Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1.8. Amymone

LCL 256: 32-33


Philostratus: Imagines


(1) Πεζεύοντι τὴν θάλασσαν τῷ Ποσειδῶνι ἐντετύχηκας οἶμαι παρ᾿ Ὁμήρῳ, ὅτε κατὰ τοὺς Ἀχαιοὺς ἀπὸ Αἰγῶν στέλλεται, καὶ ἡ θάλασσα γαλήνην ἄγει παραπέμπουσα αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς 30ἵπποις καὶ αὐτοῖς κήτεσι· κἀκεῖ1 γὰρ ἐκεῖνα ἕπεται καὶ σαίνει τὸν Ποσειδῶνα ὡς ἐνταῦθα. ἐκεῖ μὲν οὖν ἠπειρωτῶν οἶμαι τῶν ἵππων αἰσθάνῃ—χαλκόποδάς τε γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἀξιοῖ εἶναι καὶ ὠκυπέτας καὶ μάστιγι πλήττεσθαι—ἐνταῦθα 306 K.δὲ ἱππόκαμποι τὸ ἅρμα, ἔφυδροι τὰς ὁπλὰς καὶ νευστικοὶ καὶ γλαυκοὶ καὶ νὴ Δία ὅσα δελφῖνες. κἀκεῖ μὲν δυσχεραίνειν ὁ Ποσειδῶν ἔοικε καὶ νεμεσᾶν τῷ Διὶ κλίνοντι τὸ 5Ἑλληνικὸν καὶ βραβεύοντι αὐτοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ χείρονος, ἐνταῦθα δὲ φαιδρὸς γέγραπται καὶ ἱλαρὸν βλέπει καὶ σεσόβηται μάλα ἐρωτικῶς. (2) Ἀμυμώνη γὰρ ἡ Δαναοῦ θαμίζουσα ἐπὶ τὸ τοῦ Ἰνάχου ὕδωρ κεκράτηκε τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ 10στέλλεται θηρεύσων αὐτὴν οὔπω ξυνιεῖσαν, ὅτι ἐρᾶται. τὸ γοῦν περίφοβον τῆς κόρης καὶ τὸ πάλλεσθαι καὶ ἡ κάλπις ἡ χρυσῆ διαφεύγουσα τὰς χεῖρας δηλοῖ τὴν Ἀμυμώνην ἐκπεπλῆχθαι καὶ ἀπορεῖν, τί βουλόμενος ὁ 15Ποσειδῶν ἐκλείπει πανσυδὶ τὴν θάλασσαν,


Book I. 8

8. Amymone

Poseidon’s journey over the sea I think you have come upon in Homer, when he sets forth from Aegae1 to join the Achaeans, and the sea is calm, escorting him with its sea-horses and its sea-monsters; for in Homer they follow Poseidon and fawn upon him as they do here in the painting. There, I imagine, your thought is of dry-land horses—for Homer2 maintains that they are “bronze-hoofed,” “swiftly flying,” and “smitten by the lash”—but here it is hippocamps that draw the chariot, creatures with web-footed hoofs, good swimmers, blue-eyed, and, by Zeus, in all respects like dolphins. There in Homer3 Poseidon seems to be angry, and vexed with Zeus for turning back the Greek forces and for directing the contest to their disadvantage; while here he is painted as radiant, of joyous look, and deeply stirred by love. For the sight of Amymone, the daughter of Danaus, as she visits the waters of Inachus, has overmastered the god and he sets out to pursue the girl, who does not yet know that she is loved.4 At any rate the fright of the maiden, her trembling, and the golden pitcher falling from her hands make it evident that Amymone is astounded and at a loss to know with what purpose Poseidon so precipitately

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philostratus_elder-imagines_book_i_8_amymone.1931