And when Periclymenus became a bee and stood upon Heracles’ chariot…

A lengthier fragment of Hesiod’s Catalogue of Women, from Glenn Most’s recent Loeb edition – which now seems far the better option over the old Merkelbach-West Fragmenta Hesiodea. This one (from fragment 31, pg 97) covers Nestor’s shapeshifting brother Periclymenus. For a 900 page book that deals in part with reconstructing Periclymenus and his relationship to Nestor I recommend Douglas Frame’s Hippota Nestor. There is some comedy of tone in that recommendation but it is truly an amazing piece of work, though nowhere close to the author’s earlier Myth of Return in Early Greek Epic. Both are available online through the links thanks to the Center For Hellenic Studies’ kindly open scholarship policy.

I think a few letters of the Greek have dropped out in pasting but if you know what you’re doing it isn’t any issue. And if you don’t it isn’t any matter.

Happy he, to whom earth-shaking Poseidon gave gifts
of all kinds, for sometimes among the birds he appeared
as an eagle, and sometimes he became—a wonder to see—
an ant, and sometimes the splendid race of bees,
sometimes a snake, terrible and implacable; he received gifts
of all kinds, unnamable, which later ensnared him
by the will of Athena. He destroyed many other men
fighting around the wall of very glorious Neleus,
his father, and he brought many to black death
by killing them. But when Pallas Athena became angry with him,
she stopped him being the best. Unendurable grief [seized
Heracles’ force in his heart, for his troops were being destroyed.
Then, over against Heracles’ force,
sitting on the knob of the yoke, he strove for great deeds,
and said] he would halt horse-taming Heracles’ strength—
the fool, nor did he fear Zeus’ patient-minded son,
neither him nor his famous bow and arrows, which
Phoebus Apollo gave him.
But] then he came opposite Heracles’ force
] and to him bright-eyed Athena,
to Amphitryon’s son,] put the bow grasped firmly
in his hands, and] pointed out to him godlike Periclymenus
] mighty strength [
] he strung with his [own] hands
his bow, and a swift] arrow upon the twisted[ string

ὄλβιον, ὧι⌋ πόρε δῶρα Ποσειδάων ἐνοσίχθων
παντο⌋ῖ᾽, ἄλλ⌊ο⌋τε μὲν γὰρ ἐν ὀρνίθεσσι φάνεσκεν
15αἰετός,⌋ ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖ γινέσκετο, θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι,
μύρμ⌋ηξ, ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖτε μελισσέων ἀγλαὰ φῦλα,
ἄλλο⌋τε δεινὸς ὄφις καὶ ἀμείλιχος· εἶχε δὲ δῶρα
παντ⌋οῖ᾽ οὐκ ὀνομαστά, τά μιν καὶ ἔπειτα δόλωσε
β⌊ο⌋υλ⌊ῆι⌋ Ἀθηναίης· πολέας δ᾽ ἀπόλεσσε καὶ ἄλλους
μαρνάμενος Νηλῆος ἀγακλειτοῦ περὶ τεῖχος
ο[ὗ] πατρός, πολέας δὲ μελαίνηι κηρὶ πέλασσε
κ]τείνων. ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δή οἱ ἀγάσσατο Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη,
πα]ῦσεν ἀριστεύοντα· βίην δ᾽ Ἡρακληείην
εἷ]λ᾽ ἄχος ἄτλητον κραδίην, ὤλλυντο δὲ λαοί.
ἤ]τοι ὁ μὲν ζυγοῦ ἄντα βίης Ἡρακληείης
ὀ]μφαλῶι ἑζόμενος μεγάλων ἐπεμαίετο ἔργω[ν,
φ]ῆ θ᾽ Ἡρακλῆος στήσειν μένος ἱπποδάμοιο·
νήπιος, οὐδ᾽ ἔδδεισε Διὸς ταλασίφρονα παῖδα,
αὐτὸν καὶ κλυτὰ τόξα, τά οἱ πόρε Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων.
ἀλλὰ] τοτ᾽ ἀντίος ἦλθε βίης Ἡρακληείης
´]ιας, τῶι δὲ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη
Ἀμφιτρυωνι]ηι θῆκ᾽ εὐσχεθὲς ἐν παλάμηισ[ι
τόξον, καί οἱ φρ]σσε Περικλύμενον θεοε[έα
]κεν κρατερὸν μένος α[
]μενος τάνυσεν χείρε[σσι φίληισι
τόξον, καὶ τα]χὺν ἰὸν ἐπὶ στρεπτῆς[νευρῆς

And his end according to a scholia on Iliad 2.336 (fragment 32)

And when he (i.e., Periclymenus) became a bee and stood upon Heracles’ chariot, Athena showed him to Heracles and made sure that he was killed . . . Hesiod tells the story in the Catalogues

καὶ δὴ γενόμενον αὐτὸν μέλισσαν καὶ στάντα ἐπὶ τοῦ Ἡρακλέους ἅρματος Ἀθηνᾶ δείξασα Ἡρακλεῖ ἐποίησεν ἀναιρεθῆναι. . .ἱστορεῖἩσίοδος ἐν Καταλόγοις.

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