Tuesday, June 1, 2021

W/W: Reunited in Death: Chloris & Thyia, Pausanias, Description of Greece X.xxix.5

Pausanias describes a giant mural by the famous artist Polygnotus. This is one of the scenes depicted on this (now lost) famous masterpiece:

Inferius aliquanto quam Phaedra est,recumbit Chloris sub Thyiae genua. Nihil omnino fallitur qui eas, dum viverent, eximia quadam se mutuo benevolentia prosecutas putat. Fuit Chloris ex Orchomeno quae est in Boeotia. De ipsis vulgatus est etiam sermo, cum Thyia Neptunum fuisse congressum, Chlorin cum Neleo Neptuni filio nuptam fuisse.

ὑπὸ δὲ τὴν Φαίδραν ἐστὶν ἀνακεκλιμένη Χλῶρις ἐπὶ τῆς Θυίας γόνασιν. οὐχ ἁμαρτήσεται μὲν δὴ οὐδὲ ὅστις φησὶ φιλίαν εἶναι ἐς ἀλλήλας, ἡνίκα ἔτυχον αἱ γυναῖκες ζῶσαι: ἦσαν γὰρ δὴ ἡ μὲν ἐξ Ὀρχομενοῦ τοῦ ἐν Βοιωτίᾳ ἡ Χλῶρις, ἡ δὲ Κασταλίου θυγάτηρ ἀπὸ τοῦ Παρνασσοῦ. εἶπον δ᾽ ἂν καὶ ἄλλοι τὸν ἐς αὐτὰς λόγον, τῇ μὲν συγγενέσθαι Ποσειδῶνα τῇ Θυίᾳ, Χλῶριν δὲ Ποσειδῶνος παιδὶ Νηλεῖ συνοικῆσαι.

--Pausanias, Description of Greece, X.xxix.5, Translated into Latin by Romulus Amasaeus (1696)

Beneath Phaedra Chloris is lying against Thyia’s knees. People weren’t wrong in thinking that they had a special relationship together while they were alive. Chloris was from Orchomenos (in Boetia), and Thyia was the daughter of Kastalius from Parnassus. But others tell a different tale: that Thyia and Neptune were lovers, and Chloris married Neleus, the son of Neptune.



Name:  Pausanias

Date:  110 – 180 CE

Works:  Description of Greece



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



 Pausanias was a Greek writer who lived during the era of the “Five Good Emperors.” His work, the Description of Greece, is an important source for geographical, historical, archaeological, and cultural information about ancient Greece.


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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