ἦμος δ᾽ ἀνέρες ὕπνον ἀπ᾽ ὀφθαλμῶν ἐβάλοντο
ἀγρόται, οἵ τε κύνεσσι πεποιθότες οὔποτε νύκτα110
ἄγχαυρον κνώσσουσιν, ἀλευάμενοι φάος ἠοῦς,
μὴ πρὶν ἀμαλδύνῃ θηρῶν στίβον ἠδὲ καὶ ὀδμὴν
θηρείην λευκῇσιν ἐνισκίμψασα βολῇσιν:
τῆμος ἄρ᾽ Αἰσονίδης κούρη τ᾽ ἀπὸ νηὸς ἔβησαν
ποιήεντ᾽ ἀνὰ χῶρον, ἵνα κριοῦ καλέονται115
εὐναί, ὅθι πρῶτον κεκμηότα γούνατ᾽ ἔκαμψεν,
νώτοισιν φορέων Μινυήιον υἷ᾽ Ἀθάμαντος.
ἐγγύθι δ᾽ αἰθαλόεντα πελεν βωμοῖο θέμεθλα,
ὅν ῥά ποτ᾽ Αἰολίδης Διὶ Φυξίῳ εἵσατο Φρίξος,
ῥέζων κεῖνο τέρας παγχρύσεον, ὥς οἱ ἔειπεν120
Ἑρμείας πρόφρων ξυμβλήμενος. ἔνθ᾽ ἄρα τούσγε
Ἄργου φραδμοσύνῃσιν ἀριστῆες μεθέηκαν.
τὼ δὲ δι᾽ ἀτραπιτοῖο μεθ᾽ ἱερὸν ἄλσος ἵκοντο,
φηγὸν ἀπειρεσίην διζημένω, ᾗ ἔπι κῶας
βέβλητο, νεφέλῃ ἐναλίγκιον, ἥ τ᾽ ἀνιόντος125
ἠελίου φλογερῇσιν ἐρεύθεται ἀκτίνεσσιν.
αὐτὰρ ὁ ἀντικρὺ περιμήκεα τείνετο δειρὴν
ὀξὺς ἀύπνοισιν προϊδὼν ὄφις ὀφθαλμοῖσιν
νισσομένους, ῥοίζει δὲ πελώριον: ἀμφὶ δὲ μακραὶ
ἠιόνες ποταμοῖο καὶ ἄσπετον ἴαχεν ἄλσος.130
ἔκλυον οἳ καὶ πολλὸν ἑκὰς Τιτηνίδος Αἴης
Κολχίδα γῆν ἐνέμοντο παρὰ προχοῇσι Κύροιο,
ὅς τ᾽ ἀποκιδνάμενος ποταμοῦ κελάδοντος Ἀράξεω
Φάσιδι συμφέρεται ἱερὸν ῥόον: οἱ δὲ συνάμφω
Καυκασίην ἅλαδ᾽ εἰς ἓν ἐλαυνόμενοι προχέουσιν.135
δείματι δ᾽ ἐξέγροντο λεχωίδες, ἀμφὶ δὲ παισὶν
νηπιάχοις, οἵ τέ σφιν ὑπ᾽ ἀγκαλίδεσσιν ἴαυον,
ῥοίζῳ παλλομένοις χεῖρας βάλον ἀσχαλόωσαι.
ὡς δ᾽ ὅτε τυφομένης ὕλης ὕπερ αἰθαλόεσσαι
καπνοῖο στροφάλιγγες ἀπείριτοι εἱλίσσονται,140
ἄλλη δ᾽ αἶψ᾽ ἑτέρῃ ἔπι τέλλεται αἰὲν ἐπιπρὸ
νειόθεν εἰλίγγοισιν ἐπήορος ἐξανιοῦσα:
ὧς τότε κεῖνο πέλωρον ἀπειρεσίας ἐλέλιξεν
ῥυμβόνας ἀζαλέῃσιν ἐπηρεφέας φολίδεσσιν.
τοῖο δ᾽ ἑλισσομένοιο κατόμματον εἴσατο κούρη,145
ὕπνον ἀοσσητῆρα, θεῶν ὕπατον, καλέουσα
ἡδείῃ ἐνοπῇ, θέλξαι τέρας: αὖε δ᾽ ἄνασσαν
νυκτιπόλον, χθονίην, εὐαντέα δοῦναι ἐφορμήν.
εἵπετο δ᾽ Αἰσονίδης πεφοβημένος, αὐτὰρ ὅγ᾽ ἤδη
οἴμῃ θελγόμενος δολιχὴν ἀνελύετ᾽ ἄκανθαν150
γηγενέος σπείρης, μήκυνε δὲ μυρία κύκλα,
οἷον ὅτε βληχροῖσι κυλινδόμενον πελάγεσσιν
κῦμα μέλαν κωφόν τε καὶ ἄβρομον: ἀλλὰ καὶ ἔμπης
ὑψοῦ σμερδαλέην κεφαλὴν μενέαινεν ἀείρας
ἀμφοτέρους ὀλοῇσι περιπτύξαι γενύεσσιν.155
ἡ δέ μιν ἀρκεύθοιο νέον τετμηότι θαλλῷ
βάπτουσ᾽ ἐκ κυκεῶνος ἀκήρατα φάρμακ᾽ ἀοιδαῖς
ῥαῖνε κατ᾽ ὀφθαλμῶν: περί τ᾽ ἀμφί τε νήδυμος ὀδμὴ
φαρμάκου ὕπνον ἔβαλλε: γένυν δ᾽ αὐτῇ ἐνὶ χώρῃ
θῆκεν ἐρεισάμενος: τὰ δ᾽ ἀπείρονα πολλὸν ὀπίσσω160
κύκλα πολυπρέμνοιο διὲξ ὕλης τετάνυστο.
ἔνθα δ᾽ ὁ μὲν χρύσειον ἀπὸ δρυὸς αἴνυτο κῶας,
κούρης κεκλομένης: ἡ δ᾽ ἔμπεδον ἑστηυῖα
φαρμάκῳ ἔψηχεν θηρὸς κάρη, εἰσόκε δή μιν
αὐτὸς ἑὴν ἐπὶ νῆα παλιντροπάασθαι Ἰήσων165
ἤνωγεν, λεῖπον δὲ πολύσκιον ἄλσος Ἄρηος.
ὡς δὲ σεληναίην διχομήνιδα παρθένος αἴγλην
ὑψόθεν ἐξανέχουσαν ὑπωροφίου θαλάμοιο
λεπταλέῳ ἑανῷ ὑποΐσχεται: ἐν δέ οἱ ἦτορ
χαίρει δερκομένης καλὸν σέλας: ὧς τότ᾽ Ἰήσων170
γηθόσυνος μέγα κῶας ἑαῖς ἐναείρατο χερσίν:
καί οἱ ἐπὶ ξανθῇσι παρηίσιν ἠδὲ μετώπῳ
μαρμαρυγῇ ληνέων φλογὶ εἴκελον ἷζεν ἔρευθος.
