ἦμος δ᾽ ἄκρον ἔβαλλε φαεσφόρος οὐρανὸν Ἠώς,885
δὴ τότε λαιψηροῖο κατηλυσίῃ ζεφύροιο
βαῖνον ἐπὶ κληῖδας ἀπὸ χθονός: ἐκ δὲ βυθοῖο
εὐναίας εἷλκον περιγηθέες ἄλλα τε πάντα
ἄρμενα μηρύοντο κατὰ χρέος: ὕψι δὲ λαῖφος
εἴρυσσαν τανύσαντες ἐν ἱμάντεσσι κεραίης.890
νῆα δ᾽ ἐυκραὴς ἄνεμος φέρεν. αἶψα δὲ νῆσον
καλήν, Ἀνθεμόεσσαν ἐσέδρακον, ἔνθα λίγειαι
Σειρῆνες σίνοντ᾽ Ἀχελωίδες ἡδείῃσιν
θέλγουσαι μολπῇσιν, ὅτις παρὰ πεῖσμα βάλοιτο.
τὰς μὲν ἄρ᾽ εὐειδὴς Ἀχελωίῳ εὐνηθεῖσα895
γείνατο Τερψιχόρη, Μουσέων μία: καί ποτε Δηοῦς
θυγατέρ᾽ ἰφθίμην ἀδμῆτ᾽ ἔτι πορσαίνεσκον
ἄμμιγα μελπόμεναι: τότε δ᾽ ἄλλο μὲν οἰωνοῖσιν,
ἄλλο δὲ παρθενικῇς ἐναλίγκιαι ἔσκον ἰδέσθαι.
αἰεὶ δ᾽ εὐόρμου δεδοκημέναι ἐκ περιωπῆς900
ἦ θαμὰ δὴ πολέων μελιηδέα νόστον ἕλοντο,
τηκεδόνι φθινύθουσαι: ἀπηλεγέως δ᾽ ἄρα καὶ τοῖς
ἵεσαν ἐκ στομάτων ὄπα λείριον. οἱ δ᾽ ἀπὸ νηὸς
ἤδη πείσματ᾽ ἔμελλον ἐπ᾽ ἠιόνεσσι βαλέσθαι,
εἰ μὴ ἄρ᾽ Οἰάγροιο πάις Θρηίκιος Ὀρφεὺς905
Βιστονίην ἐνὶ χερσὶν ἑαῖς φόρμιγγα τανύσσας
κραιπνὸν ἐυτροχάλοιο μέλος κανάχησεν ἀοιδῆς,
ὄφρ᾽ ἄμυδις κλονέοντος ἐπιβρομέωνται ἀκουαὶ
κρεγμῷ: παρθενικὴν δ᾽ ἐνοπὴν ἐβιήσατο φόρμιγξ.
νῆα δ᾽ ὁμοῦ ζέφυρός τε καὶ ἠχῆεν φέρε κῦμα910
πρυμνόθεν ὀρνύμενον: ταὶ δ᾽ ἄκριτον ἵεσαν αὐδήν.
ἀλλὰ καὶ ὧς Τελέοντος ἐὺς πάις, οἶος ἑταίρων
προφθάμενος, ξεστοῖο κατὰ ζυγοῦ ἔνθορε πόντῳ
Βούτης, Σειρήνων λιγυρῇ ὀπὶ θυμὸν ἰανθείς:
νῆχε δὲ πορφυρέοιο δι᾽ οἴδματος, ὄφρ᾽ ἐπιβαίη,915
σχέτλιος. ἦ τέ οἱ αἶψα καταυτόθι νόστον ἀπηύρων,
ἀλλά μιν οἰκτείρασα θεὰ Ἔρυκος μεδέουσα
Κύπρις ἔτ᾽ ἐν δίναις ἀνερέψατο, καί ῥ᾽ ἐσάωσεν
πρόφρων ἀντομένη Λιλυβηίδα ναιέμεν ἄκρην.
οἱ δ᾽ ἄχεϊ σχόμενοι τὰς μὲν λίπον, ἄλλα δ᾽ ὄπαζον920
κύντερα μιξοδίῃσιν ἁλὸς ῥαιστήρια νηῶν.
τῇ μὲν γὰρ Σκύλλης λισσὴ προυφαίνετο πέτρη:
τῇ δ᾽ ἄμοτον βοάασκεν ἀναβλύζουσα Χάρυβδις:
ἄλλοθι δὲ Πλαγκταὶ μεγάλῳ ὑπὸ κύματι πέτραι
ῥόχθεον, ᾗχι πάροιθεν ἀπέπτυεν αἰθομένη φλὸξ925
ἄκρων ἐκ σκοπέλων, πυριθαλπέος ὑψόθι πέτρης,
καπνῷ δ᾽ ἀχλυόεις αἰθὴρ πέλεν, οὐδέ κεν αὐγὰς
ἔδρακες ἠελίοιο. τότ᾽ αὖ λήξαντος ἀπ᾽ ἔργων
Ἡφαίστου θερμὴν ἔτι κήκιε πόντος ἀυτμήν.
ἔνθα σφιν κοῦραι Νηρηίδες ἄλλοθεν ἄλλαι930
ἤντεον: ἡ δ᾽ ὄπιθεν πτέρυγος θίγε πηδαλίοιο
δῖα Θέτις, Πλαγκτῇσιν ἐνὶ σπιλάδεσσιν ἐρύσσαι.
ὡς δ᾽ ὁπόταν δελφῖνες ὑπὲξ ἁλὸς εὐδιόωντες
σπερχομένην ἀγεληδὸν ἑλίσσωνται περὶ νῆα,
ἄλλοτε μἑν προπάροιθεν ὁρώμενοι, ἄλλοτ᾽ ὄπισθεν,935
ἄλλοτε παρβολάδην, ναύτῃσι δὲ χάρμα τέτυκται:
ὧς αἱ ὑπεκπροθέουσαι ἐπήτριμοι εἱλίσσοντο
Ἀργῴῃ περὶ νηί, Θέτις δ᾽ ἴθυνε κέλευθον.
καί ῥ᾽ ὅτε δὴ Πλαγκτῇσιν ἐνιχρίμψεσθαι ἔμελλον,
αὐτίκ᾽ ἀνασχόμεναι λευκοῖς ἐπὶ γούνασι πέζας,940
ὑψοῦ ἐπ᾽ αὐτάων σπιλάδων καὶ κύματος ἀγῆς
ῥώοντ᾽ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα διασταδὸν ἀλλήλῃσιν.
τὴν δὲ παρηορίην κόπτεν ῥόος: ἀμφὶ δὲ κῦμα
λάβρον ἀειρόμενον πέτραις ἐπικαχλάζεσκεν,
αἵ θ᾽ ὁτὲ μὲν κρημνοῖς ἐναλίγκιαι ἠέρι κῦρον,945
ἄλλοτε δὲ βρύχιαι νεάτῳ ὑπὸ πυθμένι πόντου
ἠρήρειν, τὸ δὲ πολλὸν ὑπείρεχεν ἄγριον οἶδμα.
