The Sacrifice to Heracles at Lindos

Fr. 22

      τέμνοντα σπορίμην αὔλακα γειομόρον


Fr. 23

           ἀστέρα, ναὶ κεραῶν ῥῆξιν ἄριστε βοῶν.’

      ὣ]ς ὁ μὲν ἔνθ' ἠρᾶτο, σὺ δ' ὡς ἁλὸς ἦχον ἀκούει

           Σ]ελλὸς ἐνὶ Τμαρίοις οὔρεσιν Ἰκαρίης,

      ἠϊ]θέων ὡς μάχλα φιλήτορος ὦτα πενιχροῦ,

5          ὡς ἄδικοι πατέρων υἱέες, ὡς σὺ λύρης

      – ἐσσ]ὶ γὰρ οὐ μάλ' ἐλαφρός, ἃ καὶ λι.ος ουσεχελέξ.. –

           λυ]γρῶν ὣς ἐπέων οὐδὲν [ὀπι]ζόμ[εν]ος

         .            .           .            .            . 

21   χαῖρε βαρυσκίπων, ἐπίτακτα μὲν ἑξάκι δοιά,

          ἐκ δ' αὐταγρεσίης πολλάκι πολλὰ καμών

          .            .          .            .            . 



Fr. 22 Harder (= 22 Pf., = 24 Mass.) EtGen. AB s.v. γειόμορος

Fr.23 Harder (= 23 Pf., = 25 Mass.)
  1-23 P. Berol. 11629 B recto [image], Trismegistos 98082
  15 EtGen. AB α 653 s.v. ἀμίστυλλον
  21-22 Σ BDP Pi. N. 3, 42c

The story takes place near Lindos on Rhodes. Apparently Heracles asked a Lindian peasant for food and, when he was refused, killed the peasant's ox. Consequently, the peasant cursed Heracles, and the moment was commemorated by the ritual. This section lists a series of negative comparisons to illustrate Heracles turning a deaf ear to the farmer's pleading.

Line 6: Wilamowitz' supplement of the second half of line: ἃ καὶ Λίνος οὔ σ’ ἔχε λέξ[αι ("what Linus was unable to tell you") is very attractive for two reasons: it fits both space and sense, and the introduction of Linus, Heracles' music teacher, fits Callimachus' practice of alluding to more than one character with the same name. The aition immediately following the two Heracles tales is about another Linus (see Stephens 2002). 



Dettori, Emanuele. 2008. ‘Su Call. fr. 22 Pf. (24 Mass.).’ In Atti della giornata in onore di Roberto Pretagostini (Seminari Romani di Cultura Greca 11.2), edited by E. Dettori and R. Nicolai, 263-88. Rome: Quasar.

Stephens, Susan. A. 2002. "Linus song." Hermathena, no. 173/174:10-24.

Fr 22

τέμνω: to cut

σπόριμος -η -ον: sown, to be sown, fit for sowing

αὖλαξ -ακος, ἡ: furrow, trench in which to plant seeds

γειομόρος = γεωργός -οῦ, ὁ: farmer


Fr 23

ἀστήρ -έρος, ὁ: star

κεραός -ά -όν: horned

ῥῆξις -εως, ἡ: a breaking, bursting

βοή -ῆς, ἡ: loud cry, shout; the sound of musical instruments

ἅλς ἁλός, ὁ: the sea

ἦχος -ου, ὁ: sound, ringing in the ears, echo (later form of ἠχή)

Σελλοί -ῶν, οἱ: the Selli, guardians for the oracle of Zeus at Dodona

ἐνὶ = ἐν

Τμαρίοι -αι -α: Tmarian/Tomarian, from Mt. Tomarus in Epirus

ὄρος -εος, τό: mountain, Ep. dat. οὔρεσιν

Ἰκάριος -α -ον: Icarian; πόντος Ἰκάριος, the Aegean between the Cyclades and Caria, where Icarus son of Daedalus was drowned

ἠίθεος -ου, ὁ: a young, unmarried person

μάχλος -ον: lustful, wanton (of women)

φιλήτωρ -ορος, ὁ: a lover

οὖς ὠτός, τό: ear

πενιχρός -ά -όν: poor, needy, penniless

λύρα -ης, ἡ: a lyre 5

ἐλαφρός -ά -όν: lightweight; gentle, easy to deal with          

λυγρός -ά -όν: mournful, baneful, harmful

ὀπίζομαι: to regard, pay attention to, heed

          .         .         .           .          .  

βαρυσκίπων -ον, gen. -ωνος: with a heavy club 21

ἐπίτακτος -ον: prescribed (frequently of the labors of Heracles)

ἑξάκι(ς): six times

δοιοί -αί -ά: two; both

αὐταγρεσία -ης, ἡ: free choice

πολλάκι(ς): often, many times

κάμνω, fut. καμεῖται, aor. 2. ἔκαμον: work, labor

ἔμμοτος -ον: used in a salve or plaster for wounds

Fr. 22

a farmer cutting a furrow to be sown


Fr. 23

star, indeed, bravest at the tearing apart of horned oxen."

Thus he cursed there, but you, just as a Sellian in the Tmarian

mountains hears the sound of the Icarian Sea,

as the wanton ears of young men (hear) a penniless lover,

as unjust sons their fathers, as you (hear) a lyre


— for you are not particularly mild, and these things Linus was unable to tell you (?) —  

thus regarding not at all his baneful words

             .              .            .            .            . 

Farewell, you with a heavy-club, who labored at the six times two prescribed21

tasks, and often performed many more of your own free will.

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Suggested Citation

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