Linus and Coroebus

Fr. 25e

      ἄρνες τοι, φίλε κοῦρε, συνήλικες, ἄρνες ἑταῖροι

           ἔσκον, ἐνιαυθμοὶ δ' αὐλία καὶ βοτάναι


Fr. 25f

      τόν σε Κροτωπιάδην 


Fr. 26

           Ἀρνεῖος μ[

      Ἀρνῇδας [

           καὶ θάνε.[

      τοῦ μενα[

5         καὶ τὸν ἐπὶ ῥάβδῳ μῦθον ὑφαινόμενον

      ἀνέρες ε[


      ἠνεκὲς ἀείδω δειδεγμένος


10  νύμφης αι[


      ἧκεν ἐπ' Ἀρ[γείους

           ἥ σφεων[

      μητέρας ἐξεκένωσεν, ἐκούφισθεν δὲ τιθῆναι

15       οὐχ οὕτω[

      Ἄργος ἀνα[ 


Fr. 30

     δασπλῆτα Κόροιβος 


Fr. 25e Harder (= 27 Pf., 28 Mass.) Stob. 4. 24

Fr. 25f Harder (= 28 Pf., = 29 Mass.) A.D. Synt. 83.4

Fr. 26 (= 26 Pf., = 30 Mass.)
  1-16 P. Ryl. 13 col. II [image], Trismegistos 59377
  5 & 8 Σ BDPTU Pi. N. 1d
  14 Valckenaer 

Fr. 30 (= 30 Pf., = 32 Mass.) EtGen. AB s.v. δασπλῆτις

This episode related the death of Linus and the festival that originated in his honor. The story takes place at the beginning of Argive history, before the return of Danaus. Crotopus—the grandfather of Linus—was the son of Agenor, and grandson of Inachus. Apollo, on his return from slaying the Pytho at Delphi, encountered Crotopus' daughter, Psamathe, and had sexual intercourse with her. She became pregnant with Linus, and, when he was born, she hid him among the lambs where he was torn apart by Crotopus' dogs. The Arneia (an Argive festival of the lambs) commemorated this event. Apollo, in anger at these deaths, sent the monster, Poina, to ravage Argos.

Coroebus was the hero who avenged Linus and his mother by killing Poina. After Apollo sent a second plague, Coroebus went to Apollo's oracle at Delphi to learn what he should do. He was told to leave Argos forever, taking a tripod from the temple and, wherever he dropped it, build a temple to Apollo and found a city. The city was Tripodiskos in the Megarid. Statius has quite a long version of this story in his Thebaid (1.557–668), which is clearly indebted to the Aitia; it is related also in Pausanias (1.43.7).



Durbec, Yannick. 2003. "Callimaque, Aitia fr. 26 Pfeiffer (= 30 Massimilla) et la tradition rhapsodique.' Aevum Antiquum 3:531-8.

Stephens, Susan A. 2002. "Linus Song." Hermathena, no. 173/174:13-28.

Fr. 25e

ἀρήν ἀρνός, ὁ: lamb

κοῦρος -ου, ὁ: boy

συνῆλιξ -ικος, ὁ/ἡ: of like age, playmate, comrade

ἔσκον: Ep. and Ion. impf. of εἰμί

ἐνιαυθμός -ου, ὁ: abode, sleeping-places

αὐλίον -ου, τό: sheepfold

βοτάνη -ης, ἡ: pasture


Fr. 26

ῥάβδος -ου, ἡ: a rod, twig, staff 5

ὑφαίνω ὑφανῶ ὕφηνα: to weave

       .          .          .          .          .

ἐκκενόω -ώσω ἐξεκένωσα: empty out, leave desolate 14

κουφίζω: to be made light, to relieve

τιθήνη  -ης, ἡ: nurse


Fr. 30

δασπλῆτα: frightful (see δασπλῆτις)

Fragment 31a Harder (= 26-31a Pf.) Diegesis P.Oxy. 2263 [image], Trismegistos 59402

      κ]ατώκησαν πόλιν ὀνο-

      μαζομένην] Τριποδίσκον. ὅθε[ν

      Ἀργεῖοι κ]ατὰ [τ]ὸν καλούμε-

15  νον Ἀρν]εῖον [μ]ῆνα τοὺς πα-

      ρα]τ[υχόν]τας κ[ύ]νας ἀναιροῦ-

      σιν. ἔ]λαβ[ε] δὲ τὴ[ν] ἱστορίαν ὁ Κα[λ-

      λί]μαχ[ο]ς παρὰ Ἀγία καὶ Δερ-



. . . they founded a town

called Tripodiscus. For this reason,

during the month called

Arneius, the Argives kill15

every dog they meet.

Callimachus took this story

from Agias and


Fr. 25e

Lambs, dear boy, were your playmates, lambs (your) companions

and (your) sleeping places were sheepfolds and pastures


Fr. 25f

you (Linus), Krotopos' son [i.e. grandson]


Fr. 26

the story, which is being woven while the singer is holding the
staff. . .5

       .          .          .          .          .

. . . left the mothers empty-handed, and the nurse-maids were relieved (of their burdens)14



Fr. 30

frightful Coroebus

Article Nav

Suggested Citation

Susan Stephens, Callimachus: Aetia. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-947822-07-8.