Ἄτλας ὁ νώτοις χαλκέοισιν οὐρανόν, θεῶν παλαιὸν οἶκον, ἐκτρίβων θεῶν μιᾶς ἔφυσε Μαῖαν, ἣ᾿ μ᾿ ἐγείνατο Ἑρμῆν μεγίστῳ Ζηνί, δαιμόνων λάτριν. 5ἥκω δὲ Δελφῶν τήνδε γῆν, ἵν᾿ ὀμφαλὸν μέσον καθίζων Φοῖβος ὑμνῳδεῖ βροτοῖς τά τ᾿ ὄντα καὶ μέλλοντα θεσπίζων ἀεί. ἔστιν γὰρ οὐκ ἄσημος Ἑλλήνων πόλις, τῆς χρυσολόγχου Παλλάδος κεκλημένη, 10οὗ παῖδ᾿ Ἐρεχθέως Φοῖβος ἔζευξεν γάμοις βίᾳ Κρέουσαν, ἔνθα προσβόρρους πέτρας Παλλάδος ὑπ᾿ ὄχθῳ τῆς Ἀθηναίων χθονὸς Μακρὰς καλοῦσι γῆς ἄνακτες Ἀτθίδος. ἀγνὼς δὲ πατρί (τῷ θεῷ γὰρ ἦν φίλον) 15γαστρὸς διήνεγκ᾿ ὄγκον. ὡς δ᾿ ἦλθεν χρόνος, τεκοῦσ᾿ ἐν οἴκοις παῖδ᾿ ἀπήνεγκεν βρέφος ἐς ταὐτὸν ἄντρον οὗπερ ηὐνάσθη θεῷ
- 1νώτοις χαλκέοισιν Elmsley: χ- ν- L
- 2-3μιᾶς / Νυμφῶν Irvine: θεοῦ / ἁλίας Shilleto
IonEnter hermes by Eisodos A.
Atlas, who with his bronze back wears out the heavens, ancient abode of the gods, begot Maia by one of the goddesses, and Maia bore me to great Zeus: I am Hermes, the gods’ servant. I have come here to Delphi where Phoebus sits upon the earth’s very center 1 and ever prophesies to mortals what is and what shall be.
There is a famous Greek city 2 which takes its name from Pallas, goddess of the golden spear. Here Phoebus made forcible love to Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus, at the place where under Pallas’ acropolis stand Athens’ northern cliffs, the Long Cliffs, as the lords of Attica call them. Without her father’s knowledge (for so the god wished it) she carried to term the burden of her belly. When her time came, Creusa gave birth in the house, then carried the child to the same cave where she was ravished
- 1Lit. “the earth’s navel.” Delphi was thought to be at the center of the world, and the story was told that two eagles simultaneously released at earth’s eastern and western edges met there. In historical times a stone representation of a navel was the symbol of Delphi’s centrality.
- 2Athens, deriving its name from Athena.