Pausanias Description of Greece 1.27.2:
About the olive they have nothing to say except that it was testimony the goddess produced when she contended for their land. Legend also says that when the Persians fired Athens the olive was burnt down, but on the very day it was burnt it grew again to the height of two cubits. Adjoining the temple of Athena is the temple of Pandrosus, the only one of the sisters to be faithful to the trust (original Greek).
Pausanias Description of Greece 1.18.2:
Above the sanctuary of the Dioscuri is a sacred enclosure of Aglaurus. It was to Aglaurus and her sisters, Herse and Pandrosus, that they say Athena gave Erichthonius, whom she had hidden in a chest, forbidding them to pry curiously into what was entrusted to their charge. Pandrosus, they say, obeyed, but the other two （for they opened the chest） went mad when they saw Erichthonius, and threw themselves down the steepest part of the Acropolis. Here it was that the Persians climbed and killed the Athenians who thought that they understood the oracle better than did Themistocles, and fortified the Acropolis with logs and stakes (original Greek).
Pausanias Description of Greece 1.38.3:
When the Eleusinians fought with the Athenians, Erechtheus, king of the Athenians, was killed, as was also Immaradus, son of Eumolpus. These were the terms on which they concluded the war: the Eleusinians were to have in dependent control of the mysteries, but in all things else were to be subject to the Athenians. The ministers of the Two Goddesses were Eumolpus and the daughters of Celeus, whom Pamphos and Homer agree in naming Diogenia, Pammerope, and the third Saesara. Eumolpus was survived by Ceryx, the younger of his sons whom the Ceryces themselves say was a son of Aglaurus, daughter of Cecrops, and of Hermes, not of Eumolpus (original Greek).
*Ovid Metamorphoses 2.722-835:
As much as Lucifer outshines the stars
that emulate the glory of his rays,
as greatly as bright Phoebe pales thy light,
O lustrous Lucifer! so far surpassed
in beauty the fair maiden Herse, all
those lovely virgins of that sacred train,
departing joyous from Minerva’s grove.
The Son of Jove, astonished, while he wheeled
on balanced pinions through the yielding air,
burned hot; as oft from Balearic sling
the leaden missile, hurled with sudden force,
burns in a glowing heat beneath the clouds.
Then sloped the god his course from airy height,
and turned a different way; another way
he went without disguise, in confidence
of his celestial grace. But though he knew
his face was beautiful, he combed his hair,
and fixed his flowing raiment, that the fringe
of radiant gold appeared. And in his hand
he waved his long smooth wand, with which he gives
the wakeful sleep or waketh ridded eyes.
He proudly glanced upon his twinkling feet
that sparkled with their scintillating wings.
In a secluded part of that great fane,
devoted to Minerva’s hallowed rites,
three chambers were adorned with tortoise shell
and ivory and precious woods inlaid;
and there, devoted to Minerva’s praise,
three well known sisters dwelt. Upon the right
dwelt Pandrosos and over on the left
Aglauros dwelt, and Herse occupied
the room between those two.
drew near to them, Aglauros first espied
the God, and ventured to enquire his name,
and wherefore he was come. Then gracious spoke
to her in answer the bright son of Jove;
“Behold the god who carries through the air
the mandates of almighty Jupiter!
But I come hither not to waste my time
in idle words, but rather to beseech
thy kindness and good aid, that I may win
the love of thy devoted sister Herse.”
Aglauros, on the son of Jupiter,
gazed with those eyes that only lately viewed
the guarded secret of the yellow-haired
Minerva, and demanded as her price
gold of great weight; before he paid denied
admittance of the house.
with orbs of stern displeasure, towards the maid
Aglauros; and her bosom heaved with sighs
so deeply laboured that her Aegis-shield
was shaken on her valiant breast. For she
remembered when Aglauros gave to view
her charge, with impious hand, that monster form
without a mother, maugre Nature’s law,
what time the god who dwells on Lemnos loved.—
now to requite the god and sister; her
to punish whose demand of gold was great;
Minerva to the Cave of Envy sped.
Dark, hideous with black gore, her dread abode
is hidden in the deepest hollowed cave,
in utmost limits where the genial sun
may never shine, and where the breathing winds
may never venture; dismal, bitter cold,
untempered by the warmth of welcome fires,
involved forever in abounding gloom.
