ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ κἀκεῖθεν ὑπεύδια πείσματ᾽ ἔλυσαν,
μνήσατ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽ Εὔφημος ὀνείρατος ἐννυχίοιο,
ἁζόμενος Μαίης υἷα κλυτόν. εἴσατο γάρ οἱ
δαιμονίη βῶλαξ ἐπιμάστιος ᾧ ἐν ἀγοστῷ
ἄρδεσθαι λευκῇσιν ὑπαὶ λιβάδεσσι γάλακτος,1735
ἐκ δὲ γυνὴ βώλοιο πέλειν ὀλίγης περ ἐούσης
παρθενικῇ ἰκέλη: μίχθη δέ οἱ ἐν φιλότητι
ἄσχετον ἱμερθείς: ὀλοφύρετο δ᾽ ἠύτε κούρην
ζευξάμενος, τήν τ᾽ αὐτὸς ἑῷ ἀτίταλλε γάλακτι:
ἡ δέ ἑ μειλιχίοισι παρηγορέεσκ᾽ ἐπέεσσιν:1740
Τρίτωνος γένος εἰμί, τεῶν τροφός, ὦ φίλε, παίδων,
οὐ κούρη: τρίτων γὰρ ἐμοὶ Λιβύη τε τοκῆες.
ἀλλά με Νηρῆος παρακάτθεο παρθενικῇσιν
ἂμ πέλαγος ναίειν Ἀνάφης σχεδόν: εἶμι δ᾽ ἐς αὐγὰς
ἠελίου μετόπισθε, τεοῖς νεπόδεσσιν ἑτοίμη.1745
τῷ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐπὶ μνῆστιν κραδίη βάλεν, ἔκ τ᾽ ὀνόμηνεν
Αἰσονίδῃ: ὁ δ᾽ ἔπειτα θεοπροπίας Ἑκάτοιο
θυμῷ πεμπάζων ἀνενείκατο φώνησέν τε:
ὦ πέπον, ἦ μέγα δή δε καὶ ἀγλαὸν ἔμμορε κῦδος.
βώλακα γὰρ τεύξουσι θεοὶ πόντονδε βαλόντι1750
νῆσον, ἵν᾽ ὁπλότεροι παίδων δέθεν ἐννάσσονται
παῖδες: ἐπεὶ Τρίτων ξεινήιον ἐγγυάλιξεν
τήνδε τοι ἠπείροιο Λιβυστίδος. οὔ νύ τις ἄλλος
ἀθανάτων, ἢ κεῖνος, ὅ μιν πόρεν ἀντιβολήσας.
ὧς ἔφατ᾽: οὐδ᾽ ἁλίωσεν ὑπόκρισιν Αἰσονίδαο1755
Εὔφημος: βῶλον δέ, θεοπροπίῃσιν ἰανθείς,
ἧκεν ὑποβρυχίην. τῆς δ᾽ ἔκτοθι νῆσος ἀέρθη
καλλίστη, παίδων ἱερὴ τροφὸς Εὐφήμοιο,
οἳ πρὶν μέν ποτε δὴ Σιντηίδα Λῆμνον ἔναιον,
Λήμνου τ᾽ ἐξελαθέντες ὑπ᾽ ἀνδράσι Τυρσηνοῖσιν1760
Σπάρτην εἰσαφίκανον ἐφέστιοι: ἐκ δὲ λιπόντας
Σπάρτην Αὐτεσίωνος ἐὺς πάις ἤγαγε Θήρας
καλλίστην ἐπὶ νῆσον, ἀμείψατο δ᾽ οὔνομα Θήρης
ἐξ ἕθεν. ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν μετόπιν γένετ᾽ Εὐφήμοιο.
κεῖθεν δ᾽ ἀπτερέως διὰ μυρίον οἶδμα λιπόντες1765
Αἰγίνης ἀκτῇσιν ἐπέσχεθον: αἶψα δὲ τοίγε
ὑδρείης πέρι δῆριν ἀμεμφέα δηρίσαντο,
ὅς κεν ἀφυσσάμενος φθαίη μετὰ νῆάδ᾽ ἱκέσθαι.
ἄμφθ γὰρ χρειώ τε καὶ ἄσπετος οὖρος ἔπειγεν.
ἔνθ᾽ ἔτι νῦν πλήθοντας ἐπωμαδὸν ἀμφιφορῆας1770
ἀνθέμενοι κούφοισιν ἄφαρ κατ᾽ ἀγῶνα πόδεσσιν
κοῦροι Μυρμιδόνων νίκης πέρι δηριόωνται.
Ἵλατ᾽ ἀριστήων μακάρων γένος: αἵδε δ᾽ ἀοιδαὶ
εἰς ἔτος ἐξ ἔτεος γλυκερώτεραι εἶεν ἀείδειν
ἀνθρώποις. ἤδη γὰρ ἐπὶ κλυτὰ πείραθ᾽ ἱκάνω1775
ὑμετέρων καμάτων: ἐπεὶ οὔ νύ τις ὔμμιν ἄεθλος
αὖτις ἀπ᾽ Αἰγίνηθεν ἀνερχομένοισιν ἐτύχθη,
οὔτ᾽ ἀνέμων ἐριῶλαι ἐνέσταθεν: ἀλλὰ ἕκηλοι
γαῖαν Κεκροπίην παρά τ᾽ Αὐλίδα μετρήσαντες
Εὐβοίης ἔντοσθεν Ὀπούντιά τ᾽ ἄστεα Λοκρῶν1780
ἀσπασίως ἀκτὰς Παγασηίδας εἰσαπέβητε.
Euphemus has a dream and the Argonauts reach home:
1731: κἀκεῖθεν: with crasis. There was dispute among Alexandrian (and subsequently modern) editors whether κεῖθεν or ἐκεῖθενshould in the Homeric text. The above is the MS tradition. ὑπεύδια: “under calm skies”. Used as an adverb. πείσματ᾽ ἔλυσαν: The Argonauts do not wait for elaborate descriptions of dawn (Od. 5.390) but are underway immediately. “They loosed the cables”, one of the phrases that A. perhaps shares with Callimachus” version (Aetia fr. 18.10) of the Argonauts’ story.
1732: after the initial burst of activity, it is “then” (ἔπειτ᾿(α)) that Euphemus remembered (μνήσατ <μιμνήσκω (remind): aor. ind. mid. 3rd sg. (Homeric, Ionic)) his dream. He gives an accurate report of what he has dreamt. ὀνείρατος ἐννυχίοιο: both genitivesdepending on μνήσατ(ο) (Smyth § 1356).
1733: ἁζόμενος: “honouring”, perhaps with a touch of fear, since Euphemos, before Jason’s interpretation is worried about his actions in the dream. Μαίης υἷα κλυτόν: “the famous son of Maia=Hermes. υἷα: epic masc. sing. < υἱός. He has an important role as a sender of dreams (Homeric Hymn 4.14 ἡγήτορ᾽ ὀνείρων, “Marshall of dreams”). A. has εἴσατο elsewhere at 2.582, 3.399, 502, 4.145, 4.1478, 1589, always in the sense of “to appear” or “to seem”, except perhaps at 4.1589–90 εἴσατο λίμνην / εἰσβαίνειν, “he seemed / made to slip into the lake” which seems to reflect an Homeric ambiguity at Od. 8.283 εἴσατ᾽ ἴμεν ἐς Λῆμνον, “he seemed / went to go to Lemnos.”
οἱ: “to him” > ἕ: masc/fem. dat. sg. (epic, ionic).
1734: δαιμονίη βῶλαξ: the “divine clod” from which Thera will arise in the distant future (Pindar Pythian 4.37). Euphemus” dream combines imperial vision with Freudian nightmare. Artemidorus, the second century AD writer on dreams, had something to say (p.11) on these matters. ἐπιμάστιος: also agreeing with βῶλαξ, the clod is held to his breast. The word is A.’s version of ἐπιμαστίδιος. Two interpretations of ᾧ ἐν ἀγοστῷ are possible: “palm of the hand” or cradle of the arms”. Either would suit, perhaps the latter seems more appropriate to the context of breastfeeding and, ultimately, love-making. ᾧ, “his”: dat. sing. of the possessive adjective.
1735–6: ἄρδεσθαι . . . πέλειν: both infinitives depend on εἴσατο, “seemed to be watered”, “seemed to become.” The idea of “nourishing” is implicit in ἄρδω. The same word describes the fertility of Egypt at Arg. 4.270. Some MSS. have the reading ὑπαί. There is no need to adopt this. The second syllable of ὑπό is lengthened before the λ of λιβάδεσσι. This happens with words like ἀνα, διά, κατά, μάλα, μέγα etc. For the dat. endings in the phrase λευκῇσιν . . . λιβάδεσσι, click here. The nurturing of the clod described here is the start of a chain: it will in turn nuture Euphemos” descendants on Thera and then Libya will be the nurse of the colonists who come from there. The descriptive detail of the “whiteness” of the milk adds to the fertile nature of the act.
1736: βώλοιο: the gen. depends on ἐκ. A. varies with βώλος rather than βῶλαξ on which ὀλίγης περ ἐούσης in turn depends.
1737–9: παρθενικῇ ἰκέλη: the enjambed position increases the shocking nature of the phrase, immediately followed after the Caesura, by a description of the deed to which Euphemos” arousal (ἄσχετον ἱμερθείς <ἱμείρω) leads, cloaked, so to speak, by a Homeric formula (B4). ὀλοφύρετο: he begins to regret his actions straightaway. Marriage or rape? ζευξάμενος <ζεύγνυμι (A ii 2), “yoking” is a common ancient Greek metaphor for marriage and by association for colonisation. The maiden”s opening words (1741) reveal the true nature of the dreamed action. ἀτίταλλε: Possibly a reduplicated form of ἀτάλλω and connected with ἀταλός, “tender, delicate, of youthful persons, as of maidens”. The word is a rare form that occurs in Homer, in contexts of taking good care of the young. It also occurs in another context where an island “nurses” divine or royal offspring: Theocr. 17.58–9 (of the birth of Ptolemy).
1740: ἑ: click here for the part of speech. παρηγορέεσκεν: the iterative form of the verb stresses the intensity of the coming statement (Smyth 495) and the adjectival accompaniment μειλιχίοισι . . . ἔπεσσιν, the conciliatory nature of what she has to say. She is trying to reassure him because he believes that he has committed an offence. “Sweet, gentle words” –sometimes “honey sweet”= Arg. 4.395) – often play a part in the approach adopted by characters in the Argonautica. This is particularly so in the case of Jason, though sometimes his diplomacy can produce unfavourable reactions: see, especially Medea's reply (Arg. 4.410–20) to his speech that begins Arg. 4.394 μειλιχίοις ἐπέεσσιν ὑποδδείσας προσέειπεν.
1741: Τρίτωνος γένος εἰμί: “Of the race of Triton, am I”, spoken somewhat in the nature of a prophecy. A. seems to be echoing here, and also later (1764), Poseidon words, when about to save Aeneas: Il. 20.307–8.
