Sunday, February 28, 2021

Unbroken, Unbowed: The Fate of Caeneus, Apollonius, Arg. I.57-64

* Some accounts relate that the trans warrior Caeneus was an Argonaut; others state that his son Coronus was.

Venit autem, opulenta relicta Gyrtone, Coronus

Caenei filius: strenuus ille quidem, sed suo non magis strenuus patre.

Nam Caeneum, tametsi adhuc viventem, celebrant poetae

a Centauris interiisse, cum solus eos & seorsim ab aliis

ducibus pepulisset; illi vero e diverso fato impetu,

neque eum ulterius incurvare possent, nec sauciare:

sed infractus, inflexus, subiit terram

percussus densis desuper cum impetu cadentibus abietibus.

ἤλυθε δ᾽ ἀφνειὴν προλιπὼν Γυρτῶνα Κόρωνος

Καινεΐδης, ἐσθλὸς μέν, ἑοῦ δ᾽ οὐ πατρὸς ἀμείνων.

Καινέα γὰρ ζῶόν περ ἔτι κλείουσιν ἀοιδοὶ

Κενταύροισιν ὀλέσθαι, ὅτε σφέας οἶος ἀπ᾽ ἄλλων

ἤλασ᾽ ἀριστήων: οἱ δ᾽ ἔμπαλιν ὁρμηθέντες

οὔτε μιν ἐγκλῖναι προτέρω σθένον, οὔτε δαΐξαι:

ἀλλ᾽ ἄρρηκτος ἄκαμπτος ἐδύσετο νειόθι γαίης,

θεινόμενος στιβαρῇσι καταΐγδην ἐλάτῃσιν. 

--Apollonius Rhodes Argonauticorum I.57-64, Translated into Latin by Joannes Shaw (1777)

…Then from opulent Gyrton came Coronus,

The son of Caeneus:  he was strong, but not stronger than his father.

For the bards declare that Caeneus (although still alive)

Was brought down by the Centaurs,

When he alone fought them off,

without the aid of other warriors.

They could not rout him or wound him;

But unbowed, unbroken, he went under the earth

Struck down under the weight of the thick pines thrown atop him. 



Name:  Apollonius of Rhodes

Date:  3rd century BCE

Works:  Argonautica



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



 Little is known of this Hellenistic poet, but what is clear is that his surviving epic, the Argonautica, was wildly influential to later epic poets. According to the Suda, he was the Director of the Library of Alexandria and was a contemporary of the poet Callimachus (α.4319).


ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); HELLENISTIC: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)

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