May 20 | Fastorum Liber Quintus: Maius
D C | XIII Kal. Ivn. | V.693-720, Phoebus Apollo informs Ovid about the apotheosis of the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux.)
At mihi pande, precor, tanto meliora petenti,
in Geminos ex quo tempore Phoebus eat.
“cum totidem de mense dies superesse videbis, 695
quot sunt Herculei facta laboris” ait.
“dic” ego respondi “causam mihi sideris huius.”
causam facundo reddidit ore deus:
“abstulerant raptas Phoeben Phoebesque sororem
Tyndaridae fratres, hic eques, ille pugil. 700
bella parant repetuntque suas et frater et Idas,
Leucippo fieri pactus uterque gener.
his amor, ut repetant, illis, ut reddere nolint,
suadet; et ex causa pugnat uterque pari.
effugere Oebalidae cursu potuere sequentes, 705
sed visum celeri vincere turpe fuga.
liber ab arboribus locus est, apta area pugnae:
constiterant illo (nomen Aphidna) loco.
pectora traiectus Lynceo Castor ab ense
non exspectato volnere pressit humum. 710
ultor adest Pollux et Lyncea perforat hasta,
qua cervix umeros continuata premit.
ibat in hunc Idas vixque est Iovis igne repulsus,
tela tamen dextrae fulmine rapta negant.
iamque tibi, Pollux, caelum sublime patebat, 715
cum ‘mea’ dixisti ‘percipe verba, pater:
quod mihi das uni caelum, partire duobus:
dimidium toto munere maius erit.’
dixit et alterna fratrem statione redemit.
utile sollicitae sidus utrumque rati.” 720
693 But I put up a far better prayer. Unfold to me, I beseech thee, at what time Phoebus passes into the sign of the Twins. “When thou shalt see,” he answered, “that as many days of the month remain over as are the labours of Hercules.” “Tell me,” I replied, “the cause of this constellation.” The god in answer explained the cause in eloquent speech. The brother Tyndarids, the one a horseman, the other a boxer, had ravished and carried away Phoebe and Phoebe’s sister.Idas and his brother prepare for war and demand the restitution of their brides; for both of them had covenanted with Leucippus to be his sons-in-law. Love prompts the one pair to demand the restitution, the other to refuse it; each pair is spurred on to fight by the like motive. The Oebalids might have escaped their pursuers by superior speed; but it seemed base to win by rapid flight. There is a place free from trees, a suitable ground for a fight: in that place they took their stand (its name is Aphidna). Pierced through the breast by the sword of Lynceus—a wound he had not looked for—Castor fell to the ground. Pollux comes up to avenge him, and runs Lynceus through with his spear at the point where the neck joins on to and presses upon the shoulders. Idas attacked him, and scarcely was repulsed by the fire of Jupiter; yet they say that his weapon was not wrested from his right hand by the thunderbolt. And already the lofty heaven opened its door for thee, Pollux, when thou saidst, “Hear my words, O Father. The heaven that thou dost give to me alone, O share between us two; one-half the gift will be greater than the whole.” He spoke, and redeemed his brother from death by changing places with him alternately. Both stars are helpful to the storm-tossed bark.
Castor (horseman) and Pollux (boxer), sons of Tyndareus, carried off Phoebe and Hilaira, daughters of Leucippus, betrothed to Idas and Lynceus. Oebalus was father of Tyndareus.
Pollux was born immortal. but Castor mortal; hence Pollux can offer his price and share his immortality with Castor. They were worshipped by sailors, as harbingers of calm.