Now after Zeus had driven the Titans
out of heaven,
gigantic Gaia, in love with Tartaros,
by means of golden
Aphrodite, bore the youngest of her children,
...and up from his shoulders (line 824)
there grow a hundred snake heads,...
and inside each one of these horrible heads (line 829)
there were voices
that threw out every sort of horrible sound,
it was speech such as the gods
could understand, but at other
times, the sound of a bellowing bull,
proud-eyed and furious
beyond holding, or again like a lion
shameless in cruelty,
or again it was like the barking of dogs,
a wonder to listen to,
or again he would whistle
so the tall mountains re-echoed to it.
And now that day there would have been done
a thing past mending,
and he, Typhoeus, would have been master
of gods and of mortals,
had not the father of gods and men
been sharp to perceive it
and gave a hard, heavy clap of thunder,
so that the earth
gave grisly reverberation,
and the wide heaven above, and
the sea, and the streams of Ocean,
and the underground chambers.
Hesiod,Theogony, lines 820-822, 824-825, 829-841, trans., Richard Lattimore, Ann Arbor, 1968, p.172-174.
PLACE: Boiotia, Greece
TIME: ca. 8th Century B.C.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Hesiod,tells how Typhoeus, the god of the winds, fought with Zeus, lost and was banished to Tartaros, in the bowels of the earth. From the "hundred horrible heads" of Typhoeus come sounds such as one might hear in a heavy wind. The description is unusual in that it describes the aural illusions one often hears in gusts of wind or water.