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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4458
Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 11.149


nan that, later on, Xerxes in his expedition against Greece conquered the Lacedaemonians at Thermopylae and slew their king Leonidas, then captured and razed the city of the Athenians and sold into slavery all who did not escape; and that after these successes he laid tribute upon the Greeks and withdrew to Asia. Now it is quite clear that this is a false account, but, since it was the natural thing to do, it is quite possible that the king ordered this story to be spread among the inland tribes in order to keep them quiet. So if Homer used this same device we ought to forgive him. <


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

4 results
1. Aeschylus, Persians, 334-336, 333 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

333. ἀτὰρ φράσον μοι τοῦτʼ ἀναστρέψας πάλιν·
2. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 4.30, 35.18-35.24, 36.39, 36.41-36.54 (1st cent. CE

4.30.  This human sort, however, is what most people call 'education' — meaning thereby something for children, I suppose — and they have the notion that he who knows the most literature, Persian or Greek or Syrian or Phoenician, and has read the most books is the wisest and best educated person; but again, when people find any knaves or cowards or avaricious men among these, then they say the fact is as insignificant as the individual. The other kind men sometimes call simply education, at other times, 'true manhood' and 'high-mindedness.' 35.18.  For in India, according to the report, there are rivers, not of water as in your land, but one of milk, one of translucent wine, another of honey, and another of olive oil. And these streams spring from hills near by, as if from the breasts of Mother Earth. And also these products are immeasurably superior to those we have both in flavour and in potency. For what we have in our country we gather in scanty measure and with difficulty from certain animals and plants, crushing the fruits of trees and plants and extracting the food of living creatures by milking and by robbing the hive; while the products of India are altogether purer, untainted, methinks, by violence and ruthlessness. Moreover, the rivers flow during one month for the king, and that constitutes his tribute, while for the rest of the year they flow for the people. 35.19.  So every day the Indians assemble with their children and their wives at the springs and river-banks, sporting and laughing as if in expectation of a feast. And by the banks there grows the lotus — a sturdy plant and, one might say, the sweetest of all foods, not, as the lotus in our land, mere fodder for quadrupeds — and also much sesame and parsley, at least as one might judge from the outward similarity of those plants, although for quality they are not to be compared. And that country produces also another seed, a better food than wheat and barley and more wholesome. And it grows in huge calyxes, like those of roses but more fragrant and larger. This plant they eat, both root and fruit, at no expense of labour. 35.20.  And there are many canals which issue from the rivers, some large and some small, mingling with one another and made by man to suit his fancy. And by their aid the Indians convey with ease the fluids I have named, just as we convey the water of our gardens. And there are baths also close by at their disposal, the water of which in the one case is warm and whiter than silver and in the other it is blue from its depth and coldness. In these they swim, women and children together, all of them beautiful. And after the bath, I dare say, reclining in the meadows they sing and hum. 35.21.  And there are in that land meadows of utter beauty and a variety of flowering trees that provide shade from high above, though they bring their fruit within reach of all who wish to pluck it as the branches nod. And the birds charm them by their song, some seated in the meadows, a great flock of them, and some high up among the topmost branches, their notes more tuneful than those of our musical instruments. And a gentle breeze is ever blowing, and the climate is nearly constant throughout the year, and it resembles most closely that of early summer. And what is more, not only is their sky clearer, but also the stars are more numerous and more brilliant. And these people live more than four hundred years, and during all that time they are beautiful and youthful and neither old age nor disease nor poverty is found among them. 35.22.  So wonder­ful and so numerous are these blessings, and yet there are people called Brachmanes who, abandoning those rivers and the people scattered along their banks, turn aside and devote themselves to private speculation and meditation, undertaking amazing physical labours without compulsion and enduring fearful tests of endurance. And it is said that they have one special fountain, the Fountain of Truth, by far the best and most godlike of all, and that those who drink their fill thereof have never been known to lie. Regarding conditions in that land, then, it is a true story that you have heard. For some of those who have been there have vouched for it; though only a few do go there, in pursuit of trade, and they mingle only with the people of the coast. 35.23.  And that branch of the Indian race is in low repute, and all the others say harsh things of them. It must be admitted that the people of India are more fortunate than you are, but that you are more fortunate than all the others — with the exception of just one more race of mortals, namely, those most rich in gold. And their gold is obtained from ants. These ants are larger than foxes, though in other respects similar to the ants we have. And they burrow in the earth, just as do all other ants. And that which is thrown out by their burrowing is gold, the purest of all gold and the most resplendent. Now there are close to one another a series of what might be called hills of gold dust, and the whole plain is agleam. Therefore it is difficult to look thereon in the sunlight, and many of those who have made the attempt have lost their sight. 35.24.  But the people who live near that land, having traversed the intervening territory (desert land of no great extent) in chariots drawn by horses of greatest speed, arrive at midday, at which time the ants have gone underground; and then these men seize the gold that has been cast forth and flee. And the ants, becoming aware of what has happened, give chase, and, having overtaken their quarry, fight until they either meet their death or kill the foe — for they are the most valiant of all creatures. And so these at any rate know what their gold is worth, and they even die sooner than give it up. 36.39.  "Moreover, there is besides a myth which arouses admiration as sung in secret rites by the Magi, who extol this god of ours as being the perfect and original driver of the most perfect chariot. For the chariot of Helius, they claim, is relatively recent when compared with that of Zeus, though visible to the many because its course is run in full view. Therefore, they say, the chariot of Helius has enjoyed a reputation with all mankind, since the poets, beginning practically with the earliest times, so it would seem, are always telling of its rising and its setting, all in the same manner describing the yoking of the horses and Helius himself mounting his car. 36.41.  And thereafter, so they say, Zoroaster has associated, not with them all, but only with such as are best endowed with regard to the truth, and are best able to understand the god, men whom the Persians have named Magi, that is to say, people who know how to cultivate the divine power, not like the Greeks, who in their ignorance use the term to denote wizards. And all else that those Magi do is in accordance with sacred sayings, and in particular they maintain for Zeus a team of Nisaean horses  â€” and these horses are the finest and largest to be found in Asia — but for Helius they maintain only a single horse. 36.42.  "These Magi narrate their myth, not in the manner of our prophets of the Muses, who merely present each detail with much plausibility, but rather with stubborn insistence upon its truthfulness. For they assert that the universe is constantly being propelled and driven along a single path, as by a charioteer endowed with highest skill and power, and that this movement goes on unceasingly in unceasing cycles of time. And the coursing of Helius and Selenê, according to their account, is the movement of portions of the whole, and for that reason it is more clearly perceived by mankind. And they add that the movement and revolution of the universe as a whole is not perceptible to the majority of mankind, but that, on the contrary, they are ignorant of the magnitude of this contest. 36.43.  "What follows regarding the horses and their driving I really am ashamed to tell in the manner in which the Magi set it forth in their narrative, since they are not very much concerned to secure consistency at all points in their presentation of the picture. In fact, quite possibly I may appear absurd when, in contrast with Greek lays of grace and charm, I chant one that is barbarian; but still I must make the venture. "According to the Magi, that one of the horses which is the highest in the heavens is immeasurably superior in beauty, size, and speed, since it has the outside track and runs the longest course, a horse sacred to Zeus himself. Furthermore, it is a winged creature, brilliant in colour with the brilliance of the purest flame; and in it Helius and Selenê are to be seen as conspicuous signs or marks — like, I fancy, the marks which horses bear here on earth, some crescent-shaped and some of other patterns. 36.44.  And they say that these 'marks' appear to us to be in close array, as it were great sparks of fire darting about in the midst of brilliant light, and yet that each has its own independent motion. Furthermore, the other stars also which are visible through that Horse of Zeus, one and all being natural parts of it, in some instances revolve along with it and have the same motion, and in others follow different tracks. And they add that among men these stars which are associated with the Horse of Zeus have each its own particular name; whereas the rest are treated collectively in groups, distributed so as to form certain figures or patterns. 36.45.  "Well then, the horse that is most brilliant and most spangled with stars and dearest to Zeus himself, being praised by the Magi in their hymns for some such attributes as these, quite properly stands first in sacrifice and worship as being truly first. Next in order after that, in closest contact with the Horse of Zeus, comes one that bears the name of Hera, a horse obedient to the rein and gentle, but far inferior in strength and speed. In colour this horse is of its own nature black, but that portion which receives the light of Helius is regularly bright, whereas where it is in shadow in its revolution it has its own proper colour. 36.46.  Third comes a horse that is sacred to Poseidon, still slower than the second. Regarding this steed the poets have a myth to the effect that its counterpart appeared among men — he whom they call Pegasus, methinks — and they claim that he caused a fountain to burst forth at Corinth by pawing with his hoof. But the fourth is the strangest conception of them all, a horse both firm and immovable, to say nothing of its having no wings, and it is named after Hestia. However, the Magi do not shrink from its portrayal; on the contrary, they state that this steed also is harnessed to the chariot, and yet it remains immovable, champing its adamantine curb. 36.47.  And from all sides the other horses press close to him with their bodies and the pair that are his neighbours swerve toward him abreast, falling upon him, as it were, and crowding him, yet the horse that is farthest off is ever first to round that stationary steed as horses round the turn in the hippodrome."Now for the most part the horses continue in peace and friendship, unharmed by one another. But on one occasion in the past, in the course of a long space of time and many revolutions of the universe, a mighty blast from the first horse fell from on high, and, as might have been expected from such a fiery-tempered steed, inflamed the others, and more especially the last in order; and the fire encompassed not alone its mane, which formed its personal pride, but the whole universe as well. 36.48.  And the Magi say that the Greeks, recording this experience as an isolated occurrence, connect it with the name of Phaethon, since they are unable to criticize the driving of Zeus and are loath to find fault with the coursings of Helius. And so they relate that a younger driver, a mortal son of Helius, desiring a sport that was to prove grievous and disastrous for all mankind, besought his father to let him mount his car and, plunging along in disorderly fashion, consumed with fire everything, both animals and plants, and finally was himself destroyed, being smitten by too power­ful a flame. 36.49.  "Again, when at intervals of several years the horse that is sacred to Poseidon and the Nymphs rebels, having become panic-stricken and agitated beyond his wont, he overwhelms with copious sweat that same steed, since they two are yoke-mates. Accordingly it meets with fate which is the opposite of the disaster previously mentioned, this time being deluged with a mighty flood. And the Magi state that here again the Greeks, through youthful ignorance and faulty memory, record this flood as a single occurrence and claim that Deucalion, who was then king, saved them from complete destruction. 