I Am not ignorant that the Writers of Antiquities in many things fall short of the truth in their Relations. For being that ancient things are (as it were) scrap'd out of the Rubbish with very great difficulty, they greatly perplex the Historian. And because the Supputation of Times, wherein things were done, cannot now be so exact as to infer an Infallible Argument for the truth of the Actions related; therefore it is that the Reader despises the Authors of the History. And the multitude and variety of the Gods, Demy-Gods, and other Famous Men, whose Genealogies are to be treated of, add much more to the difficulty. And the greatest vexation of all is, that the Writers of Antiquities and Mythologies differ exceedingly in their Relations one from another: And therefore the most fam'd and noted Historians of later Times, have altogether wav'd Treatises of Ancient Things, and apply'd themselves to Composing Histories only of such as have happened in Times a little before their own. For Ephorus the Cumean, the Scholar of Isocrates, designing to write a General History, passing over matter of former Ages, began his Writings with theReturn of the Heraclides: Callisthenes and Theopompus, who were Contemporary, follow'd the same Method, and wav'd all matters of Antiquity. But I am of a contrary Opinion from them in this matter, and therefore the more fully to discharge what I have undertaken, have resolv'd with the greatest care and diligence I can, to treat of the Antiquities of Ancient Times: For there are many things, and such as are very remarkable, that have been done by the Gods and Demy-Gods, and other Famous Men, to some of whom Posterity for their good Actions to the general benefit of Mankind, have attributed Divine Honours, as to Gods, and have ador'd others, by instituting Sacrifices to them as Demy-Gods. But the due praises of all these Worthies are publish'd to the World by History, to the Succession of perpetual Generations.
Page 126In the Three former Books, we have treated of the Affairs of other Nations, and of their Gods; of the Description of Places in the several Countries; of the wild Beasts, and other living Creatures bred amongst them, and whatever we judg'd worthy of remark, or strange and wonderful.
In this Book we shall set forth the Antiquities of the Grecians from themost ancient Times, and therein treat of the Gods, and Demy-Gods, and of all others that have been famous and remarkable in feats of Arms, in times of War, or have found out what has been beneficial to Mankind in times of Peace, or such as have been Law-makers.
We shall begin therefore with Dionysus or Bacchus, because he's the most ancient, and did most benefit to Mankind.
In the former Books we have shew'd how that some of the Barbarians have challeng'd the Birth of this God to be amongst them. For the Egyptians say, that their God Osiris is the same whom the Grecians call Dionysus; and that he went through the whole World, and first found out the use of Wine, and taught Men how to plant the Vine, and that for this great Benefit to Mankind, all generally agree that he attain'd to a state of Immortality.
The Indians likewise with no less Confidence say, that he was born among them, and that he shew'd the way and manner of Planting the Vine, and discovered the use of Wine; which having before declar'd, we shall now deliver what the Grecians report concerning this God.
What the Grecians say further of Bacchus. The Story of Priapus. Of Hermophroditus. Of the Muses. The Birth of Hercules; and his Twelve Labours injoin'd him by Euristheus. His wandring Expeditions through Africk, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily: His setting up Two Pillars at Gades, and his other Acts by the way. The Story of Orpheus.
CAdmus (they say) the Son of Agenor, being sent out of Phenicia by the King his Father to seek Europa, was commanded to bring her back, or he himself never to return into Phenicia. After many long and tedious Travels through many Countries, not being able to find the lost Lady in any place, despairing of ever returning into his own Country, he came at length into Beotia, and by Command of the Oracle, built Thebes, where he resided, and marry'd Harmonia, the Daughter of Venus, by whom he had Semele, Ino, Autonoes, Agaves and Polydores. Semele was so beautiful, that Jupiter fell in love with her, and lay with her: But making his Addresses in a mean and ordinary manner, she lookt upon it as if he did it in contempt of her, and therefore earnestly entreated him to come to his Embraces with her in the same manner as he did when he lay with Juno. Whereupon decking himself in his Divine Majesty, he approacht to her in Thunder and Lightning, and so lay with her in Light and Splendour: But Semele being great with Child, and not able to bear the Flashes of Lightning that shot round about her, miscarry'd, and she herself was consum'd by the Flame; and then Jupiter took away the Infant, and deliver'd it to Mercury, with Orders to convey him to the Cave in Nysa (which lies between Phenicia, and the River Nile) and there to recommend him to the care of the Nymphs, to be carefully bred up. Hence from Jupiter, whom the Greeks call Dia and Nysa, he was call'd Dionysus, as Homer in his Hymns witnesses in this Distick.
Being brought up by the Nymphs in Nysa, they say, he found out the use of Wine, and taught the way and manner of planting the Vine; and going almost into all Parts of the World, he civiliz'd many Nations and Countries, so that he was highly honour'd of all. He found out likewise the manner of making Drink of Barley; some call it Zythus, for Taste and fragrant Smell not much inferior to Wine, which Art he especially taught them, whose Country was not fit for Planting, or producing of Vines. He led along with him an Army, not only of Men, but of Women, to execute Punishments upon impious and wicked Men.
In Beotia (in gratitude to his own Country,) he set free all the Cities, and upon the account of this Freedom, built a City, and call'd it Eleuthera.
After he had spent Three whole Years in an Expedition into India, he return'd with many rich Spoils into Beotia, and was the first in triumph mounted upon an Indian Elephant. Therefore the Beotians and the rest of the Grecians and Thracians, to keep up the Memory of the Indian Expedition, instituted solemn Sacrifices every Third Year to Bacchus, call'd Trieterica, at which time they are of opinion this God appears among Men; and therefore every third Year in many Towns of Greece, the Festivals of Bacchus, call'd Bacchanalia, are celebrated by a Company of Women and Virgins, who (according to the solemn Rites) Page 128 carry * Javelins deckt with Flowers, and run about like Furies, hollowing and setting forth the Praises of the God. The Married Women likewise run to these Sacrifices, and fill the Air with loud and solemn Hymns to Bacchus, as if he were then present amongst them, in imitation of the Menades, which heretofore (as is said) went along with Bacchus. Amongst many others who were impious and wicked, he especially inflicted Punishment upon Pentheus and Lycurgus. But because the invention and use of Wine is very grateful to Manboth for its pleasant relish, and its strengthening and inlivening of the Body, it is the Custom at Supper-time, when pure and unmixt Wine is freely offer'd to all, to call upon the Good Genius; but after Supper, when the Wine is mixt with Water, to call upon Jupiter Soter: For from pure and unmixt Wine, many times proceeds Madness; but temper'd and allay'd with the Liquor that descends from Jove, it truly chears and refreshes the Spirits, and cures Men of their Madness and Intoxication. Amongst all the Gods (they say) Bacchus and Ceres deserve most to be honour'd by Mankind, because they were by their good Inventions most benefited: For he found out the most pleasant Drink, and she the most strengthening Food.
They report that there was another Bacchus or Dionysus, much ancienter than this, the Son of Jupiter and Proserpina, call'd by some Sabazius, at whose Birth Sacreds and Sacrifices were celebrated in secret, and in the Night, by reason of the filthy Commixtures that were then among them. It's said, he was of a very sharp Wit, and was the first that taught how to yoke Oxen, and by them how to Plow and Sow the Ground; whence they feign him to have Horns. They say likewise, that the Son of Semele was of later times; of a slender and delicate shape of Body, and most comly Feature, exceeding Amorous, and addicted to the Sports of Venus: That he carry'd about with him, multitudes of Women in his Army, furnish'd with Launces wrapt about with all sorts of Flowers: And that the Muses attended him in his Expedition, Virgins excellently learn'd, who by their melodious Singing, Dancing and other pleasant Diversions, exceedingly delighted the God.
Selenus, its said was his Master, his Fauster Father, and Associate in his Wars; and was an excellent Instructor and Teacher, and contributed much to the improvement of Bacchus in Virtue, and the advancement of his Reputation and Honour.
In the time of Battel, he was furnish'd with warlike Weapons, and a Coat of Mail cover'd with a Panther's Skin; in time of Peace, when he celebrated Solemn Festivals, and came into the General Assemblies, he was cloathed with splendid and delicate Apparel; and to prevent the Head-ach by drinking of too much Wine, he wore a Mitre upon his Head, and was call'd Mitrophorus. This gave occasion to Kings afterwards to wear Diadems.
They say, he was call'd Bimater, because both Dionysus's had one Father, but several Mothers; but the Younger succeeded the Elder in the like remarkable Actions, and therefore Posterity through ignorance of the Truth, and being both had one and the same Name, concluded that there was but one Dionysus.
They attribute to him the carrying of a Rod, for the Reasons following: When Wine was first found out, it was drunk pure, not mix'd with Water, so that in many Meetings and solemn Festivals, many times Men drunk to that Excess, that they grew Mad and Furious, and beat one another with Clubs and Staves, insomuch as some were grievously wounded, and others were kill'd; at which Dionysus was much offended; and though he did not altogether forbid the drinking of unmixt Wine, because it was so pleasant and delicious, yet instead of Clubs, he order'd the use of Wanns and small Rods.
Men have given him many Sirnames, according to the several Acts or Circumstances of his Life. For he's call'd Bacchaeus, from the Bacchae, that accompany'd him. Leneus, from pressing of the Grapes at the Winepress. Bromeus or Thunderer, because of the Crash of Thunder that was at the time of his Birth; and for the same Reason he was call'd * Fireborn: He was sirnam'd likewise Thriambus, because he was the first (of whom ever any mention was made) that Triumph'd, when he return'd loaden with many Spoils into his Country from his Indian Expedition. Many other Names were assign'd him, which would be both Page 129 too tedious particularly to recite, and likewise foreign from the Design of this History.
They held that he had two Faces, because there were two Dionysus's, the ancient Dionysus, who always wore a long Beard, because all in ancient time let their Beards grow; and this later Bacchus who was a spruce young Man, as we have before declar'd. But some say, that a double Countenance was assign'd him, because of the two special Qualities wherewith Drunkards are affected, being either raging mad, or transported with Mirth.
They say likewise that he carry'd Satyrs along with him, who by their dancing and skipping in his Sports and Plays made the God exceeding merry. To conclude, as the Muses pleas'd and delighted him with the Knowledge of the liberal Sciences, so the Satyrs with their Tricks and antick and ridiculous Gestures and Actions compleated the Happiness and Comfort of his Life.
It's reported likewise he invented Plays, and set up Theaters, and instituted Musick Schools, and freed all Musicians that went along with him in his Expeditions from publick Taxes; and hence it is, that Posterity (after the Example of Dionysus) have created Societies of Musicians, and decreed that all of that Profession should be free.
But that we may keep within due Bounds, we shall here put an end to our Discourse concerning Bacchus, and his Actions in Ancient times.
And now since what is anciently reported of Priapus is (as we conceive) pertinent to this History of Bacchus, we shall here proceed to give an Account of him.
The Ancients feign that Priapus was the Son of Bacchus and Venus, induc'd thereunto by a probable Argument, which is this, That when Men are drunk they are naturally prone to Venery; and some say, that when the ancient Mythologists would name a Man's Yard, they call'd it Priapus; and therefore that the privy Parts (because they are the Instruments of Generation, and support the constant and continual Succession of Mankind) have receiv'd divine Honour.
The Egyptians tell this Story concerning Priapus; They say that the Titanes in ancient times treacherously assassinated Osiris, and divided his Members into equal Parts, and that every one privately carry'd away a Part out of the Palace, only his privy Members they threw into the River, because none would meddle with them: But Isis (they say) after a diligent Inquiry made concerning the Murder of her Husband, and having reveng'd his Death upon the Titanes; by conjoyning his dismember'd Parts, reduc'd them to a humane Shape, and deliver'd the Body to the Priests to be bury'd, and commanded that Osiris should be ador'd as a God, and appointed the Shape of his privy Member (which only was wanting and could not be found) to be set up as a sacred Relict in the Temple, and to be honour'd likewise as a Deity: And these are the Things which the ancient Egyptians feign concerning the Original and divine Worship of Priapus. Some call this God Ithyphallus, others Typhon. He's not only worshipp'd in the Temples in the Cities, but in the Fields and Villages, where he is reputed the Guardian and Keeper of their Vineyards and Orchards, and say that if any steal their Goods he inflicts Punishment upon them for it. This God is not only honour'd in the Festivals of Bacchus, but in all other sacred Solemnities, where with Sport and Ridicule his Image is presented to the View of all.
They feign likewise that Hermaphroditus had the like Original, who being sprung from Hermes and Aphrodita, was from their two Names joyn'd together so call'd. Some say that this Hermaphroditus is a God, who at some certain times appears to Men, and is naturally both Man and Woman; in Beauty and Slenderness of his Body he represents a Woman, but in Strength and manly Countenance, a Man. Others account these Births for Monsters, which being but rare, portend sometimes both Good and Bad by turns; but enough of these.
Here it's fit to say something of the Muses (of whom some mention is made in the History of Bacchus.) Most of the Writers of Antiquities, and those of greatest Authority, say they were the Daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne. Some few of the Poets (among whom is Alcman) say they were the Issue of Coelus and Terra. They differ likewise about their Number, for some reckon three, others nine; but the Number Nine by the Authority of the most famous Authors (such as Homer, Hesiod, and some others of the like Esteem) has prevail'd before all others. For thus says Homer—
Hesiod likewise summs up their Names in these Verses—
To each of these they attribute their peculiar Art in particular sorts of Sciences, as poetical Harmony, Dancing, Singing, Astrology and the rest of the liberal Arts. They are said by most to be Virgins, because liberal Sciences seem to be uncorrupt, and virtuous Qualifications.
They are call'd Muses from the Greek Word Myein, which signifies the teaching of things commendable and profitable, and such as are unknown to them that are instructed. They apply likewise to each a particular Reason of their several Names. Clio, they say, is so call'd, because she advances Mens Names to the Skies in assisting the Poets to resound their Praise. Euterpe, because she delights her Auditors with wholesom and commendable Instructions. Thalia, from the constant Glory and Honour that attends upon Learning. Melpomene, is so call'd from Melody, by which means she insinuates her self with Delight into the Minds of Men. Terpsichore, because she delights her Scholars with those Pleasures that result from Learning. Erato, because she procures Love and Respect to Learned Men from all. Polymnia, from the many Hymns whereby she advances the Renown of her Poets, and crowns their Names with immortal Praise and Glory. Urania, because those that are taught and improv'd by her are even lifted up to Heaven. Lastly, Calliope, from the Sweetness of her Voice, that is, her elegant Language and exact Composures of her Verse, whereby she gains the general Applause of her Learned Auditors.
Having treated sufficiently of these Matters, we shall now bend our Discourse to the things done by Hercules.
I am not ignorant that those that write of the Actions of the Ancients, especially of the Acts of Hercules, meet with many Difficulties; for of all the great Actions that ever were done in the World, those of Hercules far exceed all that ever have been recorded. A most difficult Task therefore it is to give such an Account of what this Hero did, as may be agreeable to the Worth and Dignity of his Actions, or to frame such a Discourse as may equalize the Greatness of them, for which he attain'd to a State of Immortality. For in as much as things that are ancient and unusual are judg'd incredible by most, its absolutely necessary, though with the Diminution of this God's Glory, to omit some of his Acts, lest by relating all, the whole History be rejected as fabulous. For some unreasonably expect as clear Evidence for things that are ancient, as for those done in our own Age, and judge of the Greatness of Actions (which makes them seem incredible) according to the Rule of things done in the present time; and judge of the Strength of Hercules according to the weak Measure of Mens Strength now.
And so by reason of the Greatness and Strangeness of things related, History suffers in its Credit and Reputation. But in old Stories the Truth ought not to be search'd into too critically and punctually: For in the Plays and Theaters, tho' we do not believe for certain that there ever were such Creatures as Centaurs, or Creatures of a double Nature of several Species's, nor such a one as Geryon, that had three Bodies, yet we favourably receive and entertain those Fables, and with a general Applause advance the Honour of the God. How unjust is it then that Men should forget the Labours of Hercules while he was here upon Earth? Whereby he did Good to all the World, and instead of rendring him his due Praises, Page 131 to calumniate him, whom our Ancestors with unanimous Consent for his eminent Virtue honour'd with divine Honours.
And what can be more impious, than not to preserve and defend that Religious Respect to this God, which they by their Example have recommended to us? But letting these things pass; we shall relate the things done by him from the beginning, according as the Poets and the most ancient Mythologists have handed them down to us.
Perseus (they say) was the Son of Jupiter by Danae, the Daughter of Acrisius, and that Perseus begat Electryo of Andromeda, the Daughter of Cepheus, and that Electryo begat Alcmenes of Eurydice the Daughter of Pelops, and that Jupiter (deceiving Alcmenes) lay with her and begat Hercules: So that by this Genealogy Hercules descended from the chiefest of the Gods, both immediately by his Mother, and more remotely by his Great-Grand-Father Perseus. His Virtue and Valour were not only evident from his Acts, but might be concluded and foreseen by what happen'd before he was born: For when Jupiter lay with Alcmenes, he lengthen'd the Night threefold, so that spending so much time in procreating this Child, was a Sign how extraordinary strong he was like to be. They say that Jupiter lay not with her out of any amorous Pang of Love, as with other Women, but meerly for Procreation sake: And therefore willing that his Embraces at this time should be lawful, he forbore all Violence; and knowing that the Woman's Chastity was such, that no Arguments would prevail with her, he deceiv'd her by taking upon him the Shape of Amphitryo.
And now the Time of her Delivery drew nigh, when Jupiter full of thoughts concerning the Birth of Hercules, in the presence of all the Gods declar'd, that he would make him King of the Persians, who was to be born that that day. Whereupon Juno inrag'd with Jealousie, with the assistance of Ilithyia her Daughter, gave a Check to the delivery of Alcmenes, and brought forth Eurystheus before his full time. But though Jupiter was thus outwitted by Juno, yet that he might perform his Promise, he took care to preserve the Honour and Reputation of Hercules. And therefore its reported that he prevail'd with Juno to consent, that Eurystheus being made King according to his Promise, Hercules (who should be subject to him) performing Twelve Labours (such as Euristheus should impose upon him) should be taken into the Society of the Immortal Gods.
Alcmenes being deliver'd (out of fear of Juno's Jealousie) expos'd the Child in a place which is now from him call'd Hercules's his Field. About which time Minerva, together with Juno, walking Abroad, found the Infant, and much admiring his Beauty, Minerva persuaded Juno to give it suck: The Child drawing the Breast with more violence than at his Age was usual, Juno not able to indure the pain, cast away the Infant; whom Minerva took up, and brought Home to his Mother to be nurs'd by her. The Accident here seems very strange and remarkable. For the Mother, who ow'd a natural Affection to her own Child, expos'd him to Destruction; but she who hated him, as a Stepmother (unknowingly) preserv'd her natural Enemy.
Afterwards Juno sent two Serpents to devour the Child: But he took them with both his Hands by their Throats and strangl'd them. Upon which account the Argives (coming to understand what was done) call'd him Hercules, because Juno was the Occasion of his Glory and Fame; for he was before call'd Alcaeus. Others are nam'd by their Parents, but he gain'd his Name by his Valour.
In After-times it happen'd that Amphitrio, being banish'd from Tyrinthe, settl'd himself in Thebes; here Hercules was educated, here he was instructed and greatly improv'd in all laudable Exercises, in so much as he excell'd all others in Strength of Body, and also in the excellent Endowments of his Mind.
Being now grown up to Man's Estate, he first freed Thebes from tyrannical Slavery, and thereby made a grateful Return to the Country where he was bred. The Thebans at that time were under the Tyranny of Erginus, King of the Menyans, who every year exacted Tribute from them, not without Scorn and Contempt. Hercules therefore not at all discourag'd with the Greatness of the Bondage they labour'd under, attempted a glorious Piece of Service. For when those who were sent from the Menyae to collect the Tribute, carry'd it * insolently towards the People, he cut off their Ears, and cast them out of the City, whereupon Page 132Erginus demanded the Delivery up of the Malefactor, and Creon the Prince of Thebes (dreading the Potency of Erginus) resolv'd to deliver him up; But Hercules stirr'd up the young Men of the City to arm themselves, in order to recover the Liberty of their Country, and to that end took away all the Arms that were in the Temples, formerly dedicated to the Gods by their Ancestors, of the Spoyls of their Enemies. For none of the Citizens had any Arms of their own, by Reason the Menyans had disarm'd the City; so that the Thebans had not the least Thought of a Revolt.
Intelligence being brought that Erginus with an Army approach'd the City, Hercules set upon him in a strait Passage (where a Multitude was of little Use) and kill'd Erginus, and cut off almost his whole Army. He fell likewise suddainly upon the City of the Orchomenians, entring unexpectedly, and burnt the Palace of the Menyae, and raz'd the City to the Ground.
The Fame of this notable Exploit was presently nois'd over all Greece, while such a suddain and unexpected Atchievement was the Subject of every Man's Admiration, and Creon the King (wonderfully taken with the Valour of the young Man) gave him his Daughter Megaera to Wife, and committed to him the Care and Charge of the City as if he had been his own Son.
But Euristheus King of Argos (jealous of Hercules his growing Greatness) sent for him to perform the Labours he was to impose upon him, which he refusing, Jupiter commanded him to obey King Euristheus; whereupon Hercules went to Delphos, and inquir'd of the Oracle concerning this Matter, who answer'd him, That it was the Pleasure of the Gods, that he should perform twelve Labours at the Command of Euristheus, and that when he had finish'd them, he should receive the Reward of Immortality. Hereupon Hercules became exceeding sad and melancholy; for he judg'd it very much below him to be at the Beck of his inferior; and to disobey his Father Jupiter a second time he concluded was both unprofitable and impossible. While he was in this Perplexity Juno struck him with Madness; being therefore through the Discomposure of his Mind become distracted, and by the Growth of his Distemper altogether a mad Man, he design'd to murder Iolaus, who saving himself by Flight he fell upon his own Children by Megara, who were next in his Way, and struck them through with his Darts, as if they had been his Enemies.
