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Metamorphoses
Ovid

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Bk V:200-249 Phineus is turned to stone.     

They all deserved the punishment they suffered, except one of Perseus's warriors. While he was fighting on his side, Aconteus, saw the Gorgon's head, and took the shape of hardened stone. Astyages struck him with his long sword thinking he was still alive, and the blade gave a high-pitched ringing noise. While Astyages stood there amazed, the same power transformed him, and he remained there with a wondering look on his marble face. It would take a long time to tell the names of the middle ranks of men: two hundred bodies survived the fight, two hundred bodies were turned to stone, at sight of the Gorgon's head.
     
Now, at last, Phineus regrets the unjust fight, but what can he do? He sees the figures in diverse attitudes, and recognises the men, and calling on each by name, asks his help. Disbelieving, he touches the bodies nearest to him. They are marble. He averts his gaze from Perseus, and in supplication, he stretches out his hands in acknowledgement, his arms still held out towards him. "Perseus," he cries, "you have won! Take away that monstrous thing of yours: remove your head of the Medusa, whoever she may be, that turns men to stone. Take it away, I beg you! It was not hate, or desire for power, that drove me to war. I took up arms to win a bride! Your claim was greater by merit, but mine by precedence. I do not regret ending it. Give me nothing, except my life, most resolute of men, the rest is yours!" So speaking, not daring to look towards him to whom he directed his request, Perseus replied, "Have no fear, most cowardly Phineus, I will grant both what I can grant, and what is a great gift to the fearful! You will not suffer the sword. Rather I will cause you to be an enduring monument through the ages, and you will always be seen in my father-in-law's palace, so that my wife may find solace in the statue of her intended." He spoke, and carried the head of Phorcys's daughter to where Phineus had turned his frightened face. As Phineus tried to avert his gaze, his neck hardened, and the tears on his cheeks were turned to stone. Now the frightened face, the suppliant expression, the submissive hands, and the slavish appearance, remained, in marble.
     
The victorious descendant of Abas, with his bride, enters Argos, his ancestral city, and as the champion and vindicator of his grandfather Acrisius, who little deserves it, he attacks Proetus, who has made his brother a fugitive by force of arms, and seized his stronghold. But neither by force of arms, nor by possession of the stronghold he had taken in his wickedness, could he overcome the fierce gaze of the snake-wreathed monster.
     
Still, you, O Polydectes, king of tiny Seriphos, softened neither by the young man's virtue, visible in all his efforts, nor by his suffering, nursed a harsh and unrelenting hatred, and there was no limit to your baseless anger. You disparaged the praise given him, and accused his account of the killing of Medusa of being a lie. "I will give you evidence of its truth. Friends, protect your eyes!" cried Perseus, and with the face of Medusa he turned the face of the king to bloodless stone.
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