Category Archives: The Road to Corinth

Book 1, Chapter 44: Introduction

The Scironian Road and the Molurian Rock

With the advent of the modern highway and tunnels, it may be hard to imagine the perils of this rocky, precipitous road named after the robber Sciron. J. G. Frazer in his commentary on Pausanias describes this narrow pass between the cliffs and the sea as follows: “For six miles it ran along a narrow, crumbling ledge half way up the face of an almost sheer cliff, at a height of six to seven hundred feet above the sea. On the right rose the rock like a wall; on the left yawned the dizzy abyss, where, far below, the waves broke at the foot of the precipices in a broad sheet of white curdling foam. So narrow was the path that only a single sure-footed beast could make its way with tolerable security along it. In stormy or gusty weather it was dangerous; a single slip or stumble would have been fatal. When two mules met, the difficulty of passing each other was extreme” (2:547). Between the rocky crag (πέτρα –ας, ἡ a rock, a ledge or shelf of rock) and the narrow pass (τὸ στενόν) Alciphron (3.70) reports that travelers faced the added horror of robbers who lay in wait on unsuspecting travelers.

At the Molurian rock, Pausanias pauses to tell several stories. The first provides the founding tale of the Isthmian games as Ino leaps into the sea with her son Melicertes. After they are rescued by a dolphin and taken to land, he receives honors at the isthmus and their names are changed to Leucothea and Palaemon, respectively. We learn that her leap is precipitated by the animosity between Ino and her husband Athamas over the death of their older son Learchos. Read the culture essay on Ino and Melicertes.

The second tale centers around Theseus and Sciron, a villain who cast all who passed the Molurian rock into the sea. As one might expect, Theseus saves the day.

Finally, as one passes the border between Megara and Corinth, Pausanias lingers at the tomb of Eurystheus, Heracles’ taskmaster, to tell the little-known story of why he is buried in what might be called No Man’s Land.

Review indirect statement (λέγω, αἰσθάνομαι), -mi verbs.

1.44.7

The Molurian Rock: Ino and Melicertes escape Athamas

At the Molurian rock, Pausanias pauses to tell several stories. The first provides the founding tale of the Isthmian games as Ino leaps into the sea with her son Melicertes. After they are rescued by a dolphin and taken to land, he receives honors at the isthmus and their names are changed to Leucothea and Palaemon, respectively. We learn that her leap is precipitated by the animosity between Ino and her husband Athamas over the death of their older son Learchos. Read the culture essay on Ino and Melicertes.

Review indirect statement.

τὰς ,  κατὰ τῆς ὁδοῦ μάλιστα , ἐς μὲν τὴν Μολουρίδα, ὡς ἀπὸ ταύτης ἐς θάλασσαν   Μελικέρτην ἔχουσα τῶν παίδων τὸν : τὸν γὰρ δὴ πρεσβύτερον αὐτῶν Λέαρχον ὁ πατήρ. λέγεται μὲν δὴ καὶ ταῦτα Ἀθάμαντα, λέγεται δὲ καὶ ὡς ἐς τὴν Ἰνὼ καὶ τοὺς ἐξ αὐτῆς παῖδας  τῷ  τὸν   καὶ τὸν  Φρίξου ,  τὸ  οὐ γενέσθαι,  δὲ ἐπὶ τούτοις πᾶσιν Ἰνὼ  οὖσαν:

Pausanias. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio, 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903.
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Cultural Background

Ino’s Family Tree

Family  Tree of Ino and Melicertes

 

