Alice Elizabeth Sawtelle Randall.

The sources of Spenser's classical mythology online

. (page 8 of 10)
Online LibraryAlice Elizabeth Sawtelle RandallThe sources of Spenser's classical mythology → online text (page 8 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the works attributed to him, some of which are genuine and
some spurious.

Among the scant earlier traditions respecting Orpheus, is
that which represents the wonderful power of his music over
men, beasts, and inanimate nature. Spenser refers to this in
F. Q. 4.2.1; R. T. 607 ; V. G. 23 ; Am. 44. For the special ref-
erence to his allaying the discord among the followers of Jason,
see Argonautic Expedition. Numerous passages, from the time
of the lyric poets of Greece down to a much later day, might be
quoted to support the general references; but perhaps no one
better shows that his music had charms than Mel. 10. 86 ff.,
where trees and beasts and birds are described as flocking about
the tuneful bard, when, in his retirement among the mountains,
he mourns the loss of his wife.

But the power of his lyre was not confined to the upper
world ; with it Orpheus dared to invade the realms of Hades in
order to recover his beloved Eurydice to life, and by its spell the
Stygian powers were appeased. This incident is enlarged upon
in V. G. 55 ff., with which passage should be compared the more
detailed and poetical accounts in Georg. 4. 454 ff. and Met. 10. 797
ff. See also F. Q. 4. 10. 58; H. L. 231; Ep. 16; and R. T. 391,
where Spenser says that the temporary recovery of Eurydice was
by favor of the Muses. This is most appropriate, for the ancients



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 95

believed Orpheus to have been the child of Calliope, and the
special care of Apollo and the Muses (Hyg. Poet. Astron. 2.
Lyra).

ORSILOCHUS. F. Q. 3. 4. 2. See Camilla.
ORTHRUS. F. Q. 5. 10. 10. See Geryon.
OSIRIS. F. Q. 5. 7. 2. See Isis.
OTHTJS. V. G. 47. See Ephialtes.
P^EON. F. Q. 3. 4. 41. See Apollo.
PALEMON. F. q. 4. 11. 13. See Sea-Gods.
PALES. -V. G. 4; 15.

A Roman divinity of shepherds. Compare Fast. 4. 721 ff.
pAT.T.AS. Mini. 262 ff. See Arachne.

PAIiICI.

Nor since that faire Calliope did lose
Her loved Twinnes, the dearlings of her joy,
Her Palici, whom her unkindly foes,
The fatall Sisters, did for spight destroy,
"Whom all the Muses did bewaile long space,
Was ever heard such wayling in this place.

T. M. 15 S.

An examination of ancient authorities reveals the fact that
Spenser has erred in the mythology of this passage. The Palici
were indeed twins, but the sons of Zeus and Thalia not, how-
ever, the Muse Thalia, but a nymph, the daughter of Hephaestus
a presumable confusion, which resulted in the further confu-
sion of the Muse Calliope with Thalia.

In the Saturnalia of Macrobius (5. 19. 16 ff.), there is a
lengthy discussion of the Palici, from which it appears that
Thalia, out of fear of the anger of Juno, implored the earth to
swallow her. Her request was granted, and in due time there
issued from the earth the twin sons of Zeus and Thalia. They
were called Palici, " anb TOV ir<i\<.v Uea-eai, quoniam prius in terra im-
mcrsi denuo inde reversi sunt." They were worshiped in Sicily.

PAN. F. Q. 2. 9. 40. S. C. Jan. 17 ; Apr. 51; May 64, 111; June 30,68;
Nov. 8; Dec. 7, 46.

Since Pan was the god of sheep and shepherds, we should
naturally expect to'find his name often mentioned on the pages



96 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

of a pastoral poem like the Shepheard's Calender. It is the case
with the Eclogues of Virgil and also the Idyls of Theocritus,
after which the Shepheard's Calender was avowedly patterned.

Sometimes Spenser used the name for that of Christ : thus
E. K. says in one of his notes : " Great Pan is Christ, the veiy
God of all shepherds, which calleth himself the ' greate, and good
shepherd.' The name is most rightly (methinks) applyed to
him ; for Pan signifieth all, or omnipotent, which is only the
Lord Jesus."

There are several references to Pan's sporting in song and
dance with the nymphs, which are thoroughly consistent with the
characterization of this rollicking god in the Horn. Hymn to Pan.

In S. C. Jan. 17, Colin Clout thus invokes Pan :

And, Pan, thou shepheards God, that once didst love,
Pitie the paines that thou thyselfe didst prove.

This is a reference to Pan's unavailing love for Syrinx, men-
tioned also in Apr. 51. Ovid (Met. 1. 689 ff.) says that Syrinx
was a Naiad who had devoted her virginity to Diana. When Pan
became enamored of her, she fled from him to the river Ladon,
in Arcadia, and besought help from the nymphs of that stream.
They met her entreaties with the desired metamorphosis, and
Syrinx was changed into reeds. And here the origin of the
shepherd's flute, or syrinx, is poetically accounted for : Pan seized
what he supposed to be his beloved Syrinx, but what proved to
be only reeds of the marsh. As he held them in despair, the
wind sighed among them, as if it too were lamenting the unre-
quited love of the god. Immediately Pan was charmed by the
sound, and vowed that henceforth that should be his mode of
communicating with the vanished nymph.

It is said that Pan became so elated with the music of this
pipe that he dared challenge even Phoebus to a contest, a myth
already referred to under Apollo.

F. Q. 2. 9. 40 contains a reference to a myth which is usually
only hinted at in an obscure way in the classics : according to
Schol. Theoc. Idyl 2. 17, Echo bore to Pan a daughter named
lynx, who, for trying to practice her love-charms upon Jove, was



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 97

changed by Juno into the wry-neck (Lat. iynx) a bird used by
the ancients in conjurations and love-charms (see Find. Pyih.
4. 380).

It is evident, however, that it is not the wry-neck, but more
probably the cuckoo, that Spenser has in mind here ; and it will
be noticed also that our poet makes Pan, rather than Juno, re-
sponsible for the metamorphosis.

PANDIONIAN (maids). V. G. 61. Seeltys.
PANDORA. T. M. 678; B. E. 19.; Am. 24.

When Spenser, after the manner of the Elizabethans, would
offer his tribute of flattery to his sovereign, he calls her " the true
Pandora of all heavenly graces," having in mind the meaning of
the name the all-gifted one.

When Jove wished to destroy the peace of man, says Hesiod
(Theog. 571 ff . ; W. and D. 60 ff.), he ordered Vulcan to make
Pandora the type of all the fair sex. Endowed by the immortals
with various charms, she allures man only to prove his bane : she
is the drone, while man is the bee. It must have been this pes-
simistic wail of the old poet that Spenser had in mind when, in
Am. 24, he says :

I thinke that I a new Pandora see
"Whom all the Gods in councell did agree
Into this sinfull world from heaven to send ;
That she to wicked men a scourge should hee,
For all their faults with which they did offend.

In R. R. 19 there is a reference to the famous box of Pan-
dora. Hesiod says it contained all the ills to which flesh is heir,
while other writers say it held only blessings ; but when Pandora
opened the box they escaped, thus, by their absence, proving to be
ills. In the passage under consideration, the box which is likened
to Pandora's contains both good and bad fortune.

PANOPE. - F. q. 4. 11. 49. See Nereids.

In F. Q. 3. 8. 37 ff., the name is given to an aged nymph
who keeps the house for Proteus at the bottom of the sea
seemingly an instance of Spenser's original mythology.



98 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

PARIS. -F. Q. 2. 7. 85; 3. 9. 34; 4. 11. 19; 6. 9. 36; T. G. 67. See

Helen ; CEnone ; Achilles.

PASIPHAE. F. Q. 3. 2. 41.

