τῷ δὲ θεοὶ κάλλός τε καὶ ἠνορέην ἐρατεινὴν
ὤπασαν: αὐτάρ οἱ Προῖτος κακὰ μήσατο θυμῷ,
ὅς ῥ᾽ ἐκ δήμου ἔλασσεν, ἐπεὶ πολὺ φέρτερος ἦεν,
Ἀργείων: Ζεὺς γάρ οἱ ὑπὸ σκήπτρῳ ἐδάμασσε.
τῷ δὲ γυνὴ Προίτου ἐπεμήνατο δῖ᾽ Ἄντεια160
κρυπταδίῃ φιλότητι μιγήμεναι: ἀλλὰ τὸν οὔ τι
πεῖθ᾽ ἀγαθὰ φρονέοντα δαΐφρονα Βελλεροφόντην.
ἣ δὲ ψευσαμένη Προῖτον βασιλῆα προσηύδα:
τεθναίης ὦ Προῖτ᾽, ἢ κάκτανε Βελλεροφόντην,
ὅς μ᾽ ἔθελεν φιλότητι μιγήμεναι οὐκ ἐθελούσῃ.165
ὣς φάτο, τὸν δὲ ἄνακτα χόλος λάβεν οἷον ἄκουσε:
κτεῖναι μέν ῥ᾽ ἀλέεινε, σεβάσσατο γὰρ τό γε θυμῷ,
πέμπε δέ μιν Λυκίην δέ, πόρεν δ᾽ ὅ γε σήματα λυγρὰ
γράψας ἐν πίνακι πτυκτῷ θυμοφθόρα πολλά,
δεῖξαι δ᾽ ἠνώγειν ᾧ πενθερῷ ὄφρ᾽ ἀπόλοιτο.170
αὐτὰρ ὁ βῆ Λυκίην δὲ θεῶν ὑπ᾽ ἀμύμονι πομπῇ.
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ Λυκίην ἷξε Ξάνθόν τε ῥέοντα,
προφρονέως μιν τῖεν ἄναξ Λυκίης εὐρείης:
ἐννῆμαρ ξείνισσε καὶ ἐννέα βοῦς ἱέρευσεν.
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ δεκάτη ἐφάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠὼς175
καὶ τότε μιν ἐρέεινε καὶ ᾔτεε σῆμα ἰδέσθαι
ὅττί ῥά οἱ γαμβροῖο πάρα Προίτοιο φέροιτο.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ σῆμα κακὸν παρεδέξατο γαμβροῦ,
πρῶτον μέν ῥα Χίμαιραν ἀμαιμακέτην ἐκέλευσε
πεφνέμεν: ἣ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔην θεῖον γένος οὐδ᾽ ἀνθρώπων,180
πρόσθε λέων, ὄπιθεν δὲ δράκων, μέσση δὲ χίμαιρα,
δεινὸν ἀποπνείουσα πυρὸς μένος αἰθομένοιο,
καὶ τὴν μὲν κατέπεφνε θεῶν τεράεσσι πιθήσας.
δεύτερον αὖ Σολύμοισι μαχέσσατο κυδαλίμοισι:
καρτίστην δὴ τήν γε μάχην φάτο δύμεναι ἀνδρῶν.185
τὸ τρίτον αὖ κατέπεφνεν Ἀμαζόνας ἀντιανείρας.
τῷ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἀνερχομένῳ πυκινὸν δόλον ἄλλον ὕφαινε:
κρίνας ἐκ Λυκίης εὐρείης φῶτας ἀρίστους
εἷσε λόχον: τοὶ δ᾽ οὔ τι πάλιν οἶκον δὲ νέοντο:
πάντας γὰρ κατέπεφνεν ἀμύμων Βελλεροφόντης.190
Glaucus continues his family history, relating the story of his grandfather Bellerophon (or Bellerophontes). Proitos and his wife Anteia hatched a plan to have Bellerophon killed, sending him to Lycia with a sealed note that ordered the recipient to kill the bearer. After receiving the note, the king of Lycia set a series of tasks for Bellerophon meant to kill him, but all failed to do so.
The story of Bellerophontes appears as a self-contained narrative inside the Glaucus-Diomedes digression, an example of what is called an “epyllion,” or “little epic.” The form itself, of which there are many examples in Greek and Latin poetry, seems to invite thought about how the inner and outer stories might be related. [read full essay]
156: τῷ: “to this one,” “to him,” indirect object of ὤπασαν (“granted”) in the next line. κάλλος: that Bellerophon was physically attractive supplies the motive for the story that follows (Kirk).
