History of Apollonius of Tyre, Chapters 23-24


The king now declared his intention to fix the date of the wedding. On the following day his friends, the potentates of neighboring regions, great and noble men all, were summoned. The king addressed his assembled friends thus: “Friends, do you know why I have summoned you here together?” They responded that they did not. “Know then, that my daughter wishes to marry Apollonius of Tyre. I hope then that everyone will rejoice, since my daughter, the wisest of women, will be married to that man of the most approved discretion.” While he was talking to them, he indicated that the wedding would happen without delay and directed them as to when they should assemble.

Why prolong the explanation? The day of the wedding came, and everyone assembled with a due sense of happiness and expedition. The king and his daughter were happy, and Apollonius was well pleased that he had earned the privilege of marrying such a wife. The wedding was celebrated in the regal fashion, with a becoming sense of dignity: the entire population rejoiced; the citizens were well pleased, including the travelers and guests; there was much merry-making with lutes, lyres, songs, and organs mixed with singing. Once the festivity was completed, great desire arose between the newlyweds: there was a certain wonderful love, an incomparable affection, a silent joy, which is girded ‘round by constant esteem.


After a few months and days had elapsed, when the wife’s belly was in its six-month shape, her husband Apollonius came to her. While the two were walking along the shore, he saw a rather fine ship, and while they were both admiring it, he realized that it was from his own country. He said to the captain, “Tell me, if you can, from where have you come?” When the captain responded that he came from Tyre, Apollonius said, “You have named my fatherland.” The captain said to him, “Ah, you’re a Tyrian then?” Apollonius responded, “As you say, so I am.” The captain said, “Then do me a favor and tell me truly: know you the prince of that land named Apollonius?” Apollonius responded that he knew him as well as he knew himself. The captain did not understand this, and said, “I ask you that, whenever you see him, tell him to rejoice and be merry, for that most savage king, Antiochus, who slept with his own daughter, has been struck by lightning; his riches and his kingdom have been saved for Apollonius.”

As Apollonius heard this, he turned to his wife and said, “My lady, you have now just heard proof of what you believed when I was shipwrecked. I ask, therefore, dearest wife, that you allow me to set out and take the kingdom which has been handed on to me.” His wife, however, when she heard that he wished to set out, bathed her face in tears, and said, “Dear husband, if you were stuck on some long journey somewhere else, certainly it would be incumbent upon you to hurry back here for the baby’s birth; but now, when you are here, you propose to set out and leave me? Let us sail together: wherever you are, whether on land or at sea, let life or death take us both together!”

After saying this, the girl went to her father, to whom she said, “Dear father, rejoice and be glad, because Antiochus, that most savage king who slept with his own daughter, has been struck down by God, and his riches together with his diadem have been saved for my husband. On that account, I ask with an appropriately mournful heart that you let me sail off with my husband. And, if it makes you any more willing to let me go: you will send off one child, but will welcome back two!”

23 Rex ait: “Diem nuptiarum sine mora statuam.” Postera vero die vocantur amici, invocantur vicinarum urbium potestates, viri magni atque nobiles. Quibus convocatis in unum pariter rex ait: “Amici, scitis, quare vos in unum congregaverim?” Qui respondentes dixerunt: “Nescimus.” Rex ait: “Scitote filiam meam velle nubere Tyrio Apollonio. Peto, ut omnibus sit laetitia, quia filia mea sapientissima sociatur viro prudentissimo.” Inter haec diem nuptiarum sine mora indicit et, quando in unum se coniungerent, praecepit. Quid multa? Dies supervenit nuptiarum, omnes laeti atque alacres in unum conveniunt. Gaudet rex cum filia, gaudet et Tyrius Apollonius, qui talem meruit habere coniugem. Celebrantur nuptiae regio more, decora dignitate. Gaudet universa civitas, exultant cives, peregrini et hospites; fit magnum gaudium in citharis, lyris et canticis et organis modulatis cum vocibus.

Peracta laetitia ingens amor fit inter coniuges, mirus affectus, incomparabilis dilectio, inaudita laetitia, quae perpetua caritate complectitur.

24 Interpositis autem diebus atque mensibus, cum haberet puella mense iam sexto ventriculum deformatum, advenit eius sponsus rex Apollonius. Cum spatiatur in litore, iuncta sibi puellula, vidit navem speciosissimam, et dum utrique eam laudarent pariter, recognovit eam Apollonius de sua esse patria. Conversus ait ad gubernatorem: “Dic mihi, si valeas, unde venisti?” Gubernator ait: “De Tyro”. Apollonius ait: “Patriam meam nominasti.” Ad quem gubernator ait: “Ergo tu Tyrius es?” Apollonius ait: “Ut dicis; sic sum.” Gubernator ait: “Vere mihi dignare dicere: noveras aliquem patriae illius principem, Apollonium nomine?” Apollonius ait: “Ut me ipsum, sic illum novi.” Gubernator non intellexit dictum et ait: “Sic ego rogo, ut ubicumque eum videris, dic illi: Laetare et gaude, quia rex saevissimus Antiochus cum filia sua concumbens dei fulmine percussus est; opes autem et regnum eius servantur regi Apollonio.”

Apollonius autem ut audivit, gaudio conversus dixit ad coniugem: “Domina, quod aliquando mihi naufrago credideras, modo comproba! Peto itaque, coniunx carissima, ut me permittas proficere et regnum devotum percipere.” Coniunx vero eius, ut audivit eum velle proficere, profusis lacrimis ait: “Care coniunx, si alicubi in longinquo esses itinere constitutus, certe ad partum meum festinare debueras; nunc vero, cum sis praesens, disponis me derelinquere? Pariter navigemus: ubicumque fueris seu in terris seu in mari, vita vel mors ambos nos capiat!”

Et haec dicens puella venit ad patrem suum, cui sic ait: “Care genitor, laetare et gaude, quia saevissimus rex Antiochus cum filia sua concumbens a deo percussus est, opes autem eius cum diademate coniugi meo servatae sunt. Propter quod rogo te satis animo lugenti, permittas mihi navigare cum viro meo. Et ut libentius mihi permittas: unam remittis, en duas recipies.”

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