Variants

There are numerous variants in other authors. Most of these are incidental references in poems and scholiasts. The Roman poet Vergil shows Orion as a giant wading through the Aegean Sea with the waves breaking against his shoulders; rather than, as the mythographers have it, walking on the water.

There are several references to Hyrieus as the father of Orion that connect him to various places in Boeotia, including Hyria; this may well be the original story (although not the first attested), since Hyrieus is presumably the eponym of Hyria. He is also called Oeneus, although he is not the Calydonian Oeneus.

Other ancient scholia say, as Hesiod does, that Orion was the son of Poseidon and his mother was a daughter of Minos; but they call the daughter Brylle or Hyeles.

There are two versions where Artemis killed Orion, either with her arrows or by producing the Scorpion. In the second variant, Orion died of the Scorpion's sting as he does in Hesiod. Although Orion does not defeat the Scorpion in any version, several variants have it die from its wounds. Artemis is given various motives. One is that Orion boasted of his beast-killing and challenged her to a contest with the discus. Another is that he assaulted either Artemis herself or Opis, a Hyperborean maiden in her band of huntresses.

Aratus's brief description, in his Astronomy, conflates the elements of the myth: according to Aratus, Orion attacks Artemis while hunting on Chios, and the Scorpion kills him there. Nicander, in his Theriaca, has the scorpion of ordinary size and hiding under a small (oligos) stone. Most versions of the story that continue after Orion's death tell of the gods raising Orion and the Scorpion to the stars, but even here a variant exists: Ancient poets differed greatly as to who Aesculapius brought back from the dead; the Argive epic poet Telesarchus is quoted as saying in a scholion that Aesculapius resurrected Orion. Other ancient authorities are quoted anonymously that Aesculapius healed Orion after he was blinded by Oenopion.

The story of Orion and Oenopion also varies. One source refers to Merope as the wife of Oenopion and not his daughter. Another refers to Merope as the daughter of Minos and not of Oenopion. The longest version (a page in the Loeb) is from a collection of melodramatic plots drawn up by an Alexandrian poet for the Roman Cornelius Gallus to make into Latin verse. It describes Orion as slaying the wild beasts of Chios and looting the other inhabitants to make a bride-price for Oenopion's daughter, who is called AĆ«ro or Leiro. Oenopion does not want to marry her to someone like Orion, and eventually Orion, in frustration, breaks into her bedchamber and rapes her. The text implies that Oenopion blinds him on the spot.

Johannes Hevelius drew the Orion constellation in Uranographia, his celestial catalogue in 1690

Lucian includes a picture with Orion in a rhetorical description of an ideal building, in which Orion is walking into the rising sun with Lemnos nearby, Cedalion on his shoulder. He recovers his sight there with Hephaestus still watching in the background.

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