Helen Born from an Egg: Athenaeus, 2.57e-f

 

“‘They called the part of the house, which we call the upper chambers, eggs,’ says Clearchus in his Erotics, when he noted that Helen, having been raised in those chambers, gained the reputation among many of having been born from an egg. Neocles of Croton has it wrong when he says that the egg from which Helen was born descended from the moon, for the women of the moon give birth from eggs, and the people born there are fifteen times our size, as Herodoros of Heracleia relates.”

‘ἐκάλουν δὲ καὶ τὰ νῦν τῶν οἰκιῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν καλούμενα ὑπερῷα ᾠά’, φησὶ Κλέαρχος ἐν Ερωτικοῖς (FHG II 316), τὴν ῾Ελένην φάσκων ἐν τοιούτοις οἰκήμασι τρεφομένην δόξαν ἀπενέγκασθαι παρὰ πολλοῖς ὡς ἐξ ᾠοῦ εἴη γεγεννημένη. οὐκ εὖ δὲ Νεοκλῆς ὁ Κροτωνιάτης ἔφη ἀπὸ τῆς σελήνης πεσεῖν τὸ ᾠὸν ἐξ οὗ τὴν ῾Ελένην γεννηθῆναι· τὰς γὰρ σεληνίτιδας γυναῖκας ᾠοτοκεῖν καὶ τοὺς ἐκεῖ γεννωμένους πεντεκαιδεκαπλασίονας ἡμῶν εἶναι, ὡς ῾Ηρόδωρος ὁ ῾Ηρακλεώτης ἱστορεῖ (FHG II 35).

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