Argonautica IV 410-481

Ἴσκεν ὑποσσαίνων: ἡ δ᾽ οὐλοὸν ἔκφατο μῦθον:410

φράζεο νῦν. χρειὼ γὰρ ἀεικελίοισιν ἐπ᾽ ἔργοις

καὶ τόδε μητίσασθαι, ἐπεὶ τὸ πρῶτον ἀάσθην

ἀμπλακίῃ, θεόθεν δὲ κακὰς ἤνυσσα μενοινάς.

τύνη μὲν κατὰ μῶλον ἀλέξεο δούρατα Κόλχων:

αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ κεῖνόν γε τεὰς ἐς χεῖρας ἱκέσθαι415

(εἴ κέν πως κήρυκας ἀπερχομένους πεπίθοιμι)

μειλίξω: σὺ δέ μιν φαιδροῖς ἀγαπάζεο δώροις.

οἰόθεν οἶον ἐμοῖσι συναρθμῆσαι ἐπέεσσιν,

ἔνθ᾽ εἴ τοι τόδε ἔργον ἐφανδάνει, οὔτι μεγαίρω,

κτεῖνέ τε, καὶ Κόλχοισιν ἀείρεο δηιοτῆτα.420

ὧς τώγε ξυμβάντε μέγαν δόλον ἠρτύνοντο

Ἀψύρτῳ, καὶ πολλὰ πόρον ξεινήια δῶρα,

οἷς μέτα καὶ πέπλον δόσαν ἱερὸν Ὑψιπυλείης

πορφύρεον. τὸν μέν ῥα Διωνύσῳ κάμον αὐταὶ

Δίῃ ἐν ἀμφιάλῳ Χάριτες θεαί: αὐτὰρ ὁ παιδὶ425

δῶκε Θόαντι μεταῦτις: ὁ δ᾽ αὖ λίπεν Ὑψιπυλείῃ:

ἡ δ᾽ ἔπορ᾽ Αἰσονίδῃ πολέσιν μετὰ καὶ τὸ φέρεσθαι

γλήνεσιν εὐεργὲς ξεινήιον. οὔ μιν ἀφάσσων,

οὔτε κεν εἰσορόων γλυκὺν ἵμερον ἐμπλήσειας.

τοῦ δὲ καὶ ἀμβροσίη ὀδμὴ πέλεν ἐξέτι κείνου,430

ἐξ οὗ ἄναξ αὐτὸς Νυσήιος ἐγκατελεκτο

ἀκροχάλιξ οἴνῳ καὶ νέκταρι, καλὰ μεμαρπὼς

στήθεα παρθενικῆς Μινωίδος, ἥν ποτε Θησεὺς

Κνωσσόθεν ἑσπομένην Δίῃ ἔνι κάλλιπε νήσῳ.

ἡ δ᾽ ὅτε κηρύκεσσιν ἐπεξυνώσατο μύθους,435

θέλγέ μιν, εὖτ᾽ ἂν πρῶτα θεᾶς περὶ νηὸν ἵκηται

συνθεσίῃ, νυκτός τε μέλαν κνέφας ἀμφιβάλῃσιν,

ἐλθέμεν, ὄφρα δόλον συμφράσσεται, ᾧ κεν ἑλοῦσα

χρύσειον μέγα κῶας ὑπότροπος αὖτις ὀπίσσω

βαίη ἐς Αἰήταο δόμους: πέρι γάρ μιν ἀνάγκῃ440

υἱῆες Φρίξοιο δόσαν ξείνοισιν ἄγεσθαι:

τοῖα παραιφαμένη θελκτήρια φάρμακ᾽ ἔπασσεν

αἰθέρι καὶ πνοιῇσι, τά κεν καὶ ἄπωθεν ἐόντα

ἄγριον ἠλιβάτοιο κατ᾽ οὔρεος ἤγαγε θῆρα.

σχέτλι᾽ Ἔρως, μέγα πῆμα, μέγα στύγος ἀνθρώποισιν,

ἐκ σέθεν οὐλόμεναί τ᾽ ἔριδες στοναχαί τε γόοι τε,

ἄλγεά τ᾽ ἄλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖσιν ἀπείρονα τετρήχασιν.

δυσμενέων ἐπὶ παισὶ κορύσσεο, δαῖμον, ἀερθείς,

οἷος Μηδείῃ στυγερὴν φρεσὶν ἔμβαλες ἄτην.

πῶς γὰρ δὴ μετιόντα κακῷ ἐδάμασσεν ὀλέθρῳ450

Ἄψυρτον; τὸ γὰρ ἧμιν ἐπισχερὼ ἦεν ἀοιδῆς.

ἦμος ὅτ᾽ Ἀρτέμιδος νήσῳ ἔνι τήνγ᾽ ἐλίποντο

συνθεσίῃ, τοὶ μέν ῥα διάνδιχα νηυσὶν ἔκελσαν

σφωιτέραις κρινθέντες: ὁ δ᾽ ἐς λόχον ᾖεν Ἰήσων

δέγμενος Ἄψυρτόν τε καὶ οὓς ἐξαῦτις ἑταίρους.455

αὐτὰρ ὅγ᾽ αἰνοτάτῃσιν ὑποσχεσίῃσι δολωθεὶς

καρπαλίμως ᾗ νηὶ διὲξ ἁλὸς οἶδμα περήσας,

νύχθ᾽ ὕπο λυγαίην ἱερῆς ἐπεβήσατο νήσου:

οἰόθι δ᾽ ἀντικρὺ μετιὼν πειρήσατο μύθοις

εἷο κασιγνήτης, ἀταλὸς πάις οἷα χαράδρης460

χειμερίης, ἣν οὐδὲ δι᾽ αἰζηοὶ περόωσιν,

εἴ κε δόλον ξείνοισιν ἐπ᾽ ἀνδράσι τεχνήσαιτο.

καὶ τὼ μὲν τὰ ἕκαστα συνῄνεον ἀλλήλοισιν:

αὐτίκα δ᾽ Αἰσονίδης πυκινοῦ ἐξᾶλτο λόχοιο,

γυμνὸν ἀνασχόμενος παλάμῃ ξίφος: αἶψα δὲ κούρη465

ἔμπαλιν ὄμματ᾽ ἔνεικε, καλυψαμένη ὀθόνῃσιν,

μὴ φόνον ἀθρήσειε κασιγνήτοιο τυπέντος.

τὸν δ᾽ ὅγε, βουτύπος ὥστε μέγαν κερεαλκέα ταῦρον,

πλῆξεν ὀπιπεύσας νηοῦ σχεδόν, ὅν ποτ᾽ ἔδειμαν

Ἀρτέμιδι Βρυγοὶ περιναιέται ἀντιπέρηθεν.470

τοῦ ὅγ᾽ ἐνὶ προδόμῳ γνὺξ ἤριπε: λοίσθια δ᾽ ἥρως

θυμὸν ἀναπνείων χερσὶν μέλαν ἀμφοτέρῃσιν

αἷμα κατ᾽ ὠτειλὴν ὑποΐσχετο: τῆς δὲ καλύπτρην

ἀργυφέην καὶ πέπλον ἀλευομένης ἐρύθηνεν.

ὀξὺ δὲ πανδαμάτωρ λοξῷ ἴδεν οἷον ἔρεξαν475

ὄμματι νηλειὴς ὀλοφώιον ἔργον Ἐρινύς.