As soon as he came again to himself, and understood his Error, he almost sunk under the Weight of his Misery (being pity'd by every Body) and shut up himself in his own House a long time from the Converse and Society of Men.
At length Time moderating his Grief, resolving to undergo all the Difficulties that were enjoyn'd him, he went to Euristheus; who in the first place commanded him to kill the Lyon in the Forest of Nemea, which was of a monstrous Bigness, not to be pierc'd or wounded by Sword, Spear or Stones, and therefore not to be dealt with but by meer Force and Strength of Hand. His Walks were commonly between Mycenas and Nemea, near the Mountain (from what happen'd to it) call'd Tretos. For at the Foot of this Hill there was a Den, in which this Monster us'd to lurk. Hercules here meeting with him lay'd hold on him, whereupon the Beast beginning to fly to his Den, he resolutely pursu'd him (having before stop'd up one of the Mouths of the Den) and so both clos'd, where he got the Lyon by the Throat, and strangl'd him with his Arms. Then he cloath'd himself with his Skin (which was big enough to cover his whole Body) and ever after wore it as a Defence in all Conflicts.
His second Task was to kill the Hydra of Lerna. This Monster had a hundred Necks rising out of one Body, and upon every Neck a serpentine Head, and when one of these was cut off, two others grew up in its stead, and therefore this Monster was accounted invincible; and not without good reason; for from the Part that was lost, arose a double Assistance in its Room. Against this Difficulty he invented this Stratagem; he commanded Iolaus to sear the Part that was cut off with a Firebrand, that thereby the Blood might be stop'd, by which Means the Beast was kill'd; and he dipt the Points of his Darts in the Monster's Gall, that wherever they struck, the Wound might be incurable.
The third Command was, that he should bring the Erymanthean Boar (which rov'd about in the Plains of Arcadia) to him alive. This seem'd to be a most difficult Task. For he that fought with this Beast ought to be so subtil as diligently to watch the exact Time and fittest Opportunity in the Management of the Page 133 Conflict; for if he should let him go while he was in his full strength, the Champion was in danger to be rent in pieces with his Tushes; and if he wounded him too sore, and so kill'd him, his Labour was lost, and his Victory imperfect. However he so prudently manag'd the Combat, that he brought the Boar alive to Euristheus, who was so terrify'd to see him come hurrying with the Boar upon his Shoulders, that he hid himself in a Brazen Hogshead.
In the mean time Hercules subdu'd the Centaurs upon this occasion: There was one Pholus among the Centaurs, from whom the Neighbouring Mountain was call'd Pholoes; this same having entertain'd Hercules as his Guest, took up an Hogshead of Wine that had for a long time been bury'd in the Earth. For it's reported that this Wine was anciently deposited in the Hands of a certain Centaur by Bacchus, who commanded that it should be broacht at that very time when Hercules came thither; who now hapning to be there the Fourth Age after, Pholus remembring Bacchus his Command, open'd the Hogshead; whereupon the Wine being old, and exceeding strong, the Flavour of it reacht to the Neighbouring Centaurs, and struck them all with a fit of Fury and Madness; whereupon they all came in Troops, and in a terrible Tumult assaulted Pholus his House, to carry away the Prey, in so much as Pholus in a great Fright hid himself.
But Hercules unexpectedly set upon the Aggressors; for he was to fight with those who from the Mother partook of the Nature of the Gods, were as swift as Horses, as strong as double Bodied Beasts, and were indu'd with the understanding and prudence of Men.
Some of these Centaurs assail'd him with Fir-Trees pluck'd up by the Roots; others with huge and massy Stones, some with lighted Firebrands, and others with Axes, with whom he undauntedly enter'd the List, and fought with that bravery, as was agreeable to the glory of his former Actions.
Their Mother Nephele assisted them by a violent Storm of Rain, which was no prejudice to them that were Four-footed; but he that had but Two, had by this means a troublesom and slippery Standing: However Hercules with wonderful Valour overcame them, that had so many and great Advantages above him, Killing most of them, and putting the rest to flight: Of those that were slain, the most remarkable were Daphnis, Argeus, Amphion, Hippotion, Oreus, Isoples, Melanchetes, Thereus, Dupo and Phrixus. And every one of those that fled, came afterwards to condign Punishment; For Homadus, (because he ravisht in Arcadia, Atalcyona, the Sister of Euristheus) was slain by Hercules, for which his Generosity was greatly admir'd: For though he hated his Enemy upon his own private Account, yet he judg'd it a commendable piece of Humanity, to have Compassion of a Woman in her afflicted Condition, upon the account of her Dishonour and Disgrace.
Somewhat likewise remarkable happened to Pholus, Hercules his Friend: For burying the Centaurs that were kill'd (upon the account of his Kindred and Relation to them) plucking a Dart out of one of them, he chanc'd with the Point mortally to wound himself, of which he died; whom Hercules with great Pomp and State bury'd at the Foot of the Mount; which fell out to be far more glorious than the most stately Monument; for the Mountain being call'd Philoe, preserves the memory of him bury'd there, not by Characters and Inscriptions, but by similittude of Name. In the same manner he kill'd Chiron (eminent for his Art in Phisick) by chance with the throwing of a Dart. But this that has been said of the Centaurs shall suffice.
Afterwards Hercules receiv'd a further Command, That he should take the swift Hart that had golden Horns, and bring him to the King. This he perform'd more by Art and Subtilty than strength of Body: For some say he took her in a Net, others by tracing her to the place where she rested, and there laying hold on her when she was asleep; but others say, that he ran her down, and so gain'd her by swiftness of Foot. However it were, it's certain he perform'd this Labour not by force or any hazard, but by Art and Skill.
Being next commanded to drive away the Birds that were about the Stymphalian Lake, by Art and Contrivance he easily perform'd this: For there were an innumerable number of Birds in those Places, which destroy'd and eat up all the Fruits in the Neighbourhood; and they were so numerous, that no Force could Page 134 prevail to be rid of them. Being therefore there was need of Art and Contrivance in this matter, he invented a Brazen Pan, and by the mighty sound it made, by striking upon it, frighted the Birds, and by the continual noise, drave them at length quite away; so that the Lake was never infested with them afterwards.
This Labour being now at an end, Eurystheus in Contempt of him, commanded him without any Assistant to cleanse Augeus his Stable, in which were vast heaps of Muck and Dirt which had been gathering together for many Years. Hercules therefore to avoid the ignominy of this Contempt cast upon him, scorn'd to carry out the Muck and Dung upon his Shoulders, but in one Days time, without any disgrace to himself, cleans'd the Stable, by turning the Course of the River Peneus through it; in which thing the ingenuity of Hercules is admirable, who so executed the proud Command of his domineering Master, as to avoid every thing that was base and unbecoming the glory of his immortal Honour.
Next was impos'd upon him the bringing the Bull out of Crete, with which (they say) Pasiphae fell in love. To this end therefore he sail'd into the Island, and by the assistance of King Minos, transported the Beast (for which he had made so long a Voyage) into Peloponesus.
Having perform'd this Task, he instituted the Olympick Games, and for that purpose chose out a place he judg'd most convenient for the reception of such a Pompous Assembly, which were the Fields all along the Banks of the River Alpheus. Here he order'd the Solemnity of these Games to the honour of his Father Jupiter; and appointed to the Victors a Crown for a Reward, minding the general good and benefit of Mankind, without taking any advantage to himself. In every Exercise he was Victor, without any opposition; for by reason of his remakable strength and valour, none durst contend with him, although the Contests were of a contrary and different nature one from another: For it's a hard matter even for a mighty Champion in Combate, always to win the Prize in a Course, and as difficult for those that are usually Victors in small Contentions, to prevail against them that are eminent in greater Contests. Hercules therefore prevail'd in all these Games, carrying away the Prize from the chiefest among them.
And here we are not to omit giving an account of the Rewards given to him by the Gods for his Virtue; for when he retir'd himself from Wars, and betook himself to his ease and quietness, and to follow Sports, Panegyricks and Festivals, every one of the Gods presented him with their several Gifts.
Minerva gave him an imbroidered Hood, Vulcan a Club and a Breast-plate; and between these Two, was a Contest who should excel in their several Arts, whilst the one wrought and bestow'd what was for pleasure and ornament in time of Peace, and the other what was for defence in time of War. Neptune presented him with Horses, Mercury with a Sword, Apollo a Bow, and taught him the art of Archery. And Ceres to expiate the Slaughter of the Centaurs, instituted in honour of Hercules some small Mysteries. But concerning the Birth of this God, this is remarkable, for the first Woman upon Earth that Jupiter lay with, was Niobe, the Daughter of Pharoneus; and the last was Alcmena, who was in the Sixteenth Age after Niobe as the Mythologists say. From the time of † her Ancestors, he began to beget Men, and at length ended in this Alcmena, and would never after have any thing to do with any Mortal, or beget any Issue, never expecting to beget a more excellent Offspring.
Afterwards when the Giants fought with the immortal Gods at Pallene, Hercules aided the Gods, and after a great Slaughter made by him of those Sons of the Earth, he became greatly renown'd. For Jupiter call'd those only Gods of Olympus, who assisted him in the War, by this Title of Honour, to distinguish the Couragious from the Coward; which Surname he gave to Bacchus and Hercules, though their Mothers were Mortals; not only because they were the Offspring of Jove, but likewise for that they were like him in virtuous Qualifications, doing good generally to all Mankind.
Page 135 But Prometheus because he stole Fire from Heaven, and handed it to Men, was clapt in Chains by Jupiter, who caus'd an Eagle to seize and feed continually upon his Liver: But Hercules seeing that he suffered so much for his Kindness to Mankind, shot the Bird with an Arrow, and then having pacify'd Jove, freed this common Benefactor from all farther trouble.
Afterwards he was injoyn'd to bring away Diomedes King of Thrace's Mares, which were kept in Stalls of Brass, and (by reason of their Strength and Fierceness) ty'd up in Iron Chains. Their Provender was not from the Product of the Earth, but they were fed with the Flesh of miserable Strangers that came thither, cut in small Pieces for that purpose. Hercules to gain Possession of them, laid their own Master Diomedes before them, who satiating their Hunger by his Flesh, who had wickedly taught them to feed upon Flesh, thereby became tame and manageable. Euristheus when they were brought to him, dedicated them to Juno, and their Breed continu'd to the time of Alexander the Great. When he had perform'd this Labour, he saild with Jason to Colchos, to bring away the Golden Fleece by force of Arms. But of this we shall speak, when we come to the Expedition of the Argonauts.
Then he was commanded to strip Hyppolyta the Amazon of her Belt. Hereupon resolving upon a War against the Amazons, he sail'd into Pontus, from him call'd Euxinus, and arriving at the Mouth of the River Thermodon, he incampt near the City Themiscyra, the Seat Royal of the Amazons: And first he demanded the Belt to be deliver'd to him; which being refus'd, he join'd Battel with them.
The choice and most noble of the Amazons were drawn up against Hercules, the rest of the Army oppos'd the other ordinary Troops, so that there was a very sharp Ingagement. The first that fought Hand to Hand with him, was Aella, so call'd from her swiftness; but she found her Enemy swifter than her self: The Second was Philippis, who upon the first Onset, receiv'd a Mortal Wound, and fell down Dead. Then Prothoe entred the List, who, they say, Seven times baffl'd her Enemy in single Combat; but she being at length slain, he kill'd the Fourth call'd Eribea. She was so confident in her strength and feats of Arms, that she us'd to boast she needed none to second her; but meeting with one stronger than her self, she presently experienc'd the vanity of her boasting.
After these Celaenus, Euryaea and Phobe, Companions with Diana in Hunting, (who never us'd to miss their Mark, yet now could none of them hit one,) in defending one another, were all kill'd together upon the Spot. Then he overcame Deianita, Asteria, Marpes, Tecmessa and Alcippe. The last mention'd had vow'd perpetual Virginity, and kept their Oaths, but could not preserve their Lives. Melanippe also the Queen of the Amazons, (who was famous and highly admir'd every where for her Valour) then lost her Kingdom. The chief of the Amazons being thus cut off, he forc'd the rest to fly, and killing most of them in the pursuit, wholly destroy'd and rooted up that Nation. Of the Prisoners he gave Antiope to Theseus, but Melanippe he discharg'd, having first taken from her her Belt.
After this, a Tenth Labour was impos'd upon him by Eurystheus, and that was to drive away the Oxen of Geryon that pastur'd in Iberia near to the Ocean. Hercules perceiving he could not perform this Task without much trouble and great preparation, set forth a brave Fleet, and mann'd it with such a number of Seamen and Souldiers, as such an Expedition justly requir'd: For it was nois'd Abroad through the whole World, that Chrysaores (so call'd from his Riches) King of Iberia, had Three Sons, strong Bodied Men, and famous for Martial Affairs, and that each of them had great Armies of Valiant Men, constantly at hand attending upon them; which was the reason Euristheus impos'd this Task upon him, conceiving this Expedition was greater than he was ever able to perform: But Hercules undertook this with as much considence as he had done those before, and commanded Forces to be rais'd in Crete, whence he resolv'd to set forth; this Island being the most convenient Port from whence to make any Expedition into any part Page 136 of the World. Before he set Sail, mighty Honours were conferr'd upon him by the Inhabitants; in grateful return of which Favours, he freed the Island from wild Beasts, so that no hurtful Creatures, such as Bears, Wolves, Serpents, and such like remain'd there ever after. He did these things in reverence to the Island, because it was reported that Jupiter was bred and born there. Loosing thence, he arriv'd at Libya. Here in the first place he challeng'd and slew Antaeus (famous for his great strength and skill in Wrestling,) who was us'd to kill the Strangers he wrestled with, after he had master'd them. Then he destroy'd the wild Beasts in the Deserts, and made Africa so quiet and improvable (which was before full of hurtful Creatures,) that every part was fit for Tillage, and planting of Fruit-Trees; the whole Country productive of Wine and Oyl. In short, he so improv'd Libya (which by reason of the multitude of wild Beasts was before uninhabitable,) that no Country in the World afterwards exceeded it for fertility and richness of Soyl. In like manner he so purg'd the Nation from wicked Men, and insolent Tyrants, that he put all the Cities into a flourishing state and condition. It's therefore reported that he was prosecuted with the hatred and opposition of all sorts of dreadful wild Beasts, and of wicked Men; for when he was an Infant in his Cradle, he was assaulted by Serpents, and when he was a Man, he was vext and perplext with the Commands of a proud and unjust Tyrant.
After the Killing of Antaeus, he went into Egypt, where he slew the Tyrant Busiris, who murder'd all Strangers that landed there. After he had pass'd over the Sandy Deserts of Libya, he found a fertil and well water'd Country, in which he built an extraordinary great City, from the number of its Gates call'd Hecatompylon, which continu'd in a flourishing Condition till of latter Times that the Carthaginians with a great Army, (commanded by Eminent Captains) took it.
Hercules having pass'd through a great part of Africa, arriv'd in the Ocean, near Gades, where he erected Two Pillars, one on each side the straight upon the Continent.
Thence (with his Fleet sailing along with him) he pass'd over into Iberia, where he found the Sons of Chrysaores, with Three mighty Armies. These at a distance, he challeng'd to a single Combat, and having at length slain the Three Generals, he gain'd Iberia, and drove away those remarkable Herds of Cattel.
In the mean time as he travell'd through Spain, he was magnificently entertain'd by a petit Prince in the Country (who was a Pious and Just Man) in return of which, he bestow'd upon him some of the Cattel; and he again consecrated them all to Hercules, and every Year sacrific'd to him one of the fairest Bulls that were bred of them; some of which Sacred Breed remain in Iberia to this Day.
And now because we have before made mention of Hercules Pillars, we conceive it fit in this Place to say something further concerning them.
Hercules, when he arriv'd at the utmost Coasts of both Continents adjoining to the Ocean, resolv'd to set up these Pillars as lasting Monuments of his Expedition. That his Work therefore might be famous to all Posterity, it's said, that he much inlarg'd both the Mountains on each side, by making great Moulds for a long way into the Sea; so that whereas before they lay in the Sea at a great distance one from another, he made the Passage so narrow, that the great Whales from that time could not pass out of the Ocean through those Streights into the Mediterranean; and by the greatness of the Work, the Glory of the Workman is preserv'd in everlasting remembrance.
But there are some of a contrary Opinion, and affirm that the Continents once join'd together, and that he cut a Trench through them, whereby he open'd a Passage, and so brought the Ocean into our Sea. But every Man may judge of this matter as he thinks fit. The like he did before in Greece: For when the large Champain Country about Tempe, was all over a standing Lake, he cut Sluces through the lower Grounds, and through those Trenches drain'd all the Water out of the Lake, by which means were gain'd all those pleasant Fields of Thessaly as far as to the River Penaeus. But in Beotia he did quite contrary, for he caus'd the River which ran through the Country of the Minyae to overflow the whole Region, and turn all into a standing Pool: What he did in Thessaly, was to Page 137 gain the favour of the Grecians, but that in Beotia he did to punish the Minyae, because they opprest the Thebans.
Hercules having committed the Government of the Kingdom of Iberia to the chiefest of the Inhabitants, marcht away with his Army into Celtica; and over〈…〉n the whole Country, and put an end to their usual Impieties and Murdering of Strangers.
And whereas a vast multitude from all Nations came and listed themselves of their own accord in his Army; having such a number, he built a Famous large City, which he call'd from his wandering Expedition Alesia. But because many of the Barbarians from the neigbouring Places were mixt among the Citizens, it happened that the rest of the Inhabitants (being much inferior in number) learnt the Barbarians Manners of the other. The Celtae at this Day have a great esteem and honour for this City, as being the chief and Metropolis of all Gaul; and ever since the time of Hercules it has remain'd Free never taken by any to our very days; till at length Caius Caesar, who (by reason of the greatness of his actions) was call'd Divus, took it by storm, and so it came into the hands of the Romans. With the rest of the Gauls Hercules marching out of Gaul into Italy, as he pass'd over the Alps levell'd and open'd those rough and difficult Ways (that were scarce passable) to make way for his Army and Carriages. The Barbarians who Inhabited those Mountainous Parts, were us'd to Kill and Rob, in the straight and craggy Places, Armies as they happned to pass this way; but he subdu'd them and put to Death the Ringleaders of those wicked practices, and so made the Passage safe this way to all Posterity. Having pass'd the Alps, he continu'd his March through Gaul, as it's now call'd, and came into Liguria. The Ligurians inhabit a rough and barren Soil, but being forc'd by continual Labour and Toyl, it produces some little Corn and other Fruits: The People here are short and low, but by reason of their constant Labours well set and strong; for they are far from idle and luxurious livers, and therefore are very active, and Valiant in time of War. To conclude, because all these neighbouring Regions are ply'd with continual Labours and Pains (for that the Land requires it) it's the Custom for the Women to work and labour in that kind, as well as the Men; and whereas the Women as well as the Men work for Hire, there fell out a remarkable Accident concerning one of these Women, strange and unusual to any of our Female Sex. Being great with Child, and falling in Labour in the midst of her work amongst the Men, without any noise or complaint she withdrew herself into a certain Grove there near at hand, and there being Delivered, she cover'd the Infant with Leaves, and hid it among the Shrubs, and then return'd to her Work again, without the least sign of having born a Child, and continu'd with her Fellow-labourers in her Work as she did before. But the Infant crying and bawling, discover'd the whole matter; yet the Overseer of the Workmen would by no means be perswaded to suffer her to leave her miserable Labour, till he that hir'd her, pitying her condition, paid her her Wages, and discharged her.
Hercules after he had gone through Liguria, and Thuscany, incampt at Tiber, where Rome now stands, built many Ages after by Romulus the Son of Mars. The Natural Inhabitants at that time inhabited a little Town upon a Hill, now call'd Mount Palla〈…〉e. Here Politius and Pinarius, the most eminent Persons of Quality among them, entertain'd Hercules with all the demonstrations of Kindness imaginable, and presented him with many noble Presents: There are now at Rome ancient Monuments of these Men; for the most noble Family, call'd the Pinarii, remains still among the Romans, and is accounted the most ancient at this day. And there are Politius his Stone Stairs to go down from Mount Pallatine (call'd after his Name) adjoyning to that which was anciently his House.
Hercules being much pleas'd with the civil Entertainment of the Pallatines, foretold them, that whosoever should dedicate the Tenth of their Goods to him, after he was translated to the Gods, should be ever after more prosperous: And this Dedication has been over since constantly us'd to this day. For many of the Romans, not only such as are of mean Estates, but the great and rich Men (having experienc'd how Riches have flow'd in upon them, after the Decimation of their Goods to Hercules,) have dedicated the Tenth part of their Substances, which have been of the value of Four Thousand Talents. For Lucullus (the richest almost of all the Romans in his time, valu'd his Estate, and consecrated the Tenths Page 138 to this God, and feasted continually with prodigious Charge and Expence. The Romans afterwards built a Magnificent Temple near to the River Tiber, in honour of this God, and instituted Sacrifices to him out of the Tenths.
Hercules marching from Mount Pallatine, pass'd through the Maritime Coasts of Italy, as they are now call'd, and came into the Champain Country of Cumaea, where (it's said) there were men infamous for their Outrages and Cruelties, call'd Giants. This Place is also call'd the Phlegraean Plain, from a Hill which anciently vomited out Fire, like unto Etna in Sicily, now call'd Vesuvius, which retains many Signs and marks of its ancient Irruptions.
These Giants hearing of Hercules his Approach, met him in Battel Array; and fighting with the force and cruelty of Giants, Hercules (with the Assistance of the Gods) overcame them; and cutting off most of them, quieted that Country. These Giants were call'd Sons of the Earth, by reason of the vast Bulk of their Bodies. These are the things that some report (whom Timaeus follows) concerning the destruction of the Giants of Phlegraea.
Leaving the Plains of Phlegraea, he came to the Sea, where he perform'd some remarkable Works about the Lake Avernus (as it's call'd) which is consecrated to Proserpine. It's situated between Micenus and Diciarcheos, near the hot Baths, Five Furlongs in Circuit, and of an incredible Depth. The Water of this Lake is exceeding clear, and the mighty depth of this Gulf casts a blew Colour upon the Surface.