When the fair champion came to this abode
she stood before its entrance, for she deemed
it not a lawful thing to enter there:
and she whose arm is mortal to her foes,
struck the black door-posts with her pointed spear,
and shook them to the center. Straight the doors
flew open, and, behold, within was Envy
ravening the flesh of vipers, self-begot,
the nutriment of her depraved desires.—
when the great goddess met her evil gaze
she turned her eyes away. But Envy slow,
in sluggish languor from the ground uprose,
and left the scattered serpents half-devoured;
then moving with a sullen pace approached.—
and when she saw the gracious goddess, girt
with beauty and resplendent in her arms,
she groaned aloud and fetched up heavy sighs.
Her face is pale, her body long and lean,
her shifting eyes glance to the left and right,
her snaggle teeth are covered with black rust,
her hanging paps overflow with bitter gall,
her slavered tongue drips venom to the ground;
busy in schemes and watchful in dark snares
sweet sleep is banished from her blood-shot eyes;
her smiles are only seen when others weep;
with sorrow she observes the fortunate,
and pines away as she beholds their joy;
her own existence is her punishment,
and while tormenting she torments herself.
Although Minerva held her in deep scorn
she thus commanded her with winged words;
“Instil thy poison in Aglauros, child
of Cecrops; I command thee; do my will.”
She spake; and spurning with her spear the ground
departed; and the sad and furtive-eyed
envy observed her in her glorious flight:
she murmured at the goddess, great in arms:
but waiting not she took in hand her staff,
which bands of thorns encircled as a wreath,
and veiled in midnight clouds departed thence.
She blasted on her way the ripening fields;
scorched the green meadows, starred with flowers,
and breathed a pestilence throughout the land
and the great cities. When her eyes beheld
the glorious citadel of Athens, great
in art and wealth, abode of joyful peace,
she hardly could refrain from shedding tears,
that nothing might be witnessed worthy tears.
She sought the chamber where Aglauros slept,
and hastened to obey the God’s behest.
She touched the maiden’s bosom with her hands,
foul with corrupting stains, and pierced her heart
with jagged thorns, and breathed upon her face
a noxious venom; and distilled through all
the marrow of her bones, and in her lungs,
a poison blacker than the ooze of pitch.
And lest the canker of her poisoned soul
might spread unchecked throughout increasing space,
she caused a vision of her sister’s form
to rise before her, happy with the God
who shone in his celestial beauty. All
appeared more beautiful than real life.—
when the most wretched daughter of Cecrops
had seen the vision secret torment seized
on all her vitals; and she groaned aloud,
tormented by her frenzy day and night.
A slow consumption wasted her away,
as ice is melted by the slant sunbeam,
when the cool clouds are flitting in the sky.
If she but thought of Herse’s happiness
she burned, as thorny bushes are consumed
with smoldering embers under steaming stems.
She could not bear to see her sister’s joy,
and longed for death, an end of misery;
or schemed to end the torture of her mind
by telling all she knew in shameful words,
whispered to her austere and upright sire.
But after many agonizing hours,
she sat before the threshold of their home
to intercept the God, who as he neared
spoke softly in smooth blandishment.
“Enough,” she said, “I will not move from here
until thou hast departed from my sight.”
“Let us adhere to that which was agreed.”
Rejoined the graceful-formed Cyllenian God,
who as he spoke thrust open with a touch
of his compelling wand the carved door.
But when she made an effort to arise,
her thighs felt heavy, rigid and benumbed;
and as she struggled to arise her knees
were stiffened? and her nails turned pale and cold;
her veins grew pallid as the blood congealed.
And even as the dreaded cancer spreads
through all the body, adding to its taint
the flesh uninjured; so, a deadly chill
entered by slow degrees her breast, and stopped
her breathing, and the passages of life.
She did not try to speak, but had she made
an effort to complain there was not left
a passage for her voice. Her neck was changed
to rigid stone, her countenance felt hard;
she sat a bloodless statue, but of stone
not marble-white—her mind had stained it black (original Latin).
Apollodorus Library 3.14.3:
Herse had by Hermes a son Cephalus, whom Dawn loved and carried off, and consorting with him in Syria bore a son Tithonus, who had a son Phaethon, who had a son Astynous, who had a son Sandocus, who passed from Syria to Cilicia and founded a city Celenderis, and having married Pharnace, daughter of Megassares, king of Hyria, begat Cinyras. This Cinyras in Cyprus, whither he had come with some people, founded Paphos; and having there married Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, king of Cyprus, he begat Oxyporus and Adonis, and besides them daughters, Orsedice, Laogore, and Braesia. These by reason of the wrath of Aphrodite cohabited with foreigners, and ended their life in Egypt (original Greek).
