VII-VI sec. a.C.

ESIODO, Le Grandi Eoiai, fr. 16 (opera perduta, tramandata da Antonino Liberale)

Traduzione da:


Hesiod tells the story in the 'Great Eoiai' (...) Magnes (...) lived in the region of Thessalia, in the land which men called after him Magnesia. He had a son of remarkable beauty, Hymenaios. And when Apollon saw the boy, he was seized with love for him, and would not leave the house of Magnes. Then Hermes made designs on Apollon's herd of cattle which were grazing in the same place as the cattle of Admetos. First he cast upon the dogs which were guarding them a stupor and strangles, so that the dogs forgot the cows and lost the power of barking. Then he drove away twelve heifers and a hundred cows never yoked, and the bull who mounted the cows, fastening to the tail of each one brushwood to wipe out the footmarks of the cows. He drove them through the country of the Pelasgoi, and Akhaia in the land of Phthia, and through Lokris, and Boiotia and Megaris, and thence into Peloponnesos by way of Korinthos and Larissa, until he brought them to Tegea. From there he went on by the Lykaion mountains, and past Mainalos and what are called the watch-posts of Battos.

Now this Battos used to live on the top of the rock and when he heard the voice of the heifers as they were being driven past, he came out from his own place, and knew that the cattle were stolen. So he asked for a reward to tell no one about them. Hermes promised to give it him on these terms, and Battos swore to say nothing to anyone about the cattle. But when Hermes had hidden them in the cliff by Koryphasion, and had driven them into a cave facing towards Italia and Sikelia, he changed himself and came again to Battos and tried whether he would be true to him as he had vowed. So, offering him a robe as a reward, he asked of him whether he had noticed stolen cattle being driven past. And Battos took the robe and told him about the cattle. But Hermes was angry because he was double-tongued, and struck him with his staff and changed him into a rock. And either frost or heat never leaves him.