It's reported, that anciently there was here an Oracle, where they conjur'd the Infernal Spirits, which the latter Ages abolish'd. Whereas this Lake extended as far as to the Sea, it's said Hercules by casting up of Earth, so stopt up its Current, that he made the way near the Sea, now call'd the Herculean way. And these are the things he did there.
Marching thence, he came to a certain Rock in the Country of the Posidonia•s, where they report a kind of a Miracle happened. A certain Huntsman (famous all over the Country for his brave Exploits) was us'd formerly to fix the Heads and Feet of all the Game he took, to Trees, as an Offering to Diana: But having then taken a great wild Boar (in Contempt of the Goddess) he boasted, and declar'd he would only consecrate the Head to her; and forthwith according to what he said, hung it upon a Tree. It being then Summer-time, about Noon, he laid him down to Sleep, during which time, the Band which fastned the Head, broke, and so it fell down upon him that slept, and kill'd him. And there's no reason to wonder at this, when many of the like kind are reported to have happened, by which the Goddess has reveng'd her self of the Impious. But the contrary happened to Hercules, for the sake of his Piety; for when he came to the Borders of Rhegium and Locris, being wearied with his March, and laid down to rest, they say he was disturb'd with the noise and creaking of the Grashoppers, whereupon he intreated the Gods to free him from that disturbance, who heard his Prayers: For the Grashoppers flew away, not only for that time, but none were ever seen there at any time after.
When he came to the narrowest Passage over the Sea, he caus'd the Cattel to swim over before him into Sicily, and he himself catcht hold of one of the Horns of the Oxen, and in that manner swam along for the space of Thirteen Furlongs, as Timaeus reports the matter. Afterwards, desiring to go round the Island, he went on his Journey from Peloriadis to Eryx, and passing along the Shoar, the Nymphs open'd the hot Baths for him, where he refresh'd himself after his tedious Journey. These Baths were Two in number, the Hemerian and Egestean, so call'd from the Places. After Hercules came into the Country of Eryx, Eryx the Son of Venus and Bula, the King of the Country, challeng'd Hercules to wrestle with him. Both sides propos'd the Wager to be won and lost; Eryx laid to stake his Kingdom, but Hercules his Oxen; Erix at first disdain'd such an unequal Wager, not fit to be compar'd with his Country; but when Hercules on the other side answer'd, that if he lost them, he should lose together with them Immortality, Eryx was contented with the Condition, and engag'd in the Contest: But he was overcome, and so was stript out of the Possession of his Country, which Hercules gave to the Inhabitants, allowing them to take the Fruits to their own use, till some one of his Posterity came to demand it, which afterwards hapned: For many Ages after, Doriaeus the Lacedemonian (sailing into Sicily) recover'd his Ancestors Dominion, and there built Heraclea, which growing Page 139 great on a suddain, became the Object of the Carthaginians Envy and Fear, lest growing stronger than Carthage it self, it should deprive them of their Sovereignty; and for that Reason they besieg'd it with a mighty Army, and took it by force, and raz'd it to the Ground; of which we shall speak particularly in its proper time.
Hercules having view'd Sicily round, came to the City now call'd Syracuse, where when he came to be inform'd of the Rape of Proserpina; he offer'd magnificent Sacrifices to the Goddesses, and at Cyane sacrific'd the goodliest of his Bulls, and ordered the Inhabitants to sacrifice Yearly to Proserpina, and observe an Anniversary Festival at Cyane. Then travelling through the heart of the Country with his Oxen, he was set upon by the Sicani, with a strong Body of Men; whom after a cruel Battel he routed, and cut off most of them; amongst whom (it's reported) there were Captains of extraordinary Valour, who are honour'd as Demy-Gods to this Day; to wit, Leucaspis, Pedicrates, Buphonas, Caugates, Cygaus and Crytidas: Thence he pass'd through the Country of Leontines, and much admir'd the pleasantness of the Territory, and by reason of the singular respect he found from the Inhabitants, he left there eternal Monuments of his Presence.
Among the Agyrineans something remarkable happened concerning him; for they kept magnificent Festivals, and offered Sacrifices to him as to the Gods themselves; which was the first time he approv'd of such Worship, never before allowing any Sacrifice to himself: But now the Deity it self ratify'd his Divinity; for not far from the City in a Rocky Way, the Oxen made Impressions with their Feet, as if it had been in Wax; and the same thing likewise happening to Hercules himself, caus'd him to conclude that (his Tenth Labour being now perfected) his Immortality was in part sealed to him; and therefore he refus'd not the Yearly Solemnity of Sacrifices instituted in honour of him by the Inhabitants. That he might therefore manifest his gratitude to them for the Honours conferr'd upon him, he caus'd a Pond to be sunk near the City, Four Furlongs in Compass, which he call'd after his own Name. The Impressions likewise made by the Hoofs of his Oxen, he nam'd after himself; and consecrated a Grove to Geryon, as to a Demy-God, whom the Inhabitants religiously worship at this Day. He built likewise there a famous Temple in honour of Iolaus, his Associate in his Expedition, and appointed he should be honour'd with Yearly Sacrifices, which are observ'd at this day: For all the Inhabitants of this City let their Hair grow, without Cutting, from their very Births, in honour of Iolaus; till they make an Offering of them to him, and gain the favour of the God by costly and magnificent Sacrifices. Such is the Holiness and Majesty of this Temple, that whosoever do not observe these holy Rites, they are strucken Dumb, and are like Dead Men: But as soon as any recollects himself, and vows to offer his Sacrifices, and gives a Pledge to the God for that purpose, they are presently restor'd to their former Health. The Inhabitants therefore very fitly call the Gate where these Sacred Solemnities are perform'd Heraclea. They every Year likewise with great earnestness celebrate the Gymnick Sports, and Horse-Races; whither all the People both Bond and Free flocking, they privately taught their Servants how to worship this God, how to celebrate the Solemn Sacrifices, and to perform when they met together the Sacred Rites and Festivals.
After this, Hercules pass'd over his Oxen again into Italy, and in his marching along by the Sea-Coasts, he kill'd one Lacinius that was stealing some of his Oxen. There he buried Croton, and erected a stately Monument over him, whom he had unfortunately slain; and foretold that in time to come there should be built a famous City, call'd after the Name of him that was there bury'd. Having at length marcht round about Adria, and all the Coasts of that Gulf on Foot, he pass'd through Epirus into Peloponesus.
Having finisht his Tenth Labour, Euristheus impos'd another Task upon him, and that was that he should bring Cerberus out of Hell. Preparing himself therefore to perform this, to be better enabled thereunto, he went to Athens to be initiated into the Mysterious Rites of Elusina, where Musaeus the Son of Orpheus was then High Priest.
And because we have now occasion to mention Orpheus, we conceive it will not be amiss here to give a short Account of him. He was the Son of Oeagrus, and by Birth a Thracian, for the Art of Musick and Poetry far excelling all that Page 140 ever were recorded. For he compos'd a Poem for sweetness and smoothness, the Subject of all Mens admiration: And he grew so eminent in this Art, that by the Melody of his Musick, he was said to draw even wild Beasts and Trees after him: And being naturally very studious, he attain'd to an extraordinary degree of Knowledge in the ancient Theology. He improv'd himself likewise very much by travelling into Egypt, so that he was accounted to excel the most accomplish'd Person among all the Grecians for his Knowledge, both in Divinity and Sacred Mysteries, in Musick and Poetry. He was one likewise in the Expedition of the Argonauts, and for the exceeding Love he had to his Wife (with an admirable Courage) descended into Hell, and there so inchanted Proserpina with the sweetness of his Musick, that she gratify'd him so far as to suffer him to carry back his Wife along with him, that dy'd a little before.
In like manner they say Bacchus hereupon rais'd his Mother Semele from the Shades below, and enduing her with Immortality, surnam'd her Thyone.
Having now done with this Digression relating to Orpheus, we return to Hercules: When he enter'd the Infernal Regious (the Mythologists say) Proserpina kindly receiv'd him as her Brother, and gave him liberty to loose Theseus and Perithous from their Chains; and at length contrary to the Expectations of all Men, brought up the Dog ty'd in his Chain, and presented him to open view.
The last Labour injoin'd him was to fetch away the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, to which purpose he pass'd over a Second time into Africa. The Mythologists vary in their Writings concerning this; for some affirm that there were really golden Apples in some of the Gardens of the Hesperides, guarded continually by a terrible Dragon. Others say, that there are Sheep of exquisite beauty in the Hesperides, and that from thence they are Poetically call'd Golden Apples, as Venus from her Beauty is call'd Golden Venus. Others will have it, that the Fleeces upon the Sheep's Backs are of that admirable Colour, that they glitter like Gold, and thence have been so call'd. And by the Dragon they understand the Shepherd of the Flocks, who being a Man of a strong Body and stout Heart, preserv'd the Flocks, and kill'd the Thieves that attempted to steal them.
But let every one judge of this matter as he thinks best himself: For Hercules kill'd the Keeper, and brought away the Apples or Sheep (which soever they were) to Eurystheus, trusting now, that since all his Tasks were perform'd (according to the Oracle of Apollo) he should be rewarded with Immortality.
An Account of Atlas and his Daughters, call'd Atlantides and Hesperides. The Amazons routed by Theseus in Attica. The further Acts of Hercules; he goes against Leomedon King of Troy, and other Acts. The Story of Meleager Son of King Oeneus. Amalthea's Horn. Hercules his further Acts. His Death by a poyson'd Shirt.
BUT we are not to omit what is said of Atlas, and the Original of the Hesperides. In the Country call'd Hesperis, liv'd Two famous Brothers, Hesperus and Atlas; They were possess'd of most lovely Sheep, of a Ruddy and Golden Colour, for which cause the Poets in their Phrase call'd them Golden Apples.
Hesperis the Daughter of Hesperus was married to his Brother Atlas, whence the Country was call'd Hesperis; by her Atlas had Seven Daughters, which from their Father were call'd Atlantides, and from their Mother Hesperides. Busiris King of Egypt having a great desire to injoy these Virgins by reason of their extraordinary Beauty, sent out some Pirates, with Orders to seize these Ladies, and bring them away to him.
About this time Hercules being imploy'd in his last Labour, kill'd Anteus in Lybia, who compell'd those Strangers that came into his Country, to wrestle with him; and inflicted condign Punishment upon Busiris in Egypt, who sacrific'd all Strangers that (arriv'd there) to Jupiter. Afterward passing over the River Nile, he came into Ethiopia, and kill'd Ematheon the Ethiopian King, who had challeng'd him to a Battel: And then he again set upon the Task injoin'd him. In the mean time the Thieves hurried away the Girls out of a Garden where they were Playing, and in great haste got to their Ships; whom Hercules met with upon a certain Shoar, where they were refreshing themselves; and being inform'd by the Virgins of the Rape, he kill'd all the Thieves, but deliver'd the Girls to Atlas their Father; for which Kindness he was so grateful, that he not only readily assisted him with what things were needful for the accomplishment of what he had then in hand, but willingly taught him the Art of Astrology: For he bestowed much of his Care and Pains in the Study of this Art; and because he had a curiously wrought Sphear of the Stars, he was said to carry the whole World upon his Shoulders. In the like manner Hercules tranferring the Doctrine of the Spheres to the Greeks, gain'd a Name, as he that from Atlas took upon himself the burden of the whole World: The Greeks darkly signifying thereby what then happened betwixt him and Atlas.
While Hercules was thus imploy'd, they say, those Amazons that were left, gather'd all in a Body from all Parts of the Nation, to the River Thermodon, with a Design to revenge themselves upon the Grecians, for the Losses they sustain'd by Hercules; and they bore a particular grudge and hatred to the Athenians, because that Theseus carry'd away Captive Antiope, (or as others write) Hippolytes, Queen of the Amazons.
Being therefore join'd with the Scythians, as their Confederates, they rais'd a great Army, with which the Amazonian Leaders passing over the Cimerian Bosphorus, marcht through Thrace, and pierc'd through a great part of Europe, and incamp'd at length in Attica, at a Place which from them is now call'd the Amazonian Field. Theseus having intelligence of their Approach, marcht out against them with an Army rais'd from among the Citizens, taking along with him Antiope, by whom he had now his Son Hippolytus. Battel being join'd, those with Theseus through the Valour of the Athenians won the day, and slew part of the Amazons upon the spot, and drave all the rest out of Attica. There Antiope in the defence of her Husband, fought bravely, and dy'd in Battel like a Hero. Those Amazons that remain'd, despairing ever to recover their Country, went away with the Seythians their Confederates into Seythia, and there seated themselves.
Page 142•at having spoke sussiciently of these, we return to Hercules; who having now finish'd all his Labours, was told by the Oracle that it was a thing very necessary, that before he was translated to the Gods, he should plant a Colony in Sard•nia, and make his Sons of the Stock of the Thespiadae, Governors of the Island. He therefore with his Nephew Iolaus, pass'd over thither with the Boys, because they were yet very Young. Here we think it convenient to premise something concerning the Birth of these young Boys, that we may more clearly give an account of the Colony. Thespis was of the most noble Family among the Athenians, the Son of •r••theus, and Prince of a Territory so call'd from him. He had of many Wives, Fifty Daughters. This Thespis being desirous that his Daughters should have Issue by Hercules, who was as yet but very Young, but of strength of Body beyond the usual course of Nature at that Age, invited him to a sacred Festival, and there nobly entertain'd him, and sent for his Daughters severally, one after another; Hercules lay with them all, and got them with Child, and so became both a Husband of Fifty Wives, and a Father of Fifty Sons; all which (being call'd by the general Name of Thespiadae in obedience to the Oracle, when they were grown up, he ordered them to be sent away, to plant a Colony in Sardinia; and because Iolaus was Admiral of his whole Fleet, and his Companion in all his Expeditions, he committed the care of the Colony of these Thespians to him. But Two of the Fifty remain'd in Thebes, whose Posterity (they say) continue there in great Honour and Esteem at this Day; and Seven more, whom they call Pe•uchi, resided in the City Thespis, whose Posterity (they say) were the principal Men of the City within the time of Man's Memory. All the rest, and whosoever else would go along with them, Iolaus transported into Sardinia; and having overcome the Inhabitants in Battel, the pleasantest part of the Island, and that which was most Champain, he divided by Lot, which at this day is call'd Iolacion. And he so improv'd the Island, and planted it with Fruit-Trees, that it became afterwards a Bone of Contention: For from that time it grew so Famous for the Riches and Fruitfulness of the Soyl, that the Carthaginiaus growing Rich and Powerful, so coveted this Island, that they fought many Battles to gain it; of which we shall speak hereafter in its proper Place.
After Iolaus had setled his Colony, he sent for Daedalus out of Sicily, and imploy'd him in building many stately Structures, which remain to this Day, and from the name of the Architect, are call'd Daedalus his Works. He built likewise stately and sumptuous Publick Schools for all manner of Exercises, and Courts of Justice, with many other such Works conducing to the happiness and well-being of Man's Life: He call'd also the Inhabitants Iolacians, after his own Name, the Thespiade allowing him that honour as their Father. For upon the Account of his faithful Service to them, they so loved him, that they call'd him Father. Whence it came to pass in After-times, that they who sacrifi'd to this God, call Iolaus Father, as the Persians did Cyrus.
Afterwards Iolaus return'd into Greece, and arriv'd at Sieily, were he staid a considerable time.
About that time some of his Fellow-Travellers (taken with the pleasantness of the Island) th〈…〉e seated themselves; and being mixt among the Si•ani, they continu'd there, and are in great esteem with the Inhabitants. But Iolaus is especially honour'd, to whom for the general good, he did in many Cities, Temples and Groves are built, and Divine Worship instituted as to a Demy-God. This Colony is 〈◊〉 upon the account of a remarkable Circumstance; for the Oracle commanded that all Persons of this Colony should be Freemen, and that their Posterity for ever should so continue; which Freedom is effectually injoy'd at this very day: For many Barbarians being mixt with this Colony, in process of time the whole Colony became Barbarous; and removing themselves to the Mountains, inhabited in Places inaccessible; where being us'd to Flesh and Milk (having many Herds and Hocks of Cattel,) they never made use of Bread-Co〈…〉; and being that they live in Caves under Ground, they have easily avoided the Miseries of War; and therefore though both the Carthaginians and Romans have often attempted to subdue them by force of Arms, yet all has been in vain: But let this now suffice that has been said concerning Iolaus and the Thespiadae, and their Colony in Sardinia.
Page 143Hercules having now finish'd all his Labours, gave his Wife Megara to Iolaus, suspecting that to have Issue by her, would be unfortunate, by reason of the miserable Disaster that befel his former Children; and for this Reason, he sought after another Wife (less to be suspected) by whom he might have more Children. In order whereunto, he desir'd Iole the Daughter of Eurytus Prince of Oechaliae, in Marriage. But Eurytus (fearing the Misfortune of Megara) told him he would consider of it. Hercules looking upon this as a Denial, to revenge himself for the Dishonour put upon him, drave away Eurytus his Horses: But Iphitus the Son of Eurythus suspecting how the matter was, came to Tirynthus to seek them; where Hercules brought him up to the Top of an high Turret, and bid him look round about, to see whether he could spy the Horses pasturing in any Place: Iphitus not discerning any of them, Hercules complain'd he had falsly accused him of Theft, and thereupon threw him down headlong from the Top of the Tower. For which wicked Fact being punished with a grievous Disease, he went to Neleus, at Pylus, and intreated him to expiate his Offence. Whereupon Neleus consulted concerning this matter with his Sons; who all declar'd (except Nestor the Youngest,) that no expiation ought to be allowed. Then he went to Deiophobus the Son of Hippolytus, and desired him to expiate him. But sinding still no Remedy for his Disease, he consulted at the Oracle of Apollo what he should do to be cured; who answer'd him, that he should be easily freed from his Distemper, if he were sold for a valuable Price, and the Mony given to Iphitus his Children. In obedience therefore to the Oracle, (forc'd through the violence of the Distemper) with some Friends he pass'd over into Asia, and there suffer'd one of his Servants to sell him: And sold he was as a Slave to Omphala the Daughter of Jardanus, and Queen of the Maeones, (for so the Lydians were formerly call'd) and the Seller gave the Price to the Children of Iphitus according to the command of the Oracle.
Hercules hereupon being recover'd of his Distemper diligently serv'd Omphala, and clear'd the Land of Robbers that infested it; for some of the Thieves call'd Cercopes (who had done abundance of mischief) he Kill'd, others he brought bou•d before the Queen. He Kill'd also Sileus with a Spade, who forc'd all Strangers that came thither to work in the Vineyards. He recover'd likewise the Spoils by force of Arms from the Itones, that wasted a great part of the Kingdom with their Depredations, and took and raz'd their City to the Ground, from whence they made all their Excursions. Omphales admiring the Valour and noble Exploits of the Man, after she came to understand who he was, and from whence descended, not only Manumitted him, but Marry'd him, by whom she had Lamon. He had a Son likewise before call'd Cleolaus, begotten in the time of his servitude, of one of his Fellow Servants.
Returning afterwards into Peloponesus, he led an Army against Laomedon, King of Troy, for some Injuries receiv'd from him. For he had deny'd to deliver the Horses he had promis'd him for the Killing of the Whale at the time that he accompany'd Jason by force of Arms to bring away the Golden Fleece, of which we shall presently treat particularly in the History of the Argonauts. But being at that time prevented from revenging himself by reason of the Expedition wherein he was ingag'd with Jason, he pickt out a fit opportunity afterwards, and sail'd (as some say) with Eightheen Ships against Troy, but as Homer says with Six only in the whole, who introduces Tlepolimus in these Words.
Page 144Hercules therefore, when he arriv'd in the Country of Troas, marcht straight with a Valiant Number of Men to Troy, but left Oiclcus the Admiral, the Son of Amphiaraus with the Fleet to be ready to assist him as occasion serv'd. In the mean time Laomedon being surpriz'd by the suddain advance of the Enemy, in a great hurry raised as many Forces as the shortness of the time would admit him to do, and led them against the Fleet, hoping by burning of it, to put a speedy end to the War. Oicleus the Admiral met the Enemy, and was kill'd at the first Onset; the rest being forc'd to their Ships, stood off to Sea.
Laomedon then return'd and Fought with Hercules, and he and most of his Men were cut off. Hereupon Hercules presently took the City by Storm, and put many of the Inhabitants that oppos'd him, to the Sword, but advanc'd Priam (for his Justice) to his Father's Throne. He was the only Son of Laomedon, that disapprov'd what his Father did, and advis'd that the Horses should be deliver'd to Hercules according to the Contract. Hercules to crown Telamon's Valour with an honourable Reward, gave him Hesione the Daughter of Laomedon to Wife. For he was the first that in this Storm made his Way into the City at the very strongest part of the Castle Wall, where Hercules himself made the Assault.
After his Return into Peloponesus, he made War upon Augeas for defranding him of his promis'd Reward; but after a Battel fought with the Eleans, without effecting any thing further at that time, he return'd to Olenus, who had before entertain'd him as his Guest, whose Daughter Hippolyte was at that time just Marry'd to Axanus. Hercules being then there, kill'd Eurytion the Centaur, for offering Violence to Hippolyte at the time of her Marriage.
Being return'd to Tirynthe, Eurystheus (mov'd upon some Suspicion of Treason or other) Banish'd him with his Mother Alcmena; and likewise Ephicle and Iolaus out of the Kingdom. Being thus forc'd away, he resided at Pheneus in Arcadia. Where he heard that the Sacreds of Neptune in a Solemn Procession were sent to the Istmos under the Conduct of Eurytus the Son of Augeas: Whereupon he hasted away, and set upon Eurytus on the suddain near to Cleone where Hercules's Temple now stands, and kill'd him. Afterwards entring the Country of Elis, with a Potent Army, he kill'd also King Augeas, and took the City by Storm, and recall'd Phyleus into his Country, and gave up the City, together with the Kingdom into his Hands. For he was banish'd by his Father, for ordering the Reward to be given to Hercules, being chosen an Arbitrator between them.
