The Library of History

Page 152

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 〈…〉

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books