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Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 140 :
"Python, offspring of Terra [Gaia], was a huge draco who, before the time of Apollo, used to give oracular responses on Mount Parnassus. Death was fated to come to him from the offspring of Latona [Leto]. At that time Jove [Zeus] lay with Latona, daughter of Polus [Koios]. When Juno [Hera] found this out, she decreed that Latona should give birth at a place where the sun did not shine. When Python knew that Latona was pregnant by Jove, he followed her to kill her. But by order of Jove [Zeus] the wind Aquilo [Boreas] carried Latona away, and bore her to Neptunus [Poseidon]. He protected her, but in order not to make voice Juno's decree, he took her to the island Ortygia, and covered the island with waves. When Python did not find her, he returned to Parnassus. But Neptunus [Poseidon] brought the island of Ortygia up to a higher position; it was later called the island of Delos. There Latona, clinging to an olive tree, bore Apollo and Diana [Artemis], to whom Vulcanus [Hephaistos] gave arrows as gifts. Four days after they were born, Apollo exacted vengeance for his mother. For he went to Parnassus and slew Python with his arrows. Because of this deed he is called Pythian. He put Python's bones in a cauldron, deposited them in his temple, and instituted funeral games for him which are called Pythian."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6. 185 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"That Titanis, whom Coeus sired, whoever he may be, Latona whom the great globe once refused the smallest spot to give her children birth. Not earth, nor sky, nor water would accept your goddess, outcast from the world, until Delos took pity on her wanderings and said, `You roam the land and I the sea, homeless,' and gave her drifting refuge there. She bore two children."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6. 332 ff :
"Her [Leto] whom once the Coniunx Regia (queen of heaven) [Hera] barred from the world, whom drifting Delos scarcely dared consent to harbour, when that island swam the sea. There, leaning on a palm, Pallas' tree, Latona in spite of Juno [Hera] bore her twins; from there again she fled the wife of Jove [Zeus], hugging her new-born infants, both divine."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 13. 634 ff :
"The city's [Delos'] sights, the famous shrine and the two trees to which Latona [Leto] once had clung when she gave birth [to Apollon]."
Virgil, Georgics 3. 6 ff (trans. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) :
"Who [among the poets] has not told of . . . Latona's Delos?"
Seneca, Hercules Furens 452 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"But he [Apollon] did not in exile roam o'er all the world.
What? He whom an exiled mother [Leto] brought forth on a roaming isle?"
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 4. 166 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Even Hera, goddess though she is and queen of the heavens, grudges Zeus his bastard wives on earth . . . she spared not even goddesses; because his mother was anry, Ares persecuted Leto with child in her birthpangs."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 8. 80 ff :
"You [Hera] persecuted Apollon in the womb of his mother Leto."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 8. 135 ff :
"My [Hera's] husband [Zeus] whom Leto a goddess could not steal . . . Even the goddess did not have a smooth course for her wedding; she also, Leto herself, carried the unborn babe by many a turn and twist, while she gazed at the shifting slopes of many a floating island, and the flood of the inhospitable sea that never stood still. Hardly at last she espied the wild olive-tree which harboured her childbed. All that Leto suffered, and her mate [Zeus] could not help her."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 9. 206 ff :
"Leto the divine was chased about and brought forth Apollon on the sly; Leto brought forth Phoibos [Apollon]."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 27. 259 ff :
"[Zeus addresses Apollon :] `She [Hera] always cherishes jealousy and resentment for my loves, and attacks my children. I will not remind you of your mother's tribulation in childbirth, when Leto carried her twin burden and had to wander over the world, tormented with the pangs of childbirth; when the stream of Peneios fled from her, when Dirke refused your mother, when Asopos himself made off dragging his lame leg behind him--until Delos gave help to her labour, until the old palmtree played midwife for Leto with her poor little leaves.'"
