MythTake Episode 4
Mythological Tour of the Solar System 1: Helios (Sun)
Today we embark on a mythological tour of the solar system! Our first stop is the sun, a.k.a., Helios. We take a look at the Homeric Hymn to Helios and Odyssey 12.340-403 to find out more about this lesser-known Greek god.
Passage One: Homeric Hymn to Helios
Begin to sing again, O Muse Kalliope, daughter of Zeus,
about Helios the radiant god, whom cow-eyed Euryphaëssa
bore to the son of Gaia and starry Ouranos.
For Hyperion married the famous Euryphaëessa,
how own sister, who bore him beautiful children,
Eos of the rosy arms and fair-haired Selene,
and tireless Helios like the immortals,
who shines on mortals and immortal gods
as he drives his horses. With his eyes he flashes a piercing look
from his golden helmet, and bright beams shine radiantly
from him, while from his head and over his temples
the bright cheekpieces cover his graceful face
shining from afar. On his skin a beautiful, finely-woven garment
shimmers in the blast of the winds, and his stallions
He stays his golden-yoked chariot and horses there
until he sends them wondrously through the heavens to the ocean.
Farewell, lord, kindly grant delightful sustenance.
Having begun from you I will celebrate there ace of mortal men,
the demigods whose deeds the gods have shown to men.
Homeric Hymns. Trans. Susan Shelmerdine. Newburyport MA: Focus Publishing, 1995. Print.
Passage Two: Odyssey 12.374-388
Lampetia of the light robes ran swift with the message
to Hyperion the Sun God, that we had killed his cattle,
and angered at the heart he spoke forth among the immortals:
“Father Zeus, and you other everlasting and blessed
gods, punish the companions of Odysseus, son of Laertes;
for they outrageously killed my cattle, in whom I always
deleted, on my way up into the starry heaven,
or when I turned back again from heaven towards earth. Unless
these are made to give me just recompense of army cattle,
I will go down to Hades’ and give my light to the dead men.”
Then in turn Zeus who gathers the clouds answered him:
“Helios, shine on as you do, among the immortals
and mortal men, all over the grain-giving earth. For my part
I will strike theses men’s fast ship midway on the open
wine-blue sea with a shining bolt and dash it to pieces.”
Homer. Odyssey. Translated Richmond Lattimore. New York: Perennial Classics, 1967.
Homeric Hymn 31 Helios
Homeric Hymn to Demeter 62-89
Homer Odyssey 1.8, 8.22, 10.191, 12.340-403
Homer Iliad 3.104, 277; 14.344; 18.240
Orphic Hymn 8
Proclus Hymn 1
Apollonius Argonautika 3.598
Ovid Metamoprhoses 1.730-2.380; 4.170-284
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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.