Three Accounts for the Prophetic Power of Helenos and Kassandra

Schol ad Il. 6.76a ex

“The story goes that Helenos was Kasandra’s twin and that after they were born they were left in the Thumbraion temple of Apollo and that serpents cleaned their ears. [They] got prophetic power from that.”

ex. Πριαμίδης ῞Ελενος: λέγεται τὸν ῞Ελενον δίδυμον εἶναι Κασάνδρας, τεχθέντα<ς> δὲ καταλειφθῆναι μόνους ἐν τῷ τοῦ Θυμβραίου ᾿Απόλλωνος ἱερῷ, καὶ δράκοντας ἀποψῆσαι τὴν ἀκοήν, καὶ τὴν μαντείαν ἐντεῦθεν λαβεῖν. T

Schol. bT ad Il. 7.44-45 ex

“They say that Helenos and Kasandra were twins and that they escaped from their parents one night and he slept in the temple of Thumbraion Apollo, while she slept in the temple of Artemis. At dawn they were discovered with clean ears.”

φασὶ δὲ ῞Ελενον καὶ Κασάνδραν διδύμους εἶναι, λαθόντας δὲ τοὺς γονεῖς ποτε νυκτὸς καταδραθεῖν τὸν μὲν εἰς τὸν τοῦ ᾿Απόλλωνος τοῦ Θυμβραίου ναόν, τὴν δὲ εἰς τὸν τῆς ᾿Αρτέμιδος, ἕωθεν δὲ εὑρεθῆναι †ἐκκαθαριζομένους† τὰς ἀκοάς.b(BCE3)T

Schol. D ad Il. 7.44

“The story goes that Helenos and Kasandra were twins born to Priam from Hecuba. When the infants had grown a little, it is said that they fell asleep in the temple of Thumbraian Apollo after playing there. Because they were drunk, they forgot about their children and went home. When they returned later to the temple they found their children’s senses being cleaned by the tongues of serpents. Because it seemed impossible, the women screamed. The serpents left and retreated into the laurel growing around, giving both children a share in prophetic power as they left. Antikleides tells this story.”


Τῶνδ’ ῞Ελενος Πριάμοιο φίλος παῖς.
Μυθεύεται, τῶν ἐξ ῾Εκάβης γεγονότων
Πριάμῳ παίδων ῞Ελενον καὶ Κασάνδραν
διδύμους γεγεννῆσθαι. Τῶν δὲ γενεθλίων
αὐτοῖς τελουμένων ἐν τῷ τοῦ Θυμβραίου
᾿Απόλλωνος ἱερῷ, λέγεται, τὸν ῞Ελενον
καὶ τὴν Κασάνδραν ἐν τῷ ναῷ παίζοντας
κατακοιμηθῆναι. ῾Υπὸ δὲ μέθης τῶν περὶ
τοὺς παίδας ἐκλαθομένων ἐκείνων, οἴκαδε
χωρισθῆναι. Τῇ δ’ ὑστεραίᾳ ἐλθόντας
εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν θεάσασθαι τοὺς παῖδας ταῖς
τῶν ὄφεων γλώτταις τοὺς πόρους τῶν
αἰσθητηρίων καθαιρομένους. ῾Ως οὖν διὰ
τὸ παράδοξον αἱ γυναῖκες ἀνέκραγον, συν-
έβη ἀπαλλαγῆναι τοὺς ὄφεις, καὶ κα-
ταδῦναι ἐν ταῖς παρακειμέναις δάφναις,
τοὺς δὲ παῖδας ἀμφοτέρους τῆς μαντικῆς
οὕτως μεταλαβεῖν. ῾Ιστορεῖ ᾿Αντικλεί-

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