LETO & THE LYCIAN PEASANTS
Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 35 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Leto, after giving birth to Apollon and Artemis on the isle of Asteria, went to Lykia, taking her children with her, to the baths of [the River] Xanthos. As soon as she arrived in that land, she came first upon the spring of Melite and wanted very much to bathe her children there before going on to Xanthos. But some herdsmen drove her away so that their own cattle could drink at the spring. Leto made off and left Melite. Wolves came out to met her and, wagging their tails, led the way, guiding her to the River Xanthos. She drank the water and bathed the babes and consecrated the Xanthos to Apollon while the land which had been called Tremilis she renamed Lykia (Wolf Land) from the wolves that had guided her. Then she returned to the spring to inflict a penalty on the herdsmen who had driven her away. They were then still washing their cattle besides the spring. Leto changed them all into frogs whose backs and shoulders she scratched with a rough stone. Throwing them all into the spring she made them live in water. To this day they croak away by rivers and ponds."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6. 313 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"In Lycia's fertile fields once, long ago, the peasants scorned Latona [Leto]--not unscathed. It's not a thing well known--the men of course being low-born louts--but marvellous all the same. I saw with my own eyes the lake and place famed for the miracle. For my old father, too old by then, too worn to take the road, had charged me to retrieve some special steers and given me a Lycian for a guide. With him I traversed those far pasture-lands, when, standing in the middle of a mere, and black with ash of sacrifice, behold and ancient altar, ringed with waving reeds. My guide stood still and muttered anxiously `Be gracious to me!' and I muttered too `Be gracious!' ; then I asked him if the altar was built to Faunus [Pan] or the Naiads or some local god, and he gave this reply. `Not so, my lad, no Numen Montanum (Mountain-God) enjoys this altar; it is claimed by her whom once the Coniunx Regia (queen of heaven) [Hera] barred from the world, whom drifting Delos scarcely dared consent to harbour, when that island swam the sea. There, leaning on a palm, Pallas' tree, Latona in spite of Juno [Hera] bore her twins; from there again she fled the wife of Jove [Zeus], hugging her new-born infants, both divine. And now in Lycia, the Chimaera's land, the flaming sun beat down upon the fields; the goddess, tired by her long toil, was parched with thirst, so hot heaven's torrid star; the babes had drained their mother's milk and cried for more. She chanced to see, down in the dale below, a mere of no great size. Some farmfolk there were gathering reeds and leafy osiers and sedge that marshes love. Reaching the edge, Titania [Leto] knelt upon the ground to drink the cooling water, knelt to drink her fill. The group of yokels stopped her. "Why?" said she, "Why keep me from the water? Everyone has right to water. Nature never made the sunshine private more the air we breathe, nor limpid water. No! A common right I've reached. Even so I ask, I humbly ask, please give it me. I do not mean to wash, or bathe my weary limbs, only to quench my thirst. My mouth is dry, as I am speaking, my throat is parched, words hardly find a way. A drink of water--nectar it will be, and life, believe me, too; life you will give with water. And these babies here, who stretch their little arms, must touch your hearts." It chanced the twins stretched out their arms. Whom could those words, those gentle words the goddess spoke, not touch? Despite her pleas they stopped her, adding threats unless she went away, and insults too. And, not contents with that, they even stirred the pond with hands and feet, and on the bottom kicked the soft mud about in spiteful leaps. Her thirst gave way to anger. Of such boors she'd asked no favour now, nor speak again in tones beneath a goddess. Raising her hands to heaven, "Live in that pool of yours," she cried, "For evermore!" And what she wished came true. They love to live in water; sometimes all their bodies plunge within the pool's embrace; sometimes their heads pop up; often they swim upon the surface, often squat and rest upon the swampy bank and then jump back to the cool pond; but even now they flex their squalid tongues in squabbling, and beneath the water try to croak a watery curse. Their voice is harsh, their throats are puffed and swollen; their endless insults stretch their big mouths wide; their loathsome heads protrude, their necks seem lost; their backs are green; their bodies' biggest part, their bellies, white; and in the muddy pond they leap and splash about--new-fangled frogs.'"
