Myths and Legends


Absyrtus - Hyginus Fabulae XXIII

(Absyrtus was the brother of Medea)

1. Aeeta ut resciit Medeam cum Iasone profugisse, nave comparata misit Absyrtum filium cum satellitibus armatis ad eam persequendam. Qui cum in Adriatico mari in Histria eam persecutus esset ad Alcinoum regem et vellet armis contendere, Alcinous se inter eos interposuit, ne bellarent; quem iudicem sumpserunt, qui eos in posterum distulit.

1. When Aeetes learned that Medea had fled with Jason, he got a ship ready and sent his son Absyrtus with armed guards to capture her.  When he caught up to her in the Adriatic sea in Histria at King Alcinous' and wanted to fight for her, Alcinous put himself in between to prevent a war.  They took him on as judge and he separated them until the next day. 

2. Qui cum tristior esset et interrogatus est a coniuge Arete, quae causa esset tristitiae, dixit se iudicem sumptum a duabus diversis civitatibus, inter Colchos et Argivos. Quem cum interrogaret Arete, quidnam esset iudicaturus, respondit Alcinous, si virgo fuerit Medea, parenti redditurum, sin autem mulier, coniugi. 2. Since he appeared sad and was asked by his wife Arete what was the cause of his sadness, he said the he had been taken on as a judge by two different countries, between Colchis and Argos. When Arete asked him what he would decide, Alcinous replied that if Medea is a virgin, he would return her to her parents, but if she is a woman, to her husband. 

3. Hoc cum audivit Arete a coniuge, mittit nuntium ad Iasonem, et is Medeam noctu in antro devirginavit. Postero autem die cum ad iudicium venissent et Medea mulier esset inventa, coniugi est tradita.

3. When Arete heard this from her husband, she sent the news to Jason and he took Medea's virginity during the night in a cave.  When they came the next day, then, for the decision, and Medea was found to be a woman, she was handed over to her husband.
4. Nihilominus cum profecti essent, Absyrtus timens patris praecepta persecutus est eos in insulam Minervae; ibi cum sacrificaret Minervae Iason et Absyrtus intervenisset, ab Iasone est interfectus. Cuius corpus Medea sepulturae dedit, atque inde profecti sunt.

4. Nonetheless, when they set out, Absyrtus, because he was afraid of his father's commmands, pursued them to the island of Minerva.  When Jason was sacrificing there to Minerva and Absyrtus interrupted, he was killed by Jason.  Medea buried him and they set out from there. 

5. Colchi, qui cum Absyrto venerant, timentes Aeetam illic remanserunt oppidumque condiderunt, quod ab Absyrti nomine Absorin appellarunt. Haec autem insula posita est in Histria contra Polam, iuncta insulae Cantae.  5. The Colchians who had come with Absyrtus, because they were afraid of Aeetes, stayed there and founded a town, which they named Absoros from Absyrtus's name.  This island is located in Histria, opposite Pola, joined to the island of Canta.
Note:

Absoros is today's Osor (Ossero), on the Island of Cres (Cherso)

Source:

  • http://www.loyno.edu/~wemajor/coursestuff/texts/hyg23.htm

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