This reference to the passion of Pasiphae, the wife of Minos,
and mother of the Minotaur, is explained by Apoll. 3. 1. 4. and
Hyg. Fab. 40.

PASITHEA.-F. Q. 4. 11. 49. See Nereids.
PEGASUS. F. Q. 3. 11. 42; R. T. 426 ff.

For the parentage of Pegasus, see Medusa.

Then, who so will with vertuous deeds assay
To mount to heaven, on Pegasus must ride,

And with sweete Poets verse be glorifide.

R. T. 426.

The idea which associates Pegasus with the Muses as patrons
of poetry, which in our day is embodied in the expression "to
mount Pegasus," arose from the myth concerning the fount of
Hippocrene on Helicon, which, it was said, was produced by the
striking of the hoof of Pegasus against the ground, when, on the
occasion of the universal delight over the singing of the Muses,
he was hidden by Poseidon to arrest the upward movement of
Helicon. See Paus. 9. 31 ; Stat. Theb. 4. 60. For the reference
to the winged steed in R. T. 646, see Andromeda.

PELEUS. F. Q. 6. 10. 22; 7. 7. 12; V. G. 61 ff.

These passages all refer to the marriage of Peleus, the son of
JEacus, and Thetis, the daughter of Nereus, in support of which
see Iliad, passim; Apoll. 3. 13. 5; Met. 11. 217 ff . ; Catullus,
Nupt. Pel. et Thet. It should be noticed that, whereas Apollodorus
says the marriage occurred on Mt. Pelion, Ovid says it was by the
bay of Hsemonia a name which, it is possible, Spenser had in
mind when, in the second passage referred to, he says the nuptials
were celebrated on Mt. Haemus. As to the " spousall hymne," see
Apollo.

PETJAS. F. Q. 4. 11. 14. See Sea-Gods.
PENELOPE. F. q. 6. 7. 39; V. G. 64 ; Am. 23.

These references to Penelope, the classical type of constancy;
to the web which she devised to put off her suitors ; and to her final
reunion with Ulysses, are all taken from the Odyssey, passim.



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 99

PENTHESHjEA. - F. Q. 3. 4. 2.

Spenser here says that Homer refers to the bold feats of
Penthesilea ; this, however, is not true, unless we take Homer in
a very broad sense to include certain extensions of his works, like
the writings of Quintus Calaber. This author has much to say
of Penthesilea and her Amazons (1. 18 ff.).

For the death of Penthesilea, see Amazons.

PERSEPHONE. T. M. 164; V. 6. 63. See Proserpina.
PERSEUS. B. T. 648. See Andromeda.

PHAETON. - F. Q. 5. 8. 40 ; V. 6. 25.

The myth of Phaeton, whom his father Phoebus, in token of
his paternity, allowed to drive the horses of the sun, is here cited.
It is the subject of an extensive passage in the Metamorphoses
(1. 748 ff.), to which Spenser was, no doubt, indebted. When,
through the careless driving of Phaeton, the world seemed in
danger of being consumed, Jupiter struck him with a thunder-
bolt ; Phaeton, falling into the river Po, was henceforth mourned
by his sisters, who were transformed to poplar-trees. Ovid, like
Spenser, mentions the fright which the scorpion caused, but says
it was Phaeton, not the horses, who was thus excited. See also
T. M. 7.

PHAO. F. Q. 3. 2. 20.

Not a character from classical mythology. See note on this
passage in Child's edition of Spenser : " The story of this
tower is apparently derived from some mediaeval legend about
the Pharos of Ptolemy Philadelphus, in which, perhaps, Phao
took the place of the historical Arsinoe. The king was, no
doubt, confounded with Ptolemy the Astronomer, who, says
Warton, 'was famous among the Eastern writers and their fol-
lowers for his skill in operations of glass.' "

PHAO. -F. Q. 4. 11. 49. See Nereids.
PHERUSA.-F. Q. 4. 11. 49. See Nereids.
PHILOMELA. T. M. 236. See Itys.



