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Headword: Χάρυβδις
Adler number: chi,144
Translated headword: Charybdis
Vetting Status: high
It sucks up the sea around Gadeira[1] and furiously spirals around again. It is said that it all leads down to chaos and destruction.[2]
Priscus says about Charybdis: "They sail by Sicily in front of Messene and by the strait of Italy where Charybdis [is], [and] with tempestuous winds coming upon them, they sank, men and all."[3]
Charybdis and Scylla, lying in a narrow place, are subject to the currents of the oceans and sink those sailing past. There Odysseus lost all his companions with the ships; he himself was carried away hanging on to a board in the currents of the sea. For some Phoenicians saw him floating in the waters and took him up and led him naked into Crete before Idomeneus. He entertained him for the winter season and then sent him to Phaiakia, which is now called Corcyra; and they sent him off with two ships and companions.[4]
Greek Original:
Χάρυβδις: ἡ ἀναπινομένη θάλασσα περὶ τὰ Γάδειρα καὶ πάλιν ῥαγδαιοτέρως ἐπαναστρέφουσα. εἴρηται δὲ πᾶν τὸ εἰς χάος καὶ ὄλεθρον κατάγον. Πρίσκος δὲ λέγει περὶ Χαρύβδεως: παραπλέουσι δὲ τὴν Σικελίαν πρὸς τῇ Μεσσήνῃ κατὰ τὸν πορθμὸν τῆς Ἰταλίας, ἐν ᾧπερ ἡ Χάρυβδις, πνευμάτων ἐπιλαβόντων δυσαῶν, αὐτοῖς ἀνδράσι κατέδυσαν. ὅτι Χάρυβδις καὶ Σκύλλα, ἐν στενῷ τόπῳ κειμένη, ὑποδέχεται τὰ τοῦ ὠκεανοῦ ῥεύματα καὶ τοὺς παραπλέοντας βυθίζει. ἐκεῖσε Ὀδυσσεὺς πάντας τοὺς ἑταίρους μετὰ τῶν πλοίων ἀποβαλὼν αὐτὸς μόνος περικαθίσας σανίδι ἐν τοῖς ῥεύμασι τῆς θαλάσσης ἐφέρετο: τοῦτον γὰρ ἑωρακότες τινὲς Φοίνικες ἐν τοῖς ὕδασι πλέοντα, ἀναλαβόντες ἤγαγον ἐν Κρήτῃ πρὸς Ἰδομενέα γυμνόν. τοῦτον ἐξενοδόχησε τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ χειμῶνος καὶ ἀπέπεμψεν εἰς Φαιακίαν, τὴν νῦν λεγομένην Κέρκυραν: οἱ δὲ πέμπουσιν αὐτὸν σὺν δυσὶ ναυσὶ καὶ ἑταίροις.
See generally OCD(4) s.v. (p.307). For Scylla see sigma 709.
[1] Present-day Cadiz, in SW Spain: gamma 7. (But NB, as the rest of the entry shows, this locates Charybdis far too far to the west.)
[2] From the scholia to Plato, Letter 7, 345D. Likewise or similarly in other lexica.
[3] Priscus fr.24 FHG (4.102), now 48a Bornmann.
[4] From an ancient (and not very competent) summary of Homer, Odyssey; similarly in late historiography.
Keywords: definition; epic; geography; historiography; mythology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 13 July 2000@18:38:55.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 6 September 2002@05:56:18.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1, at the suggestion of Nicholas Fincher) on 19 September 2004@07:46:59.
David Whitehead (modified translation) on 15 March 2005@06:04:33.
David Whitehead on 10 November 2013@04:50:09.
David Whitehead on 10 November 2013@04:50:29.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 10 November 2013@11:34:13.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@06:11:10.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 31 January 2015@09:30:40.


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