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Returns

Epic Cycle

fragment 1

Proclus, Chrestomathia

After the Sack of Ilion follow the Returns in five books by Agias of Troezen. Their contents are as follows: Athene causes a quarrel between Agamemnon and Menelaos about the voyage from Troy. Agamemnon then stays on to appease the anger of Athene. Diomedes and Nestor put out to sea and get safely home. After them Menelaos sets out and reaches Egypt with five ships, the rest having been destroyed on the high seas. Those with Kalchas, Leontes, and Polypoetes go by land to Kolophon and bury Teiresias who died there. When Agamemnon and his followers were sailing away, the ghost of Achilles appeared and tried to prevent them by foretelling what should befall them. The storm at the rocks called Kapherides is then described, with the end of Lokrian Aias [Ajax]. Neoptolemus, warned by Thetis, journeys overland and, coming into Thrake, meets Odysseus at Maronea, and then finishes the rest of his journey after burying Phoinix who dies on the way. He himself is recognized by Peleus on reaching the Molossi. Then comes the murder of Agamemnon by Aegisthus and Klytemnestra, followed by the vengeance of Orestes and Pylades. Finally, Menelaos returns home.

fragment 2

Argument to Eur. Medea

"Forthwith Medeia made Aeson a sweet young boy and stripped his old age from him by her cunning skill, when she had made a brew of many herbs in her golden cauldrons."

fragment 3

Pausanias, i. 2

The story goes that Herakles was besieging Themiskyra on the Thermodon and could not take it; but Antiope, being in love with Theseus who was with Herakles on this expedition, betrayed the place. Hegias gives this account in his poem.

fragment 4

Eustathius, 1796.45

The Kolophonian author of the Returns says that Telemachos afterwards married Kirke [Circe], while Telegonos the son of Kirke correspondingly married Penelope.

fragment 5

Clement of Alex. Strom., vi. 2.12.8

"For gifts beguile men's minds and their deeds as well."

fragment 6

Pausanias, x. 28.7

The poetry of Homer and the Returns—for here too there is an account of Hades and the terrors there—know of no spirit named Eurynomus.

Athenaeus, 281 B

The writer of the Returns of the Atreidae [the sons of Atreus, i.e. Agamemnon and Menelaos] says that Tantalos came and lived with the gods, and was permitted to ask for whatever he desired. But the man was so immoderately given to pleasures that he asked for these and for a life like that of the gods. At this Zeus was annoyed, but fulfilled his prayer because of his own promise; but to prevent him from enjoying any of the pleasures provided, and to keep him continually harassed, he hung a stone over his head that prevents him from ever reaching any of the pleasant things near by.

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