ἥρως δ᾽ Αἰσονίδης ἐξάργματα τάμνε θανόντος,

τρὶς δ᾽ ἀπέλειξε φόνου, τρὶς δ᾽ ἐξ ἄγος ἔπτυσ᾽ ὀδόντων,

ἣ θέμις αὐθέντῃσι δολοκτασίας ἱλάεσθαι.

ὑγρὸν δ᾽ ἐν γαίῃ κρύψεν νέκυν, ἔνθ᾽ ἔτι νῦν περ480

κείαται ὀστέα κεῖνα μετ᾽ ἀνδράσιν Ἀψυρτεῦσιν.

Medea lures Apsyrtus to a parley on an island sacred to Artemis; Jason murders him at the temple entrance.

410 ἴσκεν: "spoke." The Alexandrian use of ἴσκεν as an equivalent of ἔλεγε is based on an ancient critical discussion of Od. 22.31ἴσκεν ὑποσσαίνων· ἡ δ ̓ οὐλοὸν ἔκφατο μῦθον: “he spoke to her in a fawning way, trying to soothe her but her reply was deadly.” σαίνω means ‘wag the tail’ and is used literally of dogs in the Odyssey (10.217, 16.6 and of Argos 17.302). Later it is used metaphorically meaning “fawn upon.” The compound ὑποσσαίνω is also used of dogs. At 3.396 it describes Jason’s speech to Aietes promising him help if he will treat the Argonauts as suppliants and give them the Fleece. At 3.974 Jason, when he sees that Medea is in love with him, speaks to her similarly asking for help in the contest.

411–13 φράζεο νῦν . . . κακὰς ἤνυσσα μενοινάς: “Listen carefully now, for I must, after my shameful acts, plan this as well, since I first went astray through my folly, and accomplished evil designs through the will of a god.” Medea begins with a bitter echo of their first meeting (3. 1026) and with words suitable for a Homeric speech of deliberation and planning. ἀεικελίοισιν ἐπ ̓ ἔργοις: an expression with the tone of Greek tragedy about it (Eur. Hipp.721–2). After the violence of Medea’s initial outburst against Jason, there is a degree of litotes in the way in which she approaches the murder of her brother, which makes it more chilling.

412 ἐπεὶ . . . ἀάσθην: echoing Il. 19.136–7 (Agamemnon speaking of his treatment of Achilles). Interpreting the second line of the Iliad parallel, A. uses the un-epic ἀμπλακία and is less specific with regard to which god controlled Medea’s actions. This makes her self-reproach more personal. Despite the reference to a god (θεόθεν – presumably Hera), her actions (ἤνυσσα) appear to be more self-determined. The meaning of ἄτη, and the way in which poets use it to describe and explain human actions, has been much discussed.

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(Dodds 1951, 5) “atē is a state of mind – a temporary clouding or bewildering of the normal consciousness. It is . . . a partial and temporary insanity; and like all insanity, it is ascribed, not to physiological or psychological causes, but to an external “daemonic agency”.” However, he also states (p. 3), while commenting on Il. 19. 136–7, that this does not absolve an individual from responsibility for their actions.

414 τύνη μὲν κατὰ μῶλον ἀλέξεο δούρατα Κόλχων: “your job is to ward off the spears of the Colchians in the tumult of battle.” Medea’s brutal sentiments are the opposite of those of Andromache to Hector. Jason’s job is to fight. Andromache (Il. 6.431–2) wishes Hector to avoid combat. τύνη: is brusque and almost contemptuous. κατὰ μῶλον: recalls μῶλος Ἄρηος (Il. 2.401 etc.) and has an archaic ring with possible linguistic connections between it. Jason is to take care of the fighting, if necessary (414 ~ 420), while Medea plays the major role in the plot against Apsyrtus.

415–18 αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ . . . / [417] εἴ κέν πως κήρυκας ἀπερχομένους πεπίθοιμι / . . . ἐπέεσσιν: “But I, if I can persuade the heralds as they leave, will bewitch that man so that he comes into your power. Your task is to please him with splendid gifts so that quite alone he agrees with my words.” The transposition of one line gives tighter sense to the proposed plot and greater consistency with the reported version at 4.435–8. For the parenthetical conditional, 3.479–80 Magic is how Medea gets her way, whether it be with the Moon (4.59), the guardian serpent (4.158) or her own brother. The heralds are said to be departing because they have just concluded a treaty (4.340) and are going back to give Apsyrtus, whose fleet is at a different location (4.453) instructions and gifts which are φαιδρά because one, in particular, is a considerable work of art.

418 οἰόθεν οἶον: is echoed in 4.459 when Apsyrtus comes face to face with his sister.

419–20 ἔνθ ̓ εἴ τοι τόδε ἔργον . . . ἀείρεο δηιοτῆτα: ‘If this plan pleases you, I have no objections, kill him and raise war with the Colchians.’ Although Medea at first seems to be employing a polite circumlocution, perhaps with a hint of sarcasm (3.485– spoken by Jason), her concluding statement is abrupt in the extreme. After an effort to distance herself from the act of murder now contemplated, she has made up her mind that the act must be done. The fatal verb κτεῖνε, in an abrupt but objectless imperative, is a pointed contrast with Jason’s previous wordiness. The omission of an object suggests an unwillingness, possibly based on magical belief, even to name the prospective victim.

421–34 Cloaks and outward display play an important part in this passage.

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The purple cloak described in this passage is an erotically-charged garment, called ‘holy’ (423) but used with an unholy end in view. Hypsipyle was the granddaughter of Ariadne and Dionysus, and Ariadne’s story is the example that Jason uses to strengthen his case when trying to persuade Medea to help him at 3.997–1004: he tells Medea how Ariadne helped Theseus escape from similar difficulties to his own but omits to mention that he later abandons her. This part of the story is indirectly played out for us now through the ekphrasis of the cloak. Theseus’ desertion of Ariadne is never spoken of between Jason and Medea but is depicted so vividly that any spectator would gaze on the sight insatiably (429). There is a chance that Medea will be castaway on an island and left by a Greek whom she has helped (434) but the garment that foreshadows the possibility will prove the agent that helps her avoid this but also lead to ultimate separation and tragedy. Medea, herself, has previously said, 3.1107–8 οὐδ ̓ Ἀριάδνῃ / ἰσοῦμαι, ‘I am not like Ariadne’ and indeed she will prove herself to be much more than a plaything of a drunken god (432–3). We know as informed readers that robes and, of course, the Golden Fleece, will play a significant part in her future life. The Fleece will provide Jason and Medea’s marriage bed in the sacred cave on Phaeacia (4.1145–7) but in Corinth, it will be another robe that Medea uses to poison her rival, Creusa. The description of the cloak itself draws on many sources. There is the shield of Achilles (Il. 18.478–608) and the Hesiodic shield, together with the veil and headband, the work of Athena and Hephaistos, worn by Pandora (Hes. Th. 573–84). Also, in Od. 19.225–35 the disguised Odysseus tells Penelope about a meeting with her husband when the latter came to Crete on his way to Troy: ‘King Odysseus wore a thick double mantle (χλαῖναν πορφυρέην); it was crimson, and had a clasp of gold with two sheaths. Jason is a hero who relies on the magic of sexual attraction, using the outward trappings of personal appearance to bolster his deficiencies. Achilles relies on his armour, Odysseus on his eloquence but Jason uses a cloak whose style might have been inherited from Demetrios Poliorketes: “One of his chlamydes had taken months to weave on the looms, a superb piece of work in which the Kosmos with the heavenly bodies were represented” (Plut. Demetr. 41.4–5). Alexander himself is spoken of as wearing “a cloak more elaborate than the rest of his armour; it was a work of Helikon, the ancient, and presented to him as a mark of honour by the city of Rhodes” (Plut. Alex. 32.5–6). Before these two, Alkibiades was admired when he appeared in the theatre wearing his purple robe. Perhaps we are to understand Jason as being dressed as a Hellenistic king: A fresco from Boscoreale, perhaps shows an Hellenistic dynast and his wife. For further references to garments similar to Jason’s cloak cf. the descriptions of contemporary Alexandrian artistic life attributed to Kallixeinos of Rhodes, (Athen. 197A–202B: describing a festival pavilion build for the Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus) “And in the spaces between the posts there were pictures hung by the Sicyonian painters . . . garments embroidered with gold, and most exquisite cloaks, some of them having portraits of the kings of Egypt embroidered on them; and some, stories taken from the mythology.”

