The Nuptial Rite of the Eleans

Fr. 76b

      Εἴπ' ἄγε μοι. . [ ]. .α[. . . . . . .].[.]. . . . . . .αιῆνις

 

Fr. 77

      Ἦλιν ἀνάσσεσθαι, Διὸς οἰκίον, ἔλλιπε Φυλεῖ   

Fr. 76b Harder (= 76.1 Pf., = 178 Mass.) P.Mil.Vogl. I 18 col. I 3
   [image], 
Trismegistos 59371 

Fr. 77 Harder (= 77 Pf., = 179 Mass.) Σ BCDEQ Pi.O. 10, 55c

This tale sets out to explain a peculiar marriage ritual among the Eleans: the custom that the bride to be visited before her nuptials by an armed warrior. The reason given for this is that when Heracles had completed the task of cleaning out the Augean stables, Augeus, the king of Elis, refused to pay him. Heracles then marched against Elis, deposed Augeus, and installed his own son as king. To replenish the men lost in war, he compelled the Elean women to sleep with his soldiers. At this time he also established the Olympic games.

The aition is linked to Acontius and Cydippe by providing an account of another odd marriage custom; it also may belong to a series of aitia on panhellenic games. 

Fr. 77

Ἦλις -ιδος, ἡ: Elis, a region in the Peloponnesus on the west coast, also a city of the same name

ἀνάσσω: be lord, master; rule in

Ζεύς, gen. Διός or Ζηνός, dat. Διί or Ζηνί, acc. Δία or Ζῆνα: Zeus

Φυλεύς Φυλέος, ὁ: Phyleus, son of Augēas of Elis, banished by his father, because when appointed arbiter in the dispute between Augeas and Heracles he decided in favor of the latter (Iliad 2.628, 10.110).

Fr. 77b Harder (= Diegesis I 3-8 p. 85 Pf.) P.Mil.Vogl. I 18 col. I 3-9 [image], Trismegistos 59371 

   Εἴπ' ἄγε μοι. . .[.]. . .α[. . . . . . .].[.]. . . .αιῆνις

           φ]ησὶν ἐν Ἤλιδι ε.[. . . . . . . .]. . .ντ[.]. [γ]αμου-

           μένας παρθ[ένους                     ]. .ο[.].ου π[έ-

           πλους ἐχούσας σ[                      ].[. . . . .]ου[

5         . .] δόρυ δὲ ἐν[

           .δε φησιν α.[

           ἄνδρα καθωπ[λισμένον

 

Come now tell me. . .

He said that in Elis. . .young

girls are married. . .having

the peplos. . .

. . . a spear and in. . .5

and he says that. . .

fully-armed man. . .

Fr. 76

Come now, tell me . . .

 

Fr. 77

He left Elis, the home of Zeus, to Phyleus, to rule over it

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Suggested Citation

Susan Stephens, Callimachus: Aetia. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-947822-07-8.http://dcc.dickinson.edu/callimachus-aetia/nuptial-rite-eleans