λόγοι δὲ εἰσιν . . . ὡς . . .Ἰνὼ ῥίψαι.  What construction is introduced by ὡς?
ἐς = εἰς, to, into; (to express purpose) for; (to express relation) in regard to, about
*πέτρα, ἡ, rock, crag
#ὅς ἥ ὅ (relative pronoun) who, which, that; to what does αἵ refer?
στενόν, τό, narrow pass, strait
*ἀνέχω, to hold up, lift up; intrans. to rise up, come forth, project
αὑτήν, short form for the reflexive pronoun ἑαυτήν
Ἰνώ, ἡ, Ino/Leukothea, mother of Melicertes/Palaimon (her name retains the same form for nom. or acc.)
ῥίψαι, 3rd sing. aor. optat. of ῥίπτω, to throw, hurl
νεώτερον, comparative of νέος -α -ον, new, young; opposite of πρεσβύτερον
*ἀποκτείνω, to kill
μανέντα, aor. partic. of μαίνομαι, to rage, be furious
*δράω, to do, accomplish
*χράομαι χρήσομαι ἐχρησάμην, to use; to express, experience; to treat, behave, conduct oneself (+ dat.)
ἀκρατεῖ: does it come from ἀκρατής -ές, powerless, uncontrollable, or ἄκρατος -ον unmixed, pure?
θυμός, ὁ, soul, spirit, heart, mind, will; (any vehement passion) anger, courage
*συμβαίνω, to stand with or beside, assist; come together, meet; agree with; to suit, fit; to come to pass, happen
Ὀρχομενίοις, the people of Orchomenus in Boeotia suffered famine when Ino persuaded them to roast grain seed before planting.  When Athamas’ messengers returned from Delphi, Ino bribed them to say that the remedy for the famine was to sacrifice her stepchildren Phrixus and Helle. Fortunately, before they could be sacrificed, the gods sent a ram with a golden fleece to carry them to safety (Zenobius 4.38; Hyginus Fab. 2).
λιμός, ὁ, famine, hunger; object of αἰσθόμενος
 *δοκέω, to think, suppose, imagine, expect; to seem, to be thought or reputed; to be determined, resolved
*θάνατος, ὁ, death; a second object of αἰσθόμενος
αἰσθάνομαι αἰσθήσομαι ᾐσθόμην, perceive, apprehend; introduces two indirect statements with infinitives, αἴτιον οὐ γένεσθαι and βουλεῦσαι . . . Ἰνὼ . . . .
οὗ, gen. of the relative pronoun ὅς ἥ ὅ, who, which; in the genitive, whose, of which.  To what does οὗ refer?
θεῖον –ου, τό, deity, divine being (from **θεῖος -α –ον of or from the gods, divine, sacred)
*αἴτιος -α -ον, culpable, responsible; τὸ αἴτιον, cause, reason, blame
βουλεύω, deliberate, advise, plan, devise, plot
 μητρυιά, ἡ, a stepmother; metaph. a rocky coast

1.44.8

Review -μι verbs

The Molurian Rock: Ino and Melicertes escape Athamas

τότε δὲ φεύγουσα  ἐς θάλασσαν αὑτὴν καὶ τὸν παῖδα ἀπὸ τῆς πέτρας τῆς Μολουρίδος , δὲ ἐς τὸν Κορινθίων ἰσθμὸν ὑπὸ ὡς λέγεται τοῦ παιδός, καὶ ἄλλαι τῷ Μελικέρτῃ δίδονται Παλαίμονι καὶ τῶν Ἰσθμίων τὸν . τὴν μὲν δὴ Μολουρίδα πέτραν Λευκοθέας καὶ Παλαίμονος :

The robber Sciron tosses travelers into the sea

δὲ νομίζουσιν , ὅτι  ,  τῶν ξένων , σφᾶς ἐς τὴν θάλασσαν. δὲ  ταῖς πέτραις τοὺς : εἰσὶ δὲ αἱ καὶ ταῖς , πόδας δὲ ἔχουσι ταῖς . τούτων περιῆλθεν ἡ  Σκίρωνα ἐς θάλασσαν  ὑπὸ .

Pausanias. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio, 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903.
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Cultural Background

Culture Essay: Theseus’ Six Labors “Loose not the wine-skin’s jutting neck, great chief of the people, until thou shalt have come once more to the city of Athens” (Thes 3.3). Those were the oracle’s words to Aegeus, king of Athens; unfortunately, Aegeus did not heed these words...Continue Reading