ὅσση δὲ ῥινὸς βοὸς ἤνιος ἢ ἐλάφοιο
γίγνεται, ἥν τ᾽ ἀγρῶσται ἀχαιινέην καλέουσιν,175
τόσσον ἔην πάντῃ: χρύσεον δ᾽ἐφύπερθεν ἄωτον.
βεβρίθει λήνεσσιν ἐπηρεφές: ἤλιθα δὲ χθὼν
αἰὲν ὑποπρὸ ποδῶν ἀμαρύσσετο νισσομένοιο.
ἤιε δ᾽ ἄλλοτε μὲν λαιῷ ἐπιειμένος ὤμῳ
αὐχένος ἐξ ὑπάτοιο ποδηνεκές, ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖτε180
εἴλει ἀφασσόμενος: περὶ γὰρ δίεν, ὄφρα ἓ μή τις
ἀνδρῶν ἠὲ θεῶν νοσφίσσεται ἀντιβολήσας.
Seizure of the fleece
After a short journey along the River Phasis, Jason and the Argonauts, together with Medea, arrive at the Grove of Ares where Aietes has hung the Fleece on an oak tree. Throughout this entire passage, which functions as a self-contained Epyllion, the language is heightened: an elaborate geographical excursus emphasises the extent of the Colchian kingdom and Aietes’ power, richly worded similes stress the size of the Guardian Serpent but, above all, the action centres on the leading role played by Medea in achieving the main goal of the mission and the ways in which it might affect her relationship with Jason.
109–14 The approaching dawn brings decisive action (as, for example, at Soph. El. 17–19, when the Paedagogus encourages Orestes and Pylades) and such a moment can be marked by an elaborate description of the passing of time and a comparison with activities taking place in a different scene. Callimachus (fr. 74.25–6 Hollis, quoted below) has a similar passage, linked to this by the use of the rare ἄγχαυρος. This allusion to the time of day is an extension of Homeric examples such as Il. 7.433 ἦμος δ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἄρ πω ἠώς, ἔτι δ᾽ ἀμφιλύκη νύξ. The language in these opening lines of, what is, a climatic moment in the poem is rich and allusive, with an elaborate word-order that enhances the drama of the Hunt for the Fleece. This is true, also, of the passage as a whole.
109 ἦμος: "at the time when," looking forward to τῆμος, "at that time," in line 114. ἀνέρες . . . ἀγρόται: “countrymen,” actually hunters, as emerges. The hyperbaton enfolds the opening statement of the comparison concerning their early morning wakefulness. ὕπνον is the object of ἐβάλοντο.
110 πεποιθότες: "trusting in," + dat. LSJ πείθω B. iii, perf. act. participle.
111 ἄγχαυρον: qualifying νύκτα: “night when it has not yet turned into day.” This rare word, as is usual with A., is enjambed. ἀλευάμενοι: < ἀλέομαι: aorist middle, “avoid, shun.”
111 φάος: > φάος / φῶς, accusative singular neuter. ἠοῦς: < ἠώς, genitive singular feminine.
112 μὴ πρὶν ἀμαλδύνῃ: the light of the sun is the subject. Subjunctive after μή denotes a fear for the future (Smyth 2225). ἠδὲ καί: “and also.”
113 θηρείην: “scent (of wild animals).” The repetition and chiasmus θηρῶν στίβον ~ ὀδμὴν θηρείην seems deliberate, though there have been attempts to emend θηρῶν. The balanced phrase λευκῇσιν ἐνισκίμψασα βολῇσιν (datives either side of the participle) is typically Hellenistic.
114 τῆμος . . . ἀπὸ νηὸς ἔβησαν: “Then Jason and the girl went ashore.” The action switches back to the reality of the moment. The contrast is a sharp one: Jason and Medea are on the trail of the Fleece, just like the early morning hunters.
115–16 ποιήεντ᾿ ἀνὰ χῶρον: “on to the grassy place.” The phrase seems to echo the opening of Od. 14.2 χῶρον ἀν’ ὑλήεντα. The monster is lurking in a pastoral setting. The poet pictures a locus amoenus, disrupted in this case by the serpent in the garden. This is where the Ram came almost to the end of its journey (ἵνα Κριοῦ καλέονται / Εὐναί, lit. "where the Ram’s bed is called”), a place associated with weakness and tiredness.
116 κεκμηότα γούνατ᾿ ἔκαμψεν: “bent his weary knees” lends an anthropomorphising touch to the description of the Ram, which, on arrival in Colchis, speaks to its passenger (Arg. 2.1141). Yet it is also the point from which Jason and Medea begin their journey.
117 νώτοισιν φορέων: referring to the Ram. Μινυήιον: “Minyan,” derived from the mythical Minyas. Minyas is only known through his adjective, used of the Argonauts as well as Orchomenos. The epithet is older than the Trojan Wars and is used by both Homer and A. to add legendary status, as does the patronymical phrase υἷ’ Ἀθάμαντος.
118 αἰθαλόεντα . . . βωμοῖο θέμεθλα: “smoke-blackened foundations of the altar,” stresses that the altar is in regular use. Smoke played an important part in ancient sacrifice; see (Naiden 2013, VII). Although the ancients would have been used to soot on altars, a sacrificial altar hidden deep in a sacred grove is an exotic descriptive detail.
119 Αἰολίδης . . . Φρίξος: “Phrixos of the race of Aiolos.” Διὶ Φυξίῳ: Φυξίος occurs as a title of Zeus in Thessaly, appropriate for a descendant of Aiolos. It occurs elsewhere in poetry only at Lycophron Alex. 288 (Hornblower, S. 2015, 65).
119 εἵσατο: “established,” aorist middle > ἵζω.
120 ῥέζων: A. is describing a typical scene from epic poetry: Callimachus h. 3.199–200 ἀνεστήσαντο δὲ βωμούς / ἱερά τε ῥέζουσι, based on Homeric Hymn 5.100–1 περιφαινομένῳ ἐνὶ χώρῳ, / βωμὸν ποιήσω, ῥέξω δέ τοι ἱερὰ καλὰ, the relative calm of which is going to be shattered in the rest of the passage.
120 τέρας: although here used of the ram, often describes a monster such as the one that Medea and Jason are soon to encounter.
120 παγχρύσεον: the Fleece is generally described as golden, although Simonides and others said it was purple or even white.
121–22 Ἑρμείας πρόφρων ξυμβλήμενος: in epic poetry encounters between men and gods occur frequently. Hermes’ encounters with Odysseus (Od. 10.275–307 ἱερὰς ἀνὰ βήσσας ~ ποιήεντ᾽ ἀνὰ χῶρον; ἀντεβόλησεν ~ ξυμβλήμενος) and Priam (Il. 24.345–468) show him as a typical helper figure.
121 ξυμβλήμενος: aorist middle participle > συμβάλλω. Homeric mss. vary between ξυμ– and συμ– (West, M.L. 2017, 230; Graziosi, Barbara and Haubold, Johannes 2019).
