Sunday, September 26, 2010

Orpheus In Antarctica

"First then let us name Orpheus whom once Calliope bare, it is said, wedded to Thracian Oeagrus, near the Pimpleian height. Men say that he by the music of his songs charmed the stubborn rocks upon the mountains and the course of rivers. And the wild oak-trees to this day, tokens of that magic strain, that grow at Zone on the Thracian shore, stand in ordered ranks close together, the same which under the charm of his lyre he led down from Pieria. Such then was Orpheus whom Aeson's son [Jason] welcomed to share his toils, in obedience to the behest of Cheiron, Orpheus ruler of Bistonian Pieria." -- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3rd century B.C.

"He [Jason] spake, and mounted the ship first of all; and so the rest of the chiefs followed, and, sitting in order, seized the oars; and Argus loosed for them the hawsers from under the sea-beaten rock. Whereupon they mightily smote the water with their long oars, and in the evening by the injunctions of Orpheus they touched at the island of Electra, daughter of Atlas, in order that by gentle initiation they might learn the rites that may not be uttered, and so with greater safety sail over the chilling sea. Of these I will make no further mention; but I bid farewell to the island itself and the indwelling deities, to whom belong those mysteries, which it is not lawful for me to sing." -- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3rd century B.C.

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