Navigation banner for Diotima (6k)

Catullus, Poem 64
The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis

Translation copyright 1997 by Thomas Banks. All rights reserved.

(At the bottom of this file you will find a glossary of mythological terms, and in a separate file there is an introduction to this poem.)

     Pines, progeny of Mount Pelion's summit,
once swam, it's said, through Neptune's clear waves
to the breakers of Phasis, to King Aeëtes' borders,
when the chosen Argonauts, oaks of Argive youth,
5
yearning to carry from Colchis the Golden Fleece,
dared run salt swells in a swift ship,
churned azure billows with firm oar blades.
Athena, divine, who sustains their high citadels,
herself made that chariot fly with light breeze,
10
weaving pine fabric to curved keel.
     This ship's voyage left first mark on naive Amphitritê.
No sooner did it split the windy tide with its prow,
whiten with froth the waves roiled by its oarage,
than faces emerged from the ocean's white eddy--
15
Nereids, the sea-nymphs, wondering at the marvel.
On that dawn, if ever, mortal eyes saw them:
the ocean goddesses, bare-bodied,
rising breast-high from the gray-white eddy.
Then was Peleus, they say, inflamed with love for Thetis,
20
then did Thetis not scorn to wed a human,
then did Father Jupiter know: Peleus to Thetis must be joined.
     O heroes, born in a greatly yearned-for time of the world!
O hail, you offspring of gods, fine progeny of fine mothers,
and hail again! Yes, it's you I'll often summon in my song,
25
and you, Peleus, pillar of Thessaly, so marked and upraised
by auspicious wedding torches: Jupiter himself,
begetter of gods, yielded his darling to you.
Did Thetis, most beautiful daughter of Nereus, cleave to you?
Did Tethys yield her granddaughter in marriage to you?
30
Did grandfather Oceanus, who wraps the whole world with his sea?
     
     As soon as the yearned-for day had come, the waiting over,
all Thessaly gathers to crowd Peleus' household.
His palace fills with the rejoicing throng.
They hold high their presents, their joy lights their faces.
35
Emptied is Cieros. Phthiotis they leave, the valley of Tempê,
the homes of Crannon, Larisa's walls.
At Pharsalus they meet. They crowd the Pharsalian hall.
Not one tends farmland. The necks of bullocks grow soft.
No hunched hoes clear low grapevine stem of weeds.
40
No ox turns turf into clods with leaning plowshare.
No hooked saw of pruners thins tree shade.
Rust scales grow over abandoned plows.
But bridegroom Peleus' palace, where one royal hall opens
into the next and the next, shines with gleaming gold and silver.
45
Thrones glow white with ivory. Goblets shimmer on table.
The whole mansion, radiant, rejoices with the wealth of kings.
There, in palace center, stands the goddess' wedding bed,
bright white with Indic ivory, its cover colored crimson
by dye, rose-red, from the shells of the sea.
     