αἱ δ᾽, ὥστ᾽ ἠμαθόεντος ἐπισχεδὸν αἰγιαλοῖο
παρθενικαί, δίχα κόλπον ἐπ᾽ ἰξύας εἱλίξασαι
σφαίρῃ ἀθύρουσιν περιηγέι: αἱ μὲν ἔπειτα950
ἄλλη ὑπ᾽ ἐξ ἄλλης δέχεται καὶ ἐς ἠέρα πέμπει
ὕψι μεταχρονίην: ἡ δ᾽ οὔποτε πίλναται οὔδει:
ὧς αἱ νῆα θέουσαν ἀμοιβαδὶς ἄλλοθεν ἄλλη
πέμπε διηερίην ἐπὶ κύμασιν, αἰὲν ἄπωθεν
πετράων: περὶ δέ σφιν ἐρευγόμενον ζέεν ὕδωρ.955
τὰς δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἄναξ κορυφῆς ἔπι λισσάδος ἄκρης
ὀρθὸς ἐπὶ στελεῇ τυπίδος βαρὺν ὦμον ἐρείσας
Ἥφαιστος θηεῖτο, καὶ αἰγλήεντος ὕπερθεν
οὐρανοῦ ἑστηυῖα Διὸς δάμαρ: ἀμφὶ δ᾽ Ἀθήνῃ
βάλλε χέρας, τοῖόν μιν ἔχεν δέος εἰσορόωσαν.960
ὅσση δ᾽ εἰαρινοῦ μηκύνεται ἤματος αἶσα,
τοσσάτιον μογέεσκον ἐπὶ χρόνον, ὀχλίζουσαι
νῆα διὲκ πέτρας πολυηχέας: οἱ δ᾽ ἀνέμοιο
αὖτις ἐπαυρόμενοι προτέρω θέον: ὦκα δ᾽ ἄμειβον
Θρινακίης λειμῶνα, βοῶν τροφὸν Ἠελίοιο.965
ἔνθ᾽ αἱ μὲν κατὰ βένθος ἀλίγκιαι αἰθυίῃσιν
δῦνον, ἐπεί ῥ᾽ ἀλόχοιο Διὸς πόρσυνον ἐφετμάς.
τοὺς δ᾽ ἄμυδις βληχή τε δι᾽ ἠέρος ἵκετο μήλων,
μυκηθμός τε βοῶν αὐτοσχεδὸν οὔατ᾽ ἔβαλλεν.
καὶ τὰ μὲν ἑρσήεντα κατὰ δρία ποιμαίνεσκεν970
ὁπλοτέρη Φαέθουσα θυγατρῶν Ἠελίοιο,
ἀργύρεον χαῖον παλάμῃ ἔνι πηχύνουσα:
Λαμπετίη δ᾽ ἐπὶ βουσὶν ὀρειχάλκοιο φαεινοῦ
πάλλεν ὀπηδεύουσα καλαύροπα. τὰς δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
βοσκομένας ποταμοῖο παρ᾽ ὕδασιν εἰσορόωντο975
ἂμ πεδίον καὶ ἕλος λειμώνιον: οὐδέ τις ἦεν
κυανέη μετὰ τῇσι δέμας, πᾶσαι δὲ γάλακτι
εἰδόμεναι, χρυσέοισι κεράασι κυδιάασκον.
καὶ μὲν τὰς παράμειβον ἐπ᾽ ἤματι: νυκτὶ δ᾽ ἰούσῃ
πεῖρον ἁλὸς μέγα λαῖτμα κεχαρμένοι, ὄφρα καὶ αὖτις980
Ἠὼς ἠριγενὴς φέγγος βάλε νισσομένοισιν.
Thetis does not tell Peleus about the Sirens at all, allowing the Argonauts to depart in complete ignorance of the dangerous beings awaiting them. The home of the Sirens has been identified with several islands. According to Strabo (188.8.131.52–13.20), some ancient sources located the Sirens close to Cape (Capo del Faro, the northeastern promontory of Sicily), others (A. included) near the Galli Islands (modern Sirenuse), between Capri and the Amalfi Coast.
885 "Dawn the light-bearer struck the horizon." ἄκρον . . . οὐρανόν: literally, "the edge of heaven."
886 λαιψηροῖο κατηλυσίῃ ζεφύροιο: "With the descent of quick-moving Zephyr" (i.e. the west wind). λαιψηροῖο . . . ζεφύροιο / . . . βυθοῖο: is a striking sequence of rhymes at the caesura and line ends. λαιψηρός often alludes to fast-dancing feet, so conveys a fine image when used of a lively wind. κατηλυσία is a rare word, only used here and at Arat. 536 where it refers to the ‘going down’ of stars on each of the great celestial circles. For ‘descending winds’ see here.
888 εὐναίας εἷλκον: "they pulled up the anchors." A. uses εὐναίη for εὐνή, usually ‘bed’ here the stone thrown from the prow of a Homeric ship and used as an anchor. For discussion and illustration of what these anchors might have looked like, see here (Wachsmann 2009, 255–93). περιγηθέες: "Very joyful." Only the night before, the Argonauts were amusing themselves by playing games on the shore. This sets up an ironic contrast with the corresponding episode in the Odyssey. There the heroes are in a sombre mood, having just buried their pilot Elpenor (Od. 12.1–200). The irony is intensified when we consider that Circe warned Odysseus that whoever approaches the Sirens unawares is doomed to lose his nostos (Od. 12.39–43). In the Argonautica, no one seems to perceive the Sirens as a threat to the heroes, not even Hera. When she discusses with Thetis how to help the Argo through the Wandering Rocks, the Sirens are not even mentioned.
889 ἄρμενα μηρύοντο κατὰ χρέος: "they fastened the cables as was proper." ἄρμενα is the general term for the ropes or tackle of a ship. κατὰ χρέος means "according to what is needful" (cf. Hom. Hym. Herm. 138, Arg. 3.189, Aratus 343). The passage in Aratus is particularly of interest since the context is the description of the Argo constellation.
889–90 λαῖφος / εἴρυσσαν τανύσαντες ἐν ἱμάντεσσι κεραίης: "They drew up the sail stretching it on the rigging of the yardarm." ἱμάς: is the halyard, the rope that is used to raise and lower the beam (κεραίη) over which the sail is extended (i.e., the yardarm). For discussion and illustration of these terms, see here (Casson 1971, 229) and here (Wachsmann 2009, 248). Virgil seems to have understood the terminology: Aen. 5.829 iubet ocius omnes / attolli malos, intendi bracchia velis, "He (Aeneas) bids all the masts be raised with speed and the yards spread with sails." Virgil seems to have this description in mind: (830–2), "Together all set the sheets, and all at once, now to the left and the right, they let out the canvas; together they turn to and fro the yardarms aloft; favouring breezes bear on the fleet." εἴρυσσαν τανύσαντες ἐν ἱμάντεσσι is an internal rhyme.
891 νῆα δ᾿ ἐυκραὴς ἄνεμος φέρεν: "the gentle Wind [Zephyr] bore the ship on." The image of a beautiful day with ideal sailing conditions contributes to the suspense felt by the reader familiar with the Sirens episode in the Odyssey. The echo of ἐυκραὴς ἄνεμος at 2.1228 reinforces the same feeling; the symmetry contributes to the heroes' false sense of safety. In the earlier scene, they departed the island of Ares with a fair wind, leaving behind a flock of bird-monsters. Here the reader knows that the fair wind is blowing them toward similar bird-monsters. ἐυκραής: ‘brisk, blowing-strongly.’ The formation of this word properly involves some Alexandrian Homeric scholarship. A. seems to intend it as a variation on ἀκραής, with, in this context, basically the same meaning. It is a matter of whether the word is divided as ἀκρ–αής, ‘strong, verging on violent’ or ἀ–κραής, unmixed and derived from ἄημι or κεράννυμι. The details are clearly explained here (Rengakos 1994, 42–3). For other scholarly allusions in A., which depend on the interpretation see 152–3n. on ἄβρομος.
892 Ἀνθεμόεσσαν: A proper name meaning "blossomy." Homer describes the Sirens' island as having a flowery meadow λειμῶν᾽ ἀνθεμόεντα (Od. 12.159), but he does not give it a name. According to Σ to Arg. 4.892 (p. 298.7 Wendel), Apollonius seems to be following Hesiod (fr. 27 M-W), who called the island "Anthemoessa." Clearly, both the name and the description are meant to be euphemistic, since the image in the Odyssey of the Sirens sitting in their meadow with the mouldering corpses of their victims heaped up all around hardly suggests a place worthy of the epithet καλή (Od. 12.39–46; cf. 4.901–2). A's. first picture of the island is intensely sensual, engaging sight, smell (καλὴν Ἀνθεμόεσσαν ἐσέδρακον 4.892), sound (λίγειαι, 4.892; θέλγουσαι μολπῇσιν, 4.894), and touch (σίνοντ᾿ . . . ἡδείῃσιν 4.893).