LETO & THE GIANT TITYUS
Homer, Odyssey 11. 580 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"I [Odysseus in Haides] saw Tityos also, son of the mighty goddess Gaia (Earth); he lay on the ground, his bulk stretched out over nine roods. Two vultures, one on each side of him, sat and kept plucking at his liver, reaching down to the very bowels; he could not beat them off with his hands. And this was because he had once assaulted a mistress of Zeus himself, the far-famed Leto, as she walked towards Pytho through the lovely spaces of Panopeus."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 23 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Tityos saw Leto when she came to Pytho and in a fit of passion tried to embrace her. But she called out to her children, who shot him dead with arrows. He is being punished even in death, for vultures feast on his heart in Hades' realm."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 758 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"[Amongst the scenes embroidered on the cloak of Jason crafted by Athena :] And here was Phoibos Apollon, pictured as a sturdy youth shooting an arrow at the gigantic Tityos, who was boldly dragging off his mother Leto by her veil. Tityos was lady Elare' son; but he was nursed and born by Mother Gaia (Earth)."
Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 109 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"Artemis, Lady of Maidenhood, Slayer of Tityos."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 11. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The Knidians brought the following images to Delphoi : . . . Leto, and Apollon and Artemis shooting arrows at Tityos, who has already been wounded in the body."
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 3. 390 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) :
"As lay Tityos, who sought to force Queen Leto, when she fared to Pytho : swiftly in his wrath Apollo shot, and laid him low, who seemed invincible : in a foul lake of gore there lay he, covering many a rood of ground, on the broad earth, his mother; and she moaned over her son, of blessed Gods abhorred; but Lady Leto laughed."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 55 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Because Latona [Leto] had lain with Jove [Zeus], Juno [Hera] ordered Tityus, a creature of immense size, to offer violence to her. When he tried to do this he was slain by the thunderbolt of Jove. He is said to lie stretched out over nine acres in the Land of the Dead, and a serpent is put near him to eat out his liver, which grows again with the new moon."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 4. 331 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"The city of Tityos [in Phokis], where that bold son of Gaia (Earth) marching through the fair-leafy woods of Panopeus lifted the sacred robe of Leto and attempted violence." - Nonnus, Dionysiaca 4.331
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 20. 35 ff :
"In Olympos I shrink from Leto, still a proud braggart, when she holds up at me the arrow that defended her bed and slew Tityos the lustful giant."
LETO & THE GIANT TYPHOEUS
Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 28 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Typhon felt an urge to usurp the rule of Zeus and not one of the gods could withstand him as he attacked. In panic they fled to Aigyptos (Egypt), all except Athena and Zeus, who alone were left. Typhon hunted after them, on their track. When they fled they had changed themselves in anticipation into animal forms. Apollon became a hawk [i.e. the Egyptian god Horus] ... Artemis a cat [i.e. the Egyptian Neith or Bastet] . . . and Leto a shrew mouse [i.e. the Egyptian Wadjet]."
LETO COMPANION OF ARTEMIS & APOLLON
Homer, Odyssey 6. 100 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Artemis the huntress ranges the mountain-side--on lofty Taygetos, it may be, or it may be on Erymanthos--taking her pleasure among the boars and the running deer; country Nymphai, maidens of Zeus who holds the aigis, are all around her and share her pastime; Leto her mother is glad at heart."
Homeric Hymn 3 to Pythian Apollo 186 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th to 4th B.C.) :
"Gold-tressed Leto and wise Zeus, rejoice in their great hearts as they watch their dear son playing among the undying gods."
Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 114 (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"Praise Artemis too, the maiden huntress, who wanders on the mountains and through the woods . . . celebrate the everlasting happiness of the chaste Artemis, the mighty daughter of Leto! . . . and Leto and the tones of the Asiatic lyre, which wed so well with the dances of the Phrygian Kharites (Graces) . . . I do honor to the divine Leto and to the lyre, the mother of songs of male and noble strains. The eyes of the goddess sparkle while listening to our enthusiastic chants. Honor to the powerful Phoebus! Hail! blessed son of Leto."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 707 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"`Be gracious to us, King [Apollon]', he [Orpheus] sang, `and may thy tresses for ever be unshorn, intact for ever! That is their due, the locks that only Leto strokes with her fond hands.'"