Afterwards it happened that Tyndarus was banish'd from Sparta by Hippocoon, whose Sons likewise being Twenty in number, had kill'd Hyionus the Son of Lycimnius, Hercules his Special Friend. Hercules understanding what they had done, made War upon them, and in a great Battel routing them, slew Multitudes of them; and took Sparta by Storm, and restor'd Tyndarus the Father of the Dioscuri to the Kingdom, upon this Condition, that (in as much as he had gain'd it by Conquest) he should keep it, and hereafter deliver it up intire to his Posterity. In this Battel there were very few kill'd on Hercules his side, amongst whom were those Famous Men Iphiclus, and Seventeen Sons of Cepheus; for of Twenty, Three only escap'd. On the other side, there fell Hippocoon himself with Ten of his Sons, and a great number of the Spartans. After this Battel, he return'd into Arcadia, and resorted to King Aleos, whose Daughter Augeas by stealth lay with, and got with Child, and then went to Stymphalus. Aleos being ignorant of what was done, afterwards discover'd the matter, by the swelling of his Daughter's Belly, and thereupon askt her who was the Father; who answer'd she was forc'd by Hercules. Her Father not giving any credit to what she said, deliver'd her to a Nauphan whom he consided in, and order'd him to drown her.
Auge being carry'd away for Nauphalia, in her Voyage fell in labour near the Mountain Parthenius, and turn'd aside into a Wood near adjoining, under colour of discharging the necessities of nature, and there was deliver'd of a Son, which she left hid among the Shrubs: Then she went away with the Nauplian, and came at length to Nauplia, a Port in the Territory of Argos, and so was unexpectedly preserv'd: For the Nauplian was not willing to drown her as the King had commanded, but gave her to certain Strangers of Caria, who were then setting Sail for Asia, who took her away, and sold her to Teathras King Page 145 of Mysia. In the mean time the Child that was left in Mount Parthenius was found sucking of an Hind, by some Shepherds belonging to King Corythus, who brought it to their Master: Corythus willingly receiv'd it, and educated and brought it up as his own Son, and nam'd him Telephus from the Hind that suckl'd him. When he was grown up to Mans Estate, he went to the Oracle at Delphos to inquire who was his Mother, where he was answer'd that he must repair to Teuthras, King of Mysia: Having found out his Mother, and it being now known who was his Father, he was in high Esteem and Reputation, so that Teuthras, who had no Heir Male, marry'd him to his Daughter Argiope, and adopted him his Heir and Successor to the Kingdom.
In the mean time Hercules the Fifth Year after his Banishment into Pheneus, being exceedingly griev'd for the Deaths of Hyionus the Son of Lycimnius, and of his Brother Iphiclus, wholly abandon'd Arcadia and Peloponesus; and being accompany'd with Multitudes of the Arcadians went to Calydon, a City of Aetolia. And having now neither Wife nor lawful Issue, he marry'd Deianira the Daughter of Oen•us, Meleeager being then dead.
And here it will not be amiss to make a small Digression, and declare what hapned to Meleager.
Oencus upon a great Plenty of Corn, in Gratitude, sacrific'd to all the Gods, but only Diana: At which the Goddess being inrag'd, sent among them that so fam'd and mighty Calydonian Boar, which wasted and spoyl'd all the Neighbouring Region, and kill'd and destroy'd most of their Cattle. Meleager the Son of Oeneus being then in the Flower of his Age and full Strength, and not inferiour to any for Valour, associated himself with many other Gallants to hunt this Boar. He being the first that wounded the Beast with his Dart, by the general Consent of all carry'd away the Spoyl and Honour of the day, which was the Boar's Skin. Atalanta the Daughter of Echeneus, was one of his Associates in this Hunting; and therefore Meleager (being much in Love with her) presented her with the Skin, attributing to her the Glory of the Action. But the Sons of Thestius his Fellow-hunters took it most hainously, that a Stranger should be preferr'd before them, and no regard be had to the Nearness of Kindred that was between them and Meleager. To defeat her therefore of Meleager's Gift they lay in wait for her, and fell upon her in her return to Arcadia and took away the Skin by Force. But Meleager (for the Love he bore to Atalanta) being much troubled at the Affront and Disgrace offer'd her, took upon him the Defence of her Cause, and at first advis'd the Aggressors to restore what they had violently taken away. But when he could not prevail, he slew them. They were the Brothers of Althea, his Mother, who so immoderately griev'd for their Deaths, that she pour'd out most heavy Curses against her Son, and wish'd the Gods would cut him off, who heard her Prayer, and kill'd him. Some there be that feign that when Meleager was born the Destinies appear'd to Althea in her Dream, and foretold that Meleager her Son should dye when a Brand that was then in the Fire should be consum'd. His Mother therereupon conceiving the Life of her Son depended upon the Preservation of the Firebrand, laid it up very carefully: But being incens'd at the Death of her Brothers, she threw it into the Fire, and so hastned her Sons Death. But afterwards repenting and grievously afflicted for what she had done, she hang'd her self. In the mean time Hipponous in Olenum being incens'd at his Daughter Peribaea, because she said she was with Child by Mars, sent her to Oeneus in Aetolia, and desir'd him that he would forthwith put her to Death: But he having lately lost both his Son and his Wife, would not kill the Lady, but marry'd her, and begat of her Tydeus. But let this suffice concerning Meleager, Althea and Oeneus.
Hercules to gain the Favour of the Calydonians diverted the River Achelous into another Channel which he cut for it, and by that means water'd a great Part of the Country, and made it exceeding fruitful, which gave Occasion to the Poetical Fables, that Hercules fought with Achelous transform'd into the Shape of a Bull, and in the Conflict cut off one of his Horns, and gave it to the Aetolians: This they call Amalthea's Page 146 Horn, in which (the Poets feign) grow all manner of Summer-fruit, as Grapes, Apples, and such like. By the Horn they darkly signify the new Course of the River Achelous, bending like a Horn through the other Channel: By the Apples, Pomegranates and Grapes they denote the Fruitfulness of the Soyl water'd by the River and the Plenty of fruitful Plants. By terming it * Amalt〈…〉 Horn they signify'd the Strength of him that cut the Ditch.
Afterwards Hercules assisted the Calydonians in the War against the Thes•rot., and took the City Ephyra by Storm, and slew their King Phileus; and lying with his Daughter, who was his Prisoner, on her he begat Tlepolemus. The Third Year after his Marriage to Deianira, Eurynomus the Son of Architelus (then a young Boy) serving Oeneus at Table, Hercules for some small Mistake in his Attendance gave him such a Box on the Ear (that much against his Will) he kill'd the poor Boy; for which Misfortune he was so griev'd, that with his Wife Deianira and Hyllus his Son by her who was then a young Child, he voluntarily banish'd himself out of Calydonia: In his Journey, when he came to the Banks of the River Euenus he found Nessus the Centaur, who carry'd People over the Ford for Hire. Deianira being the first that he carry'd over, the Centaur fell in Love with her for her Beauty, and attempted to ravish her, whereupon she cry'd out for Help to her Husband, who presently shot him through the Body with an Arrow. The Centaur through the Grievousness of his Wound dy'd in the very Act of his Rape, only had time to teil her that for the great Love he bore her he would teach her a Receipt for the procuring of Love by Force, whereof Hercules should never after be familiar with any other Woman besides her self, and that was, that she should anoint Hercules his under Garment with the Blood that issu'd from his Wound mixt together with Oyl and some of his Seed that fell from him; and having thus said he immediatly breath'd out his last.
Deianira observ'd what Directions he had given her, and mixing the Seed of Nessus with his Blood which dropt from the Arrow, kept it privately in a little Box for Hercules. Hercules having pass'd the River went to Ceyces, King of Trachinia, and dwelt with him as a Stranger, ever accompany'd with the Arcadians as his Fellow-soldiers and Associates.
After these things, Philas King of the Dryopi being accus'd for some Act of Impiety against the Temple of Delphos, Hercules with the Assistance of the Melienses took up Arms against him, and both kill'd him and cast the Dryopi out of their ancient Habitations, and gave their Country to the Melienses. On his Captive the Daughter of Philas he begat Antiochus. Besides Hyllus he had afterwards other Children by Deianira, Gryneus or Gleneus and Hodites. Some of the Dryopi that were driven out of their Country passed over to Eubaea, and there built the City Carystus: Others of them sayl'd into the Island Cyprus, and gain'd new Seats, and became one People with the Inhabitants; the rest fled to Eurystheus, who (in Hatred of Hercules) receiv'd them into his Protection, and they with his Assistance built three Cities in Peloponesus, Asine, Hermione and Eione.
After the Expulsion of the Dryopi, a War broke forth between the Doreans (which inhabited Hestiaetes in the Reign of Aegimius) and the Lapithae, the Inhabitants of Mount Olympus, whose King was Coronus the Son of Phoroneus.
But the Lapithae being much stronger than the other, the Doreans crav'd the Assistance of Hercules, and promis'd him the third Part of the Kingdom; upon which Terms they prevail'd with him to joyn with them as their Confederate. With their joint Forces therefore they set upon the Enemy, and Hercules by the Valour of the Arcadians (whom he ever had with him as his Assistants) routed them, and slew the King himself, and cutting off Multitudes of the Enemy, forc'd the Lapithae out of the Territory which they contested for.
This being thus effected, he gave up the third Part of the Country promis'd him to Aeginius, to be kept by him in Trust in Order to be restor'd to Hercules his Posterity. In his return to Trachinia, he kill'd Cygnus the Son of Mars, who challeng'd him to a Duel. And as he passed through the Country of the Pelasgi, from Itonus, he met with King Hormenius, and demanded his Daughter Astydamia in Marriage; but because Deianira was his lawful Wife before, he refus'd to give his Consent. Upon which he made War upon him, and both took the City and kill'd the King; and so possessing himself of Astydamia by Force of Arms, begat of her C•esippus. Afterwards he made a second Expedition against the Sons of Page 147Eurytus, for denying to give him Iole in Marriage▪ And by the Help of the Arcadians took the City, and slew Toxeus, Molion and Pytius, the Sons of Eurytus; and carrying away Iole, made to the Promontory Cenaeus in Eubaea, where he appointed a solemn Sacrifice, and sent Lichas his Servant to Trachine to his Wife Deianira with Orders to wish her to send him his Coat and Shirt he us'd to wear when he sacrific'd to the Gods. Deianira (being inform by Lichas of her Husband's Love to Iole, and how he had a greater Love and Kindness for her than her self) anointed the Coat and Shirt with the destructive Receipt given her by the Centaur, which Lichas (ignorant of the Matter) carry'd to the Sacrifice. But as soon as Hercules put on the Garment, the Infection and Venom of the Receipt began by little and little to work, which put him at last upon the Rack in most miserable Torment. For the Poyson of the Arrow like a stinging Viper overspread the Garment, and by its scorching Heat even eat up the Flesh of his whole Body. Hercules being thus intolerably tormented forthwith kill'd his Servant Lichas; and then dismiss'd his Army, and return'd to Trachinia. But his Torment more and more increasing he sent Lioymnion and Iolus to Delphos to inquire of Apollo how he might be ••'d. Deianira amaz'd at the Extremity of her Husband's Misery, and conscious of what she had done, hang'd her self. The Answer of the Oracle was, That with a warlike Train they should carry Hercules away to O••a, and there raise up for him a great Pile of Wood, and Jupiter would take great Care of the rest. Iolus hereupon and those with him perform'd what was commanded, suspecting what the Issue was like to be. Hereupon Hercules (despairing of his Recovery) mounted the Pile, and earnestly desir'd those present to set it on Fire. When none would do it, at length Philocletes observ'd his Order, and put Fire under the Pile; and for a Reward Hercules gave him his Bow and Arrows; hereupon the Pile was presently on a Flame, not only by the Fire but with Thunder and Lightning from Heaven, and all was in an instant reduc'd to Ashes. Iolus afterwards seeking for his Bones, could find none at all; whence arose an Opinion that Hercules (as the Oracle had foretold) was translated from Men to the Gods. Iolus and the rest having therefore sacrific'd to him as a Demy-God, and rais'd up a great Monument in Remembrance of him, return'd to Trachinia. Afterwards Men•alus, the Son of Actor, Hercules his special Friend, instituted that in Opuntus there should be offer'd up to him every Year as to a Demy-God, a Bull, a Boar and a Goat. The Thebans did the same; and the Athenians were the first that offer'd Sacrifices to him as a God, and their pious Example first induc'd all the Grecians, and afterwards all other Nations as such to worship him.
To what we have said, we must further add this, that after his Translation to the Gods, Jupiter persuaded Juno to adopt Hercules for her Son; and ever after she bore towards him a Motherly Affection. And they report, that this Adoption was brought about in this manner; Juno being gone to Bed, and Hercules layd close to her Body, she dropt down from under her Cloaths to the Ground; which Rite and Ceremony the Barbarians use in adopting of a Son to this day. They feign that afterwards Juno marry'd him to Hebe; and in the Story of the Dead the Poet introduces his Ghost in these Words,—
But they report that when Jupiter would have him to be one of the Twelve Gods; Hercules refus'd that Honour; for that it was impossible for him to be taken into the Number, unless one of the Twelve were rejected, and it was an unseemly thing to accept such an Honour with the Disgrace of another God.
Page 148 Altho' we have been long in our Relation concerning HERCƲLES, yet to make amends we have not omitted any thing material that is reported of him. And now it's time that we treat of the Argonauts, for Hercules went with them in that Expedition.
Of the Argonauts, Medea and the Daughter of Pileus. How the Argonauts gain'd the Golden Fleece. The Pranks of Medea, The Acts of Jason. The Cruelty of Pelias towards Jason's Kindred; how he was kill'd by his own Daughters through Medea's Charms. Medea burns the King of Corinth's Palace, and him in it. The miserable End of Jason. Of the Heraclidae, and their Return to Peloponesus.
JASON (they say) was Son of Aeson, and Nephew to Pelius King of Thessaly. And being a Man of strong Body and of an high Spirit, far above any of his Age, was ambitious to perform some memorable and remarkable Action; for knowing that Perseus his Ancestor and some others (by their expeditious and admirable Atchievments in foreign Countries) had purchased eternal Honour and Renown, he resolv'd to imitate them in the like heroick Undertakings: Acquainting therefore the King his Uncle with his Purpose, he easily obtain'd his Consent, not that Pelius thereby aim'd at the Honour and Glory of the young Man, but that he hop'd (among so many Hazards and Difficulties) he would be cut off; for having no Issue Male, he was afraid lest his Brother with the Assistance of his Son would some time or other invade his Kingdom. But he conceal'd his Suspicion in the mean time, and promis'd to furnish him with Provisions for his Voyage, encouraging him to undertake the Adventure in Sayling to Colchis to bring away the Ram's Golden Fleece, so much fam'd and spoken of all the World over.
Pontus at that time was inhabited by fierce and barbarous People, that were infamous for murdering of all Strangers that came amongst them, and therefore it was call'd Axenos: However Jason (being ambitious of Glory) tho' he was something concern'd at the Difficulty of the Undertaking, yet when he consider'd it was not altogether impossible to be accomplish'd, and that the more hazardous it was, the greater his Honour and Glory would be, he furnish'd himself with all things necessary for his Expedition.
And in the first Place built a Ship at the Mountain Pelius, much larger in every respect than was usual in those Times; for then they us'd to sayl only in Boats and little Skiffs. Every one therefore at the sight of the Vessel was amaz'd, and the intended Design and the Building of this Ship was nois'd over all Greece, so that many of the noble and brisk Youths were eager to joyn and go away with Jason in Order to partake of the Honour in this Expedition.
Jason now lanching forth his Ship, compleatly furnish'd with all things necessary, made choice of four and fifty of the greatest Persons of Quality out of the Number of those that were desirous to go along with him. Amongst whom the most remarkable were Castor and Pollux, Hercules and Telamon, Orpheus and Atalanta, the Daughter of Schaeneus, the Sons of Thespius, and JASON himself the Head and Captain of the Expedition to Colchos; he call'd the Ship Argo, from the Builder, whose Name was Argus (as some fabulous Writers report) who (they say) imbark'd with them to repair the Ship, as Occasion might serve: But others say it was so call'd from its swift Sayling, for that Argon among the ancient Greeks signify'd swift. Being all on Board, they unanimously chose Hercules for his extraordinary Valour to be their General. After they had set Sayl from Iolcus, and passed by Athos and Samothrace, they were by a Tempest cast upon Sigeum, a Promontory Page 149 of Troas: Where landing, they found a Young Virgin tied near to the Sea-shoar, for this Reason as is said.
The Report was, that Neptune being displeas'd with Laomedon the King concerning the fabulously fam'd building of the Walls of Troy, sent a vast Monster out of the Sea upon the Land, which devour'd all that came upon the Shoar, and the Husbandmen that till'd the Ground upon the Sea-Coast; and that this Sea-God destroy'd the People by a Plague, and blasted all the Fruits of the Field. The whole Country being in this miserable Condition, the People met in a general Assembly, and consulted together what Course was to be taken for the redress of their deplorable Condition. Hereupon it's said that the King sent to inquire of the Oracle of Apollo what was to be done in this matter: Who receiv'd this Answer, That Neptune was angry, and would be then appeas'd, when one of the Trojan's Children upon whom the Lot should fall, should be offer'd up to be devour'd by the Sea-Monster. Hereupon they say, that a General Lot was cast, and that it fell upon the King's Daughter, call'd Hesione; whereupon Laomedon was forc'd to deliver up his Daughter, and left her bound in Chains upon the Shoar: And it fortunately happened at that very time, that Hercules landed with the rest of the Argonauts, and being inform'd by the Lady of her Misfortune, he broke off her Fetters, and brought her into the City, promising he would kill the Monster. Laomedon hereupon rejoyced exceedingly, and promis'd to bestow upon him as a Reward, some Horses he had that were unconquerable. They say this Monster was kill'd accordingly by Hercules, and that free Liberty was given the Lady either to go along with her Deliverer, or stay at Home with her Parents; the Lady it's said, chose to go along with the Stranger, not only as being more affected with the deliverance, than the Society of her Parents and Kindred, but fearing lest (if another Monster should appear) she should be again expos'd by the People to the same Calamity.
Hercules therefore receiving honourable Rewards suitable to so welcom a Guest, left Hesione and the Horses in trust with Laomedon, to be restor'd to him after his return from Colchis. Then he proceeded on his Voyage with the Argonauts; and presently after they were overtaken with another violent Storm, insomuch as they despair'd of their Lives; Orpheus only, they say, of all his Companions in the Expedition (being a Religious Man) sacrific'd and pray'd to the Gods of Samothracia for their Preservation: Whereupon on a suddain there was a Calm, and Two Stars fell down upon the Heads of Castor and Pollux, to the great amazement of the Beholders; and so all concluded, that by the Providence of the Gods, they were now out of danger. Hence it has been a Custom ever since, that when any are in a Storm at Sea, they call upon the Gods of Samothracia, and when any Stars appear, they are lookt upon then to be Castor and Pollux, that appear for their Deliverance.
When the Storm was over, the noble Adventurers landed in a Province of Thrace, of which Phineus was King; where met them Two Young Men, who for the Punishment of their Offences, were driven out of the Territories, and grievously whipt all along as they came. They prov'd to be the Sons of Phineus, by Cleopatra the Daughter of Boreas, and Orithya the Daughter of Erechtheus. But through the malice of their Stepmother (by false Accusations) their Father was wrought upon to deal thus severely and unjustly with them; for Phineus having Marry'd (besides his former Wife) Idaea the Daughter of Dardanus King of Seythia, was so inslav'd by an inordinate Affection to her, that he humour'd her in every thing she requir'd; and therefore at that time he gave credit to her Accusation, that those Two Young Men (to please their own Mother, and in contempt of her) attempted to lay violent Hands on her.
Hercules with the rest, fortunately landing at that very time, they say the Young Men call'd out to those noble Hero's, and implor'd them as if they had been so many Gods, to rescue them out of those miserable Circumstances, declaring the cause why their Father was so inrag'd against them. But Phineus meeting the Strangers, in a rage charg'd them not to meddle in other Peoples Concerns; for they might be assur'd, that no Father would willingly so punish his own Sons, unless the greatness of their Faults had overcome all Natural Affection.
Page 150 But it happened, that at that time, the Boreadae, the Brothers of Cleopatra, were Companions with Hercules in this Expedition. These therefore were the First that (by reason of their near Relation) by force of Arms reliev'd the Young Men, and breaking in Pieces their Chains, kill'd as many of the Barbarians as oppos'd them. But when Phineus himself with a multitude of Thracians that came flocking in, marcht up to decide the matter by a Battel, it's said, that then Hercules stoutly laid about him, and slew both Phineus, and a great number of the other Thraclans. Then seizing upon the King's City and Palace, he set Cleopatra at liberty, and restor'd to her Sons their Father's Kingdom; who resolving to be reveng'd upon their Step-mother, he persuaded them to forbear doing any such thing, but rather to send Messengers into Scythia to her Father, to let him know that they left her wholly to his Discretion, to be punish'd for her Offences. Which being done accordingly, the Scythian put his Daughter to Death; and the Sons of Cleopatra were highly commended by the Thracians for their Mildness and Equity. But I am not ignorant how some of the Fabulous Authors relate, that Phineus put out his Two Sons Eyes, and that in retaliation when he was old, Boreas serv'd him the same Sauce: And they report likewise, that Hercules going out of the Ship to get a little fresh Water, was left behind by the Argonauts in Asia. For in ancient Stories no Historians unanimously agree one with another; and therefore it's not to be admir'd, that in giving account of things in ancient Times, we do not in every thing agree with the Poets and other Writers.
