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Ptolemaios Chennos (a.k.a. Ptolemaeus Chennus, a.k.a. Hephaestion)

Ptolemaios Chennos (a.k.a. Ptolemaeus Chennus, a.k.a. Hephaestion)

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Published by AlanWaterman
A text and translation of the "Kaine historia" or "New history" by the 1st century mythographer Ptolemaios Chennos, as summarised in Photios' Myriobiblon, cod. 190. This is followed by scans of the relevant pages from Bekker's standard critical edition of Photios: Immanuel Bekker, ed., 1824, Photii Bibliotheca (Berlin: Reimer), pp. 146-153.
A text and translation of the "Kaine historia" or "New history" by the 1st century mythographer Ptolemaios Chennos, as summarised in Photios' Myriobiblon, cod. 190. This is followed by scans of the relevant pages from Bekker's standard critical edition of Photios: Immanuel Bekker, ed., 1824, Photii Bibliotheca (Berlin: Reimer), pp. 146-153.

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Published by: AlanWaterman on Jan 11, 2011
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1
Photios,
Myriobiblion
cod. 190Ptolemaios Chennos (a.k.a. Hephaistion),
New History 
 
[146a
.41
 ]
Ἀνεγνώσθη <Πτολεμαίου τοῦ Ἡφαιστίωνος> περὶ τῆς εἰς πολυμαθίανκαινῆς ἱστορίας λόγοι ϛʹ.
[146b]
Χρήσιμον ὡς ἀληθῶς τὸ βιβλίον τοῖς περὶ τὴνἱστορικὴν πολυμαθίαν πονεῖν ὡρμημένοις· ἔχει γὰρ δοῦναι συνειλεγμέναβραχεῖ χρόνεἰδέναι, σποράδην τις τῶν βιβλίων ἀναλέγειν πόνονδεδεγμένος μα[5]κρὸν κατατρίψει βίον. Ἔχει δὲ πολλκαὶ τερατώδη καὶκακόπλαστα, καὶ τὸ ἀλογώτερον, ὅτι καὶ ἐνίων μυθαρίων αἰτίας, δι’ ἃςὑπέστησαν, ἀποδιδόναι πειρᾶται.Read: Ptolemaios Hephaistion’s
New History 
, a scholarly collection in sixbooks. A truly useful book for those who undertake to attempt erudition inhistory; it can, in fact, quickly provide the basis for knowing its elements jointly,whereas one would have to spend a long life in the labour of gathering them fromeach book separately. It has a great deal of extraordinary and poor fictions; stillmore absurdly, for certain negligible stories he attempts to explain how they cameabout. Ὁ μέντοι τούτων συναγωγεὺς ὑπόκενός τέ ἐστι καὶ πρὸς ἀλαζονείανἐπτοημένος, καὶ οὐδἀστεῖος τὴν λέξιν. Προσ[10]φωνεῖ δὲ τὸ σύνταγμαΤερτύλλᾳ τινί, ἣν καὶ δέσποιναν ἀνυμνεῖ καὶ τὸ φιλολόγον αὐτκαπολυμαθὲς ἐπιφημίζει. Διαβάλλει δ’ ἐνίους καὶ τῶν πρὸ αὐτοῦ οὐχ ὑγιῶςἐπιβαλόντας τῇ ὑποθέσει. Τά γε μὴν πλεῖστα τῶν ἱστορουμένων ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶὅσα τοῦ ἀπιθάνου καὶ [15] ἀπίστου καθαρεύει, παρηλλαγμένην ὅμως καὶ οὐκἄχαρι εἰδέναι τὴν μάθησιν ἐμπαρέχει.As for the editor of these stories, he is somewhat credulous, given toboastfulness, and has a dull style. He dedicates his work to a certain Tertyllawhom he celebrates as his ‘lady’, and whose love for letters and scholarship hepraises. He accuses some of his predecessors of having approached the subject inan unhealthy way. But of those of his stories that are not polluted with theincredible and the implausible, the majority offer learning that is outstanding andpleasant to know.
Book 1
Famous deaths 
 
