Apollon Erithios

Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 7 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (trans. Pearse) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
“The rock of Leukade received its name from Leukos, the companion of Odysseus, who was originally from Zakynthos and who was, says the Poet, killed by Antiphos; this is the person, it is said, who raised the temple of Apollon Leukates. Thus those who dive from the top of the rock were, it is said, freed from their love and for this reason : after the death of Adonis, Aphrodite, it is said, wandered around searching for this. She found it in Argos, a town of Kypros, in the sanctuary of Apollon Erithios and l’emporta after having told Apollon in confidence the secret of her love for Adonis. And Apollon brought her to the rock of Leukade and ordered her to throw herself from the top of the rock; she did so and was freed from her love. When she sought the reason of this, Apollon told her, it is said, in his capacity as a soothsayer, he knew that Zeus, always enamoured of Hera, had sat on this rock and been delivered from his love.
And many others, men and women, suffering from the evil of love, were delivered from their passion in jumping from the top of the rock, such as Artemesa, daughter of Lygdamis, who made war with Persia; enamoured of Dardarnos of Abydos and scorned, she scratched out his eyes while he slept but as her love increased under the inflence of divine anger, she came to Leukade at the instruction of an oracle, threw herself from the top of the rock, killed herself and was buried.
Hippomedon of Epidamnos, says the author, was enamoured of a young boy of his land and, unable to obtain any success as the boy had a penchant for another, he killed him, then went to Leukade, jumped and killed himself.
And the comic poet Nikostratus, in love with Tetigidaia of Mirina, jumped and was cured of his love.
Makes of Buthroton was, it is said, surnamed White Rock because he had been cured of the evils of love after he jumped from the rock four times.
A crowd of other people pass to be relieved in this way. Boulagoras the Phanagorite, enamoured of the flutist Diodoros, threw himself from the rock and was killed at an advanced age.
Rhodope of Amisene killed herself also in jumping for the love of two twin lads who belonged to the guards of king Antiokhos and were called Antiphon and Kyros.
And Kharinos, a iambic poet, was in love with the eunuch Eros, Eupator’s butler; trusting the legend of the rock he jumped, broke his leg, and died of pain while making these iambics: ‘To the devil with you, deceptive and murderous rock of Leukos! Kharinos, alas! alas! this iambic muse, you have turned to cinders by your vain words of hope. Can Eupator suffer so much for Eros.
And Nireus of Katana, in love with Athena of Athens [the cult statue?], came to the rock and jumped and was delivered of his pain. In jumping he fell into the net of a fishman in which when he was pulled out was also found a box filled with gold. He went to law with the fisherman for the gold, but Apollon appeared to him in the night in a dream and told him to desist since he should give thanks for his safety and he threatened him; it was not right in addition to try to appropriate gold which belonged to others.”

Since the epithet múkhios (secreted) as applied to Phaethon in Theogony 991 implies that he was hidden by Aphrodite, we see here an important parallelism with Phaon and Adonis, who were also hidden by Aphrodite.[74] Just as Phaethon implicitly attains preservation in the cult of Aphrodite, so also Adonis in the cult of Apollo Eríthios .[75] As for Phaon, he explicitly attains preservation in the myth where he is turned into a beautiful young man by Aphrodite (Sappho fr. 211 V.). From the myths of Phaethon, we see that the themes of concealment and preservation are symbolic of solar behavior, and we may begin to suspect that the parallel myths of Phaon and Adonis are based on like symbolism.

Hesiod, Theogony:

(ll. 984-991)
The blossom, of [Eos’] love for Kephalos was a splendid son,
high-honoured Phaethon, a man of godlike beauty;
when he was still in the tender blossom of luxuriant youth,
a child lost in innocent thought, smile-loving Aphrodite
swooped down on him and carried him away
to her temple
to be keeper of its holiest part, a luminous demigod.

Now what’s still bugging me:

Apollon Erithios

I’m unfamiliar with this epithet, and unfortunately, I’m coming up with nothing in my searches for it –and I still need to get a Lansing, MI library card (bad recon! No gods for you — come back one year! [sorry, old, obscure Hellenion in-joke at this point]).

Any help, please?


2 thoughts on “Apollon Erithios

  1. I don’t know that one either. But according to my Liddell & Scott, Erithos (no second iota) means “hired servant” …. not sure if that’s at all applicable though.


  2. Pingback: All the good stuff happens when I’m busy…. | Of Thespiae

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