100 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

PHLEGETHON.

A river bounding Tartarus, with waves of torrent fire (^Era.
6. 551). Compare F. Q. 1. 5. 33 ; 2. 6. 50; V. G. 56; 78.

According to F. Q. 4. 2. 1., Discord is appropriately de-
scribed as a firebrand kindled in Phlegethon. Compare F. Q.
2. 5. 22.

For F. Q. 2. 4. 41, see Erebus.

PHCEAX. F. Q. 4. 11. 15. See Founders of Nations.

PHCEBE. F. Q. 1. 7. 5; 2. 2. 44; 8. 6. 24 ; 4. 5. 14; 7. 6. 21; S. C. Apr.
65; Jane 31 ; July 63 ; Dec. 84 ; Co. Cl. 342 ; Ep. 149. See Diana.

PHCEBUS. F.Q.I. Int. 4; 1. 1. 23; 1. 2. 1; 1. 2. 29; 1.4. 9; 1.6. 2; 1.
5. 20 ; 1. 5. 44 ; 1. 6. 6 ; 1. 7. 29 ; 1. 7. 34 ; 1. 11. 5 ; 1. 11. 31 ; 1. 12.
2 ; 2. 8. 5 ; 2. 9. 10 ; 2. 9. 48 ; 2. 10. 3 ; 2. 11. 19 ; 2. 12. 62 ; 3. 2. 24 ;
8. 3. 4 ; 3. 5. 27 ; 3. 6. 2 ; 3. 6. 44 ; 3. 6. 45 ; 3. 10. 1 ; 3. 10. 45 ; 3.
11. 36 ; 4. 6. 1 ; 4. 11. 52 ; 5. 3. 19 ; 5. 11. 62 ; 6. 3. 29 ; 7. 6. 35 ;
7. 6. 39 ; 7. 7. 12 ; 7. 7. 51 ; S. C. Jan. 73 ; Apr. 73 ; June 68 ; Aug.
83 ; Oct. 3. NOT. 14 ; T. M. 7 ; 330 ; V. 6. 2 ; 7 ; 21 ; 78 ; 84 ; Mui.
79; V. W. V. 2; Ep. 77; 121. See Apollo.

PHOENIX. F. Q. 4. 11. 15. See Founders of Nations.

PHOLOE. F. Q. 1. 6. 15.

Pholoe is here alluded to as a nymph beloved by Silvanus.
The name belongs primarily to a mountain in Arcadia which was
frequented by Pan (Fast. 2. 273), and, according to classic usage,
might be transferred to an Oread, or nymph inhabiting the
mountain. In making her the beloved of Silvanus, Spenser is
only carrying out the frequent classical identifications of the
rustic divinities, Silvanus and Pan.

PHORCYS. F. Q. 4. 11. 13. See Sea-Gods.
PHRIXUS. F. Q. 5. Int. 6. See Helle.
PHRYGIAN (mother). B. B. 6. See Cybele.

PIRITHOUS. F. Q. 4. 10. 27.

The friendship between Theseus and Pirithous was pro-
verbial among the ancients. Thus Ovid speaks of it as " felix
concordia " (Met. 8. 303).



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL

PLUTO.

The Infernal Regions are referred to as the bower or house
of Pluto in F. Q. 1. 5. 14 ; 1. 5. 32 ; 2. 7. 21 ; 2. 7. 24 ; 4. 3. 13 ;
S. C. Oct. 29. Since he was the king of the Lower World, this
designation is appropriate. Compare II. 15. 188 ; jEn. 6, passim.
F. Q. 2. 7. 21 ff., which describes the beings sitting before the
realm of Pluto, is copied after JEn. 6. 273 ff. : " Just before the
porch and in the opening of the jaws of Orcus, Grief and Aven-
ging Pains have set their couch ; and there ghastly Diseases dwell,"
etc.

Pluto is further mentioned as the husband of Proserpina in
F. Q. 1. 1. 37; 1. 4. 11, for which see Proserpina; also as the
master of Cerberus in -F. Q. 6. 12. 35, for which see Cerberus.

PODAURIUS. - F. Q. 6. 6. 1.

Homer (//. 2. 732) says that Podalirius and Machaon were
two excellent physicians, sons of ^Esculapius. Ovid (A. A. 2. 735)
says : " As great as was Podalirius among the Greeks in the art
of healing, .... so great a lover am I."

POLYNOME. F. Q. 4. 11. 60. See Nereida.
PONTOPOREA.-F. Q. 4. 11. 60. See Nereids.
PORIS. F. Q. 4. 11. 49. See Nereids.
PROCRUSTES. F. Q. 7. 6. 29.

This reference to Procrustes as among those who had been
too presumptuous in their aspirations, and, thus offending Jupiter,
were punished by him, is not at all to the point. Procrustes was
a robber of Attica, who waylaid strangers and stretched them
upon a bed ; if they were too long or too short, he adjusted mat-
ters by cutting off or stretching out their limbs. This monster
met his fate at the hands of Theseus, and is, therefore, merely an
example of a criminal deservedly punished ; and so, as said above,
the circumstances of his life and death do not warrant Spenser in
introducing him in this particular connection. See Diod. Sic. 4.
59. 5 ; Hyg. Fab. 38.

PRIAM.

Since Priam was the king of the Trojans, Troy is appropri-
ately called Priam's city, realm, or town in F. Q. 2. 9. 48 3. 9.



102 SPENSEft'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

36 ; 3. 9. 38 ; 4. 11. 19. Compare //. 1. 19 ; 22. 251 ; JEn. 2. 191.
For F. Q. 2. 3. 31, see Amazons.

PROMETHEUS. F. Q. 2. 10. 70; 7. 6. 29.

Spenser says that Prometheus created man from the organs
of beasts, that he stole fire from the gods to animate this creation,
and that he was, for this audacity, deprived by Jove of life (that
is, its freedom).

This account accords with the later rather than the earlier
classics. Thus Hesiod (Theog. 53.5 ff.) says that Prometheus
tried to practice deception upon Jove in the division of a sacri-
ficial animal, and that Jove, in his anger, denied fire to men.
Prometheus, however, secretly stole some sparks from the gods,
and, concealing them in a hollow tube, brought them to the earth
for the use of man. This so enraged Jupiter that he sent Pan-
dora as a scourge to men, had Prometheus chained to a pillar, and
sent an eagle every day to feed upon his never-dying liver ; until,
after the lapse of years, the hapless Prometheus was released by
Hercules.

The Prometheus of ^Eschylus, also, while not agreeing with
the account of Hesiod, does not more nearly accord with this pas-
sage from Spenser. Neither knows aught of Prometheus as the
creator of man, nor of his stealing fire to animate this creation,
although both support Spenser in the matter of the punishment of
Prometheus.

It is to Latin authorities of a later period that our poet is
indebted for these points: thus Ovid (Met. 1. 76 ff.) says that
Prometheus made man of earth and water, but says nothing of
his creating him from the organs of animals and animating him
with fire. Horace, on the other hand, authorizes the first of these

statements :

Fertur Prometheus addere principi
Limo coactus particulam undique
Desectam, et insani leonis
Vim stomacho adposuisse nostro.

Carm. \. 16.

and Fulgentius, in his treatment of the myth of Prometheus, adds
that the creator of man stole fire from the celestial regions to ani-
mate his work.



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 103

PRONJ3A. - F. Q. 4. 11. 60. See Nereids.

PROSERPINA. F. Q. 1. 2. 2; 1. 4. 11; 2. 7. 63; 3. 11. 1; B. T. 373;
T. M. 164 ; Y. G. 63.