50
     This cloth, adorned with humanity's pristine images,
shows with stunning art the greatness of heroes.
Yes, looking out from the surf-booming shore of island Dia--
at Theseus departing with his swift fleet--is gazing
Ariadne, carrying uncontrollable rage in her heart.
55
Not yet does she believe she sees what she sees--
since she, just then first aroused from treacherous sleep,
discovers herself abandoned, pitiful, on lonely sand.
Yet, unmindful, the youth pushes the waves with his oars;
escaping; leaving his worthless word to the laughing gale.
60
The Minoan girl, at seaweed's edge, stares far, far out at him
with suffering eyes. Like a Bacchante's stone statue she stares out--
how sad!--and she swirls in great billows of hurt:
blond hair not in place under delicate scarf,
bosom not covered by thin outer dress,
65
milk-white breasts not bound under smooth inner dress.
All cloth, from her whole body fallen,
the salt tide sports with at her feet.
But not then for the fate of her scarf, not then for her swirling dress
does she care, Theseus: with all her heart, with all her spirit,
70
with all her mind the forlorn girl needs you.
Ah, poor girl, with what ceaseless griefs rough Venus
threw you down. She sowed in your heart the nettles of hurt
on that day--from that day--when fierce Theseus
left the curved shores of Piraeus, Athenian harbor,
75
and reached the Cretan palace of unjust King Minos.
     Once, they say, King Cecrops' Athens was forced by cruel
plague to pay the price for Androgeos' murder: was accustomed
to give chosen youths and the loveliness of unwed maids
together as feast for the Minotaur.
80
Since his narrow city walls were shaken by these evils,
Theseus himself, for the sake of his dear Athenians, yearned
to put forth his own body, rather than let such living dead
of Cecrops' land be borne to Crete.
Thus, then, firm in the light ship, in gentle breezes,
85
he came to proud Minos and his haughty palace.
No sooner did Princess Ariadne gaze at him with glowing eye--
she whom her chaste little bed that sighed sweet scents
had raised in her mother's soft embrace
(scents like the myrtles the streams of River Eurotas engender
90
or like the spectrum of colors the spring breeze brings forth)--
no sooner did she lower from him her incandescent eyes
than she conceived throughout her body a flame,
and totally, to the center of her bones, she burned.
Alas, while you stirred her pitiful ragings with a pitiless heart,
95
O divine Cupid, boy who mixes humans' joys with hurts,
and you, Venus, who reign over the Golgi and leafy Idalium,
on what billows you tossed the girl, her mind aflame,
sighing over and over for her blond guest!
How great the fears she bore in her barely beating heart,
100
how much paler than the gleam of gold she turned     
when he, desiring to battle the fierce Minotaur,
sought either death or the rewards of honor.
     She, not displeasingly to the gods, but still in vain,
put forth her little offerings, lit her votives, silent-lipped.
105
Just as on the peak of Mount Taurus the untameable tornado,
twisting with its blast the strength of the limb-tossing oak,
or of the cone-bearing, pitch-oozing pine,
wrenches it out, and strewn far and from the root
it falls headlong, shattering anything in its way,
110
even thus did Theseus fell the beast, its body tamed,
goring its horns through empty winds to no avail.
Safe, then, and in high honor, he reversed himself.
He guided his wandering steps with Ariadne's thin thread
so that, as he left labyrinthine bends,
115
invisible deception would not delude him.
     Why, though, would I depart from my poem's first theme
to describe still more... to describe how the daughter left behind
her sire's gaze, her sister's embrace, and at last her mother's
(the mother rejoicing so futilely in her poor child)--
120
how over all these Ariadne chose the sweet love of Theseus?
Or how she came by ship to Island Dia's surf and shore?
Or how her husband, going away with a heedless heart, left her
while her bright eyes were conquered by sleep?
Many times she, insane, they say, from her burning passion
125
poured out words that howled from her deepest heart;
that she in her sadness would then climb the steep mountains
to extend her gaze across the huge seethings of the ocean;
that then she ran out to the incoming waves of the shimmering
salt sea, lifting soft skirts above her bare calves,
130
pitiful, and make her last accusations
her face wet, fighting shivering sobs.
     "So you've left me--you traitor! Me, taken from my family
altars--you traitor! On a deserted beach! Theseus!
So you go away, the power of the gods ignored,
135
heedless--ah, accursed the false promises you are bringing home.
Could no fact bend your cruel mind's plan?
Was there no mercy in you at all
--vicious!--so your heart might pity me?
But this isn't what you once promised me
140
with your seductive voice. You didn't urge me to hope for this!
You said a happy marriage! You said our longed-for wedding!
All of those mockeries the wind and air are shredding.
From now on let no woman believe a man's sworn promises.
From now on let no woman hope a man's talk is true.
145
So long as their desiring minds are eager to get something,
they swear to anything. No promise do they spare .
But as soon as the lust in their desirous intent is gratified,
they remember nothing they said, they care nothing for their lies.
     "Naturally I saved you, when you were involved in the center
150
of death's tornado. I decided to lose my own brother
before I'd let you down in your ultimate crisis--you liar.
In return for that, I'm given to the beasts and birds to be torn apart:
carrion, without burial, without even the ritual handful of earth.
What lioness was it that birthed you beneath a desert cliff?
155
What sea spat your fetus forth from its foaming waves?
What quicksand Syrtis? What snatching Scylla? What monstrous
Charybdis?--you giving gifts like these in return for sweet life!
If our wedding was not to your heart's liking
because you shied from a stern father's principles,
160
well, you still could have brought me into your palace
to be a household slave for you in welcome labor,
to soothe your white soles with clear spring waters,
to spread your bed with crimson cover.
     "But why do I, prostrated by evil, complain vainly to unknowing
165
winds which, not gifted with senses,
cannot hear or answer the words I send?
But that man by now involves himself in the middle of the sea.
There's no human in sight on this empty beach.
Savage luck, all too triumphant in my last hour,
170
begrudges ears for my wailings.
All-powerful Jupiter, how I wish from the start
the Athenian ships had never touched the Cretan shores!
That the traitorous sailor, bringing deadly payment to Minos'
untamed bull, had never tied his mooring on Crete!
175
That this bad man hiding cruel plans under his sweet appearance
had never rested in our palace--a guest!
But where am I to go? Doomed, what sort of hope do I hold to?
Am I to try for the Idaean mountains of Crete? No, severing me
by wide abyss, the nasty swell of the sea comes between.
180
Am I to hope for father's help, when I myself left him
and followed a young man spattered with my brother's gore?
Am I to console myself with my husband's faithful love--
the one who is running away, arching lithe oars in the abyss?
So then: a lone island, planted with no shelter.
185
No passage away from sea lies open, since the waves surround.
There's no idea of escape, no hope. All is mute.
All is empty. All points to extinction.
Yet my eyes will not cloud in death,
feeling will not leave my exhausted body,
190
before I--betrayed!--demand just vengeance by the gods
and entreat the good faith of those above in my last hour.
Therefore, you that punish with avenging price men's crimes,
Furies, Eumenides, whose brows, bound with serpents for tresses,
announce the rages of your panting chests,
195
Be here! Be here! Respond to my complaints
which I--pitiful I--am forced to bring out from my very bones,
helpless, burning, blind with mindless rage.
Since those are true-born from my deepest heart,
do not allow my suffering to gutter out.
200
Goddesses, may the same intent that left me behind, alone,
defile Theseus himself and his own with death."
     