Theseus finds sword and sandals

*ἀφίημι, to let go, send
ἐξενεχθέντος, from *ἐκφέρω.  If the principal parts are φέρω οἴσω ἤνεγκα ἐνήνοχα ἐνήνεγμαι ἠνέχθην, what tense of the participle is ἐξενεχθέντος?  Since it introduces a genitive absolute, what word does it modify?
δελφίς -ῖνος, ὁ, dolphin
*τιμή, ἡ, honor
μετονομασθέντι, from μετά change + #ὀνομάζω to name
ἐπ’ αὐτῷ: “for him”
*ἀγών –ῶνος, ὁ  a number of people brought together (cf. ἄγω), an assembly at the games, games; a contest, battle, struggle, trial
*ἄγουσι, to lead or carry; to keep, celebrate (a festival)
*ἱερός –ά –όν  super-human, mighty, divine, wonderful
*ἥγηντο, pluperf. of ἡγέομαι, to lead, guide, rule; believe, suppose, hold
τάς: why is this word feminine plural? To what does it refer?
μετὰ ταύτην, refers to ἡ Μολουρὶς πέτρα
ἐναγεῖς, from ἐναγής -ές, in or under a curse, accursed, polluted (ἐν + ἅγος any matter of religious awe, reverence, pollution)
παροικέω = παρά + οἰκέω
#σφεῖς  σφῶν σφίσι σφᾶς they
Σκίρων -ωνος, ὁ, Sciron, the fourth challenge that Theseus faces as he makes his way from Troezen to Athens.
όπόσος –η –ον  as many as, however many
ἐπετύγχανεν, from ἐπι + *τυγχάνω, to hit or chance upon (+ dat.).  Is ἐπετύγχανεν imperfect or aorist?
ἠφίει, imperfect of ἀφίημι: some verbs that occur most commonly as compounds (e.g., ἀφίημι, ἐπίσταμαι, and κάθημαι) are treated as uncompounded verbs and receive an augment before the prefix.
χελώνη, ἡ, tortoise, turtle
ὑπενήχετο, imperf. of ὑπονήχομαι, swim under
ἐσβληθέντας, aor. pass. of *εἰσβάλλω, to throw in
**ἁρπάζω, to snatch, seize (cf. Harpies)
θαλάσσιος -α -ον, adj. from *ἡ θάλασσα, of the sea; to what creatures does θαλάσσιαι refer?
*πλήν (+ gen.), except
*μέγεθος -ους, τό, magnitude, size
*πούς, ποδός, ὁ  foot
**ὁμοῖος -α -ον, like, similar, the same; shared alike, common; equal
χερσαῖος -α -ον, adj. of ὁ χερσός, from or of the dry land
*ἐοικότας, perf. partic. of ἔοικα, to be like or similar to, seem, have the appearance of; be fit, right, or fair
φώκη, ἡ, a seal
*δίκη –ης, ἡ  custom, usage; right, law, justice; judgment, sentence; lawsuit, trial; fine, penalty (+ gen.)
ἀφεθέντα, aor. pass. partic. of *ἀφίημι, throw, send away
What does αὐτός mean when it is preceded by the definite article (in the attributive position)?  A personal pronoun, an intensive (e.g., itself), or “the same”?
Θησεύς Θησέως, ὁ Theseus, son of Aegeus, declines like βασιλεύς βασιλέως, king.

1.44.9

The Temple of Zeus Aphesios

ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ τῇ ἐστιν  καλουμένου : φασὶ δὲ ποτὲ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν Αἰακοῦ κατά τι δὴ τῷ  Διὶ ἐν  τε ἀφεῖναι καὶ διὰ τοῦτο Ἀφέσιον καλεῖσθαι τὸν Δία. ἐνταῦθα καὶ Ἀφροδίτης καὶ Ἀπόλλωνός ἐστι καὶ Πανός.

Pausanias. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio, 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903.
The Annenberg CPB/Project provided support for entering this text.