All these passages refer to Proserpina in the capacity of
Queen of Hell, after she was captured by Pluto, and borne as his
bride from the Upper to the Lower World. For the details of
her abduction, see the Horn. Hymn to Ceres, and Claudian, De
Raptu Proserpince. See also Od. 11, passim; JEn. 6. 397, where
die is referred to as the queen of the grim Pluto.

Spenser's description of the Garden of Proserpina in F. Q.
2. 7. 51 ff. is a finely imagined amplification of certain sugges-
tions in the classics ; thus, in Odyssey 10. 508 ff., there is men-
tioned a grove of Proserpina, at the utmost western limit of the
Ocean. It consists of poplar and willow trees, and forms the
entrance to Hell. In Claudian's De Raptu Proserpince 290 ff.,
Pluto describes to his bride, among other delights awaiting her in
Hades, a grove which is to be sacred to her :

Est etiam lucis arbor praedives opacis,
Fulgentes viridi ramos curvata rnetallo.
Haec tibi sacra datur, fortunatumque tenebis
Autumiium, et fulvis semper ditabere pomis.

This last passage in particular probably suggested to Spenser
the tree laden with the golden apples, or perhaps it was ;En. 6.
136 ff., lines which describe the tree with the bough of gold
which was sacred to Proserpina.

PROTEUS. F. Q. 1. 2. 10; 3. 4. 25 ff . ; 3. 8. 29 ff. ; 4. 11. 2 ff. ; 4. 12.
3 ff. ; Co. Cl. 248.

From these passages we learn that Proteus was the shepherd
of the seas, who attended the flocks of Xeptune ; that he could
change his form at will ; that he was inspired with the gift of
prophecy ; and that he lived in a huge cave, walled about by the
waves of the sea. His personal appearance is thus described :

An aged sire with head all frory hore,
And sprinckled frost upon his deawy beard.

All this is thoroughly consistent with that passage in the
Odyssey (4. 384 ff.) which describes the prophetic interview which



104 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

Proteus granted Telemachus, but only after trying to evade it by
changing himself into a lion, a pard, a boar, a dragon, a stream,
and a tree. See also Georg. 4. 388 ff. a passage patterned
after that of the Odyssey.

PHOTO. F. Q. 4. 11. 48. See Nereids.
PROTOMED^A. - F. Q. 4. 11. 49. See Nereids.
PSAMATHE.-F. Q. 4. 11. 61. See Nereids.
PSYCHE. -F. Q. 3. 6. 50; Mui. 131.

Both these passages refer to the story of Cupid and Psyche
as related in the fourth book of the Metamorphoses of Apuleius.
Psyche was a mortal, who, by her surpassing beauty, excited the
jealousy of Venus. The goddess commanded her son Cupid to
curse Psyche with a love for the most wretched of mortals.
Cupid himself, however, fell a victim to the charms of the hapless
Psyche, and visited her every night, taking his flight before day-
break, that she might not know who her lover was. This state of
bliss would have been enduring had not Psyche violated the in-
junction of Cupid, and sought to discover his identity. Bending
over him with a lamp, she let fall a drop of oil upon his shoul-
der ; he awoke, and in anger vanished from her sight. Here the
troubles of Psyche began : in the search for her lost love, she fell
into the hands of Venus, who subjected her to various hardships.
But her wretchedness had an end ; for Cupid made an appeal to
Jupiter, who summoned the gods to an assembly, and in pres-
ence of them all he united the lovers in wedlock. Moreover,
in order that they might be of equal rank, Jupiter extended to
Psyche a cup of ambrosia, and bade her quaff it, with these
words : " Take this, Psyche, and be immortal ; nor shall Cupid
ever depart from your embrace, but these nuptials of yours shall
be perpetual."

Thus Psyche, the soul, after enduring the purification that
hardship and suffering bring, was elevated to heaven, and joined
to Love in everlasting union.

In due time, the story relates, a daughter was born to them
who was called Pleasure. Compare H. L. 288.