But it's said, that the Two Sons gave up the Kingdom to their Mother Cleopatra, and went along with the Argonauts in their Expedition; who sailing away from Thrace, and arriving at Pontus, landed in Taurica Chersonesus, being altogether ignorant of the cruelty of the Inhabitants: For it was a Custom amongst those Barbarians, to sacrifice all Strangers that arriv'd there, to Diana Taurica. Amongst whom it's said, that in after-times, Ephigenia, the Priests of the Goddess, practis'd the same Cruelty upon all she could lay hold on.
And here in regard the Course of the History requires it, it's requisite we should give an Account of the Causes of this horrid Cruelty executed upon Strangers, especially this Digression seeming pertinent to the Acts of the Argonauts.
They say, that Sol begat Two Sons, Aeetes and Perses, and that Aeetes was King of Colchis, and the other of Taurica, and that both were exceeding cruel. That Hecate was the Daughter of Perses, far more fierce and cruel than her Father; for being given to Hunting (if she could find no Game) she would sport her self with casting her Darts at Men instead of Beasts: She made it her business likewise to compound Deadly Poysons, and was the first that found out Aconitum; and made trial of the nature and efficacy of every Composition, by mixing them with the Food given to Strangers. Being thus grown extraordinary skilful in this devilish Art, she first poyson'd her own Father, and so usurpt the Crown.
Then she built Diana's Temple, and ordered all Strangers that arriv'd there, to be sacrific'd to that Goddess; so that her Cruelty was nois'd abroad in every Place. She afterwards Marry'd Aeetes, and by him had Two Daughters, Cerces and Medea, and one Son call'd Aegialeus. Cerces likewise being much addicted to the Compounding of all sorts of Medicines, found out the wonderful Natures and efficacy of divers sorts of Roots and Herbs, many she learnt of her Mother Hecate, but many more she discover'd by her own industry; so that she left nothing new (for any that came after her) which might any ways advance that Art. This Cerces was Marry'd to the King of the Sarmathians, whom some call Scythians; but she likewise poyson'd her Husband, and so usurping the Kingdom, executed many Butcheries and Cruelties upon the Subjects; for which (as some Writers relate) she was driven out of the Kingdom, and fled to the Ocean, and possessing herself of a certain Desert Island, settl'd there, together with the Women her Companions. But as other Historians say, leaving Pontus, she settl'd in the Promontory of Italy, now call'd from her Cerceum.
They report likewise, that Medea learnt the same Art from her Mother and Sister; but she plainly made use of it for contrary ends and purposes; for she constantly laid out her self to save the Lives of Strangers that were driven thither, sometimes begging the Lives of such as were condemn'd of her Father, Page 151 and at other times by her subtil Contrivance procuring their Escapes out of Prison.
For Aectes prompted thereunto both by the cruelty of his own Nature, and likewise incited by the Counsels and Persuasions of Hecate his Wife, observ'd the Custom of Murdering of Strangers. But Medea every day more and more opposed her Parents in this thing; Aectes (upon suspicion of Treason) committed his Daughter Medea to Prison, whence notwithstanding the escap'd, and fled to a Temple of Apollo, seated on the Sea-Shoar; about which same time, the Argonauts sail'd by Taurica, and arriv'd in the Night at Colchis, at the very Place where the Temple stood; where meeting with Medea, wandring upon the Shoar, were inform'd by her of the cruel Custom of Murdering of Strangers in those Parts; whereupon giving the Virgin thanks for her Humanity and Kindness, they told her of their Designs, and of the end of their adventure; and she on the other Hand inform'd them what Dangers she was surrounded with from her Father, by reason of her Kindness and Compassion to Strangers: It being therefore evident to both Parties what was then fit to be done, Medea on her part promis'd she would assist 'em to the uttermost of her power, till they had accomplish'd their Design; and Jason promis'd and confirm'd by a Solemn Oath, that Medea should from that time forward be his Wife. Hereupon the Argonauts leaving a Party to guard their Ships, went with Medea in the Night to the Golden Fleece: Of which we must here write more largely, that nothing may be omitted which is pertinent to the History.
They say that Phryxus the Son of Athamantes, to avoid the malice of his Step-mother, fled out of Greece, together with Helles his Sister, and being by the advice and direction of the Gods, transported out of Europe into Asia, upon the Back of a Golden-fleec'd Ram, it happened that the Young Maid fell off into Pontus, which was therefore from thence call'd Hellespont: But Phryxus landing safe in Colchis, by the Command of the Oracle sacrific'd the Ram, and hung up its Skin in the Temple of Mars.
Afterwards the King was told by the Oracle, that he should dye when some Sea-faring Men came thither, and carry'd away the Golden-Fleece. And this was the Cause (besides the cruelty of his Nature) that mov'd this Vile Man to sacrifice Strangers, that (this horrid Cruelty being nois'd Abroad in all Parts) no Stranger might dare to set footing in his Country. He built a Wall likewise round the Temple, and plac'd a strong Guard of Taurican Soldiers to keep it, which has afforded matter for prodigious Stories among the Grecians; as how that Bulls that breath'd out Fire at their Nostrils guarded the Temple, and that a Dragon kept the Fleece. For by reason of the ambiguity of the Word Taurus, it was strain'd to signify the fierceness and violence of Bulls, and the cruel Murdering of Strangers, gave rise to the fiction of the Bulls breathing out Fire. Upon the same Account the Poets have given the Name of a most terrible and monstrous Beast, plac'd as a Guard for Security of the Temple.
And much like to this Story, is what they say concerning Phryxus: For they say that he sail'd in a Ship, upon whose Foredeck was carv'd the Head of a Ram, and that Helles by leaning too much forward over the sides of the Ship to vomit, fell over-board into the Sea.
Others say, that about the time that Phryxus with his School-master was taken by Aeetes; the Scythian King, the Father in Law of Aeetes, came to Colchis, and fell in love with the Boy, and upon that account he was bestow'd by Aeetes upon the Scythian, who lov'd him as his own Child, and adopted him his Heir and Successor to the Kingdom. But that the School-master whose Name was Crius, was sacrific'd to the Gods, and his Skin according to the Custom, was fastened to the Walls of the Temple.
Afterwards Aeetes being foretold by the Oracle that he should dye when Strangers carry'd away the Ram's-Skin, it's said that he gilt it with Gold, that the Splendour thereof should cause the Soldiers who were set to guard it, to be more careful and diligent in their watch. But we leave every one to judge of these things as he thinks fit.
However it was, Medea conducted the Argonauts to the Temple of Mars, which was not above Seventy Furlongs distant from the City Sybaris, dignify'd with the Palace Royal of the Kings of Colehis. Medea therefore coming in the Night to Page 152 the Temple Gates, which were fast shut up, spoke to the Guards in the Language of Taurica: Whereupon knowing her to be the King's Daughter, they forthwith open'd the Gates; upon which, the Argonants rush'd in with their drawn Swords, and kill'd many of the Barbarians, and drove the rest (terrify'd with the suddain Surprize) out of the Temple; and then plucking down the Fleece, they hasted back to their Ship with all speed.
While these things were in acting, Medea was as diligent on her part, and poyson'd the ever wakeful Dragon, which wound himself about the Fleece in the Temple; and then she went on Ship-Board with Jason. The Tauricans that fled, inform'd the King of what was done, who forthwith pursuing the Greeks with his Souldiers which were ready at hand, overtook them at the Sea-side, and falling upon them on the suddain, slew Iphitus, one of the Argonauts, Brother of Euristheus, who impos'd upon Hercules so many Labours. But when the rest of the Greeks (who were before dispers'd) fell on in a great Body upon them, the Barbarians were most of them kill'd by Meleager, amongst whom was the King himself. The Grecians hereupon being fir'd with this Success, press'd more resolutely upon the Colchians, and at length put them to flight, and slew the greatest part of them in the pursuit. Of the Argonauts were wounded in this Encounter, Jason, Lacrtes, Atalanta, and the Thespiadae, but they were cur'd within a few Days, by Applications, as is said, made up of Herbs and Roots by Medea. Then furnishing themselves with Provision, they set Sail, in order to return. But being got into the midst of the Pontick Sea, they were overtaken with a suddain Tempest, to the great hazard of their Lives. But Orpheus addressing himself to the Gods of Samothracia as before, the Winds presently ceas'd, and Glaucus the Sea-God presently appear'd near to the Ship, and swam along by the Ship-side for Two Days and Nights together, and foretold to Hercules his Labours and future Immortality. He told likewise the Tyndarides, that they should be call'd Dioscuri, and should be ador'd and reverenc'd by all Men as Gods. Then he call'd the Argonauts every one by their Names, and told them, that for the sake of Orpheus's Prayers, by the provident care of the Gods, he now appear'd to them, and had foretold them of things to come. Therefore he advis'd them, that as soon as they landed, they should pay their Vows, and give Thanks to the Gods, by whose Kindness they had been now twice deliver'd. Having said this, Glaucus dived again into the Sea.
The Argonauts being now arriv'd at the Mouth of Pontus, made to Land, where Byzas then reign'd, from whom the City is now call'd Byzantium. Here they erected Altars, and offered up their Prayers and Thanks to the Gods, and consecrated the Place, which is now at this Day accounted Sacred, and reverenc'd by all that sail by that way. Loosing from thence, they pass'd through Propontis, and the Hellespont, and made to the Coasts of Troy. When they arriv'd there, Hercules sent his Brother Iphiclus and Telemon into the City, to demand Hesione and the Horses: But Laomedon laid the Messengers by the Heels, and plotted the Destruction of all the Argonauts. To which foul Act, all his Sons (except Priam) contributed their helping Hands. For Priam alledg'd, that Compacts with Strangers ought to be kept inviolable, and press'd that his Sister, with the Horses that were promis'd should be restor'd; whose Advice being disregarded, he privately convey'd Two Swords into the Goal to Iphiclus and Telamon, declaring to them his Father's Design, and by this means procur'd their Deliverance. For forthwith killing the Keepers that resisted them, they escap'd to the Sea, and discover'd all particularly to the Argonauts. The Heroes hereupon readily prepar'd themselves for Battel, and marcht on to meet the Trojans, who with their King were issu'd out of the City against them.
A sharp Dispute and Conflict there was, but at length the Valour of the Heroes prevail'd, where they say, Hercules exceeded them all; for he kill'd Laomedon, and took the City by a sudden Assault, and punish'd them who were Parties and Contrivers in the Design with the King; but gave the Kingdom to Priam for his Justice and Equity; and after entring into a League of Friendship with him, loos'd from thence with the Argonauts. But some out of the ancient Poets say, that being furnish'd only with Six Ships, upon the Account of being deny'd the Horses, he took Troy himself, without the help of the Argonauts, and to confirm this, they alledge these Verses of H〈…〉
From Troy the Argonauts arriv'd at Samothracia, and then again gave Thanks to the Gods, where they dedicated their Drink-Offering Bowls, and left them in the Temple, which remain there at this Day.
The return of the Heroes was not yet known; but the common Report was throughout all Thessaly, that Jason and all his Companions were destroy'd some where or other about Pontus.
Pelias therefore now thinking it a fit opportunity to cut off all that might in any probability seem to affect the Kingdom, compell'd Jason's Father to drink 〈…〉ls Blood, and Murdered his Brother Promachus, who was then but a meer Child.
But when Amphinome his Mother was sought for to be butchered, she acted the part of a manlike and noble Spirit, worthy of remark; for running to the King's Palace, she pour'd out most heavy Curses upon his Head, wishing that due Vengeance might overtake him for his Impiety; and then immediately stab'd her self, and so like an Hero ended her Days.
Pelias having thus extinguish'd Jason's whole Family, in a short time after paid for it, and receiv'd the due Reward of his Wickedness: For Jason in the Night entring a Port of Thessaly not far from the City Iolcos (yet out of view of the Inhabitants) was by one inform'd of the sad state and condition of his Family, and thereupon all the Heroes were in a readiness to assist Jason, and to undergo all hazards for that purpose; but there arose some difference of Opinions amongst them; for some were for surprizing the King with a suddain Assault, others were for the Raising of Forces out of every Country, and so to join against him in a common War: For it was impossible for Three and Forty Men, to think to overcome so Potent a Prince, both as to his Riches and the number of his Cities. In these different Councils its said, that Medea promis'd to kill the King by a Stratagem, and deliver up the Palace into their Hands, without any hazard to any of them. The Heroes wondring at what she said, askt how she would accomplish it? Who answer'd, that she had great variety of Poysons of admirable strength and efficacy, some of them found out by her Mother Hecate, and others by her Sister Cerces; that she had not as yet made use of them for the killing of any Man; but now by the help of them, she would execute due and deserved Punishment upon the wicked Wretches; and told the Argonauts her whole Design, after what manner she would get to the King; and promis'd that from some Turret in the Palace that look'd towards the Sea, she would give a Sign to their Watch by Fire in the Night, and by Smoke in the Day.
Hereupon she provided a Hollow Image of the Goddess Diana, in which she hid several sorts of Poysons, and anointed her Hair with a sort of Oyntment, which turn'd it all gray and hoary, and with the same Ointment wrinkl'd up her Face and her whole Body, so that she look'd like an old wither'd Hagg. Then taking the Goddess with her, order'd in all respects so as to excite the common People to a superstitious Adoration, she enter'd the City when it was light; whereupon the People came running in to her from all Quarters, as if she had been an inspir'd Priestess: And she her self commanded every Body to bear a reverend regard to the Goddess, who was now by the special Providence of the Gods, come to them from the Hyperboreans, for the Preservation of the King and Page 154 the whole City. All being now imploy'd up and down in adoring the Goddess, and preparing of Sacrifices in honour of her, the whole City was possess'd with such a Fanatical Fury of Superstition, that Medea••ily procur'd her self to be brought into the Palace; where with her Delusions she infatuated both 〈◊〉 his Daughters with such a Pang of Superstition, that they all believ'd the Goddess was come to load the King's House with all manner of Blessings, for 〈…〉 declar'd that Diana in a Chariot, drawn through the Air by Dragons, had 〈…〉 over many Parts of the World, and had now at length made choice of the K〈…〉 as the most Pious Prince to settle her Image, and establish her worship 〈…〉 ever; adding, that she was commanded by the application of 〈…〉 to give a Check to his Old Age, and restore him to his former Youth and 〈…〉 and bestow many other Blessings upon him that might make hi• Life comfort〈…〉 to himself, and pleasing unto the Goddess.
The King being amaz'd at this strange and unusual Discourse, she promis'd him forthwith to give an assurance of the truth of what she said, by 〈…〉 in her own Body. To this end therefore she order'd one of 〈◊〉 his 〈…〉ters to bring her some Spring-Water; which being done, she shut up her self in a little Room, and bathing her Body all over in the Water, she cleans'd her self of the Ointment, and so being restor'd to her former Vigour, as soon as she came into the King's Presence, all the Beholders were amaz'd; for they conceited that an Old Woman was transforw'd into a Youthful and Beautiful Virgin by the power and providence of the Gods. She forthwith likewise by her Witchcraft caus'd the appearance of the shape of the Dragons to appear, by which the 〈…〉dess was drawn through the Air from the Hyperborcans to continue as a Guest with Pelias.
These things done by her, being lookt upon to be above the Course of Nature, the King highly honour'd her, and believ'd all she said to be true; and it's said that he took his Daughter's aside, and order'd them to assist her, and do whatever she commanded; and that it was fitter his own Children should apply Medicines to his Body than Servants, in order to reap the Benefits design'd him by the Favour of the Gods. Pelias therefore having expresly commanded that his Daughters should observe whatever Medea order'd to be done, in reference to the care of their Father's Body, were ready in all things to obey her. About Midnight therefore when Pelias was fast asleep, she said it was absolutely necessary that his Body should be boil'd in a Cauldron: And though the young Ladies easily and readily of their own accord, prepar'd themselves to obey her, yet she apply'd her self to another Experiment for the gaining of further Credit to what she said: There was an old Ram bred up in the Stall, which she told the young Ladies, she would first Boil, and then it should come forth a Lamb. Whereupon they agreed, and then it's said, she cut the Ram into small Pieces, and boil'd them, till to their seeming, by the use of her inchanted Drugs, she brought forth a young Lamb out of the Kettle, to the admiration and astonishment of the young Women, who now thinking they might with great assurance depend upon what she promis'd, resolv'd to observe her in all her Commands; and all of them, but Alcetis (who out of a pious and natural Affection to her, Father, would not lay Hands upon him) cudgell'd him to Death. Whereupon Medea pretended that Vows and Prayers were first to be made to the Moon, before his Body was dissected, and cast into the Cauldron: To which end, she carried the Young Ladies with Torches and Fire-brands to the top of the highest part of the Palace; where Medea to spin out time, mumbled out a long Prayer in the language of Colchis, that the Argonauts might make the Assault in the mean time; who now seeing the Fire from the Turret, concluded the King was dispatch'd; and therefore in a Body they made hastily to the City; where presently mounting over the Walls, they enter'd the Palace with their drawn Swords, and kill'd the Watch that oppos'd them. As soon as Pelias his Daughters were come down to boil their Father, unexpectedly seeing Jason with the rest of the Noble Youths his Companions, enter'd into the midst of the Palace, they grievously cry'd out with exceeding sorrow and lamentation: Having now neither power to revenge themselves upon Medea, nor time to purge themselves from the horrid fact that by her Delusions they had committed, they had forthwith murder'd themselves, if Jason (pitying their miserable Condition) had not prevented them, and comforted them with this Consideration, that their present Misery was not occasion'd by Page 155 their own malitious Contrivance, but that they were without any Fault of theirs led aside by the deceit of another: He promis'd them likewise, that their whole family should be civilly and honourably us'd. Having therefore call'd together a General Assembly, he excus'd what was done, and declar'd that he had dealt far more gently with the Authors of those Injuries than they deserv'd, and what he had done, was far short of what he and his had suffer'd. Then he plac'd Acastus the Eldest Son of Pelias upon his Father's Throne, and carry'd himself with all due respect to the King's Daughters; and in performance of what he had promis'd, it's said, he at length marry'd them to the greatest Persons of Quality.
Alcestis the Eldest he marry'd to Admetus the Thessalian the Son of Pheretes; Amphinome to Andraemon the Brother of Leonteus; and Eradne to Canas the Prince of Phocis, the Son of Cephalus. And these were the things afterwards done by Jason.
Then arriving with the rest of the Heroes in the Isthmos of Peloponesus, he there sacrific'd to Neptune, and dedicated the Ship Argo to that God. Having gain'd the special favour of Creon King of Corinth, he was made Free of the City, and ever after dwelt among the Corinthians.
When the Argonauts were preparing every one to return into his own Country, they say Hercules made this Proposal, that to obviate the unexpected Blasts and Frowns of Fortune, they should enter into an Oath mutually to assist each other, whenever any of them stood in need of help; and that they should pick out the most remarkable place in Greece for the celebrating of Sports, and a General and Solemn Meeting of all the Grecians, and that the Games should be celebrated in honour of Jupiter Olympus, the greatest of the Gods.
Upon which the Heroes enter'd into the Association propos'd, and left it to Hercules to institute the Games; who made choice of the Ground in the Territories of Elis, near to the River Alpheus, for the General and Solemn Meeting, and dedicated the Place to the chiefest of the Gods, from whom it was call'd Olympick. Having therefore appointed Horse-coursing, Wrestling, and other Oymnick Sports, and ordered their several Prizes and Rewards, he sent Messengers to all the Cities, to acquaint them with the institution of these Games. He was in no small Honour and Repute before, upon the account of his Expedition with the Argonauts: But this Institution of the Olympick Games much more advanc'd his praise; for he was so cry'd up amongst all the Grecians, and was so eminently famous in the esteem of most of the Cities, that many desir'd to enter into a League of Friendship with him, and to stand and fall with him in all Dangers whatsoever.
His Valour and Military Art was so admir'd by every Body, that he presently got together a vast Army, with which he went through the whole World, desiring to benefit all Mankind: Upon which account all unanimously agree that he has attain'd to a state of Immortality. But the Poets according to their prodigous way of relating matters, say, that Hercules himself alone, and without any Arms, perform'd all those famous Actions reported of him. But we have before given an Account of all those things that are fabulously related concerning this God: And now it remains that we should proceed with the History of Jason.
It's said that he and Medea, as Man and Wife, liv'd together Ten Years in Corinth, and of her begat first Two Twins, Thessalus and Alcimena, and a Third call'd Tisandrus, much younger than the other Two. During all this time, they say Medea was greatly belov'd of her Husband, being eminent not only for the excellency of her Beauty, but for her Prudence and other Virtuous Qualifications: But it's said, that when she grew old, and her Beauty began to decay, Jason fell in love with Glauces, the Daughter of Creon, and courted the young Lady to marry her. The Father agreed to the Match, and appointed a Day, but Jason they say, first apply'd himself to Medea, in order to persuade her to a voluntary Divorce; telling her, that he did not marry this other Lady out of any aversion or disgust to her, but that he might have Children to be Heirs to the Royal Family. Hereat the Woman storm'd, and appeal'd to the Gods for Revenge, Page 156 the Witnesses of his Oath and Vows. However it's said, Jason without any further regard to her, marry'd the King's Daughter.
Medea therefore being commanded to leave the City, having only one Day allow'd her by Creon to prepare for her Departure, by the Art of Witchcraft she chang'd the Form of her Countenance, and enter'd the Palace in the Night, and by a Root found out by Cerces her Sister (which being kindled, was of such a nature, as it could not be extinguish'd) she set the Palace on Fire. And now all being in a Flame, Jason sprang out from the Burning, and escap'd, but Glance and her Father Creon hem'd in on every side by the Fire, were both consum'd. Some Historians say, that Medea's Sons presented the new Bride with poyson'd Plasters, which she applying to her self, miserably perish'd, and her Father together with her, by only touching her Body in endeavouring to help her. Medea thus succeeding in her first Attempt, proceeded still to be further reveng'd upon Jason; for she was so far transported with Rage and Jealousie, yea, with implacable Cruelty, that notwithstanding Jason's narrow Escape, and the Destruction of the Bride, she further inhanc'd his Misery, by murdering his Sons he had by her; for she cut all their Throats (except one who made his Escape by Flight) and bury'd them in the Temple of Juno; and when she had done, at Midnight fled with some of her Faithful Maid-servants from Corinth to Hercules at Thebes, who undertaking as a Surety for Jason, that he should perform his Vows made to her in Colchis, promis'd to assist her in taking Revenge. In the mean time, every one judg'd Jason was justly punish'd in this loss, both of his Wife and Children: Not being therefore able to bear the insupportable weight of his Calamities he kill'd himself. The Corinthians were even astonish'd at the extremity of his Misery, and were especially perplext concerning the Burying of the Children. Therefore they sent to Delphos to inquire of the Oracle how their Bodies were to be dispos'd of: And it's said, the Oracle ordered them to be bury'd in Juno's Temple, and that they should for ever after be worship'd as Demy Gods. The Corinthians accordingly observ'd what was commanded; and Thessalus, who escap'd the cruel Hands of his Mother, was brought up by them.