[146b
.17
 ]
Περιέχει μὲν οὖν τὸ αʹ βιβλίον περὶ Σοφοκλέους τῆς τελευτῆς, καὶπρὸ αὐτοῦ περὶ τῆς Πρωτεσιλάου, εἶτα καὶ περὶ τῆς Ἡρακλέους, ὡς πυρὶ αὑτὸνἀνεῖλε [20] μὴ δυνηθεὶς τὸ οἰκεῖον ἐντεῖναι τόξον πεντηκοντούτης γενόμενος,περί τε τῆς Κροίσου ἐν τῇ πυρᾷ σωτηρίας, περί τε τῆς Ἀχιλλέως τελευτῆς, καὶπερὶ Λαΐδος τῆς ἑταίρας, ὡς τελευτήσοι ὀστοῦν ἐλαίας καταπιοῦσα. Τούτωνἕκαστον διεξιὼν ἀποφαίνεται τοὺς πρὸ [25] αὐτοῦ ἐσφαλμένως τὰ περὶ τούτωνὑπολαβεῖν τε καὶ ἀναγράψαι. Ἐφεξῆς δὲ περὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ βασιλέως φησὶνThe first book contains an account Sophokles’ death, and before him, that of Protesilaos; then also the death of Herakles, how he killed himself by fire becauseat the age of fifty he was unable to draw his bow; and about Kroisos, who wassaved from the pyre; and the death of Achilleus; and the courtesan Lais, who diedwhen she choked on an olive pit. In treating each of these subjects, he shows thathis predecessors have committed errors in transmitting them. Then concerningking Alexander: at Ephesos he saw a depiction of Palamedes being assassinated by
 
2
ὡς ἐν Ἐφέσῳ θεασάμενος Παλαμήδην δολοφονούμενον ἐν πίνακι ἐθορυβήθη,διότι ἐῴκει τῷ δολοφονουμένῳ Ἀριστόνεικος ὁ σφαιριστὴς Ἀλεξάνδρου· [30]τοιοῦτος γὰρ ἦν Ἀλέξανδρος τὸ ἦθος, ἐπιεικὴς καὶ φιλέταιρος.a ruse, and was troubled by it because he resembled Aristoneikos, Alexander’spartner in ball-games; for this was Alexander’s character, kind and thoughtful forhis companions.
Explanations of names 
 Εἶτα ὅτι τὸ παρ’ Εὐφορίωνι ἐν Ὑακίνθῳ ἀπορούμενον «Κωκυτὸς μοῦνος ἀφ’ἕλκεα νίψεν Ἄδωνιν» τοιοῦτόν ἐστι· Κωκυτὸς ὄνομα, Χείρωνος ἐπὶ τῇ ἰατρικῇμαθητής, ἐθεράπευσε τὸν Ἄδωνιν ὑπὸ τοῦ [35] συὸς τρωθέντα.He then argues that the crux in Euphorion’s
Hyakinthos 
, ‘Only Kokytoswashed the wounds of Adonis,’ means the following: Kokytos, as his name was,studied medicine under Cheiron, and he treated Adonis when he was wounded bythe boar.Λέγει δ’ ὅτι ὁ παρ’ Ἡροδότῳ ἐν τῇ πρώτῃ τῶν ἱστοριῶν ὑπὸ Ἀδράστου τοῦΓορδίου ἀνῃρημένος Ἀγάθων ἐκαλεῖτο, καὶ ἀναιρεθῆναι αὐτὸν περὶ ὄρτυγοςφιλονεικοῦντα. Καὶ ὡς Κάδμος καὶ Ἁρμονία εἰς λέοντας μετεμορφώθησαν, καὶὡς Τειρεσί[40]ας ἑπτάκις μετεμορφώθη, διτί τε ὑπΚρητῶν οὗτοςΦόρβαντος κόρη ἐκαλεῖτο. Ὅτι Ἐρύμανθος ὁ παῖς Ἀπόλλωνος ἐτυφλώθη διότι ἴδοι λουμένην
[147a]
Ἀφροδίτην ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀδώνιδος μίξεως, καὶ Ἀπόλλωνμηνίσας ἑαυτὸν εἰς σύαγρον μετεμόρφωσε καὶ τοῖς ὀδοῦσι πλήξας ἀνεῖλε τὸν Ἄδωνιν.He says that the person in book 1 of Herodotos’
Histories 
who was killed byAdrastos, son of Gordias, was named Agathon; and he killed him when he wasquarrelsome about a quail. He says that Kadmos and Harmonius were changedinto lions and that Teiresias underwent seven metamorphoses, and he explainswhy the Cretans call him daughter of Phorbas. Erymanthos, son of Apollo, waspunished because he had seen Aphrodite after her union with Adonis and Apollo,irritated, changed himself into a wild boar and killed Adonis by striking throughhis defenses.Διὰ τί ὁ ποιητὴς πελειάδας ἐποίησε τῆς τροφῆς τῶν θεῶν [5] διακόνους, καὶτίνα Ἀλέξανδρος βασιλεὺς καὶ Ἀριστοτέλης εἰς τοῦτο εἶπον, καὶ περὶ Ὁμήρου καὶ πελειάδων. Ὅτι Ἐπίχαρμος ὁ ποιητὴς ἀπ’ Ἀχιλλέως τοῦ Πηλέωςεἷλκε τὸ γένος. Ὅτι Πάτροκλον ἐξόχως Ὅμηρος ἱππέα καλεῖ ὡς παρΠοσειδῶνος ἐραστοῦ γεγονότος μαθόντα [10] τὴν ἡνιοχικήν.He explains why the poet made doves the servants of the gods at their meals,and he reports what king Alexander and Aristotle said to each other above; hespeaks also of Homer and the doves. He says that the poet Epicharmos wasdescended from Achilleus, son of Peleus. Homer calls Patroklos the first horsemanbecause he learned from Poseidon, who loved him, the art of riding horses. Ὅτι Ὀδυσσεύς, διότι ὦτα μεγάλα εἶχεν, Οὖτις πρότερον ἐκαλεῖτο· ὑετοῦ δέφησι γενομένου μὴ ἀντισχοῦσαν τὴν μητέρα ἔγκυον οὖσαν κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸντεκεῖν, καὶ τὸν Ὀδυσσέα διὰ τοῦτο οὕτως ὀνομασθῆναι.Odysseus was first called ‘Outis’ because he had large ears, but, he says,during a day of rain his mother who carried him was unable to stop him lyingdown at the side of the road and that is the reason why he was given the name of Odysseus. Ὅτι Περίτανός τις ὄνομα Ἀρκὰς Ἑλένην συνοῦσαν Ἀλε[15]ξάνδρῳ ἐνἈρκαδίἐμοίχευσεν, Ἀλέξανδρος δ’ αὐτὸν ποινὴν τῆς μοιχείαςεἰσπραττόμενος ἐξευνούχισε, καὶ ἐξ ἐκείνου Ἀρκάδες τοὺς εὐνούχουςπεριτάνους λέγουσιν.An Arkadian named Peritanos committed adultery with Helen when she livedwith Alexandros in Arkadia; Alexandros, to punish him for this adulteryemasculated him and it is since then that the Arkadians call eunuchs
 peritanoi 
.
 
