The Works of Lucian

Καὶ μέχρι μέν τινος ὑπεφερόμεθα ἐν τῷ ποταμῷ, εἶτα δὲ εἰσεπλεύσαμεν εἰς τὸ ἕλος καὶ τὴν λίμνην εἰς ἣν ὁ Εὐφράτης ἀφανίζεται. περαιωθέντες δὲ καὶ ταύτην ἀφικνούμεθα εἰς τι χωρίον ἔρημον καὶ ὑλῶδες καὶ ἀνήλιον, εἰς ὃ καὶ δὴ ἀποβάντες—ἡγεῖτο δὲ ὁ Μιθροβαρζάνης—βόθρον τε ὠρυξάμεθα καὶ τὰ μῆλα κατεσφάξαμεν καὶ τὸ αἷμα περὶ αὐτὸν ἐσπείσαμεν. ὁ δὲ μάγος ἐν τοσούτῳ δᾷδα καιομένην ἔχων οὐκέτ᾿ ἠρεμαίᾳ τῇ φωνῇ, παμμέγεθες δέ, ὡς οἷός τε ἦν, ἀνακραγὼν δαίμονάς τε ὁμοῦ πάντας ἐπεβοᾶτο καὶ Ποινὰς καὶ Ἐρινύας

καὶ νυχίαν Ἑκάτην καὶ ἐπαινὴν Περσεφόνειαν,

παραμιγνὺς ἅμα βαρβαρικά τινα καὶ ἄσημα ὀνόματα καὶ πολυσύλλαβα.

10Εὐθὺς οὖν ἅπαντα ἐκεῖνα ἐσαλεύετο καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς ἐπῳδῆς τοὔδαφος ἀνερρήγνυτο καὶ ὑλακὴ τοῦ Κερβέρου πόρρωθεν ἠκούετο καὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα ὑπερκατηφὲς ἦν καὶ σκυθρωπόν.

ἔδδεισεν δ᾿ ὑπένερθεν ἄναξ ἐνέρων Ἀϊδωνεύς—

κατεφαίνετο γὰρ ἤδη τὰ πλεῖστα, καὶ ἡ λίμνη καὶ ὁ Πυριφλεγέθων καὶ τοῦ Πλούτωνος τὰ βασίλεια. κατελθόντες δ᾿ ὅμως διὰ τοῦ χάσματος τὸν μὲν Ῥαδάμανθυν εὕρομεν τεθνεῶτα μικροῦ δεῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ δέους· ὁ δὲ Κέρβερος ὑλάκτησε μέν τι καὶ παρεκίνησε, ταχὺ δέ μου κρούσαντος τὴν λύραν παραχρῆμα ἐκηλήθη ὑπὸ τοῦ μέλους. ἐπεὶ δὲ πρὸς τὴν λίμνην ἀφικόμεθα, μικροῦ μὲν οὐδὲ ἐπεραιώθημεν· ἦν γὰρ πλῆρες ἤδη τὸ πορθμεῖον καὶ οἰμωγῆς ἀνάπλεων, τραυματίαι δὲ πάντες



For a space we drifted along in the river, and then we sailed into the marsh and the lake in which the Euphrates loses itself. After crossing this, we came to a deserted, woody, sunless place. There at last we landed with Mithrobarzanes leading the way; we dug a pit, we slaughtered the sheep, and we sprinkled their blood about it. Meanwhile the magician held a burning torch and no longer muttered in a low tone but shouted as loudly as he could, invoking the spirits, one and all, at the top of his lungs; also the Tormentors, the Furies,

“Hecate, queen of the night, and eery Persephoneia.”1

With these names he intermingled a number of foreign-sounding, meaningless words of many syllables.

In a trice the whole region began to quake, the ground was rent asunder by the incantation, barking of Cerberus was audible afar off, and things took on a monstrously gloomy and sullen look.

“Aye, deep down it affrighted the king of the dead, Aïdoneus”—2

for by that time we could see almost everything—the Lake, and the River of Burning Fire, and the palace of Pluto. But in spite of it all, we went down through the chasm, finding Rhadamanthus almost dead of fright. Cerberus barked a bit, to be sure, and stirred slightly, but when I hastily touched my lyre he was at once bewitched by the music. When we reached the lake, however, we came near not getting across, for the ferry was already crowded and full of groaning. Only

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lucian-menippus_descent_hades.1925