Page images

PLUTARCI'S LIVES that it was not a whito sail which was given by Egens, but"a scarlet sail embrucd in holm oak's juico," and that

according to Simonides.

ship was steeroll by Pheroklus the son of Amarsyas,

Bent him from Skirus of Salamis, to steer tho ship, and

But Philochorus says that Theseus had ono Nausithous Phrax to act no look-out, ns tho Athonians had not yet turned their attontion to thio sen.

Ono of the youths choson by lot was Moncathoog tho attested by tho shrines of Nausithous and Phrax, which Bom of Skirus's daughter. Tho truth of this account is Theseus built at Phalerum, and by the feast called the Kyberncsia or pilot's festival, which is held in their

XVIII. When the lots were drawn Theseus brought tho Chosen youths from the Prytaneum, and proceeding to the

Delphian Apollo, offered the suppliants'

on their behalf. This was a bough of the sacred olivo-trco bound with fillets of whito wool.


templo of tho bough to Apollo

And after praying he went to sea on the sixth day of the

maidens as suppliants to tho toinplo of tho Dolphian Apollo. And there is a legend that tho Delphian oracle told him that Aphrodite would be his guide and fellow traveller, and that when he was sacrificing a she-goat to her by tho scnsiilo, it becamo a lic-goat; wherefore tho goddess is callud Epitragia.

XIX. When thoy renched Creto, according to most historians and poets, Ariuino full in lovo with him, and froin hor ho received the cluo of string, and was taught how to thread tho mazes of the Labyrinth. IIo slow tho Minotaur, and, taking with him Ariadno and tho youtns, Boiled away. Pherekydes also says that Thcocus also knockal ont tho bottons of tho Cretan ships, to provent pursuit. But Demon ways that Taurus, Minos's general, was slain in a sou-fight in tho harbour, when Thescue

But according to Philochorns, when Minos instituted his games, Taurus was oxpectod to win overy prize, and was grudged this honour; for his groat influenco

unpopular manners mado him dislikod, and scandal



bid, that ho was too intimato with Pasiphao. On this account, when Thcscus offered to contond with him, Minos agreed. And, as it was tho custom in Creto for women as well as men to be spectators of the games, Ariadne was present, and was struck with the appearance of Thescue, and his strength, as ho conquered all competitors. Minos was especially pleased, in the wrestling match, at Taurus's defeat and shunmo, and, restoring the children to Theso118, remitted tho tributo for tho futuro. Kleiilomine tolle tho story in his own fashion and at unnecessary longth, bo ginning inuch farther back.

Thoro was, ho snya, a docroo passed by all tho Grocks, that no ship should sail from any post with more than fivo hands on board, but Jason alone, the master of tho great ship Argo, should cruise about, and keep the sca frco of pirates. Now when Dedalus fled to Athens, Minos, contrary to the decrce, pursuel him in long war galleys, and being driven to Sicily by a storm, dicd thero. Whon his son Doukalion bent a warliko message to tho Athenians, bidding them givo up Dedalus to him, or clso threatening that he would put to death tho children whom Minos had taken as hostages, Theseus returned him a goutlo answer, beg. ging for the lifo of Dadalus, who was his own cousin and blood relation, being tho son of Morope, tho daughtor of Erechtheus. But he busied himself with building a fleet, sono of it in Attica, in tho country of tho Thymaitule, far from any placo of resort of strangers, and somo in Troczon, under tho manngoment of Pittheus, ns ho did not wish his preparations to bo known. But when tho ships were ready to set sail, having with him as pilots, Dadalus himself and somo Crotan exilcs, as knew that ho was coming, and the Cretans thought that it was a friendly feet that was advancing, ho scized tho harbour, and marched at onco to Knossus boforo his arrival was known. Then ho fought a battlo at tho gates of tho Labyrinth, and slow Doukalion and his body-guard. As Ariadne now succeeded to the throno, ho mado pcaco with hor, took back tho youths, and formed an alliance botwcou tho Cretans and tho Athenians, in which cach nation oworo that it would not bogin a war against tho othor.

XX. Thure aro many more storios about these events,

no ono


and about Ariadne, none of which agree in any partioulare. Some say that sho hanged herself when deserted by Thcscus, and somo, that sho was taken to Naxos by his sailors, and thero dwelt with Enarus, tho priest of Dionysus, having been deserted by Thesous, who was in love with another.

