Aloiphēi

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This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

ἔνθα δ’ ἐπεί κε θεὰν μεμνημένος ἱλάσσηαι,
ἂψ ἀπὸ πυρκαϊῆς ἀναχάζεο· μηδέ σε δοῦπος
ἠὲ ποδῶν ὄρσῃσι μεταστρεφθῆναι ὀπίσσω,
ἠὲ κυνῶν ὑλακή, μή πως τὰ ἕκαστα κολούσας
οὐδ’ αὐτὸς κατὰ κόσμον ἑοῖς ἑτάροισι πελάσσῃς.
ἦρι δὲ μυδήνας τόδε φάρμακον, ἠΰτ’ ἀλοιφῇ
γυμνωθεὶς φαίδρυνε τεὸν δέμας· ἐν δέ οἱ ἀλκὴ
ἔσσετ’ ἀπειρεσίη μέγα τε σθένος, οὐδέ κε φαίης
ἀνδράσιν, ἀλλὰ θεοῖσιν ἰσαζέμεν ἀθανάτοισιν.
πρὸς δὲ καὶ αὐτῷ δουρὶ σάκος πεπαλαγμένον ἔστω
καὶ ξίφος. ἔνθ’ οὐκ ἄν σε διατμήξειαν ἀκωκαὶ
γηγενέων ἀνδρῶν, οὐδ’ ἄσχετος ἀΐσσουσα
φλὸξ ὀλοῶν ταύρων. τοῖός γε μὲν οὐκ ἐπὶ δηρὸν
ἔσσεαι, ἀλλ’ αὐτῆμαρ· ὅμως σύγε μή ποτ’ ἀέθλου
χάζεο. καὶ δέ τοι ἄλλο παρὲξ ὑποθήσομ’ ὄνειαρ.
(Apollonius of Rhodes, Arg. 3.1037-1062)

Then, after you propitiate the goddess with due heed, withdraw from the pyre and let neither the sound of footsteps make you turn back around, nor the barking of dogs, lest you invalidate all these rites and you yourself fail to return in good order to your comrades. At dawn moisten this drug, strip, and anoint your body as with oil; and in it there will be unbounded valor and great strength, and you would think it equal not to men’s bodies but to those of the immortal gods. Moreover, along with your spear let your shield and sword be sprinkled. Then the earthborn men’s spear points will not penetrate you nor the unbearable flame shooting from the deadly oxen. Not for long, however, will you remain in this state, but for that day only. Nonetheless, you must never shrink from the contest. And I shall give you yet another piece of helpful advice. (tr. William H. Race)

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