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[It is koped that this Commentary may be useful to general readers, and to teachers in the secondary schools, as well as to pupils. The section-numbers correspond with those of the text in the body of the book. The letter C appended to a number indicates Commentary.}
§§ I-io. For information concerning mythical characters mentioned in these sections — such as Pandora, Prometheus, Endymion, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hermes, Bellerophon —- consult Index and the references as there indicated.
§ 11. Homer is also called Melesigenes, son of Meles — the stream on which Smyrna was built. The Homeridae, who lived on Chios, claimed to be descended from Homer. They devoted themselves to the cultivation of epic poetry.
Arion. — See George Eliot's poem beginning
"Arion, whose melodic soul
Other Greek Poets of Mythology to be noted are Callimachus (260 B.C.), whose Lock of Berenice is reproduced in the elegiacs of Catullus, and from whose Origins (of sacred rites) Ovid drew much of his information. Also Nicander (150 B.C.), whose Transformations, and Parthenius, whose Metamorphoses furnished material to the Latin poet. With Theocritus should be read Bion and Moschus, both exquisite masters of the idyl and elegy. See Andrew Lang's translation of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus; and the verses by Dobson and Gosse with which Lang prefaces the translation. Lycophron (260 B.C.) wrote a poem called Alexandra, on the consequences of the voyage of Paris to Sparta. The Loves of Hero and Leander were probably written by a grammarian, Musaeus, as late as 500 a.d. This poem contains admirable verses, and has a "pretty " fancy.
1 For assistance in collecting references to English poetry the author is indebted to Miss M. B. Clayes, a graduate of the University of California.
Translations of Greek Poets.—The best verse translations of Homer are those of Chapman, Pope, the Earl of Derby, and Cowper.
An excellent prose translation of the Iliad is that of Lang, Leaf, and Myers (Macmillan & Co.) Lond.: 1889; of the Odyssey, that by Butcher and Lang (Macmillan & Co.) Lond.: 1883; or the translation into rhythmical prose by G. H. Palmer (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.) Boston, 1892.
The Tragic Poets. — Plumptre's translations of ^Eschylus and Sophocles (Routledge) 2 v., N.Y.: 1882; Wodhull, Potter, and Milman's translation of Euripides in Morley's Universal Library (Routledge) Lond.: 1888; Potter's ^Eschylus, Francklin's Sophocles, Wodhull's Euripides; 5 v., Lond.: 1809.
Other Poets. — Lang's translation of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus. Pindar: — Odes, transl. by F. A. Paley, Lond.: 1868; by Ernest Myers, Lond.: 1874. Translations of Greek Lyric Poets:—Collections from the Greek Anthology, by Bland and Merivale, Lond.: 1833; The Greek Anthology, by Lord Neaves, Anc. Classics for Engl. Readers Series, Lond.: 1874; Bonn's Greek Anthol., by Burges, Lond.: 1852.
On Homer, Hesiod, Theocritus, the tragic poets, Pindar, etc., see, also, | Collins' excellent series of Ancient Classics for English Readers (Lippincott, Phila.); and the series entitled "English Translations from Ancient and Modern Poems," by Various Authors, 3 v., Lond.: 1810. Of yEschylus read the Prometheus Bound, to illustrate §§ 25, 26; the Agamemnon, Choephori, and Eumenides, to illustrate §§ 167, 170; and the Seven against Thebes, for § 163. Of Sophocles read CEdipus Rex, CEdipus at Colonus, Antigone, with § 158, etc.; Electra, with § 170; Ajax and Philoctetes, with the Trojan War; Women of Trachis, with § 143. Of Euripides read Medea, Ion, Alcestis, Iphigenia in Aulis and in Tauris, Electra. Other translations of yEschylus, are J. S. Blackie's: 1850; T. A. Bucklie's (Bohn): Lond.: 1848; E. A. A. Morshead's: 1881; of Sophocles, Thos. Dale's, into verse, 2 v., 1824; R. Whitelaw's, into verse, 1883; Lewis Campbell's Seven Plays into verse: 1883; of Euripides, T. A. Bucklie's (Bohn) 2 v., Lond.: 1854-58.
§ 12. Roman Poets. — Horace (65 B.C.) in his Odes, Epodes, and Satires makes frequent reference and allusion to the common stock of mythology, sometimes telling a whole story, as that of the daughters of Danaiis. Catullus C87 B.C.), the most original of Roman love-poets, gives us the Nuptials of Peleus and Thetis (for selections in English hexameters, see §§ 153 and 165 a), the Lock of Berenice, and the Atys. Manilius of the age of Augustus wrote a poem on Astronomy, which contains a philosophic statement of starmyths. Valerius Flaccus (d. 88 A.d.) based his Argonautics upon the poem of that name by Apollonius of Rhodes. Statius (61 A.d.) revived in the brilliant verses of hisThebaid and his Achilleid the epic myths and epic machinery, but not the vigor and naturalness of the ancient style. To a prose writer.