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Medieval and Classical Library

Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica

THE RETURNS & THE TELEGONY (fragments)

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #8

THE RETURNS

Fragment #1 --
Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii:
After the "Sack of Ilium" follow the "Returns" in five books by
Agias of Troezen.  Their contents are as follows.  Athena causes
a quarrel between Agamemnon and Menelaus about the voyage from
Troy.  Agamemnon then stays on to appease the anger of Athena. 
Diomedes and Nestor put out to sea and get safely home.  After
them Menelaus sets out and reaches Egypt with five ships, the
rest having been destroyed on the high seas.  Those with Calchas,
Leontes, and Polypoetes go by land to Colophon and bury Teiresias
who died there.  When Agamemnon and his followers were sailing
away, the ghost of Achilles appeared and tried to prevent them by
foretelling what should befall them.  The storm at the rocks
called Capherides is then described, with the end of Locrian
Aias.  Neoptolemus, warned by Thetis, journeys overland and,
coming into Thrace, meets Odysseus at Maronea, and then finishes
the rest of his journey after burying Phoenix who dies on the
way.  He himself is recognized by Peleus on reaching the Molossi.

Then comes the murder of Agamemnon by Aegisthus and
Clytaemnestra, followed by the vengeance of Orestes and Pylades. 
Finally, Menelaus returns home.


Fragment #2 --
Argument to Euripides Medea:
`Forthwith Medea made Aeson a sweet young boy and stripped his
old age from him by her cunning skill, when she had made a brew
of many herbs in her golden cauldrons.'


Fragment #3 --
Pausanias, i. 2:
The story goes that Heracles was besieging Themiscyra on the
Thermodon and could not take it; but Antiope, being in love with
Theseus who was with Heracles on this expedition, betrayed the
place.  Hegias gives this account in his poem.


Fragment #4 --
Eustathius, 1796. 45:
The Colophonian author of the "Returns" says that Telemachus
afterwards married Circe, while Telegonus the son of Circe
correspondingly married Penelope.


Fragment #5 --
Clement of Alex. Strom., vi. 2. 12. 8:
`For gifts beguile men's minds and their deeds as well.' (1)


Fragment #6 --
Pausanias, x. 28. 7:
The poetry of Homer and the "Returns" -- for here too there is an
account of Hades and the terrors there -- know of no spirit named
Eurynomus.

Athenaeus, 281 B:
The writer of the "Return of the Atreidae" (2) says that Tantalus
came and lived with the gods, and was permitted to ask for
whatever he desired.  But the man was so immoderately given to
pleasures that he asked for these and for a life like that of the
gods.  At this Zeus was annoyed, but fulfilled his prayer because
of his own promise; but to prevent him from enjoying any of the
pleasures provided, and to keep him continually harassed, he hung
a stone over his head which prevents him from ever reaching any
of the pleasant things near by.


ENDNOTES:

(1)  Clement attributes this line to Augias: probably Agias is
     intended.
(2)  Identical with the "Returns", in which the Sons of Atreus
     occupy the most prominent parts.



THE TELEGONY

Fragment #1 --
Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii:
After the "Returns" comes the "Odyssey" of Homer, and then the
"Telegony" in two books by Eugammon of Cyrene, which contain the
following matters.  The suitors of Penelope are buried by their
kinsmen, and Odysseus, after sacrificing to the Nymphs, sails to
Elis to inspect his herds.  He is entertained there by Polyxenus
and receives a mixing bowl as a gift; the story of Trophonius and
Agamedes and Augeas then follows.  He next sails back to Ithaca
and performs the sacrifices ordered by Teiresias, and then goes
to Thesprotis where he marries Callidice, queen of the
Thesprotians.  A war then breaks out between the Thesprotians,
led by Odysseus, and the Brygi.  Ares routs the army of Odysseus
and Athena engages with Ares, until Apollo separates them.  After
the death of Callidice Polypoetes, the son of Odysseus, succeeds
to the kingdom, while Odysseus himself returns to Ithaca.  In the
meantime Telegonus, while travelling in search of his father,
lands on Ithaca and ravages the island: Odysseus comes out to
defend his country, but is killed by his son unwittingly. 
Telegonus, on learning his mistake, transports his father's body
with Penelope and Telemachus to his mother's island, where Circe
makes them immortal, and Telegonus marries Penelope, and
Telemachus Circe.


Fragment #2 --
Eustathias, 1796. 35:
The author of the "Telegony", a Cyrenaean, relates that Odysseus
had by Calypso a son Telegonus or Teledamus, and by Penelope
Telemachus and Acusilaus.





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