When Virgil in turn imitates this passage at Aen. 3.97–8 hic domus Aeneae cunctis dominatur oris / et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis, “But now the race of Aeneas is going to rule the world, and his sons” sons, who will come after, he translates not the Homeric transmitted text Αἰνείαο βίη but a Roman variant (quoted by Strabo 13.1.53): τινὲς δὲ γράφουσιν « Αἰνείαο γένος πάντεσσιν ἀνάξει /καὶ παῖδες παίδων », “And some write, “the family of Aeneas will rule over all, and his sons” sons,” meaning the Romans. No manuscript transmits this text. Was Virgil perhaps thinking of this prophecy as well as that of Poseidon when he wrote his version? Telemachus speaks in the same way at Od. 15.267 ἐξ Ἰθάκης γένος εἰμί, πατὴρ δέ μοί ἐστιν Ὀδυσσεύς, “of Ithaca I am by birth, and my father is Odysseus.” The emphasis, in both statements, is on descent and familial connections.
τροφός . . . παίδων: Again the emphasis on nursing and nurturing. οὐ κούρη: “not your daughter.” The second half of the lines supports this interpretation: Triton and Libya (personified) are her parents. Triton (Lake Triton) are both characters in the story and geographical entities.
1744: ἂμ πέλαγος = ἀνά: click here. ἄμ, for ἀνά, before words beginning with β, π, φ, μ, e.g. ἂμ βωμοῖσι, ἂμ μέσον, ἂμ πεδίον, ἂμ πέλαγος, ἂμ φυτά: “in and throughout the sea.” ναίειν Ἀνάφης σχεδόν: The naming of Anaphe is described at 1717–18.
The distance between the two islands is about fifteen miles over open sea. In the summer of 1903 a very great Classical scholar, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1848–1931) described it in these words: “ in die Abendsonne schien die nahe Insel Anaphe Feuer zu fangen; danach heisst sie”, “in the evening sun the nearby Island of Anaphe appears to catch fire; that is where its name comes from.” The etymology is faulty but it aptly describes what the Argonauts might have seen when they got to the island. εἶμιδ᾿ ἐς αὐγὰς: “I shall go to the rays of the sun”, another allusion to the light that the epiphany of Apollo has brought to the Argonauts” darkness (4.1694–1730).
1745: νεπόδεσσιν (dat. plural): a rare Homeric word stresses the mysterious nature of the Maiden”s words.
1746: τῶν ἄρ᾿ ἐπὶ μνῆστιν κραδίῃ βάλεν: has a stately ring and is like the Homeric θυμῷ, ἐς θυμὸν β. (A ii 6). ἐπί governs κραδίῃ. “He cast memory of these things (τῶν for τῶνδε) into his heart.” ἔκ τ᾿ὀνόμηνεν <ἐξονομαίνω: In contrast to the first part of the line, he describes “out loud” what had happened to Jason.
1747: ὁ δ᾿: Jason begins to explain the significance of what has been done and said. θεοπροπίας Ἑκάτοιο: “the prophecies of the Far-shooter.” Calchas, the prophet and explainer of oracles, is similarly described at the beginning of Iliad 1.384–5.
1748: θυμῷ πεμπάζων: emphasising the thought that Jason puts into his words. πεμπάζω (see 350–2 n.) is a word denoting mental calculation. ἀνενείκατο, φώνησέν τε: A. tries to use new ways to introduce dialogue compared to those he found in the Homeric poems. Here he is using Il. 19.314 μνησάμενος δ᾽ ἁδινῶς ἀνενείκατο φώνησέν τε.
1749: ὦ πέπον: a very affectionate term here: “My dear fellow”, πέπον being the vocative of πέπων, “mature.” The expression can cover a wide range of sentiment from warm friendship to scorn, e.g. the blinded Cyclops calls his favourite ram κριὲ πέπον (Od.9.447). Usually μείρομαι takes the genitive:
ἔμμορες κύδεος might have been a more generally Homeric form of address (see Hunter ad loc.). There is, however, an example of the verb in Homer, where it could be seen as taking the accusative (Il. 9.616 ἶσον ἐμοὶ βασίλευε καὶ ἥμισυ μείρεο τιμῆς, “rule equally with me and have half my kingdom). A. would have known this and perhaps imitates the usage elsewhere in his poem (3.3, 208).
1750: βώλακα: Euphemus” deliberate casting of the clod into the sea, “in joy at his prophecies” (θεοπροπίῃσιν ἰανθείς, 4.1756), contrasts sharply with the tale of the foundation of Thera in Pindar”s Pythian 4.35–40, where Euphemus accidentally loses the clod when a wave washes over the Argo. A.”s attribution of an active agency to Ephemus in the foundation of Thera definitively marks him as the founder of the island. πόντονδε βαλόντι: dative of interest or disadvantage (Smyth § 1474).
1751: νῆσον: In first position in the line, as is the βώλακα from which it is created. ἵν (α): “where᾿, (Smyth 2498). ὁπλότεροιπαίδων σέθεν . . . παῖδες: “the younger children of the children from you (σέθεν: epic gen. < σύ). The tone is prophetic. Jason understands the significance of the clod and thoughtfully explains its importance for Euphemos, the generations to come and the reader.
1752: The language echoes the language of Triton”s appearance at 4. 1551–6: ἀντεβόλησεν~ ἐγγυαλίξαι ~ ξεινήιον. Jason is putting “two and two together.” ἐγγυάλιξεν: see 294–6 n.).
1753: τήνδε τοι ἠπείροιο Λιβυστίδος: “ this (piece = βώλακα) of the Libyan land.” τήνδε τοι: emphasises the importance of the piece of earth ( Smyth § 2984) as does the rare adjective Λῐβυστίς, ίδος (add Callimachus fr. 676).
1753–4: οὔ νύ τις ἄλλος: The final revelation: “it was no other now indeed than he . . .”.
It may be significant that that the only place that a similar phrase to this occurs in Homer is the incredulous question that Nestor asks Odyssey about the horses of Diomedes on his return from the night expedition in the Doloneia: Il. 10.546 ἦ τίς σφωε πόρεν θεὸς ἀντιβολήσας; “Or did some god that you met give them to you?” Jason’s words express realisation, not doubt or questioning of the divine presence. νύ: for the force of this particle: Smyth § 2928.
1755 οὐδ᾿ ἁλίωσεν: “make fruitless, disappoint.” ὑπόκρισιν Αἰσονίδαο: Not “interpretation” (pace Hunter ad loc.) but “answer”. Jason has answered Euphemos” request for clarification.
1757: ἧκεν ὑποβρυχίην: “Sent under water”, i.e. another way of saying “threw into the sea”, (1743–4, 1750). ἧκεν: aorist < ἵημι.
There may be a coonection with the short Homeric Hymn to the Dioscuroi: Hom. Hym. 33.11–2 τὴν δʼ ἄνεμος . . . καὶ κῦμα θαλάσσης / θῆκαν ὑποβρυχίην, “the wind and the wave of the sea lay the ship under water.” The rarity of the adjective ὑποβρύχιοςmakes the connection probable and would some bearing on the links that have been perceived between Theocritus Id. 22.10–22, Homeric Hymn 33 and parts of A.”s Argonautica. The variation in phrasing θῆκαν ὑποβρυχίην ~ ἧκεν ὑποβρυχίην is typically Alexandrian. ἔκτοθι: is a favourite word of A.”s. It denotes the origin of the Island of Kalliste. ἀέρθη: aor. passive < ἀείρω.
1758: Καλλίστη: the old name for Thera. Near this "Island of Appearance," made visible by Apollo (Aegletes - “the shining one”) when the Argonauts arc lost in darkness, Euphemus is to throw into the sea the Libyan clod which turns into the island of Kalliste, the idea apparently being that the etymologically ambivalent “Anaphe” will make “Kalliste” visible. παίδων ἱερὴ τροφὸς Εὐφήμοιο: “The holy nurse of the children of Euphemus. For the island as “nurse”, see introduction to this section above. Pindar calls Thera holy at the beginning of his Pythian Ode (4. 7) While it is not unusual for a city to be personified as a mother or nurse(Α2), the use of ἱερός (ii 3) marks Thera as a special place. There was a cult of Apollo (p.105) on the island.
1761: ἐφέστιοι: <(ἑστία) “as fellow residents” or “in order to dwell with them (Hunter).” The reference (p. 148) seems also to be to the fact that when a colony was sent out, the emigrants took the fire which was to burn on the hearth of their new home from that of the mother town.
1762: Αὐτεσίωνος ἐὺς πάις ἤγαγε Θήρας: “The excellent son of Autesion, Theras.” The genealogy is Oedipus–Polyneices–Thersander–Autesion–Theras (Herodotus 4.147). For background to the colonisation click here. (p. 89).
Callimachus has a similar passage, describing the same journey, (h. 2.72–6) Σπάρτη τοι, Καρνεῖε, τὸ δὴ πρώτιστον ἔδεθλον, / δεύτερον αὖ Θήρη, τρίτατόν γε μὲν ἄστυ Κυρήνης. / ἐκ μέν σε Σπάρτης ἕκτον γένος Οἰδιπόδαο / ἤγαγε Θηραίην ἐς ἀπόκτισιν: ἐκ δέ σε Θήρης / οὖλος Ἀριστοτέλης Ἀσβυστίδι (~ Arg. 4.1753 ἠπείροιο Λιβυστίδος) πάρθετο γαίῃ, “Sparta, O Carneius! was your first foundation, second Thera, but third the city of Cyrene. From Sparta the sixth generation of the sons of Oedipus brought you to the colony of Thera; and from Thera lusty Aristoteles placed you by the Asbystian land.”
1763–4: ἀμείψατο δ᾿ οὔνομα, Θήρα / ἐκ σέθεν: A. apostrophises the colonist. Maybe he had Callimachus” hymn in mind (quoted above). The text depends on emendations of transmitted ἀμείψατο δ᾿ οὔνομα Θήρης / ἐξ ἕθεν but they seem to be certain alterations.
1764: ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν μετόπιν γένετ᾿ Εὐφήμοιο: “But this happened in the days after Euphemos.” Based on the language of colonisation: Hdt. 4.148. An omniscient comment about the future, typical of a Hellenistic narrator: 1.1309, 4.276, 1216 based perhaps on Il. 12.34–5, Od. 8.510.
There seems to be a definite link between Arg. 1.1309, 4.1216 and Callimachus Aetiafr. 12.6 based on the form ἤμελλε (ἤμελλε: “was destined” > μέλλω, imperf. ind. act. 3rd sg.), the preferred text of Zenodotus, the Alexandrian Homeric critic at Il. 12.34 and the occurrence of the phrase μετὰ χρόνον which is used at 1.1309, 4.1203 and nowhere else in A.
1765–72: There are a number of reasons why the Argonauts make Aegina their last stop . . . Read Full Essay.
1765: κεῖθεν: “From there” (Aegina). See above. The Argonauts continue their journey at high speed. The line almost has the sense of “in one bound . . .” they reached Aegina. ἀπτερέως: By using this rare adverb, A. is introducing a variation on the common Homeric phrases for “swift ship(s).” The Argo is a special ship and needs a special word. διὰ . . . ταμόντες: This emendation for transmitted λιπόντες should be adopted. τέμνω (A iv 3) and διατέμνω (DGE: 1 fig.) are used of a ship cutting through the sea (See 225–7n.). μυρίον οἶδμα: “the boundless swell” (of the sea). μυρίος is not usually used in this way but Pindar, an important author for this passage, has μυρία παντᾷ κέλευθος, “a boundless course” (Pi.I.4.1). The Argonauts sail on in lyrical fashion.
