“Conversations of the Gods” by Lucian in brief summary

“Conversations of the Gods” by Lucian in brief summary

I. Prometheus and Zeus

Chained to the rocks of the Caucasus Titan Prometheus asks Zeus to release him. But no, the punishment is not enough: after all, Prometheus not only stole Zeus’ fire and gave it to people, but he also created a woman!

Therefore, heavy chains and the eagle, daily devouring Prometeev’s liver, which grows again overnight, is only a prelude to the coming tortures.

Prometheus offers as a reward for liberation to open Zeus the future. He, doubting first in the prophetic gift of the titan, immediately surrenders: Prometheus unmistakably guessed that Zeus is going on a date with Thetis, a Nereid, one of the sea goddesses. And Zeus warns: if a Nereid gives birth to his son, he will throw down his father from the Olympic throne. Convinced and

even slightly moved by this prediction, Zeus refuses a fatal date and orders the blacksmith god Hephaestus to release Prometheus.

II. Eros and Zeus

Called to account for his cruel pranks, Eros asks Zeus to pardon him, for he is supposedly still a child. “Are you a child?” Exclaimed Zeus, indignant, “because you, Eros, are much older than Ialet, because you do not have a beard and gray hair, you want to be considered a child, although you are an old man, and besides a scoundrel!”

In punishment for numerous mockeries Zeus intends to tie Eros. After all, it was by his grace he had to, in order to win the love of women, turn into a bull, eagle, swan, satire and could not appear to them in their true appearance.

Eros reasonably objects that no mortal does not endure the sight of Zeus and dies of fear. He offers Zeus not to throw lightning, do not shake the menacingly aegis and take a more peaceful, pleasant look, in the manner of Apollo or Dionysus.

Zeus angrily rejects this proposal, but he also does not want to give up the love of earthly beauties. He demands that amorous pleasures cost him less effort. With this condition, Erota lets go.

III. Zeus and Hermes

Hera out of jealousy turned beauty Io into a heifer and placed her guard of the hundred-headed shepherd Argus. But Zeus, in love with Io, orders Hermes to kill Argus, to carry Io across the sea to Egypt and make her there Isis, the goddess controlling the floods of the Nile and the winds, the patroness of the sailors.

IV. Zeus and Ganymede

Zeus, having fallen in love with the pretty shepherdess Ganymede, turns into a giant eagle and kidnaps the boy. Ganymede, poorly versed in the Olympic hierarchy, still considered the chief deity of the forest Pan and with distrust refers to the words of Zeus about his universal authority.

Ganymede asks to quickly return him home, to the slopes of Mount Ida: the herds are left unattended, his father will vsplyt for his absence. Zeus patiently explains that now the boy is forever spared from pastoral care – he will become a celestial.

Ganymede is perplexed: what can he do here, if there are no herds in the sky, and with whom he will play here?! Zeus promises him in the comrades of Eros and as many grandmothers for the game. And he kidnapped the beloved boy so that they would sleep together.

The simple-minded Ganymede is even more puzzled: after all, when he slept with his father, he was often angry that his son was restlessly tossing about in his sleep, and persecuted him to his mother, the boy honestly warns. And when he heard that Zeus was going to hug him all night long, he firmly declared that he would sleep at night. Although it does not forbid Zeus to kiss him. And pleased Zeus tells Hermes to let Ganymede drink immortality, teach him how to serve the cup and bring it to the feast of the gods.

V. Hera and Zeus

Hera reproaches Zeus in an excessive predilection for Ganymede. His father left the mortal mistresses on the Earth, but Ganymede made a celestial. And in addition, taking a cup from the hands of a handsome cupbearer, Zeus kisses him every time! Did Hephaestus and Gera badly serve at the table?

Enraged Zeus responds that the zeal of Hera only inflames his passion for the beautiful Phrygian. Of course, Hera, if she wants, can still use the services of her grimy blacksmith son at the feasts. But to him, Zeus, only Ganymede will serve, whom he will now kiss twice: and taking the goblet from the hands of the boy, and returning it.

VI. Hera and Zeus

Hera indignantly complains to Zeus that Ixion, taken to heaven, fell in love with her and sighed continually. This offends Hera. Zeus offers to play a trick on the lover: slip him a cloud, giving the latter the appearance of Hera. If, after accepting the desired for the real, Ixion then begins to boast that he conquered the wife of Zeus and mastered it, he will be brought down to Hades and tied to the eternally revolving wheel as punishment for not for love, but for boasting.