157: οἱ: “for him,” (= αῦτῷ), dative with μήσατο (“devised”). θυμῷ: “in his heart.”
158: ἔλασσεν: aor. > ἐλαύνω, Attic ἤλασεν. Bellerophon is the missing direct object. πολὺ: “by far,” adverbial acc. (acc. of extent). ἦεν: “was,” 3rd sg. impf. > εἰμί, Attic ἦν (Monro 12).
159: nearly parenthetical. Ἀργείων: added to explain δήμου, and to make distinct the place of Bellerophon’s sojourn. Without it, the hearer might think he is in his home at Corinth. οἱ … ἐδάμασσε: “had made subject to him (Proitos),” “had put in his power” (Stoevesandt). ἐδάμασσε: aor. > δαμνάω (= δάμνημι = δαμάζω), supply the obj. δῆμον or τοὺς Ἀργείους. Some understand Bellerophon only as the object of ἐδάμασσε, but the words suggest kingly rule in general rather than power over a single man.
160: δῖ’ = δῖα, nom. sg fem. adjective. Proitus’ wife Anteia (Sthenoboia in post-Homeric accounts) was mad for Bellerophon (ἐπεμήνατο) namely for secretly mingling with him (μιγήμεναι) in love. The Potiphar’s Wife theme is a widespread folktale one, represented in Greek mythology by Phaedra and Hippolytus in Euripides’ Hippolytus, as well as by Peleus and the wife of Acastus (Apollodorus 3.13.3).
161–2: μιγήμεναι: aor. pass. inf. > μείγνυμι. τὸν: “this one,” Bellerophon. Βελλεροφόντην below is in apposition. οὔ τι: “not at all,” τι is an adverbial acc. (Goodell 540). οὔ τι / πεῖθ᾽: “could not persuade,” = ἐπεῖθε, iterative impf. > πείθω (Stoevesandt). ἀγαθὰ φρονέοντα: “thinking noble thoughts,” “right thinking.”
163: ψευσαμένη … προσηύδα: “contrived a falsehood and said.” ψευσαμένη: aor. mid. ptc. > ψεύδω.
164: τεθναίης … ἢ κάκτανε: “either die yourself, or kill ….” τεθναίης: “may you be dead,” pf. opt. of wish > θνήσκω. κάκτανε = κατάκτανε, 2nd aor. imperat. > κατακτείνω.
165: μ’ = μοι (a rare elision of οι), agreeing with ἐθελούσῃ. The participle is concessive, “though I did not wish it.” Both datives are governed by μιγήμεναι, “mingle with.”
166: οἷον ἄκουσε: “(at) what he heard,” literally, “the sort of thing which he heard,” indirect exclamation.
167: ἀλέεινε κτεῖναι: “hesitated to kill” Bellerophon, as his wife demanded. σεβάσσατο τό γε: “he had (religious) scruples about this.” His conscience would not allow Proitοs to kill a guest with his own hand, but he did not shrink from asking his father-in-law to do the deed.
168: Λυκίηνδε: “to Lycia.” -δε implies place to which (Monro 335.2). πόρεν δ᾽ ὅ γε σήματα λυγρὰ: a South Italian Greek stamnos (jar) dating to 400–390 BC and now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (00.349a) depicts the moment when Proitos has just handed to Bellerophon the letter for King Iobates of Lycia asking him to kill the young hero.
170: δεῖξαι: aor. act. infin. > δείκνυμι. ἠνώγειν: 3rd sg. plpf. > perf. ἄνωγα. ᾧ: “to his own” = ἑῷ, dat. sg. possessive pronoun of the 3rd person > ἑός (Monro 254). ὄφρ’: = ὄφρα, purpose clause, opt. in secondary sequence (Monro 307).
171: ὁ: “this man,” “he,” demonstrative. βῆ: 3rd sg. aor. > βαίνω.
172: ὅτε δὴ: “just when.” δὴ implies exactness. Λυκίην … Ξάνθον: “to…,” acc. of direction without preposition. Lycia, a region in southwest Asia Minor, was dominated by the river Xanthus (not to be confused with the Xanthus that flows around Troy, mentioned at 6.4). ἷξε: 3rd sg. aor. > ἵκω. ῥέοντα: pres. ptc. > ῥέω.
173: προφρονέως: adverb > πρόφρων.