Afterwards he return'd to Iolcus, his Father's Country, and found Acastus the Son of Pelius, then lately dead; and thereupon (as next Heir to the Crown) took upon him the Sovereign Authority, and call'd the People within his Dominion after his own Name, Thessalians. But I am not ignorant that there are other Accounts given concerning the naming of them Thessalians, of which we shall speak in their proper Place.
In the mean time they say, Medea finding Hercules at Thebes distracted, and his Children a little before by him murder'd, she cur'd him with her Medicinal Applications. But because there was no hope of Assistance for her from Hercules at the present, by reason of the Labours impos'd upon him by Eurystheus, she fled to Aegeus the Son of Paedion at Athens, who marry'd her, and begat of her Medus, afterwards King of the Medes. Others say, she was brought to her Trial by Hippotus the Son of Creon, and fairly acquitted.
Some small time after, when Theseus return'd from Traezene to Athens, she was expell'd the City for Witchcraft; and Aegeus sent her away by Messengers, with Orders to conduct her to what Place soever she had a mind to go; and it's said, she went into Phaenicia; and that from thence she past into the upper Parts of Asia, and being Marry'd there to a certain famous King, she had a Son by him call'd Medus, who after the Death of his Father, succeeded in the Kingdom, and became renown'd for his Valour, and after his own Name, call'd the People Medes.
But by reason of the Monstrous Stories feign'd by the Tragedians, there's great variety and difference in the History concerning Medea. Others in favour to the Athenians say, that she return'd safe to Colchis, and took along with her Medus the Son of Aegeus: And that about that time, Aeetes was by force of Arms depriv'd of his Kingdom by Perses his Brother, and was restor'd by his Nephew Medus, who kill'd Perses.
Afterwards Medeus having rais'd a great Army, overran many Parts of Asia above Pontus, and subdu'd that Part now call'd from him Media: But it would be here unnecessary and too tedious to relate all the Stories that they have written Page 157 concerning Medea; therefore we shall now proceed with what remains of the History of the Argonauts.
Many both of the Ancient and Modern Writers (amongst whom is Timaeus) report that the Argonauts (after the carrying away of the Golden Fleece) coming to understand that Aeetes had blockt up the Mouth of Pontus with his Fleet, to prevent their return, perform'd that which was wonderfully remarkable: For it's said, they sail'd up to the Head of the River Tanais, and there drew the Ship a considerable way over Land into another River that ran into the Ocean, and so fell down that way into the Sea; and then bending their Course from the North to the West, leaving the Continent on their Left-Hand, they at length enter'd our Sea near Gades: And to confirm this, they use these Arguments.
First, that the Celts, the Inhabitants near the Ocean, do adore Castor and Pollux above all the rest of the Gods; for amongst these Celts, there's an ancient Tradition, that these Gods appear'd, and came to them out of the Ocean: And they affirm, that there are several Places near the Sea, that had their Names from the Argonauts and the Dioscuri, which remain still to this Day; and that within the Continent beyond Gades, there are apparent Marks and Signs of the return of the Argonauts: For sailing by Tyrrhenia, and arriving at a certain Island call'd Aethalia, there's a Spacious Haven, was call'd by them Argo, from the Name of their Ship, which Name the Port retains to this Day: And that there is another Harbour in Hetruria, Eight Hundred Furlongs from Rome, which they nam'd Telamon, and that the Port at the City Formia into Italy they call'd Aeetes, which is now nam'd Caieta.
They further say, that being driven upon the Quick-sands in Lybia, by a Violent Tempest, they were inform'd by Triton the King, of the nature of the Sea in those Parts, and how to avoid the Danger; for which Kindness they presented him with a Brass Tripode, on which were inscrib'd very ancient Characters, which not long since it's said was amongst the Hesperians.
We are not here to omit refuting those Historians, that affirm the Argonauts sailing through the River Ister to the Spring-heads below, pass'd through the Channel there straight before them into the Adriatick Gulf. But Time has now clearly manifested the mistakes of those Authors, who thought that that Ister which disimbogues itself by several Mouths into the Pontick-Sea, and that other which falls into Adria, rise from one and the same Spring-head. For since the Conquest of Istria by the Romans, it's known by experience, that the Fountainheads of this River, are not above Forty Furlongs from the Sea: But the Identity of Rivers Names has been the occasion of Historians Mistakes.
Having now insisted long enough upon the Acts of Hercules, and the Argonauts, it's requisite according to my Promise, to relate the Actions of his Sons.
After the Translation of Hercules to the Gods, his Children dwelt in Trachinia, with Ceyces the King. When Hyllus and some of the rest were grown up to Mens Estates, Eurystheus began to fear, lest when they were all grown up, he should be ejected out of the Kingdom of Micaena: Therefore he resolv'd to expel the Heraclides out of all parts of Greece. To this end he requir'd Ceyces, to banish the Heraclides and the Posterity of Licymnius, together with Iolaus and the Arcadian Regiments (that assisted Hercules in his Expeditions) out of his Dominions, and threatned him that if he did not he would proclaim War against him.
Hereupon the Heraclides and their Friends, considering they were not able to contend with him, resolv'd to fly from Trachine of their own accord: Making therefore away to other Cities more wealthy and considerable, they desir'd Residence amongst them: But none durst receive them but the Athenians, who out of their natural Generosity, entertain'd them, and gave them and their Friends Habitations in Tricorynthus, which is one of the Four Cities of that part of Attica call'd Tetrapolis.
Page 158 After some time when all the Heraclides were attain'd to Mens Estates, and their Spirits were rais'd up upon the account of the glory of their Father, Euristheus jealous of their growing Interest, led a strong Army against them. But the Heraclides assisted by the Athenians, having committed themselves to the care of Iolaus (Hercules his Brother's Son) who together with Theseus and Hyllus, commanded the Forces, fought Eurystheus, and routed his Army, and cut off a great part of them; and Euristheus himself (his Chariot breaking in pieces in his Flight) was kill'd by Hyllus the Son of Hercules; and all the Sons of Eurystheus fell in this Battel.
The Heraclides having obtain'd so remarkable a Victory over Eurystheus, and their prosperous Success now advancing the number of their Forces, they invaded Peloponesus under their General Hyllus.
One Atreus at that time, after the Death of Eurystheus, had obtain'd the Kingdom of Mycaena; and being join'd with the Tegeans, and some other Confederates, marcht out against the Heraclidae. Both Armies met in the Isthmos, and there Hyllus challeng'd any one of the Enemy to fight him singly, upon condition that if he overcame the other, the Kingdom of Euristheus should be given up to the Heraclidae; but if he himself were kill'd, that then the Heraclidae should not return into Peloponesus, within the space of Fifty Years. Whereupon Echemus King of the Tegeans enter'd the List, and fought with Hyllus, who was slain in the Combat. The Heraclidae thereupon in performance of the Agreement, made no further Attempt to enter Peloponesus, but return'd to Trycorinthus. Afterwards Licymnius with his Children, and Tlepolemus the Son of Hercules, by the consent of the Citizens took up their Residence, and dwelt in Argos; the rest continu'd in Tricorynthus, till the Fifty Years were expir'd, and then they return'd into Peloponesus, whose Acts we shall set forth, when we come to those Times. Alchmena in the mean time came to Thebes, and a little time after vanish'd away, so that she was worshipt by the Thebans as a Goddess. The rest of the Heraclidae, they say, apply'd themselves to Aeginius the Son of Dorus, who restor'd them to their Father's Kingdom, with which he was intrusted by Hercules, and so setled themselves among the Doreans.
But they say, that Tlepolemus the Son of Hercules, who resided in Argos, was forc'd to fly thence to Rhodes, for the Killing of Licymnius the Son of Electryo, upon some falling out that was between them. The Island was then inhabited by the Hellenes, a Colony brought thither by Triopas the Son of Phorbas.
Tlepolemus divided Rhodes, together with its Inhabitants, into Three equal Parts, and built there Three Cities, Lyndus, Jalysus and Camirus; becoming King of the Rhodians upon the account of the renow'd Actions of his Father, he afterwards assisted Agamemnon at the Siege of Troy.
The Acts of Theseus. The Minotaur in Crete. Androgeus the Son of Minos murther'd by Egeus. Ariadna Daughter of Minos, in love with Theseus. Ariadna's Crown. Aegeus King of Athens kills himself. Theseus's Death. The War of Thebes by the Seven Captains. The Epigoni renew the War. The Pedigrees of the Heroes at Troy. Of the Centaurs, and Lapithae. The Pedigrees of Aesculapius, Aeacus, Ajax, Pelops, Tantalus, Oenomeus. Dardanus's Posterity to Priam King of Troy.
SInce we have spoken of Hercules and his Posterity, it remains that we say something of Theseus, because he seem'd to imitate Hercules in his brave and noble Actions.
He was the Son of Aethra, the Daughter of Pittheus, by Neptune, and brought up in Traezena, with Pittheus his Mothers Father. Having afterwards found (as is reported) the Tokens hid under a Stone by Aegeus, he resolv'd to go to Athens: As he travell'd along the Sea-Coasts in the Isthmos, his Mind was full of Thoughts how to imitate the Valour of Hercules, and to perform some glorious and honourable Enterprizes.
1. First therefore he kill'd Corynetes, who us'd to carry a Club call'd Coryne, which he us'd as defensive Arms, and with the same Weapon knockt all Passengers and Travellers on the Head.
2. Then next he slew Sinnis, who haunted the Isthmos, and us'd to bend down Two Pine-Trees, one to meet another, and bind one Arm to one of the Trees, and another to the other, of such as he took passing that way; and when he had done, then to let them spring up on a suddain, which by their force and violence so rent in Pieces the Bodies of the poor Miserable Creatures, that they dy'd in most horrid pain and torment.
3. The Third thing remarkable that he did, was the Killing of the Crommyonion Sow, a most vast and fierce Creature which destroy'd many.
4. The Fourth was the Killing of Sciron, who lay lurking amongst the Rocks, call'd from him the Scyronian Rocks: His manner was, that he would force Passengers to wash his Feet upon the top of a steep Rock, and then kick them down head-long into the Sea, near Chelone.
5. Next he slew Cercyon at Eleusina, who kill'd all that he overcame in Wrestling.
6. Afterwards he kill'd one Procrustes, who resided in Corydallus in Attica: His Custom was to force all that past that way, to lye down upon a Bed, and if they were longer than it, to cut off so much of their Legs, as reacht beyond the Bed; if they were shorter, then he wrackt and stretcht out their Limbs, till they reacht the full length; thence he was nam'd * Procrustes.
Having perform'd these notable Exploits, he came to Athens, and by the Tokens which he brought along with him, he was known and owned by Aegeus.
7. Afterwards he master'd the Marathonian Bull (which Hercules in performance of one of his Labours, brought from Crete into Peloponesus) and led the Monster in Triumph into Athens, which Aegeus sacrific'd to Apollo.
And now it remains that we speak of the Minotaur which was kill'd by Theseus: But for the clearer understanding of the History, it's necessary that we first ascend to things done some time before, that have a Reference to the Narration.
Tectamus the Son of Dorus, the Son of Hellen, the Son of Deucalion, arriving in Crete, with the Aeolians and Pelasgians, reign'd there as King, and marrying the Daughter of Cretheus, had by her Asterius; in the time of whose Reign, they say Jupiter having carry'd away Europa out of Phaenicia, transported her upon a Page 160 Bull's Back into Crete, and upon her begot Three Sons, Minos, Rhadomanthus, and Sarpedon.
Asterius King of Crete afterwards marry'd Europa, but having no Children of his own, he adopted the Sons of Jupiter, and left the Kingdom to them. Rhadamanthus prescrib'd Laws for the Cretians: Minos taking the Kingdom upon him, marry'd Itone, the Daughter of Lyctius, and of her begat Lycastes, who coming to reign, Marry'd Ida the Daughter of Corybantus, and of her begat another Minos, whom some say was the Son of Jupiter. He was the first of the Grecians that rigg'd out a gallant Navy, and gain'd the Dominion of the Sea. He marry'd Pasiphoe, the Daughter of Sol and Cretes, and by her had Deucalion, Astrea, Androgeus, Ariadne, and many other Children.
Androgeus in the Reign of Aegeus, went to Athens, to the Panathenean Solemnities, where he was Victor in all the Sports and Contests; upon which Account, he became very familiar with the Sons of Pallas; and thereupon Aegeus grew jealous, lest the House of Pallas, with the assistance of Minos, should out him of his Kingdom, and therefore contriv'd to cut off Androgeus. To which end, as he was travelling to Thebes to see a Sacred Procession by order of Aegeus, he was way-laid by some of the Country People, and assassinated near Oenon in Attica.
Minos afterwards hearing of the sad Misfortune of his Son, went to Athens, and requir'd Justice for the Murder committed: But seeing that he could not prevail, he proclaim'd War against the Athenians, and prayed Jupiter to send a Drought and Famine upon the City of Athens; whose Prayer was speedily heard, for forthwith there was a great Drought throughout Attica, and even through all Greece it self, together with a miserable Scarcity and dreadful Famine.
The chief Men therefore of the several Cities, assembling themselves together, sent to consult the Oracle at Delphos, what they must do in order to avert the present Calamity; who answer'd, that they were to go to Aeacus the Son of Jupiter, and Aegina the Daughter of Asopus, and intreat him to offer Sacrifices for them: Which they did accordingly, and Aeacus perform'd what they desir'd: Upon which the Drought and Famine ceas'd in all Parts of Greece, but only in Attica, and there it still continu'd; so that the Athenians were forc'd to resort again to the Oracle, to implore Relief from the pressing Calamity. Upon which, the God return'd Answer, that to expiate the Murder of Androgeus, they should give to Minos such satisfaction as he requir'd. The Athenians obey'd the Oracle; and Minos demanded, that for Seven Years together, they should send Seven Boys, and as many Girls to be devour'd by the Minotaur, and that this they should do as long as the Monster liv'd. The Athenians sent them accordingly, and so the Famine ceas'd, and Minos desisted from further prosecuting of the War. When the Seven Years were expir'd, Minos came again with a great Navy into the Coasts of Attica, and demanded Fourteen Boys, which were delivered him.
Theseus with the rest of the Children his Fellows, being now ready to set Sail, Aegeus sent a Pilot along with them, with Orders, that if Theseus overcame the Minotaur, that they should enter the Port of Athens with white Sails; but if he perish'd with black, as they us'd formerly to do.
When the Athenians arriv'd in Crete, Ariadna, Minos his Daughter, fell in love with Theseus for his gallant mean and deportment: Having therefore opportunity of Converse with her, by her Advice and Assistance, he both kill'd the Minotaur, and learn'd the Passage out of the Labyrinth, and so came out safe. Then privately preparing for his return into his own Country, he stole away Ariadna, and sail'd out of the Port in the Night, and arriv'd at the Island then call'd Dia, but now Naxos.
They report, that at that time Bacchus being taken with the Beauty of the Young Lady, took her by force from Theseus, and through the ardent Affection he had for her, marry'd her; and that his love for her was such, as that after her Death, he dignify'd her with Immortality, and transform'd her crown into Page 161 a Constellation of Stars, call'd Ariadna's Crown. Theseus they say, was so griev'd to be thus bereav'd of the Young Lady, that through Sorrow and Vexation, he forgot the Commands of Aegeus, and made into the Port of Athens with black Sails. At which sight, Aegeus concluding that his Son was destroy'd, resolv'd upon an Heroick, but a sad and lamentable Action; for he went up to the top of the Citadel (and through the excessiveness of his Grief, counting his Life a Burden to him) he threw himself down Headlong. After his Death Theseus succeeded him in the Kingdom, and govern'd according to the Laws, and ordered and performed many things, which conduc'd to the welfare and increase of the City. The most famous and remarkable among all the rest was this, That he gather'd all the People together that were scatter'd Abroad in the Country (and so were more considerable for their Number than their Power) and brought them into Athens. From this time the largeness of the City did so puff up the Athenians, and swell them with that confidence, that they question'd not but to be Lords of all Greece. But having said enough of these things, we shall go on with those that remain concerning Theseus, and which afterwards happened to him.
Deucalion, the Eldest of Minos's Sons, reigning in Crete, enter'd into a League with the Athenians, and Marry'd his own Sister Phoedra to Theseus.
After his Marriage he sent away his Son Hippolytus, whom he had by the Amazon, to Troezena, to be bred and brought up by his Sister Aethra: Of Phoedra he begat Acamantes and Demophon.
Hippolytus a while after coming to Athens to the Celebration of a great Festival, Phoedra was so taken with his Beauty, that she fell passionately in love with him: But he going back again for that time, she built near to the Citadel the Temple of Venus, whence she might have a prospect of Traezene.
Afterwards going with Theseus to Traezene to visit Pittheus, she solicited Hippolytus to lye with her; who refusing the Motion, her Love was turn'd into Hatred and Rage, and therefore she accus'd him to her Husband, that he attempted to Ravish her. Theseus suspecting the truth of what she said, summon'd Hippolytus to appear and answer the Accusation; but Phoedra fearing she should be discover'd upon the Trial of the Cause, hang'd herself.
When Hippolytus first heard of the Accusation, he was driving a Chariot; upon the News whereof, he was in such a Consternation and Disturbance, that he let the Reins fall; which so startled the Horses, that they hurried him away, and broke the Chariot in Pieces; and he himself being fastn'd in the Harness, was drag'd along upon the Ground, and so perish'd. Hippolytus thus losing his Life upon the account of his commendable Chastity, was ador'd by the Troezenians as a God. Theseus afterwards by a Sedition being driven out of the City, died in Banishment. But the Athenians being sorry for what they had done, brought back his Bones, and honour'd him as a God, and the Place where they bury'd him in the midst of Athens, they made a Sanctuary, which from him was call'd Theseion.
Since we have proceeded so far in the Story of Theseus, we shall give a distinct account also of the Rape of Helen, and of the intention of Perithous to court Proserpina; for these things have a Relation to the History of Theseus.
Perithous the Son of Ixion, after the Death of his Wife Hippodamia, by whom he had a Son call'd Polypodes, went to Athens to Theseus; whom finding a Widower (having then lately bury'd his Wife Phoedra) he advis'd to steal away Helen, the Daughter of Jupiter and Laeda, who was then about Ten Years of Age, and of surpassing Beauty: To this end they went (with some other of their Associates) to Lacedemon, and catching a fit opportunity for the purpose, seiz'd upon Helen, as their common Prize, and carry'd her away to Athens; where it was agreed between them, to cast Lots for her, and that he who should have the good Fortune to gain her, should faithfully assist the other (through all Hazards whatsoever) in procuring him another Wife. This Compact being confirm'd by a Solemn Oath, she fell by Lot to Theseus. The Athenians were much incens'd at what was done in this Business: Theseus therefore fearing the bad effect of it, privately kept Helen at Aphidna, one of the Cities of Attica, and committed her to the care of his Mother Aethra, and some other Persons of Quality that were his Faithful Friends.
Page 162 Afterwards Perithous had a desire to court Proserpina, and for this purpose requir'd Theseus to go along with him: At first Theseus endeavour'd to dissuade him, and to take him off from such a wicked and impious Design. But Perithous urging him the more vehemently (and by vertue of his Oath being bound thereunto) he at length agreed to joyn with him in the Attempt. To this end both of them descended into the Shades below, and for their Impudence and Impiety, were clapt up, and bound fast in Chains; but Theseus was afterwards releas'd for the sake of Hercules. But Perithous suffers Eternal Pains with the Infernal Spirits for his Wickedness; though some Writers report, that neither of 'em ever return'd. About the same time they say, Castor and Pollux (the Brother of Helen) assaulted Aphidna, and taking it by Storm, raz'd it to the Ground, and carry'd away Helen (still a Virgin) to Lacedemon, and with her among the Captives, A•thra the Mother of Theseus.
Having spoke sufficiently of these things, we shall now proceed to give an Account of the Seven Captains that made War against Thebes, and shew the first Causes of that War. Laius the King of Thebes having marry'd Jocasta the Daughter of Creon, and for a long time being without Children; at length consulted the Oracle whether he ever should have any Issue. Pithia the Priestess gave answer from the Oracle, that it would be unfortunate to him to have any Issue; for the Son that he should afterwards beget, should kill him, and involve his whole Family in most dreadful Calamities. But somewhat forgetful of what the Oracle had declar'd, he afterwards begat a Son, but bor'd his Feet through with an Iron, and order'd him to be expos'd in the open Fields; and for that reason he was afterwards call'd Oedipus. The Servants that took him into their Custody for that purpose, were unwilling to leave him so to the wide World, but gave him to Polybus his Wife, who was barren.
Being attain'd at length to Man's Estate, Laius resolv'd to inquire of the Oracle, to know what was become of the expos'd Infant; and Oedipus at the same time being by some one inform'd of the Design against him when he was so very Young, took a Journey to Delphos, to inquire of the Oracle who were his true Parents: It so fell out, that both of them meeting one another upon the Road in Phocis, Laius in a proud and haughty manner commanded Oedipus to get out of the way; who thereupon was so inrag'd, that he fell upon Laius and kill'd him, not knowing him to be his Father.