"Fur Ægle's lovo disturbed his brcast." This line, wo aro told by IIcrcas of Megara, was struck out of Hesiod's pooms by Peisistratus ; and again ho says that be inscrted into Ilomer's description of tho Shades,

“ Peirithous and Thescus, born of gods," to please tho Athenians. Somo writers say that Thcsous had by Ariadno two sons, Staphylus and Enopion, whom Ion of Chios follows when bo speaks of his own nativo city as that

" Which crot Enopion stablishıcd, Thcscus' son." Tho pleasantest of these legends aro in nearly every one's mouth. But Pæon of Amathus gives an account peculiar to bimself, that Thcscus was driven by a storm to Cyprus, and that Ariadno, who was pregnant, suffered much from the motion of the ship, and becamo so ill, that she was set on shore, but Thcscus had to return to tako charge of tho ship, and was blown off to sca. Tho women of the country took caro of Ariadno, and comforted her in her bercavo ment, even bringing forged lettors to her as if froin Thescus, and rendering her assistanco during her confinoment; and when she died in childbirth, thuy buried her. Theseus, on his return, grieved much, and loft monoy to the peoplo of the country, bidding them sacrifico to Ariadno; ho also set up two littlo statues, ono of silver, and the other of brass. And at this sacrifico, which takes placo on tho second day of tho month Gorpions, one of tho young mon lics down on tho ground, and imitates tho cries of a woman in travail; and the peoplo of Amathus call that the grovo of Ariadno Aphrodito, in which thoy show ker tomb.

But some writers of Naxos tell a different story, peculiar to themselves, that there were two Minoscs and two Arindnes, of whom one, they sny, was marriod to Dionysus in Naxos, and was tho mother of Staphylus and his brother, while tho younger was carried off by Thescus, and came to Naxos after lo desorted her; and a nurso called Korkyno camo with her, whoso tomb they point out. Then Naxians also says that this Ariadno died there, and is honoured, but not so much as tho elder; for at tho fcast in honour of the eldor, thero aro merriment and revelry, but at that of the younger gloomy rites are mingled with mirth.

XXI. Thescus, when he sailed away from Creto, touched at Delos ; horo ho sacrificed to tho god and offored up tho statue of Aphrodito, which Ariadno had given him; and besides this, ho and the youths with him danced a measuro which they say is still practised by tho people of Delos to this day, being an imitation of tho turnings and windings of the Labyrinth expressed by complicated ovolutions performed in regular order. This kind of danco is called by the Delians "tho crano danco,” according to Dikrarchus. It was danced round tho altar of tho Horns, which is all formeil of horns from tho left side. They also say that ho instituted games at Delos, and that then for tho first timo & palm was given by him to tho victor.

XXII. As ho approached Attica, both ho and his steers. man in their delight forgot to hoist tho sail which was to lica signal of their safety to Ageus; and ho in his despair flung himself down tho cliffs and perishod. Theseus, as soon as ho reached tho harbour, performed at Phalerum the sacrifices which ho had vowed to tho gods if ho roturned safe, and sent off a herald to tho city with tho nows of his safo roturn. This man met with many who woro lamenting tho death of the king, and, as was natural, with others who were delighted at the news of their safety, and who congratulated him and wished to crown him with garlands. Theso ho received, but placed them on his herald's staff, and when ho camo back to tho scashore, finding that Thescus had not completed his libation, ho waited outsido tho templo, not wishing to disturb tho Bacrifice. When the libration was finished ho announced tho denth of Agous, and then they all hurried up to tho city with loud lamentations: whereforo to this day, at the Oschophoria, they say that it is not tho herald that is crowned, but his staff, and that at the libations the by. standcre cry out, “ Elclcu, Iou, Ion;" of which crics tho first is used by men in haste, or raising tho paan for battle, while tho second is used by porsons in surprise and trouble.

Theseus, after burying his father, paid his vow to dpollo, on the scventh day of the month Pyanopsion; for on this day it was that the rescued youths went up into the city. The boiling of pulso, which is customary on this anniversary, is said to be done becausc tho rescued youths put what remained of their pulso together into ono pot, boiled it all, and merrily fensted on it together. And on this day also, the Athenians carry about tho Eiresione, a bough of the olivo treo garlanded with wool, just as Thescus had beforo carried tho suppliants' bough, and covered with first-fruits of all sorts of producc, because tho barreness of the land censed on that day; and they sing,

" Eircsionc, bring us figs

And whenten lontes, nnd oil,
And wine to quaff, that we may all

Rest merrily from toil." However, somo say that theso ceremonies aro performed in memory of the Herakleidæ, who were thus entertained by the Athenians; but most writers tell the tale as I havo told it.

XXIII. Now the thirty-oared ship, in which Theseus sailed with the youths, and camo back safe, was kept by the Athcnians up to the time of Demetrius Phalereus. They constantly removed tho decycd part of her timbers and renewed them with sound wood, so that tho ship becamo an illustration to pbilosophers of the doctrino of growth and change, as some argued that it remained the anme, and others, that it did not reinain the same. Tbo fonst of tho Oschophorin, or of cnrrying lougha, which to this day tho Athenians celebrato, wag instituted by Theseus. For ho did not tako with him all tho mnidens who were drawn by lot, but he choso two youths, his intimate friends, who were feminine and fair to look upon, but of manly spirit; theso hy warın baths and avoiding the heat of the sun and caroful tending of their hair and

« PreviousContinue »