121 τούσγε: Jason and Medea, object of μεθέηκαν "let go," i.e., "put on shore" < μεθίημι: aorist active indicative 3rd plural.
122–86 This description of Jason and Medea’s confrontation with the guardian snake and the rescue of the Fleece opens and closes with non-Homeric similes concerned with different aspects of its radiance. Initially it is compared to the light of the rising sun (125–6), then of the moon (169–70) and finally the lightning of Zeus (185). Between these comparisons are two other similes, both inspired by Homer. The snake’s spiraling body and the rising smoke rings to which it is compared (4.139–44) bring to mind two Iliadic passages (18.207, 21.522–5) used of the fear provoked by Achilles among the Trojans. In the second half of the passage, as the snake relaxes under Medea’s ministrations, it is compared to soundless waves (4.152–3), an imitation of Il. 14.16–22, where Nestor hesitates over a decision, and also an inversion of similes where the sea roars (Il. 2.209–10, 394–97, 14. 394–5, 17. 263–6).
123 τώ: “they,” Jason and Medea (dual nom.).
123 μεθ’: μετά, "in quest of"
123 ἱερὸν ἄλσος: “the sacred grove.” This recalls the scene at Od. 6.321–2 κλυτὸν ἄλσος ἵκοντο / ἱρὸν Ἀθηναίης. The sanctity of this particular grove is soon to be shattered.
123 ἵκοντο: for the mixture of dual subjects (τώ and διζημένω) with a plural verb see Smyth 955.
124–5 ᾗ ἔπι κῶας / βέβλητο: the Fleece hangs on a tree (2.404–7, 1268–70, 4.162). On a cup by Douris (Rome, Vatican Museums, ARV 437.116), Jason is being disgorged by the serpent, with the Fleece hanging on a tree nearby. βέβλητο < βάλλω: pluperfect passive indicative 3rd singular (epic).
125 νεφέλῃ ἐναλίγκιον: “like a cloud.” A. has a number of descriptions which are concerned with the effect of light (1.450–3, 519–21, 1280–3, 2.164–5, 3.755–9, 1223–4, 4.109–11, 167–70). It has been argued that A. saw and described like a painter.
125–26 ἀνιόντος / ἠελίου: “of the rising sun,” recalling Il. 22.134–5 ἐλάμπετο εἴκελος αὐγῇ / ἢ πυρὸς αἰθομένου ἢ ἠελίου ἀνιόντος. The genitive phrase depends on φλογερῇσιν . . . ἀκτίνεσσιν, “fiery beams.”
126 The image of the cloud flecked with red may originate from passages such as Aratus 867 φαίνωνται νεφέλαι ὑπερευθέες ἄλλοθεν ἄλλαι and also 880–2.
126 ἐρεύθεται: the cognates of ἔρευθος are thematic in the Argonautica. The word combines craft, magic and eroticism as part of the chiaroscuro that permeates this passage. The middle of ἐρεύθειν occurs first at Sappho fr. 105a.1 Voigt οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ᾽ ὔσδῳ, an image which A. may be recalling here. See further 474n.
127 ὁ: looks forward to ὄφις in the next line
127 περιμήκεα . . . δειρήν: τhe long neck of the serpent calls to mind Scylla at Od. 12.90 ἓξ δέ τέ οἱ δειραὶ περιμήκεες.
128 ὀξύς: "keen-sighted," LSJ ὀξὺς A.ΙΙ.2.
The writhing of the guardian serpent is the main descriptive feature of the long passage that follows. The intricate word order of this line already hints at that: ἀύπνοισιν and ὀφθαλμοῖσιν are to be taken together and προϊδὼν governs νισσομένους. The eyes of a snake are always open and are protected by immobile transparent scales. A. stresses this with ὀξὺς (LSJ A.ΙΙ.2) ἀύπνοισιν προϊδὼν and then the word-play based on ὄφις and ὀφθαλμοῖσιν.
129 ῥοίζει δὲ πελώριον: “and hissed mightily.” πελώριον is used as an adverb. The Hesiodic passage describing the birth of Typhoeus (Hes. Th. 835 ῥοίζεσχ’, ὑπὸ δ᾽ ἤχεεν οὔρεα μακρά) is one of A.’s models here.
129–30 ἀμφὶ δὲ μακραὶ / ἠιόνες: supply ἴαχον, from the second half of the sentence (ἴαχεν). This passage is based on Il. 17.264–5 ἀμφὶ δέ τ᾽ ἄκραι / ἠϊόνες βοόωσιν ἐρευγομένης ἁλὸς ἔξω. In the Homeric passage the meaning of ἄκραι ἠϊόνες is not clear. It has been translated ‘the shores echo to their farthest points’ (Leaf). The scene described is an estuary bordered by sands on which the waters churn noisily. It is possible to see here A. in his role as Homeric critic, reading ἠϊόνες at Il. 17.264–5 and making the simple emendation μακραί for τ᾽ ἄκραι.
130 The vast sound of the echo (μακραὶ . . . ἄσπετον) emphasises the size of the monster.
130 ἄσπετον ἴαχεν ἄλσος: "the immense grove echoed," LSJ ἰάχω A.2. The assonance of the phrase is striking and further enhances a vivid description. It seems to allude to Hom. Hym. 27.7 ἰαχεῖ δ᾽ ἔπι δάσκιος ὕλη. A. has other examples of the pathetic fallacy at 3.1218 πίσεα δ᾽ ἔτρεμε πάντα κατὰ στίβον, 4.1171–2 αἱ δ᾽ἐγέλασσαν / ἠϊόνες νήσοιο. Expressions such as these, which endow Nature with human emotion, are found in Homer and become a topos in hexameter poetry; cf. Il. 13.18, 19.362, Theocr. 7.74.
131 “They heard the noise, who, even very far from Titan Aia, inhabited the Colchian land . . .” The loudness of the hiss is emphasised by the vast area over which it is heard. Virgil imitated this passage at Aen. 7.515–18 contremuit nemus et siluae insonuere profundae. / audiit et Triuiae longe lacus, audiit amnis / . . . / et trepidae matres pressere ad pectora natos. A. is describing a place whose name is Αἶα (i.e. the city of Colchis), called Τιτηνίδος Αἴης because of the links with Prometheus—the Argonauts hear his agonised cry, as they draw near to Colchis (2.1247–9). Possibly Τιτηνίδος also refers to Aietes’ ancestry, the son of Helios (2.1204) and so grandson of the Titan Hyperion.
132 Κολχίδα γῆν: makes an immediate contrast with Τιτηνίδος Αἴης. For ἐνέμοντο, cf. the formulae of the Homeric Catalogue of Ships; e.g. Il. 2.499 οἱ τ᾽ ἁμφ’ Ἅρμ’ ἐνέμοντο, emphasising the size of Aietes’ empire and forces.