Statius, Achilleid 1. 344 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"When [Artemis] returns wearied to her sire [Zeus] and brother [Apollon] from Therapnae, haunt of maidens, her mother [Leto] bears her company as she goes, and with her own hand covers her shoulders and bared arms, herself arranges the bow and quiver, and pulls down the girt-up robe, and is proud to trim the disordered tresses."
LETO, ARTEMIS & THE GIANT ORION
Hesiod, Astronomy Frag 4 (from Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catastasthenes 32) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Orion went away to Krete and spent his time hunting in company with Artemis and Leto. It seems that he threatened to kill every beast there was on earth, whereupon, in her anger, Ge (Earth) sent up against him a scorpion of very great size by which he was stung and so perished. After this Zeus, at the prayer of Artemis and Leto, put him among the stars."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 26 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Constellation] Scorpio . . . Orion since he used to hunt, and felt confident that he was most skilled of all in that pursuit, said even to Diana [Artemis] and Latona [Leto] that he was able to kill anything the produced. Terra [Gaia], angered at this, sent the scorpion which is said to have killed him. Jove [Zeus], however, admiring the courage of both, put the scorpion among the stars . . . Diana, then, because of her affection for Orion, asked Jove to show to her request the same favour."
Ovid, Fasti 5. 539 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Tellus [Gaia the Earth] unleashed a scorpion. Its urge was to stab the goddess of twins with its hooked stingers. Orion blocked it [and died]. Latona [Leto] joined him to the bright stars, and said, `Receive your reward for service.'"
LETO, APOLLON & THE SLAYING OF THE CYCLOPES
Hesiod, Catalogues of Women & Eoiae Fragment 92 (from Philodemus, On Piety 34) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"But Hesiod (says that Apollon) would have been cast by Zeus into Tartaros [for killing the Kyklopes] : but Leto interceded for him, and he became bondman to a mortal."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 118 - 122 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Zeus slew Apollon's son Asklepios with a thunderbolt :] This angered Apollon, who slew the Kyklopes, for they designed the thunderbolt for Zeus. Zeus was about to throw Apollon into Tartaros, but at the request of Leto he ordered him instead to be some man's servant for a year."
LETO & THE PUNISHMENT OF NIOBE
Homer, Iliad 24. 602 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"[Niobe] whose twelve children were destroyed in her palace, six daughters, and six sons in the pride of their youth, whom Apollon killed with arrows from his silver bow, being angered with Niobe, and shaft-showering Artemis killed the daughters; because Niobe likened herself to Leto of the fair colouring and said Leto had borne only two, and herself had borne many; but the two, though they were only two, destroyed all those others."
Aeschylus, Niobe (lost play) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
This lost drama described the story of Niobe whose fourteen children were slaughtered by the gods Apollon and Artemis to punish her for boasts which had insulted their mother Leto. According to Weir Smyth (L.C.L.) : "The place and progress of the action of this famous drama cannot be determined with any certainty. Sources other than the text inform us that Aeschylus gave Niobe fourteen children, a number adopted by Euripides and Aristophanes."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 46 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Wither her fine brood [of children] Niobe claimed to be more blest with children than Leto. Leto was annoyed by this, and urged Artemis and Apollon against Niobe's children. Artemis killed all the females in the house with her arrows, and Apollon all the males as they were hunting together on Kithairon. Of the males only Amphion was spared, and of the females only Khloris."