VII. Hephaestus and Apollo

Hephaestus admirefully tells Apollo about the newly born Hermes – the son of Maya. The newborn is not only very handsome, but also promisingly friendly. Apollo reports in reply that the clever infant has already managed to steal the trident of Poseidon, the sword of Ares, and he, Apollo, and the arrows. Here, and Hephaestus discovers that his mites are missing…

Hermes is gifted comprehensively: in a playful fight Eros was defeated, substituting that footboard, and from the shell of a tortoise and seven strings he made a cithara, and plays so that Apollo envies him.

Clear Hephaestus goes to Hermes for stolen ticks, hidden in the diapers of the newborn.

VIII. Hephaestus and Zeus

Zeus orders Hephaestus with a sharp ax to cut… his head. The frightened god-blacksmith has to submit reluctantly, and Athena appears. She is not only militant, but also very beautiful. Hephaestus suddenly falls in love with her. But Zeus cools his fervor: Athena will prefer to remain forever a virgin,

IX. Poseidon and Hermes

Poseidon came to Zeus. But Hermes does not let him in because Zeus just… gave birth. But this time not from the head, but from the hip. Thus he bore the fruit of one of his numerous sympathies of the Thebes of Semele, giving birth to her, for Semele had perished. Thus, he is both the father and mother of the child, whose name is Dionysus.

X. Hermes and Helios

Hermes passes to Helios the order of Zeus: not to leave on his fiery chariot neither tomorrow nor the day after tomorrow. Zeus needs to extend the night, in time to conceive with beotiykoy Alkmenoy unprecedented hitherto hero: under the cover of the deepest gloom will be made a great athlete. Then Hermes passes Selene’s order to move slowly, and Snu – not to let people out of their embrace, so that they do not notice such a long night. So that the light could appear Hercules.

XI. Aphrodite and Selena

Selena admits Aphrodite that she fell in love with the beautiful Endymion. She regularly descends to him from the sky, when Endymion sleeps, spreading a cloak on the rock. Selena literally dies of love for a young man.

XII. Aphrodite and Eros

Aphrodite reproaches his son Eros for unheard-of tricks, not only with mortals, but also with celibates. At his will, Zeus turns into everything, which Eroth would like. He reduces selenium to the Earth. And Helios, basking in the arms of Klimen, forgets to leave in time on his fiery chariot to the sky. Even the venerable Ray, the mother of so many gods, Eros, made him fall in love with the young Phrygian Attis. Mad with love, she harnessed into her chariot of lions and rushes through the mountains and forests in search of her lover. Eros is justified before the mother: Is it wrong to turn the eyes of people and gods to beauty?

XIII. Zeus, Asclepius and Hercules

At the feast of the gods, Hercules starts a quarrel with Asklepius, demanding that he recline below him, who accomplished so many feats. He disdainfully recalls: Asclepius struck Zeus with his lightning for the fact that he with his art enlivened the people doomed by the gods to death, thus neglecting both the laws of nature and the will of the celestials. Asclepius calmly notes that he, by the way, brought in order the same Hercules, thoroughly burnt in a funeral pyre…

Zeus stops their quarrel, noticing: Asclepius has the right to a higher place, for he died and was taken to heaven before Hercules.

XIV. Hermes and Apollo

Apollo is sad. On the question of Hermes about the cause of sadness answers:

He accidentally killed his pet, the beautiful Hyacinth – the son of King Ebal from Lakonia. When they were both busy throwing discs, Zephyr, unaccountably fond of Hyacinth’s western wind, blew with jealousy so strongly that the disc dropped by Apollo changed direction and killed the young man. In memory of the pet Apollo raised from the drops of his blood a beautiful flower, but still remained inconsolable. Hermes reasonably objects: “Apollo, you knew what made a darling of the mortal, so you should not complain that he died.”

XV. Hermes and Apollo

Hermes and Apollo are surprised: the lame godsmith Hephaestus, far from being handsome, got into marriage two beautiful goddesses: Aphrodite and Harit. But they, handsome men, athletes and musicians, are unhappy in love. Apollo never achieved the mutuality of Daphne, and Hyacinth himself killed the disc. True, Hermes once knew the caress of Aphrodite and eventually the Hermaphrodite appeared…

However, the loving Aphrodite is very supportive of Ares, often forgetting about her plague and sweaty wife. It is said that Hephaestus prepares nets to entangle their lovers and overtake them on the couch. And Apollo confesses: for the sake of the embrace of Aphrodite, he gladly agreed to be caught.

