The Deliverance of Phineus

The situation was desperate when the Argonauts put their ship ashore. As soon as Phineus heard that they had entered his lands, he was greatly overjoyed. For he knew how great a reputation for bravery the Argonauts had, and he did not doubt that they would bring him help. Therefore he sent a messenger to the ship, who summoned Jason and his allies to the palace. When they had come to him, Phineus explained, in what great danger his affairs were, and promised he would give them great rewards, if they would find the remedy. The Argonauts willingly undertook the job, and when the hour came, they reclined to eat with the king; as soon as dinner was set placed before them, the harpies entered the dining hall and attempted to carry away the food. The Argonauts first attacked the winged creatures with their swords; yet when they saw that this was not useful, Zetes and Calais, who were instructed in the use of wings, raised themselves into the air, in order to make an attack from above. When the harpies became aware of the novelty of the proceedings, terrified, they fled at once, nor did they ever return afterward.

Vocabulary

  1. regiam (regia, regiae) — palace
  2. prosum, prodesse, profui, profuturus (+dative) — to be useful
  3. simul atque — as soon as
  4. quanto … essent — quanto is a signal word for a result clause
  5. alis (ala, alae 1st decl) — wings
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