After she poured out these words from her aching heart--
demanding, though scared, punishment for savage crimes--
the ruler of gods, with his unconquerable godhead,
205
nodded assent. With that nod the earth and the rough sea
shook. The cosmos brandished flaming meteors.
     
     Then great Theseus, with blinding smoke planted in his mind,
dropped from his forgetful heart all orders
which before he had held in constant mind.
210
He did not raise for his sad parent the sweet symbols
to show that he called safe at Erechtheus' port.
     For they say that once, as Aegeus entrusted to the winds
his child who was leaving goddess Athena's walls by ship,
he embraced the young man and gave him these orders.
215
     "My only child and more pleasure to me by far than life,
child that I'm forced to send into uncertain perils,
child only now come back at the last of my old age:
Since my luck, and your hot bravery,
snatch you from me against my will--my dimming eyes not yet
220
filled with my son's dear form--     
not rejoicing with happy heart shall I send you,
nor shall I let you carry symbols of favorable luck,
but first I shall wring from my heart many laments,
befoul my white hair with earth and the pouring of dust.
225
Then I shall hang stained sails from the swaying mast,
as what befits my griefs and torched intent
is linen sailcloth dark with rust-red Iberian dye.
But if Athena, templed at holy Itonus, who before has nodded assent
to defend our lineage and the throne of Erechtheus,
230
grants you may splatter your right arm with the blood of the bull,
then see that these orders stay strong, secured in your mindful heart,
and let no span of time blot them out.
Immediately when your eyes look again on our hills,
let your yard-arms lower the cloth defiled with mourning,
235
let the twisted ropes raise sails gleaming white
so with happy heart I may discern my joy as soon as it can be,
when a fortunate time will bring you restored from exile."
     These orders left Theseus--though he'd held them before
in constant mind--as clouds beaten by the blast of the winds
240
leave a snow-capped mountain's airy summit.
His father, seeking a glimpse from the top of the citadel,
using up his worried eyes in endless weeping,
no sooner spotted the cloth of the wind-filled sail,
than he threw himself headlong from the height of the cliff,
245
believing Theseus lost to pitiless fate.
     Thus fierce Theseus, entering the halls of his father's house
now stained with death, received for himself the sort of grief
he had brought with unmindful heart to the Minoan girl.
She, then, pitifully looking out at the receding boat,
250
wounded, was spinning convoluted cares in her mind.
     
     Then came swooping from somewhere Bacchus in his prime
with his cult of Satyrs, with his mountain-born Sileni,
seeking you, Ariadne, aflame with love for you.
Then too came raving, quick and everywhere, molten of mind,
255
with a "Bacchus!" the Bacchantes, with a "Bacchus!" convulsing
their heads. Some brandished ivy spears with leafy points.
Some tossed pieces of a ripped-apart bullock.
Some wreathed themselves with coiled snakes.
Some with deep baskets were celebrating mysterious rites,
260
rites that the uninitiate desire in vain to hear.
Others were striking drums, their palms raised high
or were stirring shrill chimes with polished brass cymbals.
Horns were blowing hoarse blasts from many mouths
and primitive flutes squealed a bristling tune.
     
     
265
     The cloth, decorated richly with images like these,
embraced the wedding couch, veiled it like a garment.
After the youth of Thessaly were satiated with examining it
desirously, they began to yield place to the holy gods.
Now, as when the western wind, Zephyrus, rippling the calm sea
270
with his morning breeze, stirs up steep waves
as Aurora rises up at the threshhold of the journeying sun,
and they, driven slowly at first by a peaceful wind,
go onward, and chuckles sound softly in their splash,
and after, when the wind rises, they become stouter, stouter,
275
and swimming afar they gleam with a crimson light,
even so then did those leaving the regal entrance hall
depart, each one, for his own home, by his roaming path.
     
     After their departure, first came the god from the summit of Pelion:
Chiron, carrying woodland gifts. Whatever blossoms the fields bear,
280
or that the face of Thessaly creates in its great mountains,
or that the west wind's fruitful breeze makes grow
along the waves of a stream, these he brought, woven in mixed garlands.
The house, suffused with their happy scent, smiled.
Promptly present is Peneius, river-god, leaving
285
Tempê's green valley, which the woods surround
and overhang, to be feted by choruses of Naiads.
He was not empty-handed: he brought tall beeches,
roots and all. Lofty laurels of straight trunk...and not without
the nodding plane tree, the supple poplar
290
(sister of burned Phaëthon) and the sky's cypress.
These he planted, widely patterned, around the palace
to make green the entrance hall veiled in soft boughs.
Following him comes as companion
clever-hearted Prometheus, bearing the faded scars
295
of the old punishment that he once received,
his limbs bound to the flint rock by chain
as he hung from the rugged escarpment.
Then the Father of the gods arrived with his holy consort
and children. In the sky he left behind only you, Phoebus,
300
and your twin, who cherishes the mountains of Idrus.
For your sister, like you, scorned Peleus
and did not wish to fete the wedding torches of Thetis.
     When they'd relaxed their limbs on snow-white ivory thrones
the tables were laid high with a feast of many courses.
305
Meanwhile, with the tremors of age in their infirm bodies,
the Parcae--the three Fates--began to give out their songs of truth.
A garment bright white all round draped their trembling bodies,
and circled their ankles with a crimson hem.
Rose ribbons were set at the snowy summits of their heads.
310
Their hands moved in the ritual of their eternal task.
The left held back the distaff wrapped in soft wool,
then the right, nimbly drawing out threads, shaped them--
palms up--on the fingers, then--palms down--spinning with thumb
whirled the spindle balanced on polished whorl.
315
All the while a nipping bite would smooth the work:
bits of wool that once had protruded from the smooth thread
clung to their dry, thin lips.
Before their white-clad feet, look, wicker baskets
guarded soft fleeces of wool.
320
Plucking from these fleeces, then, in clear-sounding tones
they poured forth in song these prophecies,
a song no later age shall convict of falsehood:
     
