The Time of Planning and Envy’s Crush

Bacchylides, Dithyramb 16.22-30

“Then, the unconquerable god
Wove for Deianeira a plan
Of many tears and guile,
Once she learned
The report of enduring grief
that Zeus’ indomitable son
Was sending to his bright home
White-armed Iole as a wife.

Oh! that unlucky, unhappy woman,
To have made such plans!
Broad-powered envy crushed her
Along with the opaque veil
Of events to come later
On that day at rose-covered Lukormis
When she took from Nessos
That divine sign.”

τότ᾿ ἄμαχος δαίμων
Δαϊανείραι πολύδακρυν ὕφα[νε
μῆτιν ἐπίφρον᾿ ἐπεὶ
πύθετ᾿ ἀγγελίαν ταλαπενθέα,
Ἰόλαν ὅτι λευκώλενον
Διὸς υἱὸς ἀταρβομάχας
ἄλοχον λιπαρὸ[ν] οτὶ δόμον πέ[π]οι
ἆ δύσμορος, ἆ τάλ[αι]ν᾿, οἷον ἐμήσατ[ο·
φθόνος εὐρυβίας νιν ἀπώλεσεν,
δνόφεόν τε κάλυμμα τῶν
ὕστερον ἐρχομένων,
ὅτ᾿ ἐπὶ 〚ποταμῶι〛 ῥοδόεντι Λυκόρμαι
δέξατο Νέσσου πάρα δαιμόνιον τέρ[ας.

Photograph of oil painting. In center, a centaur struggling with a woman in red and orange robes. In the background, a distant figure (Herakles).
Reni, Guido; Nessus and Deianeira; National Trust, Cragside;

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