In his tale of Æetes, Hyginus writes

Itaque Æeta Jasoni hanc simultatem constituit: Si vellet pellem auratam auferre, tauros æripedes … jungeret …

Lewis & Short gives this definition for simultas:

  1. A hostile encounter, dissension, enmity, rivalry, jealousy, grudge, hatred, animosity
  2. a strife, contest

At first I tried to translate the Hyginus passage

And so Ætes conceived this enmity for Jason: If he wanted, etc.

But that doesn't make any sense at all.

In The Myths of Hyginus, Mary Grant translates this passage

And so Aeetes appointed this task for Jason: If he wished, etc.

Is "task" a recognized meaning of simultas that Lewis & Short just leave out? And, if so, does it have a connotation of hostility, as the other definitions might suggest?

1 Answer 1


"Contest" from L&S's definition 2 works pretty well here: "he appointed this contest for Jason". "Issued this challenge" might be better yet. I think this is a slightly unusual use of simultas in that this "contest" is not between Jason and anyone else, so the word doesn't seem to convey a specific connotation of hostility as it otherwise would.

  • I've just encountered simultas in another passage of Hygin in a similar context: [Sphinx] regi Creontem simultatem constituit, si carmen, quod posuisset, aliquis interpretatus esset, se inde abire. So perhaps "challenge" would be a good translation as well, at least for cases in which there isn't another contestant. Mar 18, 2016 at 21:36

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