He knows.

Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 23
In one part of the constellation Cancer there are certain stars called Asses, pictured on the shell of the Crab by Liber with two stars only. For Liber, when madness was sent upon him by Juno, is said to have fled wildly through Thesprotia intending to reach the oracle of Dodonaean Jove to ask how he might recover his former sanity. When he came to a certain large swamp which he couldn’t cross, it is said two asses met him. He caught one of them and in this way was carried across, not touching the water at all. So when he came to the temple of Dodonaean Jove, freed at once from his madness, he acknowledged his thanks to the asses and placed them among the constellations. Some say he gave a human voice to the ass which had carried him. This ass later had a contest with Priapus on a matter of physique, but was defeated and killed by him. Pitying him because of this, Liber numbered him among the stars, and so that it should be known that he did this as a god, not as a timid man fleeing from Juno, he placed him above the Crab which had been added to the stars by her kindness.

Scholia ad Nicandri Theriaca 377
They say that with no other wood is the creature (i.e., the serpent) killed except with the vine. Nikandros says in his Ophiaka that Dionysos, made frantic by Hera, fell asleep, and the serpent constrained his limbs, but he rose up, struck it with a branch and killed it; whence both of old and now it is said it was brought to an end with a branch.

One comment

  1. Funnily enough (maybe–?!?), I was thinking yesterday of a more modern version of part of this first story, told in the form of a joke to me by Lou:

    A man had a very sad donkey and didn’t know what to do with it. Another man found out about this, came to him and said “I will make your donkey laugh if you give me $100.” The first man, feeling very much desperate, agreed, and the second man took the donkey and walked with him around the side of the barn; when they eventually emerged around the other side, the donkey was laughing hysterically. The first man paid the second man and thought his troubles were at an end. However, over the coming days, the donkey was still laughing to the point that the first man was getting quite annoyed. The second man came back again and said “I’ll make your donkey stop laughing for $500.” The first man agreed, and the second man took the donkey and walked him around the side of the barn, and when they emerged from the other side, the donkey was quite serious. The first man agreed to pay the second man, but demanded that he tell him how he accomplished these two tasks. The second man replied, “The time he was sad, I took him around the other side of the barn and said ‘My penis is longer than yours,’ and that made the donkey laugh. The second time, what stopped him from laughing was that I took him around the other side of the barn and showed him I wasn’t lying!”

    Or, you know…words to that effect. ;)


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