Aelian, Historical Miscellany

LCL 486: 410-411

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1. Λόγος οὗτος Ἀρκαδικὸς ὑπὲρ τῆς Ἰασίωνος Ἀταλάντης. ταύτην ὁ πατὴρ γενομένην ἐξέθηκεν· ἔλεγε γὰρ οὐ θυγατέρων ἀλλ᾿ ἀρρένων δεῖσθαι. ὁ δὲ ἐκθεῖναι λαβὼν οὐκ ἀπέκτεινεν, ἐλθὼν δὲ ἐπὶ τὸ Παρθένιον ὄρος ἔθηκε πηγῆς πλησίον· καὶ ἦν ἐνταῦθα ὕπαντρος πέτρα καὶ ἐπέκειτο συνηρεφὴς δρυμών. καὶ τοῦ μὲν βρέφους κατεψήφιστο θάνατος, οὐ μὴν ὑπὸ τῆς τύχης προὐδόθη· ὀλίγῳ γὰρ ὕστερον ὑπὸ κυνηγετῶν ἀφῃρημένη τὰ ἑαυτῆς βρέφη ἄρκτος ἧκε, σφριγώντων αὐτῇ τῶν μαζῶν καὶ βαρυνομένων ὑπὸ τοῦ γάλακτος. εἶτα κατά τινα θείαν πομπὴν ἡσθεῖσα τῷ βρέφει ἐθήλασεν αὐτό, καὶ ἅμα τὸ θηρίον ἐκουφίσθη τῆς ὀδύνης καὶ ὤρεξε τροφὴν τῷ βρέφει. καὶ οὖν καὶ αὖθις ἐπαντλοῦσα τοῦ γάλακτος καὶ ἐποχετεύουσα ἐπεὶ τῶν ἑαυτῆς μήτηρ οὐκ ἔμεινε, τῆς μηδέν οἱ προσηκούσης τροφὸς ἐγίνετο. ταύτην οἱ κυνηγέται παρεφύλαττον οἱ καὶ1 ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἐπιβουλεύσαντες τῷ θηρίῳ εἰς τὰ ἔγγονα αὐτῆς, καὶ αὐτὰ ἕκαστα τῶν δρωμένων κατασκεψάμενοι, ἀπελθούσης κατὰ συνήθειαν κατά τε ἄγραν καὶ νομὴν τῆς ἄρκτου, τὴν Ἀταλάντην ὑφείλοντο, καλουμένην τοῦτο οὐδέπω· αὐτοὶ


Book 13

Book Thirteen

1. Here is a story from Arcadia about Atalanta the daughter of Iasion.1 At birth her father exposed her; he said he wanted sons, not daughters. But the man who took her to be exposed did not kill her, and instead went to mount Parthenium and put her down near a spring. At that point there was a cave in the rocks, and close by it a dense wood. The child was under sentence of death, but she was not betrayed by fortune, for shortly afterwards arrived a bear, deprived of her cubs by hunters, her breasts bulging and weighed down with milk. Moved by some divine inspiration she took a fancy to the child and suckled it. In this way the animal simultaneously achieved relief from pain and gave nourishment to the infant. And so, still full of milk and supplying nourishment though she was no longer mother to her cubs, she nursed the child who was not her own. The hunters who had originally attacked her young kept an eye on her. They watched all her movements, and when the bear made her usual journey to hunt and feed, they stole Atalanta, who was not yet so named, for it was

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aelian-historical_miscellany.1997