History of Apollonius of Tyre, Chapters 17-18


Amidst all of this, the king’s daughter saw that Apollonius possessed piles of skills and knowledge, and was taken by the savage fire of a wound: she fell headlong into love. Once the dinner was done, the girl said to her father, “You promised me just a little while ago that I could give to Apollonius anything I wished, even though it be yours.” The king said, “So I did, and so I do, and so I wish!” When she had received permission from her father to offer up what she wished, she looked at Apollonius and said, “Master Apollonius, accept, thanks to my father’s indulgence, two hundred talents of gold, forty masses of silver, twenty servants, and an elaborate wardrobe.” She then looked at the servants and said, “Bring everything which I promised here, and lay it out for everyone to see here in the dining room!” Everyone praised the girl’s generosity.

Once the feast was finished, everyone was felt refreshed; they said their farewells to the king and princess, and left. Apollonius himself said, “Good king, you who pity the wretched, and you, my princess, lover of the arts, farewell!” Once he said this, he looked back at the servants which the girl had given him and said, “Servants, take up all this which the princess has given me: this gold, this silver, these clothes; let us go and seek lodgings.” The girl, however, fearing that she would be tortured by the absence of her beloved, looked back at her father and said, “Good king, best of fathers, is it your wish that Apollonius, whom we just made rich today, should go away and be despoiled of his riches by criminals?” The king responded, “Well considered, my lady! Order that a room be given to him, where he can rest with dignity.” Apollonius, well received in this lodging, gave thanks to the god for not denying him a king as his consoler.


But the queen, now wounded by her care (Aen. 4.1) for Apollonius, fixed her words and countenance to her breast (4.4) and as she remembered his song, believed that he was of a godly stock (4.12). She did not give her eyes to sleep, nor did care grant peace unto her limbs. (4.5) She stayed awake, and at first light she broke into her father’s room. Her father, upon seeing her, said, “Sweet child, what is it which has kept you awake so far into the morning, beyond your usual habit?” The girl responded, “Yesterday’s activities stirred me up. I ask, therefore, father, that you give me to Apollonius so that he can teach me.”

The king was full of delight, and ordered that Apollonius be called to him. He said, “Apollonius, my daughter has seized upon a desire to learn from you and your wondrous fertility of skill. I ask, then, that you obey my daughter’s wish, and make you this promise by the strength of my whole kingdom: whatever the angry sea has taken from you, I shall return to you on land.” Apollonius then began to teach the girl, just as he himself had learned.

After a brief period of time had passed, and the girl could no longer bear up against the wound of love, she was seized by infirmity, her limbs slackened, and she began to lay feebly upon her bed. The king, seeing his daughter ‘s health decline so suddenly, solicitously summoned the doctors, who tapped her veins and inspected the individual parts of her body, yet were wholly unable to discover the cause of her illness.

17 Inter haec filia regis, ut vidit iuvenem omnium artium studiorumque esse cumulatum, vulneris saevo capitur igne. Incidit in amorem infinitum. Et finito convivio sic ait puella ad patrem suum: “Permiseras mihi paulo ante, ut, si quid voluissem, de tuo tamen, Apollonio darem, rex et pater optime!” Cui dixit: “Et permisi et permitto et opto.”

Permisso sibi a patre, quod ipsa ultro praestare volebat, intuens Apollonium ait: “Apolloni magister, accipe indulgentia patris mei ducenta talenta auri, argenti pondera XL, servos XX et vestem copiosissimam.” Et intuens famulos, quos donaverat, dixit: “Afferte quaequae promisi, et praesentibus omnibus exponite in triclinio!” Laudant omnes liberalitatem puellae. Peractoque convivio levaverunt se universi; vale dicentes regi et reginae discesserunt.

Ipse quoque Apollonius ait: “Bone rex, miserorum misericors, et tu, regina amatrix studiorum, valete.” Et haec dicens respiciens famulos, quos illi puella donaverat, ait: “Tollite, famuli, haec quae mihi regina donavit: aurum, argentum et vestem; et eamus hospitalia quaerentes.” Puella vero timens, ne amatum non videns torqueretur, respexit patrem suum et ait: “Bone rex, pater optime, placet tibi, ut hodie Apollonius a nobis locupletatus abscedat, et quod illi dedisti, a malis hominibus ei rapiatur?” Cui rex ait: “Bene dicis, domina; iube ergo ei dari unam zaetam, ubi digne quiescat.” Accepta igitur mansione Apollonius bene acceptus requievit, agens deo gratias, qui ei non denegavit regem consolatorem.

18 Sed ‘regina’ sui ‘iam dudum saucia cura’ Apolloni figit in ‘pectore vultus verbaque’, cantusque memor credit ‘genus esse deorum’. Nec somnum oculis nec ‘membris dat cura quietem’. Vigilans primo mane irrumpit cubiculum patris. Pater videns filiam ait: “Filia dulcis, quid est quod tam mane praeter consuetudinem vigilasti?” Puella ait: “Hesterna studia me excitaverunt. Peto itaque, pater, ut me tradas hospiti nostro Apollonio studiorum percipiendorum gratia.” Rex vero gaudio plenus iussit ad se iuvenem vocari. Cui sic ait: “Apolloni, studiorum tuorum felicitatem filia mea a te discere concupivit. Peto itaque, ut desiderio natae meae parueris, et iuro tibi per regni mei vires: quidquid tibi iratum abstulit mare, ego in terris restituam.” Apollonius hoc audito docet puellam, sicuti et ipse didicerat.

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