132 παρὰ προχοῇσι Λύκοιο: “by the waters of the Lycus.” Attempts to identify this particular River Lycus have not met with success. The sense seems to call for a river, a long way from Colchis (πολλὸν ἑκάς) and closely associated with the Araxes (mentioned in the next line). Κύροιο (i.e. the river Kyrus-modern day Kura) or perhaps Κόροιο, mentioned by Strabo (11.3.2) as its earlier name would make better sense of the description. The error, which A. or his geographical sources made, is in thinking that the Kyrus joined the Phasis somewhere in the Caucasus Mountains (see map in Media section).
133 ὅς τ᾿ ἀποκιδνάμενος: “which, breaking off from . . .” + gen.
κίδναμαι and its compounds are usually used of the spreading of light. One would expect a word meaning “split off” (4.291). We might read ἀποσχισάμενος, comparing Hdt. 4.56 ποταμὸς ἀπέσχισται μὲν ἀπὸ τοῦ Βορυσθένεος and explain the error on both phonetic and visual grounds. κελάδοντος Ἀράξεω: “resounding Araxes.” This is and was a mighty river (see “Etymology and history” under the link). Virgil called the river the pontem indignatus Araxes ("the Araxes, angry at having been bridged").
134 Φάσιδι συμφέρεται ἱερὸν ῥόον: "blends its sacred stream with (the river) Phasis," LSJ συμφέρω B.I. Rivers are often seen as holy (Il. 11.726 ἱερὸν ῥόον Ἀλφειοῖο). The adjective ἱερός has been linked with the Vedic root denoting “swift movement” and perhaps the fact that the fact that the rushing water flows with ἱερός ῥόος is the root of the belief that the river contains godhead.
135 Καυκασίην ἅλαδ(ε): “to the Caucasian sea.” For the -δε suffix see Smyth 1589. A. thinks of the Caucasus Mountains as being one of the landmarks near Colchis (2.1247, 1267, 3.852, 3.1224) and so it is a natural extension to talk of the ‘Caucasian Sea’. εἰς ἓν ἐλαυνόμενοι: “united into one.”
136–8 δείματι δ᾿ ἐξέγροντο λεχωίδες: “new mothers are awakened in terror.” The emphasis turns from geography to a more personal level. The gesture described, grasping something (ἀμφὶ δὲ παισὶν / νηπιάχοις . . . χεῖρας βάλον) in extreme danger, is natural, and the whimpering of the children in their sleep (ὑπ᾿ ἀγκαλίδεσσιν ἴαυον) is a vivid detail. It is a good example of a Hellenistic poet adding enargeia (G. Zanker 1981) to a description.
137 σφιν ὑπ᾿ ἀγκαλίδεσσιν: “in their arms” (lit. "in the arms to them," see Smyth 1476).
138 ῥοίζῳ παλλομένοις: “shaking at the hissing,” agreeing with νηπιάχοις in the previous line.
139–42 τυφομένης ὕλης ὕπερ: The preposition is in anastrophe: “above a burning forest.” This is the first of the elaborate similes in this passage. Similes based on forest fires or smoke rising from a fire are found in Homer. At Il. 11.155–7 fire, “falls upon a wood and the thickets perish in the onrush of the flames,” just as the Trojans perish under the attack of Agamemnon. A. is unexpectedly linking the fear experienced in battle with the horror caused by the monstrous snake.
139–40 αἰθαλόεσσαι / καπνοῖο στροφάλιγγες ἀπείριτοι: "immense sooty whirls of smoke."
An elaborate and interlaced opening which enhances the richness of A.’s description. The language of the Homeric similes is generally simpler. The simple opening of Il. 18.207–13 ὡς δ᾽ ὅτε καπνὸς ἰὼν ἐξ ἄστεος αἰθέρ’ ἵκηται contrasts with the intricate wording of A’s phrase. There are also differences in connection between simile and subject. At Il. 18.207–13 the rising smoke is only the primary reference point from which the simile extends to describe the action of the siege. A., however, establishes a more direct equation, choosing words appropriate to rising smoke, which also suit the movements of the serpent (see below). The movement defined by στροφάλιγξ is appropriate both to the movements of the serpent and to the rising smoke. The Homeric phrase ἐν στροφάλιγγι κονίης (Il. 16.775, 21.503, Od. 24.39) refers to the swirl and billow of rising dust. A. has associated this movement with the gyrations of a snake.
140 εἱλίσσονται: "coil." Word from the same root recur in this passage: εἰλίγγοισιν (142), ἐλέλιζε (143), ἑλισσομένοιο (145). As the smoke billows so the huge serpent gyrates through the wood.
141 ἄλλη δ᾽ αἶψ(α) ἑτέρῃ ἔπι τέλλεται: “one rises immediately upon another.” A. is fond of anastrophe (see above). ἐπιτέλλομαι meaning ‘rise after’ is unusual. In similar phrases with ἄλλος κ.τ.λ., ἐπί is usually part of the ἄλλος phrase; e.g. Arg. 2.81 ἐπ’ ἄλλῳ δ᾽ ἄλλος, 2.1042 ἄλλος ἐπὶ προτέρῳ, Callimachus h. 2.101 ἄλλον ἐπ’ ἄλλῳ. The construction ἐπί plus dative regularly means “one after another.”
141 αἰὲν ἐπιπρὸ: “ever forwards (and upwards)." A.’s description of how the smoke clouds behave is very detailed.
142 “lifted up (ἐπήορος) from below (νειόθεν) in swirls (εἰλίγγοισιν), as it rises up (ἐξανιοῦσα).” The additional line, drawing out the picture, echoes the action as the rising smoke slowly dissipates. Retaining the better attested ἐξανιοῦσα (rather the textual variant ἀίσσουσα) strengthens the alliterative qualities of the line.
143 πέλωρον: “monster”, a good word to use of a δράκων (Il. 12.202).
143 ἀπειρεσίας: echoes ἀπείριτοι (140). The word fits with A.’s description of the dragon's size as being of cosmic scale. The exaggeration contrasts with line 149 and the simple way in which Medea conquers it (156–9).
143 ἐλέλιζεν: (impf. rather than transmitted ἐλέλιξεν) is the correct word to use of a dragon’s writhing (Il. 2.316).
144 ῥυμβόνας: "coils," a word not found elsewhere. Some snakes at rest curl up into neat piles of coils, and this is the position of the serpent when Medea and Jason approach. Then it uncoils for action and in the process its body goes round and round in circles. This is the motion of the ῥόμβος or “bull-roarer.”
144 ἀζαλέῃσιν ἐπηρεφέας φολίδεσσιν: “covered with dry scales.”
145 The meaning of this line is clear: Medea went (LSJ εἴσομαι II) into the eyeline (κατόμματον? κατ᾽ ὄμματα?) of the writhing serpent (τοῖο δ᾿ ἑλισσομένοιο). What A. actually wrote is less so. Viewing the two oldest surviving Medieval manuscripts online shows the uncertain nature of the transmitted text: Laurentianus gr. 32.09 (AD 960–80) indicates that the scribe wrote κατόμματον εἴσατο, (fifteen text lines down from the top of the page), while the important Laurentianus gr. 32.16 is more difficult to read (third line down on the left). On balance it seems better to follow the text of the older witness, although κατόμματος is recorded nowhere else.
