« AnteriorContinuar »
with the noise of his three hundred trumpets, came after him to the execution.
There lived with Gideon, Ægeus the son of Pandion, who reigned in Athens; Euristheus king of Mycænæ, Atreus and Thyestes the sons of Pelops, who bare dominion over a great part of Peloponnesus; and after the death of Euristheus the kingdom of Mycænæ fell into the hand of Atreus. This is that Atreus who, holding his brother in jealousy, as an attempter both of his wife and crown, slew the children of Thyestes, and causing their flesh to be dressed, did therewith feast their father. But this cruelty was not unrevenged; for both Atreus and his son Agamemnon were slain by a base son of Thyestes, yea the grand-children, and all the lineage of Atreus, died by the same sword.
In Gideon's time also those things were supposed to have been done, which are written of Dædalus and Icarus. Dædalus, they say, having slain his nephew Attalus, fled to Minos king of Crete for succour, where, for his excellent workmanship, he was greatly esteemed, having made for Minos a labyrinth like unto that of Egypt. Afterwards, he was said to have framed an artificial cow for Pasiphae the queen, that she, being in love with a fair bull, might, by putting herself into the cow, satisfy her lust; a thing no less unnatural than incredible, had not that shameless emperor Domitian exhibited the like beastly spectacle openly before the people of Rome in his amphitheatre; on purpose as may seem to verify the old fable. For so it appears by those verses of Martial wherein the flattering poet magnifieth the abominable shew as a goodly pageant in those vicious times.
Junctam Pasiphæn Dicteo credite tauro . " Vidimus, accepit fabula prisca fidem. ! Nec se miratur Cæsar, longæva vetustas
• Quicquid fama canit, donat arena tibi.' But concerning that which is reported of Pasiphae, Servius makes a less unhonest construction of it,
thinking that Dædalus was of her counsel, and her pandar for the enticing of a secretary of Minos, called Taurus, which signifieth a bull, who begat her with child; and that she being delivered of two sons, the one resembling Taurus, the other her husband Minos, it was feigned that she was delivered of the monster Minotaur, half a man, and half a bull. But this practice being discovered, and Dædalus appointed to be slain, he fled out of Crete to Cocalus king of Sicily; in which passage he made such expedition, as it was feigned that he fashioned wings for himself and his son, to transport them. For where. as Minos pursued him with boats, which had oars only, Dædalus framed sails both for his own boat and for his son's, by which he out-went those that had him in chase. Upon which new invention, Icarus, bearing himself over-bold, was over-borne and drowned.
It is also written of Dædalus, that he made images that could move themselves, and go, because he carved them with legs, arms, and hands; whereas those that preceded him, could only present the body and head of those men whom they carved to coun.." terfeit, and yet the workmanship was esteemed very rare. But Plutarch, who had seen some of those that were called the images of Dædalus, found them exceeding rude.
With Gideon also flourished Linus the Theban, the son of Apollo, and Terpsichore, who instructed Thamaris, Orpheus, and Hercules. He wrote of the creation, of the sun and moon's course, and of the generation of living creatures; but in the end he was slain by Hercules, his scholar, with his own harp..
Again, in this age, those things spoken of Sphinx and Vedipus are thought to have been performed'. This Sphinx being a great robber by sea and land, was by the Corinthian army, led by Oedipus, overcome. But that which was written of her propounding of
8 Herind. Plat. Plaus. 1. 3.
9 Strab. l. 6.
and the disprphinx we; But the
riddles to those whom she mastered, was meant by the rocky and inaccessible mountain near Thebes which she defended; and by Oedipus dissolving her problem, his victory over her. She was painted with wings, because exceeding swift, and with the body of a lion for her cruelty. But that which Palæphatus reports of Sphinx were more probable, did not the time disprove it; for he calls her an Amazonite, and the wife of Cadmus; who, when by her help he had cast Draco out of Thebes (neglecting her) he married the sister of Draco ; which Sphinx taking in despiteful part, with her own troop she held the mountain by Thebes, from whence she continued a sharp war upon the Thebans, till by Oedipus overthrown. About this time did Minos thrust his brother out of Crete, and held sharp war with the Megarians. and Athenians, because his son Androgeus was slain by them. He possessed himself of Megara by the treason of Scylla, daughter of Mysus the king. He was long master of the sea, and brought the Athenians to the tribute of delivering him every year seven of their sons; which tribute Thesus released, as shall be shewed when I come to the time of the next judge Thola. In the end, he was slain at Camerinus or Damicus, in Silicia, by Cocalus the king,'' while he pursued Dædalus ; and was esteemed by some to be the first law.giver to those islands.