892–93 λίγειαι / Σειρῆνες σίνοντ᾿ Ἀχελωίδες ἡδείῃσιν / θέλγουσαι μολπῇσιν: "Clear-toned Sirens, daughters of Achelous, destroy by enchanting with their pleasing songs." "With a clear tone," Often signifies a beautiful but sad or mournful sound, especially in tragedy (e.g., Aes. Pers. 332, 468; Ag. 1146; Soph. OC 671). In the fourth century, the Sirens were frequently portrayed on funerary art, often depicted as mourners or as musicians (with the lyre or double pipes) on gravestones or as statues on tombs; see D. C. Kurtz and J. Boardman, Greek Burial Customs (London 1971, 134–35). The importance of the sonic dimension of poetry is especially highlighted in this episode by the piling up of several sound devices. In these lines alone, there are alliteration (note the sigmas above) and internal rhyme ἡδείῃσιν / θέλγουσαι μολπῇσιν (between metrical breaks, line end, and caesura).
895–96 τὰς μὲν ἄρ᾿ εὐειδὴς Ἀχελωίῳ εὐνηθεῖσα / γείνατο Τερψιχόρη, Μουσέων μία: "Beautiful Terpsichore, one of the Muses, bore them after laying with Achelous." Internal rhyme occurs in εὐειδὴς Ἀχελωίῳ εὐνηθεῖσα, alliteration in Μουσέων μία. The Sirens are almost always presented as the children of Achelous; the exception is a fragment of Sophocles (fr. 861 TrGF) where Odysseus refers to them as the daughters of Phorcys. The repetition of Achelous suggests that Apollonius is "correcting" the Sophoclean genealogy. The mother of the Sirens varies: in addition to Terpsichore, Melpomene, and Calliope (fellow Muses), Gaia and Sterope are named. Apollonius' choice of a Muse over Gaia or Sterope creates a nice balance between the Sirens and Orpheus, whose mother is Calliope. The preference for Terpsichore, the Muse of choral poetry, over Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy, seems to highlight the opposition between, on the one hand, choral song and dance and, on the other, epic poetry (the province of Calliope). This generic tension is an important aspect of Orpheus' function in the poem; see Nishimura-Jensen 2009, 1–23.
895–96 καί ποτε Δηοῦς / θυγατέρ᾿ ἰφθίμην ἀδμῆτ᾿ ἔτι πορσαίνεσκον: "And once upon a time they attended Demeter's stately daughter, still a virgin." Apollonius seems to be the earliest extant poet to say that the Sirens were with Persephone when Hades carried her off. In Euripides' Helen (164–78), it is only hinted at: their role as mourners links them to Persephone, the queen of the dead. According to the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, e.g., Persephone was attended by the daughters of Oceanus.
898 ἄμμιγα: Adverb, "mixed together"; i.e., together in a chorus; cf. LSJ ἄναμιγα.
898–99 τότε δ᾿ ἄλλο μὲν οἰωνοῖσιν, ἄλλο δὲ παρθενικῇς ἐναλίγκιαι ἔσκον ἰδέσθαι: "At that time, they were partly like birds and partly like maidens in appearance." In art (as mentioned above), the Sirens are depicted as birds with women's heads or torsos or legs. Apollonius' description is noncommittal enough to agree with the range of visual representations. He also glosses over a controversy in the tradition about how the Sirens obtained their birdlike form. Whereas Ovid (Met. 5-552–63) says that they were transformed into birds in order to search for Persephone, Hyginus (Fab.141) reports their transformation as a punishment from Demeter for not preventing the rape. ἰδέσθαι: "to look at," is an epexegetical infinitive.
900 εὐόρμου δεδοκημέναι ἐκ περιωπῆς: Literally, "from a well-harboured lookout," i.e.,from a lookout above a good harbour. δεδοκημέναι: Irregular perfect participle < δέχομαι, "waiting and watching."
901 ἦ θαμὰ δή: "Often indeed," a collocation of particles and adverbs found only in the Argonautica (1.631, 3-954, 4-59, 4.1242). In most cases, it emphasizes the action as habitual. The language describing the watchfulness of the Sirens recalls the description of the Lemnian women on the lookout for ships (1.631 ἦ θαμὰ δὴ πάπταινον ἐπὶ πλατὺν ὄμμασι πόντον). πολέων: = πολλῶν (sc. ναυτῶν), genitive of separation.
902 τηκεδόνι φθινύθουσαι: φθινύθουσαι: is transitive < φθινύθω, "causing them to perish by (a) wasting away," as the sailors could not drag themselves away to eat. τηκεδόνι is the very form used by Homer in his description οf dead mortals (Od. 11.201). ἀπηλεγέως: "Without caring for anything, outright, bluntly" (LSJ). In Homer, the word appears only in the context of speaking, as in μῦθον ἀπηλεγέως ἀποειπεῖν (Il. 9.309; Od. 1.373).
903 ἵεσαν ἐκ στομάτων ὄπα λείριον: "They sent forth from their mouths a lily-like sound." It is uncertain what the adjective λείριος means precisely, but it is generally assumed to be etymologically related to the noun λείριον "lily." Some scholars assume that the metaphor implies a "delicate" sound, others a "smooth" sound, but both meanings are unsatisfactory. In the context, the sound catches the hearers' attention from a good distance and over the noise of the wind and the waves (910). The related adjective λειριόεις (Hes. Th. 41, ll. 3.152) is part of a simile in the Iliad comparing the chatter of old men at the city gate to the noise of cicadas (ὄπα λειριόεσσαν ἱεῖσι): neither of these sounds is, of course, "delicate" or "smooth." Since the metaphor obviously brings together different sense perceptions, experience should be our guide. It is more convincing that the issue is not the delicacy or smoothness of the lily but, rather, its brightness or stiffness compared to other flowers. On the one hand, the intensity of the lily's colour translates into the intensity of sound's dynamism; on the other, the stiffness of the flower corresponds to the tautness of the strings of musical instruments or the rigidity of cicada wings, a quality organologically responsible for the production of sound that carries. In either case, we are left with the impression that Sirens emit a stentorian sound– loud, clear, and powerful.
904–7 ἔμελλον . . . ἀοιδῆς: "They would have cast their cables ashore immediately, if the son of Oeagrus, Thracian Orpheus, had not stretched tight his Bistonian lyre with his hands and twanged out a fast-paced melody of a smooth-rolling song." The expected ἄν in the apodosis of this counterfactual condition has been omitted, as ἔμελλον, "were about to," already suggests that the action of βαλέσθαι did not occur. ἄρα, “ I guess" or "after all," expresses an inference drawn from impression or feeling, rather than a positive conclusion drawn from facts (Smyth 2787a).
905–6 Οἰάγροιο πάις Θρηίκιος Ὀρφεὺς / Βιστονίην: Line 905 echoes the first line of Phanocles fr. 1 (Collectanea Alexandrina). The accumulation of identity markers for Orpheus is striking. The only other places in the poem where they all occur in the same context (but over several lines) are his introduction in the catalogue (1.23–34) and his paean in response to the sudden appearance of Apollo with his bow stretched tight (2.685–704). In the latter case, as here, Orpheus takes the lead by using his music to respond to the unexpected danger. It is interesting that Apollonius attributes θέλξις, "enchantment," only to the Sirens' song; to Orpheus' music, he only grants speed, loudness, smoothness, and violence. The Bistonians were Thracian tribesmen; here "Bistonian" = "Thracian." ἐνὶ χερσὶν ἑαῖς φόρμιγγα τανύσσας: The verb is more often used with weapons, notably the bow. Given Apollo's association with the lyre and the bow, this language at least equates poet and hero by assimilating lyre playing to bow shooting. An allusion to the strength required to string Odysseus' bow is also very likely (Od. 21.315 ἐντανύσῃ χερσίν).
907 κραιπνὸν ἐυτροχάλοιο μέλος κανάχησεν ἀοιδῆς: "[Orpheus] twanged out a fast-paced melody of a smooth-rolling song." The metaphor associates Orpheus' song with a smooth-rolling fast-paced wheeled vehicle (cf. 1.845, 3.889), a favourite metapoetic image of poets, especially Pindar, for whom the image represents epinician poetry. Significantly, in Pythian 4 (17–81, 244–48), Pindar's "Argonautica" is figured both as a "ship of song" and a "'chariot of song." Apollonius makes the same double association at Arg. 1.1156–58 and 4.1604–10; see J. Murray, "Polyphonic Argo" (PhD diss., University Of Washington, 2005), 25-42.
