Πειρίθους ἐπὶ τὴν Περσεφόνης μνηστείαν μετὰ Θησέως εἰς Ἅιδου καταβὰς τιμωρίας ἔτυχε τῆς πρεπούσης· αὐτὸς μὲν γὰρ ἐπὶ πέτρας ἀκινήτῳ καθέδρᾳ πεδηθεὶς δρακόντων ἐφρουρεῖτο χάσμασιν, Θησεὺς δὲ τὸν φίλον ἐγκαταλιπεῖν αἰσχρὸν ἡγούμενος βίον εἶχε τὴν ἐν Ἅιδου ζωήν. ἐπὶ δὲ τὸν Κέρβερον Ἡρακλῆς ἀποσταλεὶς ὑπὸ Εὐρυσθέως τοῦ μὲν θηρίου βίᾳ περιεγένετο, τοὺς δὲ περὶ Θησέα χάριτι τῶν χθονίων θεῶν τῆς παρούσης ἀνάγκης ἐξέλυσεν, μιᾷ πράξει καὶ τὸν ἀνθιστάμενον χειρωσάμενος καὶ παρὰ θεῶν χάριν λαβὼν καὶ δυστυχοῦντας ἐλεήσας φίλους.(For the rest of F 1 see after F 4 below)
Ioannes Logothetes, Commentary on [Hermogenes], Means of Rhetorical Effectiveness 28 (ed. H. Rabe, RhM 63 , 144–5); Gregory of Corinth, Commentary on the same treatise, Rhet. Gr. VII. 1312–13 Walz; cf. Diggle, TrGFS 172; W. Luppe, Philologus 140 (1996), 216–9 (textual history and status of this hypothesis); G. Alvoni, Hermes 134 (2006), 290–300 (edition from a new
To woo Persephone, Pirithous went down with Theseus into Hades and met with fitting punishment: he himself was fettered to an immovable seat upon rock and guarded by gaping serpents,1 but Theseus held it shameful to abandon his friend there and went on with the existence in Hades as his life.2 When Heracles was sent by Eurystheus to fetch Cerberus he overcame the beast by force,3 and through the favour of the underworld gods released Theseus and his companion from their predicament: in one act he worsted his opponent, received favour from the gods, and took pity on friends in misfortune.(For the rest of F 1 see after F 4 below)
- 1The vocabulary in ‘fettered . . . serpents’ is almost certainly borrowed from the play; but ‘immovable seat’ may allude to the posture forced upon those facing execution at Athens, for in some accounts Pirithous is set to be eaten by Cerberus (like Andromeda by a sea-monster).
- 2The expression has been questioned (but cf. F 7.5–10, and F 12 for the idea) and altered: ‘willingly chose the life in Hades’ Nauck, ‘willingly went on with the life in Hades’ Wilamowitz.
- 3Cf. Euripides’ satyric Eurystheus.