146 Ὕπνον ἀοσσητῆρα: “Sleep the helper.”
146 θεῶν ὕπατον: Medea is very respectful and is using strong magic. This is usually used only of Zeus.
146 καλέουσα: "calling upon," "summoning." Medea calls on the supernatural from below and above the earth, using a string of titles that we can imagine her chanting before the serpent. The language used displays a feature typical of prayer, successive epithets applied to the power or deity to whom the prayer is addressed.
147: ἡδείῃ ἐνοπῇ: “in a sweet voice.”
147 θέλξαι: aorist infinitive < θέλγω “to charm.” Medea’s ability to employ θέλξις is an important feature in her characterisation as a witch.
147 αὖε δ᾿ ἄνασσαν: “she cried out to the queen.” She turns her attention to Hecate, the queen of the Underworld. The assonance reinforces the strength of her incantation.
148 νυκτιπόλον, χθονίην: “the night wanderer, the infernal.” Both words are frequently used of Hecate.
148 εὐαντέα δοῦναι ἐφορμήν: lit. “to give a successful approach,” i.e., to ensure the success of the mission. After this dread invocation, Medea puts the beast out of action merely by dosing it with some harmless drugs. There is a degree of ironic humour in the whole passage.
149 εἵπετο δ᾽ Αἰσονίδης πεφοβημένος: “But the son of Aeson followed her, terrified.” The real hero of the scene (Medea) leads the way. One of the major contrasts in the present episode is between 4.109–61 where Medea is the leading figure and takes on the guardian dragon, and 4.161–83 during which Jason takes complete charge of the Fleece once all the dangers have been overcome.
149 πεφοβημένος: < φοβέω perfect middle-passive participle.
150 θελγόμενος: see 147n. above.
150 ἄκανθαν: (Latin: spina) is here used of the backbone of the snake. ἀνελύετ᾿(ο): occurs in Homer (of the undoing of Penelope’s web: Od. 2.105, 109) but, more importantly, it is used as a medical term meaning “relax.”
151 γηγενέος σπείρης: “of his earthborn coil.” Sacred snakes were associated either with what emerges from the earth, such as trees or springs, or what is placed inside it, such as foundations of houses and altars, or graves. μήκυνε δὲ μυρία κύκλα: the meaning (“myriad coils”), alliteration and rhythm of the line enhance the sense that the serpent is uncoiling on a cosmic scale.
152–3 οἷον ὅτε: "as when," introducing a simile. The coils of the serpent’s body are likened to the rolling of waves on a sluggish sea.
152 κυλινδόμενον: “rolling.” As often the word order is intricate. κῦμα is delayed until the next line where it is forcefully described by three adjectives: μέλαν κωφόν τε καὶ ἄβρομον. There is no need, as some critics have done, to emend μέλαν into a main verb (πέλεν or the like). Similes, like this one, without a main verb are common enough. The blackness of the sea is a striking detail of the description.
154–5 ὑψοῦ . . . ἀείρας: the two words are to be taken together. The serpent rises his head on high. The action of the verb, in true snake-like manner, encircles its object (σμερδαλέην κεφαλὴν). In 154–5, the serpent’s sudden burst of activity is marked by a long stretch of dactyls, emphasising his speed of movement after his initial sluggishness.
155 περιπτύξαι: περιπτύσσω is more usual of the human embrace. A.’s extension of the word to cover the grip of the serpent’s jaws has a ghastly appropriateness.
156 ἡ δέ μιν: referring to Medea and the serpent respectively.
156 ἀρκεύθοιο: “of Juniper.” It has often been thought to have magical and medicinal properties.
156 τετμηότι: < τέμνω: perf. passive with passive sense: < τετμηώς. This version of the story in which Medea drugs the dragon emerges first in A., though the scholiast commentator on 4.156 says that he is following Antimachus who retold the Argonautica legend in his elegiac poem Lyde There is artistic evidence for Medea’s use of drugs from a Lucanian hydria (c. 380–60 B.C.) on which Medea sits next to the snake and its tree holding a cup from which the dragon seems to have drunk.
157 βάπτουσ᾿ ἐκ κυκεῶνος: “dipping it in a potion.” The use of ἐκ is strange. Perhaps it represents the gesture of dipping the sprig of juniper in the potion and then flicking the liquid towards the serpent’s eyes. The κυκεῶν is the magic potion that Circe uses at Od. 10.234.
157 ἀκήρατα φάρμακ᾿: “harmless drugs.” Almost an oxymoron, which fits well into the immediate context – after the application, the dragon goes to sleep.
157 ἀοιδαῖς: “with her spells.” Medea must be imagined as chanting as she gently administers the liquid (ῥαῖνε κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμῶν).
158 περί τ᾿ ἀμφί τε: “round and about.” The pleonasm stresses the transformation that takes place as the drug gradually overpowers the serpent.
158 νήριτος ὀδμὴ: is the transmitted text perhaps “powerful smell” (Hunter ad loc.) but the word is really equivalent to πολλή. Much more in keeping would be νήδυμος ὀδμή, bearing in mind that juniper is sweet smelling. The change would introduce a typical and pointed Hellenistic variation on a Homeric phrase (Il. 2.2 νήδυμος ὕπνος).
159 φαρμάκου: depends on ὀδμὴ. If we translate the transmitted text: “the immense smell of the drug spread sleep (ὕπνον ἔβαλλε). For βάλλω used in this sense, see LSJ Aii 2.
159 γένυν: denotes the serpent’s chin. It can also be used of a human chin.
160 θῆκεν ἐρεισάμενος: lit. “it placed its jaw in that very place, having lent down.”
160 ἀπείρονα πολλὸν ὀπίσσω: again the poet’s emphasis is on the immense size of the animal that he is describing.
161 πολυπρέμνος: a rare word used instead of the Homeric πολυδένδρεος. The abundance of trees is stressed because of their importance in the beliefs attached to sacred groves (see notes below).
161 τετάνυστο: is used of a large form stretched out, prone at Il. 7.271 ὕπτιος ἐξετανύσθη (Hector). The dragon has been laid low on the ‘battlefield’ of the grove of Ares.
162–3 χρύσειον goes with κῶας in another of A.’s elegantly interlaced phrases.
162 αἴνυτο: The gesture is a heroic one; cf. Od. 21.53 ἔνθεν ὀρεξαμένη ἀπὸ πασσάλου αἴνυτο τόξον but A. undercuts it by stressing that it is carried out at Medea's command by the genitive absolute at the beginning of line 163 (κούρης κεκλομένης).
163 ἡ δ᾿ ἔμπεδον ἑστηυῖα: “Medea stands her ground, until Jason and the Argonauts are ready to beat a retreat.
163 ἑστηυῖα: perf. participle < ἵστημι (ii 1).
164: φαρμάκῳ ἔψηχεν θηρὸς κάρη: Medea continues to treat the serpent very gently by applying the drug to his head.