3
Children and their guardians 
 Ὡς Ἀχιλλέα μὲν Ἀριστόνικος ὁ Ταραντῖνος διατρίβοντα ἐν ταῖς παρθένοιςπαρὰ Λυκομήδει Κερκυσέραν [20] καλεῖσθαί φησιν, ἐκαλεῖτο δὲ καὶ Ἰσσὰν καὶΠυρρὰν καὶ Ἄσπετος καὶ Προμηθεύς. Ὅτι Βοτρύας ὁ Μύνδιος τοὺς Νιόβηςπαῖδας πάντας ὑπὸ Ἀπόλλωνός φησιν ἀνῃρῆσθαι. Ὅτι Ὀδυσσεῖ ἕπεσθαιδίδωσιν ὁ πατὴρ μνήμονα Μυΐσκον τοὔνομα Κεφαλλῆνα. Εἵπετο καὶ [25]Ἀχιλλεῖ μνήμων τοὔνομα Νοήμων, γένει Καρχηδόνιος, καὶ Πατρόκλῳ Εὔδωρος.Ἀντίπατρος δέ φησιν ὁ Ἀκάνθιος Δάρητα, πρὸ Ὁμήρου γράψαντα τὴν Ἰλιάδα,μνήμονα γενέσθαι Ἕκτορος ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ ἀνελεῖν ἑταῖρον Ἀχιλλέως. ΚαὶΠρωτεσιλάου δέ φησι Δάρδανον γενέσθαι γένος Θεσσαλόν· καὶ Ἀντιλόχῳ δὲΧάλκωνα ὑπασπιστὴν καὶ μνήμονα ὑπὸ Νέστορος συνεζεῦχθαι τοῦ πατρός.Ταῦτα μὲν ἐν τῇ αʹ βίβλῳ τὰ κεφάλαια.Aristonikos of Tarentum said that Achilleus, when he lived among the younggirls at the house of Lykomedes, was called Kerkysera; he was also called Issa andPyrrha and Aspetos and Prometheus. Botryas of Myndos says that all Niobe’schildren were killed by Apollo. Odysseus’ father gave him a guardian calledMyiskos, a Kephallenian, to accompany him. Achilleus also had a guardian whoaccompanied him, called Noemon, Carthaginian by race, and Patroklos hadEudoros. And Antipatros of Akanthe says that Dares, who wrote the
Iliad 
beforeHomer, was Hektor’s guardian and got him to promise not to kill Achilleus’companion. And he says that Protesilaos’ guardian was Dardanos, Thessalian byrace, and that Antilochos of Chalkis was appointed rider and monitor by Nestor,his father. These are the headings in book 1.
Book 2
Herakles 
 