Parthenius, Love Romances 33 (trans. Gaselee) (Greek poet C1st B.C.) :
"From the Lydiaka of Xanthos [Greek historian C5th B.C.], the second book of Neanthes [poet of Kyzikos] , and Simmias of Rhodes [Alexandrian Greek poet]: The story of Niobe is differently told by various authorities; some, for instance, say that she was not the daughter of Tantalos, but of Assaon, and the wife of Philottos; and for having had her dispute with Leto about the beauty of their children, her punishment was as follows: Philottos perished while hunting; Assaon, consumed with love for his own daughter, desired to take her to wife; on Niobe refusing to accede to his desires, he asked her children to a banquet, and there burned them all to death. As a result of this calamity, she flung herself from a high rock; Assaon, when he came to ponder upon these his sins, made away with himself."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 74. 3 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Niobe became the mother of seven sons and an equal number of daughters, maids of exceeding beauty. And since she gave herself haughty airs over the number of her children ,she frequently declared in boastful way that she was more blest in her children than was Leto. At this, so the myths tell us, Leto in anger commanded Apollon to slay with his arrows the sons of Niobe and Artemis the daughters. And when these two hearkened to the command of their mother and slew with their arrows the children of Niobe at the same time, it came to pass that immediately this woman was both blest with children and childless."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 21. 9 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[At Argos] is the sanctuary of Leto; the image is the work of Praxiteles. The statue of the maiden beside the goddess they call Khloris (Pale), saying that she was a daughter of Niobe, and that she was called Meliboia at the first. When the children of Amphion were destroyed by Apollon and Artemis, she alone of her sisters, along with Amyklas escaped; their escape was due to their prayers to Leto. Meliboia was struck so pale by her fright, not only at the time but also for the rest of her life, that even her name was changed Meliboia to Khloris. Now the Argives say that these two built originally the temple to Leto, but I think that none of Niobe's children survived."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 5. 9 :
"It is also said that Amphion [husband of Niobe] is punished in Haides for being among those who made a mock of Leto and her children."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 9 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Amphion took in marriage Niobe . . . by whom he had seven sons and as many daughters. These children Niobe placed above those of Latona [Leto], and spoke rather contemptuously against Apollo and Diana [Artemis] because Diana was girt in man's attire, and Apollo wore long hair and a woman's gown. She said, too, that she surpassed Latona in muber of children. Because of this Apollo slew her sons with arrows as they were hunting in the woods on Mount Sipylus, and Diana shot and killed the daughters in the palace, all except Chloris."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6. 149 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Much made her [Niobe] haughty. Yet her husband's [Amphion King of Thebes'] skill, the high birth of them both, their kingdom's power, though all indeed gave pleasure, none could give such pleasure as her children. Niobe must have been thought the happiest of mothers, had she not thought so too. The prophetess Manto daughter of Teiresias, had been spurred by heavenly promptings. Through the city's streets she cried her holy call : `Women of Thebes, come in your throngs, with bay wreaths round your hair, and give Latona [Leto] and her children twain incense and reverent worship. Through my lips Latona calls!'
And, in obedience, all the Theban women wreathe their brows and bring their prayers and incense to the holy shrine. But here, escorted by a multitude of courtiers, comes Niobe, superb in a shining Phrygian gown of woven gold. Lovely she was, as far as rage allowed, tossing her graceful head and glorious hair that fell upon her shoulders either side. She stopped, and in her full height cast her gaze, her haughty gaze around. `What lunacy makes you prefer a fabled god', she said, `To gods you see? Latona, why should her shrine be revered, when my divinity lacks incense still? My father's Tantalus, the only mortal gods in heaven allowed to share their banquet-board. My mother ranks as sister of the Pleiades. That great giant, Atlas, whose shoulders bear the circling sky, is one grandfather; Juppiter [Zeus] the other, my husband's father too I'm proud to say. The Phrygian nation fears me. I am mistress of Cadmus' royal house; our city's walls, built by my husband's music, and our people ruled by him and me. Enormous wealth I see throughout my home wherever I turn my gaze; and godlike beauty too is mine. Then add my seven sons and seven daughters and soon my sons' wives and my son-in-laws. Now ask yourselves the reason for my pride, and dare prefer me to that Titanis, whom Coeus sired, whoever he may be, Latona whom the great globe once refused the smallest spot to give her children birth. Not earth, nor sky, nor water would accept your goddess, outcast from the world, until Delos took pity on her wanderings and said, "You roam the land and I the sea, homeless," and gave her drifting refuge there. She bore two children; so her womb was worth a seventh part of mine [i.e. Niobe had fourteen children]. O happy me! (Who would deny it?) And happy I'll remain (Who could doubt that?). My riches make me safe. Yes, I'm too great to suffer Fortuna's blows; much she may take, yet more than much she'll leave. My blessings banish fear. Suppose some part of this my clan of children could be lost, and I bereft, I'll never be reduced to two, Latona's litter--near enough childless! Away with you! Enough of this! Remove those laurels from your hair!'
