The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Shorter Notes

Hyginus, Fabula 89 (Laomedon)

A. H. F. Griffina1

a1 University of Exeter

Neptunus et Apollo dicuntur Troiam muro cinxisse; his rex Laomedon uouit quod regno suo pecoris eo anno natum esset immolaturum. id uotum auaritia fefellit. alii dicunt †parum eum promisisse.

The story that Neptune and Apollo together built the walls of Troy for Laomedon is well known from Homer. At the end of their year's service the perfidious king refused to pay the agreed wages. Ovid tells the familiar story in one of his transitional sections in the Metamorphoses. Hyginus' account poses the textual problem indicated above. H. I. Rose comments on ‘parum’ as follows: ‘procul dubio corruptum hoc neque arridet Schmidtii coniectura promsisse. fuitne partum equarum? hoc enim plerumque narratur, equos quos a Ioue accepisset promisisse Laomedontem mercedis nomine…sed Herculi; quod facile ad deos mercennarios transferri potuit; atque non equos sed equas fuisse tradit Apollod. II, 104’. Rose rightly rejects Schmidt's emendation ‘promsisse’. ‘Promisisse’ has every sign of soundness and the difficulty lies, as Rose sees, with ‘parum’. Rose's own conjecture ‘partum equarum’, however, will not do. Apart from the oddity of the expression, one would need a good deal more persuasion than Rose offers to accept that the well-known promise of Zeus' horses which Laomedon made to Hercules (Hom. Il. 5.648–51, Ov. Met. 11.213–15) was transferred from Hercules to Neptune and Apollo. There is no suggestion anywhere in the sources that Laomedon promised to give Neptune and Apollo the famous horses as payment for building the walls.