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would destroy the murderous Thebans. He thus conquered Thebes, took away all the men’s armor, and forced the Thebans to pay the annual tribute of one hundred oxen for the next twenty years. Every year, Erginus sent heralds to collect the tribute, but one year they were unfortunate enough to run into Heracles. Warning: grisly. “Heracles cut off their ears and noses, hung them around their necks, and send them thus back to Orchomenus as ‘tribute’” (Tripp 278). Maddened, Erginus therefore attacked Thebes, which was ostensibly doomed to destruction because its citizens had no weapons. Heracles, however, devised a plan: he told the Theban youths to put on the rusting armor dedicated in temples by their forefathers. The Thebans managed to catch the attackers in a narrow pass, utterly routing the Orchomenians, who were then forced to pay tribute double the Thebans’ former requirements.

Erginus, wifeless, childless, and poor, later went to Delphi to discover how he might change his fortunes. She advised “to fix a new tip to his plow.” Erginus consequently married a young woman, and had the children Trophonius and Agamedes by her (their story is also interesting). He later challenged Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of Boreas, to a foot-race, which he somehow won—maybe because it was a foot-race.

thought you knew myth, continued




Erginus (in a story reminiscent of Hannibal) promised his dying father Clymenus that he

a liking for the breed, brought in from another country a pregnant female, and watched over her very carefully as she bore her young. When she had borne them, many of the citizens developed an interest, and by acquiring some for money, some as gifts, they all began to raise hares. In no long time such a multitude of hares was produced that the whole island was swarming with them. When men gave them nothing to eat, they made inroads on the grain fields and devoured everything” (2.33). The humans deployed themselves in a phalanx the width of the island and slowly pushed forward--inch by inch the hares were driven into the sea (and they drowned, because they're hares).



Leros (Hyginus, Fabulae 2.33)

“There were no hares on the island of Leros, and a certain young man of the state, led by



Some Weird Tribes

Arimaspians: A group of one-eyed people who lived next to the Hyperboreans. They were

engaged in a constant struggle against griffins, stealing their gold very often.

Mossynoeci: Their king commanded absolutely from the highest hut, but if he made a mistake, he starved for a day.

Tibareni: The men effectively birthed the children: “Here when wives bring forth children to their husbands, the men lie in bed and groan with their heads close bound; but the women tend them with food, and prepare child-birth baths for them” (Ap. Rhod. 2.1009).

Those are just a few of the many weird stories of mythology. I'll leave the rest for you to find!

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