1766: ἐπέσχεθον: Poetic 2nd Aor. (Smyth § 546) of ἐπέχω. LSJ is wrong here. Not A III b, “held straight for the beach.” but IV 2, “stay make a pause” as at Arg. 4.1623. Αἰγίνης ἀκτῇσιν: “on the beach at Aegina.” Dative of place: Smyth § 1528.
1767: ὑδρείης πέρι: Anastrophe of the preposition is very common: Smyth § 176. δῆριν . . . δηρίσαντο is a cognative accusative where the object is etymologically related to the verb: Od. 13.26 δαίνυντ᾽ ἐρικυδέα δαῖτα 13.50 κρητῆρα κερασσάμενος. A. had phrases like 13.26 in mind in writing his own oxymoronic variation. ἀμεμφέα keeping δῆριν and δηρίσαντο apart emphasises that the contest was a peaceful one.
1768: ὅς κεν . . . φθαίη: For φθάνω constructed with an aorist participle click here. The indirect question depends on the underlying interrogative sense of δῆριν . . . δηρίσαντο: “who is going to win the contest?” (Smyth § 2677 b). μετὰ νῆάδ᾿ ἱκέσθαι: lit. “to arrive to to the ship”. See 134–5n. for the particle –δε (Smyth § 1589).
In addition to this the use of μετά is superfluous. The phrase seems to be based on Alexandrian Homeric scholarship. Hunter ad loc. mentions πρὸ φόωσδὲ, “brought forth into the light” (Il. 16.188, 19.118, Wackernagel (2009) 689). A closer parallel is perhaps Od. 10.351 εἰς ἅλαδε, where the ancient commentators accepted that there was a problem: περισσὴ δε ἐστι ἡ εἰς, “εἰς is unnecessary.” It would be typical of A. to reflect these grammatical discussions in his own poetry.
1769: χρειώ τε καὶ ἄσπετος οὖρος: “need and the ceaseless breeze.” The hendiadys – the two disparate subjects, taken together – succinctly describe the pressure on the Argonauts to draw the water as quickly as possible. Another excellent discussion of hendiadys is here. ἔπειγεν: the imperfect marks the fact that the wind does not stop blowing all the time they are on Aegina. The phrase is Odyssean: ἔπειγε γὰρ οὖρος (Od. 12.167).
1770: ἔνθ᾿ ἔτι νῦν: As often A. links actions on the part of the Argonauts to cults that survive to his own day. See 250–3 n. and here. ἐπωμαδὸν is a rare word, perhaps based on analogous formation of epic adverbs in Homer such as ὁμιλαδόν, ἰλαδόν or even σχεδόν.
There are, however, some coinages among Hellenistic poets: εἰληδόν (add Call. fr. 191.28 to LSJ s.v. if restored correctly), ἐπωμαδόν πανσπερμηδόν μετρηδόν (add Nic. Alexipharmaca 203 to LSJ) μοσχηδόν (Alex. 357) and ὠρυδόν. A new adverb ending in δόν must have sounded highly poetic. Reflecting the action, it neatly balances the brimming amphorae (πλήθοντας ἀμφιφορῆας) on either side of it.
1771: ἀνθέμενοι: “lifting up” see 170–1, 187–9 nn., where there is a difference between lifting something up in one’s hands (170–1) and putting something on board a ship (187–9). κούφοισιν ἄφαρ κατ᾿ ἀγῶνα πόδεσσιν: A. is echoing a phrase from Pindar Nem. 10. 63–4 λαιψηροῖς δὲ πόδεσσιν ἄφαρ / ἐξικέσθαν (“they immediately arrived on light feet”), “which is very appropriate, bearing in mind the connection between Aegina and Pindar, already alluded to above, and to be reinforced at the beginning of the next line.
1772: κοῦροι Μυρμιδόνων: An enigmatic reference: “the sons of the Myrmidons”. This must be the Aeginetans.
There are two strands this story. The earliest concerns Zeus” bringing ants from underground to be hard-working sailor-citizens and companions to Aeacus, the first king of Aegina. This tale is first told by Hesiod and retold by Ovid and Apollodorus. We hear about these ant-men also in the Iliad, where they are Achilles” warriors from Thessaly (Μυρμιδόνες > μύρμηκες). This is the sort of connection that would have intrigued A. (and possibly also Callimachus in his Iambos 8). The image of the industrious and organised “ant”, both warrior and water-carrier must be possible referents here, also attracted A.”s greatest admirer, Virgil.νίκης πέρι δηριόωνται: neatly echoing 1767 and closing the section. For the so-called figura etymologica δῆριν . . . δηρίσαντο cf. Wills (1996) 243–5, quoting Latin examples facinus facere, vitam vivere and also Eur. Alc. 869 πόδα πεζεύων (more Greek examples at Fehling (1969) 153–62).
1773–81: The poem closes with a wealth of literary allusion. A. addresses his Argonautic heroes in the tones of the Homeric Hymns, resonant with lyric language, concluding with a final acknowledgment of the Odyssey, a text which has been of fundamental importance in the composition of his own poem.