Hesiod Theogony 986-87:
But to Kephalos [Eos] bore a radiant son, mighty Phaethon, a man alike to the gods (translated by Aaron J. Ivey).
Euripides Hippolytus 454-58:
…and they know how beautiful-shining Eos once snatched away Kephalos to the gods because of desire. But, nevertheless, they dwell in heaven and flee not from gods. Alas, they bear being conquered by misfortune (translated by Aaron J. Ivey).
Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (once Getty Museum 84.AE.569, Malibu, CA): Attic red-figure cup by Douris with Eos and Kephalos and Kekrops (named)
observed that Cephalus held in his hand
a curious javelin with golden head,
and shaft of some rare wood. And as they talked,
he said; “It is my pleasure to explore
the forest in the chase of startled game,
and so I’ve learned the nature of rare woods,
but never have I seen the match of this
from which was fashioned this good javelin;
it lacks the yellow tint of forest ash,
it is not knotted like all corner-wood;
although I cannot name the kind of wood,
my eyes have never seen a javelin-shaft
so beautiful as this.”
To him replied
a friend of Cephalus; “But you will find
its beauty is not equal to its worth,
for whatsoever it is aimed against,
its flight is always certain to the mark,
nor is it subject to the shift of chance;
and after it has struck, although no hand
may cast it back, it certainly returns,
bloodstained with every victim.”
was Phocus anxious to be told, whence came
and who had given such a precious gift.
And Cephalus appeared to tell him all;
but craftily was silent on one strange
condition of the fatal gift. As he
recalled the mournful fate of his dear wife,
his eyes filled up with tears. “Ah, pity me,”
he said, “If Fate should grant me many years,
I must weep every time that I regard
this weapon which has been my cause of tears;
the unforgiven death of my dear wife—
ah, would that I had never handled it!
“My sweet wife, Procris!—if you could compare
her beauty with her sister’s—Orithyia’s,
(ravished by the blustering Boreas)
you would declare my wife more beautiful.
“’Tis she her sire Erectheus joined to me,
‘Tis she the god Love also joined to me.
They called me happy, and in truth I was,
and all pronounced us so until the Gods
decreed it otherwise. Two joyful months
of our united love were almost passed,
when, as the grey light of the dawn dispelled,
upon the summit of Hymettus green,
Aurora, glorious in her golden robes,
observed me busy with encircling nets,
trapping the antlered deer.
“Against my will
incited by desire, she carried me
away with her. Oh, let me not increase
her anger, for I tell you what is true,
I found no comfort in her lovely face!
And, though she is the very queen of light,
and reigns upon the edge of shadowy space
where she is nourished on rich nectar-wine,
adding delight to beauty, I could give
no heed to her entreaties, for the thought
of my beloved Procris intervened;
and only her sweet name was on my lips.
“I told Aurora of our wedding joys
and all refreshing joys of love — and my
first union of my couch deserted now:
“Enraged against me, then the goddess said:
‘Keep to your Procris, I but trouble you,
ungrateful clown! but, if you can be warned,
you will no longer wish for her!’ And so,
in anger, she returned me to my wife.
“Alas, as I retraced the weary way,
long-brooding over all Aurora said,
suspicion made me doubtful of my wife,
so faithful and so fair.—But many things
reminding me of steadfast virtue, I
suppressed all doubts; until the dreadful thought
of my long absence filled my jealous mind:
from which I argued to the criminal
advances of Aurora; for if she,
so lovely in appearance, did conceal
such passion in the garb of innocence
until the moment of temptation, how
could I be certain of the purity
of even the strongest when the best are frail?
“So brooding—every effort I devised
to cause my own undoing. By the means
of bribing presents, favored by disguise,
I sought to win her guarded chastity.
Aurora had disguised me, and her guile
determined me to work in subtle snares.
“Unknown to all my friends, I paced the streets
of sacred Athens till I reached my home.
I hoped to search out evidence of guilt:
but everything seemed waiting my return;
and all the household breathed an air of grief.
