Forget the Fountain of Youth–We Need the Stone of Relief

Pseudo-Plutarch, On Rivers, 11.1-2

“The Strymon is a Thracian River by the city Edonis. Previously, it was called Palaistinos after the son of Poseidon, Palaistinos. That one, when he was warring with his neighbors and got sick, sent his son Haliakmôn as general. But he was rather impetuous and was killed while fighting.

Once Palaistinos heard this and escaped his bodyguards, he hurled himself into the river Konozos because of his extreme grief. Then Strymon, the child of Ares and Helike, once he heard about the death of Rhesus and was overcome by sorrow, hurled himself into the river Palaistinos whose name was changed to Strymon because of this.

A stone created by this river is called the pausilypos [“grief-stopper”]. Anyone grieving who finds this stone is immediately relieved of the pain which holds him.  That’s the story Jason of Byzantion tells in his Tragika.”

Στρυμὼν ποταμός ἐστι τῆς Θρᾴκης κατὰ πόλιν Ἠδωνίδα· προσηγορεύετο δὲπρότερον Παλαιστῖνος ἀπὸ Παλαιστίνου τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος. οὗτος γὰρ πρὸς τοὺς ἀστυγείτονας ἔχων πόλεμον καὶ εἰς ἀσθένειαν ἐμπεσὼν τὸν υἱὸν Ἁλιάκμονα στρατηγὸν ἔπεμψεν· ὁ δὲ προπετέστερον μαχόμενος ἀνῃρέθη. περὶ δὲ τῶν συμβεβηκότων ἀκούσας Παλαιστῖνος καὶ λαθὼν τοὺς δορυφόρους, διὰ λύπης ὑπερβολὴν ἑαυτὸν ἔρριψεν εἰς ποταμὸν Κόνοζον, ὃς ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ Παλαιστῖνος ὠνομάσθη. Στρυμὼν δὲ, Ἄρεως παῖς καὶ Ἡλίκης, ἀκούσας περὶ τῆς Ῥήσου τελευτῆς καὶ ἀθυμίᾳ συσχεθεὶς ἑαυτὸν ἔρριψεν εἰς ποταμὸν Παλαιστῖνον, ὃς ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ Στρυμὼν μετωνομάσθη. γεννᾶται δ’ ἐν αὐτῷ λίθος παυσίλυπος καλούμενος· ὃν ἐὰν εὕρῃ τις πενθῶν, παύεται παραχρῆμα τῆς κατεχούσης αὐτὸν συμφορᾶς, καθὼς ἱστορεῖ Ἰάσων Βυζάντιος ἐν τοῖς Τραγικοῖς.

This is a different type of relief from Grief

There’s always drugs too. Morphine, “Cure for Pain”

“Someday there’ll be a cure for pain
That’s the day I throw my drugs away”


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