XVI. Hera and Latona

Swallowed by long-standing and mutual hostility, Hera and Latona reproach each other with the real and imaginary vices of children. At the caustic remark of Latona that Hephaestus chrome, Hera replies: but he is a skillful master and is respected by Aphrodite. But the man-like Artemis – daughter of Latona, dwells in the mountains and, according to Scythian custom, kills aliens. Well, before Apollo, he though considered omniscient, but did not foresee that he would kill Hyacinth’s disk, and did not imagine that Lafna would escape from him.

Latona responds that Hera is just jealous: the beauty of Artemis and the masculine gift of Apollo all cause delight. Hera in anger. In her opinion, Apollo owes musical victories not to himself, but to excessive favor of judges. Artemis is more ugly than beautiful. And if she really was a virgin, she would hardly help women in childbirth. Angry Latone throws Hera: “The time will come, and I will see you crying again, when Zeus leaves you alone, and he himself descends to the ground, turning into a bull or a swan.”

XVII. Apollo and Hermes

Laughing Hermes tells Apollo that Hephaestus, with elaborately woven nets, entangled Aphrodite and Ares in a moment when they made love. Caught unawares, naked, they burned with shame, when all the gods mockingly considered them. Hephaestus himself laughed loudly. Hermes and Apollo confess to each other that they would be ready to find themselves in the networks of Hephaestus.

XVIII. Hera and Zeus

Hera tells Zeus that his son Dionysus is not only effeminate to the point of indecency, but also wanders, intoxicated, in the company of crazy women and dances with them day and night. He looks like anyone, but not on his father Zeus.

The Thunderer objected: the pampered Dionysus not only mastered the entire Lydia and subdued the Thracians, but conquered even India, taking prisoner of the tsar who dared to resist. And all this is in the midst of incessant dances and drunken dances. And those who dared to offend him, not respecting the sacraments, Dionysus tied a grapevine. Or he forced the criminal’s mother to tear her son apart, like a young deer. Are these not courageous deeds worthy of the son of Zeus? Hera is outraged: wine leads to insanity and the herd causes many crimes. But Zeus sharply objected: it’s not the wine and Dionysus who are to blame, but the people who drink without measure, without even mixing wine with water. And the one who drinks in moderation, becomes only more cheerful and gracious, not harming anyone.

XIX. Aphrodite and Eros

Aphrodite wonderingly asks Eros: why is he, easily subjugating to himself all the gods – Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, even his own mother, Ray, sparing Athena?

Eros admits: he is afraid of Athena – her terrible look frightens the insidious baby. Moreover, this awful shield with the head of the Gorgon Medusa. Every time Eros tries to approach, Athena stops him with the threat of immediate punishment.

But the music, he admits, he deeply respects and therefore spares. “Well, let them, if they are so diligent, but why do not you shoot Artemis?” “I can not catch her at all: she is running around the mountains, and she also has a passion – hunting.” But the brother of her Apollo with her arrows hit Eros more than once.

XX. Court of Paris

Zeus sends Hermes to Thrace, so that Paris decides the dispute between the three goddesses: who of them will award the apple with the inscription “The Most Beautiful”. Paris, even though he is the son of King Priam, grazes herds on the slopes of Ida and, of course, is timid, seeing Hera, Aphrodite and Athena before him. But when Hermes explains to him the assignment of Zeus, the prince gradually comes to himself and begins to admire the goddess, obviously not knowing which one to prefer. Confuses him and the fact that Hera – the wife of Zeus, the other two – his daughter, In such a delicate situation is particularly dangerous to make a mistake. But Hermes assures Paris that Zeus fully relies on his taste and objectivity.

Enthralled Paris asks Hermes for guarantees that the two rejected will not take revenge on him. Then he asks the goddesses to undress and approach him in turn. The first is undressed Hera, white-skinned and red-eyed. She offers Paris: if he awards her, he will become the master of all Asia.

Athena, too, is trying to bribe the judge with a promise: he will be unbeatable in the battles. Paris modestly responds that he is a man of peace, his military exploits do not entice him. But, like Hera, he promises to judge honestly, regardless of the gifts.