165 ἑὴν ἐπὶ νῆα: “to his ship.” ἑός is restricted to the 3rd person in older epic usage: Apollonius, liking the antique ring, uses it for all persons (see introduction xxx for more examples of this linguistic feature).
165–6 παλιντροπάασθαι Ἰήσων / ἤνωγεν: Jason retakes command.
166 ἤνωγεν < ἀνώγω: aorist) again and A. perhaps uses the rarepolysyllable infinitive to mark this shift.
166 λεῖπον: Jason and Medea leave together (transmitted λεῖπεν leaves Medea abandoned).
166 πολύσκιον ἄλσος Ἄρηος: A shady grove is a very holy place. The most famous Greek example is Dodona and in the Roman world that of Nemi. There are few references to sacred groves for Ares. One is Geronthrai in Messenia (Paus. 3.22.6–7).
167–70 παρθένος: Jason is unexpectedly compared to a young girl, as ὧς τότʼ Ἰήσων (170) shows. The language is choice (διχομήνιδα) and the word order complex (particularly the next line), all of which serves to heighten a fine image. The effects of light are a constant theme in A.’s poetry and here the light of the simile (σεληναίην διχομήνιδα . . . αἴγλην) is juxtaposed with πολύσκιον ἄλσος Ἄρηος. At the beginning of the episode (109–11), it is still night and Jason and Medea make their way to the dragon’s tree in darkness. A. begins to illuminate the scene in 167–9. He has already used images which suggest different kinds of light (118, 125–6, 139–40) but as the two return to the ship, the light grows and the glow of the Fleece suffuses the returning hero.
167 σεληναίης . . . αἴγλην: these two nouns depend on each other. σεληναίης is from σελήναιη (epic form of σελήνη).
168 ἐξανέχουσαν: we should read εἰσανέχουσαν instead of the transmitted text. The moon light is coming down into the girl’s bedroom.
168 ὑπωροφίου θαλάμοιο: alludes to the Homeric ὑπερῷον, the upper part of the house where the women lived. ὑπωροφίου is an emendation (Merkel 1854) for transmitted ὑπωρόφιον which gives a very difficult sense.
169: λεπταλέῳ ἑανῷ ὑποΐσχεται: The maiden catches the light on her robe. Perhaps this refers to rich cloth’s being oiled to give it extra sheen. Just as the girl catches (ὑποΐσχεται) the light on her dress, so Apsyrtus later catches the blood from his wound to stain Medea's veil and dress (4.473).
169–70: ἐν δέ οἱ ἦτορ / χαίρει δερκομένης: The participle (δερκομένης) in the genitive seemingly agreeing with the enclitic pronoun οἱ is an attempt by A. to imitate an archaic oddity of the Homeric epic: there is another good example at Arg. 3.371.
170 ὣς τότ᾿ Ἰήσων: Οnly now do we learn that Jason is the object of the simile. One might have imagined that Medea was being compared to the girl on the point of marriage. However, she has little cause for joy at the moment. The reversal of the gender roles heightens the eroticism of the moment and subverts the description in typical Apollonian fashion. What kind of hero is the poet describing?
171 μέγα κῶας ἑαῖς ἀναείρετο χερσίν: Jason lifts up the Fleece, bringing it close to his face, in the same way that the Maiden tries to catch the moonlight on her fine dress.
172 καί οἱ ἐπὶ ξανθῇσι παρηίσιν ἠδὲ μετώπῳ: the light of the Fleece plays over “his fair cheeks and forehead.”
172 καί οἱ: dative (of possession) third person singular pronoun as in ὄσσε δέ οἱ πυρὶ ἐίκτην (Il. 1.104), “and his two eyes were like fire.”
173 μαρμαρυγῇ ληνέων: “from the gleam of the wool.” ληνέων is scanned as two long syllables. Strabo (11.2.19) says “that in their country gold is carried down by the mountain torrents, and that the barbarians obtain it by means of perforated troughs and fleecy skins, and that this is the origin of the myth of the Golden Fleece.”
173 φλογὶ εἴκελον: the Fleece is also likened to fire at 4.1143–8. The Hellenistic painter Antiphilus, was admired for the way in which in his ‘Boy Blowing a Fire’ he made the house and boy’s face reflect the glow (Graham Zanker 2004, 62)
173 ἷζεν ἔρευθος: the blush of red often defines personal beauty in A.’s poetry. Jason is similarly described at Arg. 1.725–26.
174 ὅσση δὲ ῥινὸς βοὸς ἤνιος: another unexpected comparison. The Fleece, which a moment ago, seemed so delicate, is likened to the skin of two animals: a yearling (ἤνιος < ἤνις) heifer or a stag.
175 ἀγρῶσται: usually means “countrymen but here “hunters” seems to be better.
175 ἀχαιινέην: This is a very rare word but comparisons in which difficult words are glossed or explained are a feature of Hellenistic poetry. The use of καλέουσιν shows that A. is parading a piece of recondite learning. Although the hide is said to be of a young heifer, the stress is put on its size. The description is perhaps meant to make the reader stop and ponder on the appearance of the wonderous thing that Jason is carrying.
176–77 punctuation and understanding of these lines has proved difficult. Translate: “so great in every way (πάντῃ) was the Fleece, golden above (χρύσεον δ᾽ἐφύπερθεν) and heavy with its thick covering of wool (βεβρίθει λήνεσσιν ἐπηρεφές)” and punctuate as printed. The κῶας is the whole skin . . . the ἄωτον is the woolly Fleece, on the skin, as it is in Homer. The ἄωτον does not grow all over the κῶας, hence the distinction between πάντῃ and ἐφύπερθε.
177 ἤλιθα: A word whose meaning was disputed in antiquity. Here the meaning is “very much, exceedingly”. Used also at 4.1265 where the meaning may be different.
178 A. takes his lead from Pindar’s κῶας αἰγλᾶεν χρυσέῳ θυσάνῳ (Pind. P. 231), “the Fleece gleaming with its golden fringe.”, and spreads the light of the Fleece through his narrative. Jason is suffused with a golden glow as he goes back to the ship, its extent emphasised by ἤλιθα, ὑποπρὸ ποδῶν and the fire-imagery of ἀμαρύσσω. αἰὲν ὑποπρό: the rare preposition combined with the adverb (“with every step”, Hunter ad loc.). intensifies the effect of this almost triumphal procession. νισσομένοιο: “as he walked along”. Genitive single of the participle describing Jason.
179–81 Jason carries the Fleece, sometimes with a great deal of show, sometimes fearfully hiding it. ἤιε: epic imperf. < εἶμι. “he was going”.
179 ἄλλοτε μὲν / δέ is in a chiastic arrangement. ἐπιειμένος: “having drapped”, < ἐπιέννυμι: perf part middle.
180 ποδηνεκές: in particular, denotes the flamboyant display of a warrior. Jason cannot entirely match this swagger.
181 εἴλει ἀφασσόμενος: The narrator doubts Jason's heroic pose. At the beginning, the exultant Jason passes the Fleece from hand to hand and examines it from every angle. Then the non-committal ἄλλοτε δʼ αὖτε introduces the unexpected εἴλει (LSJ CII) ἀφασσόμενος: making it seem that Jason's courage has suddenly failed him and that he fears that a chance encounter will rob him of the Fleece.
