As it is, Euphemus shall find in the beds of foreign women a chosen race, who, with the honor of the gods, will come to this island and beget a man who will be master of the dark-clouded plains; whom one day Phoebus, in his home rich in gold, will mention in his oracles
when he goes into the Pythian shrine at a later time; Phoebus will tell him to carry cities in his ships to the fertile precinct of the son of Cronus beside the Nile.” Indeed, these were the oracular verses of Medea. And the godlike heroes bowed down motionless and in silence, listening to her shrewd words of wisdom. Battus, blessed son of Polymnestus, it was you that, in accord with this word of prophecy,
the oracle glorified by the spontaneous cry of the Delphic Bee, who three times loudly bid you hail, and declared that you were the destined king of Cyrene,
when you came to ask the oracle what relief the gods would grant you for your stammering voice. And even now, in later days, as in the prime of red-blossoming spring,
eighth in the line of Battus’ descendants flourishes Arcesilas. To him Apollo and Pytho gave glory in the chariot race above those that live around. I will offer him, and the all-golden fleece of the ram, to the Muses as a theme for song. For when the Minyans sailed after that fleece, divinely-sent honors were planted for his race.
What beginning of their seafaring welcomed them? What danger bound them with strong bolts of adamant? There was a divine prophecy that Pelias would be killed by the illustrious descendants of Aeolus, either at their hands or through their unflinching counsels; and an oracle came to him that chilled his shrewd spirit, spoken beside the central navel of well-wooded mother earth:
to be on careful guard in every way against a man with one sandal, whenever he should come from the homesteads in the steep mountains to the sunny land of famous Iolcus,
whether he be stranger or citizen. And in time he arrived: an awesome man armed with two spears. He wore two different types of clothing:
his native Magnesian dress fitted to his marvellous limbs, and a leopard-skin wrapped around him protected him from shivering showers. His splendid locks of hair had not been cut away, but flowed shining down his back. He quickly went straight ahead, making trial of his dauntless [*](Reading with Snell and MSS ἀταρβάκτοιο for ἀταρμύκτοιο. ) spirit, and stood
in the marketplace crowded with people.
They did not recognize him. Nevertheless, one of the awed onlookers said even this: “Surely this is not Apollo, nor Ares, the husband of Aphrodite, with his bronze chariot. And they say that the sons of Iphimedeia—Otus and you, bold lord Ephialtes—died in splendid Naxos.
And indeed Tityus was hunted down by the swift arrow of Artemis, which she sped from her unconquerable quiver, so that men might desire to touch only the loves that are within their reach.”
They said such things among themselves; and Pelias arrived, rushing headlong with his mule team and his polished chariot.
He was instantly astonished, looking at the single sandal, plain to see on the stranger’s right foot. But he hid his fear in his heart and said: “What country, stranger, do you claim as your fatherland? And what woman, of mortals on earth, bore you from her aged womb? Do not befoul your story with most hateful lies,