[147a
.33
 ]
Ἡ δὲ βʹ περὶ Ἡρακλέους, ὡς μετὰ τὴν μανίαν ἐλλεβόρῳ καθαρθείηὑπὸ Ἀντικυρέως τοῦ καὶ τὸ φάρ[35]μακον εὑρόντος τὸ ἐν ἈντικύρτῆςΦωκίδος πλεονάζον, κἂν ἄλλοι ἄλλως αὐτόν φασι καθαρθῆναι. Ὅτι Νέστοράφησιν ἐρώμενον Ἡρακλέους γενέσθαι. Ὅτι οὐ Φιλοκτήτης, φησὶν, ἀλλὰΜόρσιμος Τραχίνιος ὑφῆψεν Ἡρακλετὴν πυράν. Ὅτι Ἡρακλῆςἀποβρωθέντος [40] αὐτοῦ τῶν δακτύλων ἑνὸς ὑπὸ τοῦ Νεμαίου λέοντος
[147b]
ἐννεαδάκτυλος γέγονε, καὶ ἔστι τάφος τοῦ ἐκκεκομμένου δακτύλου· οἱ δὲκέντρῳ τρυγόνος ἀποβαλεῖν τὸν δάκτυλον ἔφασαν, λέοντα δ’ ἔστιν ἰδεῖν τῷτοῦ δακτύλου τάφῳ ἐφεστῶτα λίθινον ἐν Λακεδαίμονι, σύμβολον τῆς [5] τοῦἥρωος ἀλκῆς. Ἐξ ἐκείνου δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλων τάφοις λιθίνους ἐφιστῶσι λέοντας. Ἄλλοι δ’ ἄλλως περὶ τῆς τοῦ λέοντος ἀναστηλώσεώς φασιν. Ὡς ἐκ τῆς Ἡρακλέους πυρᾶς ἀκρίδες πλῆθος ἀνήφθησαν καὶ λοιμοῦ δίκην τὴν χώρανἐσίνοντο, καὶ ὡς ἀνῃρέθησαν.Book 2 deals with Herakles who after his spell of madness was cured withhellebore by Antikyreus who had discovered the remedy for this in Phokis, whereit was abundant; others each give a different version of this cure. He says thatNestor was loved by Herakles; that it was not Philoktetes but the TrachinianMorsimos who lit the pyre of Herakles; that Herakles, after the Nemean lion hadbitten off one of his fingers had only nine and that there exists a tomb erected forthis detached finger; other authors say that he lost his finger following a blow bya dart of a stingray and one can see at Sparta a stone lion erected on the tomb of the finger and which is the symbol of the power of the hero. It is since then thatstone lions have likewise been erected on the tombs of other important people;other authors give different explications of the lion statues. From the pyre of Herakles a swarm of locusts flew out which ravaged the countryside like a plaguebefore they were destroyed.Ὡς Ἀφρο[10]δίτη διὰ Ἄδωνιν τὸν αὐτῆς τε καὶ Ἡρακλέους ἐρώμενον It was Aphrodite who, because of Adonis whom both she and Herakles loved,

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