908–9 ὄφρ᾿ ἄμυδις κλονέοντος ἐπιβρομέωνται ἀκουαὶ κρεγμῷ: "So that their ears would buzz together with the sound of him wildly thrumming the strings." κλονέοντος is genitive of source with κρεγμῷ; Orpheus is the subject of the participle. The metaphor recalls Apollonius' earlier use of the verb in a simile to describe bees smoked out of a hive: 2.132–33 αἱ δ' ἤτοι τείως μὲν ἀολλέες ᾧ ἐνὶ σίμβλῳ βομβηδὸν κλονέονται. Metrically, lines 907–8 are literally fast-paced because of their dactylic quality. The alliteration of kappa and chi words and the onomatopoeia in ἐπιβρομέωνται and κρεγμῷ create sound effects that reinforce the image.
909 παρθενίην δ᾿ ἐνοπὴν ἐβιήσατο φόρμιγξ: "The lyre overpowered the girls' voice." The metaphor figures the lyre as a weapon or a violent man. In prose, the use of βιάω + a word referencing a woman (as its object) denotes rape (e.g., Hdt. 4–43), a theme that was introduced at lines 89 5–96 with the allusion to the rape of Persephone.
911 ἄκριτον: The meaning "indistinguishable" is here preferable to "ceaseless." The point is that the Argonauts could not make out the Sirens' words with Orpheus' music and the noise of the wind and waves in their ears.
912 καὶ ὧς: ”Even so." Τελέοντος ἐὺς πάις: The only other mention of Boutes is at 1.95–96, where he and his brother Eribotes are introduced as coming from Cecropia (Attika). Apollonius seems to be the earliest extant source to connect Boutes to Aphrodite and Eryx.
913 προφθάμενος ξεστοῖο κατὰ ζυγοῦ ἔνθορε πόντῳ: "He had already leapt (< ἐνθρῴσκω) into the sea"; i.e., Boutes was the only one to hear the Sirens' song before Orpheus started playing.
914 ἰανθείς: < ἰαίνω, warmed, melted," i.e., charmed.
916 νόστον ἀπηύρων: “The Sirens would have robbed him of his homecoming." A past contrafactual without åv. ἀπηύρων is act., 3rd., pl., aor., indic. < ἀπούρας (aor. according to LSJ).
917–18 θεὰ Ἔρυκος μεδέουσα / Κύπρις: Apollonius is silent, but according to Diodorus Siculus 4.83–citing the Hellenistic historian Timaeus (ca. 345–250 BCE), an older contemporary of Apollonius–Aphrodite bore Boutes a son, Eryx, who was the eponymous founder of the city Eryx, now modern Erice in the west of Sicily, where a famous temple to Aphrodite-Venus was built by Aeneas, according to Virgil Aen. 5–760. It is worth bearing in mind that at the time the final form of the Argonautica was published, the Carthaginians had just lost their control οf Sicily. At the beginning Of the Second Punic War, they had destroyed Eryx (260 B.C.), but by the end, they had to surrender Lilybaeum to the Romans (241 B.C).
919 Λιλυβηίδα ναιέμεν ἄκρην: "To dwell at Cape Lilybaeum," infinitive of purpose. The modern city Marsala, which is about sixteen miles from Erice, is on the site of ancient Lilybaeum.
920 ἄχεϊ σχόμενοι: ‘seized by anguish.’ σχόμενοι < ἔχω: aor. mid. particip. nom. plural masc. The construction is based on Od. 11.279 (see also Od. 8.182) ᾧ ἄχεϊ σχομένη· τῷ δ’ ἄλγεα κάλλιπ’ ὀπίσσω, (of Epicaste-mother of Oedipus: "caught by her own grief; but for him she left behind countless woes."), the content of which is similar to the present lines. τὰς μέν: the Sirens. It is true (Hunter ad loc.) that the lines constitute an example of the Odyssean theme of "leaving comrades behind and moving on after a disaster" but the twist that A. gives it is that those who are left behind are the agents of the disaster not those who have suffered from it as at Od. 9.62–3.
920–1 ἄλλα δ᾿ὄπαζον / κύντερα: “Other worse (than the Sirens) dangers (lit. “worse things”) pressed upon them.” ὀπάζω usually has the sense of ‘grant, bestow’ but see LSJ III. The use of a plural verb with a neuter pl. subj. does occur in Homer (Smyth 959a). For the irregular comparative κύντερα see Smyth 321. It agrees with ῥαιστήρια νηῶν, ‘destructive of ships’ > ῥαιστήριος is an Apollonian speciality, as is μιξοδίῃσιν ἁλὸς > μιξοδία, ‘in the joining places of the sea, i.e. the Straits of Messene.
922 This mention of Scylla and Charybdis adapts Od. 12.235–61. ; τῇ μὲν . . . τῇ δ᾿ is A.’s adaption of Homer’s ἔνθεν μὲν . . . ἑτέρωθι δέ. Three dangers are looming and the line opens with four spondees (a rare occurrence: 2.13, 3.700 and here) to mark the solemn moment: τῇ μὲν: the smooth rock of Scylla; τῇ δ᾿: Charybdis roaring and spouting and ἄλλοθι: the Wandering Rocks. However, Σκύλλης λισσὴ . . . πέτρη: recalls Od. 12.79 πέτρη γὰρ λίς ἐστι, περιξεστῇ ἐικυῖα, which is Circe’s earlier description of the dangers that will face Odysseus and his men (see 786n.). It is typical of A. (and Hellenistic poetry in general) that he alternates between different parts of his original to create a more subtle texture of allusion. προυφαίνετο: < προφαίνω, “appeared, was seen.” The form only occurs a couple of times in Homer (elsewhere Od. 9.143), one of which seems to be significant: προὐφαίνετο: Od. 13.169 οἴκαδ’ ἐλαυνομένην· καὶ δὴ προὐφαίνετο πᾶσα, “she was returning home and indeed was in full sight.” Poseidon has turned the Phaeacians’ ship to stone, as it returns home after taking Odyssey to Ithaca. The two passages constitute two very conspicuous stone landmarks.
923 ἄμοτον: “ceaselessly, insatiably,” but the meaning and sense of the word, in Homer and as adapted later by A. are unclear. Cuypers (1997, 315) discusses the various possibilities, which, apart from the two just given, are: “unconstrained/able, unleashed/able, unstoppable, uncontrolled/able, continual, insatiate." βοάασκεν: “was continuously barking.” For the iterative imperfect see 76–81, 799nn. There are a number in A.’s principal model (Od. 12.235–61). ἀναβλύζουσα: “gushing forth,” see 788n. The description, as a whole, recalls Od. 12.85 δεινὸν λελακυῖα, “yelping terribly.” The twin monsters have been vividly described but it is the Wandering Rocks that claim the reader’s sole attention now.
924 ἄλλοθι δὲ Πλαγκταὶ . . . πέτραι: “In another part (of the strait), the Wandering Rocks.” The vagueness of ἄλλοθι, “somewhere else”, must allude not only to the geographical situation of the Planktai but to the literary games (Cartledge et al. 1997, 67) that Hera introduced as an element in her negotiations with Thetis starting at 786 (n.): Hera simply forgets that the hero whom she now advises is not Odysseus. She is following Homer closely, as closely as can be expected from a reader of Homer, but too closely for a reliable trip advisor.
924–5 μεγάλῳ ὑπὸ κύματι . . . / ῥόχθεον: These lines rewrite Od. 12.59–60 ἔνθεν μὲν γὰρ πέτραι ἐπηρεφέες, προτὶ δ᾽ αὐτὰς / κῦμα μέγα ῥοχθεῖ. The link between the two is the rare verb ῥοχθέω and indeed the vocabulary is very rich in this passage (see below).