With wreaths removed, they left the ritual unfinished. They worshipped, as they might, in silent words. The goddess [Leto] was outraged; upon the peak of Cynthus she addressed her pair of twins : `I, here, your mother, proud to have borne you both, I, who will give no goddess precedence save Juno [Hera], find that my divinity is doubted and unless you children help I'm barred from shrines and altars evermore. Nor is this all that hurts. To injury Tantalis [i.e. Niobe, daughter of Tantalos] adds insult. Yes, she dares set her own children above you, and calls me childless--may that fall on her own head! Her wicked tongue shows her paternity!'
To this sad tale Latona had in mind to add to her entreaties, when `Enough!' said Phoebus [Apollon], `Long complaints do but delay the punishment', and Phoebe [Artemis] said the same. Then clothed in cloud they glided swiftly down and reached the citadel of Cadmeia [Thebes] . . . [and there Apollon slew the seven sons of Niobe with his arrows.]
Rumours of havoc, sorrow in the streets, her household's tears brought Niobe the news, news of her sudden ruin. She was shocked that it could happen, angry that the gods had dared so far, that they possessed such power. The father, Amphion, had already plunged a dagger in his heart and by his death ended both life and grief. Ah, Niobe! Alas! How unlike now that Niobe who drove the Thebans from Latona's shrine, who walked her city's streets with head so high, the envy of her friends--whom now her foes, even her foes, must pity! On the cold corpses she threw herself and gave her last kisses convulsively to all her sons. Then raising her bruised arms to heaven, she cried `Feast, cruel Latona, feast upon my grief! Yes, glut your savage heart! On seven biers I'm borne. Exult! Triumph in victory! Even so, why victory? My wretchedness still gives me more than you your happiness: after so many deaths I triumph still!' Hard on her words a bowstring twanged, and all were terrified, save only Niobe. Disaster made her bold . . . [Artemis then slew Niobe's seven daughters with her arrows and Niobe herself is turned to stone.] Then every man and woman, all of them, dreaded the goddess' [Leto's] wrath mad manifest, and worshipped more devoutly the divine power of the mother of the heavenly pair."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48. 395 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Nemesis, goddess of retribution, addresses Artemis:] `If some prolific wife provokes your mother Leto, let her weep for her children, another Niobe of stone. Why should not I make another stone on Sipylos? . . . But if some woman is persecuting you as one did your mother Leto, I will be the avenger of the offended Archeress.' . . .
[Artemis] broke in and said to the goddess who saves men from evil : `. . . I have suffered just as my mother did: we are both alike--in Phrygia Niobe offended Leto the mother of twins, in Phrygia again impious Aura offended me. But Niobe paid for it by passing into a changeling form, that daughter of Tantalos whose children were her sorrow, and she still weeps with stony eyes.'"
LETO & THE SEX-CHANGE OF LEUCIPPE
Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 17 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"When Galateia [of Phaistos in Krete] became pregnant, Lampros [her husband] prayed to have a son and said plainly to wife that she was to expose her child if it was a daughter. When Lampros had gone off to tend his flocks, Galateia gave birth to a daughter.
