Sunday, August 2, 2015

TFBT: Third Random Notes on Argonautica Book 3

The Hour 25 Book Club will host a discussion on Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica Book 3, via Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, August 11 at 11 a.m. You can find R.C. Seaton’s translation of the text online for free here, or you can read any other edition you prefer.  Here is my first random notes in preparation for August 11;   

Witness the   “mighty oath of the Colchians” in action!  "But swear by Earth and Heaven that thou wilt keep secret in thy heart what I shall tell thee, and be fellow-worker with me. I implore thee by the blessed gods, by thyself and by thy parents, not to see them destroyed by an evil doom piteously; or else may I die with my dear sons and come back hereafter from Hades an avenging Fury to haunt thee.” (III. 705-710) “Thus she spake, and straightway a torrent of tears gushed forth and low down she clasped her sister's knees with both hands and let her head sink on to her breast”.  Boy, those Colchian girls really know how to supplicate! 

Apparently, Medea is youngest of Aeetes’ three children by far.  Who knew?  At 732 Medea says to her sister referring to her nephews;  "for thou didst lift “me to thy breast when an infant equally with them 

Medea at 774 “Would that I had been slain by the swift shafts of Artemis before I had set eyes on him,” Didn't Penelope say something similar?  

Jason supplicates Medea before her temple using other names for Earth and Sky, “I implore thee by Hecate herself, by thy parents, and by Zeus who holds his guardian hand over strangers and suppliants; I come here to thee bot”. “who holds his guardian hand over strangers and suppliants; I come here to thee both a suppliant and a stranger, bending the knee in my sore need  At (ll. 975-1007) & (ll. 1079-1101) Jason in hopes of getting Medea's assistance tells the story of how Medea's cousin Adriane helped out the hero Theseus in like circumstances.  Two things; he fails to mention that Theseus deserted the princess in thanks and secondly that the whole story takes place ten years in the future.  Also lies about Minos and Theseus becoming friends.  

Just a little reminder of why Jason is really in Colchis; (III. 1131-1136) “Thus he spake; and her soul melted within her to hear his words; nevertheless she shuddered to behold the deeds of destruction to come. Poor wretch! Not long was she destined to refuse a home in Hellas. For thus Hera devised it, that Aeaean Medea might come to Ioleus for a bane to Pelias, forsaking her native land.”  

What’s with the gods giving Aeetes odd gifts?  "But the teeth the Tritonian goddess tore away from the dragon's jaws and bestowed as a gift upon Aeetes and the slayer. And Agenor's son, Cadmus,”. Why?  Then  (lll. 1225-1245) “Then Aeetes arrayed his breast in the stiff corslet which Ares gave him when he (Ares) had slain (the Giant )Phlegraean Mimas with his own hands;” Why?

1 comment:

  1. OT: A correction to your latest quiz - I think it must be Philoetius instead of Melanthius.