“With difficulty I, disguised, obtained
an entrance to her presence by the use
of artifices many: and when I
there saw her, silent in her grief,—amazed,
my heart no longer prompted me to test
such constant love. An infinite desire
took hold upon me. I could scarce restrain
an impulse to caress and kiss her. Pale
with grief that I was gone, her lovely face
in sorrow was more beautiful—the world
has not another so divinely fair.
“Ah, Phocus, it is wonderful to think
of beauty so surpassing fair it seems
more lovable in sorrow! Why relate
to you how often she repulsed my feigned
attempts upon her virtue? To each plea
she said: ‘I serve one man: no matter where
he may be I will keep my love for one.’
“Who but a man insane with jealousy,
would doubt the virtue of a loving wife,
when tempted by the most insidious wiles,
whose hallowed honor was her husband’s love?
But I, not satisfied with proof complete,
would not abandon my depraved desire
to poison the pure fountain I should guard;—
increasing my temptations, I caused her
to hesitate, and covet a rich gift.
“Then, angered at my own success I said,
discarding all disguise, ‘Behold the man
whose lavish promise has established proof,
the witness of your shameful treachery;
your absent husband has returned to this!’
“Unable to endure a ruined home,
where desecration held her sin to view,
despairing and in silent shame she fled;
and I, the author of that wickedness
ran after: but enraged at my deceit
and hating all mankind, she wandered far
in wildest mountains; hunting the wild game.
“I grieved at her desertion; and the fires
of my neglected love consumed my health;
with greater violence my love increased,
until unable to endure such pain,
I begged forgiveness and acknowledged fault:
nor hesitated to declare that I
might yield, the same way tempted, if such great
gifts had been offered to me. When I had made
abject confession and she had avenged
her outraged feelings, she came back to me
and we spent golden years in harmony.
“She gave to me the hound she fondly loved,
the very one Diana gave to her
when lovingly the goddess had declared,
‘This hound all others shall excel in speed.’
Nor was that gift the only one was given
by kind Diana when my wife was hers,
as you may guess—this javelin I hold forth,
no other but a goddess could bestow.
“Would you be told the story of both gifts
attend my words and you shall be amazed,
for never such another sad event
has added sorrow to the grieving world.
“After the son of Laius,—Oedipus,—
had solved the riddle of the monster-sphinx,
so often baffling to the wits of men,
and after she had fallen from her hill,
mangled, forgetful of her riddling craft;
not unrevenged the mighty Themis brooked
her loss. Without delay that goddess raised
another savage beast to ravage Thebes,
by which the farmer’s cattle were devoured,
the land was ruined and its people slain.
“Then all the valiant young men of the realm,
with whom I also went, enclosed the field
(where lurked the monster) in a mesh
of many tangled nets: but not a strand
could stay its onrush, and it leaped the crest
of every barrier where the toils were set.
“Already they had urged their eager dogs,
which swiftly as a bird it left behind,
eluding all the hunters as it fled.
“At last all begged me to let slip the leash
of straining Tempest; such I called the hound,
my dear wife’s present. As he tugged and pulled
upon the tightened cords, I let them slip:
no sooner done, then he was lost to sight;
although, wherever struck his rapid feet
the hot dust whirled. Not swifter flies the spear,
nor whizzing bullet from the twisted sling,
nor feathered arrow from the twanging bow!
“A high hill jutted from a rolling plain,
on which I mounted to enjoy the sight
of that unequalled chase. One moment caught,
the next as surely free, the wild beast seemed
now here now there, elusive in its flight;
swiftly sped onward, or with sudden turn
doubled in circles to deceive or gain.
With equal speed pursuing at each turn,
the rapid hound could neither gain nor lose.
Now springing forward and now doubling back,
his great speed foiled, he snapped at empty air.
“I then turned to my javelin’s aid; and while
I poised it in my right hand, turned away
my gaze a moment as I sought to twine
my practiced fingers in the guiding thongs;
but when again I lifted up my eyes,
to cast the javelin where the monster sped,
I saw two marble statues standing there,
transformed upon the plain. One statue seemed
to strain in attitude of rapid flight,
the other with wide-open jaws was changed,
just in the act of barking and pursuit.
Surely some God—if any god controls—
decreed both equal, neither could succeed.”
Now after these miraculous events,
it seemed he wished to stop, but Phocus said.