925 ἀπέπτυεν: “spat out.” Very appropriate for the mouth of a Volcano. αἰθομένη φλὸξ: This must be Aetna, which the Argonauts would sight as they made their way through the Straits of Messina, avoiding the Planktai. The Aeneadae make the same sighting (Aen. 3.554 tum procul e fluctu Trinacria cernitur Aetna.) This striking phrase, used as subject of the main verb ἀπέπτυεν, seems to recall Pindar P. 1.23–24 ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ὄρφναισιν πέτρας / φοίνισσα κυλινδομένα φλὸξ ἐς βαθεῖαν φέρει πόντου πλάκα σὺν πατάγῳ, which also describes Aetna. This possibility gains support from the fact that the name of the Volcano (Paschalis 1997, 138) is commonly derived from αἴθω, beginning in ancient times; e.g. the Etymologicum Magnum (40.29) specifically says that the name is derived παρὰ τὸ αἴθω, τὸ καίω. That such a link might have been known to A. is reinforced by the Virgilian phrases Aen. 3.579–80 Aetnam . . . flammam, 7.786 Aetnaeos . . . ignis and Georg. 1.471–2 effervere . . . Aetnam.
926 ἄκρων ἐκ σκοπέλων: “from the high peaks.” This is another link with the Odyssean model: Od. 12.239 ἄκροισι σκοπέλοισιν (from the description of Scylla and Charybdis). Virgil had this passage in mind when describing Aeneas and his followers encountering the same dangers. He describes Aetna as Trinacria, commonly derived from the τρεῖς ἄκραι (the three promontories) of Sicily: Pelorus, Pachynus and Lilybaeum (Paschalis 1997, 137). A.’s phrase must refer to these peaks. πυριθαλπέος ὑψόθι πέτρης: "high above the rocks," presumably reefing to the mouth of Aetna. πυριθαλπέος is gen. sing. and agrees with π. The adjective seems to be a coinage by A.
927 καπνῷ δ᾿ ἀχλυόεις αἰθὴρ πέλεν: Virgil develops A.’s description of Aetna wonderfully at Aen. 3.571–77, “and Aetna's throat / with roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh. / Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud / of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust” Read More.
927–8 οὐδέ κεν αὐγὰς / ἔδρακες ἠελίοιο: “nor could you have seen the rays of the sun:” a typical second person address to the reader. ἔδρακες: aor. ind. act. 2nd. sg. < δέρκομαι.
928–9 λήξαντος ἀπ᾿ ἔργων / Ἡφαίστου: “though Hephaestus ceased from his labours” (gen. absolute), in accordance with the original instructions of Hera (763). ἔτι κήκιε: “was gushing forth.” θερμὴν . . . ἀυτμήν: “warn vapour,” which literally (and elegantly) encloses the sea (πόντος).
930 ἔνθα σφιν κοῦραι Νηρηίδες: the Nereids intervene: “then the daughters of Nereus, crowding in from every side came to their aid (ἤντεον). ἄλλοθεν ἄλλαι: lit. “on this side and on that.”
931 πτέρυγος θίγε πηδαλίοιο: “took hold of the blade of the rudder.” Both a poetical image (blade / wing) and a technical term. θίγε: aor. ind. act. 3rd sg. < θιγγάνω. The idea of Thetis taking over control, as the Nereids begin to form their dolphin escort, forms part of a delightful pictorial effect. It could all easily be part of a contemporary mosaic.
932 ἔρυσθαι: “to guide, watch over.”
933 ὡς δ᾿ ὁπόταν: “as when.” This image of seaborne Nereids was later borrowed by Virgil, Aen. 10.219. However, dolphins escorting ships in the Aegean is still a frequent sight (Green ad loc.): I can also remember being on a ferry coming into Iraklion, Crete and seeing such a group. ὑπὲξ ἁλὸς εὐδιόωντες: “(come up) from the sea, enjoying good weather.
934 Another elegantly compact line: the speeding ship (σπερχομένην . . . περὶ νῆα) paradoxically seems to enclose the circling (ἑλίσσωνται) herd (ἀγεληδὸν) of dolphins.
935–6: ἄλλοτε: the triple anaphora, mirrors their constant diving and reappearing. παρβολάδην: “alongside, parallel to the ship.” ναύτῃσι δὲ χάρμα: “a joy for sailors,” both Argonauts and otherwise.
937 ὑπεκπροθέουσαι: the triple prefixes: “running up out (ὑπὲξ ἁλὸς: of the water) and in advance” summarise what has been said in the simile. ἐπήτριμοι: “in ranks” ~ ἀγεληδὸν. The verb εἱλίσσοντο is repeated. A. is trying to sharpen his picture, by aiming for a tight correspondence between tenor and vehicle (139–42n.).
938 Ἀργῴῃ περὶ νηί: “round the ship Argo.” Θέτις δ᾿ ἴθυνε κέλευθον: referring back to 931: “and Thetis guided its course.”
939 ἐνιχρίμψεσθαι ἔμελλον: “they (the Argonauts) were about to crash into (the Wandering rocks).
940 ἀνασχόμεναι πέζας: “lifting the hems (of their garments).” λευκοῖς ἐπὶ γούνασι: “up to their white knees.” (44–6n.). This adds a pleasant erotic note to the overall picture.
941 ὑψοῦ ἐπ᾿ αὐτάων σπιλάδων: “high upon the very rocks.” κύματος ἀγῆς: “the place where the wav breaks.” The combination is unique to A.
942 ῥώοντ᾿ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα: “they hurried along here and there.” They are almost dancing like the Muses at the beginning of Hesiod’s Theogony (8). διασταδὸν ἀλλήλῃσιν: “apart from each other, in separate groups.”
943 τὴν δὲ παρηορίην κόπτεν ῥόος: “the current struck her and made her move from side to side.” In the rough water around the rocks, the Argo is being thrust this way and that.
943–4 κῦμα / λάβρον: “the furious wave.” ἀειρόμενον: “being raised up.” πέτραις ἐπικαχλάζεσκεν: “was foaming against the rocks (the Planktai):” a four-word hexameter, with an onomatopoeic spondaic ending closes the section describing the very rough water around the Wandering Rocks.
945 αἱ δ᾿: “And the rocks.” The following description views the rocks from the sailors’ point-of-view. The motion is that of the Argo as it raises and falls with the buffeting of the waves. ὁτὲ μὲν: “at one moment.” κρημνοῖς ἐναλίγκιαι: “like crags.” ἠέρι κῦρον: “were reaching up to the sky.” κῦρον: (unaugmented) imperf. ind. act. 3rd pl. < κυρέω: Callimachus has δένδρεον αἰθέρι κῦρον (Call. h. Dem. 38; see also Arg. 2.363).
946 ἄλλοτε δὲ: And at another time.” βρύχιαι: as the Argo raises up with the wild sea, it seems to the sailors as though the rocks go under water. νεάτῳ ὑπὸ πυθμένι πόντου: “down in the very depths of the sea.”
947 ἠρήρειν: referring to the rocks: 3rd pers. plural pluperfect passive < ἀραρίσκω: “were fitted, attached to” or < ἐρείδω: “were pressed down.” It is typical of A. that this rare form comes in the emphatic first position in the line. Apart from the question of the derivation, he is hinting at the question of whether the Rocks were fixed or moved about. Is their name to be associated with πλάζομαι or πλήσσω? A typical point of discussion for Alexandrian poets and scholars; see further (Montiglio 2005, 56 n. 45) with LSJ πλάζω Aii. ὑπείρεχεν ἄγριον οἶδμα: “the wild wave flow over them (the rocks).
948 αἱ δ᾿: “And they (the Nereids). The identical openings of 945 and 948 are perhaps awkward (αἵ θ᾽ has been suggested in 945, making it into a relative pronoun) but the sense is clear. ἠμαθόεντος ἐπισχεδὸν αἰγιαλοῖο: “near a sandy beach.” The scene immediately begins to recall Nausicaa playing ball with her maids (Od. 6.100–1).
949 δίχα κόλπον ἐπ᾿ ἰξύας εἱλίξασαι: “having rolled up the folds of their garments (κόλπον: LSJ s.v. αιι), out of the way (δίχα LSJ s.v. i ). This line links back to 940: the Maidens playing here are decidedly less modest than the Nereids.