     "O you that magnify high glory with your greatness,
the preservation of Macedonian wealth, most renowned for your son,
325
receive what the sisters reveal this bright day,
their oracle of truth. And you, O spindles the fates follow,
spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "The evening star will arrive for you soon, bringing what grooms
yearn for. Your wife will arrive with that auspicious star
330
to suffuse your mind with heart-melting love,     
to make ready to join with you in sweet languid sleep,
laying her light arms beneath your strong neck.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "No home has ever sheltered such love,
335
no love has conjoined lovers with such a bond
as the concord now here for Thetis, here for Peleus.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "There will be born for you one devoid of fear: Achilles,
known to his enemies not by his back but by his brave chest,
340
who, so often a victor in the shifting battle,
will outstrip in swift sprints the burning tracks of the deer.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "No hero will compare himself to that one in war
when the Trojan fields run with Trojan blood
345
and after beseiging Trojan walls in long war
the third heir of perjured Pelops will lay it waste.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "That man's spectacular greatness and brilliant deeds
mothers will often admit at their children's funerals
350
when they will tear at the unkempt white hair of their heads
and bruise their fallen breasts with their infirm palms.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "For just as the reaper, grasping necks of thick wheat,
mows down golden fields under the burning sun,
355
he will fell the bodies of the Trojan-born with deadly iron.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "Witness to his high greatness will be Scamander's wave
which is scattered everywhere by the rapid Hellespont.
Choking its flow with heaps of cut-down corpses
360
he will warm its deep currents with jumbled slaughter.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "Witness at last will be the indemnity paid to his death
when a rounded pyre, piled to a towering heap,
receives the snowy limbs of a stabbed maiden.
365
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "For as soon as fortune will grant the exhausted Achaeans
the means to open the Neptune-built walls of Troy,
high tombs will grow wet with Polyxena's slaughter
when she, like a sacrificed animal bending to the two-headed iron,
370
will spill, bent-kneed, her lopped torso.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "Therefore, go on, conjoin your heart's yearned-for love.
Let the husband receive the goddess in happy bond,
let the bride be given to the long-desirous groom.
375
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!
     
     "When her nanny goes to her at the dawning light
377
to circle with tonight's necklace a virgin's neck--she can't.
379
Nor will her mother be worried, be sad, for a quarreling
380
daughter who sleeps alone, and give up hope of dear grandsons.
Spindles, run on, drawing threads for the weft, run on!"
     
     Making such prophecies, the Parcae once sang for Peleus
auspicious songs from their divine heart.
     
     Those who dwell in the sky were then accustomed
385
to visit in person the pure homes of heroes, to show
themselves to mortal assemblage--devotion not yet being scorned.
Often the Father of the gods, visiting on festal days
when yearly rites arrived, observed in a gleaming temple
a hundred bulls sink to the ground in sacrifice.
390
Often roaming Liber led from the highest peak of Parnassus
his Bacchantes chanting "Bacchus!", their hair flowing
when, rushing in rivalry from the whole city, Delphians
happily receive the god with smoking altars.
Often in the death-bringing struggle of war, Mars
395
or Minerva, ruler of the swift river Triton, or Nemesis
in person urged on the armed hordes of men.
     
     But after the earth was stained with unspeakable crime
and all chased justice from their desirous minds,
and brothers suffused their hands with brother's blood,
400
and son abandoned mourning of dead parents,
and father yearned for funeral of eldest son
to freely to own the springtime of a daughter-in-law unwed,
and godless mother lay herself beneath unknowing son
and, godless, did not fear to pollute the gods of hearth and home:
405
then all things speakable, unspeakable, jumbled in evil madness,
turned the gods' mind of justice away from us.
     
     Therefore they do not deign to visit such throngs
nor allow themselves to be touched by day's bright light.

Glossary

Note: If you want to find out more about any of these people or places, you might try looking them up in

 Perseus:

 or Argos:

(Use * for substring searches in Argos.
Plat* will return entries for Plato, Platonism, Platonic, etc.)