About that time they report that Sphinx, a double shap'd Monster, came to Thebes, and put forth a Riddle to be resolv'd by any that could: Which none being able to do (by reason of the difficulty of the thing) she destroy'd many: At length she became more moderate, and offer'd a Reward to such as should unfold it, that he should marry Jocasta, and with her injoy the Kingdom of Thebes. When none else could expound the Riddle, Oedipus was the only Man that did it. The Riddle propounded by Sphinx was this; What Creature is that that is Two-Footed, Three-Footed, and Four-Footed? When all others were puzled, Oedipus interpreted it to be a Man; who when he is an Infant, creeps upon all Four; when he grows elder, goes upright upon his Two Feet; but when he is old, he's Three-Footed, using a Staff to support him by reason of his weakness. Whereupon Sphinx (as it is reported) threw herself down Headlong from the top of the Rock: And Oedipus marry'd his Mother unknown to him, and begat of her Two Sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and Two Daughters, Antigone and Ismene. The Sons being grown up to Mans Estate, came to the knowledge of the Wickedness committed in their Family, and therefore for the foulness of the Fact, confin'd Oedipus so as that he should not stir Abroad; and his Sons took upon them the Government, first agreeing together to rule Yearly one after another by turns. Eocles the Elder Brother reign'd first, but when his Year was out, he refus'd to give way to his Brother: Polynices demanded the Government according to the Covenant between them, but his Brother turn'd to him the Deaf Ear; upon which he repair'd to Ardrastus King of Argos.
Page 163 At which time Tydeus the Son of Oeneus King of Calydonia, was fled out of Aetolia to Argos, for Killing of his Nephews Alcathous and Lycotheus. Adrastus kindly entertain'd them both, and by command of the Oracle, gave his Daughter Argia in marriage to Polynices, and Deipyle to Tydeus. The young Men being both in great Honour and Esteem, and highly approved of by the King for their virtuous Qualifications, Adrastus promis'd to restore them both to their own Countries. Resolving therefore first to bring back Polynices, he sent Tydeus on an Embassage to Etocles to debate the matter with him: In his Return, it's said, he was set upon by Fifty Men, imploy'd by Eteocles to way-lay him; all whom notwithstanding he slew, and came safe, beyond all seeming Probability to Argos. Adrastus being inform'd of this piece of Treachery, prepar'd all things necessary for the War, and Procur'd Capaneus, Hippomedon and Parthenopaeus the Son of Atalanta, the Daughter of Sheneus to joyn with him: Polynices also endeavour'd to persuade Amphiraus the Sooth-sayer, to go along with them to the War against Thebes; but he foreknowing he should fall in that War if he went, refus'd to stir. Polynices therefore presented Amphiraus his Wife with a Golden-Chain (which as is reported, was bestow'd upon Harmonia by Minerva) to persuade her Husband to joyn with them as one of their Confederates. There being some Controversie about that time between Adrastus and Amphiaraus concerning the Kingdom, they agreed together to refer the whole matter in difference, both as to the Kingdom and the War, to the decisive Judgment of Euriphile the Sister of Adrastus, and Wife to Amphiaraus. Hereupon she gave Judgment for Adrastus, and that her Husband should joyn with the rest in the War against Thebes. Amphiaraus (though he lookt upon himself to be betray'd by his Wife,) yet prepar'd to go along with the other Captains: But before he went, commanded his Son Alchmeon, that after he was dead, he should kill Eriphyle; who afterwards executed his Father's Commands, by murdering his Mother; but was some time after so terrify'd in Conscience with the horridness of the Fact, that he went stark mad.
But to proceed; Adrastus, Polynices and Tydeus, together with Four other Captains, Amphiraus, Capaneus, Hippomedon, and Parthenopeus, with a great Army, marcht against Thebes; where Eteocles and Polynices kill'd each other. Capeneus in attempting to scale the Walls, was likewise slain. The Earth open'd her Mouth and swallow'd up Amphiaraus and his Chariot together, and so he was never more seen. All the rest of the Generals likewise perish'd in this War except Adrastus, and a great Slaughter there was among the common Souldiers, whom the Thebans would not suffer to be carried off the Ground; so that Adrastus was forc'd to leave them unbury'd, and return to Argos.
The Bodies of the Slain thus lying unbury'd at Cadmea, none daring to interr them, the Athenians (always commendable above others for their Humanity) took care of this matter, and bury'd them all. And these were the Misfortunes that befel the Seven Captains in the War at Thebes.
But the Children of them that were Slain (call'd † Epigoni) to revenge their Father's Deaths, all joyn'd together, and resolv'd to make War upon that City. The Oracle of Apollo (upon Enquiry) answer'd them, that they should overcome Thebes, if they made Alchmaeon the Son of Amphiaraus their General. Whereupon Alchmaeon being accordingly (with unanimous consent) created Commander in chief, consulted the Oracle, both concerning the present intended Expedition, and the Revenge that he was injoyn'd by his Father to execute upon Eripyle his Mother. The Oracle commanded him to perform both, because she not only receiv'd a Chain of Gold for what she did, which was the occasion of his Father's Death, but a rich Vale likewise as a Bribe, in order to the ruine of himself. Venus (they say) heretofore bestow'd this Chain and Garment upon Harmonia the Wife of Cadmus; but both were given to Eripyle; the Chain by Polynices, and the Vale by Thersandrus, Polynices his Son, that she might persuade Alchmaeon, to go to the Theban War.
Alchmaeon therefore rais'd Souldiers out of Argos, but great Numbers out of the Neighbouring Towns, and with these he marcht against Thebes: The Thebans issued out of the City against them, upon which there was a sharp Ingagement; but the Alchmeons at length got the Day. The Thebans being thus overcome with a great Slaughter of their Citizens, seeing themselves too weak for the other, utterly despair'd of all future Success, and therefore consulted Page 164Teiresias the Soothsayer what they should do. Who advis'd them to abandon the City, as the only means left for their Safety and Preservation. The Cadmeans follow'd his Advice, and in the Night forsook the City, and fled to a Province in Beotia, call'd Tilphotium. The Epigonians afterwards enter'd and raz'd the City, and being now Lords of all (among others) possessed themselves of Daphne, the Daughter of Teiresias, whom (according to their Vow) they devoted (as the chief of their Spoils) to the Oracle at Delphos. The Daughter nothing inferior to her Father for the Art of Divination, mightily improv'd it while she continu'd at Delphos; for she was endued with those Parts and Qualifications that were to be admir'd: She writ divers sorts of Prophetical Verses in a most artificial dress and composure, out of which (they say) the Poet Homer borrow'd many Verses for the adorning of his Poems. Being often in an Enthusiastical inspiration from the God, she utter'd things that were Prophetical, and therefore (they say) she was call'd a Sibyl. For to be so inspir'd, is in the Greek Language to act the Sibyl.
The Epigonians thus prosperously succeeding in their Expedition, return'd at length (loaden with Spoyl) into their own Country. Among those Thebans that fled to Tilphosium, Tiresias dy'd, and was bury'd by the Cadmeans with great Funeral Pomp, and ador'd afterwards as a God.
Some time after leaving the City Tilphosium, they invaded the Doreans, and overcoming them in a Battel expell'd them out of their Country, and settl'd themselves for a while in their Rooms; but afterwards part of them return'd to Thebes in the Reign of Creon, the Son of Menaeceus, and the rest continu'd in Doris: But the expuls'd Doreans at length return'd into their Country, and inhabited Erineus, Citinius, and part of † Beotia. About this time Beotus the Son of Neptune and Arne, came into the Country, then call'd Aeolis, (now Thessaly) and nam'd those that accompany'd him Beotians.
Here it's necessary to give a distinct and particular Account of those things which we have gather'd out of the Rubbish of Antiquity, concerning these Aeolians.
In former times, some of the Children of Aeolus (the Nephew of Deucalion and Helen) inhabited the Places before mention'd, but Mimas another Son reign'd in Aeolis, and Hippotes the Son of Mimas begat Aeolus of Menalippe: And Arne the Daughter of this later Aeolus had a Son by Neptune call'd Beotus. Aeolus not believing she was got with Child by Neptune, judg'd her guilty of Whoredom, and therefore deliver'd her to a Metapontinian Stranger (that was there by chance at that time) to be transported to Metapontum; which he did accordingly, and there she was deliver'd of Aeolus and Beotus, whom the Metapontinian (being Childless) by direction of the Oracle, adopted for his own Sons. When they grew to Mens Estate, a Sedition being rais'd in Metapontum, they possess'd themselves of the Kingdom by force of Arms. Afterwards Arne and Autolyte, the Wife of the Metapontinian falling together by the Ears, the Sons of Arne, in assisting their Mother, kill'd Autolyte; which cruel Fact the Metapontinian took most heinously, and therefore they got on Shipboard, and put to Sea with their Mother Arne and many other of their Friends. Aeolus possess'd himself of the Islands in the Tyrrhenian Seas, call'd the Aeolides, after his Name, and built a City there which he call'd Lipara. But Beotus went to his Grandfather Aeolus, who receiv'd him as his Son, and he came afterwards to the Kingdom, and call'd the Country after his Mother Arne, but nam'd the People Beotians, after his own Name.
Itonus the Son of Beotus begat Four Sons, Hippalcimus, Electrion, Archilicus and Alegenor: Hippalcimus had Peneleos, Electryon, Leitus, Algenor, Cloncus, Archilycus, Prothaenor and Ariesilaus, who were all Commanders in chief of the Beotians in the Trojan War.
Having now set forth these Affairs, we shall endeavour to give an account of Salmoneus and Tyro, and of their Progeny down to Nestor, who was one of the Grecian Commanders at the Siege of Troy.
Salmoneus was the Son of Helen, Nephew of Aeolus, and Nephew's Son to Deucalion: He made an Expedition out of Aeolis, and possess'd himself of a Territory in Elis, upon the Banks of the River Alpheus, and there he built a City, which he call'd after his own Name Salomnia: He marry'd Alcidice the Daughter of Aleus, and by her had a Daughter nam'd Tyro, who was an extraordinary Beauty. His Wife Alcidice dying, he marry'd another call'd Siderone, who (after the manner of Step-mothers) hated Tyro.
Page 165 Afterwards Simoneus (being both cruel and unrighteous towards Men, and impious towards the Gods) was hated by his Subjects, and at length for his Contempt of the Gods, was by Jupiter struck dead with a Thunderbolt.
About this time Neptune begat Two Sons of Tyro, Pelias and Neleus. Tyro being afterwards married to Cretheus, she had by him Amythaon, Pheretes and Aesones. After the Death of Cretheus, Pelias and Neleus were at strife one with another for the Kingdom. Pelias reign'd as King of Iolcus and the Neighbouring Countries, and being joyn'd with Melampus and Bias, the Sons of Amythaon and Aglaia, together with some Achaeans, Phthiots and Eolians, made an inroad with his Army into Peloponesus. At which time, in Argos, Melampus (being a Sooth-sayer) restor'd some Women to soundness of Mind, that through the Anger of Bacchus were struck with a raging Madness. And for this good Act he was rewarded by Anaxagoras, King of the Argives, Son of Megapentheus, with Two parts of the Kingdom. Hereupon Melampus took his Brother Bias as his Associate with him in the Government, and resided at Argos. Then marrying Iphianira the Daughter of Megapantheus, he had by her Antiphates, Manto, Bias and Pronoes. Antiphates had by Zeuxippe the Daughter of Hippocoon, Oicles and Amphales. From Oicles and Hypermnestra, the Daughter of Thespius, descended Iphianira, Polybaea, and Amphiaraus: And thus Melampus and Bias, and their Posterity injoy'd the Kingdom of Argos.
Neleus likewise with those whom he conducted, enter'd. Messina, and built the City Pylus, which was given to him by the bordering Inhabitants; who reigning here, married Chloris the Daughter of Amphion the Theban, and by her had Twelve Sons, of whom Periclimenus was the Eldest, and Nestor the Youngest, who went along with the rest to the Trojan War. But to the end we may keep within Bounds, this that has been said shall susfice concerning the Ancestors of Nestor.
And now something is to be further added concerning the Lapithites and the Centaurs; most of whom were the Sons of Oceanus and Thetys (as the Mythologists do report,) remarkable for their giving Names to Rivers; amongst whom was Peneus, from whom the River in Thessaly was so call'd. He was familiar with the Nymph Creuta, and of her begat Hypseus and Stibes, of whom Apollo begat Lapithes and Centaurus. Lapithes resided near the River Peneus, and reign'd over the Neighbouring Territories. He marry'd Orsinome the Daughter of Eurynomus, and by her had Two Sons, Phorbas and Periphas, who afterwards reign'd in those Parts; and the whole Nation of the Lapithae, are so call'd from Lapithes. Phorbas one of the Sons of Lapithes, resided at Olenus: Whence Alector the King of Elis (fearing the power of Pelops) sent for him to his Assistance, and made him his Associate in the Kingdom. Phorbas had Two Sons, Egeus and Actor, who were afterwards Kings of Elis.
Periphas the other Son of Lapitha, marry'd Astyagea, the Daughter of Hypseus, and by her had Eight Children; the Eldest of whom Antion, had Issue Ixion of Perimela, the Daughter of Amythaon. Ixion (they say) upon Promise to Hesioneus of a great Dowry and rich Gifts, marry'd his Daughter Dia, of whom he begat Perithous: But Ixion not performing his Promise made on the behalf of his Wife Hesioneus seiz'd his Horses in lieu of a Pawn. Ixion under colour of giving full satisfaction, desir'd his Father in Law to come to him; who coming accordingly, Ixion threw him into a Fiery Furnace.
But because none could expiate him from the guilt of so heinous a Parricide, it's said that Jupiter did it. But growing afterwards in love with Juno (they say) he was so impudent, as to court her to play the Adulteress: Whereupon Jupiter turn'd a Cloud into the shape of Juno, with which Ixion gratify'd his Lust, and begat those Half Men, call'd Centaurs. At length, for his enormous Impiety, he was fasten'd by Jupiter to a Wheel, and after his Death suffer'd Eternal Torments.
Others say, that the Centaurs were bred up by the Nymphs in Pelion, and that when they grew up to Mens Estates, they ingender'd with Mares, and so begat a double shap'd Brood, call'd Hippocentaurs. Others say, that the Centaurs were the Issue of Nephele and Ixion, and because they were the first that attempted to ride upon Horses, therefore they were call'd Hippocentaurs, and feign'd to be of a double Nature, both Man and Horse. It's said that these Centaurs being of the same Stock and Original, demanded of Perithous a share of Page 166 their Father's Kingdom; which being deny'd, they made War upon the Lapithites; and that when the War was ended, Perithous marry'd Hippodamia the Daughter of Bystus, and invited Theseus and the Centaurs to the Marriage; and that the Centaurs (being Drunk, and inflam'd with Wine) attempted to ravish the Women that were then at the Marriage Feast: At which bold and wicked Prank, Theseus and the Lapathites were so incens'd, that they kill'd many of them, and drove the rest as Fugitives out of the City. And for this Reason, the whole Body of the Centaurs afterwards made War upon the Lapithites, and kill'd most of them, and forc'd the rest that had escap'd the Sword, to fly into Pholoe in Arcadia: But some got into Malea, and there continu'd. The Centaurs lifted up with this Success, often issu'd out of Pholoe, and robb'd all the Grecians that travell'd that way, and kill'd many of the Neighbouring Inhabitants.
Having now done with these occurrences, we shall next speak of Aesculapius and his Posterity: They say he was the Son of Apollo and Coronis, and being of an acute and sharp Wit, earnestly bent his Mind to the study of Physick, and found out many Preservatives for the Health of Mens Bodies; and grew at length so famous, that curing many in a wonderful manner, whose Distempers were lookt upon to be desperate, he was judg'd to raise up many from the Dead: And therefore it's reported by the Mythologists, that Pluto complain'd to Jupiter of Aesculapius, that through his Cures the number of the Dead decreas'd; and accus'd him for the weakning of his Empire in the Shades below: At which Jupiter was so incens'd, that he kill'd Aesculapius with a Thunderbolt. At whose Death Apollo was inrag'd to that degree, that he kill'd the Cyclops that made the Thunderbolt for Jupiter. Whereat Jupiter was again in wrath, and for a Punishment of his Offences, forc'd * Apollo to serve Mankind in a piece of constant Drudgery. Aesculapius (it's said) had Two Sons, Machaon and Podalirius, who were skilful in their Father's Art, and went along with Agamemnon to the Trojan War; in which War they were very useful and serviceable to the Grecians, for they cur'd them that were wounded in Fights with singular industry, and were in such esteem and favour among the Grecians, that by reason of their extraordinary usefulness in their Art, they were exempted from hazarding their Persons, and freed from all other publick Services.
But here we shall conclude the History of Aesculapius, and his Sons; and shall now proceed to give an account of the Daughters of Asopus, and the Sons of Aeacus.
Oceanus and Tethys (as some Stories have it) had many other Sons, which gave Names to famous Rivers, besides Peneus and Asopus. The Residence of Peneus, was that Country which is now call'd Thessaly, who gave Name to that Famous River there call'd Peneus. Asopus dwelt at Phlias, and marry'd Medon the Daughter of Ladon, by whom he had Two Sons, Pelasgus and Ismenus, and twelve Daughters, whose Names were Cercyra, Salamis, Aegina, Pirene, Cleone, Thebe, Tanagra, Thespira, Asopis, Sinope, Oenia and Chalcis. Ismenus one of his Sons, came into Beotia, and seated himself near the River call'd after his own Name. Sinope one of the Daughters was forc'd away by Apollo to that Place where the City Sinope now stands; so call'd from her: From her and Apollo sprang Syrus, who reign'd over those People, from him call'd Syrians. Neptune transported Cercyra into that Island, now call'd from her Corcyra. He had by her a Son call'd Pheax, from whom the Pheans are so nam'd.
This Pheax was the Father of Alcinous, who guided Ʋlysses into Ithaca: Salamis also was forc'd by Neptune, and carry'd away into the Island call'd after her own Name; by him she had Cenchreus, who was King of this Island, and a brave spirited Man; he kill'd a Serpent of a vast bigness, which had destroy'd many of the Inhabitants. Aegina was carry'd away by Jupiter from Phlias, into the Island Aegina, so call'd from her; and by her had Aeacus, afterwards King of that Island, whose Sons were Peleus and Telamon. Peleus by the throwing of an Hand-Stone, unfortunately kill'd his Half-Brother Phocus, being both of the same Father, but not of the same Mother; for this Fact he was banish'd by his Father, and fled into Phthia, a Province of that Country, now call'd Thessaly, where he was acquitted and purg'd of the Slaughter by King Actor, and succeeded him in the Kingdom, Actor dying without Issue. Achilles was the Son of Peleus and Thetis, and went along with Agamemnon to the War of Troy. Telamon likewise fled out of Egina, and arriv'd in Salamis, where he marry'd Glance the King's Page 167 Daughter, and by that means afterwards came to be King of that Island. After •he Death of Glauce, he marry'd Eribaea of Athens, the Daughter of Alcathous, and by her had Ajax, another Associate in the Trojan War.
Having given account of these things, we shall now speak of Pelops, Tantalus and Oenomaus. And here it will be necessary to go higher, and treat distinctly of some things in time long before.
In Pisa a City of Peloponesus, Mars begat Oenomaus of Harpina, the Daughter of Asopus: Oenomaus had one only Daughter, call'd Hippodamia, and consulting the Oracle how long he should live, the God answer'd that he should dye when his Daughter was Marry'd: Dreading therefore her Marriage, he resolv'd she should ever remain in a Virgin State, conceiving by this means only, he should avoid the danger foretold.
But whereas many earnestly su'd to have her to Wife, he made a Proposal of a Horse-Race to the Suitors, with this Condition, that he who won the Race, should have his Daughter, and that he that lost, should be put to Death.
The Course to be run was from Pisa to the Altar of Neptune, in the Isthmus of Corinth, and the manner of starting was thus: Oenomaus first sacrific'd a Ram to Jupiter; and in the mean time the Suitor makes speedily away in a Chariot drawn with Four Horses; and Oenomaus having at length finish'd his Sacrifice, mounts his Chariot driven by one Myrtilus, and with a Launce in his Hand, pursues the Suitor, and overtaking him, runs him through. And in this manner, by the swiftness of his Horses, always coming up to the Suitors (though they set out so long before him) he kill'd very many.
But Pelops the Son of Tantalus coming to Pisa, and desiring to have Hippodamia for his Wife; as soon as he saw her, bribed Myrtilus (Oenomaus's Chariot-driver) to suffer him to be Victor; by which means he got to Neptune's Altar in the Isthmus, before Oenamaus; who concluding that what the Oracle had foretold, was now near to be fulfilled, through grief of Heart was so dejected, that he murther'd himself. Pelops thus gaining Hippodamia, with her likewise gain'd the Kingdom of Pisa; and being a Valiant and Prudent Man, and growing rich besides, subdu'd most of the Countries of Peloponesus, and so called the whole Peninsula after his own Name.
Since we have made mention of Pelops, it's fit to say something of Tantalus's Father, that we may not omit any thing worthy Remark. Tantalus the Son of Jupiter was a rich and renowned Prince, and had his Royal Seat in that part of Asia, which is now call'd Paphlagonia, and for the nobleness of his Birth, being the Offspring of Jove (they say) he was the very Darling of the Gods themselves. However he us'd not his Prosperity with that Moderation and Humility as became a Mortal; but being admitted to Familiarity and Feasting with the Gods, discover'd their Secrets to Men; for which he was not only punish'd while he was Living, but was thrust down among the Wicked and Impious (as the Histories relate) to suffer Eternal Torments after Death. This Tantalus had Pelops, and a Daughter nam'd Niobe, who had Seven Sons, and as many Daughters, who were extraordinary Beauties: Being proud of the great number of her Children, she often boasted, that for her fruitfulness, she excell'd Latona her self: At which the Goddess they say, was so enrag'd, that she commanded Apollo with his Arrows, to kill the Sons, and Diana with hers, the Daughters; who executing their Mothers Commands, slew all the Children at once. So that Niobe who abounded with Children, was childless at one and the same moment.
