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Ovid XIII Chapter 9: 640-674 The transformation of Anius' daughters.
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Then virtuous Anchises said: 'O chosen priest of Phoebus, am I wrong, or do I not remember that you had a son and four daughters, when I first saw your city?' Shaking his head, bound with its white sacrificial fillets, Anius replied sadly: 'Mightiest of heroes, you are not wrong: you saw me the father of five children, whom now you see almost bereft. What is the use of my absent son [Note 1], who holds the island of Andros, that takes its name from him, and rules it in his father's place? Delian Apollo gave him the power of prophecy. Bacchus, Liber gave my female offspring other gifts, greater than those they hoped or prayed for. All that my daughter's touched turned into corn or wine or the grey-green olives of Minerva, and employing them was profitable. When Agamemnon, son of Atreus, ravager of Troy, learned of this (so that you do not think we escaped all knowledge of your destructive storm) he used armed force to snatch my unwilling daughters from a father's arms, and ordered them to feed the Greek fleet, using their gift from heaven. Each escaped where they could. Two made for Euboea, and two for their brother's island of Andros. The army landed and threatened war unless they were given up. Fear overcame brotherly affection, and he surrendered his blood-kin. It is possible to forgive the cowardly brother, since Aeneas and Hector, thanks to whom you held out till the tenth year, were not here to defend Andros. Now they were readying the chains for the prisoners' arms. They, while their arms were free, stretched them out to the sky, saying: "Bacchus, father, bring your aid!" and he, who granted their gifts, helped them if you call it help for them to lose in some strange way their human form, for I could not discover by what process they lost it, nor can I describe it. The end of this misfortune I did observe: they took wing, and became snow-white doves, the birds of your goddess-wife Anchises, Venus.' |
Note 1: Andros
Event: Aeneas visits Delos