421–2 ὧς τώγε ξυμβάντε μέγαν . . . ξεινήϊα δῶρα: “so, the two of them agreed on a terrible deceit against Apsyrtus and gave many gifts of friendship.” δόλον contrasts harshly with ξεινήια δῶρα. Jason is abusing one of the fundamental laws of Greek society. Gifts (ξεινήϊα, ξεινήϊα δῶρα, δωτίνη) are offered by a host to a guest as a material symbol of friendship. In return, the host expects the guest to remember him and to reciprocate with an equally valuable gift sometime in the future. It is the custom that guest-gifts be exchanged back and forth, and gifts that fail to elicit counter gifts are said to be given in vain. The plot that Jason and Medea are hatching subverts this framework.

423–4 οἷς μέτα καὶ πέπλον δόσαν ἱερὸν Ὑψιπυλείης / πορφύρεον: “among which they gave the holy purple robe of Hypsipyle.” There are numerous references in the Iliad to garments of purple worn by kings and generals. Odysseus is given a purple cloak by Penelope (Od. 19.225). Helen weaves a purple cloth with images of the Trojan War (Il. 3.126) and likewise Andromache is weaving a purple tapestry when she receives news of Hector’s death (Il. 22.441). Herodotus describes Croesus offering purple robes to Apollo at Delphi (Hdt. 1.50). The use of purple was endorsed when Alexander the Great, after his defeat of Darius, exchanged his white Macedonian robes for purple. The royal tomb at Vergina, supposed final resting place of Philip II of Macedon, contained a fragment of purple cloth embroidered with gold.

424–8 τὸν μέν ῥα Διωνύσῳ κάμον . . . εὐεργὲς ξεινήιον: “which the divine Graces themselves had woven for Dionysos on sea-girt Dia, but he gave it to his son Thoas afterwards, who left it for Hypsipyle, who gave it to the son of Aeson to take away as a finely wrought guest gift, together with many other wonderful things.” The prototypes for this passage are Il. 2.100–7 (the history of Agamemnon’s sceptre) and 10.261–71 (the boar tusk helmet worn by Odysseus in the Doloneia, originally stolen by his grandfather, Autolycus). In Homer the genealogy of an antique object often implies a comment on the present situation: the solemn tradition embodied by the staff throws into relief the deception of Agamemnon and his failure to live up to the standards of his ancestors and the helmet’s biography provides a model for Odysseus’ trickster-like character in the Doloneia. Similarly, Jason’s cloak is associated with a story in which deception plays a major part.

424–5 Διωνύσῳ and Δίῃ ἐν ἀμφιάλῳ: refer to the story of Ariadne, Theseus and Dionysus. Od. 11.321–5 places the death of Ariadne on an island called Dia.

428–9 οὔ μιν ἀφάσσων, / οὔτε κεν εἰσορόων γλυκὺν ἵμερον ἐμπλήσειας: “You could never satisfy your sweet desire either by touching or gazing upon it.” This comment emphasises the superficially attractive and sensuous nature of the cloak. Appealing to three of the senses, it emphasises the eroticism, charged with mutual mistrust and treachery that exists between Jason and Medea. This heightening of the narrative is typical of Hellenistic poetry using descriptive speech to bring the subject vividly before the eyes.

430–1 τοῦ δὲ καὶ ἀμβροσίη ὀδμὴ ἄεν ἐξέτι κείνου / ἐξ οὗ ἄναξ αὐτὸς Νυσήϊος ἐγκατελεκτο: “And from it a divine fragrance breathed from the time when the Nysian lord himself lay down upon it.” Ambrosial fragrance is integral to a divine scene such as this; cf. Hom. Hym. 7.36–7, Virg. G. 4.415, Milton P.L. 10.850–1, "A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smil’d / new gathered, and ambrosial smell diffus’d."

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P.Oxy. 2694 according to its first editor (Kingston (1968) 55) has μ[έ]νε[̣ ν, instead of transmitted πέλεν. Re-examination of the papyrus seems to show that this is doubtful:Α[ ]Ν is more likely. Fränkel (1964) 14–15, (1968) 490 n. 2 suggested πνέεν. Haslam (2013) 116 reads ἄ[ε]ν, comparing 1.605 and 2.1228 and citing the ἄη / ἄει variation at Od. 12.325 and 14.458. He sees it as a possible correction of the well- attested ἄει, presupposing ἄω alongside ἄημι. He also mentions that Hesychius (α 1365 = I 49 Latte) has ἄεν· ἔπνει which would mitigate the objection that ἄημι is generally used of a wind blowing a ship along; cf. Hom. Hym. 2.276–7, Hes. Th. 583 χάρις δ ̓ ἐπὶ πᾶσιν ἄητο, θαυμάσια, “was wafted” with West’s note, where he accepts the reading a papyrus for transmitted ἀπελάμπετο. To use ἄε instead of ἄητο would be a typical Hellenistic trick, active for middle tense ((Bulloch, A.W. 1985, 173) on Call. h. 5.65, (Boesch 1908, 16)).

431 ἐξέτι κείνου: usually signals an aetiological explanation, here given a special twist. ἐγκατελεκτο: alludes to Od. 19.49–50 and [Hes.] Scut. 46 where the form is derived from λέχομαι.

432–3 ἀκροχάλιξ οἴνῳ καὶ νέκταρι, καλὰ μεμαρπὼς / στήθεα παρθενικῆς Μινωίδος: “drunk with wine and nectar, caressing the lovely breasts of the maiden daughter of Minos.” A similar scene is enacted at Archil. fr. 196a.31–2 IEG. The phrase ἀκροχάλιξ οἴνῳ only occurs here and at Dion. Perieg. 948 and is usually compared to ἀκροθώραξ which LSJ 9 s.v. interprets as ‘slightly drunk’ But ἀκρο– signifies ‘the edge of, the height of ’ and χάλις is unmixed wine. If the god has drunk this and nectar, he is a little more than slightly drunk.

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The figure of a drunken Dionysus is a frequent one (Xen. Sym. 9.2 Διόνυσος ὑποπεπωκώς) and in company with Ariadne seems to have spread widely through the Hellenistic world. Here, the story of their marriage produces a charged erotic atmosphere as a prelude to the murder of Apsyrtus; cf. the effect produced by the steamy re–enactment described by Xenophon at Sym. 9.3–5, which brings the party to an abrupt end, with the married men rushing home to their wives and the single men wishing they were married. However, the links between the present description and the murder that follows are of a darker nature. While the personal beauty of Jason resembles that of Dionysus, in the next scene he is to play the role of sacrificial butcher (468 βουτύπος). Death and the erotic can be close.