175: ἐφάνη: 3rd sg. aor. pass. > φαίνω.
176: καὶ … καὶ: “both … and.” ᾔτεε: = ἐ-αίτε-ε, impf. > αἰτέω. ἰδέσθαι: aor. inf. > aor. εἶδον, which supplies the aorist of ὁράω (Goodell 391).
177: ὅττί … φέροιτο: “whatever … brought,” pres. opt. in a relative clause of characteristic, secondary sequence. ὅττί = ὅ τι. οἱ: “for him,” = ἑαυτῷ, indirect object of φέροιτο. πάρα: “from…,” “from (the side of),” governing γαμβροῖο (anastrophe).
179: πρῶτον: “first,” adv., followed by δεύτερον at 6.184. πεφνέμεν: reduplicated aor. act. inf. > aor. ἔπεφνον (see 6.12).
180: ἥ δ᾽: “and it,” i.e. Chimera. ἔην: 3rd sg impf. > εἰμί, Attic ἦν (Monro 12). θεῖον: “divine,” equivalent to θεῶν, parallel to ἀνθρώπων. γένος: “offspring,” predicate noun.
181: μέσση δὲ χίμαιρα: its middle is that of a she-goat (χίμαιρα), which lends its name to the whole mythological creature, the Chimera (Χίμαιρα). Bellerophon’s defeat of the Chimera became a popular scene in later pottery and mosaic, a scene that regularly includes Pegasus, the winged horse tamed by Bellerophon (an episode not included by Homer).
182: δεινὸν: either modyfing μένος or adv., “terribly.” μένος: neuter acc. direct object, limited by πυρὸς.
183: τὴν μὲν … αὖ: “this one … and again.” τεράεσσι: dat. pl. Homer does not say what τέρας is; traditionally it is Pegasus. πιθήσας: “trusting in,” “confident in” (+ dat.), nom. sg. aor. ptc. > πείθω.
184: δεύτερον: “second,” adverbial acc., cf. 179. Σολύμοισι … κυδαλίμοισι: “with…,” i.e. “against…” dat. of association with a verb of fighting (see 6.141).
185: “that, he claimed, was the hardest battle with men in which he had engaged” (Stoevesandt). φάτο: “he claimed x (to be) y” + double acc., 3rd sg. impf. mid. (with no difference in meaning from active) > φημί. δύμεναι: “to enter,” infinitive of ἔδυν, root aorist > δύομαι, epexegetical (explanatory) infinitive depending on καρτίστην.
186: τὸ τρίτον: “third,” adv. acc.
187: τῷ: “for him,” i.e. Bellerophon, dat. of interest. ὕφαινε: understand Proitos, king of Lycia.
188: κρίνας: nom. sg. aor. ptc. > κρίνω
189: εἷσε: “set” (lit. “sat”), 3rd sg. aor. active > ἵζω. τοὶ: “and these,” a demonstrative pronoun referring to the men chosen by Proitos. οὔ τι: “not at all” (see 6.161).
κάλλος -εος τό: beauty, handsomeness
ἠνορέη: manhood, prowess
ἐρατεινός: lovely, charming
ὀπάζω, aor. ὤπασαν: to grant, follow, press hard upon
ἀτάρ: but, yet
οἱ (enclitic, dat. 3rd pers. pron.): (to) him, (to) her
Προῖτος: Proitos, king of Tiryns160
μήδομαι, aor. μήσατο: to contrive, plan
φέρτατος: bravest, best
Ἀργεῖος -η -ον: of/from Argos, Argive
Ζεύς Διός ὁ: Zeus, son of Cronus, the husband and brother of Hera and the wisest and mightiest of the gods
σκῆπτρον -ου τό: a staff, scepter. Princes, judges, priests, and heralds carried σκῆπτρα as symbols of authority.
δαμάζω: to overpower, tame, conquer, subdue
ἐπιμαίνομαι: (mid.) to be mad after, have a craving for
δῖος -α -ον: divine, noble, illustrious; marvelous, magnificent
Ἄντεια: Anteia, wife of Proitos
κρυπτάδιος: secret, clandestine
φιλότης -ητος: friendship, love, affection
δαΐφρων: warlike, courageous; wise, sensible, prudent
Βελλεροφόντης: Bellerophon, son of Glaucus, grandson of Sisyphus. His story is told at length in lines 153-201.