Feeling pity for her babe, she counted on the remoteness of their house and--backed by dreams and seers telling her to bring up the girl as a boy--deceived Lampros by saying she had given birth to a son and brought the child up as a boy, giving it the name Leukippos. As the girl grew up she became unutterably beautiful. Because it was no longer possible to hide this, Galateia, fearing Lampros, fled to the temple of Leto and many a prayer to her that the child might become a boy instead of a girl . . .
Leto took pity on Galateia because of her unremitting and distressing prayers and changed the sex of the child into a boy's. In memory of this change the citizens of Phaistos still sacrifice to Leto Phytie (the Grafter) because she had grafted organs on the girl and they give her festival the name of Ekdysia (Stripping) because the girl had stripped off her maidenly peplos. It is now an observance in marriages to lie down beforehand beside the statue of Leukippos."
This story also appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses, but the goddess behind the transformation in this version is the Egyptian Isis.
LETO IN THE TROJAN WAR
Homer, Iliad 5. 445 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Apollon caught [the wounded] Aineias now and away from the onslaught [of the battle], and set him in the sacred keep of Pergamos where was built his own temple. There Artemis of the showering arrows and Leto within the great and secret chamber healed his wound and cared for him."
Homer, Iliad 20. 38 ff :
"[The gods arrayed themselves against each other in conflict over the Trojan War :] But Ares of the shining helm went over to the Trojans. And with him went Phoibos of the unshorn hair, and the lady of arrows Artemis, and smiling Aphrodite, Leto and Xanthos . . . Against Hera stood . . . Artemis [and] . . . Opposite Leto stood the strong one, generous Hermes."
Homer, Iliad 21. 493 ff :
"[In the conflict of the gods over Troy, Hera boxes Artemis around the head with her own bow :] She [Artemis] got free and fled in tears . . . So she left her archery on the ground, and fled weeping. Meanwhile the Guide, Argeiphontes [Hermes], addressed him to Leto : `Leto, I will not fight with you; since it is a hard thing to come to blows with the brides of Zeus who gathers the clouds. No sooner you may freely speak among the immortal gods, and claim that you were stronger than I, and beat me.'
So he spoke, but Leto picked up the curved bow and the arrows which had fallen in the turn of the dust one way and another. When she had taken up the bow she went back to her daughter."
LETO MYTHS, MISCELLANY
Praxilla, Frag 753 (from Pausanias, Description of Greece) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) :
"Praxilla's version is that Karneios was the son of Europa and Zeus, and that Apollon and Leto brought him up."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 13. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The poetess Praxilla represents Karneios as the son of Europa, Apollon and Leto being his nurses."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 13. 7 :
"The Mantineans [of Arkadia] dedicated a bronze Apollon [at Delphoi, Phokis] . . . Herakles and Apollon are holding on to the tripod, and are preparing to fight about it. Leto and Artemis are calming Apollon, and Athene is calming Herakles."
Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 20 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Klinis of Babylon] arranged by the altar a hecatomb of asses [in the manner of the Hyperboreans]. Apollon appeared and threatened him with death if he did not cease from this sacrifice and did not offer up to him the usual goats, sheep and cattle . . . Now Lykios and Harpasos heard their father [telling them to desist from the sacrifice of asses] but went on telling him to sacrifice the asses ... they undid the halters of he asses and set to driving towards the altar. The god inflected the asses with a madness and they began to eat up the children, their servants, Klinis too. As they were perishing they cries out to the gods for help . . . Leto and Artemis saw fit to save Klinis, Artemikhe and Ortygios for they had not been the cause of these impieties. Apollon granted this favour to Leto and Artemis and changed them all into birds before they could be killed. Klinis became a hypaietos (an under-eagle) . . . Lykios was changed into a raven that was white but later by the wish of Apollon, he became of a sable colour, because he had been the first to announce the marriage of Koronis, daughter of Phlegyas, to Alkyoneus. Artemikhe became a lark, a bird that gods and humans are fond of. Ortygios became a billy-tit because he had urged his father to sacrifice billy-goats instead of asses to Apollon."
(Continued in the final post for Leto)