- 1AP 15.26; Bucol. codd. aliquot
- 5 δ’ suppl. Valckenaer
- 12 αἴν’ ἰύξας Salmasius: ἀνιύξας M
- 14 ἐκδυγήρας Salmasius: ἐκδὺς γῆρας M
- 15 αἰλινεῦντ’ Hecker: ἀεὶ λινεῦντ’ M: ἐλινύοντ’ schol.
DOSIADAS THE ALTAR
I was made by the husband of a woman who wore male attire, a twice-young mortal,1 not that offspring of Empusa who went to bed in the ashes, nemesis of the Teucrian oxherd and the bitch’s child,2 but the friend of Chryse, when the husband-boiler smashed the bronze-limbed guard made by the fatherless, twice-married god hurled down by his mother.3 When the murderer of Theocritus and burner of the product of three nights saw my structure, he uttered a terrible cry, receiving a poisonous bite from the creature that sheds old age and creeps upon its belly; but as he wailed aloud in that wave-washed place,4 the thievish, twice-lived bedfellow of Pan’s mother came with the offspring of a cannibal and took him to the thrice-sacked daughter of Teucer for the sake of his Ilus-smashing arrowheads.5
- 1Jason, husband of Medea who eloped with him from Colchis dressed as a man (schol. ad loc.); he is twice young because she rejuvenated him by boiling him in a cauldron (Pherecydes EGM/FGH 113 = Simon. PMG 548).
- 2Achilles, who according to some accounts was married to Medea in the Isles of the Blessed after his death (Lycophr. 798). His mother Thetis is riddlingly called Empusa because like her she could change shape at will (Pind. Nem. 4.59‒64, Ov. Met. 11.229‒65). She put her son Achilles in the fire to make him immortal (Ap. Rhod. 4.869‒79). At Troy he killed Paris, who before the war tended his own cattle (Hom. Il. 24.29), and Hector, son of Hecuba; after the war she was transformed into a dog (Eur. Hec. 1265; cf. Il. 24.209‒13).
- 3Jason was a favorite of Athena; Chryse is a goddess sometimes identified with her (schol. Soph. Phil. 194) to whom he built an altar on the way to Colchis (Philostr. Jun. Imag. 17). Talos, bronze guardian of Crete, was destroyed by Medea when he pelted the Argo with rocks (Ap. Rhod. 4.1629‒88). Talos had been made by the lame blacksmith-god Hephaestus, who married Aphrodite and Aglaia (Hes. Theog. 945‒6) and who according to Hesiod was a virgin birth from Hera (ibid. 927‒9), who cast him down from Olympus in disgust at his deformity (Hom. Il. 18.395‒7).
- 4Theocritus = Paris (cf. Syrinx 12). His killer is Philoctetes, who kindled Heracles’ pyre and in return was given his bow, a talisman necessary for the fall of Troy (Soph. Phil. 113, 801‒3). Philoctetes was bitten by a water-snake on the wave-washed island of Lemnos.
- 5Odysseus and Diomedes took Philoctetes to Troy because they needed his arrows to capture the city. Odysseus is “thievish” because he stole the Palladium from Troy. Penelope was mother of Pan by Hermes (see on Panpipe 16). Odysseus was “twice-lived” because he came back from the underworld (Od. 11). The “cannibal” is Diomedes’ father Tydeus, who ate the head of Melanippus (ps.-Apollod. Bibl. 3.6.8). “Teucris” is Troy/Ilium, sacked successively by Heracles (Il.5.640–43, 648–51), the Amazons (ibid. 3.188–89) and the Greeks. Ilus, son of Tros, was its founder (ps.-Apollod. Bibl. 3.12.3).