950 σφαίρῃ ἀθύρουσιν περιηγέι: “they play with a round ball;” see link to Od. on 948 (above.) αἱ μὲν ἔπειτα: “then they . . .” αἱ refers to the Maidens of the simile. The transmitted text is ἡ, which was doubtless an alteration stemming from the difficulty of the singular verb (δέχεται-see below). αἱ is a correction that goes back to the first printed edition of the poem in Florence in 1496. ἔπειτα: means “then.” “First” the Maidens tucked up their dresses, “then” they started to play with the ball by throwing it from hand to hand.
951 ὑπ᾿: in tmesis with δέχεται (LSJ A iv), which is singular because of the intervening ἄλλη . . . ἐξ ἄλλης: “one from another.” There is also the influence of the so-called Schema Pindaricum; see further (Mastronarde 2004, 248). The pattern (plural subject plus singular verb) is exactly mirrored outside the simile in 953–4; see also perhaps Arg. 3.343. The whole phrase, itself, seems to echo Empedocles B. 115.12 Diels-Kranz ἄλλος δ᾽ἐξ ἄλλου δέχεται.
952 ὕψι μεταχρονίην: “high into the air.” There was some ancient dispute about the meaning of μεταχρόνιος. ἡ δ: i.e. the ball, contrasting with αἱ μὲν (above). οὔ ποτε πίλναται οὔδει: “never touches the ground” echoes the description of Ate at Il. 19.92–3.
953 ὣς αἱ: “in the same way they (the Nereids). The construction of 953–4 follows the same pattern as 950–1: plural subject (αἱ) with a singular verb (πέμπε), due in part to the phrase ἄλλοθεν ἄλλη, “one from another.”
954 διηερίην ἐπὶ κύμασιν: “into the air, on top of the waves.” This asks the reader to visualise a very different image from that of the Maidens playing with a ball: the Nereids are propelling the Argo through the Wandering Rocks.
955 περὶ δέ σφιν: there are differing opinions about the meaning of this phrase but σφιν is more likely to refer to the Nereids as they go about their work of safeguarding the Argo than the rocks. ζέεν: “seethed or boiled:” an emendation (of θέεν) but a good one.
956 τὰς δέ: The Nereids have spectators. The gods are looking on. The first watcher is αὐτὸς ἄναξ which connects with Ἥφαιστος (958). The hyperbaton of the god’s name gives breadth to the ekphrastic description as whole; see further (Green 1990, 205). κορυφῆς ἔπι λισσάδος ἄκρης: “on the summit of a smooth rock.” λισσάς is an adjective here. Later it was used as a noun.
957 ὀρθὸς ἐπὶ στελεῇ τυπίδος: “upright on the handle of his hammer.” To find the god standing upright is unexpected but see further (Fineberg 2009, 277) who, while discussing iconographic evidence (on various red figure vases) for the portrayal of Hephaestus walking upright, concludes “When Hephaestus rides, it is because he is lame and therefore unfit to serve Hera in her rivalry with Zeus; when he walks, he is sound of foot and thus the son his mother had hoped for - an ally against Zeus.” It would not be surprising if the lameness of Hephaestus were a topic discussed among the Alexandrian critics and A.’s phrase a subtle intervention on his part. βαρὺν ὦμον ἐρείσας: “resting his muscular shoulder.” For images of Hephaestus carrying a long-handled axe or hammer see LIMC s.v. Hephaistos 5, 44, 164b, 166, 172b).
958–9 αἰγλήεντος ὕπερθεν / οὐρανοῦ: “above the glittering heaven.” ἑστηυῖα Διὸς δάμαρ: “the wife of Zeus having stood (looked on). ἑστηυῖα: perf. part. act. < ἵστημι.
959–60 ἀμφὶ δ᾿ Ἀθήνῃ / βάλλε χέρας: “and she threw her hands around Athene.” A comic touch. Did A. get this from a work of art that he knew? How seriously are we meant to take the gods at this juncture? Green’s remarks (ad loc.) are very apposite here. He emphasises that Hera proves herself to be just as useless in an emergency (ἀμήχανος) as Jason can be on occasion, in spite of her earlier protestations (lies) that she helped the Argonauts through the Symplegades.
960 μιν ἔχεν δέος εἰσορόωσαν: referring to Hera as she watches the progress of the Argo.
961 ὅσση . . . αἶσα: As often in A., the point of comparison in a simile is unusual and unexpected: “as long as the space (αἶσα) of a spring (εἰαρινοῦ) day (ἤματος) is lengthened out (μηκύνεται).” There are possible connections with passages in the Odyssey (Od. 18.366–70) and in the hymns of Callimachus (Call. h. 3.170–82).
962 μογέεσκον . . . ὀχλίζουσαι: “they were labouring . . . heaving.” The Nereids are pictured as putting great effort into their work, compared with the Maidens (of the previous simile) playing ball and Hephaestus, not working at all, as he looks on.
963 πέτρας πολυηχέας: dangerous rocks always make a noise; see further (Lowe 2015, 80). οἱ δ᾿: i.e. the Argonauts. In spite on the emphasis on the length and intensity of the Nereids’ labours, the episode comes to an abrupt end, with the sea-nymphs diving into the depths (967), having fulfilled Hera’s commands.
963–4 ἀνέμοιο / . . . ἐπαυρόμενοι: “catching the wind (after the turbulence of passing through the Rocks).” προτέρω θέον: “they sped on.”
965 Θρινακίης λειμῶνα: The identification of this place is uncertain. Here, it must a meadow somewhere on the East coast of Sicily: see further (Knight 1995, 158). βοῶν τροφὸν Ἠελίοιο: “nurse of the cattle of the Sun,” just as the maiden who appears from the clod of earth says she is τεῶν τροφός, ὦ φίλε, παίδων (1741), when speaking to Euphemus.
966 ἔνθ᾿ αἱ μὲν: “the Argonauts.” ἀλίγκιαι αἰθυίῃσιν: according to (Thompson 1895, 18), probably a large seagull, or shearwater. The latter are known for skimming along, close to the surface of the water; see further (Beardmore 2013, 2018–12). ἀλόχοιο Διὸς πόρσυνον ἐφετμάς: “they (had) accomplished the orders of the Wife of Zeus”; see further (Mori 2012, 16) ἐφετμάς: see 757n.
968–9 based on Od. 12.262–5. βληχή . . . μήλων: “the bleating of sheep. μυκηθμός τε βοῶν: “the lowing of cattle. οὔατ᾿ ἔβαλλεν: “struck their ears.” “Once the ship is past the Wandering Rocks, A. devises a charming pastoral landscape to go with the euphoric mood”; see further (Beye 2006, 217).
970 καὶ τὰ μὲν: i.e. the sheep. ἑρσήεντα κατὰ δρία: “over the dewy meadows.” This and the lines that follow introduce a very pastoral atmosphere. The iterative imperfect (ποιμαίνεσκεν) adds to this sense; see further (Morgan 2007, 471).
971 A melodious four-word hexameter enhances the picture that A. is painting; see further (Heslin 2005, 73).
972 ἀργύρεον χαῖον: “a silver crook.” Rare words (e.g. both χαῖον and πηχύνουσα) decorate this passage throughout; see further (Knight 1995, 220).
973 Λαμπετίη δ᾿: the elder daughter takes charge of the more valuable cattle . . . (ἐπὶ βουσὶν.)
973–4 ὀρειχάλκοιο φαεινοῦ / καλαύροπα: with more valuable equipment, “a staff of shining orichalk,” a mythical metal of great value. ὀπηδεύουσα: also used of herding at 4.675, in a very different context.
974–5 τὰς δὲ καὶ αὐτοί: the Argonauts (αὐτοὶ) view (εἰσορόωντο) the cattle (τὰς δὲ . . . βοσκομένας), as they graze, like spectators of an “Odyssean” episode that runs parallel to their own story. ποταμοῖο παρ᾿ ὕδασιν: “by the waters of a river,” unknown and unnamed.
976 ἂμ πεδίον καὶ ἕλος λειμώνιον: “through the plain and marshy meadow.”
