Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tiresias and Their Daughter: Pausanias, Desc. Graec. IX.xxxiii.1-2

Mons Tilphussius & Tilphussa item fons, qui dicitur, ab Haliarto stadia abest quinquaginta, ut maxime. Traditum est Graecorum monumentis, Argivos, quum Polynicis filios secuti Thebas cepissent, dum ad Delphicum Apollinem cum reliqua praeda vatem etiam Tiresiam pertraherent, sitientem illum in via hausta de Tilphussa fonte aqua, animam statim egisse. Est eius sepulchrum ad ipsum fontem. Vatis filiam Manto ab Argivis Apollini aiunt sacratam: sed transmisisse eam classe (iubente deo) Colophonem in Ioniam, ibique Rhacio Cretensi nuptam. Quae de Tiresia dicuntur alia, de annorum scilicet quem vixisse scripserunt numero, & quod vir evaserit ex femina, quodque in Odyssea Homerus eum unum sapientem esse apud inferos dixerit, omnia haec omnes iam toties audita norunt.

τὸ δὲ ὄρος τὸ Τιλφούσιον καὶ ἡ Τιλφοῦσα καλουμένη πηγὴ σταδίους μάλιστα Ἁλιάρτου πεντήκοντα ἀπέχουσι. λέγεται δὲ ὑπὸ Ἑλλήνων Ἀργείους μετὰ τῶν Πολυνείκους παίδων ἑλόντας Θήβας ἐς Δελφοὺς τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἄλλα τῶν λαφύρων καὶ Τειρεσίαν ἄγειν, καὶ—εἴχετο γὰρ δίψῃ—καθ᾽ ὁδόν φασιν αὐτὸν πιόντα ἀπὸ τῆς Τιλφούσης ἀφεῖναι τὴν ψυχήν: καὶ ἔστι τάφος αὐτῷ πρὸς τῇ πηγῇ. [2] τὴν δὲ θυγατέρα τοῦ Τειρεσίου δοθῆναι μέν φασι τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι ὑπὸ τῶν Ἀργείων, προστάξαντος δὲ τοῦ θεοῦ ναυσὶν ἐς τὴν νῦν Ἰωνίαν καὶ Ἰωνίας ἐς τὴν Κολοφωνίαν περαιωθῆναι. καὶ ἡ μὲν αὐτόθι συνῴκησεν ἡ Μαντὼ Ῥακίῳ Κρητί: τὰ δὲ ἄλλα ἐς Τειρεσίαν, ἐτῶν τε ἀριθμὸν ὧν γεγράφασιν αὐτὸν βιῶναι καὶ ὡς ἐκ γυναικὸς ἐς ἄνδρα ἠλλάγη καὶ ὅτι Ὅμηρος ἐποίησεν ἐν Ὀδυσσείᾳ συνετὸν εἶναι γνώμην Τειρεσίαν τῶν ἐν Ἅιδου μόνον, ταῦτα μὲν καὶ οἱ πάντες ἴσασιν ἀκοῇ. 

--Pausanias, Descriptio Graeciae IX.xxxiii.1-2; translated into Latin by Romulus Amaseus (1696)

Mount Tilphussius and the Tilphussan spring are no more than fifty stadia from Haliartus. It is said that after they had captured Thebes, the Argives and the children of Polynices were transporting the prophet Tiresias and other spoils of war to Delphi, to dedicate them to Apollo.  Being thirsty, Tiresias drank the water from this spring and died. Therefore his tomb is near this spring.

They say that Manto, Tiresias’ daughter, was dedicated to Apollo by the Argives, and under the god’s command, she was sent by ship to Colophon in Ionia, where she was married to the Cretan Rhacius.

The rest of the myth of Tiresias—how long he lived, that he changed from woman to man, and that in the Odyssey, Homer states that he alone retained wisdom in the Underworld—everybody already knows about.




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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