433–34 ἥν ποτε Θησεὺς / Κνωσσόθεν ἑσπομένην Δίῃ ἔνι κάλλιπε νήσῳ: “whom Theseus once abandoned on the island of Dia after she had followed him from Knossos.” A. adapts Od. 11.321–5. To make possible this reference to Theseus as a model for Jason, and Ariadne as a model for Medea, A. alters the usual chronology (as exemplified by the Hecale) in which the voyage of the Argo, which brought Medea to Greece, logically takes place before Medea’s attempt to poison Theseus and before his adventure on Crete and liaison with Ariadne. That the comparison is a false one must be an implicit comment on the relationship between Jason and Medea and the work of art through which we are led to view it. It shows a complex use of exemplarity on A.’s part. The tension between the Argonautica and the Hecale is likely to be deliberate. On Ariadne abandoned by Theseus, see Knox (1995, 234), where he notes that ‘the desertion of Ariadne by Theseus was one of the most celebrated episodes of seduction and betrayal in ancient poetry.'

435–8 ἡ δ ̓ ὅτε κηρύκεσσιν ἐπεξυνώσατο μύθους . . . ἐλθέμεν, ὄφρα δόλον συμφράσσεται: “And when she had entrusted her message to the heralds, she charmed him into coming to meet her, when she first arrived at the temple of the goddess according to the agreement and the black darkness of night covered everything, so that he could help her contrive a trick.” ἐπεξυνώσατο, only here and at 3.1162 intimates that the heralds are Medea’s co-conspirators.

436 θέλγέ μιν: a conjecture: is better than the transmitted infinitive θελγέμεν. It removes the problem of the anacoluthon and clarifies that it is Medea who charms, not the heralds (cf. 4.416 μειλίξω). P.Oxy. 2694 (430n.) has μετά. Read this rather than transmitted περί which does not make sense (2.1169 = 3.915 μετὰ νηόν.)

437 νυκτός . . . ἀμφιβάλῃσιν: this intransitive use of ἀμφιβάλλω is unusual (Aesch. Pers. 357). Night is a time when plotting or clandestine deeds take place. Perhaps we should read ἀμφικάλυψῃ, comparing Hes. Op. 555 σκοτόεν νέφος ἀμφικαλύψῃ and Theog. 707 μέλαν νέφος ἀμφικάλυψῃ. Confusion occurs between κ and β in Medieval mss. (Soph. Aj. 199: βαγχ– instead of καγχ–). After the initial confusion between the two letters, the ending of the verb might have been adjusted to fit. The phrase constitutes A.’s variation on Homeric phrases such as Il. 11.356 ἀμφὶ δὲ ὄσσε κελαινὴ νὺξ ἐκάλυψεν and perhaps 5. 506–7 ἀμφὶ δὲ νύκτα / θοῦρος Ἄρης ἐκάλυψε.

438 ὄφρα δόλον συμφράσσεται: recalls Hes. Th. 471 μῆτιν συμφράσσασθαι. P.Oxy. 34.2694 has traces of a different text. ‘Ρ’ is discernible before συμφράσσεται. Although δόλος is an important theme in this section of the poem it is difficult to match with the traces--yet another indication of the uncertaintly of the textual transmission of the Argonautica.

438–41 ᾧ κεν ἑλοῦσα . . . πέρι γάρ μιν ἀνάγκῃ / υἱῆες Φρίξοιο δόσαν ξείνοισιν ἄγεσθαι: “by which she might take the great Golden Fleece and return home again to Aietes’ house, for the sons of Phrixos had given her by force to the strangers to be carried off.” πέρι . . . ἄγεσθαι: Medea is referring to 4.80–1 and alters the truth, to entice Apsyrtus to the proposed meeting. She was not forced to join the Argonauts.

442–4 τοῖα παραιφαμένη . . . κατ ̓ οὔρεος ἤγαγε θῆρα: “After this persuasive message, she sprinkled enticing drugs on the air and breezes that would have attracted a wild animal down from a high mountain, even far away.” This helps explain why Apsyrtus would be so foolish as ot attend the meeting alone, unguarded. The implication is that Apsyrtus is the beast to be summoned by Medea’s spells to his doom, without the caution (he is likened to a ἀταλὸς πάις ‘young child’ at 460) to escape slaughter as a sacrificial animal (468 ὥστε μέγαν κερεαλκέα ταῦρον). As Book 4 progresses, Medea increasingly dominates and manipulates the male characters of the poem. Several important leitmotifs connected with her characterisation occur in this passage and the description of the murder that follows. The result of Medea’s μῆτις, indicated by the collocation of words such as θέλγω, δόλος and φάρμακα, is murder by treachery, the remarkable hapax δολοκτασία (479), applied to the slaying of a blood relation. θέλξις is a characteristic closely associated with Medea. Her drugs are θελκτήρια (3.738, 766, 820, 4.1080) but, in this scene, so are her words. The detail of being able to draw the beasts down from the mountains reminds us of Orpheus, who can move the implacable gods of the underworld and bring life to oaks and rocks, the most unresponsive elements of nature.

445–51 The narrator chides Eros as the first cause of the terrible deed that Jason and Medea are planning.

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This is no longer Eros the playful child, who appeared at the beginning of Book 3. The tone is dramatic and rhetorical (μέγα . . . μέγα, the repetition of τ, the spondaic τετρήχασιν and the vivid image of 447). In the Argonautica, problematic events are often framed by references to other agents. A. is more inclined than Homer to intervene in the events of his own poem. The effect is of heightened emotion but this is countered by the editorial glossing and self-conscious reference to the sequence of his own epic; and given the overt criticism of Medea’s killing, the appeal to Eros to strike down the poet’s own enemies is morally disorienting; see further (Rutherford 2004, 33) This passionate outburst has many possible sources: Theogn. 1231–4 Soph. Ant. 781–801 Eur. Hipp. 538–43 and for love causing chaos and destruction, Il. 14.294 ὡς δ ̓ ἴδεν, ὥς μιν ἔρως πυκινὰς φρένας ἀμφεκάλυψεν. This whole passage is imitated by Virgil (Aen. 4.412) and Catullus (64.94–8).

445 σχέτλι ̓ Ἔρως, μέγα πῆμα, μέγα στύγος ἀνθρώποισιν: “Ruthless Love, great bane, great curse to mankind.” For the general sentiment: Pl. Sym. 188a 7. σχέτλι ̓ Ἔρως: Meleager A.P. 5.57.2 = 4075 HE Also Acosta-Hughes (2010) 203–4, as part of a wider argument for A.’s debt to lyric poetry, notes the Simonides fragment preserved by Σ (p. 216 Wendel) at Arg. 3.26 (= fr. 70),”cruel child of wile-weaving Aphrodite, whom she bore to [guile-contriving] Ares.” Although μέγα πῆμα is a frequent Homeric combination (Il. 3.50, 9.229, 17.99), μέγα στύγος occurs only at Aesch. Sept. 653 ([Aesch.] PV 1004.)