976–7 οὐδέ τις ἦεν / κυανέη μετὰ τῇσι δέμας: “there was not a one among them that had a dark body.” A very clear statement that touches on a famous mathematical puzzle stemming from Archimedes of Syracuse; see further (Rorres 2017, 63).
977–8 πᾶσαι δὲ γάλακτι / εἰδόμεναι: “like milk,” εἰδόμεναι present part. < εἴδομαι: another fine four-word hexameter full of assonance. χρυσέοισι κεράασι κυδιάασκον: “glorying in their golden horns,” see 970 (above) for the iterative imperfect (κυδιάασκον).
979 καὶ μέν: the narrative progresses. τὰς παράμειβον ἐπ᾿ ἤματι: it takes the Argonauts a day to pass by. παράμειβον: no stopping off like Odysseus’ men (Od. 12). νυκτὶ δ᾿ ἰούσῃ: unlike Odysseus and his men, the Argonauts keep going during the “coming night.”
980–1 The Argonauts sail across the open sea to Drepane (Phaeacia / Scherie); see further (Hunter 1993, 68).
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Thompson, D.W. 1895. A Glossary of Greek Birds. Oxford.
Wachsmann, S. 2009. Seagoing Ships & Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant. Texas. A&M University Press
ἦμος, at which time, when
ἄκρος, -α -ον, at the furthest point, topmost
φᾰεσφόρος, ον, light-bringing
οὐρανός, -οῦ, ὁ, heaven, sky
ἠώς, ἠοῦς, ἡ, dawn
λαιψηρός, ά, όν, light, nimble, swift
κατηλυσία, ἡ, descent
Ζέφῠρος, ὁ, Zephyrus, the west wind
κλείς, ἡ, κλειδός, rowing bench
χθών, χθονός ἡ, the earth, ground
βυθός, ὁ, the depth
εὐναί, αἱ, anchor stones
ἕλκω, ἕλξω, εἵλκυσα, εἵλκυκα, εἵλκυσμαι, εἰλκύσθην, draw up
περιγηθής, ές, very joyful
ἄρμενα, τά, the tackle
μηρύομαι, to draw up, furl
χρέος, τό, due order
ὕψι, on high, aloft
λαῖφος, εος, τό, sail
ἐρύω, draw up, hoist
τανύω, stretch, strain, extend
ἱμάς, ἱμάντος, ὁ, a leather strap
κεραία, ἡ, yard-arm
εὐκρᾱής, ές, brisk
ἄνεμος, -ου, ὁ, wind, spirit
Ἀνθεμόεσσα, ἡ, Anthemoessa (name of the Sirens’ island)
εἰσδέρκομαι, to look at
ἔνθα, where, then
λῐγύς, λίγεια, λιγύ, clear, whistling
Σειρήν, ἡ, Siren
σίνομαι, to destroy
Ἀχελωΐδες, αἱ, Daughters of Achelous
ἡδύς, -εῖα, -ύ, pleasant, sweet
θέλγω, to stroke
μολπή, ἡ, song
πεῖσμα, ατος, τό, a ship's cable
παραβάλλω, βαλῶ, ἔβαλον, βέβληκα, βέβλημαι, ἐβλήθην, throw beside
εὐειδής, ές, beautiful
Ἀχελώϊος, ὁ, Achelous
εὐνάω, to lie with
γείνομαι, to bear (a child)
Τερψιχόρη, ἡ, Terpsichore
Δηώ, ἡ, Demeter
ἴφθιμος, η, ον, noble, good
ἀδμής, ῆτος, ἡ, untamed, unwed
πορσαίνω, to take care of
μέλπω, celebrate with song and dance
οἰωνός, ὁ, bird
ἐναλίγκιος, η, ον, like, resembling
εὔορμος, ον, with good mooring-places
δεδοκημένος, waiting, lying in wait
περιωπή, ἡ, a place commanding a wide view
νόστος, -ου, ὁ, return (home)
αἱρέω, αἱρήσω, εἷλον, ᾕρηκα, ᾕρημαι, ᾑρέθην, take away
τηκεδών, όνος, ἡ, a melting away
φθινύθω, to waste, consume
ἀπηλεγέως, without caring for anything, immediately
ἵημι, ἥσω, ἧκα, εἷκα, εἷμαι, εἵθην, send forth
στόμα, -ατος, τό, the mouth
ὄψ, ἡ, a voice
λείριος, ον, like a lily (see notes)
μέλλω, μελλήσω, ἐμέλλησα --- --- ---, think of doing, intend
ἠιών, όνος, ἡ, a sea-bank, shore, beach
Οἰάγρος, ὁ, Oiagros, the father of Orpheus
βιστονίος, -α, -ον, of the Bistones
φόρμιγξ, ἡ, the phorminx, λυρε
τανύω, stretch, string
κραιπνός, ή, όν, rapid, rushing
εὐτρόχαλος, ον, running well, quick-moving
μέλος, -εος, τό, a song
καναχέω, to ring, clash, clang
ἀοιδή, ἡ, song, a singing
ἄμυδις, together, at the same time
κλονέω, to drive in confusion, drive before one
ἐπιβρομέω, to ring, buzz
ἀκοή, -ής, ἡ, a hearing, report, what is heard
κρεγμός, ὁ, sound, knocking
ἐνοπή, ἡ, voice, singing
βιάω, to constrain, overpower
ὁμοῦ, in the same place, at the same place
ἠχήεις, sounding, ringing, roaring
κῦμα, -ατος, τό, wave
πρυμνόθεν, from the bottom
ὄρνυμι, arouse, stir up
ἄκριτος -ον, indistinct (see notes)
αὐδή, ἡ, the human voice, speech
Τελέων, ὁ, Father of Boutes
ἐύς, ἐΰ, good, brave, noble
ἑταῖρος, -ου ὁ, comrade, companion
προφθάνω, to outrun, anticipate
ξεστός, ή, όν, smoothed, polished, wrought
ζῠγόν, τό, rowing bench
ἐνθρῴσκω, leap in, on, or among
λιγυρός, clear, whistling
θυμός, -οῦ, ὁ, heart, spirit
ἰαίνω, to heat, warm
νήχω, to swim
πορφύρεος, η, ον, dark
οἶδμα, ατος, τό, a swelling, swell
ἐπιβαίνω, ἐπιβήσομαι, ἐπέβην, ἐπιβέβηκα --- ---, +gen., get up on, mount
σχέτλιος, α, ον, poor wretch
καταυτόθι, on the spot
ἀπαυράω, to take away
οἰκτίρω, to pity, feel pity for, have pity upon
Ἔρυξ, ἡ, Eryx (name)
μεδέων, οντος, ὁ, guardian, ruler
Κύπρις, ἡ, Cypris
δίνη, ἡ, a whirlpool, eddy
ἀνερείπομαι, to snatch up and carry off
σαόω, save, preserve, deliver, mid., oneself
πρόφρων, ονος, ὁ, ἡ, kind
ἄντομαι, to meet (and give aid)
Λιλυβηίς, -ίδος, Lilybaean (name)
ναίω, dwell, inhabit, be situated
ἄκρα, ἡ, a headland, foreland, cape
ἄχος, εος, τό, anguish, distress
ὀπάζω, press on, follow after
κύντερος, more dog-like, worse
μιξοδία, ἡ, a place where several ways meet
ῥαιστήριος, α, ον, destructive
Σκύλλα, ἡ, Scylla
λισσός, ή, όν, smooth
προφαίνω, to appear
βοάω, βοήσομα, ἐβόησα, to shout, roar
ἀναβλύζω, to spout up
Χάρυβδις, εως, Ion. ιος, ἡ, Charybdis
ἄλλοθι, in another place
Πλαγκταί, αἱ, the Wandering Rocks
ῥοχθέω, to roar
πάροιθε, before, in the presence of
ἀποπτύω, to spit out
αἴθω, to light up, kindle
φλόξ, ἡ, a flame
ἄκρος, -α, -ον, at the furthest point, topmost
σκόπελος, ὁ, a look-out place, a peak, headland
πῠριθαλπής, ές, heated in the fire
ὑψόθι, aloft, on high
καπνός, ὁ, smoke
ἀχλυόεις, εσσα, εν, gloomy
αἰθήρ, έρος, ἡ, ether, the brighter purer air, the sky
πέλω, to be
αὐγή, ἡ, the light of the sun, sunlight
δέρκομαι, to see clearly, see
ἔργον, -ου, τό, work, deed
Ἡφαιστος, ὁ, Hephaestus
θερμός, ή, όν, hot, warm
κηκίω, to gush
ἀυτμή, ή, breath, vapour
Νηρηΐς, ΐδος, ἡ, daughter of Nereus, sea-nymph
ἄλλοθεν, from another place
ἀντάω, to meet
ὄπισθε, from behind
πτέρυξ, υγος, ἡ, the blade
θιγγάνω, to touch, handle
πηδάλιον, τό, a rudder
δῖος, -α, -ον, divine, godlike, shining
Θέτις, ἡ, Thetis
σπῐλάς, άδος, ἡ, rock
ἐρύω, guide, watch over
δελφίς, ῖνος, ὁ, the dolphin
ὑπέκ, out from under, from beneath
εὐδιάω, to enjoy good weather
σπέρχω, to set in rapid motion
ἀγεληδόν, in herds
ἑλίσσω, to turn round, to turn
ἄλλοτε, at another time, at other times
προπάροιθε, before, in front of
παρβολάδην, alongside, parallel
χάρμα, ατος, τό, (a source of) joy, delight
τεύχω τεύξω ἔτευξα τέτευχα τέτυγμαι ἐτύχθην, make, create
ὑπεκπροθέω, to run forward in advance, outstrip
ἐπήτριμος, ον, in ranks
Ἀργῷος, -η, -ον, of the Argo
ἰθύνω, to make straight, direct
κέλευθος, ἡ, a road, way, path, track
ἐγχρίμπτω, to crash into
ἀνέχω, ἀνέξω (or ἀνσχήσω), ἀνέσχον, ἀνέσχηκα, --- ---, hold up, rise up
λευκός, -ή, -όν, white
γόνυ, γόνατος, τό, knee
πέζα, ης, ἡ, edge of the chiton
ὑψοῦ, aloft, on high
ἀγή, ἡ, the shoreline where the wave breaks
ῥώομαι, to move nimbly
διασταδόν, standing apart
ἀλλήλων -οις, each other
παρήορος, ον, from side to side
κόπτω, κόψω, ἔκοψα, κέκοφα, κέκομμαι, ἐκόπην, jolt
ῥόος, ὁ, a stream, flow, current
ἀμφί, on both sides
λάβρος, ον, furious, boisterous
ἀείρω, to lift, heave, raise up
ἐπικαχλάζω, break against (of waves)
κρημνός, ὁ, an overhanging bank
ἀήρ, ἀέρος, ἡ, the lower air, the air
κυρέω, κυρήσω, ἐκύρησα, κεκύρηκα, κεκύρημαι, ἐκυρήθην, meet with, light upon
βρύχιος, α, ον, in the depths of the sea
νέατος, the lowest
πυθμήν, ένος, ὁ, the depths
ἀραρίσκω, fit on or together, join, fit with
ὑπερέχω, to raise above, flow over
ἄγριος -α -ον, savage; wild; fierce
ἠμαθόεις, εσσα, εν, sandy
ἐπισχεδόν, near at hand, hard by
αἰγιαλός, ὁ, the sea-shore, beach
δίχα, apart, in two groups (see notes)
κόλπος, -ου ὁ, fold of a garment
ἰξύς, ύος, ἡ, the waist
σφαῖρα, ἡ, a ball
ἀθύρω, to play, sport
περιηγής, ές, round
δέχομαι, δέξομαι, ἐδεξάμην, --- δέδεγμαι, -εδέχθην, receive, take, await
μεταχρόνιος, ον, high into the air (see notes)
πιλνάω, to bring near
οὖδας, οὔδεος, τό, the surface of the earth, the ground, earth
θέω, θεύσομαι --- --- --- ---, to run (of a ship)
ἀμοιβαδίς, by turns, alternately
διηέριος, α, ον, through the air
ἄπωθεν, away from
ἐρεύγομαι, belch out, disgorge
ζέω, boil, seethe
ὕδωρ, ὕδατος τό, water
ἄναξ -ακτος ὁ, ruler, lord
κορυφή, ἡ, the head, top, highest point
λισσάς, άδος, smooth, bare (see notes)
ὀρθός -η -ον, straight, upright
στελεή, ἡ, haft, shaft
τῠπίς, ίδος, ἡ, hammer
βαρύς -εῖα -ύ, heavy, muscular
ὦμος, ὤμου ὁ, shoulder
ἐρείδω, cause to lean, prop
θεάομαι, θεάσομαι, ἐθεσάμην, --- τεθέαμαι, ἐθεσαμήθην, to look on, behold, view
αἰγλήεις, εσσα, εν, dazzling, radiant, lustrous
οὐρανός, -οῦ ὁ, heaven, sky
δάμαρ, αρτος, ἡ, a wife, spouse
δέος, -ους τό, fear
εἰσοράω, to look into, look upon, view, behold
ἐᾰρινός, ή, όν, spring
μηκύνω, to lengthen, prolong, extend
ἦμαρ, ατος, τό, day
αἶσα, share, portion
τοσσάτιος, so great, much
μογέω, to toil, suffer
χρόνος, -ου, ὁ, time
ὀχλίζω, to move by a lever, to heave up
διέκ, through and out of
πολυηχής, ές, loud-echoing
ἐπαυρέω, to catch
προτέρω, further, forwards
ὦκα, quickly, swiftly, fast
ἀμείβω, ἀμείψω, ἤμειψα, ἠμείφθην, pass
Θρινακίη, ἡ, Thrinacia
λειμών, ῶνος, ὁ, a meadow
βοῦς, βοός, ὁ/ἡ, cattle
τροφός, ἡ, nurse
βένθος, εος, τό, the depth
ἀλίγκιος, resembling, like
αἴθυια, ἡ, a gull, sea-mew, shearwater
δὐω, -δύσω, -έδυσα, (or ἔδυν), δέδυκα, δέδυμαι, -εδύθην, plunge in, go into, sink
ἄλοχος, -ου ἡ, spouse, bed-mate
πορσύνω, to accomplish
ἐφετμή, ἡ, a command, behest
ἄμυδις, suddenly, together, at the same time
βληχή, ἡ, a bleating
μῆλον, -ου, τό, sheep or goat
μῡκηθμός, ὁ, a lowing, bellowing
αὐτοσχεδόν, immediately, near at hand
οὖς, ὠτός, τό, ear
ἑρσήεις, εσσα, εν, dewy
δρίος, εος, τό, a pasture
ποιμαίνω, to be shepherd
ὁπλότερος, the younger
Φαέθουσα, ἡ, Phaethusa
ἀργύρεος, α, ον, silver, of silver
χαῖος, ὁ, shepherd's staff
πᾰλαμη, ἡ, the palm of the hand, the hand
πηχύνω, take in one's arms, embrace
Λαμπετίη, ἡ, Lampetie
ὀρείχαλκος, ὁ, copper ore
φᾰεινός, ή, όν , bright, brilliant, radiant
πάλλω, to poise, shake, sway, leap
ὀπηδέω, follow, accompany, attend
κᾰλαῦροψ, οπος, ἡ, a shepherd's staff
βόσκω, to feed, tend
πεδίον, -ου, τό, plain
ἕλος, εος, τό, low ground by rivers, a marsh-meadow
λειμών-ιος, α, ον, of a meadow
κυάνεος, α, ον, dark-blue, glossy-blue
δέμας, τό, the body
γάλα, γάλακτος, τό, milk
κέρας, -ως, τό, horn
κυδιάω, to bear oneself proudly, exult
παραμείβω, to leave on one side, pass by
πείρω, to pierce quite through
λαῖτμα, ατος, τό, the depth
χαίρω, χαιρήσω, --- κεχάρηκα, κεχάρημαι, ἐχάρην, rejoice
ἠριγενής, ές, early-rising
φέγγος, εος, τό, light, splendour
νίσσομαι, to go, go away