To this time are referred many deeds of Hercu. les; as the killing of Antæus the giant, who was said to have sixty and odd cubits of length; which, though Plutarch doth confirm, reporting that there was such a body found by Sertorius the Roman in Libya, where Hercules slew Antæus ; yet for myself I think it but a loud lie. That Antæus was of great strength, and a cunning wrestler, Eusebius" affirme eth; and because he cast so many men to the ground, he was feigned to be the son of the earth. Pliny saith, that he inhabited near the gardens Hesperides
10 Arist. pol. 1. 11 Euseb. in Chr.
in Mauritania.' St. Augustine affirms", that this Hercules was not of Greece, but of Libya; and the Hydra also, which he overcame'], Plato expoundet! to be a subtile sophister.
Sect. VI. Of the expedition of the Argonauts. ABOUT the eleventh year of Gideon, was that famous expedition of the Argonauts, of which many fabulous discourses have been written, the sum of which is this :
Pelias the son of Neptune, brother by the mother's side to Æson, who was Jason's father, reigning in Iolchos, a town of Thessaly, was warned by the oracle of Apollo to take heed of him that wore but one shoe. This Pelias afterwards sacrificing to Neptune, invited Jason to him, who coming hastily, lost one shoe in passing over a brook; whereupon Pelias demanded of him what course he would take, (supposing he was able,) against one of whom an oracle should advise him to take heed ? To which question, when Jason had briefly answered, that he would send him to Colchos, to fetch the golden fleece, Pelias im. mediately commanded him to undertake that service. Therefore Jason prepared for the voyage, having a ship built by Argus, the son of Phryxus, by the counsel of Pallas ; wherein he procured all the bravest men of Greece to sail with him; as Typhis the master of the ship, Orpheus the famous poet, Castor and Pollux the sons of Tynardus ; Telamon and Peleus, sons of Æacus, and fathers of Ajax and Achilles; Hercules, Theseus, Zetes and Calais, the two-winged sons of Boreas; Amphiaraus the great soothsayer; Meleager of Calidon, that slew the great wild boar; Ascalaphus and Jalmenus, or Almenus, the sons of Mars, who were afterwards at the last war of Troy; Laertes the father of Ulysses, Atalanta
11 Hug. de Civitate Dei, 1 xix. c. xii. 13 Euseb. in Chr.
a warlike virgin ; Idas and Lynceus the sons of Aphareus, who afterwards, in fight with Castor and Pollux, slew Castor and wounded Pollux, but were slain themselves, Lynceus by Pollux, Idas by Jupiter, with lightning.
These and many other went with Jason in the ship Argo; in whose prow was a table of the beech of Dodona, which could speak. They arrived first at Lemnos; the women of which island, having slain all the males, purposing to lead an Amazonian life, were nevertheless contented to take their pleasure of the Argonauts. Hence they came to the country about Cyzicus, where dwelt a people called Doliones, over whom then reigned one Cyzicus, who entertained them friendly ; but, it so fell out, that loosing thence by night, they were driven by contrary winds back into his port, neither knowing that it was the same haven, nor being known by the Doliones to be the same men, but rather taken for some of their bordering enemies; by which means they fell to blows, insomuch that the Argonauts slew the most part of the Doliones, together with their king Cyzicus; which, when by day-light they perceived, with many tears they solemnized his funeral. Then departed they again, and arrived shortly in Mysia, where they left Hercules and Polyphemus the son of Elates, who went to seek Hylas the darling of Hercules, that was ravished by the nymphs.
Polyphemus built a town in Mysia, called Cios, wherein he reigned. Hercules returned to Argos; from Mysia the Argonauts sailed into Bithynia, which then was peopled by the Bebryces, the ancient inhabitants of the country, over whom Amycus the son of Neptune was then king. He being a strong man, compelled all strangers to fight with him, at whorl-batts, in which kind of fight he had slain many, and was now himself slain by Pollux. The Bebryces, in revenge of his death, flew all upon Pollux, but his companions rescued him, with great