446 ἐκ σέθεν οὐλόμεναί τ ̓ ἔριδες στοναχαί τε πόνοι τε: “from you come both deadly quarrels, grieving and troubles.” Il. 1.177 and, [Hes.]Scut. 148–9 are similar. The medieval tradition is γόοι τε. Π (P.Oxy. 2694) clearly has πόνοι. invasion from Homer is a well-known phenomenon in the Argonautica: Od. 16.144 and Hes. Th. 226–8 αὐτὰρ, where Ἔρις and Πόνος occur together and the following lines are linked by τε.

447 ἄλγεά τ ̓ ἄλλ ̓ ἐπὶ τοῖσιν ἀπείρονα τετρήχασιν: “and countless other pains on top of these are stirred up” recalls Philitas fr. 12.3 Lightfoot ἀμφὶ δέ τοι νέαι αἰὲν ἀνῖαι τετρήχασιν. For τέτρηχα, epic perfect with passive sense, “have been stirred up”, see LSJ s.v. τάρασσω III. A. is playing on a possible connection between τρηχύς and τάρασσω. The metaphor is that of a ‘sea of troubles’; cf. Aesch. Sept. 758, Eur. Her. 1091–2, Catull. 64.62 and, for the idea of ἄλγεά, “piling up”, Eur. Tro. 596.

448 δυσμενέων ἐπὶ παισὶ κορύσσεο, δαῖμον, ἀερθείς: “rear up and arm yourself, divine spirit, against the children of my enemies.” δυσμενέων ἐπὶ παισὶ: the wish that evil should be diverted onto one’s enemies. This exhortation sounds like a battle cry on the part of the poet: the ‘Muse of Love’, Erato, was previously invoked (3.1) and, though unnamed, called upon to take over the narration of Book 4 (4.1–2). Here, κορύσσεο: (pres. imperat. mp. 2nd. sg.) is a call to arm for battle (Ov. Am. 1.9 militat omnis amans) as well as continuing the metaphor begun with τετρήχασιν: Il. 4.424. It also provides another link with ἔριδες: Il. 4.440–2.Virgil unexpectedly appeals to Erato in a similar context (Aen. 7.37) as the Iliadic section of the Aeneid begins.

449 οἷος Μηδείῃ στυγερὴν φρεσὶν ἔμβαλες ἄτην: “as you were when you threw hateful folly into Medea’s heart.” The section ends significantly with ἄτην: Il. 19.87–8.

450–1 πῶς γὰρ δὴ μετιόντα . . . ἦεν ἀοιδῆς: “How then did you crush Apsyrtus in bitter death when he met her? For this is the next stage in our song.” A. emphasises that he is proceeding to the next stage of his narrative and seems to stress its linear nature. There was an ancient interest in questions of chronology and temporal sequence and A.’s use of ἐπισχερώ may signal his awareness of this debate. P.Oxy. 2694’s ἐδάμασσας is to be preferred to transmitted ἐδάμασσε. A. is addressing Eros as his Muse, his mode of address much altered from 3.1 and 4.1–2. Used of victory in battle, δαμάζω is a strong word, (Il. 10.210). The damaged letter in Π before ὀλέθρῳ seems to be a lunate sigma, which makes Eros the agent of destruction, acting through Medea, who leaves the physical action to Jason in the ensuing scene.

452–4 ἦμος ὅτ ̓ Ἀρτέμιδος νήῳ ἔνι . . . κρινθέντες: “when they had left her in the temple of Artemis, according to the agreement, the two sides parted and beached their ships apart.” The συνθεσίη is that Medea should be left in the care of Artemis (346, 436) and the ambush is later described as taking place near the temple of the goddess (469– 70, together with 330–1).

454–5 ὁ δ ̓ ἐς λόχον ᾖεν Ἰήσων . . . ἑταίρους: “but Jason went to set an ambush, lying in wait for Apsyrtus and then for his own comrades.” There is a contrast between Jason and the other Argonauts and Colchians (453 τοὶ μέν ῥα). Jason takes the lead in a piece of treachery, involving λόχος and δόλος, whereas when it comes to hand-to-hand fighting he arrives late (489 ὀψὲ δ ̓ Ἰήσων).

456–8 αὐτὰρ ὅγ’ . . . ἱερῆς ἐπεβήσετο νήσου: “But he, deceived by the terrible promises, quickly crossed the swell of the sea in his ship and disembarked onto the holy island under the darkness of night.” “Promises”, ὑποσχεσίαι (like συνθεσίη: 4.340, 378, 390) are an important theme in the relationships between Jason, Medea and Apsyrtus. For nocturnal δόλος: Soph. El. 1396–7 adding Eur. fr. 288.1 TrGF. The island is holy because it is sacred to Artemis, although a horrific mock sacrifice is to take place there.

459–62 οἰόθι δ ̓ ἀντικρὺ μετιὼν πειρήσατο μύθοις . . . ἐπ' ἀνδράσι τεχνήσαιτο: “all alone he went straight away to his sister to test her with words, as a tender child tries a wintry torrent which not even strong men can pass through, to see if she would devise some guile against the strangers.” The attempt at guile (πειρήσατο) on the part of Apsyrtus is immediately presented in a different light by the simile comparing him to a child, ἀταλὸς πάις. He is a child compared to his sister and her lover, even though he is a leader of ships and men. Apsyrtus in the present passage is ἥρως (471) only in name. Perhaps, as part of the uncertain moral background against which A. paints this scene, we are to see him as a “man-child poised precariously between tender youth and mature adulthood” (Byre 1996: 12). The sacrifice of children is a theme that runs through this episode; one thinks of Medea’s children later in Corinth. The image is one of pathos, recalling also Jason himself who, crossing the winter stream of the Anauros, lost his sandal (Arg. 1.9). “Whereas Jason is spectacularly successful in his crossings, Apsyrtus will meet with dismal failure in his” (Byre 1996, 13).

463 καὶ τὼ μὲν τὰ ἕκαστα συνῄνεον ἀλλήλοισιν: “and so they two agreed together on everything.” The speed of agreement underlines Apsyrtus’ gullibility.

464–81 The murder of Apsyrtus.

Apsyrtus’ murder is staged as in a tragedy. The details of the murder, the mutilation of the body, the image of the blood welling from the wound, the sideways glance of the Erinyes, the rite of licking and spitting the blood and the burying of the corpse, all visualize the horror stemming from Medea’s Eros: “the killing itself . . . is horrible but the horror is almost impersonal . . . No speech, or thoughts or feelings are reported: the characters are shown acting only, in a sort of surrealistic dumb show’ (Byre 1996, 13).

464 αὐτίκα δ ̓ Αἰσονίδης πυκινοῦ ἐξᾶλτο λόχοιο: “and straightway Aeson's son leapt forth from the cunning ambush.” Adopt the reading of Π2: πυ]κι̣̣νουεξαλτ̣ [̣ ο and cf. Arg. 2.268 (the Harpies), Il. 5.142 (a lion) ἐξᾶλτο was first conjectured by Hoelzlin; see further (Benaissa, Slattery, and Henry 2019, 93).

465 γυμνὸν ἀνασχόμενος παλάμῃ ξίφος: “lifting his bare sword in his hand.” γυμνόν . . . ξίφος: Hdt. 3.64.3, Arg. 3.1381. The combination is not Homeric, but Theocr. 22.146. γυμναὶ δ ̓ ἐν χερσὶ μάχαιραι, Arg. 1.1254. Much in this scene echoes the killing of Agamemnon by Aegisthus and Clytemnestra (see below 468–9n.).

465–7 αἶψα δὲ κούρη / ἔμπαλιν ὄμματ ̓ ἔνεικε, . . . κασιγνήτοιο τυπέντος: “and quickly the maiden turned her eyes aside and covered them with her veil that she might not see the blood of her brother when he was struck down.” Medea’s act of veiling stems from her shame at her participation in the murder of her brother; on the significance of Medea’s veil, see Pavlou 2009. For the gesture: ἔμπαλιν ὄμματ ̓ ἔνεικε: Arg. 1.535, 4.1315, Eur. Med. 1147–8, Hec. 343–4. Clytemnestra turns her eyes away as Orestes kills Aegisthus at a similar critical moment (Attic red figure pelike vase, 510 –500 BC, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Inv. No. IV 3725). καλυψαμένη ὀθόνῃσιν: Il. 3.141 (of Helen to whom Medea is often likened). μὴ . . . τυπέντος: Il. 8.330 and also 12.391 in a similar contexts.

468–9 τὸν δ ̓ ὅγε, βουτύπος ὥστε . . . νηοῦ σχεδόν: “As the slaughterer at a sacrifice kills a great, horned bull, so did Jason strike down his prey, having kept watch for him near the temple.”

Details

This passage has been compared with Eur. El. 839–43. As Porter (1990, 257) notes, the description is particularly unsavoury in its explicitness. A. largely rejects the explicit physical nastiness of the Euripidean description to concentrate on Medea’s reactions, but still aims to elicit an emotional response through brutality and melodrama. Each poet uses sacrificial imagery to achieve a macabre atmosphere. Euripides portrays Orestes’ killing of Aegisthus as a perverse sacrifice: his hero strikes his victim in the back with a sacrificial cleaver while the latter is bending over the entrails of an earlier, more conventional victim. A., on the other hand, not only locates the murder in a precinct of Artemis, but expressly compares Jason to a sacrificial priest in a simile that recalls several passages including Il. 17.520–2, Od. 4.534–5. Unlike these parallels, A. specifically identifies the sacrificial priest to whom Jason is compared. He is a βουτύπος, the individual at the Athenian festival of Bouphonia who slew an ox in the precinct of Zeus Polieus and then fled. This veiled allusion to ritual bloodshed deepens the force of A.’s description, linked as it is with Apsyrtus’ being likened to a μέγαν κερεαλκέα ταῦρον, and the deed taking place, just as a ritual sacrifice would have done, outside the temple of Artemis.

469–70 ὅν ποτ ̓ ἔδειμαν Ἀρτέμιδι . . . ἀντιπέρηθεν: “which the Brygi on the mainland opposite had once built for Artemis.” Medea has previously been likened to or associated with Artemis (3.876–86.) Artemis is associated with Hecate from whom Medea’s magical powers derive and who is also closely connected with the transitions that mark the stages of a woman’s life. Medea’s ride from the city is part of this transition, as is her role in the murder of her brother close to the precincts of her patron goddess’ temple. The detailed location intensifies the reality of the moment. It is not the first time that Jason and Medea have had dealings in a temple: 3.981.

471 τοῦ ὅγ' ἐνὶ προδόμῳ γνὺξ ἤριπε: “In its vestibule he fell on his knees.” ἐνὶ προδόμῳ is a Homeric formula (Il. 9.473, 24.673, Od. 4.302) generally referring to any sort of vestibule. Here it seems to be equivalent to the pronaos, the front of the temple, significantly close to the altar where an animal sacrifice would take place. γνὺξ ἤριπε: is frequent in the Iliad: γνὺξ δ ̓ ἔριπ’, 5.68 and Byre (1996, 13).

471–3 λοίσθια δ ̓ ἥρως . . . αἷμα κατ ̓ ὠτειλὴν ὑποΐσχετο: “and at last the hero breathing out his life caught up in both hands the dark blood as it welled from the wound.” A’s use of the word ἥρως (here and at 477 ἥρως δ ̓ Αἰσονίδης) must be ironic. P.Oxy. 2694, quite plainly has ἀποπ[, (not ἀνα– ) and this should be adopted. For ἀποπνείων: Il. 4.524 = 13.654 θυμὸν ἀποπνείων (only here in Homer).

472-3 μέλαν αἷμα: is a frequent combination (Il. 4.149 = 5.870, 17.86, Aesch. Ag. 1389–90) which maintains its force through the contrast with καλύπτρην ἀργυφέην.

473 ὑποΐσχετο: gains a certain ghastly effectiveness by comparison with 4.169 λεπταλέῳ ἑανῷ ὑποΐσχεται, where the young maiden catches not blood but the reflection of the moonlight on a similar fine garment.

473–4 τῆς δὲ καλύπτρην . . . ἐρύθηνεν: “and stained red Medea’s silver veil and robe, though she tried to avoid it.” ἐρύθηνεν is the last use in the poem of ἔρευθος and its cognates. Previously it has described the beauty of young men, of maidenly modesty and of raising stars and the sun (1.726, 778, 791, 3.122, 298, 681, 963, 4.126, 173); now it marks blood-guilt contracted in the name of love. The gesture itself is a melodramatic one, consistent with the fact that Hellenistic tragedy moved towards the presentation of violent acts on stage. Hall (2005, 5–6) suggests that Hellenistic versions of the murder of Agamemnon may have been shown on stage. The influence of late Euripidean tragedy on the Argonautica has already been noticed. A. might have been used to a more spectacular stage practice than that of fifth century Athens when he went to the theatre, and brought something of it into his description of the death of Apsyrtus.

474 ἐρύθηνεν: For the contrast between red and white: Il. 4.140–1 Aesch. Ag. 1389–90, Soph. Ant. 1238–9, [Eur.] Rhes. 790–1, Virg. Aen. 12.36 (the Tiber warm with blood and the plains white with bones), 12.67–9 (Lavinia’s blush). The smearing of blood from the wound marks the metaphorical and physical transference of the guilt associated with the murder. The power of this symbolism is intensified by the word order of 472–4: χερσὶν μέλαν ἀμφοτέρῃσιν αἷμα is closely linked through the chiasmus and the separated participial phrase τῆς . . . ἀλευομένης highlights the target (καλύπτρην / ἀργυφέην καὶ πέπλον) of Apsyrtus’s blood-stained hand.

475–6 ὀξὺ δὲ πανδαμάτωρ . . . ὀλοφώιον ἔργον Ἐρινύς: “with disapproving eye the pitiless Fury, subduer of all, saw clearly the deadly deed that they had done.” Medea herself is referred to as Ἐρινύς at Eur. Med. 1260. Ἐρινύς encloses the whole sentence. νηλειής . . . Ἐρινύς embraces the ‘deadly deed’, as does λοξῷ . . . ὄμματι. The Erinyes are said to see the crimes which they punish: Soph. Aj. 836. λοξῷ . . . ὄμματι: Pind. O. 2.41 ἰδοῖσα δ ̓ ὀξεῖ ̓ Ἐριννὺς. A.’s expands the terse Pindaric original here, using the explanation given by Σ, ὀξέως βλέπουσα. The disapproving, sideways glance “The piercing, side-long glance of the Erinys may indeed recall tragedy’s preoccupation with both the necessity and the surprising twists of punishment for wrong-doing” (Goldhill [1991, 332], who notes the significance of ἔρεξαν, often used to mean ‘to complete a sacrifice’, [LSJ s.v. ῥέζω II]).