1773: ἵλατ᾿: ἵλατε is the aorist imperative of ἱλάομαι / ἱλάσκομαι, “be gracious.” The narrator propitiates the Argonauts with a verb used throughout the poem (and elsewhere) in contexts of address to deities, anticipated by the propitiation of Apollo on Thunias and Anaphe, the honours for the Dioskouroi, and more recently, the addresses to the Hesperides, Libyan heroines and Triton. The use of this imperative gives the sense that the status of the heroes has changed over the length of the poem: their ἄεθλοι at an end, the Argonauts have achieved a form of divinity. A. concludes with the hope that their epic fame will continually increase, completing the fusion of cult and epic immortality signalled at the beginning of the poem, at which point the narrator ends his tale (See further here). ἀριστήες: Accept Fränkel”s emendation from the transmitted ἀριστήων:
“a race of makares heroes” or “the offspring of makares heroes is difficult to accept bearing in mind that A. seems to use μάκαρες only of the gods and that Catullus 64.22–5 is modelled on this passage (o nimis optato saeclorum tempore nati / heroes, salvete, deum genus!). In addition, a break in sense at the main caesura (ἵλατ᾿ ἀριστῆες) seems more natural in this hymnic context than having the sense run across it (ἵλατ᾿ ἀριστήων μακάρων γένος). that A. is making a direct and personalised address to the Argonauts in fashion of the author of AP 7.254 χαίρετ᾿ ἀριστῆες πολέμου μέγα κῦδος ἔχοντες, / κοῦροι Ἀθαναίων ἔξοχοι ἱπποσύνᾳ, referring to Athenian heroes of the Battle of Tanagra (457 BC). μακάρων γένος: “race of the blessed gods.” A. combines Homeric and Hesiodic epic diction to demonstrate that the Argonauts are both Homeric heroes (herôes, aristoi) and members of Hesiod”s fourth race (hêmitheoi) in anticipation of their future blessed afterlife. In the Works and Days (WD 159–160), Hesiod describes the fourth race of men, who fought and died in the Trojan and Theban wars, as ἀνδρῶν ἡρώων θεῖον γένος, οἳ καλέονται ἡμίθεοι, “a god-like race of heroes, who are called hêmitheoi”. The other crucial passages are Homeric Hymn 31.18–19 (ἐκ σέο δ” ἀρξάμενος κλῄσω μερόπων γένος ἀνδρῶν / ἡμιθέων ὧν ἔργα θεοὶ θνητοῖσιν ἔδειξαν.) and 32.18–19 (σέο δ” ἀρχόμενος κλέα φωτῶν / ᾄσομαι ἡμιθέων ὧν κλείουσ” ἔργματ” ἀοιδοὶ), as well as Hesiod fr. 204.100 MW. αἵδε δ᾿ ἀοιδαὶ: The beginning of the poet”s wish for the immortality of his poem. For the repetition ἀοιδαί / ἀείδειν cf. Od. 1.325 ἀοιδος . . . ἄειδε, Il. 2.437–8 κήρυκες . . . / . . . κηρύσσοντες with Wills (1996) 249. One might compare the English “step by step” and Arg. 1.861 εἰς ἦμαρ ἀεὶ ἐξ ἤματος, 2.473 ἐπ” ἤματι δ” ἦμαρ. It adds something incantatory in nature to the appeal.
Bacchylides 13.230 τερψιεπεῖς . . . ἀοιδαί, “songs with charming words” is a choice variation on the theme. A.”s wish (εἶεν >εἰμί -I am: pres. opt. act. 3rd pl. Smyth § 1814) for the immortality is similar to that of the poet of the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, (Hom. Hym. 3.173–5) τοῦ πᾶσαι μετόπισθεν ἀριστεύσουσιν ἀοιδαί. / ἡμεῖς δ᾽ ὑμέτερον κλέος οἴσομεν, ὅσσον ἐπ᾽ αἶαν / ἀνθρώπων στρεφόμεσθα πόλεις εὖ ναιεταώσας. Virgil possibly imitates this passage at Aen. 9. 446–7 (of Nisus and Euryalus) Fortunati ambo! Siquid mea carmina possunt, / nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo
1775: κλυτὰ πείραθ᾿ ἱκάνω: “I come to the glorious end (of your toils).” This is perhaps another echo of a Pindaric sentiment: ἄποινα μόχθων κλυταῖς ἐπέων ἀοιδαῖς (Pind. N. 7.16), “recompense for his labours in poetry”s famous songs.”
Pindar”s whole stanza expresses similar ideas to those of A.”s epilogue. A. is endeavouring to bestow κλέος on the Argonauts through the annual (εἰς ἔτος ἐξ ἔτεος) repetition of his poetry. On the question of whether Hellenistic poetry in general was publicly performed, see here. The πείραθ” referred to, are, at once, the limits of the quest and voyage and the end of a literary work (cf. the use of οἶμος, earlier in the poem; 294–6n.) but, coupled with a subtle reminiscence of a speech of Odysseus to Penelope (Od. 23.249) οὐ γάρ πω πάντων ἐπὶ πείρατ᾽ ἀέθλων / ἤλθομεν, ἀλλ᾽ ἔτ᾽ ὄπισθεν ἀμέτρητος πόνος ἔσται, “we have not yet come to the end of all our trials, but still hereafter there is to be measureless toil,” perhaps stand as a reminder that the “trials” of Jason and Medea will continue and that A.”s poetry will likewise endure.
1776: ὑμετέρων καμάτων: Book 4 opened with the κάματος of Medea, it closes with the καμάτοι of the group as a whole. Pehaps, for the moment, as chief agent in the gaining of the Fleece, as conqueror of Talos and consort of the Argonauts” leader Medea is one of them. The allusion to Odyssey mentioned above, however, hints that this may not continue indefinitely. ἄεθλος: No more contests or tasks! ἄεθλος is an important theme throughout the Argonautica and the poet sees it as brought to completion after its announcement in the opening lines. ὔμμιν: “to you”
1777: ἀπ᾿ Αἰγίνηθεν: “from Aegina”. –θεν is an old termination of the genitive (other Homeric examples are Il. 8.304 ἐξ Αἰσύμηθεν, 24.492 ἀπὸ Τροίηθεν). The ending may be more than an archaic usage imported to give Homeric colour: it is found on inscriptions that come from the same linguistic area as Aegina. ἐτύχθη (A ii): Pass., “to be caused, and so, arise, occur.” There is support for Hunter”s preference (ad loc.) for the translation “on your return home” rather than “as you departed from”. The Argonauts and the Argonautica are both returning home: Il. 4.392 ἂψ ἄρ᾽ ἀνερχομένῳ, Od. 1.317 αὖτις ἀνερχομένῳ. There is also the sense of returning back (A ii 2) to the beginning of something: a relevant idea for both the poem and its heroes.