“What charge have you against the javelin?”
And Cephalus rejoined; “I must relate
my sorrows last; for I would tell you first
the story of my joys—’Tis sweet to think,
upon the gliding tide of those few years
of married life, when my dear wife and I
were happy in our love and confidence.
No woman could allure me then from her;
and even Venus could not tempt my love;
all my great passion for my dearest wife
was equalled by the passion she returned.
“As early as the sun, when golden rays
first glittered on the mountains, I would rise
in youthful ardor, to explore the fields
in search of game. With no companions, hounds,
nor steeds nor nets, this javelin was alone
my safety and companion in my sport.
“And often when my right hand felt its weight,
a-wearied of the slaughter it had caused,
I would come back to rest in the cool shade,
and breezes from cool vales—the breeze I wooed,
blowing so gently on me in the heat;
the breeze I waited for; she was my rest
from labor. I remember, ‘Aura come,’
I used to say, ‘Come soothe me, come into
my breast most welcome one, and yes indeed,
you do relieve the heat with which I burn.’
“And as I felt the sweet breeze of the morn,
as if in answer to my song, my fate impelled
me further to declare my joy in song;
“ ‘You are my comfort, you are my delight!
Refresh me, cherish me, breathe on my face!
I love you child of lonely haunts and trees!’
“Such words I once was singing, not aware
of some one spying on me from the trees,
who thought I sang to some beloved Nymph,
or goddess by the name of Aura—so
I always called the breeze.—Unhappy man!
The meddling tell-tale went to Procris with
a story of supposed unfaithfulness,
and slyly told in whispers all he heard.
True love is credulous; (and as I heard
the story) Procris in a swoon fell down.
When she awakened from her bitter swoon,
she ceased not wailing her unhappy fate,
and, wretched, moaned for an imagined woe.
“So she lamented what was never done!
Her woe incited by a whispered tale,
she feared the fiction of a harmless name!
But hope returning soothed her wretched state;
and now, no longer willing to believe
such wrong, unless her own eyes saw it, she
refused to think her husband sinned.
had banished night, and I, rejoicing, ranged
the breathing woods, victorious in the hunt
paused and said, ‘Come Aura—lovely breeze—
relieve my panting breast!’ It seemed I heard
the smothered moans of sorrow as I spoke:
but not conceiving harm, I said again;
“ ‘Come here, oh my delight!’ And as those words
fell from my lips, I thought I heard a soft
sound in the thicket, as of moving leaves;
and thinking surely ’twas a hidden beast,
I threw this winged javelin at the spot.—
“It was my own wife, Procris, and the shaft
was buried in her breast—‘Ah, wretched me!’
She cried; and when I heard her well-known voice,
distracted I ran towards her,—only to find
her bathed in blood, and dying from the wound
of that same javelin she had given to me:
and in her agony she drew it forth,—
ah me! alas! from her dear tender side.
“I lifted her limp body to my own,
in these blood-guilty arms, and wrapped the wound
with fragments of my tunic, that I tore
in haste to staunch her blood; and all the while
I moaned, ‘Oh, do not now forsake me—slain
by these accursed hands!’
“Weak with the loss
of blood, and dying, she compelled herself
to utter these few words, ‘It is my death;
but let my eyes not close upon this life
before I plead with you! — By the dear ties
of sacred marriage; by your god and mine;
and if my love for you can move your heart;
and even by the cause of my sad death,—
my love for you increasing as I die,—
ah, put away that Aura you have called,
that she may never separate your soul,—
your love from me.’
“So, by those dying words
I knew that she had heard me call the name
of Aura, when I wished the cooling breeze,
and thought I called a goddess,—cause of all
her jealous sorrow and my bitter woe
“Alas, too late, I told her the sad truth;
but she was sinking, and her little strength
swiftly was ebbing with her flowing blood.
As long as life remained her loving gaze
was fixed on mine; and her unhappy life
at last was breathed out on my grieving face.
It seemed to me a look of sweet content
was in her face, as if she feared not death.” (original Latin)
Hyginus Fabulae 160:
Priapus. Echion by Antianira, and Eurytus. Cephalus by Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus. *Eurestus *Aptale. Libys by Libye, daughter of Palamedes (original Latin).
Edited by Aaron J. Ivey, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Classics, University of Georgia, July 2016; by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., September 2016; and by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, October 2016.