Fragmentary Friday: Two Hesiodic Passages on Autolykos

Fragment 64 .15-19

“….Divine Philonis
Who bore Autolykos and Philammon*, famous for his voice;
She gave birth to the first after she was impregnated by Apollo,
And then, after she had lovely sex with Hermes too,
She gave birth to Autolykos with the Kyllenian slayer of Argos.”

[                          ]δ̣ῖ̣α̣ Φι̣λ̣ων̣[ίς
ἣ τέκεν Αὐτόλυκόν τε Φιλάμμονά τε κλυτὸν αὐδήν,
τὸν μὲν ὑποδμηθεῖσα ἑκηβόλωι ᾿Α]π̣όλ[λ]ω̣νι,
τὸν δ’ αὖθ’ ῾Ερμάωνι μιγεῖσ’ ἐρατῆι] φιλ[ό]τητι̣
Αὐτόλυκον τίκτεν Κυλληνίωι ᾿Αρ]γεϊ[φ]ό̣ντ̣[ηι

*Philammon became a powerful singer thanks to his father, Apollo, and in some traditions is credited with founding the practice of singing hymns to Leto, Artemis and Apollo. He has a son with the nymph Argiope, Thamyris, who challenges the Muses in a singing competition and loses. Autolykos’ daughter, Antiklea, is Odysseus’ mother.

Fragment 67

Aeidelon means unseen. Eido is to recognize something, whence we derive “I know” (oida) Eidelos is formed the way pempelos is from pempô. Formed with a suffix, aeidelos is someone that is not seen. In the work of Nicander, it comes from that which is always apparent. He explains about this that it is derived from aeidêlon with a shortening of the eta to an epsilon. But a very clear meaning has been established for aeidelos. For Hesiod uses the word concerning Autolykos to indicate what is unseen:

“Whatever he took with his hands, he made it all unseen” (fr. 67 MW)

For, since he was a thief, he would steal horses and make them look different. He changed their colors. Cf. to aidêlon.

ἀείδελον σημαίνει τὸν ἀόρατον. ῎Εστιν εἴδω τὸ γινώσκω· ᾧ ἀντιπαράκειται τὸ οἶδα. Γίνεται εἴδελος, ὡς πέμπω πέμπελος· καὶ συνθέσει ἀείδελος, ὁ μὴ θεωρούμενος. Παρὰ δὲ Νικάνδρῳ ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀεὶ φανεροῦ κεῖται. Περὶ οὗ ἐστὶν εἰπεῖν, ὅτι ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀείδηλον γέγονε κατὰ συστολὴν τοῦ η εἰς ε·

Τοῦ δὲ τέρας περίσημον ἀείδελον ἐστήρικτο. Νίκανδρος. ᾿Επὶ δὲ τοῦ ἀοράτου ἐχρήσατο τῇ λέξει ῾Ησίδος περὶ τοῦ Αὐτολύκου. Φησὶ γὰρ, ῞Οττι κε χερσὶ λάβεσκεν, ἀείδελα πάντα τίθεσκεν. Καὶ γὰρ ὁ αὐτὸς, κλέπτης ὢν, ἔκλεπτε τοὺς ἵππους, καὶ ἀλλοιοφανεῖς αὐτοὺς ἀπετέλει· ἐνήλλασσε δὲ τὰς χροιὰς αὐτῶν. Ζήτει εἰς τὸ ἀΐδηλον.

Interested in ἀΐδηλον? I wrote a little piece about it.

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