He Killed Her Father, then Married Her: A Love Story

Hes. fr. 195.1-23 (= Hes. Aspis 1-23)

“Or, as she did, when she left her home and paternal land
And came to Thebes to warlike Amphitryon,
Alkmênê, the daughter of host-rallying Êlektruôn.
She, really, surpassed the whole race of women
In appearance and stature. And no one could rival her mind
Of the women who were born from mortal women who slept with mortal men.
From her head and dark eyebrows [it shone]
Just like from the sight of golden Aphrodite.
And in her heart she honored her husband as
None of the female women had ever honored before.
But he killed her noble father after overcoming him in force,
After he was enraged over some cattle. He left his paternal land
And came to supplicate the shield-shaking Kadmeans.
He lived in a home there with his revered wife
But he did not have sex with her, he could not climb
Into the bed of Êlektruôn’s fine-ankled daughter, until he
Atoned for the murder of her great-hearted brothers
And burned down the villages of the heroes
The Taphians and Têleboans with fire.
For this is how it was decided, and the gods were witnesses.
He feared their rage, and pushed as fast as possible
To complete the great task Zeus had set for him.”

Image result for alcmene and amphitryon

… ῍Η οἵη προλιποῦσα δόμους καὶ πατρίδα γαῖαν
ἤλυθεν ἐς Θήβας μετ’ ἀρήιον ᾿Αμφιτρύωνα
᾿Αλκμήνη, θυγάτηρ λαοσσόου ᾿Ηλεκτρύωνος·
ἥ ῥα γυναικῶν φῦλον ἐκαίνυτο θηλυτεράων
εἴδεΐ τε μεγέθει τε· νόον γε μὲν οὔ τις ἔριζε
τάων ἃς θνηταὶ θνητοῖς τέκον εὐνηθεῖσαι.
τῆς καὶ ἀπὸ κρῆθεν βλεφάρων τ’ ἄπο κυανεάων
τοῖον ἄηθ’ οἷόν τε πολυχρύσου ᾿Αφροδίτης.
ἣ δὲ καὶ ὣς κατὰ θυμὸν ἑὸν τίεσκεν ἀκοίτην,
ὡς οὔ πώ τις ἔτισε γυναικῶν θηλυτεράων·
ἦ μέν οἱ πατέρ’ ἐσθλὸν ἀπέκτανε ἶφι δαμάσσας,
χωσάμενος περὶ βουσί· λιπὼν δ’ ὅ γε πατρίδα γαῖαν
ἐς Θήβας ἱκέτευσε φερεσσακέας Καδμείους.
ἔνθ’ ὅ γε δώματ’ ἔναιε σὺν αἰδοίῃ παρακοίτι
νόσφιν ἄτερ φιλότητος ἐφιμέρου, οὐδέ οἱ ἦεν
πρὶν λεχέων ἐπιβῆναι ἐυσφύρου ᾿Ηλεκτρυώνης
πρίν γε φόνον τείσαιτο κασιγνήτων μεγαθύμων
ἧς ἀλόχου, μαλερῷ δὲ καταφλέξαι πυρὶ κώμας
ἀνδρῶν ἡρώων Ταφίων ἰδὲ Τηλεβοάων.
τὼς γάρ οἱ διέκειτο, θεοὶ δ’ ἐπὶ μάρτυροι ἦσαν·
τῶν ὅ γ’ ὀπίζετο μῆνιν, ἐπείγετο δ’ ὅττι τάχιστα
ἐκτελέσαι μέγα ἔργον, ὅ οἱ Διόθεν θέμις ἦεν.

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