Saturday, October 28, 2006


Running and Walking on Water

Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.179-184 (tr. E.V. Rieu):
After them, from Taenarum, came Euphemus, the fastest runner in the world, whom Europa daughter of the mighty Tityos bore to Poseidon. This man could run across the rolling waters of the grey sea without wetting his swift feet. His toes alone sank in as he sped along his watery path.

Ταίναρον αὖτ' ἐπὶ τοῖσι λιπὼν Εὔφημος ἵκανε,
τόν ῥα Ποσειδάωνι ποδωκηέστατον ἄλλων
Εὐρώπη Τιτυοῖο μεγασθενέος τέκε κούρη.
Κεῖνος ἀνὴρ καὶ πόντου ἐπὶ γλαυκοῖο θέεσκεν
οἴδματος, οὐδὲ θοοὺς βάπτεν πόδας, ἀλλ' ὅσον ἄκροις
ἴχνεσι τεγγόμενος διερῆι πεφόρητο κελεύθωι.
John 6.16-21 (cf. Mark 6.45-52 and Matthew 14.22-33):
And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

Ὡς δὲ ὀψία ἐγένετο κατέβησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ ἐμβάντες εἰς πλοῖον ἤρχοντο πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης εἰς Καφαρναούμ. καὶ σκοτία ἤδη ἐγεγόνει καὶ οὔπω ἐληλύθει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἥ τε θάλασσα ἀνέμου μεγάλου πνέοντος διεγείρετο. ἐληλακότες οὖν ὡς σταδίους εἴκοσι πέντε ἢ τριάκοντα θεωροῦσιν τὸν Ἰησοῦν περιπατοῦντα ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης καὶ ἐγγὺς τοῦ πλοίου γινόμενον, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν. ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ἐγώ εἰμι, μὴ φοβεῖσθε. ἤθελον οὖν λαβεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, καὶ εὐθέως ἐγένετο τὸ πλοῖον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἰς ἣν ὑπῆγον.
The only modern commentary on the entire Argonautica is George W. Mooney's (1912), which I haven't seen. Raymond E. Brown's commentary on John's gospel doesn't mention the parallel, which is so obvious that it cannot have escaped notice and comment by scholars.

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