« Prev Chapter V. Next »

5. In Timotheus, who was no mean mythologist, and also in others equally well informed, the birth of the Great Mother of the gods, and the origin of her rites, are thus detailed, being derived—as he himself writes and suggests—from learned books of antiquities, and from his acquaintance with the most secret mysteries:—Within the confines of Phrygia, he says, there is a rock of unheard-of wildness in every respect, the name of which is Agdus, so named by the natives of that district. Stones taken from it, as Themis by her oracle43044304    So Ovid also (Metam., i. 321), and others, speak of Themis as the first to give oracular responses, had enjoined, Deucalion and Pyrrha threw upon the earth, at that time emptied of men; from which this Great Mother, too, as she is called, was fashioned along with the others, and animated by the deity. Her, given over to rest and sleep on the very summit of the rock, Jupiter assailed with lewdest43054305    So the ms. and edd., reading quam incestis, except Orelli, who adopts the conjecture of Barthius, nequam—“lustful Jupiter with lewd desires.” desires. But when, after long strife, he could not accomplish what he had proposed to himself, he, baffled, spent his lust on the stone. This the rock received, and with many groanings Acdestis43064306    So the ms. and edd., except Hildebrand and Oehler, who throughout spell Agdestis, following the Greek writers, and the derivation of the word from Agdus. is born in the tenth month, being named from his mother rock. In him there had been resistless might, and a fierceness of disposition beyond control, a lust made furious, and derived from both sexes.43074307    So Ursinus suggested, followed by later edd., ex utroque (ms. utra.) sexu; for which Meursius would read ex utroque sexus—“and a sex of both,” i.e., that he was a hermaphrodite, which is related by other writers. He violently plundered and laid waste; he scattered destruction wherever the ferocity of his disposition had led him; he regarded not gods nor men, nor did he think anything more powerful than himself; he contemned earth, heaven, and the stars.


« Prev Chapter V. Next »





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |