Helle Notes

Important tidbits:

Source: http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Helle.html

  • Ovid, Fasti 3. 853 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
  • “[The Golden-Ram] carries the two [Phrixos & Helle] across the wide seas. They say the girl’s left hand clutched the horn weakly, when she named the water after herself. Her brother almost died with her, as he tried to stop her falling and offered his outstretched hands. He wept that he lost his partner in twin peril, unaware she had joined the blue god [Poseidon].” 
  • Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 2. 585 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : “But lo! As dawn was breaking, the waves opened and scared the flying ship [of the Argonauts], and there stood before them Helle [the sister of Phrixos who fell from the Golden-Ram and became goddess of the Hellespont] chapleted, the sister now of Panope and Thetis [two Nereides], and holding in her left hand a golden sceptre. Then she lulled the waves, and looking upon the captains and their leader accosted Jason with gently words: ‘Thou too art being driven from Haemonia across strange seas by an unfriendly kingdom at home and a destiny like mine; once more doth Fortuna banish the offspring of Aeolus, and you, ill-starred folk, are seeking the Scythian river. A vast land is still before thee, a measureless sea (falter not in what thou hast begun), and Phasis itself lies far off, yet it will grant thee entrance. In that spot is a secret glade, and twin altars piles of turf; there pay the first rites to Phrixus as is due, and I pray you, bear these words to his dust: “My brother, I wander not, as thou fanciest, through the silence of the Stygian shore; vainly, dear one, doest thou search the paths of empty Avernus. For no storm bruises me tossed upon rocks and waves; straightway as I fell, Cymothoe [a Nereid] and Glaucus came swift to my succour; this abode too, this realm the father of the deep himself awarded me, willing justly, and our gulf envies not Ino’s sea [the Gulf of Corinth].”’ She ceased, and with a sigh hid her sad countenance beneath the calm waters, as the thought of her father’s grief came back to her. Then the prince [Jason] poured wine upon the sea, and thus began: ‘Daughter of Cretheus, pride of the sea and of our stock, open to us our path, and, O goddess, prosper our voyage!’ Then onward he steered the ship, and flew on between cities on either hand.”
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