ἀλγεινὰ μέν μοι καὶ λέγειν ἐστὶν τάδε, ἄλγος δὲ σιγᾶν· πανταχῇ δὲ δύσποτμα. ἐπεὶ τάχιστ᾿ ἤρξαντο δαίμονες χόλου 200στάσις τ᾿ ἐν ἀλλήλοισιν ὠροθύνετο, οἱ μὲν θέλοντες ἐκβαλεῖν ἕδρας Κρόνον, ὡς Ζεὺς ἀνάσσοι δῆθεν, οἱ δὲ τοὔμπαλιν σπεύδοντες ὡς Ζεὺς μήποτ᾿ ἄρξειεν θεῶν, ἐνταῦθ᾿ ἐγὼ τὰ λῷστα βουλεύων πιθεῖν 205Τιτᾶνας, Οὐρανοῦ τε καὶ Χθονὸς τέκνα, οὐκ ἠδυνήθην· αἱμύλας δὲ μηχανὰς ἀτιμάσαντες καρτεροῖς φρονήμασιν ᾤοντ᾿ ἀμοχθεὶ πρὸς βίαν τε δεσπόσειν· ἐμοὶ δὲ μήτηρ οὐχ ἅπαξ μόνον Θέμις 210καὶ Γαῖα, πολλῶν ὀνομάτων μορφὴ μία, τὸ μέλλον ᾗ κραίνοιτο προυτεθεσπίκει, ὡς οὐ κατ᾿ ἰσχὺν οὐδὲ πρὸς τὸ καρτερὸν χρείη, δόλῳ δὲ τοὺς ὑπερσχόντας κρατεῖν. τοιαῦτ᾿ ἐμοῦ λόγοισιν ἐξηγουμένου 215οὐκ ἠξίωσαν οὐδὲ προσβλέψαι τὸ πᾶν.
- 213χρείη Pearson: χρεῖ᾿ ἦ I k M2: χρὴ, ἢ vel sim. M γρI b k.
- 213ὑπερσχόντας Musgrave: ὑπερέχοντας M I b k: ὑπερέξοντας k.
It is painful for me even to speak of these things, but it is also painful to keep silent: it is wretched either way. As soon as the gods began to quarrel and mutual strife was stirred up among them, some wishing to depose Cronus from his throne—so that Zeus could reign, forsooth!—while those on the other side were determined that Zeus should never rule over the gods, at that time I gave the best advice to the Titans, the children of Uranus and Gaea, 23 but could not persuade them. They despised ingenious stratagems, and in the pride of their strength they thought they could retain control with ease by brute force. But my mother Themis, also called Gaea—one person under multiple names 24 —had more than once prophesied to me how the future would come to pass, saying that it was destined that the victors should be those who excelled not in might nor in power but in guile. 25 I spoke to them explaining this, but they simply did not see fit even to look at the idea. Well,
- 23i.e. Heaven and Earth. The goddess Earth is actually here called Χθών (as in Eum. 6), but Γαῖα in 210.
- 24This identification is almost certainly an ad hoc invention; it is otherwise attested only by the existence in Roman Athens of a priestess of Γῆ Θέμις (IG ii2 5130). The poet wanted Prometheus to be one of the Titans (cf. note on 165), but also wanted his mother to be Themis, a prophetic goddess (cf. Eum. 2–4; Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris 1259–69) who according to Pindar (Isthmian 8.30–45) alone had knowledge that the son of Thetis was destined to be mightier than his father. Traditionally Themis was daughter of Gaea (and Uranus) (Hesiod, Theogony 135).
- 25In Hesiod, Theogony 626–8, Gaea is said to have advised Zeus and the Olympians to release from their underground imprisonment Briareus, Cottus and Gyges (the “Hundredhanders”), who played a decisive role (though they used force, not guile!) in the final defeat of the Titans (ibid. 669–675, 713–720).