1778: ἀνέμων ἐριῶλαι: “Storm winds”. This is a truly recondite phrase and must be the result of Alexandrian textual scholarship.
Before A.”s use it seems to occur only in Aristophanes. Here is an interesting old note about formations ending in –ωλη (εὐχωλή, τερπωλή etc.) ἐνέσταθεν: 3rd. person plur. of the aor. pass. < ἐνίστημι used in the sense of “was placed so as to block the way” (B iv 1). For the Aeolic/Boeotian/Epic ending (–θεν instead of –θησαν) see Smyth § 673. ἕκηλοι: “quietly” The digamma is observed here but not in occurences of this word at Arg. 1.303 and 3.969. A. rarely admits its effect but as an Homeric archaism (page 77) perhaps it adds a degree of stateliness to the Argonauts” final journey.
1780: Εὐβοίης ἔντοσθεν: There is a reminiscence of the Homeric Catalogue of Ships here: Il. 2.534–5 τῷ δ᾽ ἅμα τεσσαράκοντα μέλαιναι νῆες ἕποντο / Λοκρῶν, οἳ ναίουσι πέρην ἱερῆς Εὐβοίης, “<with Aias> followed forty black ships of the Locrians that dwell over against sacred Euboea.” Ὀπούντιά τ᾿ ἄστεα Λοκρῶν: “The cities of the Opuntian Locrians.” There is also a typical Alexandrian display of geographical knowledge. The sea route that passes between the coast of Eastern Locris and Euboea was the main route linking the territories of northern and southern Greece, because the route that followed the east coast of Euboea was beset by many dangers, as the Persians discovered in 480 BC (Hdt. 8.13). This area may also have been a strategically significant during the Hellenistic period.
1781: ἀσπασίως: In their beginning was their end. The Argonauts started from Pagasae and that is where they finish. There may be fleeting reminiscences of the end of the Odyssey: Od. 23.296 ἀσπάσιοι λέκτροιο παλαιοῦ θεσμὸν ἵκοντο, “And they then gladly came to the place of the bed that was theirs of old.” The Alexandrian critics, Aristophanes and Aristarchus thought that this line was the real end of the Odyssey. Perhaps A. also thought so. There are, however, lines that might be thought to bear a closer resemblance: Od. 23.238 ἀσπάσιοι δ᾽ ἐπέβαν γαίης, κακότητα φυγόντες (with the three-fold repetition of ἀσπάσιος and ἀσπαστός in the immediate context).
There is a summing up of the many questions that this has raised here (especially p. 644). One line that has seldom been brought into this discussion is [Hes.] Scut. 45 ἀσπασίως τε φίλως τε ἑὸν δόμον εἰσαφίκανεν. The resemblance here is, if anything, closer than the Odyssean lines. It seems better to accept that, while the use of ἀσπάσιος and its cognates does indeed summon up echoes of the Odyssey, the real point of the final line of the Argonautica is a fractured one. ἀσπασίως brings with it connotations of return, reunion and restoration. Yet, we know, as readers knowledgeable of the tragic after story of Jason and Medea, that these are states will not be sustained. The author of the Argonautica ends his poem with a stately four-word line that has a double and allusive meaning: he remains a true Alexandrian.
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ἐκεῖθεν, from there
ὑπεύδιος, ον, under a calm sky
πεῖσμα, ατος, τό, a ship's cable
μιμνήσκω μνήσω ἔμνησα --- μέμνημαι ἐμνήσθην ---, remind, remember
Εὔφημος, -οῦ ὁ, Euphemus
ὄνειρος, ατος, τό, a dream
ἐννυχιος, α, ον, in the night
ἅζομαι, to stand in awe of, dread
Μαῖα, -ης ἡ, Maia
υἱός, -οῦ ὁ, son
κλυτός, ή, όν, illustrious, glorious
δαιμόνιος, α, ον, miraculous, marvellous
βῶλαξ, ᾰκος, ἡ, a lump of earth, a clod
ἐπιμάστιος, ον, at the breast
ἀγοστός, the flat of the hand, cradled in the arms
ἄρδω, to water1735
λευκός, -ή -όν, white, light, bright
λιβάς, άδος, ἡ, a drop, stream
γάλα, γάλακτος, το, milk
βῶλος, ὁ, a lump of earth, a clod
πέλω, to be
παρθενική, ἡ, unmarried girl
ἴκελος, like, resembling
