Pindar. Arnson Svarlien, Diane, translator. Created for the Perseus Project, 1990.
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,
but tell me of your birth.”
And the stranger boldly answered him with gentle words, in this way: “I say that I am going to bring the teaching of Cheiron; for I come from his cave, from the presence of Chariclo and Philyra, where the holy daughters of the Centaur raised me. Living twenty years without
having said or done anything shameful in their house, I have come to my home to recover the ancient honor of my father, now held improperly, which once Zeus granted to Aeolus, the leader of the people, and to his sons.
For I hear that lawless Pelias, yielding to his empty [*](For λευκαῖς see Dareus in TAPA 1977. ) mind,
violently robbed it from my parents, who were the rulers by right. When I first saw the light, they feared the arrogance of the monstrous ruler, and made a show of dark mourning in the home, with the wailing of women as if someone had died, and sent me away secretly, in purple swaddling clothes,
making the night my escort on the journey, and gave me to Cheiron the son of Cronus to rear.
But you know the chief points of this story. Good citizens, show me clearly the home of my ancestors, who rode on white horses. For I am the son of Aeson, and a native; I do not arrive [*](Reading with Snell ἱκάνω for ἱκοίμαν. ) in a strange foreign land. The divine centaur called me by the name Jason.”
So he spoke; and as he entered his father’s eyes recognized him, and tears burst forth from his aged eyelids, for his soul rejoiced when he saw his son, the choicest and most handsome of men.
And both his father’s brothers
came when they heard the report of Jason. Pheres was near by; he came from the Hypereian spring, and Amythaon came from Messene. Admetus and Melampus came quickly, showing kindness to their cousin. And while they joined in the banquet, Jason, welcoming them with gentle words and offering them fitting hospitality, extended every kind of joyfulness,
reaping the sacred bloom of good living for five full nights and as many days.