against the god his sturdy hands, dropped
from his head hot gore; and in such plight he reached the
mountains and plain of Nysa, where to this day he lies whelmed
beneath the waters of the Serbonian lake."

(ll. 1216-1218) Thus he spake, and straightway many a cheek grew
pale when they heard of so mighty an adventure. But quickly
Peleus answered with cheering words, and thus spake:

(ll. 1219-1225) "Be not so fearful in spirit, my good friend.
For we are not so lacking in prowess as to be no match for Aeetes
to try his strength with arms; but I deem that we too are cunning
in war, we that go thither, near akin to the blood of the blessed
gods. Wherefore if he will not grant us the fleece of gold for
friendship's sake, the tribes of the Colchians will not avail
him, I ween."

(ll. 1226-1230) Thus they addressed each other in turn, until
again, satisfied with their feast, they turned to rest. And when
they rose at dawn a gentle breeze was blowing; and they raised
the sails, which strained to the rush of the wind, and quickly
they left behind the island of Ares.

(ll. 1231-1241) And at nightfall they came to the island of
Philyra, where Cronos, son of Uranus, what time in Olympus he
reigned over the Titans, and Zeus was yet being nurtured in a
Cretan cave by the Curetes of Ida, lay beside Philyra, when he
had deceived Rhea; and the goddess found them in the midst of
their dalliance; and Cronos leapt up from the couch with a rush
in the form of a steed with flowing mane, but Ocean's daughter,
Philyra, in shame left the spot and those haunts, and came to the
long Pelasgian ridges, where by her union with the transfigured
deity she brought forth huge Cheiron, half like a horse, half
like a god.

(ll. 1242-1261) Thence they sailed on, past the Macrones and the
far-stretching land of the Becheiri and the overweening Sapeires,
and after them the Byzeres; for ever forward they clave their
way, quickly borne by the gentle breeze. And lo, as they sped
on, a deep gulf of the sea was opened, and lo, the steep crags of
the Caucasian mountains rose up, where, with his limbs bound upon
the hard rocks by galling fetters of bronze, Prometheus fed with
his liver an eagle that ever rushed back to its prey. High above
the ship at even they saw it flying with a loud whirr, near the
clouds; and yet it shook all the sails with the fanning of those
huge wings. For it had not the form of a bird of the air but
kept poising its long wing-feathers like polished oars. And not
long after they heard the bitter cry of Prometheus as his liver
was being torn away; and the air rang with his screams until they
marked the ravening eagle rushing back from the mountain on the
self-same track. And at night, by the skill of Argus, they
reached broad-flowing Phasis, and the utmost bourne of the sea.

(ll. 1262-1276) And straightway they let down the sails and the
yard-arm and stowed them inside the hollow mast-crutch, and at
once they lowered the mast itself till it lay along; and quickly
with oars they entered the mighty stream of the river; and round
the prow the water surged as it gave them way. And on their left
hand they had lofty Caucasus and the Cytaean city of Aea, and on
the other side the plain of Ares and the sacred grove of that
god, where the serpent was keeping watch and ward over the fleece
as it hung on the leafy branches of an oak. And Aeson's son
himself from a golden goblet poured into the river libations of
honey and pure wine to Earth and to the gods of the country, and
to the souls of dead heroes; and he besought them of their grace
to give kindly aid, and to welcome their ship's hawsers with
favourable omen. And straightway Ancaeus spake these words:

(ll. 1277-1280) "We have reached the Colchian land and the
stream of Phasis; and it is time for us to take counsel whether
we shall make trial of Aeetes with soft words, or an attempt of
another kind shall be fitting."

(ll. 1281-1285) Thus he spake, and by the advice of Argus Jason
bade them enter a shaded backwater and let the ship ride at
anchor off shore; and it was near at hand in their course and
there they passed the night. And soon the dawn appeared to their
expectant eyes.

(1) i.e. Polydeuces.
(2) i.e. Saviour of Sailors.
(3) i.e. through the ravine that divides the headland.
(4) i.e. river of fair dances.
(5) i.e. the bedchamber.
(6) The north-west wind.
(7) Called "Mossynes".
(8) i.e. without exacting gifts from the bridegroom. So in the
"Iliad" (ix. 146) Agamemnon offers Achilles any of his three
daughters ANAEONOS.