36.50.  "According to the Magi, these rare occurrences are viewed by mankind as taking place for their destruction, and not in accord with reason or as a part of the order of the universe, being unaware that they occur quite properly and in keeping with the plan of the preserver and governor of the world. For in reality it is comparable with what happens when a charioteer punishes one of his horses, pulling hard upon the rein or pricking with the goad; and then the horse prances and is thrown into a panic but straightway settles down to its proper gait. "Well then, this is one kind of driving of which they tell, attended by violence but not involving the complete destruction of the universe. 36.51.  On the other hand, they tell also of a different kind that involves the movement and change of all four horses, one in which they shift among themselves and interchange their forms until all come together into one being, having been overcome by that one which is superior in power. And yet this movement also the Magi dare to liken to the guidance and driving of a chariot, though to do so they need even stranger imagery. For instance, it is as if some magician were to mould horses out of wax, and then, subtracting and scraping off the wax from each, should add a little now to this one and now to that, until finally, having used up all the horses in constructing one from the four, he should fashion a single horse out of all his material. 36.52.  They state, however, that in reality the process to which they refer is not like that of such iimate images, in which the craftsman operates and shifts the material from without, but that instead the transformation is the work of these creatures themselves, just as if they were striving for victory in a contest that is great and real. And they add that the victory and its crown belong of necessity to that horse which is first and best in speed and prowess and general excellence, I mean to that one which we named in the beginning of our account as the special steed of Zeus. 36.53.  For that one, being most valiant of all and fiery by nature, having speedily used up the others — as if, methinks, they were truly made of wax — in no great span of time (though to us it seems endless according to our reckoning) and having appropriated to itself all the substance of them all, appeared much greater and more brilliant than formerly; not through the aid of any other creature, either mortal or immortal, but by itself and its own efforts proving victor in the greatest contest. And, standing tall and proud, rejoicing in its victory, it not only seized the largest possible region but also needed larger space at that time, so great was its strength and its spirit. 36.54.  "Having arrived at that stage in their myth, the Magi are embarrassed in search of a name to describe the nature of the creature of their own invention. For they say that now by this time it is simply the soul of the charioteer and master; or, let us say, merely the intellect and leadership of that soul. (Those, in fact, are the terms we ourselves employ when we honour and reverence the greatest god by noble deeds and pious words).
3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.18.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.18.2. Above the sanctuary of the Dioscuri is a sacred enclosure of Aglaurus. It was to Aglaurus and her sisters, Herse and Pandrosus, that they say Athena gave Erichthonius, whom she had hidden in a chest, forbidding them to pry curiously into what was entrusted to their charge. Pandrosus, they say, obeyed, but the other two (for they opened the chest) went mad when they saw Erichthonius, and threw themselves down the steepest part of the Acropolis. Here it was that the Persians climbed and killed the Athenians who thought that they understood the oracle That the Athenians were to trust their “wooden walls,” i.e. their ships. better than did Themistocles, and fortified the Acropolis with logs and stakes. 480 B.C.
4. Synesius of Cyrene, Dion, 3.2 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
asia Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
athens Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
audience Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
barbaroi Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
battle Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
destruction Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
dio chrysostomus Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
gender, men Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202
graecia Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
greece Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
guerres médiques Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
heroism (heroic) Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
history (as a discursive practice) Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202
héros, exploits Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
india Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
irony (rhetorical) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
littérature/literature Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
lucianus Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
medi Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
myth(es) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
narrative Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
paideia Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
past (greek) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
patriotism Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
persia Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
persicum bellum Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
phrygia Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
power Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
sagesse (dorigine divine) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
salamis Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
slavery Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202, 209
speech Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 202
tragedy Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
trauma Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
war Ammann et al., Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean (2023) 209
zoroastrisme Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107
éloge' Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 107