But because Tantalus being hated by the Gods, was expell'd out of Paphlagonia by Ilus the Son of Tros, something is fit to be said concerning Ilus and his Ancestors.
The first that reign'd in the Country of Troas, was Teucer the Son of the River Scamander, and the Nymph Idaea; he was a brave Man, and gave the Name of Teucri to the Inhabitants. He had a Daughter call'd Batea, whom Dardanus marry'd, and succeeded Teucer in the Kingdom; and ordered the People to be call'd from him Dardanians; and built a City near the Sea Shore, and call'd it Dardanum.Page 168 He had a Son nam'd Erichthonius, a Prosperous and Wealthy Prince; of whom the Poet Homer writes thus—
Tros was the Son of Erichthonius, and of him the People were nam'd Trojans; he had Three Sons, Ilus, Assaracus and Ganimede; Ilus built a noble City in the Champain Country of Troas, which he call'd Ilium; the Son of Ilus was Lao〈…〉don, whose Sons were Tithonus and Priam: Tithonus led an Army into the Eastern Parts of Asia, and pierc'd as far as to Aethiopia, whence rose the Story of Memnon, being the Son of Aurora; which Memnon brought aid to the Trojans, and was kill'd by Achilles.
Priam marry'd Hecuba, and by her (besides many other Sons) had Hector, who was especially remarkable for his Valour in the Trojan War. Asaracus King of the Dardanians, had Capys his Son, the Father of Anchises, who of Venus begat Aeneas, a Famous Man among the Trojans. Ganymede lastly was extraordinary beautiful, and is reported to be caught up to Heaven by the Gods to be Jupiter's Cupbearer.
And now from these, we shall proceed to Daedalus and the Minotaur, and the Expedition of Minos into Sicily against King Cocalus.
Of Daedalus, and his Works in Crete, Sicily, and elsewhere. His Flight into Sicily: Minos invades Sicily; the manner of his Death there. The Famous Temple of the Curetes or Corybantes in Sicily, built by the Posterity of the Cretians that came there with Minos. The Pedigree of Aristeus; his Acts; his Son Acteon. of Eryx. Venus her Temple in Eryx in Sicily; the Fame of it. Of Daphnis the Shepherd. A Description of the Herean Mountains. Of Orion. Of the Streight of Messina.
DAedalus was an Athenian, of the Family of the Ericthidae; for he was the Son of Hymetion, the Son of Eupalamus, the Son of Erechtheus. He was extraordinary Ingenious, and very studious in the Art of Architecture, and was an excellent Statuary, and Engraver upon Stone, and improv'd those Arts with many notable Inventions. He made many wonderful Pieces of Work in several Parts of the World, and so far excell'd in the framing and cutting of Statues, that those that were long after him, report that the Statues he made, did resemble living Men even to the Life. For their Symmetry was so exact and perfect, that their Eyes, and frame of Motion, and the whole Composure of the Body, was a lively Representation of Living Creatures. For he was the first that in Statues exprest the direct and lively aspect of the Eyes, and the progressive Motion of the Legs and Thighs, and stretching forth of the Hands and Arms, and therefore was justly admir'd by all: For those Artists that were before him, fram'd their Images with blinking Eyes, Heads hanging down, as if they were glu'd to their sides. But though Daedalus was thus admir'd for his exquisite Skill in this Art, yet he was forc'd to fly his Country for a Murther committed upon the occasion following. Talus Daedalus his Sister's Son, being but a Young Boy, was at that time bred up with his Uncle, to learn his Trade. This Talus for Ingenuity excell'd his Master, and Page 169 invented the Potter's Wheel: He got likewise a Serpent's Jaw-bone, and with it saw'd a little piece of Wood asunder; then in imitation of the Tooth in the Jaw, he made the like in Iron, and so he found out an Instrument for the sawing of the greatest Pieces of Timber, exceeding useful, and tending much to the furtherance and ease of all Architects. He invented likewise the Turner's Lath, and many other Tools for the use of Architects; upon which account he was in great Esteem and Reputation. Daedalus hereat burnt with Rage and Envy against the poor Boy, and fearing he would grow far more famous than himself, secretly murder'd him. Being seiz'd upon just as he was laying the Carcass in the Ground, he was askt what he was burying? He answer'd, that he was covering a Serpent with Earth. Here it's very worthy of Remark, that the same Creature that was the occasion of making of the Saw, should be also the means of discovery of the Murther. Being therefore brought to his Trial at the Court of the Areopagites, and there condemn'd to dye for the Murder; he first fled to a sort of People in Attica, who from him were call'd Daedalians: Thence he got into Crete, where he was much admir'd for his Art, and in great favour with King Minos.
Afterwards (as it is commonly reported) Pasiphae the Queen, Minos his Wife, burning in her Lust after a Bull, he fram'd an Engin like to a Cow, and helpt her by that means to satisfy her Lust. They say, that before that time, Minos Yearly sacrific'd the best and largest Bull in the Herd to Neptune; and once there being a most lovely Beast in the Herd, a worse was pickt out to be sacrific'd; at which Neptune was so incens'd at Minos, that he caus'd his Wife Pasiphae to go Mad for Love after the Bull; and by the Art of Daedalus, she prostituted her self to the Beast, and brought forth the Minotaur so famous in ancient Stories.
They ascribe a double nature to this Creature, that from the Head to the Shoulders, he resembled a Bull, and in all his lower Parts was like to a Man. It's said, that for the keeping and feeding of this Monster, Daedalus built the Labyrinth full of windings and turnings, this way and that way, impossible to be found out by any Stranger before unacquainted. Here it was that the Minotaur devour'd the Seven Boys, and the like number of Girls Yearly sent thither from Athens, as we have before declar'd.
Daedalus being inform'd of Minos his Threats for making of the Cow, fearing the Rage of the King, by the help of the Queen got on Shipboard, and secretly escap'd out of the Island. Icarus his Son fled away with him, and both arriv'd at a certain Island, situated in the Ocean far off from any Land, where the Young Man being too rash, and hasty to Land, dropt into the Sea, and there perish'd; from whom it's call'd the Icarian Sea, and the Island Icaria.
From hence Daedalus sail'd into Sicily, and landed there where Cocalus reign'd, who receiv'd him very courteously, and upon the account of his great skill, and the Fame that went of him, made him his Bosom Friend.
Some report this Story concerning him, That Daedalus continuing still in Crete, was hid by Pasiphae; Minos in the mean time making diligent search after him, in order to punish him, but not able to find him out, he promis'd great Rewards to such as should discover him.
Daedalus utterly despairing to get away by Shipping, made for himself and Son, artificial Wings, joynted and compacted in a wonderful manner with Wax, and fastn'd them to his own and his Son's Body, and with them Daedalus suddenly flew away, and got over the Cretian Sea: But Icarus soaring too high (such is the folly of Young Men) fell down into the Sea, the Sun melting the Wax wherewith the Feathers of the Wings were joyn'd together. But his Father flying low near the Surface of the Sea, and sprinkling his Wings in the Water, pass'd over safe into Sicily. Though this may seem an absurd Fable, yet we judg'd it not sit to be past by.
Daedalus staid with Cocalus and the Sicilians a long time, and was highly honour'd and esteem'd by all for his excellent Art and Skill in his Profession: There are some Works of his there that remain to this day; for in the Territory of Megaris, he made a Fish-pond with wonderful Art, through which the great River Alabone emptied it self into the Sea. He built likewise a City (now call'd Agrigentina in Camacus) upon a Rock so strong, that it was inexpugnable. The Passage to it was so straight and winding, that the Place might be easily defended Page 170 by Three or Four Men. Therefore Cocalus here built a Palace, and treasur'd up all his Wealth, as a Place (through this Architect's ingenious Contrivance) wonderfully secure. In the Third Place, he made a Cave in the Territory of Selementa, in which by Fire there under Ground, a warm Steam was so artificially rais'd, that by it's moderate heat, it caus'd a gentle Sweat, and gradually cur'd many that resorted thither of their Distempers, with a great deal of Pleasure, without any uneasiness from the Heat. And whereas there was a high and craggy Rock in the Country of Eryx, and no room to build but upon the highest and craggiest part of it, by reason of the strait and narrow Passages about the Temple of Venus, he drew a Wall round the very Top, and plain'd and inlarg'd it in a wonderful manner. They say, he likewise made a Golden Honey-Comb (dedicated to Venus Erycina) with such exquisite Art, and so like to a true and real one, that none could ever be comparable to it. He wrought many other excellent Pieces in Sicily, which length of Time has worn out, and consum'd.
But Minos King of Crete, who had the Dominion at Sea, hearing that Daedalus was fled into Sicily, proclaim'd War against that Island. Having therefore rigg'd out a mighty Fleet, he set Sail, and arriv'd upon the Coasts of Agrigentum, which was from him call'd Minoa, where he landed his Men, and sent Messengers to Cocalus, to demand the delivery up of Daedalus to Justice. Hereupon Minos and Cocalus came to an interview, and Cocalus promis'd to do all that Minos requir'd, and entertain'd him with all honourable Respect: But when he was in a Bath, Cocalus kept him there so long, that he was stiffl'd with the steam and heat. Afterwards he deliver'd his Body to the Cretians that came along with him, pretending he came to his Death, by slipping accidentally into the Hot and Scalding Baths. His Souldiers bury'd him with great Pomp, and built him a double Sepulcher, in the lower part whereof, in a Vault, they deposited his Bones, and near to the higher Part that was open to the view, they erected a Temple to Venus, which for many Ages after was so ador'd by the Inhabitants, that they offer'd Sacrifices there, as in a Temple peculiarly consecrated to her.
In later Times, when Agrigentum was built, it being then discover'd that the Bones were there bury'd, the Sepulcher was wholly ruin'd, and the Bones sent to the Cretians, at the time when Thero was Sovereign Lord of Agrigentum. The Cretians that were thus brought over into Sicily, after the Death of Minos, having then no King, fell at odds one with another, and rais'd a great Tumult. But their Ships being all burnt by the Sicilians, Cocalus his Subjects, they were out of all hope ever to return into their own Country; and therefore resolv'd to settle themselves in Sicily. To that end, some of them built a City, which from the Name of their King they call'd Minoa. Another part of them went up into the heart of the Country, and possessing themselves of a Place naturally very strong, there built Engium, a City so call'd from a Fountain there.
After the Destruction of Troy, they receiv'd Merion, with other Cretians that were cast upon Sicily; and because they were of the same Nation, they made them Members of their City. Afterwards making frequent Inroads into the Neighbouring Country, from so strong a Fort, they subdu'd many of the Borderers, and got some small Territory; afterwards being grown wealthy, they built a Temple to the Curetes or Corybantes, and most religiously ador'd those Goddesses and adorn'd their Temple with many rich Gifts. They say, these Goddesses came into Cicily out of Crete, where they were most especially ador'd and honour'd. It's reported that they privatly bred up and conceal'd Jupiter from his Father Saturn. In reward of which Kindness, they were taken up into the Heavens and plac'd among the Stars, where they make the Constellation call'd Arctos. Of whom Aratus (agreeable hereunto) in his Poem of the Stars, speaks thus—
It's not fit therefore that we should pass by in silence the piety of these Goddesses, and their Fame and Reputation amongst all Men. For they are not only ador'd by the Inhabitants of this City, but several of the Neighbouring Countries worship them with pompous Sacrifices, and other Religious Services. And the Oracle at Delphos injoyn'd many Cities to give divine Honour to these Goddesses; promising that by this means they should be bless'd both in their private and publick Concerns. And at length these Goddesses grew so Famous, that rich Gifts both of Gold and Silver were dedicated to them by the Inhabitants, and such Offerings are continu'd to the very time of writing this History. For they built to them a most sumptuous Temple, both for greatness of Structure, and Costlyness of Ornament. For in regard there was not Stone in that part of the Country fit for the raising such a Structure, they took care to have it brought from the Agyrinaeans, which was a Hundred Furlongs distance, and the way very rough and craggy, and hard to pass: And therefore to convey the Stones, they provided Wagons, and a Hundred Yoke of Oxen; being the better inabled to bear the Charge, for that the Sacred Treasures were very large. For a little before our time, there were Three Thousand Oxen dedicated to those Goddesses, and so much Land as rais'd a vast Revenue: But having said enough of this, we shall proceed to the History of Aristaeus.
Aristaeus was the Son of Apollo and Cyrene, the Daughter of Gypsaeus, who was the Son of Peneus. Of his Birth some tell this Story: They say that Cyrene was very beautiful, and brought up at Mount Pelion, and that Apollo fell in love with her, and transported her into Lybia, where in later time was built a City, call'd after her Name Cyrene. There Apollo committed his Son Aristaeus, begotten of Cyrene (then a young Infant) to the care of the Nymphs, to be brought up by them; who gave him Three several Names, Norricus, Aristaeus and Agreus. These Nymphs taught him how to curdle Milk, to order and make Bee-Hives, and plant Olive-Yards; and by this means he became the first that directed all other Men in this Art: For which he was so honour'd, that all ador'd him as a God, as much as they did Bacchus.
Afterwards they say, he went to Thebes, where he marry'd Autonoe, one of Cadmus's Daughters, by whom he had Actaeon, torn in Pieces (as the Mythologists say) by his own Dogs. Some give this Reason of his Misfortune, Because that he design'd Nuptial Imbraces with Diana in her Temple, dedicating to her what he got in hunting, for that Solemnity. Others say, because he boasted that in hunting, he excell'd Diana her self. And it is not improbable, but that the Goddess might be incens'd at either of these. For whether for the gratifying of his Lust by his Prey, he abus'd the Goddess, who was ever averse from Marriage, or that he dar'd to prefer himself in the Art of Hunting before her, who by all the Gods themselves was granted to excel all others in that respect, the Goddess was certainly most justly angry: It's therefore very probable, that being transform'd into the likeness of those Beasts he us'd to take, the Dogs when they were in pursuit of other Game, might tear him himself in Pieces.
After the Death of Actaeon, Aristaeus went to his Father the Oracle at Delphos, and there it's said, he was commanded by the Oracle to remove into the Island Coos, who told him that he should be there highly honour'd, and in great esteem with the Coons.
Thither therefore he sail'd; a Plague afterwards raging over all Greece, he sacrific'd to the Gods for the deliverance of the Grecians: When he had perfected his Sacrifice about the rising of the Dog Star, at which time the Etesian Page 172 Winds began to rise, the Plague staid. This remarkable change (if it be seriously considered) may justly be wonder'd at; for he who had his Son torn in Pieces with Dogs, allay'd the evil Influences of the Dog-Star (which commonly are pernicious) and at that time restor'd Health to many Thousands.
Afterwards leaving his Children behind him, he went to Lybia, and from thence being furnish'd with Shipping by the Nymph his Mother, he sail'd into Sardinia, where being taken with the pleasantness of the Island, he feated himself, and improved the Ground with Planting and Tillage, and civiliz'd the Inhabitants who were before Rude and Barbarous. Here he begat Two Sons, Carmus and Calaecarpus. Afterwards he sail'd to other Islands, and staid for some time in Sicily, upon the account of its Fruitfulness both in Corn and Cattel, where he imparted several things to the Inhabitants that were of great Benefit and Advantage. Therefore it's said all the Sicilians, and especially those that had Olive-Yards, ador'd Aristaeus as a God.
At last, they say, he went into Thrace to Bacchus, where he learnt the Rites of the Orgia, and through his familiar Converse with that God, was instructed in many other things, both useful and profitable.
After he had liv'd for some time near Mount Haemus, he vanish'd away, and never was seen more; and was afterwards honour'd as a God, not only by the Barbarians in those Parts, but by all the Gracians: But concerning Aristaeus, this shall suffice.
Now to say something concerning Daphne and Eryx; it's reported that Eryx was the Son of Venus and Butes, a Native, a most Famous Prince. This Eryx for the Nobleness of his Birth on the Mothers side, was of great Esteem among the Inhabitants, and became King of part of the Island, and built a City call'd after his own Name, upon a high and lofty Hill, upon the top of which within the City, he built a Temple to Venus, adorn'd with rich Oblations, and all other stately Furniture. The Goddess in reward of the Piety of the Inhabitants, and the devotion of her Son the Founder, exprest a special Love and Kindness for this City, and upon that nam'd her self Venus Erycina.
When any seriously considers the Majesty of this Temple, he cannot but greatly admire it; for all other Sacred Structures, after they have been famous for some time, have often by the adverse Blasts of Fortune, been at length ruin'd and destroyd; but this has been so far (from the very first Dedication of it) from decreasing in its Glory, that it has grown still more and more in Reputation and Esteem. For after the Consecration of it by Eyrx, Aeneas another Son of Venus, when he arriv'd in Sicily in his Voyage to Italy, beautify'd it with many rich Oblations, because it was Consecrated to his Mother; and after him the Sicilians for many Ages together (at great Cost and Expence) ador'd this Goddess with magnificent Sacrifices, and further adorn'd her Temple with many great Oblations. The Carthaginians also in later times, when they conquer'd part of the Island, still continu'd the splendid Worship of this Goddess. And lastly, the Romans, when they became Masters of the whole Island, surpass'd all that were before 'em in the Worship of this Deity; and this they did upon good ground, for they deriv'd their Original from her, and by her means were prosperous in all their Affairs, and therefore in gratitude for so many Benefits, they return'd her the greater Honour and Esteem. For the Consuls and Praetors, and all that came as Governors into this Island, as soon as they came to Eryx, offer'd most magnificent Sacrifices, and dedicated rich Gifts for the beautifying of this Temple; and by little and little laid aside their Austerity, and pleasantly convers'd both with the Women and Children in their Jollity, looking upon this to be the only way to ingratiate themselves into the favour of the Goddess. The Roman Senate likewise out of their singular respect to this Goddess, decreed that Seventeen of the most considing Cities they had in Sicily, should make an Offering in Gold to Venus, and that the Temple should be continually guarded by Two Hundred Soldiers.
And thus though we have treated something largely of Eryx, yet the Account is not impertinent to the History of Venus.
Page 173 We shall now endeavour to relate what the Mythologists report concerning Daphnis: In Sicily they say, are Mountains call'd Herei, so pleasant for Situation, and of so sweet an Air, that no Place can be better pitcht upon than they, for Pleasure and Diversion in the Summer time: For there are many Springs of admirable sweet Water, and deckt with Trees of all sorts. There are whole Woods of tall and stately Oaks, which bear Acorns of a vast bigness, twice as many, and twice as big as in any other part of the World.
There likewise grows abundance of Roots and Herbs, natural Vines, and unspeakable number of Melons, so that a Carthaginian Army once ready to starve for want of Provision, was there reliev'd and preserv'd; and though so many Thousands were there fed, yet plenty remain'd in the Mountains still. In this Region there's a pleasant Valley, grac'd with Rows of Trees, affording a most ravishing prospect to the Eye, and likewise a Grove dedicated to the Nymphs: Here they say Daphnis was begotten by Mercury upon one of the Nymphs, and gain'd that Name from the multitude of Laurels that grow there. Being bred up by the Nymphs, and having many Herds of Cattel, he diligently follow'd the Shepherds Life; upon which account he was also call'd Bubulcus; and being very skilful and ingenious in composing Songs and Tunes, he found out the Bucolick Poems, and Harmonious Notes which are much us'd, and highly esteem'd amongst the Sicilians at this Day. They say likewise, that he often hunted with Diana, and by his dutiful observance and attendance upon the Goddess, mightily gain'd her Favour, and with his Piping and Singing, wonderfully delighted her. It's likewise said, that a Nymph falling in love with him, told him, that if he lay with any other Woman but her, he should be struck blind; which afterwards prov'd true, for lying with a King's Daughter who had made him drunk, he forthwith lost his Sight.
But this concerning Daphnis shall suffice. Now we proceed in short to the Story of Orion. It's said, that he was the biggest and strongest Man of all the Heroes, and was much given to Hunting; and being so very strong, for the sake of Vain-glory, perform'd many great Actions.
Amongst other things, by casting up a Mold, he made the Harbour call'd Acte, for Zanclus the Sicilian King, from whom the City was anciently call'd Zancle, but now Messina.
But since we make mention of Messina, we conceive it no digression if we here subjoyn what is related concerning the narrow Sea, whereon it is seated.
Some ancient Writers say, that Sicily was once a Peninsula, and afterwards became an Island, in the manner following.
The Sea beating violently upon each side of the narrowest part of the Isthmus, at length cut through and disjoyn'd one part from the other, and the place from thence was call'd Rhegium, where many Years after, was built the City now so call'd. Others say, that that narrow Neck of the Continent, was rent asunder by an Earthquake, and by that means the Sea burst into that part where the Convulsion was made. But the Poet Hesiod affirms the contrary; for he says, that the Sea being formerly broader, Orion rais'd up in the open Sea, the Promontary Pelorus, and built upon it a Temple to Neptune, religiously ador'd by the Inhabitants. After the performing of these things, they report that he sail'd into Eubaea, and there resided. Afterwards for the glory of his Actions, being fix'd as a Constellation amongst the Stars, his Name became Famous to Eternity, of whom the Poet Homer makes mention in his Poem of the Dead, in these Words:
Page 174 Where likewise he takes notice of his great Bulk; and a little after making mention of Aloiades, he adds, that at Nine Years of Age, he was Four Yards and an half in thickness, and Eighteen Yards in height.
Having now treated sufficiently of the Heroes and Demy-Gods, according as we at first design'd, we shall here put an end to this Book.
The Histories of Herodotus written in 440 BC is considered to be the founding work of history in Western literature. His history included stories and fables but he claimed to have traveled extensively and learned about many countries through direct observation.
The thesis of Stolen Legacy is that the Egyptians created what is wrongly called Greek philosophy. Dr. James argues that the African origin of Greek Philosophy is well known but rarely discussed. Ancient Greek historians such as Herodotus and Diodorus the Sicilian wrote in significant detail about the contributions of Egypt. Egyptian technology and libraries were unmatched and Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato studied there. The contribution of Africa to the intellectual foundation of modern knowledge is tremendous but unacknowledged.
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