181–2 The next line and a half is full of allusion. Hunter (ad loc.) quite rightly says that ὄφρα (rather than just μή is unusual after a verb of fearing (Il. 17.666 ἤϊε πόλλ᾽ ἀέκων· περὶ γὰρ δίε μή μιν Ἀχαιοί). However there seems to be a possible allusion to Od. 20.20–1 ὄφρα σε μῆτις / ἐξάγαγ’ ἐξ ἄντροιο ὀϊόμενον θανέεσθαι where Odysseus thinks back to the μῆτις pun (Jenkin 2013) which saved him in the cave of the Cyclops. ἀντιβολήσας: is also a word that has associations with the type of meeting that Jason fears: (Il. 24.374–5) ἀλλ᾽ ἔτι τις καὶ ἐμεῖο θεῶν ὑπερέσχεθε χεῖρα, / ὅς μοι τοιόνδ᾽ ἧκεν ὁδοιπόρον ἀντιβολῆσαι (Priam’s words when he is met by Hermes in a way similar to that fearfully anticipated by Jason).
Hornblower, S. 2015. Lykophron: Alexandra: Greek Text, Translation, Commentary, and Introduction. Oxford: OUP.
Naiden, F. S. 2013. Smoke Signals for the Gods: Ancient Greek Sacrifice from the Archaic Through Roman Periods. Oxford: OUP.
ὕπνος, -ου ὁ, sleep
ὀφθαλμός, -οῦ, ὁ, the eye
ἀγρότης, ου, ὁ, huntsmen 110
πείθω, πείσω, ἔπεισα, πέπεικα, (or πέποιθα,) πέπεισμαι, ἐπείσθην, persuade, trust
ἄγχαυρος, ον, near the morning
κνώσσω, to slumber, sleep
ἀλέομαι, to avoid, shun
φάος, -εος, τό, light, daylight
ἠώς, ἠοῦς, ἡ, dawn
ἀμαλδύνω, to blunt
θήρ, θηρός, ὁ, wild animal
στίβος, ὁ, a trodden way, track, path
ὀσμή, ἡ (epic ὀδμή), a smell, scent, odour
θήρειος, ον, of wild beasts
λευκός, -ή, -όν, white; light, bright
ἐνσκίμπτω, to fall upon
βολή, -ῆς, ἡ, throw, stroke,
τῆμος, then, thereupon
ποιή-εις, εσσα, εν, grassy, rich in grass 115
χῶρος, -ου, ὁ, place, a piece of ground
κριός, ὁ, a ram
εὐνή, ἡ, place to lie, bed, couch
ὅθι, where, there; poet. for οὗ
κάμνω, καμοῦμαι, ἔκαμον, κεκήμακα, --- ---, work, labor, win by toil
γόνῠ, -γόνατος, τό, pl. (epic nom. γούνατα), knee
κάμπτω, to bend, curve
νῶτον, τό, the back
φορέω, bear or carry
Μινύειος, η, ον, Minyan
Ἀθάμας, ὁ, Athamas
ἐγγύθι, hard by, near
αἰθαλόεις, όεσσα, όεν, smoky, sooty
πέλω, to be
βωμός, -οῦ, ὁ, altar
θέμεθλα, τά, the foundations, lowest part, bottom
Αἰολίδης, ὁ, son of Aeolus
φύξιος, of banishment
ἵζω, aor. εἷσα, set up and dedicate
ῥέζω, work, offer 120
τέρας, -ατος, τό, portent, monster
παγχρύσεος, ον, all-golden, of solid gold
οἱ, to or for him(self), her(self), it(self); dat. sg., equivalent to αὐτῷ
εἶπον, aor. for λέγω and φημί, said
Ἑρμῆς, -οῦ, ὁ, Hermes
πρόφρων, ονος, ὁ, kind, benevolent
συμβάλλω, συμβαλῶ, συμέβαλον, συμβέβληκα, συμβέβλημαι, συμεβλήθην, meet
Ἄργος, ὁ, Argus (name)
φραδμοσύνη, ἡ, understanding, shrewdness, cunning
ἀριστεύς, ὁ, the best man, hero
μεθίημι, μεθήσω, μεθῆκα, μεθεῖκα, μεθεῖμαι, μεθείθην, set loose; let go
ἀτραπιτός, ἡ, a path
ἄλσος, εος, τό, a glade
φηγός, ἡ, oak
ἀπειρέσιος, α, ον, boundless, immense, countless
δίζημαι, to seek out, look for
κῶας, τό, a fleece
νεφέλη, -ης, cloud 125
ἐνᾰλίγκιος, ον, like, resembling
ἄνειμι, go up, rise
φλογερός, ά, όν, flaming, fiery-red
ἐρεύθω, to make red, stain red
ἀκτίς, ῖνος, ἡ, a ray, beam
ἀντικρύ, over against, right opposite, straight in front.
περιμήκης, ες, very long
τείνω, τενῶ, ἔτεινα, τέτακα, τέταμαι, ἐτάθην, stretch
δειρή, ἡ, the neck, throat
ἄϋπνος, ον, sleepless, wakeful
προεῖδον, aor. with no pres. in use, to see beforehand, catch sight of
ὄφις, ὁ, ὄφεως, ὁ, a serpent, snake
ὀφθαλμός, -οῦ, ὁ, the eye
νίσσομαι, to go
πελώριος, ον, gigantic
ἠϊών, όνος, ἡ, a sea-bank, shore, beach 130
ἄσπετος, ον, unutterable, unspeakably great
ἰάχω, to cry, shout, shriek
ἑκάς, far, afar, far off
Αἶα, ἡ, Aia, the city of Colchis
Κολχίς, ίδος, ἡ, Colchian
νέμω, νεμῶ, ἔνειμα, νενέμηκα, νενέμημαι, ἐνεμήθην, inhabit
προχοή, ἡ, waters of a river, outpouring
Λύκος, ὁ, the river Lycus
ἀποκίδναμαι, to spread out
κελάδων , οντος, resounding, roaring
Ἀράξης ὁ, the river Araxes
Φᾶσις, ὁ, the river Phasis
συμφέρω, συνοίσω, συνήνεγκα, συνενήνοχα, συνενήνεγμαι, συνηνέχθην, bring together, gather, collect
ῥόος, ὁ, a stream, flow, current
συνάμφω, both together
Καυκάσιος, α, ον, of Mt. Caucasus 135
ἅλαδε, to the sea
ἐλαύνω, ἐλῶ, ἤλασα, ἐλήλακα, ἐλήλαμαι, ἐλάθην, to drive, set in motion
προχέω, to pour forth
δεῖμα, ατος, τό, fear, affright
ἐξεγείρω, to awaken
λεχωΐς, ΐδος, ἡ, a new mother
νηπῐαχος, ον, infantine, childish
ἀγκᾰλίς, -ίδος ἡ, the arms
ἰαύω, to sleep, to pass the night
ῥοῖζος, ὁ, the hissing of the serpent
πάλλω, to shake, quiver
ἀσχαλάω, to be distressed, grieved
τύφω, to burn and send up smoke
ὕλη, ἡ, forest
καπνός, ὁ, smoke 140
στροφάλ, -ιγγος, ἡ, a whirl, eddy
ἀπείρῐτος, ον, = ἀπειρέσιος, boundless, immense
ἑλίσσω, to turn around, (mid. and pass.) turn oneself around, coil, spin
ἐπιπρό, right through, onwards
νειόθεν, from the bottom
εἴλιξ, -εἴλλιγγος, ἡ, a swirl anything which assumes a spiral shape (= ἕλιξ)
ἐπήορος, ον, uplifted
ἐξάνειμι, to rise from the (horizon), to come back from
πέλωρον, τό, monster
ἐλελίζω, to whirl round
ῥυμβών, -όνος ἡ, coil (of a serpent)
ἀζᾰλέος, α, ον, dry, parched
ἐπηρεφής, ές, covered
φολίς, ίδος, ἡ, horny scale
κατόμματον, into the eyeline of145
εἴσομαι, 3sg. aor. εἴσατο, to go; to rush, hasten
ἀοσσητήρ ῆρος ὁ, assistant
ὕπατος, -η -ον, highest
ἡδύς, -εῖα, -ύ, pleasant, sweet
ἐνοπή, ἡ, voice
θέλγω, to charm
τέρας, -ατος, τό, portent, monster
αὔω, to cry out, call upon + acc.
ἄνασσα, ἡ, a queen, lady, mistress
νυκτιπόλος, ον, roaming by night
χθόνιος, α, ον, of the earth, chthonian, infernal
εὐάντης -ες, gracious, successful
ἐφορμή, ἡ, a way of attack
ἕπομαι impf. εἱπόμην, to follow
φοβέω, φοβήσω, ἐφόβησα, πεφόβηκα, πεφόβημαι, ἐφοβήθην, put to flight, frighten, scare
οἴμη, -ης, ἡ, song, spell 150
θέλγω, to charm
δολιχός, ή, όν, long
ἀναλύω, relax, undo
ἄκανθα, ης, ἡ, backbone, spine
γηγενής, ές, earthborn
σπεῖρα, ἡ, coil
μηκύνω, to lengthen, prolong, extend
μυρίος, -α, -ον, numberless, infinite
κύκλος, -ου, ὁ, ring, circle
οἷος -α -ον, such as, of what sort, like
βληχρός, ά, όν, weak, gentle, sluggish
κυλίνδω, to roll, roll along
πέλᾰγος, εος, τό, the sea
κῦμα, -ατος, τό, wave
κωφός, silent, dumb
ἄβρομος, ον, noiselesss
ὑψοῦ, aloft, on high
σμερδᾰλέος, α, η, ον, terrible to look on, fearful
μενεαίνω, to desire earnestly
ἀείρω, to lift, heave, raise up
ἀμφότερος, α, ον, both of two 155
ὀλοός, ή, όν, destroying, destructive, fatal, deadly, murderous
περιπτύσσω, to enfold, enwrap
γένῠς, -υος, ἡ, jaw
ἄρκευθος, ἡ, juniper
τέμνω, τεμῶ, ἔτεμον, τέτμηκα, τέτμημαι, ἐτμήθην, cut
θαλλός, ὁ, a young shoot, young branch
βάπτω, to dip in water
κῠκεών, ῶνος, ὁ, mixed drink, a potion, tankard
ἀκήρᾰτος, ον, unmixed, uncontaminated, undefiled
ῥαίνω, to sprinkle, besprinkle
νήρῐτος, ον, countless, immense
γένῠς, υος, ἡ, the jaw, side of the face, cheek; axe
χώρᾱ, -ᾱς, ἡ, place
ἐρείδω, cause to lean, prop 160
πολύπρεμνος, ον, with many trunks
διέκ, through and out of
τανύω, stretch, strain, extend
δρῦς, -δρυός, a tree, oak
αἴνυμαι, to take, take off, take hold of
κέλομαι, command, urge on, exhort, call to
ἔμπεδος, ον, in the ground, firm-set, steadfast
ψήχω, to rub down, curry
θήρ -θηρός, ὁ, wild animal
κάρα, τό, the head
παλιντροπάομαι, return 165
ἀνώγω, bid, command
πολύσκῐος, ον, very shady
σελήναιη, -ης ἡ, moon
δῐχόμηνις, ιδος ἡ, at the full of the moon
παρθένος, -ου, ἡ, maiden, girl, virgin
αἴγλη, ἡ, the light of the sun, radiance
ὑψόθεν, from on high, from aloft, from above
ἐξανέχω, to hold up from (needs emendation-see notes)
ὑπωρόφιος, ον, under the roof, in the house
θάλαμος, -ου ὁ, chamber
λεπτᾰλέος, α, ον, fine, delicate
ἑᾱνός, ή, όν, fine (of a garment)
ὑπερίσχω, to catch, to hold
ἦτορ, -ορος τό, heart
χαίρω, χαιρήσω, ---, κεχάρηκα, κεχάρημαι, ἐχάρην, rejoice, be happy 170
δέρκομαι, to see clearly, see
καλός, -ή, -όν, beautiful, good, fine
σέλας, αος, τό, a bright flame, blaze, light
γηθόσυνος, η, ον, joyful, glad at
ἑός, ἑή, ἑόν, his, her, own
ἀναείρω, to lift up
ξανθός, ή, όν, yellow
πᾰρηΐς, ΐδος, ἡ, cheek
μέτωπον, τό, the space between the eyes, the brow, forehead
μαρμᾰρῠγή, ἡ, a flashing, sparkling
λῆνος, εος, τό, wool
φλόξ, ἡ, -φλογός, ἡ, a flame
ἔρευθος, εος, τό, redness, flush
ῥινός, ἡ, the skin
βοῦς βοός ὁ / ἡ, bull, cow pl. cattle
ἦνις, -ιος, a year old, yearling
ἔλᾰφος, ὁ, a deer
ἀχαιϊνέη -ης, ἡ, two-year old stag 175
ἐφύπερθε, above, atop, above
βρίθω, to be heavy
ἤλιθα, enough, sufficiently
ὑποπρό, just before
ἀμαρύσσω, to sparkle, glance
ἄλλοτε, at another time, at other times
λαιός, ά, όν, on the left
ἐπιέννυμι, to put on, drap
ὦμος, ὤμου, ὁ, shoulder 180
αὐχήν, ένος, ὁ, the neck, throat
ὕπατος, -η, -ον, highest, the top of
ποδηνεκής, ές, reaching to the feet
εἴλω, to roll up, pack
ἀφάσσω, to handle, feel
δείδω, δείσομαι, ἔδεισα, δέδοικα, (or δίδια) --- ---, fear
ὄφρα, so that, until
ἀντιβολέω, to meet by chance