477–9 ἥρως δ ̓ Αἰσονίδης . . . δολοκτασίας ἱλάεσθαι: “The hero, the son of Aeson, cut off the dead man’s extremities, three times he licked the blood and three times he spat the pollution out from his teeth, as is the proper way for slayers to expiate treacherous murders.” Line 477 describes the ritual of maschalismos in which the dead man’s extremities (ἐξάργματα) are cut off and tied under his neck and armpits. The action is one to be carried out in a sanctuary after an abnormal sacrifice and it is after A.’s manner to give exact details of the ritual. The formality of the detail emphasises the cold-blooded nature of Jason’s actions. See Finglass (2007) on Soph. El. 445 and Bremmer (1997) 87–8. Spitting (often three times) is an old piece of folklore (Gow on Theocr. 6.39) and is still a way of warding off evil in Greece today. On the one hand Jason, by licking the blood and spitting it out, is attempting to rid himself of the pollution connected with the murder, but on the other, apparently in accordance with tradition and custom (ἣ θέμις), he tries to propitiate (ἱλάεσθαι) the dead Apsyrtus.

480–1 ὑγρὸν δ ̓ ἐν γαίῃ κρύψεν νέκυν . . . μετ ̓ ἀνδράσιν Ἀψυρτεῦσιν: “he buried the corpse in the ground while it was still fresh, where to this day those bones lie among the Apsyrteis.” Apsyrtus’ name was frequently linked with the Apsyrtides islands, (see Media section) which were near the Illyrian coast. The word order in these concluding lines is mannered and chilling. ‘Apsyrtus was warm flesh’, says our narrator, ‘but now in our day his bones still remain’. ὑγρόν: opens the couplet in an emphatic position balanced by ὀστέα κεῖνα at the end of the phrase, with the spondaic Ἀψυρτεῦσιν solemnly ending the episode.

Bibliography:

Benaissa, Amin, S. Slattery, and W.B. Henry, eds. 2019. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Vol. LXXXIV. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-oxyrhynchus-papyri-vol-lxxxiv-9780856….

Boesch, G. 1908. De Apollonii Rhodii elocutione. Göttingen.

Bulloch, A.W. 1985. Callimachus: The Fifth Hymn (Cambridge Classical Texts And. Cambridge.

Byre, Calvin S. 1996. ‘The Killing of Apsyrtus in Apollonius Rhodius’ “Argonautica”’. Phoenix 50 (1): 3. https://doi.org/10.2307/1192677.

Dodds, E.R. 1951. The Greeks and The Irrational. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London.

Goldhill, S. 1991. The Poet’s Voice: Essays on Poetics and Greek Literature. Cambridge.

Hall, E. 2005. ‘Aeschylus’ Clytemnestra versus Her Senecan Tradition’, in Macintosh et Al.

Knox, P.E. 1995. Ovid: Heroides – select epistles. Cambridge and New York.

Pavlou, M. 2009. Reading Medea through Her Veil in the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius. G&R 2nd. Vol. 6.

Rutherford, R. 2004. Classical Literature: A Concise History. Oxford.

ἴσκεν, he spoke  410

ὑποσαίνω, to reassure, soothe

ὀλοός, destroying, destructive, fatal, deadly, murderous,

ἔκφημι, to speak out,

φράζω φράσω ἔφρασα πέφρακα πέφρασμαι ἐφράσθην, plan, ponder, consider

χρειώ, it is necessary

ἀεικέλιος, woeful, ill-favored, disgraceful

μητίομαι, to devise, contrive, plan,

ἀάω, to mislead; (aor. mid.) to act foolishly, go wrong

ἀμπλακίη, an error, fault, offence

θεόθεν, from the gods, at the hands of the gods

ἀνύω, to effect, achieve, accomplish, complete

μενοινή, eager desire

τύνη, you

μῶλος, struggle, contest, fight

ἀλέξω, to ward off

δόρυ δόρατος τό, spear,

ἱκνέομαι ἵξομαι ἱκόμην --- ἷγμαι ---, come 415

μειλίσσω, bewitch, charm

φαιδρός, bright, shining

ἀγαπάζω, to treat with affection, welcome warmly

κῆρυξ -υκος ὁ, messenger,

ἀπέρχομαι ἀπελεύσομαι ἀπῆλθον ἀπελήλυθα --- ---, go away, depart from,

πείθω πείσω ἔπεισα πέπεικα (or πέποιθα) πέπεισμαι ἐπείσθην, persuade

οἰόθεν οἶον, alone by oneself

συναρθμέω, to agree with

ἔπος -ους τό, word,

ἐφανδάνω, to please

μεγαίρω, to begrudge

κτείνω κτενῶ ἔκτεινα ἀπέκτονα --- ---, kill

ἀείρω, to lift, heave, raise up 420

δηιότης δηιότητος ἡ, battle, death

συμβαίνω συμβήσομαι συνέβην συμβέβηκα, to agree

δόλος -ου ὁ, trick

ἀρτύνω, to arrange, prepare, devise

πόρω, offer

ξεινήιον τό, guest-gift

πέπλος ὁ, any woven cloth, robe

Ὑψιπύλεια, ἡ, Hypsipyle, queen of Lemnos and lover of Jason

πορφύρεος, purple

Διόνυσος, Dionysus (god of wine)

κάμνω καμοῦμαι ἔκαμον κεκήμακα --- ---, to make

Δία Δίας, ἡ, old name for the island of Naxos 425

ἀμφίαλος, sea-girt

Χάρις -ιτος ἡ, one of the Graces

ἀτάρ, but, yet

Θόας, Thoas (father of Hypsipyle)

μεταῦθις, afterwards

γλῆνος -εος τό, trinket, treasure

εὐεργής -ές, well-wrought, well-made,

ἀφάσσω, to handle, feel

εἰσοράω, to look upon, behold

γλυκύς γλυκεῖα γλυκύ, sweet, pleasant

ἵμερος, a longing

ἐμπίμπλημι ἐμπλήσω ἐνέπλησα ἐμπέπληκα ἐμπέπλησμαι ἐωεπλήθην, to fulfil, satisfy

ἀμβρόσιος, η, ον, immortal, divine 430

ὀδμή, a smell, scent, odour

πέλω, to be

ἐξέτι, even from the time of, ever since

Νυσαῖος, of Nysa, a mountain in Euboea, an epithet of Dionysus

ἐγκαταλέγω, lie in or on

ἀκροχάλιξ, ὁ, ἡ, drunk

νέκταρ, nectar

μάρπτω, to hold, caress

στῆθος -εος τό, breast

Μινωΐς -ίδος ἡ daughter of Minos, i.e., Ariadne

Θησεύς ὁ, Theseus

Κνωσσός, Cnossus, home of Minos and Ariadne in Crete

καταλείπω καλλείψω κάλλιπον καταλέλοιπα καταλέλειμμαι κατελείφθην, to leave behind

κῆρυξ -υκος ὁ, messenger 435

ἐπιξυνόω, = ἐπικοινόω, communicate, impart a message to

θέλγω, to charm, bewitch

ναός -οῦ ὁ, temple

ἱκνέομαι ἵξομαι ἱκόμην --- ἷγμαι ---, come

συνθεσίη, agreement, pact, deal

μέλας μέλαινα μέλαν, black, dark, obscure

κνέφας -ους τό, darkness, evening dusk, twilight

ἀμφιβάλλω, to throw around, envelop

δόλος -ου ὁ, trick

συμφράζομαι, to join in considering, to take counsel with

κῶας, τό, nom. acc. sg. κῶας; pl. κώεα, a fleece

ὑπότροπος, returning

αὖτις, again, in turn

ὀπίσσω, back, back again

ἀνάγκη -ης ἡ, necessity 440

Φρίξος, Phrixos, twin brother of Helle, father of four sons (by Aeetes' daughter, Chalciope) who joined the Argonauts.