μίγνυμι, μείξω, ἔμειξα, μέμειγμαι, ἐμείχθην, mix, mingle
φιλότης, -ητος, ἡ, love
ἱμείρω, to long for, yearn after, desire
ὀλοφύρομαι, to lament
ἠύτε, on the grounds that
ζεύγνυμι, ζεύξω, ἔζευξα, ἔζευγμαι, ἐζεύχθην/ἐζύγην, make love to
ἀτιτάλλω, to rear up
μειλίχιος, α, ον, gentle, mild, soothing1740
παρηγορέω, to address, exhort
Τρίτων, ὁ, Triton
γένος, -ους, τό, race
τεός, = σός, 'your'
τροφός, ἡ, nurse
Λιβύη, -ης, ἡ, Libya, the north part of Africa and also the eponymous heroine
τοκεύς, έως, ὁ, a parent
Νηρεύς, ῆος, ὁ, Nereus (Name)
παρακατατίθημι, to entrust, restore
ἂμ = ἀνά, in
πέλαγος, τό, the sea
ναίω, dwell, inhabit, be situated
Ἀνάφη, -ης, ἡ, Island of Anaphe
αὐγή, ἡ, the light of the sun, sunlight
ἥελιος, -ου ὁ, the sun1745
μετόπισθε, at a future time
νέποδες, οἱ, descendants
ἑτοῖμος, -η -ον, at hand, prepared
μνῆστις, ἡ, remembrance, memory
καρδίη, ἡ, heart
ἐξονομαίνω, to name, address
θεοπροπία, ἡ, a prophecy, oracle
Ἕκᾰτος, -ου, ὁ far-shooting (Apollo)
θυμός, -οῦ, ὁ, heart, spirit
πεμπάζω, to think over
ἀναφέρω, ἀνοἴσω, ἀωήνεγκα, ἀνενήνοχα, ἀνενήνεγμαι, ἀνηνέχθην, exclaim, speak out
φωνέω, φωνήσω, ἐφώνησα, πεφώνηκα, πεφώνημαι, ἐφωνήθην, speak
πέπων, ον, ονος, ὁ, “my good fellow”
ἀγλαός, ή, όν, splendid, glorious
μείρομαι, to receive as one's portion
κῦδος, -εος, τό, glory, majesty, might
τεύχω, τεύξω, ἔτευξα, τέτευχα, τέτυγμαι, ἐτύχθην, build, make1750
ὁπλότερος, α, ον, the younger
ξεινήιον, τό, a host's gift
ἐγγυαλίζω, to give
ἤπειρος -ου, ἡ, the land
Λιβυστίς, -ίδος, ἡ, Libyan
πόρω, offer, bestow
ἀντιβολέω, to meet by chance
ἁλιόω, to make fruitless, frustrate, disappoint1755
ὑπόκρισις, ἡ, a reply, answer
ἰαίνω, to heat, warm
ἵημι, ἥσω, ἧκα, εἷκα, εἷμαι, εἵθην, to throw, cast
ὑποβρύχιος, ον, under water
ἔκτοθι, out of, from
ἀείρω, to lift, heave, raise up
Καλλίστη, ἡ, Kalliste (name)
Σιντηίς, -ίδος, ἡ, Sinteian, the Sinties, early inhabitants of Lemnos
ἐξελαύνω, ἐξελῶ, ἐξήλασα, ἐξελήλακα, ἐξελήλαμαι, ἐξηλάθην, to drive out from1760
Τυρσηνός, ή, όν, Tyrrhenian, Etruscan
εἰσαφικάνω, to come to
ἐφέστιος, ον, as suppliants
Αὐτεσίων, Autesion (name)
ἐύς, good, brave, noble
Θήρας, ὁ, Theras (son of Autesion)
ἀμείβω ἀμείψω ἤμειψα ἤμειφα ἤμειμμαι ἠμείφθην, change
Θήρ, ἡ, Thera
μετόπιν, after, the future
κεῖθεν, from there, thence
μυρίος, -α -ον, numberless, infinite
οἶδμα, τό, a swelling, swell
Αἴγινα, ης, ἡ, Aegina
ἀκτή, ἡ, headland, foreland, promontory
ἐπισχέθω, to stay, land on
ὑδρεία, ἡ, a drawing water, fetching water
δῆρις, a fight, battle, contest
δηριάομαι, to contend, wrangle
ἀφύσσω, to draw
φθάνω, φθήσομαι, ἔφθασα (or ἔφθην) --- --- ---, be before, outstrip
χρεώ, οῦς, ἡ, want, need
οὖρος, ὁ, a fair wind
ἐπείγω, ἐπείξομαι, ἤπειξα --- ἤπειγμαι, ἐπείχθην, drive on
πλήθω, to be full1770
ἐπωμαδόν, on the shoulder
ἀμφιφορεύς, ὁ, a large jar with two handles
ἀνατίθημι, ἀναθήσω, ἀνέθηκα, ἀνατέθηκα --- ἀνέτέθην, to lift up
κοῦφος, η, ον, light, nimble
ἄφαρ, straightway, forthwith, at once, quickly, presently
Μυρμιδόνες, οἱ, the Myrmidons
νίκη, -ης, ἡ, victory
δηριάομαι, to contend, wrangle
ἵλημι, to be gracious
ἀριστεύς, ὁ, the best man
μάκαρος, α, ον, blessed
γένος, -ους, τό, birth, offspring; race
ἀοιδή, ἡ, song, a singing
ἔτος, -ους τό, a year
γλυκύς, γλυκεῖα, γλυκύ, sweet, pleasant
κλυτός, ή, όν, illustrious, glorious
πεῖραρ, τό, an end1775
ἱκάνω, come to, arrive at, reach
κάματος, -ου, ὁ, toil, trouble, labour
Αἴγινα, ης, ἡ, Aegina
ἀνέρχομαι, to return
ἐριώλη, ἡ, a hurricane
ἐνίστημι, to block the way
ἕκηλος, ον, quiet, calm
Κεκρόπιος, α, ον, Cecropian, Athenian
Αὐλίς, -ίδος, ἡ, a town in Boeotia, on the Euripus
μετρέω, travel along
Εὔβοια, -ας, ἡ, Euboea1780
ἔντοσθε, from inside
Ὀπουντιος, α, ον, Opuntian
ἄστυ, ἄστεως, τό, town
ἀσπάσιος, welcome, gladly welcomed
Παγασηις, -ίδος, ἡ, Pagasaean
εἰσαποβαίνω, pass out to, disembark