PYLADES. F. Q. 4. 10. 27. See Orestes.



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 105

PYT.TATNT (sire). F. Q. 2. 9. 48;

This is Nestor, whose native city was Pylos. His reputation
for sage counsel and remarkable age is due principally to the
Iliad and the Odyssey; for he took an active part in the Trojan
War, not only as a warrior at the head of his Pylian forces, but
as a wise counselor whose advice was often sought by the Greeks.
It was a common tradition that he survived three generations of
men. Thus Homer (77. 1. 250 ff.) says, "Two generations of
mortal men already had he seen perish, that had been of old time
born and nurtured with him in goodly Pylos, and he was king
among the third."

PYRACMON.-F. Q. 4. 5. 87. See Brontes.
PYRRHA. F. Q. 5. Int. 2. See Deucalion.
PYTHIAS. F. Q. 4. 10. 27.

Diodorus Siculus (21. 10. 4) tells the well-known story of
the friendship between Damon and Pythias (Phintias). When
Pythias had been condemned to death for his share in a plot
against Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, he asked for a respite
of a few days that he might arrange his business affairs, promis-
ing to secure a friend who would serve as pledge, and who, if he
himself did not return by a certain time, would die in his stead.
Such a friend was found in Damon, who, however, was saved
from the fulfillment of his promise by the opportune arrival of
Pythias. As might be expected, Dionysius was so filled with
admiration at this unusual devotion that he pardoned Pythias,
and asked that he himself might share in such a friendship.

RHJESUS. See Rhesus.
RHESUS. V. G. 67.

The fall of Strymonian Rhesus at the hands of Ulysses and
Diomedes is related in 77. 10, in close connection with the violent
death of Dolon. Rhesus was a king of Thrace who sided with
the Trojans. While he and his men were asleep, Ulysses and
Diomedes murdered them, and carried away their famous white
horses.

The epithet Strymonian is explained by the fact that later
writers regarded Rhesus as the son of Strymon, a river of Thrace.



106 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

SAO. F. Q. 4. 11. 48. See Nereids.
SATURN.

In F. Q. 7. 6. 27 Spenser says that Saturn was the son of
Uranus, thus following Hesiod (Theog. 137), Saturn being the
Greek Cronus, with whom he was identified by the Romans.
Then our poet proceeds to relate the circumstances by which
Saturn and his descendants won the throne from Titan, an elder
son of Uranus. For this unusual recital of the affair, see Titan.

Saturn is mentioned as the father of Jove in F. Q. 7. 6. 2.
See Jove.

In F. Q. 3. 11. 43 Saturn is called the lover of Erigone, for
whom he transformed himself into a Centaur, and in F. Q. 7. 7.
40 he is mentioned as the father of Chiron by Xais. For a dis-
cussion of these passages, see Erigone and Nais.

The reign of Saturn, " the golden age," when peace and
plenty abounded (F. Q. 5. Int. 9 ; M. H. T. 151), is explained by
Ovid (Fast. 1. 233 ff.) and Macrobius (Sat. 1. 7 ff.).

When Saturn was expelled from heaven by Jove, he took up
his abode in Latium, where he was hospitably received by Janus.
He taught the aborigines the uses of agriculture, and a reign of
universal prosperity ensued. In Met. 1. 89 ff., we have a detailed
description of this golden age, which Spenser has paraphrased in
F. Q. 5. Int. 9.

The planet of Saturn is mentioned in F. Q. 2. 9. 52 ; 5. Int.
8 ; 7. 7. 52. Its baneful influence over human life is hinted at in
the adjectives " oblique " and " grim," while the adjective " old "
has reference to the belief that Saturn was the first of the gods.
It is common to find in ancient literature references to the malign
influence of Saturn, as for instance in Horace Carm. 2. 17. The
reason for this belief is discussed at some length by Macrobius


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10

Online LibraryAlice Elizabeth Sawtelle RandallThe sources of Spenser's classical mythology → online text (page 8 of 10)