ψεύδω: lie, tell untruth
προσαυδάω: to speak to, address
κατακτείνω: to kill, slay, murder
ἄναξ -ακτος ὁ: lord, king, master166
χόλος -ου ὁ: anger, rancor, bile
οἷος -α -ον: of what sort, what kind of, what, such as, as
κτείνω, aor. subj. κτείνῃς, aor. (ἔ)κτανε(ν) and ἔκτα, aor. mid. as pass. κτάμενος: to slay, kill
ἄρα, ῥά (enclit.), ἄρ, ῥ᾿: so, then, as you know, you know, it seems. Very often it marks an action as natural, or reminds of something recently said. It also marks transitions.
ἀλεείνω: to avoid, shun
σεβάζομαι: to fear, dread, feel misgiving
μιν: him, her, it
Λυκία: Lycia, a region on the south coast of Asia Minor, between Caria and Pamphylia
πόρον aor., πεπρωμένον perf.: gave, furnished; (perf. pass.) is fated
σῆμα -ατος τό: a sign, mark, token, character, monument, mound, portent
λυγρός -ά -όν: baneful, mournful, sad, miserable
πίναξ -ακος ὁ: a writing tablet
θυμοφθόρος: destroying the soul, life-destroying
ἄνωγα (perf. as pres.), impf. ἄνωγον, plpf. as impf. ἠνώγει or ἀνώγειν: to command, order, bid170
ἑός ἑή ἑόν: his, her own
πενθερός: a father-in-law
ὄφρα: in order that; as long as, until
ἀμύμων -ονος: blameless, noble, excellent
πομπή -ῆς ἡ : conduct, escort, guidance
ἱκνέομαι and ἵκω, fut. ἵξομαι, aor. ἵκετο and ἷξε(ν), aor. subj. ἵκωμαι and ἵκηαι: to come, arrive at, reach
Ξάνθος Ξάνθοιο ὁ: Xanthus (m. of persons and rivers; f. of town)
ῥέω, impf. ἔρρεεν or ῥέεν: to flow
πρόφρων -ονος: with ready heart, zealous; (Adv.) προφρονέως, readily, graciously, zealously
τίω: to pay honour to
εὐρύς -εῖα -ύ: wide, broad
ἐννῆμαρ: for nine days
ξενίζω or ζεινίζω, aor. (ἐ)ξείνισσε: to receive hospitably, entertain
ἱερεύω, fut. inf. ἱερευσέμεν, aor. ἱέρευσεν: to sacrifice, offer in sacrifice; slaughter, since most of the flesh of the victims was eaten, and on the other hand no flesh was eaten until a part had been sacrificed to the gods.
ἠώς ἠοῦς ἡ: dawn, morning
ἐρεείνω: to ask
γαμβρός: connection by marriage, daughter's husband, sister's husband
παραδέχομαι, aor. παρεδέξατο: to receive from
Χίμαιρα: The Chimaera, a monster slain by Bellerophon, composed of a lion, she-goat, and serpent.
θείνω, aor. ἔπεφνον, πέφνε, inf. πεφνέμεν: to strike, beat, wound; to batter, kill (only in forms with redupl. πεφ-)180
λέων λέοντος ὁ: a lion
ὄπισθε: from behind, behind, afterward, hereafter
δράκων -οντος ὁ: serpent, snake
χίμαιρα: a she-goat
ἀποπνέω: to breathe forth
μένος -εος τό: might, force, strength, prowess, courage
αἴθω: to light up, kindle; (mid., pass.) to blaze, be consumed, be inflamed
κατέπεφνον (aor.), subj. καταπέφνῃ: killed, slew
τέρας -ατος τό: a sign, wonder, marvel
Σόλυμοι: Solymi, a Lycian tribe
κυδάλιμος: glorious, renowned, famous
κράτιστος -η -ον: strongest, mightiest185
δύω, fut. δύσω, aor. inf. δῦσαι, aor. mid. (ἐ)δύσετο, aor. ἔδυ, perf. δέδυκεν: to enter, go into, put on; πρὶν ἠέλιον δῦναι, before the sun set; γαῖαν ἐδύτην, (their souls) entered the earth
ἀντιάνειρα: (only fem., nom. pl.) equal to men, manlike, of the Amazons
ἀνέρχομαι: to return
πυκνός -ή -όν: thick, dense, strong, prudent, cunning
δόλος -ου ὁ: a bait, trap, cunning
ὑφαίνω: to weave
φώς φωτός τό: a man
ἵζω: to make to sit, seat, place189
λόχος -ου ὁ: an ambush
νέομαι: to go