Book 1Ἀρχόμενος σέο, Φοῖβε, παλαιγενέων κλέα φωτῶν μνήσομαι, οἳ Πόντοιο κατὰ στόμα καὶ διὰ πέτρας Κυανέας βασιλῆος ἐφημοσύνῃ Πελίαο χρύσειον μετὰ κῶας ἐύζυγον ἤλασαν Ἀργώ. 5τοίην γὰρ Πελίης φάτιν ἔκλυεν, ὥς μιν ὀπίσσω μοῖρα μένει στυγερή, τοῦδ᾿ ἀνέρος, ὅν τιν᾿ ἴδοιτο δημόθεν οἰοπέδιλον, ὑπ᾿ ἐννεσίῃσι δαμῆναι. δηρὸν δ᾿ οὐ μετέπειτα τεὴν κατὰ βάξιν Ἰήσων χειμερίοιο ῥέεθρα κιὼν διὰ ποσσὶν Ἀναύρου 10ἄλλο μὲν ἐξεσάωσεν ὑπ᾿ ἰλύος, ἄλλο δ᾿ ἔνερθεν κάλλιπεν αὖθι πέδιλον ἐνισχόμενον προχοῇσιν. ἵκετο δ᾿ ἐς Πελίην αὐτοσχεδὸν ἀντιβολήσων εἰλαπίνης, ἣν πατρὶ Ποσειδάωνι καὶ ἄλλοις ῥέζε θεοῖς, Ἥρης δὲ Πελασγίδος οὐκ ἀλέγιζεν. 15αἶψα δὲ τόν γ᾿ ἐσιδὼν ἐφράσσατο, καί οἱ ἄεθλον ἔντυε ναυτιλίης πολυκηδέος, ὄφρ᾿ ἐνὶ πόντῳ ἠὲ καὶ ἀλλοδαποῖσι μετ᾿ ἀνδράσι νόστον ὀλέσσῃ.
Beginning with you, Phoebus, I shall recall the famous deeds of men born long ago, who, at the command of King Pelias, sailed the well-benched Argo through the mouth of the Black Sea and between the Cyanean rocks1 to fetch the golden fleece.
For such was the oracle that Pelias heard, that a horrible fate awaited him in the future: to perish through the designs of that man whom he would see coming from the people with only one sandal. And not long afterwards, in accordance with your prophecy, as Jason was crossing the streams of the wintry Anaurus on foot,2 he rescued one sandal from the mud, but left the other there in the depths, held back by the current. He came right away to Pelias to share in the banquet that the king was offering to his father Poseidon and the rest of the gods, but to Pelasgian Hera he paid no regard.3 As soon as he saw Jason, he took note, and arranged for him the ordeal of a very arduous voyage, so that either on the sea or else among foreign people he would lose any chance of returning home.
- 1The Cyanean (“cobalt-blue”) rocks, also called the Clashing rocks (Plegades), were located where the Bosporus opens into the Black Sea.
- 2When swollen with winter rains, the Anaurus cascades into the sea near Pagasae, the port of Iolcus.
- 3The Pelasgians were pre-Hellenic inhabitants of Thessaly.