Achaean
Greek (Go back to line 366)
Achilles
Son of Peleus and Thetis, mightiest Greek warrior at Troy (Go back to line 338) (Genealogy)
Aeëtes
King of Colchis, owner of the Golden Fleece, father of Medea and Pasiphaë (Go back to line 3) (Genealogy)
Aegeus
King of Athens, father of Theseus (Go back to line 212) (Genealogy)
Agamemnon
Leader of the Greek expedition against Troy (Go back to line 346) (Genealogy)
Amphitritê
Wife of Neptune; thus queen of the sea (Go back to line 11)
Androgeos
Son of King Minos of Crete; Ariadne's brother; killed by Athenians (Go back to line 77) (Genealogy)
Argive
Greek (Go back to line 4)
Argo; Argonauts
The first ship; its crew. Went in quest of the Golden Fleece. (Go back to line 4)
Ariadne
Daughter of King Minos and Queen Pasiphaë of Cnossus, on Crete (Go back to line 54; 85) (Genealogy)
Athena
Roman Minerva. Goddess of wisdom and crafts, defender of cities (Go back to line 8)
Aurora
Dawn (Go back to line 271)
Bacchante
A female devotée of Bacchus (Go back to line 61; line 255)
Bacchus
Dionysus, god of ecstatic emotion and ritual (Go back to line 251)
Cecrops
A legendary king of Athens (Go back to line 76) (Genealogy)
Charybdis
A monster who swallowed sailors (Go back to line 157)
Chiron
A centaur, teacher of Achilles (Go back to line 278)
Cieros
City in Thessaly (Go back to line 35)
Colchis
Land of the Golden Fleece, at the far eastern end of the Black Sea (Go back to line 5)
Crannon
Athens (Go back to line 36)
Crete
Large island in the Mediterranean, south of mainland Greece (Go back to line 75)
Dia
Another name for the island Naxos, one of the Cyclades (Go back to line 52; line 121)
Doris
Ocean goddess, mother of the Nereids, wife of Nereus (Go back to line 15) (Genealogy)
Erechtheus
A legendary king of Athens (Go back to line 211; line 229) (Genealogy)
Eumenides
The Furies, avengers of crimes against kindred blood (Go back to line193)
Eurotas
River near Sparta in Greece (Go back to line 89)
Father of Gods
Jupiter, king of the gods (Go back to line 298; line 387)
Furies
Avengers of blood crimes (Go back to line193)
Golgi
A suitably distant and exotic people (Go back to line 96)
Hellespont
Strait linking the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara at Troy and thence to the Black Sea (Go back to line 357)
Iberia
Modern Spain (Go back to line 227)
Ida
Mountain in Crete (Go back to line 178)
Idalium
Mountain on the island Cyprus sacred to Venus (Go back to line 96)
Idrus
Area in Asia Minor where Diana was long worshipped (Go back to line 299)
Itonus
Greek city northeast of Athens (Go back to line 228)
Jupiter
King of the gods (Go back to line 21; 26)
Larisa
Town in Thessaly (northern Greece) Go back to line 36)
Liber
Bacchus, Dionysus, god of ecstatic dance and intoxication (Go back to line 390)
Macedonian
Macedonia is north of Thessaly in Greece. (Go back to line 324)
Mars
God of war (Go back to line 394)
Minerva
Greek Athena. Goddess of wisdom and crafts, defender of cities (Go back to line 395)
Minoan
Coming from Cnossus, the capital city of King Minos' Crete (Go back to line 60)
Minoan girl
Ariadne, daughter of King Minos and Pasiphaë (Go back to line 245) (Genealogy)
Minos
King of Crete, husband of Pasiphaë, father of Ariadne and Androgeos. (Go back to line 75) (Genealogy)
Minotaur
Half-man, half-bull monster of the labyrinth; offspring of a bull and Pasiphae (and thus Ariadne's half-brother) (Go back to line 79) (Genealogy)
Mount Pelion
Mountain in Thessaly that supplied wood for the Argo (Go back to line1; line 278)
Mount Taurus
Mountain in Asia Minor (Go back to line 105)
Mycenae
Chief city of Greece in the Bronze (Heroic) Age
Naiads
Minor deities, nymphs of the fresh water (Go back to line 285)
Nemesis
Goddess who punishes insolent injustice (Go back to line 395)
Neptune
God of the sea (Go back to line 2; line 357)
Nereids
Sea-nymphs, fifty divine daughters of Nereus and Doris (Go back to line 15) (Genealogy)
Nereus
The Old Man of the Sea, father of, e.g., Thetis (Go back to line 28) (Genealogy)
Oceanus
God of the ocean, husband of Tethys (Go back to line 30) (Genealogy)
Parcae
The three Fates, who spin, measure, and cut the thread of one's life (Go back to line 305)
Parnassus
Mountain over Apollo's shrine at Delphi in Greece (Go back to line 390)
Pasiphaë
Wife to King Minos of Crete, mother to Ariadne, Androgeos, Phaedra, and the Minotaur (Genealogy)
Peleus
Argonaut; husband of Thetis; father of Achilles; a king in Thessaly (Go back to title;  line19;  line 43) (Genealogy
Pelops
Lied in order to obtain a wife (and her father's kingdom); grandfather of (his third heir) Agamemnon (Go back to line 346) (Genealogy)
Peneius
A river god, father of Daphne. She was chased with lustful violence by Apollo but escaped him by becoming a laurel tree. (Go back to line 284)
Phaëthon
He rashly insisted on driving the Sun chariot of his father (Apollo); lost control; was destroyed by Jupiter's thunder bolt (Go back to line 290)
Pharsalus
Town in Thessaly (Go back to line 37)
Phasis
River near Colchis that flows into the Black Sea (Go back to line 3)
Phoebus
Apollo, god of the sun, prophecy, lyre, archer's bow; twin brother of Diana (Go back to line 299)
Phthiotis
Thessalian town, site of Peleus' home, birthplace of Achilles (Go back to line 35)
Piraeus
Port of Athens (Go back to line 74)
Polyxena
A daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy (Go back to line 357) (Genealogy)
Prometheus
A Titan, creator of human beings, punished by Jupiter for stealing fire to aid his creatures (Go back to line 294)
Scylla
A sea monster who preys on sailors (Go back to line 156)
Satyr
Rowdy anthropoid but horse-tailed follower of Bacchus (Go back to line 252)
Scamander
River of Troy. See Book 22 of the Iliad for the allusion. (Go back to line 357)
Silenus
Fat, bald, ever-drunken follower of Bacchus; plural is Sileni (Go back to line 252)
Syrtis
Dangerous reefs off the Mediterranean coast of Africa  (Go back to line 156)
Taurus
Mountain in Asia Minor (Go back to line 105)
Tempê
Valley in Thessaly, proverbial for its beauty (Go back to line 35; line 285)
Tethys
Goddess of the ocean, wife of Oceanus (Back to line 29) (Genealogy)
Theseus
Son of Aegeus, king of Athens (Go back to line 53; line 69) (Genealogy)
Thessaly
North-central Greece (Go back to line 25; line 32 ; line 267; line 280)
Thetis
A Nereid, wife of Peleus, mother of Achilles (Go back to title; line19) (Genealogy)
Venus
Goddess of love and sexual passion (Go back to line 71)
Zephyrus
The west wind, bringer of good weather (Go back to line 269)

