The Library of History

Page 167

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.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books