P. 255

Bacchylides, Ode 18 (Dithyramb 4) Theseus [for the Athenians] 16-30:

Just now a herald arrived, having come by foot on the long road from the Isthmus. He tells of the indescribable deeds of a mighty man. That man killed overweening Sinis, who was the greatest of mortals in strength; he is the son of Lytaeus the Earthshaker, son of Cronus. And he has slain the man-killing boar in the valleys of Cremmyon, and reckless Sciron. He has closed the wrestling school of Cercyon; Procoptes has met a better man and dropped the powerful hammer of Polypemon. I fear how this will end (original Greek).

Euripedes, Medeia 708-730:

Medea: He pretends not to, but he is ready to put up with it.

Medea kneels before Aegeus in the posture of a suppliant.

M: But I beg you by your beard [710] and by your knees and I make myself your suppliant: have pity, have pity on an unfortunate woman, and do not allow me to be cast into exile without a friend, but receive me into your land and your house as a suppliant. If you do so, may your longing for children [715] be brought to fulfillment by the gods, and may you yourself die happy! You do not know what a lucky find you have made in me. I will put an end to your childlessness and cause you to beget children, for I know the medicines to do it.

Aegeus: Dear woman, for many reasons [720] I am eager to grant you this favor, first, for the sake of the gods, then for the children you promise I will beget. For on that score I am utterly undone. But here is how matters stand with me. If you come to my country, I shall in justice try to act as your protector. [725] This much, however, I tell you in advance: I will not consent to take you from this land. But if you manage by yourself to come to my house, you may stay there in safety, and I will never give you up to anyone. You must go on your own, then, from this land. [730] I wish to be blameless in the eyes of my hosts as well (original Greek).

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.404-424:

All unknown to him
came Theseus to his kingly court.—Before
the time his valor had established peace
on all the isthmus, raved by dual seas.

Medea, seeking his destruction, brewed
the juice of aconite, infesting shores
of Scythia, where, ’tis fabled, the plant grew
on soil infected by Cerberian teeth.

There is a gloomy entrance to a cave,
that follows a declivitous descent:
there Hercules with chains of adamant
dragged from the dreary edge of Tartarus
that monster-watch-dog, Cerberus, which, vain
opposing, turned his eyes aslant from light—
from dazzling day. Delirious, enraged,
that monster shook the air with triple howls;
and, frothing, sprinkled as it raved, the fields,
once green—with spewing of white poison-foam.
And this, converted into plants, sucked up
a deadly venom with the nourishment
of former soils,—from which productive grew
upon the rock, thus formed, the noxious plant;
by rustics, from that cause, named aconite.

Medea worked on Aegeus to present
his own son, Theseus, with a deadly cup
of aconite; prevailing by her art
so that he deemed his son an enemy.

Theseus unwittingly received the cup,
but just before he touched it to his lips,
his father recognized the sword he wore,
for, graven on its ivory hilt was wrought
a known device—the token of his race.
Astonished, Aegeus struck the poison-cup
from his devoted son’s confiding lips.
Medea suddenly escaped from death,
in a dark whirlwind her witch-singing raised (original Latin).