Genealogical Table I: Achilles

Oceanus

=
Tethys      
 

|
       
  Nereus

=
Doris    
   

|
     
    (50 Nereids)  Thetis 

=
Peleus
       

|
 
       

Achilles
 


Genealogical Table II: The Kings of Athens to Theseus

Erichthonius              
  Pandion I            
    Erechtheus          
      Cecrops        
        Pandion II      
          (Metionids)    
            Aegeus  
              Theseus


Genealogical Table III: Ariadne

 

      

Aeëtes

      
 
   

|
   
Minos

=
Pasiphaë

=
Bull from the Sea
 

    |->

Androgeos

     |->
Minotaur
 

    |->
Ariadne    
 

    |->
Phaedra    


Genealogical Table IV: The House of Troy at the Trojan War

 

Priam

=

Hecuba
     
   

|
       

Andromache

=

Hector

Paris

 Cassandra 

 Polyxena 

...  
 

|
         
 

Astyanax
         


Genealogical Table V: The House of Atreus to the Trojan War

Tantalus
           

|
           

Pelops

=

Hippodameia
       
 

|
         

Thyestes
 

Atreus

=

Aerope
   

|
   

|
     

Aegistheus
          |->

Agamemnon

=

Clytemnestra
            |->

Menelaus

=

Helen

 

Permission is hereby granted to distribute for classroom use, provided that both the translator and Diotima are identified in any such use. Other uses not authorized in writing by the translator or in accord with fair use policy are expressly prohibited.

www.stoa.org/diotima