παράφημι, to speak deceitfully

θελκτήριον, a charm, spell, enchantment

φάρμακον -ου τό, drug

πάσσω πάσω ἔπασα --- πέπασμαι ἐπάσθην, sprinkle

αἰθήρ αἰθέρος ὁ/ἡ, the sky, the air

πνοιή, a breeze

ἄπωθεν, from afar

ἄγριος -α -ον, savage; wild; fierce

ἠλίβατος, high, steep, precipitous

ὄρος ὄρους τό, mountain, hill

θήρ θηρός ὁ, wild animal

σχέτλιος, merciless, headstrong, cruel

ἔρως -ωτος ὁ, love, desire

πῆμα πήματος τό, suffering, misery, calamity, woe, bane

στύγος στύγεος τό, hatred

ὄλλυμι ὀλῶ ὤλεσα (or ὠλόμην) ὀλώλεκα (or ὄλωλα) --- ---, destroy, lose

ἔρις -ιδος ἡ, strife, quarrel

στοναχή, a groaning, wailing

γόος -ου, ὁ, wailing, lamentation

ἄλγος -ους τό, pain

ἀπείρων, numerous, without measure

ταράσσω ταράξω ἐτάραξα τετάραχα τετάραγμαι ἐταράχθην, to stir up

δυσμενής -ές, full of ill-will, hostile

κορύσσω, to arm against

δαίμων δαίμονος ὁ/ἡ, divinity, god, spirit

αἴρω, ἀρῶ, ἦρα, ἦρκα, ἦρμαι, ἤρθην, to lift

στυγερός, hated, abominated, loathed

φρήν φρενός ἡ, mind

ἐμβάλλω ἐμβαλῶ ἐνέβαλον ἐμβέβληκα ἐμβέβλημαι ἐνεβλήθην, throw in

δαμάζω, to overpower, tame, conquer, subdue 450

ὄλεθρος, ruin, destruction, death

ἐπισχερώ, (adv.) next

ἀοιδή, song, a singing

ἦμος, at which time, when

Ἄρτεμις Ἀρτέμιδος, ἡ, Artemis

νῆσος -ου ἡ, island

διάνδιχα, separately

κέλλω κέκσω ἔκελσα, to come to shore or harbor in a ship (+dat.)

σφωίτερος, their own, respective

κρίνω κρινῶ ἔκρινα κέκρικα κέκριμαι ἐκρίθην, to separate

λόχος ὁ, an ambush

δέχομαι δέξομαι ἐδεξάμην --- δέδεγμαι -εδέχθην, receive, take, await 455

ἐξαῦτις, over again, then

ἑταῖρος -ου ὁ, comrade, companion

αἰνός -ή -όν, dread, grim

ὑποσχεσίη, an undertaking, engagement, promise

δολόω, to beguile, ensnare, take by craft

καρπαλίμως, swift

ἅλς ἁλός ἡ, sea

οἶδμα, a swelling, swell

περάω περάσω (or περῶ) ἐπέρασα πεπέρακα --- ---, pass through

λυγαῖος, shadowy, murky, gloomy,

ἐπιβαίνω ἐπιβήσομαι ἐπέβην ἐπιβέβηκα --- ---, to set foot on (+gen.)

οἴοθι, alone

ἀντικρύ, over against, right opposite

μέτειμι, to go to meet

πειράω πειράσω ἐπείρασα πεπείρακα πεπείραμαι ἐπειράθην, attempt, make trial of

κασιγνήτη, sister 460

ἀταλός, tender, delicate

χαράδρη, a mountain stream, a torrent

χειμέριος, wintry, stormy

αἰζηός, strong, lusty, vigorous

περάω περάσω (or περῶ) ἐπέρασα πεπέρακα --- ---, pass through

τεχνάομαι, devise, contrive

συναινέω, to agree

πυκινός, dense; cunning

ἐκπάλλω, to jump out

λόχος, an ambush,

γυμνός -ή -όν, naked 465

ἀνέχω ἀνέξω (or ἀνσχήσω) ἀνέσχον ἀνέσχηκα --- ---, hold up, brandish

παλάμη, the palm of the hand, the hand

ξίφος -ους τό, sword

ἔμπαλιν, backwards, back

καλύπτω, to cover with

ὀθόνη, veil, fine linen

φόνος -ου ὁ, murder, slaughter

ἀθρέω, to look at, gaze at, observe, perceive

κασίγνητος, brother

τύπτω, beat, strike

βουτύπος, ox-butcher, slaughterer

κερεαλκής, stout in the horns

ταῦρος -ου ὁ, bull,

πλήττω πλήξω ἔπληξα πέπληγα πέπληγμαι ἐπλήγην (-επλάγην), strike, smite

ὀπιπεύω, to keep watch for

νηός, (Ion.) temple > ναός,

σχεδόν, near, almost,

δέμω, to build, 470

Βρύγοι, the Brygi, a people of the ancient Balkans

περιναιέτης ὁ, one of those who dwell round, a neighbour,

ἀντιπέρηθεν, from the opposite side

πρόδομος, vestibule

γνύξ, (adv.) with bent knee

ἐρείπω, to fall

λοίσθιος, last

ἀναπνέω, to breathe out

αἷμα -ατος τό, blood

ὠτειλή, a wound

ὑπερίσχω, to catch

καλύπτρη, a woman's veil

ἀργύφεος, silver-white

πέπλος, any woven cloth

ἀλέομαι, to avoid, shun

ἐρυθαίνω, dye red

πανδαμάτωρ, the all-subduer, all-tamer 475

λοξός, slanting, crosswise; disapproving

ῥέζω, to do, accomplish

νηλής -ές, pitiless, ruthless,

ὀλοφώιος, destructive, deadly, pernicious

Ἐρινύς, the Erinys, Fury

ἐξάργματα, the extremities

τέμνω τεμῶ ἔτεμον τέτμηκα τέτμημαι ἐτμήθην, cut

θνήσκω ἀποθανοῦμαι ἀπέθανον τέθνηκα --- ---, die, be slain

ἀπολείχω, to lick (+ gen.)

φόνος -ου ὁ, murder, slaughter, corpse

ἄγος -ους, τό, pollution, expiation

πτύω, to spit out

ὀδούς -οντος ὁ, tooth

θέμις, that which is laid down,

αὐθέντης, one who does by his own hand; a murderer

δολοκτασίη, murder by treachery

ἱλάσκομαι, to appease, propriate, atone for

ὑγρός, wet, moist, fresh 480

κρύπτω κρύψω ἔκρυψα κέκρυμμαι ἐκρύφθην, hide, cover over, bury

νέκυς -υος τό, dead body, corpse

κεῖμαι κείσομαι --- --- --- ---, lie, be laid down

ὀστέον -ου τό, a bone

Ἀψυρτεῖς,-έων, οἱ, Apsyrtides, a collective name of two islands off the coast of Illyricum: Cres (Cherso in Italian) and Lošinj (Lussino in Italian), which were almost attached.

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Suggested Citation

Peter Hulse. Apollonius: Argonautica Book IV. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2022. ISBN: 978-1-947822-21-4. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/apollonius-argonautica/argonautica-iv-410-481