Saturday, September 26, 2020

Dangerous Beauty: The Abduction of Hylas, (Vat. Myth. I.49)


The common denominator in abduction myths is not the victim's gender, but their beauty. 

Hercules cum accessisset comes Argonautis, Hylan Thiodamantis filium secum duxit armigerum admirandae pulchritudinis iuvenem. Ipse vero fregerat remum in mari, dum pro suis remigat viribus, cuius reparandi gratia Mysiam petens silvam fertur ingressus. Hylas vero cum aquatum perrexisset, conspectus a nymphis receptus est. Quem dum Hercules quaerit, relictus ab Argonautis est in Mysia.

--Vatican Mythographers, I.49

While Hercules was travelling with the Argonauts, he brought the handsome youth Hylas along with him as his squire (armiger). Hercules broke an oar by rowing with all of his strength; they landed in Mysia and entered a forest there to replace it. Hylas disembarked in search of fresh water; he was discovered by some nymphs and abducted. Hercules went out looking for him, and the Argonauts left without him.



Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*



Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions



Little is known about the author or origin of the collection of myths known as the Vatican Mythographers, but the work’s first editor Angelo Mai found the collection on a manuscript dating back to the 10th century CE. This volume is a collection of three different mythographers who have assembled various Greco-Roman myths; although many of these myths are basic summaries in Latin, some of them are either analyzed as allegories or compared to Christian thought. 

 LATE LATIN (10th c. CE ?)

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

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