Cultural Background

#ὄρος –ους, τό  mountain, hill
ἄκρα –ας, ἡ, end, top, height (cf. acro-polis)
Ζεύς, genitive Διός, dat. Διί, acc. Δία, ὁ Zeus
Ἀφέσιος, the Hurler or Releaser, epithet of Zeus, from ἀφίημι
#νᾱός, ὁ  the dwelling of a god, a temple
ἐπὶ τοῦ . . . αὐχμοῦ: ἐπί + gen. is a standard expression of time in Greek, meaning “in the time of”
*συμβάντος, aor. partic. of συμβαίνω, to stand with or beside, assist; come together, meet; agree with; to suit, fit; to come to pass, happen
αὐχμός, ὁ, drought
#θύω θύσω ἔθυσα τέθυκα τέθυμαι ἐτύθην to sacrifice; an aorist participle in a genitive absolute with Αἰακοῦ indicating the circumstances that led to rain
λόγιον, τό, declaration, oracle
Πανελλήνιος -α –ον, Panhellenic, of all the Greeks
Αἴγινα, ἡ, island in the Saronic Gulf near Attica, south of Salamis
ὕω ὕσω ὕσα, to wet, water, rain; understand Zeus in the accusative with both ὕσαντα and ἀφεῖναι
#ἄγαλμα –ατος, τό  glory, delight, honor; statue

1.44.10

Borderlands: The descendants of Heracles

Pausanias alludes to two stories in the last paragraph of Book 1.  First, after Heracles completes his labors and his earthly existence is finished, Eurystheus continues to persecute the descendants of Heracles who flee to Athens.  There Eurystheus meets the Heracleidae in battle, is defeated, and attempts to return to Argos.  In his flight,  Iolaus, Heracles’ nephew, catches the King and puts him to death.  According to Euripides, Eurystheus’ last words prophesy that his body, if it is buried in Attica, will act as a talisman, protecting Attica from invaders (cf. Eur. Heracleidae 859ff., Apollod. 2.8.1; Strabo).

Second, Hyllus, the son of Heracles, is instructed by the Delphic oracle to wait to return to the Peloponnese “until the third fruit” and that victory would come “at the Narrows.”  Hyllus interprets the oracle to mean that he should attack after the third harvest at the narrows of the Isthmus of Corinth.  Yet when he attacks, he meets his end at the hands of Echemus, King of Tegea.  When the descendants of Heracles finally return to the Peloponnese, they are led by Tisamenus, son of Orestes, in the third generation after Heracles at the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Corinth (Paus. 2.18.7, 8.5.1; Hdt. 9.26; Thuc. 1.12; Apollod. 2.8.2; Diod. 4.58).  The return of the Heraclids to the Peloponnese is thus connected with the Dorian invasion in the aftermath of the fall of Troy.

 δὲ ἐς τὸ  μνῆμά ἐστιν :  δὲ ἐκ τῆς Ἀττικῆς μετὰ τὴν πρὸς  μάχην ἐνταῦθα ἀποθανεῖν αὐτὸν ὑπὸ Ἰολάου λέγουσιν. ἐκ ταύτης τῆς ὁδοῦ  Ἀπόλλωνος ἱερόν ἐστι  καὶ μετ᾽ αὐτὸ Μεγαρεῦσιν  πρὸς τὴν Κορινθίαν, Ὕλλον τὸν Ἡρακλέους πρὸς τὸν Ἀρκάδα Ἔχεμον λέγουσιν.

Pausanias. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio, 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903.
The Annenberg CPB/Project provided support for entering this text.

Cultural Background

*προελθοῦσι, dat. pl. aor. partic. of προέρχομαι, for those proceeding; Pausanias likes to use the dative participle of a verb of motion as a way to transition from place to place.
πρόσω, adv., forward, further; (of time) before
Εὐρυσθεύς Εὐρυσθέως, ὁ Eurystheus, like Θησεύς Θησέως, declines like βασιλεύς βασιλέως, king
φεύγοντα . . . ἀποθανεῖν αὐτὸν  . . . λέγουσιν, indirect statement.  To whom does φεύγοντα and αὐτὸν  refer?
Ἡρακλείδαι, sons or descendants of Heracles.  The suffix -ιδης (son of) is the standard way to express a patronymic (πατήρ + ὄνομα) in epic and other genres.  Thus, ὁ Ἀτρεΐδης means the son of Atreus and may refer to either Agamemnon or Menelaus, while οἱ Ἀτρεΐδαι, the sons of Atreus, would refer to both brothers.
καταβᾶσιν, dat. pl. aor. partic. of καταβαίνω
Λατῷος, of or born from Leto
ὅρος -ου, ὁ, boundary, landmark (cf. horizon); not to be confused with τὸ ὄρος –ους, mountain
#ἔνθα  there; where; then; when
μονομαχέω to fight in single combat