Aphrodite asks to examine her more closely. During the inspection, she skillfully and unobtrusively praises his beauty. Paris, they say, deserves a better fate than a shepherd’s life in the wild mountains. Why its beauty to cows? He could find himself a worthy couple, even in Hellas. Aphrodite tells the interested judge about one of the most beautiful women – Elena, the wife of the Spartan king Menelaus, the daughter of Leda, the granddaughter of Zeus. Paris is more and more addicted to her story. Then Aphrodite invites him to go on a trip to Hellas and in Lacedaemon himself to see the beauty: “Elena will see you, and there I’ll make sure that she falls in love and left with you.” Paris seems incredible, but the goddess assures: everything will be exactly as she promises. She gives her sons, Guimeros and Eros, to the Paris escort. With their common help, the conceived will come true.

XXI. Ares and Hermes

Ares anxiously and with obvious distrust informs Hermes about boasting of Zeus: he, they say, will lower the chain from the sky, and all the gods, seizing on it, will not be able to pull the thunderer down. But he, if he wants, will raise not only all the gods on this chain, but also the land with the sea.

Ares doubts the fantastic power of the father of the gods. Especially since recently Poseidon, Hera and Athena, outraged by his outrages, almost captured Zeus and, perhaps, would have been tied up, if not for the Thetis, who had pity on him and called on the help of the hundred-armed Briareas. But Hermes interrupts Ares: “Shut up, I advise, it is not safe for You to say such things, but for me – to listen to them.”

XXII. Pan and Hermes

Hermes is surprised: Pan calls him father! He indignantly says that the goat-legged and horny Pan can not be his son. But he recalls that somehow Hermes got along with the Spartan Penelope, while accepting the look of a goat.

Hermes embarrassedly recalls: so it was. And Pan asks him not to be ashamed of such a son: he is respected and loved not only by dryads, nymphs and maenads of Dionysus, but also by all the Athenians whom he rendered service at Marathon: instilled fear into the souls of the Persians. Hermes is even touched: he asks Pan to come and embrace him. But, he adds immediately, “do not call me a father with strangers.”

XXIII. Apollo and Dionysus

Apollo is surprised: so different from each other, Eros, Hermaphrodite and Priap – siblings! Dionysus answers that there is nothing surprising. And it is not their mother Aphrodite who is responsible for the dissimilarity of the brothers, but different fathers.

XXIV. Hermes and Maya

Tired and irritated Hermes complains to his mother Maya for wild overload. He must not only serve the gods at banquets, tirelessly deliver Zeus’s orders on the ground, be present in the palaces, serve as heralds in public assemblies, and yet not sleep at night and lead to Pluto the soul of the dead… In addition, Zeus continuously sends Hermes to inquire about the health of their numerous earthly lovers. “I can not take it anymore!” – Hermes complains to his mother. But she advises her son to accept: “You are still young and should serve your father as much as he likes. And now, since he sends you, run quickly to Argos and then to Boeotia, otherwise he will beat you for slowness: lovers always irritable. “

XXV. Zeus and Helios

Zeus in anger. Helios, yielding to the insistent requests of his phaeton’s son, entrusted him with a chariot of fire. But the arrogant young man was not at his strength. Unguided horses carried the chariot away from the usual rut: some of the land was burned, and the other died from frost. To prevent a complete catastrophe, Zeus had to kill Phaethon with lightning. Helios is justified: he supposedly warned and instructed his son, as he should. But Zeus interrupts him: if Helios again allows himself such, he learns how much stronger Zeesa’s fire burns perun. He tells the phaeton to be buried on the bank of Eridan, where he fell from the chariot. Tears of sisters, spilled on his grave, they turn into amber, and they themselves become savory.

XXVI. Apollo and Hermes

Apollo asks Hermes to teach him to distinguish the twin brothers Castor and Polidevka. Hermes explains: Polidevka, a mighty fistfighter, is easy to recognize: his face has traces of crushing blows, “But tell me one more thing, why they are not to us both together, but each of them turns out to be a dead man or a god? ” Hermes also explains this: when it turned out that one of the sons of Leda must die and the other become immortal, they thus divided immortality among themselves. But Apollo does not calm down: he himself predicts the future, Asclepius treats, Hermes teaches gymnastics and wrestling and performs even the darkness of important matters. And what do the Dioscuri do? Hermes also explains this: Castor and Polydeucus help Poseidon: they go around the seas and, if necessary, help the seamen in distress.


“Conversations of the Gods” by Lucian in brief summary