Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Birth of Pallas Athena: Apollodorus, Bibl.I.3.6


Jupiter ad haec Thetidi, varias alternanti formas quo illius vitaret amplexus, immiscetur. Quam, cum gravidam esse persensisset, absorbere occupat, quoniam post natam ex ea puellam, filium se parituram dicebat, qui caeli dominatione potiturus esset. Id futurum veritus eam absorbuit. Ubi vero pariendi tempus advenit, Prometheus, sive, ut alii tradunt, Volcanus eius caput securi percussit, deque illius vertice secus Tritonem amnem armata Pallas exilivit.

μίγνυται δὲ Ζεὺς Μήτιδι, μεταβαλλούσῃ εἰς πολλὰς ἰδέας ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ συνελθεῖν, καὶ αὐτὴν γενομένην ἔγκυον καταπίνει φθάσας, ἐπείπερ ἔλεγε Γῆ γεννήσειν παῖδα μετὰ τὴν μέλλουσαν ἐξ αὐτῆς γεννᾶσθαι κόρην, ὃς οὐρανοῦ δυνάστης γενήσεται. τοῦτο φοβηθεὶς κατέπιεν αὐτήν: ὡς δ᾽ ὁ τῆς γεννήσεως ἐνέστη χρόνος, πλήξαντος αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν πελέκει Προμηθέως ἢ καθάπερ ἄλλοι λέγουσιν Ἡφαίστου, ἐκ κορυφῆς, ἐπὶ ποταμοῦ Τρίτωνος, Ἀθηνᾶ σὺν ὅπλοις ἀνέθορεν.

--Apollodorus, Bibliotheces I.3.6; translated into Latin by Thomas Gale (1675)

Thetis tried to escape Jupiter's seduction by changing forms, but was unsuccessful. When she became pregnant, Jupiter swallowed her whole, fearing a prophecy that claimed that after she birthed a daughter, she would bear a son who would rule the universe.
When the time had come for the child's delivery, Prometheus (or Vulcan, as others say), struck Jupiter's head with an ax, and Pallas Athena sprang forth from the wound fully armed.

Date:  1st – 2nd c. CE
Works:  Bibliotheca

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

 The Bibliotheca is a collection of Greek myths written between the 1st and 2nd century CE. Although originally thought to be written by the Athenian author Apollodorus (2nd c. BCE), it is now thought to be an epitome of a larger work written centuries later.
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE