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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4471
Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 11.49.2-11.49.4


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nan1.  Now the Egyptians have an account like this: When in the beginning the universe came into being, men first came into existence in Egypt, both because of the favourable climate of the land and because of the nature of the Nile. For this stream, since it produces much life and provides a spontaneous supply of food, easily supports whatever living things have been engendered; for both the root of the reed and the lotus, as well as the Egyptian bean and corsaeon, as it is called, and many other similar plants, supply the race of men with nourishment all ready for use.,2.  As proof that animal life appeared first of all in their land they would offer the fact that even at the present day the soil of the Thebaid at certain times generates mice in such numbers and of such size as to astonish all who have witnessed the phenomenon; for some of them are fully formed as far as the breast and front feet and are able to move, while the rest of the body is unformed, the clod of earth still retaining its natural character.,3.  And from this fact it is manifest that, when the world was first taking shape, the land of Egypt could better than any other have been the place where mankind came into being because of the well-tempered nature of its soil; for even at the present time, while the soil of no other country generates any such things, in it alone certain living creatures may be seen coming into being in a marvellous fashion.,4.  In general, he says that if in the flood which occurred in the time of Deucalion most living things were destroyed, it is probable that the inhabitants of southern Egypt survived rather than any others, since their country is rainless for the most part; or if, as some maintain, the destruction of living things was complete and the earth then brought forth again new forms of animals, nevertheless, even on such a supposition the first genesis of living things fittingly attaches to this country.,5.  For when the moisture from the abundant rains, which fell among other peoples, was mingled with the intense heat which prevails in Egypt itself, it is reasonable to suppose that the air became very well tempered for the first generation of all living things.,6.  Indeed, even in our day during the inundations of Egypt the generation of forms of animal life can clearly be seen taking place in the pools which remain the longest;,7.  for, whenever the river has begun to recede and the sun has thoroughly dried the surface of the slime, living animals, he says, take shape, some of them fully formed, but some only half so and still actually united with the very earth.,1.  Now the men of Egypt, he says, when ages ago they came into existence, as they looked up at the firmament and were struck with both awe and wonder at the nature of the universe, conceived that two gods were both eternal and first, namely, the sun and the moon, whom they called respectively Osiris and Isis, these appellations having in each case been based upon a certain meaning in them.,2.  For when the names are translated into Greek Osiris means "many-eyed," and properly so; for in shedding his rays in every direction he surveys with many eyes, as it were, all land and sea. And the words of the poet are also in agreement with this conception when he says: The sun, who sees all things and hears all things.,3.  And of the ancient Greek writers of mythology some give to Osiris the name Dionysus or, with a slight change in form, Sirius. One of them, Eumolpus, in his Bacchic Hymn speaks of Our Dionysus, shining like a star, With fiery eye in ev'ry ray; while Orpheus says: And this is why men call him Shining One And Dionysus.,4.  Some say that Osiris is also represented with the cloak of fawn-skin about his shoulders as imitating the sky spangled with the stars. As for Isis, when translated the word means "ancient," the name having been given her because her birth was from everlasting and ancient. And they put horns on her head both because of the appearance which she has to the eye when the moon is crescent-shaped, and because among the Egyptians a cow is held sacred to her.,5.  These two gods, they hold, regulate the entire universe, giving both nourishment and increase to all things by means of a system of three seasons which complete the full cycle through an unobservable movement, these being spring and summer and winter; and these seasons, though in nature most opposed to one another, complete the cycle of the year in the fullest harmony. Moreover, practically all the physical matter which is essential to the generation of all things is furnished by these gods, the sun contributing the fiery element and the spirit, the moon the wet and the dry, and both together the air; and it is through these elements that all things are engendered and nourished.,6.  And so it is out of the sun and moon that the whole physical body of the universe is made complete; and as for the five parts just named of these bodies — the spirit, the fire, the dry, as well as the wet, and, lastly, the air-like — just as in the case of a man we enumerate head and hands and feet and the other parts, so in the same way the body of the universe is composed in its entirety of these parts.,1.  Each of these parts they regard as a god and to each of them the first men in Egypt to use articulate speech gave a distinct name appropriate to its nature.,2.  Now the spirit they called, as we translate their expression, Zeus, and since he was the source of the spirit of life in animals they considered him to be in a sense the father of all things. And they say that the most renowned of the Greek poets also agrees with this when he speaks of this god as The father of men and of gods.,3.  The fire they called Hephaestus, as it is translated, holding him to be a great god and one who contributes much both to the birth and full development of all things.,4.  The earth, again, they looked upon as a kind of vessel which holds all growing things and so gave it the name "mother"; and in like manner the Greeks also call it Demeter, the word having been slightly changed in the course of time; for in olden times they called her Gê Meter (Earth Mother), to which Orpheus bears witness when he speaks of Earth the Mother of all, Demeter giver of wealth.,5.  And the wet, according to them, was called by the men of old Oceanê, which, when translated, means Fostering-mother, though some of the Greeks have taken it to be Oceanus, in connection with whom the poet also speaks of Oceanus source of gods and mother Tethys.,6.  For the Egyptians consider Oceanus to be their river Nile, on which also their gods were born; since, they say, Egypt is the only country in the whole inhabited world where there are many cities which were founded by the first gods, such as Zeus, Helius, Hermes, Apollo, Pan, Eileithyia, and many more.,7.  The air, they say, they called Athena, as the name is translated, and they considered her to be the daughter of Zeus and conceived of her as a virgin, because of fact that the air is by its nature uncorrupted and occupies the highest part of the entire universe; for the latter reason also the myth arose that she was born from the head of Zeus.,8.  Another name given her was Tritogeneia (Thrice-born), because her nature changes three times in the course of the year, in the spring, summer, and winter. They add that she is also called Glaucopis (Blue-eyed), not because she has blue eyes, as some Greeks have held — a silly explanation, indeed — but because the air has a bluish cast.,9.  These five deities, they say, visit all the inhabited world, revealing themselves to men in the form of sacred animals, and at times even appearing in the guise of men or in other shapes; nor is this a fabulous thing, but possible, if these are in very truth the gods who give life to all things.,10.  And also the poet, who visited Egypt and became acquainted with such accounts as these from the lips of the priests, in some place in his writings sets forth as actual fact what has been said: The gods, in strangers' form from alien lands, Frequent the cities of men in ev'ry guise, Observing their insolence and lawful ways. Now so far as the celestial gods are concerned whose genesis is from eternity, this is the account given by the Egyptians.,1.  And besides these there are other gods, they say, who were terrestrial, having once been mortals, but who, by reason of their sagacity and the good services which they rendered to all men, attained immortality, some of them having even been kings in Egypt.,2.  Their names, when translated, are in some cases the same as those of the celestial gods, while others have a distinct appellation, such as Helius, Cronus, and Rhea, and also the Zeus who is called Ammon by some, and besides these Hera and Hephaestus, also Hestia, and, finally, Hermes. Helius was the first king of the Egyptians, his name being the same as that of the heavenly star.,3.  Some of the priests, however, say that Hephaestus was their first king, since he was the discoverer of fire and received the rule because of this service to mankind; for once, when a tree on the mountains had been struck by lightning and the forest near by was ablaze, Hephaestus went up to it, for it was winter-time, and greatly enjoyed the heat; as the fire died down he kept adding fuel to it, and while keeping the fire going in this way he invited the rest of mankind to enjoy the advantage which came from it.,4.  Then Cronus became the ruler, and upon marrying his sister Rhea he begat Osiris and Isis, according to some writers of mythology, but, according to the majority, Zeus and Hera, whose high achievements gave them dominion over the entire universe. From these last were sprung five gods, one born on each of the five days which the Egyptians intercalate; the names of these children were Osiris and Isis, and also Typhon, Apollo, and Aphroditê;,5.  and Osiris when translated is Dionysus, and Isis is more similar to Demeter than to any other goddess; and after Osiris married Isis and succeeded to the kingship he did many things of service to the social life of man.,1.  Osiris was the first, they record, to make mankind give up cannibalism; for after Isis had discovered the fruit of both wheat and barley which grew wild over the land along with the other plants but was still unknown to man, and Osiris had also devised the cultivation of these fruits, all men were glad to change their food, both because of the pleasing nature of the newly-discovered grains and because it seemed to their advantage to refrain from their butchery of one another.,2.  As proof of the discovery of these fruits they offer the following ancient custom which they still observe: Even yet at harvest time the people make a dedication of the first heads of the grain to be cut, and standing beside the sheaf beat themselves and call upon Isis, by this act rendering honour to the goddess for the fruits which she discovered, at the season when she first did this.,3.  Moreover in some cities, during the Festival of Isis as well, stalks of wheat and barley are carried among the other objects in the procession, as a memorial of what the goddess so ingeniously discovered at the beginning. Isis also established laws, they say, in accordance with which the people regularly dispense justice to one another and are led to refrain through fear of punishment from illegal violence and insolence;,4.  and it is for this reason also that the early Greeks gave Demeter the name Thesmophorus, acknowledging in this way that she had first established their laws.,1.  Osiris, they say, founded in the Egyptian Thebaid a city with a hundred gates, which the men of his day named after his mother, though later generations called it Diospolis, and some named it Thebes.,2.  There is no agreement, however, as to when this city was founded, not only among the historians, but even among the priests of Egypt themselves; for many writers say that Thebes was not founded by Osiris, but many years later by a certain king of whom we shall give a detailed account in connection with his period.,3.  Osiris, they add, also built a temple to his parents, Zeus and Hera, which was famous both for its size and its costliness in general, and two golden chapels to Zeus, the larger one to him as god of heaven, the smaller one to him as former king and father of the Egyptians, in which rôle he is called by some Ammon.,4.  He also made golden chapels for the rest of the gods mentioned above, allotting honours to each of them and appointing priests to have charge over these. Special esteem at the court of Osiris and Isis was also accorded to those who should invent any of the arts or devise any useful process;,5.  consequently, since copper and gold mines had been discovered in the Thebaid, they fashioned implements with which they killed the wild beasts and worked the soil, and thus in eager rivalry brought the country under cultivation, and they made images of the gods and magnificent golden chapels for their worship.,6.  Osiris, they say, was also interested in agriculture and was reared in Nysa, a city of Arabia Felix near Egypt, being a son of Zeus; and the name which he bears among the Greeks is derived both from his father and from the birthplace, since he is called Dionysus.,7.  Mention is also made of Nysa by the poet in his Hymns, to the effect that it was in the vicinity of Egypt, when he says: There is a certain Nysa, mountain high, With forests thick, in Phoenicê afar, Close to Aegyptus' streams.,8.  And the discovery of the vine, they say, was made by him near Nysa, and that, having further devised the proper treatment of its fruit, he was the first to drink wine and taught mankind at large the culture of the vine and the use of wine, as well as the way to harvest the grape and to store wine.,9.  The one most highly honoured by him was Hermes, who was endowed with unusual ingenuity for devising things capable of improving the social life of man.,1.  It was by Hermes, for instance, according to them, that the common language of mankind was first further articulated, and that many objects which were still nameless received an appellation, that the alphabet was invented, and that ordinances regarding the honours and offerings due to the gods were duly established; he was the first also to observe the orderly arrangement of the stars and the harmony of the musical sounds and their nature, to establish a wrestling school, and to give thought to the rhythmical movement of the human body and its proper development. He also made a lyre and gave it three strings, imitating the seasons of the year; for he adopted three tones, a high, a low, and a medium; the high from the summer, the low from the winter, and the medium from the spring.,2.  The Greeks also were taught by him how to expound (hermeneia) their thoughts, and it was for this reason that he was given the name Hermes. In a word, Osiris, taking him for his priestly scribe, communicated with him on every matter and used his counsel above that of all others. The olive tree also, they claim, was his discovery, not Athena's, as the Greeks say.,1.  Of Osiris they say that, being of a beneficent turn of mind, and eager for glory, he gathered together a great army, with the intention of visiting all the inhabited earth and teaching the race of men how to cultivate the vine and sow wheat and barley;,2.  for he supposed that if he made men give up their savagery and adopt a gentle manner of life he would receive immortal honours because of the magnitude of his benefactions. And this did in fact take place, since not only the men of his time who received his gift, but all succeeding generations as well, because of the delight which they take in the foods which were discovered, have honoured those who introduced them as gods most illustrious.,3.  Now after Osiris had established the affairs of Egypt and turned the supreme power over to Isis his wife, they say that he placed Hermes at her side as counsellor because his prudence raised him above the king's other friends, and as general of all the land under his sway he left Heracles, who was both his kinsman and renowned for his valour and physical strength, while as governors he appointed Busiris over those parts of Egypt which lie towards Phoenicia and border upon the sea and Antaeus over those adjoining Ethiopia and Libya; then he himself left Egypt with his army to make his campaign, taking in his company also his brother, whom the Greeks call Apollo.,4.  And it was Apollo, they say, who discovered the laurel, a garland of which all men place about the head of this god above all others. The discovery of ivy is also attributed to Osiris by the Egyptians and made sacred to this god, just as the Greeks also do in the case of Dionysus.,5.  And in the Egyptian language, they say, the ivy is called the "plant of Osiris" and for purposes of dedication is preferred to the vine, since the latter sheds its leaves while the former ever remains green; the same rule, moreover, the ancients have followed in the case of other plants also which are perennially green, ascribing, for instance, the myrtle to Aphroditê and the laurel to Apollo.,1.  Now Osiris was accompanied on his campaign, as the Egyptian account goes, by his two sons Anubis and Macedon, who were distinguished for their valour. Both of them carried the most notable accoutrements of war, taken from certain animals whose character was not unlike the boldness of the men, Anubis wearing a dog's skin and Macedon the fore-parts of a wolf; and it is for this reason that these animals are held in honour among the Egyptians.,2.  He also took Pan along on his campaign, who is held in special honour by the Egyptians; for the inhabitants of the land have not only set up statues of him at every temple but have also named a city after him in the Thebaid, called by the natives Chemmo, which when translated means City of Pan. In his company were also men who were experienced in agriculture, such as Maron in the cultivation of the vine, and Triptolemus in the sowing of grain and in every step in the harvesting of it.,3.  And when all his preparations had been completed Osiris made a vow to the gods that he would let his hair grow until his return to Egypt and then made his way through Ethiopia; and this is the reason why this custom with regard to their hair was observed among the Egyptians until recent times, and why those who journeyed abroad let their hair grow until their return home.,4.  While he was in Ethiopia, their account continues, the Satyr people were brought to him, who, they say, have hair upon their loins. For Osiris was laughter-loving and fond of music and the dance; consequently he took with him a multitude of musicians, among whom were nine maidens who could sing and were trained in the other arts, these maidens being those who among the Greeks are called the Muses; and their leader (hegetes), as the account goes, was Apollo, who was for that reason also given the name Musegetes.,5.  As for the Satyrs, they were taken along in the campaign because they were proficient in dancing and singing and every kind of relaxation and pastime; for Osiris was not warlike, nor did he have to organize pitched battles or engagements, since every people received him as a god because of his benefactions.,6.  In Ethiopia he instructed the inhabitants in agriculture and founded some notable cities, and then left behind him men to govern the country and collect the tribute.,1.  While Osiris and his army were thus employed, the Nile, they say, at the time of the rising of Sirius, which is the season when the river is usually at flood, breaking out of its banks inundated a large section of Egypt and covered especially that part where Prometheus was governor; and since practically everything in this district was destroyed, Prometheus was so grieved that he was on the point of quitting life wilfully.,2.  Because its water sweeps down so swiftly and with such violence the river was given the name Aëtus; but Heracles, being ever intent upon great enterprises and eager for the reputation of a manly spirit, speedily stopped the flood at its breach and turned the river back into its former course.,3.  Consequently certain of the Greek poets worked the incident into a myth, to the effect that Heracles had killed the eagle which was devouring the liver of Prometheus.,4.  The river in the earliest period bore the name Oceanê, which in Greek is Oceanus; then because of this flood, they say, it was called Aëtus, and still later it was known as Aegyptus after a former king of the land. And the poet also adds his testimony to this when he writes: On the river Aegyptus my curvéd ships I stayed. For it is at Thonis, as it is called, which in early times was the trading-port of Egypt, that the river empties into the sea. Its last name and that which the river now bears it received from the former king Nileus.,5.  Now when Osiris arrived at the borders of Ethiopia, he curbed the river by dykes on both banks, so that at flood-time it might not form stagnant pools over the land to its detriment, but that the flood-water might be let upon the countryside, in a gentle flow as it might be needed, through gates which he had built.,6.  After this he continued his march through Arabia along the shore of the Red Sea as far as India and the limits of the inhabited world.,7.  He also founded not a few cities in India, one of which he named Nysa, wishing to leave there a memorial of that city in Egypt where he had been reared. He also planted ivy in the Indian Nysa, and throughout India and those countries which border upon it the plant to this day is still to be found only in this region.,8.  And many other signs of his stay he left in that country, which have led the Indians of a later time to lay claim to the god and say that he was by birth a native of India.,1.  In general, then, it is because of that commemoration of goodly deeds which history accords men that some of them have been induced to become the founders of cities, that others have been led to introduce laws which encompass man's social life with security, and that many have aspired to discover new sciences and arts in order to benefit the race of men. And since complete happiness can be attained only through the combination of all these activities, the foremost meed of praise must be awarded to that which more than any other thing is the cause of them, that is, to history.,2.  For we must look upon it as constituting the guardian of the high achievements of illustrious men, the witness which testifies to the evil deeds of the wicked, and the benefactor of the entire human race. For if it be true that the myths which are related about Hades, in spite of the fact that their subject-matter is fictitious, contribute greatly to fostering piety and justice among men, how much more must we assume that history, the prophetess of truth, she who is, as it were, the mother-city of philosophy as a whole, is still more potent to equip men's characters for noble living!,3.  For all men, by reason of the frailty of our nature, live but an infinitesimal portion of eternity and are dead throughout all subsequent time; and while in the case of those who in their lifetime have done nothing worthy of note, everything which has pertained to them in life also perishes when their bodies die, yet in the case of those who by their virtue have achieved fame, their deeds are remembered for evermore, since they are heralded abroad by history's voice most divine.,4.  Now it is an excellent thing, methinks, as all men of understanding must agree, to receive in exchange for mortal labours an immortal fame. In the case of Heracles, for instance, it is generally agreed that during the whole time which he spent among men he submitted to great and continuous labours and perils willingly, in order that he might confer benefits upon the race of men and thereby gain immortality; and likewise in the case of other great and good men, some have attained to heroic honours and others to honours equal to the divine, and all have been thought to be worthy of great praise, since history immortalizes their achievements.,5.  For whereas all other memorials abide but a brief time, yet the power of history, which extends over the whole inhabited world, possesses in time, which brings ruin upon all things else, a custodian which ensures its perpetual transmission to posterity. History also contributes to the power of speech, and a nobler thing than that may not easily be found.,6.  For it is this that makes the Greeks superior to the barbarians, and the educated to the uneducated, and, furthermore, it is by means of speech alone that one man is able to gain ascendancy over the many; and, in general, the impression made by every measure that is proposed corresponds to the power of the speaker who presents it, and we describe great and human men as "worthy of speech," as though therein they had won the highest prize of excellence.,7.  And when speech is resolved into its several kinds, we find that, whereas poetry is more pleasing than profitable, and codes of law punish but do not instruct, and similarly, all the other kinds either contribute nothing to happiness or else contain a harmful element mingled with the beneficial, while some of them actually pervert the truth, history alone, since in it word and fact are in perfect agreement, embraces in its narration all the other qualities as well as that are useful;,8.  for it is ever to be seen urging men to justice, denouncing those who are evil, lauding the good, laying up, in a word, for its readers a mighty store of experience.,1.  Osiris also took an interest in hunting elephants, and everywhere left behind him inscribed pillars telling of his campaign. And he visited all the other nations of Asia as well and crossed into Europe at the Hellespont.,2.  In Thrace he slew Lycurgus, the king of the barbarians, who opposed his undertaking, and Maron, who was now old, he left there to supervise the culture of the plants which he introduced into that land and caused him to found a city to bear his name, which he called Maroneia.,3.  Macedon his son, moreover, he left as king of Macedonia, which was named after him, while to Triptolemus he assigned the care of agriculture in Attica. Finally, Osiris in this way visited all the inhabited world and advanced community life by the introduction of the fruits which are most easily cultivated.,4.  And if any country did not admit of the growing of vine he introduced the drink prepared from barley, which is little inferior to wine in aroma and strength.,5.  On his return to Egypt he brought with him the very greatest presents from every quarter and by reason of the magnitude of his benefactions received the gift of immortality with the approval of all men and honour equal to that offered to the gods of heaven.,6.  After this he passed from the midst of men into the company of the gods and received from Isis and Hermes sacrifices and every other highest honour. These also instituted rites for him and introduced many things of a mystic nature, magnifying in this way the power of the god.,1.  Although the priests of Osiris had from the earliest times received the account of his death as a matter not to be divulged, in the course of years it came about that through some of their number this hidden knowledge was published to the many.,2.  This is the story as they give it: When Osiris was ruling over Egypt as its lawful king, he was murdered by his brother Typhon, a violent and impious man; Typhon then divided the body of the slain man into twenty-six pieces and gave one portion to each of the band of murderers, since he wanted all of them to share in the pollution and felt that in this way he would have in them steadfast supporters and defenders of his rule.,3.  But Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, avenged his murder with the aid of her son Horus, and after slaying Typhon and his accomplices became queen over Egypt.,4.  The struggle between them took place on the banks of the Nile near the village now known as Antaeus, which, they say, lies on the Arabian side of the river and derives its name from that of Antaeus, a contemporary of Osiris, who was punished by Heracles.,5.  Now Isis recovered all the pieces of the body except the privates, and wishing that the burial-place of her husband should remain secret and yet be honoured by all the inhabitants of Egypt, she fulfilled her purpose in somewhat the following manner. Over each piece of the body, as the account goes, she fashioned out of spices and wax a human figure about the size of Osiris;,6.  then summoning the priests group by group, she required all of them an oath that they would reveal to no one the trust which she was going to confide to them, and taking each group of them apart privately she said that she was consigning to them alone the burial of the body, and after reminding them of the benefactions of Osiris she exhorted them to bury his body in their own district and pay honours to him as to a god, and to consecrate to him also some one that they might choose of the animals native to their district, pay it while living the honours which they had formerly rendered to Osiris, and upon its death accord it the same kind of funeral as they had given to him.,7.  And since Isis wished to induce the priests to render these honours by the incentive of their own profit also, she gave them the third part of the country to defray the cost of the worship and service of the gods.,8.  And the priests, it is said, being mindful of the benefactions of Osiris and eager to please the queen who was petitioning them, and incited as well by their own profit, did everything just as Isis had suggested.,9.  It is for this reason that even to this day each group of priests supposes that Osiris lies buried in their district, pays honours to the animals which were originally consecrated to him, and, when these die, renews in the funeral rites for them the mourning for Osiris.,10.  The consecration to Osiris, however, of the sacred bulls, which are given the names Apis and Mnevis, and worship of them as gods were introduced generally among all the Egyptians,,11.  since these animals had, more than any others, rendered aid to those who discovered the fruit of the grain, in connection with both the sowing of the seed and with every agricultural labour from which mankind profits.,1.  Isis, they say, after the death of Osiris took a vow never to marry another man, and passed the remainder of her life reigning over the land with complete respect for the law and surpassing all sovereigns in benefactions to her subjects.,2.  And like her husband she also, when she passed from among men, received immortal honours and was buried near Memphis, where her shrine is pointed out to this day in the temple-area of Hephaestus.,3.  According to some writers, however, the bodies of these two gods rest, not in Memphis, but on the border between Egypt and Ethiopia, on the island in the Nile which lies near the city which is called Philae, but is referred to because of this burial as the Holy Field.,4.  In proof of this they point to remains which still survive on this island, both to the tomb constructed for Osiris, which is honoured in common by all the priests of Egypt, and to the three hundred and sixty libation bowls which are placed around it;,5.  for the priests appointed over these bowls fill them each day with milk, singing all the while a dirge in which they call upon the names of these gods.,6.  It is for this reason that travellers are not allowed to set foot on this island. And all the inhabitants of the Thebaid, which is the oldest portion of Egypt, hold it to be the strongest oath when a man swears "by Osiris who lieth in Philae." Now the parts of the body of Osiris which were found were honoured with burial, they say, in the manner described above, but the privates, according to them, were thrown by Typhon into the Nile because no one of his accomplices was willing to take them. Yet Isis thought them as worthy of divine honours as the other parts, for, fashioning a likeness of them, she set it up in the temples, commanded that it be honoured, and made it the object of the highest regard and reverence in the rites and sacrifices accorded to the god.,7.  Consequently the Greeks too, inasmuch as they received from Egypt the celebrations of the orgies and the festivals connected with Dionysus, honour this member in both the mysteries and the initiatory rites and sacrifices of this god, giving it the name "phallus.",1.  The number of years from Osiris and Isis, they say, to the reign of Alexander, who founded the city which bears his name in Egypt, is over ten thousand, but, according to other writers, a little less than twenty-three thousand.,2.  And those who say that the god was born of Semelê and Zeus in Boeotian Thebes are, according to the priests, simply inventing the tale. For they say that Orpheus, upon visiting Egypt and participating in the initiation and mysteries of Dionysus, adopted them and as a favour to the descendants of Cadmus, since he was kindly disposed to them and received honours at their hands, transferred the birth of the god to Thebes; and the common people, partly out of ignorance and partly out of their desire to have the god thought to be a Greek, eagerly accepted his initiatory rites and mysteries.,3.  What led Orpheus to transfer the birth and rites of the god, they say, was something like this.,4.  Cadmus, who was a citizen of Egyptian Thebes, begat several children, of whom one was Semelê; she was violated by an unknown person, became pregnant, and after seven months gave birth to a child whose appearance was such as the Egyptians hold had been that of Osiris. Now such a child is not usually brought into the world alive, either because it is contrary to the will of the gods or because the law of nature does not admit of it.,5.  But when Cadmus found out what had taken place, having at the same time a reply from an oracle commanding him to observe the laws of his fathers, he both gilded the infant and paid it the appropriate sacrifices, on the ground that there had been a sort of epiphany of Osiris among men.,6.  The fatherhood of the child he attributed to Zeus, in this way magnifying Osiris and averting slander from his violated daughter; and this is the reason why the tale was given out among the Greeks to the effect that Semelê, the daughter of Cadmus, was the mother of Osiris by Zeus. Now at a later time Orpheus, who was held in high regard among the Greeks for his singing, initiatory rites, and instructions on things divine, was entertained as a guest by the descendants of Cadmus and accorded unusual honours in Thebes.,7.  And since he had become conversant with the teachings of the Egyptians about the gods, he transferred the birth of the ancient Osiris to more recent times, and, out of regard for the descendants of Cadmus, instituted a new initiation, in the ritual of which the initiates were given the account that Dionysus had been born of Semelê and Zeus. And the people observed these initiatory rites, partly because they were deceived through their ignorance, partly because they were attracted to them by the trustworthiness of Orpheus and his reputation in such matters, and most of all because they were glad to receive the god as a Greek, which, as has been said, is what he was considered to be.,8.  Later, after the writers of myths and poets had taken over this account of his ancestry, the theatres became filled with it and among following generations faith in the story grew stubborn and immutable. In general, they say, the Greeks appropriate to themselves the most renowned of both Egyptian heroes and gods, and so also the colonies sent out by them.,1.  Heracles, for instance, was by birth an Egyptian, who by virtue of his manly vigour visited a large part of the inhabited world and set up his pillar in Libya;,2.  and their proofs of this assertion they endeavour to draw from the Greeks themselves. For inasmuch as it is generally accepted that Heracles fought on the side of the Olympian gods in their war against the Giants, they say that it in no way accords with the age of the earth for the Giants to have been born in the period when, as the Greeks, Heracles lived, which was a generation before the Trojan War, but rather at the time, as their own account gives it, when mankind first appeared on the earth; for from the latter time to the present the Egyptians reckon more than ten thousand years, but from the Trojan War less than twelve hundred.,3.  Likewise, both the club and the lion's skin are appropriate to their ancient Heracles, because in those days arms had not yet been invented, and men defended themselves against their enemies with clubs of wood and used the hides of animals for defensive armour. They also designate him as the son of Zeus, but about the identity of his mother they say that they know nothing.,4.  The son of Alcmenê, who was born more than ten thousand years later and was called Alcaeus at birth, in later life became known instead as Heracles, not because he gained glory (kleos) by the aid of Hera, as Matris says, but because, having avowed the same principles as the ancient Heracles, he inherited that one's fame and name as well.,5.  The account of the Egyptians agrees also with the tradition which has been handed down among the Greeks since very early times, to the effect that Heracles cleared the earth of wild beasts, a story which is in no way suitable for man who lived in approximately the period of the Trojan War, when most parts of the inhabited world had already been reclaimed from their wild state by agriculture and cities and the multitude of men settled everywhere over the land.,6.  Accordingly this reclamation of the land suits better a man who lived in early times, when men were still held in subjection by the vast numbers of wild beasts, a state of affairs which was especially true in the case of Egypt, the upper part of which is to this day desert and infested with wild beasts.,7.  Indeed it is reasonable to suppose that the first concern of Heracles was for this country as his birthplace, and that, after he had cleared the land of wild beasts, he presented it to the peasants, and for this benefaction was accorded divine honours.,8.  And they say that Perseus also was born in Egypt, and that the origin of Isis is transferred by the Greeks to Argos in the myth which tells of that Io who was changed into a heifer.,1.  In general, there is great disagreement over these gods. For the same goddess is called by some Isis, by others Demeter, by others Thesmophorus, by others Selenê, by others Hera, while still others apply to her all these names.,2.  Osiris has been given the name Sarapis by some, Dionysus by others, Pluto by others, Ammon by others, Zeus by some, and many have considered Pan to be the same god; and some say that Sarapis is the god whom the Greeks call Pluto. As for Isis, the Egyptians say that she was the discoverer of many health-giving drugs and was greatly versed in the science of healing;,3.  consequently, now that she has attained immortality, she finds her greatest delight in the healing of mankind and gives aid in their sleep to those who call upon her, plainly manifesting both her very presence and her beneficence towards men who ask her help.,4.  In proof of this, as they say, they advance not legends, as the Greeks do, but manifest facts; for practically the entire inhabited world is their witness, in that it eagerly contributes to the honours of Isis because she manifests herself in healings.,5.  For standing above the sick in their sleep she gives them aid for their diseases and works remarkable cures upon such as submit themselves to her; and many who have been despaired of by their physicians because of the difficult nature of their malady are restored to health by her, while numbers who have altogether lost the use of their eyes or of some other part of their body, whenever they turn for help to this goddess, are restored to their previous condition.,6.  Furthermore, she discovered also the drug which gives immortality, by means of which she not only raised from the dead her son Horus, who had been the object of plots on the part of Titans and had been found dead under the water, giving him his soul again, but also made him immortal.,7.  And it appears that Horus was the last of the gods to be king after his father Osiris departed from among men. Moreover, they say that the name Horus, when translated, is Apollo, and that, having been instructed by his mother Isis in both medicine and divination, he is now a benefactor of the race of men through his oracular responses and his healings.,1.  The priests of the Egyptians, reckoning the time from the reign of Helius to the crossing of Alexander into Asia, say that it was in round numbers twenty-three thousand years.,2.  And, as their legends say, the most ancient of the gods ruled more than twelve hundred years and the later ones not less than three hundred.,3.  But since this great number of years surpasses belief, some men would maintain that in early times, before the movement of the sun had as yet been recognized, it was customary to reckon the year by the lunar cycle.,4.  Consequently, since the year consisted of thirty days, it was not impossible that some men lived twelve hundred years; for in our own time, when our year consists of twelve months, not a few men live over one hundred years.,5.  A similar explanation they also give regarding those who are supposed to have reigned for three hundred years; for at their time, namely, the year was composed of the four months which comprise the seasons of each year, that is, spring, summer, and winter; and it is for this reason that among some of the Greeks the years are called "seasons" (horoi) and that their yearly records are given the name "horographs.",6.  Furthermore, the Egyptians relate in their myths that in the time of Isis there were certain creatures of many bodies, who are called by the Greeks Giants, but by themselves . . ., these being the men who are represented on their temples in monstrous form and as being cudgelled by Osiris.,7.  Now some say that they were born of the earth at the time when the genesis of living things from the earth was still recent, while some hold that they were only men of unusual physical strength who achieved many deeds and for this reason were described in the myths as of many bodies.,8.  But it is generally agreed that when they stirred up war against Zeus and Osiris they were all destroyed. ,1.  The Egyptians also made a law, they say, contrary to the general custom of mankind, permitting men to marry their sisters, this being due to the success attained by Isis in this respect; for she had married her brother Osiris, and upon his death, having taken a vow never to marry another man, she both avenged the murder of her husband and reigned all her days over the land with complete respect for the laws, and, in a word, became the cause of more and greater blessings to all men than any other.,2.  It is for these reasons, in fact, that it was ordained that the queen should have greater power and honour than the king and that among private persons the wife should enjoy authority over her husband, the husbands agreeing in the marriage contract that they will be obedient in all things to their wives.,3.  Now I am not unaware that some historians give the following account of Isis and Osiris: The tombs of these gods lie in Nysa in Arabia, and for this reason Dionysus is also called Nysaeus. And in that place there stands also a stele of each of the gods bearing an inscription in hieroglyphs.,4.  On the stele of Isis it runs: "I am Isis, the queen of every land, she who was instructed of Hermes, and whatsoever laws I have established, these can no man make void. I am the eldest daughter of the youngest god Cronus; I am the wife and sister of the king Osiris; I am she who first discovered fruits for mankind; I am the mother of Horus the king; I am she who riseth in the star that is in the Constellation of the Dog; by me was the city of Bubastus built. Farewell, farewell, O Egypt that nurtured me.",5.  And on the stele of Osiris the inscription is said to run: "My father is Cronus, the youngest of all the gods, and I am Osiris the king, who campaigned over every country as far as the uninhabited regions of India and the lands to the north, even to the sources of the river Ister, and again to the remaining parts of the world as far as Oceanus. I am the eldest son of Cronus, and being sprung from a fair and noble egg I was begotten a seed of kindred birth to Day. There is no region of the inhabited world to which I have not come, dispensing to all men the things of which I was the discoverer.",6.  So much of the inscriptions on the stelae can be read, they say, but the rest of the writing, which was of greater extent, has been destroyed by time. However this may be, varying accounts of the burial of these gods are found in most writers by reason of the fact that the priests, having received the exact facts about these matters as a secret not to be divulged, are unwilling to give out the truth to the public, on the ground that perils overhang any men who disclose to the common crowd the secret knowledge about these gods.,1.  Now the Egyptians say that also after these events a great number of colonies were spread from Egypt over all the inhabited world. To Babylon, for instance, colonists were led by Belus, who was held to be the son of Poseidon and Libya; and after establishing himself on the Euphrates river he appointed priests, called Chaldaeans by the Babylonians, who were exempt from taxation and free from every kind of service to the state, as are the priests of Egypt; and they also make observations of the stars, following the example of the Egyptian priests, physicists, and astrologers.,2.  They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city in Greece, Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country;,3.  and this is the reason why it is a long-established institution among these two peoples to circumcise their male children, the custom having been brought over from Egypt.,4.  Even the Athenians, they say, are colonists from Saïs in Egypt, and they undertake to offer proofs of such a relationship; for the Athenians are the only Greeks who call their city "Asty," a name brought over from the city Asty in Egypt. Furthermore, their body politic had the same classification and division of the people as found in Egypt, where the citizens have been divided into three orders:,5.  the first Athenian class consisted of the "eupatrids," as they were called, being those who were such as had received the best education and were held worthy of the highest honour, as is the case with the priests of Egypt; the second was that of the "geomoroi," who were expected to possess arms and to serve in defence of the state, like those in Egypt who are known as husbandmen and supply the warriors; and the last class was reckoned to be that of the "demiurgoi," who practise the mechanical arts and render only the most menial services to the state, this class among the Egyptians having a similar function.,6.  Moreover, certain of the rulers of Athens were originally Egyptians, they say. Petes, for instance, the father of that Menestheus who took part in the expedition against Troy, having clearly been an Egyptian, later obtained citizenship at Athens and the kingship. . . .,7.  He was of double form, and yet the Athenians are unable from their own point of view to give the true explanation of this nature of his, although it is patent to all that it was because of his double citizenship, Greek and barbarian, that he was held to be of double form, that is, part animal and part man.,1.  In the same way, they continue, Erechtheus also, who was by birth an Egyptian, became king of Athens, and in proof of this they offer the following considerations. Once when there was a great drought, as is generally agreed, which extended over practically all the inhabited earth except Egypt because of the peculiar character of that country, and there followed a destruction both of crops and of men in great numbers, Erechtheus, through his racial connection with Egypt, brought from there to Athens a great supply of grain, and in return those who had enjoyed this aid made their benefactor king.,2.  After he had secured the throne he instituted the initiatory rites of Demeter in Eleusis and established the mysteries, transferring their ritual from Egypt. And the tradition that an advent of the goddess into Attica also took place at that time is reasonable, since it was then that the fruits which are named after her were brought to Athens, and this is why it was thought that the discovery of the seed had been made again, as though Demeter had bestowed the gift.,3.  And the Athenians on their part agree that it was in the reign of Erechtheus, when a lack of rain had wiped out the crops, that Demeter came to them with the gift of grain. Furthermore, the initiatory rites and mysteries of this goddess were instituted at Eleusis at that time.,4.  And their sacrifices as well as their ancient ceremonies are observed by the Athenians in the same way as by the Egyptians; for the Eumolpidae were derived from the priests of Egypt and the Ceryces from the pastophoroi. They are also the only Greeks who swear by Isis, and they closely resemble the Egyptians in both their appearance and manners.,5.  By many other statements like these, spoken more out of a love for glory than with regard for the truth, as I see the matter, they claim Athens as a colony of theirs because of the fame of that city. In general, the Egyptians say that their ancestors sent forth numerous colonies to many parts of the inhabited world, the pre-eminence of their former kings and their excessive population;,6.  but since they offer no precise proof whatsoever for these statements, and since no historian worthy of credence testifies in their support, we have not thought that their accounts merited recording. So far as the ideas of the Egyptians about the gods are concerned, let what we have said suffice, since we are aiming at due proportion in our account, but with regard to the land, the Nile, and everything else worth hearing about we shall endeavour, in each case, to give the several facts in summary.,1.  Consequently we, observing that writers of history are accorded a merited approbation, were led to feel a like enthusiasm for the subject. But when we turned our attention to the historians before our time, although we approved their purpose without reservation, yet we were far from feeling that their treatises had been composed so as to contribute to human welfare as much as might have been the case.,2.  For although the profit which history affords its readers lies in its embracing a vast number and variety of circumstances, yet most writers have recorded no more than isolated wars waged by a single nation or a single state, and but few have undertaken, beginning with the earliest times and coming down to their own day, to record the events connected with all peoples; and of the latter, some have not attached to the several events their own proper dates, and others have passed over the deeds of barbarian peoples; and some, again, have rejected the ancient legends because of the difficulties involved in their treatment, while others have failed to complete the plan to which they had set their hand, their lives having been cut short by fate. And of those who have undertaken this account of all peoples not one has continued his history beyond the Macedonian period.,3.  For while some have closed their accounts with the deeds of Philip, others with those of Alexander, and some with the Diadochi or the Epigoni, yet, despite the number and importance of the events subsequent to these and extending even to our own lifetime which have been left neglected, no historian has essayed to treat of them within the compass of a single narrative, because of the magnitude of the undertaking.,4.  For this reason, since both the dates of the events and the events themselves lie scattered about in numerous treatises and in divers authors, the knowledge of them becomes difficult for the mind to encompass and for the memory to retain.,5.  Consequently, after we had examined the composition of each of these authors' works, we resolved to write a history after a plan which might yield to its readers the greatest benefit and at the same time incommode them the least.,6.  For if a man should begin with the most ancient times and record to the best of his ability the affairs of the entire world down to his own day, so far as they have been handed down to memory, as though they were the affairs of some single city, he would obviously have to undertake an immense labour, yet he would have composed a treatise of the utmost value to those who are studiously inclined.,7.  For from such a treatise every man will be able readily to take what is of use for his special purpose, drawing as it were from a great fountain.,8.  The reason for this is that, in the first place, it is not easy for those who propose to go through the writings of so many historians to procure the books which come to be needed, and, in the second place, that, because the works vary so widely and are so numerous, the recovery of past events becomes extremely difficult of comprehension and of attainment; whereas, on the other hand, the treatise which keeps within the limits of a single narrative and contains a connected account of events facilitates the reading and contains such recovery of the past in a form that is perfectly easy to follow. In general, a history of this nature must be held to surpass all others to the same degree as the whole is more useful than the part and continuity than discontinuity, and, again, as an event whose date has been accurately determined is more useful than one of which it is not known in what period it happened.,1.  The land of Egypt stretches in a general way from north to south, and in natural strength and beauty of landscape is reputed to excel in no small degree all other regions that have been formed into kingdoms.,2.  For on the west it is fortified by the desert of Libya, which is full of wild beasts and extends along its border for a long distance, and by reason of its lack of rain and want of every kind of food makes the passage through it not only toilsome but even highly dangerous; while on the south the same protection is afforded by the cataracts of the Nile and the mountains flanking them,,3.  since from the country of the Trogodytes and the farthest parts of Ethiopia, over a distance of five thousand five hundred stades, it is not easy to sail by the river or to journey by land, unless a man is fitted out like a king or at least on a very great scale.,4.  And as for the parts of the country facing the east, some are fortified by the river and some are embraced by a desert and a swampy flat called the Barathra. For between Coele-Syria and Egypt there lies a lake, quite narrow, but marvellously deep and some two hundred stades in length, which is called Serbonis and offers unexpected perils to those who approach it in ignorance of its nature.,5.  For since the body of the water is narrow, like a ribbon, and surrounded on all sides by great dunes, when there are constant south winds great quantities of sand are strewn over it. This sand hides the surface of the water and makes the outline of the lake continuous with the solid land and entirely indistinguishable from it.,6.  For this reason many who were unacquainted with the peculiar nature of the place have disappeared together with whole armies, when they wandered from the beaten road.,7.  For as the sand is walked upon it gives way but gradually, deceiving with a kind of malevolent cunning those who advance upon it, until, suspecting some impending mishap, they begin to help one another only when it is no longer possible to turn back or escape.,8.  For anyone who has been sucked in by the mire cannot swim, since the slime prevents all movement of the body, nor is he able to wade out, since he has no solid footing; for by reason of the mixing of the sand with the water and the consequent change in the nature of both it comes about that the place cannot be crossed either on foot or by boat.,9.  Consequently those who enter upon these regions are borne towards the depths and have nothing to grasp to give them help, since the sand along the edge slips in with them. These flats have received a name appropriate to their nature as we have described it, being called Barathra.,1.  Now that we have set forth the facts about the three regions which fortify Egypt by land we shall add to them the one yet remaining.,2.  The fourth side, which is washed over its whole extent by waters which are practically harbourless, has for a defence before it the Egyptian Sea. The voyage along the coast of this sea is exceedingly long, and any landing is especially difficult; for from Paraetonium in Libya as far as Iopê in Coele-Syria, a voyage along the coast of some five thousand stades, there is not to be found a safe harbour except Pharos.,3.  And, apart from these considerations, a sandbank extends along practically the whole length of Egypt, not discernible to any who approach without previous experience of these waters.,4.  Consequently those who think that they have escaped the peril of the sea, and in their ignorance turn with gladness towards the shore, suffer unexpected shipwreck when their vessels suddenly run aground;,5.  and now and then mariners who cannot see land in time because the country lies so low are cast ashore before they realize it, some of them on marshy and swampy places and others on a desert region.,6.  The land of Egypt, then, is fortified on all sides by nature in the manner described, and is oblong in shape, having a coast-line of two thousand stades and extending inland about six thousand stades. In density of population it far surpassed of old all known regions of the inhabited world, and even in our own day is thought to be second to none other;,7.  for in ancient times it had over eighteen thousand important villages and cities, as can be seen entered in their sacred records, while under Ptolemy son of Lagus these were reckoned at over thirty thousand, this great number continuing down to our own time.,8.  The total population, they say, was of old about seven million and the number has remained no less down to our day.,9.  It is for this reason that, according to our historical accounts, the ancient kings Egypt built great and marvellous works with the aid of so many hands and left in them immortal monuments to their glory. But these matters we shall set forth in detail a little later; now we shall tell of the nature of the river and the distinctive features of the country.,1.  The Nile flows from south to north, having its sources in regions which have never been seen, since they lie in the desert at the extremity of Ethiopia in a country that cannot be approached because of the excessive heat.,2.  Being as it is the largest of all rivers as well as the one which traverses the greatest territory, it forms great windings, now turning towards the east and Arabia, now turning towards the west and Libya; for its course from the mountains of Ethiopia to where it empties into the sea is a distance, inclusive of its windings, of some twelve thousand stades.,3.  In its lower stretches it is more and more reduced in volume, as the flow is drawn off to the two continents.,4.  Of the streams which thus break off from it, those which turn off into Libya are swallowed up by the sand, which lies there to an incredible depth, while those which pour in the opposite direction into Arabia are diverted into immense fens and large marshes on whose shores dwell many peoples.,5.  But where it enters Egypt it has a width of ten stades, sometimes less, and flows, not in a straight course, but in windings of every sort; for it twists now towards the east, now towards the west, and at times even towards the south, turning entirely back upon itself.,6.  For sharp hills extend along both sides of the river, which occupy much of the land bordering upon it and are cut through by precipitous ravines, in which are narrow defiles; and when it comes to these hills the stream rushes rapidly backward through the level country, and after being borne southward over an area of considerable extent resumes once more its natural course.,7.  Distinguished as it is in these respects above all other streams, the Nile is also the only river which makes its way without violence or onrushing waves, except at the cataracts, as they are called.,8.  This is a place which is only about ten stades in length, but has a steep descent and is shut in by precipices so as to form a narrow cleft, rugged in its entire length and ravine-like, full, moreover, of huge boulders which stand out of the water like peaks. And since the river is split about these boulders with great force and is often turned back so that it rushes in the opposite direction because of the obstacles, remarkable whirlpools are formed;,9.  the middle space, moreover, for its entire length is filled with foam made by the backward rush of the water, and strikes those who approach it with great terror. And, in fact, the descent of the river is so swift and violent that it appears to the eye like the very rush of an arrow.,10.  During the flood-time of the Nile, when the peaked rocks are covered and the entire rapids are hidden by the large volume of the water, some men descend the cataract when they find the winds against them, but no man can make his way up it, since the force of the river overcomes every human device.,11.  Now there are still other cataracts of this nature, but the largest is the one on the border between Ethiopia and Egypt.,1.  The Nile also embraces islands within its waters, of which there are many in Ethiopia and one of considerable extent called Meroë, on which there also lies a famous city bearing the same name as the island, which was founded by Cambyses and named by him after his mother Meroë.,2.  This island, they say, has the shape of a long shield and in size far surpasses the other islands in these parts; for they state that it is three thousand stades long and a thousand wide. It also contains not a few cities, the most famous of which is Meroë.,3.  Extending the entire length of the island where it is washed by the river there are, on the side towards Libya, the dunes containing an infinite amount of sand, and, on the side towards Arabia, rugged cliffs. There are also to be found in it mines of gold, silver, iron, and copper, and it contains in addition much ebony and every kind of precious stone.,4.  Speaking generally, the river forms so many islands that the report of them can scarcely be credited; for, apart from the regions surrounded by water in what is called the Delta, there are more than seven hundred other islands, of which some are irrigated by the Ethiopians and planted with millet, though others are so overrun by snakes and dog-faced baboons and other animals of every kind that human beings cannot set foot upon them.,5.  Now where the Nile in its course through Egypt divides into several streams it forms the region which is called from its shape the Delta.,6.  The two sides of the Delta are described by the outermost branches, while its base is formed by the sea which receives the discharge from the several outlets of the river.,7.  It empties into the sea in seven mouths, of which the first, beginning at the east, is called the Pelusiac, the second the Tanitic, then the Mendesian, Phatnitic, and Sebennytic, then the Bolbitine, and finally the Canopic, which is called by some the Heracleotic.,8.  There are also other mouths, built by the hand of man, about which there is no special need to write. At each mouth is a walled city, which is divided into two parts by the river and provided on each side of the mouth with pontoon bridges and guard-houses at suitable points. From the Pelusiac mouth there is an artificial canal to the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.,9.  The first to undertake the construction of this was Necho the son of Psammetichus, and after him Darius the Persian made progress with the work for a time but finally left it unfinished;,10.  for he was informed by certain persons that if he dug through the neck of land he would be responsible for the submergence of Egypt, for they pointed out to him that the Red Sea was higher than Egypt.,11.  At a later time the second Ptolemy completed it and in the most suitable spot constructed an ingenious kind of a lock. This he opened, whenever he wished to pass through, and quickly closed again, a contrivance which usage proved to be highly successful.,12.  The river which flows through this canal is named Ptolemy, after the builder of it, and has at its mouth the city called Arsinoë.,1.  The Delta is much like Sicily in shape, and its sides are each seven hundred and fifty stades long and its base, where it is washed by the sea, thirteen hundred stades.,2.  This island is intersected by many artificial canals and includes the fairest land in Egypt. For since it is alluvial soil and well watered, it produces many crops of every kind, inasmuch as the river by its annual rise regularly deposits on it fresh slime, and the inhabitants easily irrigate its whole area by means of a contrivance which was invented by Archimedes of Syracuse and is called, after its shape, a screw.,3.  Since the Nile has a gentle current, carries down a great quantity of all kinds of earth, and, furthermore, gathers in stagnant pools in low places, marshes are formed which abound in every kind of plant.,4.  For tubers of every flavour grow in them and fruits and vegetables which grow on stalks, of a nature peculiar to the country, supplying an abundance sufficient to render the poor and the sick among the inhabitants self-sustaining.,5.  For not only do they afford a varied diet, ready at hand and abundant for all who need it, but they also furnish not a few of the other things which contribute to the necessities of life;,6.  the lotus, for instance, grows in great profusion, and from it the Egyptians make a bread which is able to satisfy the physical needs of the body, and the ciborium, which is found in great abundance, bears what is called the "Egyptian" bean.,7.  There are also many kinds of trees, of which that called persea, which was introduced from Ethiopia by the Persians when Cambyses conquered those regions, has an unusually sweet fruit,,8.  while of the fig-mulberry trees one kind bears the black mulberry and another a fruit resembling the fig; and since the latter produces throughout almost the whole year, the result is that the poor have a ready source to turn to in their need.,9.  The fruit called the blackberry is picked at the time the river is receding and by reason of its natural sweetness is eaten as a dessert.,10.  The Egyptians also make a drink out of barley which they call zythos, the bouquet of which is not much inferior to that of wine.,11.  Into their lamps they pour for lighting purposes, not the oil of the olive, but a kind which is extracted from a plant and called kiki. Many other plants, capable of supplying men with the necessities of life, grow in Egypt in great abundance, but it would be a long task to tell about them.,1.  As for animals, the Nile breeds many of peculiar form, and two which surpass the others, the crocodile and what is called the "horse.",2.  Of these animals the crocodile grows to be the largest from the smallest beginning, since this animal lays eggs about the size of those of a goose, but after the young is hatched it grows to be as long as sixteen cubits. It is as long-lived as man, and has no tongue.,3.  The body of the animal is wondrously protected by nature; for its skin is covered all over with scales and is remarkably hard, and there are many teeth in both jaws, two being tusks, much larger than the rest.,4.  It devours the flesh not only of men but also of any land animal which approaches the river. The bites which it makes are huge and severe and it lacerates terribly with its claws, and whatever part of the flesh it tears it renders altogether difficult to heal.,5.  In early times the Egyptians used to catch these beasts with hooks baited with the flesh of pigs, but since then they have hunted them sometimes with heavy nets, as they catch some kinds of fish, and sometimes from their boats with iron spears which they strike repeatedly into the head.,6.  The multitude of them in the river and the adjacent marshes is beyond telling, since they are prolific and are seldom slain by the inhabitants; for it is the custom of most of the natives of Egypt to worship the crocodile as a god, while for foreigners there is no profit whatsoever in the hunting of them since their flesh is not edible.,7.  But against this multitude's increasing and menacing the inhabitants nature has devised a great help; for the animal called the ichneumon, which is about the size of a small dog, goes about breaking the eggs of the crocodiles, since the animal lays them on the banks of the river, and — what is most astonishing of all — without eating them or profiting in any way it continually performs a service which, in a sense, has been prescribed by nature and forced upon the animal for the benefit of men.,8.  The animal called the "horse" is not less than five cubits high, and is four-footed and cloven-hoofed like the ox; it has tusks larger than those of the wild boar, three on each side, and ears and tail and a cry somewhat like those of the horse; but the trunk of its body, as a whole, is not unlike that of the elephant, and its skin is the toughest of almost any beast's.,9.  Being a river and land animal, it spends the day in the streams exercising in the deep water, while at night it forages about the countryside on the grain and hay, so that, if this animal were prolific and reproduced each year, it would entirely destroy the farms of Egypt.,10.  But even it is caught by the united work of many men who strike it with iron spears; for whenever it appears they converge their boats upon it, and gathering about it wound it repeatedly with a kind of chisel fitted with iron barbs, and then, fastening the end of a rope of tow to one of them which has become imbedded in the animal, they let it go until it dies from loss of blood.,11.  Its meat is tough and hard to digest and none of its inward parts is edible, neither the viscera nor the intestines.,1.  Beside the beasts above mentioned the Nile contains every variety of fish and in numbers beyond belief; for it supplies the natives not only with abundant subsistence from the fish freshly caught, but it also yields an unfailing multitude for salting.,2.  Speaking generally, we may say that the Nile surpasses all the rivers of the inhabited world in its benefactions to mankind. For, beginning to rise at the summer solstice, it increases in volume until the autumnal equinox, and, since it is bringing down fresh mud all the time, it soaks both the fallow land and the seed land as well as the orchard land for so long a time as the farmers may wish.,3.  For since the water comes with a gentle flow, they easily divert the river from their fields by small dams of earth, and then, by cutting these, as easily let the river in again upon the land whenever they think this to be advantageous.,4.  And in general the Nile contributes so greatly to the lightening of labour as well as to the profit of the inhabitants, that the majority of the farmers, as they begin work upon the areas of the land which are becoming dry, merely scatter their seed, turn their herds and flocks in on the fields, and after they have used these for trampling the seed in return after four or five months to harvest it; while some, applying light ploughs to the land, turn over no more than the surface of the soil after its wetting and then gather great heaps of grain without much expense or exertion.,5.  For, generally speaking, every kind of field labour among other peoples entails great expense and toil, but among the Egyptians alone is the harvest gathered in with very slight outlay of money and labour. Also the land planted with the vine, being irrigated as are the other fields, yields an abundant supply of wine to the natives.,6.  And those who allow the land, after it has been inundated, to lie uncultivated and give it over to the flocks to graze upon, are rewarded with flocks which, because of the rich pasturage, lamb twice and are twice shorn every year.,7.  The rise of the Nile is a phenomenon which appears wonderful enough to those who have witnessed it, but to those who have only heard of it, quite incredible. For while all other rivers begin to fall at the summer solstice and grow steadily lower and lower during the course of the following summer, this one alone begins to rise at that time and increases so greatly in volume day by day that it finally overflows practically all Egypt.,8.  And in like manner it afterwards follows precisely the opposite course and for an equal length of time gradually falls each day, until it has returned to its former level. And since the land is a level plain, while the cities and villages, as well as the farm-houses, lie on artificial mounds, the scene comes to resemble the Cyclades Islands.,9.  The wild land animals for the larger part are cut off by the river and perish in its waters, but a few escape by fleeing to higher ground; the herds and flocks, however, are maintained at the time of the flood in the villages and farm-houses, where fodder is stored up for them in advance.,10.  The masses of the people, being relieved of their labours during the entire time of the inundation, turn to recreation, feasting all the whole and enjoying without hindrance every device of pleasure.,11.  And because of the anxiety occasioned by the rise of the river the kings have constructed a Nilometer at Memphis, where those who are charged with the administration of it accurately measure the rise and despatch messages to the cities, and inform them exactly how many cubits or fingers the river has risen and when it has commenced to fall.,12.  In this manner the entire nation, when it has learned that the river has ceased rising and begun to fall, is relieved of its anxiety, while at the same time all immediately know in advance how large the next harvest will be, since the Egyptians have kept an accurate record of their observations of this kind over a long period of terms.,1.  Since there is great difficulty in explaining the swelling of the river, many philosophers and historians have undertaken to set forth the causes of it; regarding this we shall speak summarily, in order that we may neither make our digression too long nor fail to record that which all men are curious to know.,2.  For on the general subject of the rise of the Nile and its sources, as well as on the manner in which it reaches the sea and the other points in which this, the largest river of the inhabited world, differs from all others, some historians have actually not ventured to say a single word, although wont now and then to expatiate at length on some winter torrent or other, while others have undertaken to speak on these points of inquiry, but have strayed far from the truth.,3.  Hellanicus and Cadmus, for instance, as well as Hecataeus and all the writers like them, belonging as they do one and all to the early school, turned to the answers offered by the myths;,4.  Herodotus, who was a curious inquirer if ever a man was, and widely acquainted with history, undertook, it is true, to give an explanation of the matter, but is now found to have followed contradictory guesses; Xenophon and Thucydides, who are praised for the accuracy of their histories, completely refrained in their writings from any mention of the regions about Egypt; and Ephorus and Theopompus, who of all writers paid most attention to these matters, hit upon the truth the least. The error on the part of all these writers was due, not to their negligence, but to the peculiar character of the country.,5.  For from earliest times until Ptolemy who was called Philadelphus, not only did no Greeks ever cross over into Ethiopia, but none ascended even as far as the boundaries of Egypt — to such an extent were all these regions inhospitable to foreigners and altogether dangerous; but after this king had made an expedition into Ethiopia with an army of Greeks, being the first to do so, the facts about that country from that time forth have been more accurately learned.,6.  Such, then, were the reasons for the ignorance of the earlier historians; and as for the sources of the Nile and the region where the stream arises, not a man, down to the time of the writing of this history, has ever affirmed that he has seen them, or reported from hearsay an account received from any who have maintained that they have seen them.,7.  The question, therefore, resolves itself into a matter of guesswork and plausible conjecture; and when, for instance, the priests of Egypt assert that the Nile has its origin in the ocean which surrounds the inhabited world, there is nothing sound in what they say, and they are merely solving one perplexity by substituting another, and advancing as proof an explanation which itself stands much in need of proof.,8.  On the other hand, those Trogodytes, known as the Bolgii, who migrated from the interior because of the heat, say that there are certain phenomena connected with those regions, from which a man might reason that the body of the Nile is gathered from many sources which converge upon a single place, and that this is the reason for its being the most fertile of all known rivers.,9.  But the inhabitants of the country about the island called Meroë, with whom a man would be most likely to agree, since they are far removed from the art of finding reasons in accordance with what is plausible and dwell nearest the regions under discussion, are so far from saying anything accurate about these problems that they even call the river Astapus, which means, when translated into Greek, "Water from Darkness.",10.  This people, then, have given the Nile a name which accords with the want of any first-hand information about those regions and with their own ignorance of them; but in our opinion the explanation nearest the truth is the one which is farthest from pure assumption.,11.  I am not unaware that Herodotus, when distinguishing between the Libya which lies to the east and that which lies to the west of this river, attributes to the Libyans known as the Nasamones the exact observation of the stream, and says that the Nile rises in a certain lake and then flows through the land of Ethiopia for a distance beyond telling; and yet assuredly no hasty assent should be given to the statements either of Libyans, even though they may have spoken truthfully, or of the historian when what he says does not admit of proof.,1.  Now that we have discussed the sources and course of the Nile we shall endeavour to set forth the causes of its swelling.,2.  Thales, who is called one of the seven wise men, says that when the etesian winds blow against the mouths of the river they hinder the flow of the water into the sea, and that this is the reason why it rises and overflows Egypt, which is a low and level plain.,3.  But this explanation, plausible as it appears, may easily be shown to be false. For if what he said were true, all the rivers whose mouths face the etesian winds would rise in a similar way; but since this is the case nowhere in the inhabited world the true cause of the swelling must be sought elsewhere.,4.  Anaxagoras the physical philosopher has declared that the cause of the rising is the melting snow in Ethiopia, and the poet Euripides, a pupil of his, is in agreement with him. At least he writes: He quit Nile's waters, fairest that gush from earth, The Nile which, drawn from Ethiop land the black Man's home, flows with full flood when melts the snow.,5.  But the fact is that this statement also requires but a brief refutation, since it is clear to everyone that the excessive heat makes it impossible that any snow should fall in Ethiopia;,6.  for, speaking generally, in those regions there is no frost or cold or any sign whatsoever of winter, and this is especially true at the time of the rising of the Nile. And even if a man should admit the existence of great quantities of snow in the regions beyond Ethiopia, the falsity of the statement is still shown by this fact:,7.  every river which flows out of the snow gives out cool breezes, as is generally agreed, and thickens the air about it; but the Nile is the only river about which no clouds form, and where no cool breezes rise and the air is not thickened.,8.  Herodotus says that the size of the Nile at its swelling is its natural one, but that as the sun travels over Libya in the winter it draws up to itself from the Nile a great amount of moisture, and this is the reason why at that season the river becomes smaller than its natural size;,9.  but at the beginning of summer, when the sun turns back in its course towards the north, it dries out and thus reduces the level of both the rivers of Greece and those of every other land whose geographical position is like that of Greece.,10.  Consequently there is no occasion for surprise, he says, in the phenomenon of the Nile; for, as a matter of fact, it does not increase in volume in the hot season and then fall in the winter, for the reason just given.,11.  Now the answer to be made to this explanation also is that it would follow that, if the sun drew moisture to itself from the Nile in the winter, it would also take some moisture from all the other rivers of Libya and reduce the flow of their waters.,12.  But since nowhere in Libya is anything like this to be seen taking place, it is clear that the historian is caught inventing an explanation; for the fact is that the rivers of Greece increase in winter, not because the sun is farther away, but by reason of the enormous rainfall.,1.  Democritus of Abdera says that it is not the regions of the south that are covered with snow, but only those of the north, and that this is evident to everyone.,2.  The great quantities of heaped-up snow in the northern regions still remain frozen until about the time of the winter solstice, but when in summer its solid masses are broken up by the heat, a great melting sets up, and this brings about the formation of many thick clouds in the higher altitudes, since the vapour rises upwards in large quantities.,3.  These clouds are then driven by the etesian winds until they strike the highest mountains in the whole earth, which, he says, are those of Ethiopia; then by their violent impact upon these peaks, lofty as they are, they cause torrential rains which swell the river, to the greatest extent at the season of the etesian winds.,4.  But it is easy for anyone to refute this explanation also, if he will but note with precision the time when the increase of the river takes place; for the Nile begins to swell at the summer solstice, when the etesian winds are not yet blowing, and commences to fall after the autumnal equinox, when the same winds have long since ceased.,5.  Whenever, therefore, the precise knowledge derived from experience prevails over the plausibility of mere argumentation, while we should recognize the man's ingenuity, yet no credence should be given to his statements.,6.  Indeed, I pass over the further fact that the etesian winds can be seen to blow just as much from the west as from the north; since Borean and Aparctian winds are not the only winds which are called etesian, but also the Argestean, which blow from the direction of the sun's summer setting. Also the statement that by general agreement the highest mountains are those of Ethiopia is not only advanced without any proof, but it does not possess, either, the credibility which is accorded to facts established by observation.,7.  Ephorus, who presents the most recent explanation, endeavours to adduce a plausible argument, but, as may be seen, by no means arrives at the truth. For he says that all Egypt, being alluvial soil and spongy, and in nature like pumice-stone, is full of large and continuous cracks, through which it takes up a great amount of water; this it retains within itself during the winter season, but in the summer season it pours this out from itself everywhere like sweat, as it were, and by means of this exudation it causes the flood of the river.,8.  But this historian, as it appears to us, has not only never personally observed the nature of the country in Egypt, but has not even inquired with any care about it of those who are acquainted with the character of this land.,9.  For in the first place, if the Nile derived its increase from Egypt itself, it would then not experience a flood in its upper stretches, where it flows through a stony and solid country; yet, as a matter of fact, it floods while flowing over a course of more than six thousand stades through Ethiopia before it ever touches Egypt.,10.  Secondly, if the stream of the Nile were, on the one hand, lower than the rifts in the alluvial soil, the cracks would then be on the surface and so great an amount of water could not possibly remain in them; and if, on the other hand, the river occupied a higher level than the rifts, there could not possibly be a flow of water from the lower hollows to the higher surface.,11.  In general, can any man think it possible that the exudations from rifts in the ground should produce so great an increase in the waters of the river that practically all Egypt is inundated by it! For I pass over the false statements of Ephorus about the ground being alluvial and water being stored up in the rifts, since the refutation of them is manifest.,12.  For instance, the Meander river in Asia has laid down a great amount of alluvial land, yet not a single one of the phenomena attending the flooding of the Nile is to be seen in its case.,13.  And like the Meander the river in Acarnania known as the Acheloüs, and the Cephisus in Boeotia, which flows out of Phocis, have built up not a little land, and in the case of both there is clear proof that the historian's statements are erroneous. However, under no circumstances would any man look for strict accuracy in Ephorus, when he sees that in many matters he has paid little regard for the truth.,1.  And so we, appreciating that an undertaking of this nature, while most useful, would yet require much labour and time, have been engaged upon it for thirty years, and with much hardship and many dangers we have visited a large portion of both Asia and Europe that we might see with our own eyes all the most important regions and as many others as possible; for many errors have been committed through ignorance of the sites, not only by the common run of historians, but even by some of the highest reputation.,2.  As for the resources which have availed us in this undertaking, they have been, first and foremost, that enthusiasm for the work which enables every man to bring to completion the task which seems impossible, and, in the second place, the abundant supply which Rome affords of the materials pertaining to the proposed study.,3.  For the supremacy of this city, a supremacy so powerful that it extends to the bounds of the inhabited world, has provided us in the course of our long residence there with copious resources in the most accessible form.,4.  For since the city of our origin was Agyrium in Sicily, and by reason of our contact with the Romans in that island we had gained a wide acquaintance with their language, we have acquired an accurate knowledge of all the events connected with this empire from the records which have been carefully preserved among them over a long period of time.,5.  Now we have begun our history with the legends of both Greeks and barbarians, after having first investigated to the best of our ability the accounts which each people records of its earliest times.,6.  Since my undertaking is now completed, although the volumes are as yet unpublished, I wish to present a brief preliminary outline of the work as a whole. Our first six Books embrace the events and legends previous to the Trojan War, the first three setting forth the antiquities of the barbarians, and the next three almost exclusively those of the Greeks; in the following eleven we have written a universal history of events from the Trojan War to the death of Alexander;,7.  and in the succeeding twenty-three Books we have given an orderly account of all subsequent events down to the beginning of the war between the Romans and the Celts, in the course of which the commander, Gaius Julius Caesar, who has been deified because of his deeds, subdued the most numerous and most warlike tribes of the Celts, and advanced the Roman Empire as far as the British Isles. The first events of this war occurred in the first year of the One Hundred and Eightieth Olympiad, when Herodes was archon at Athens.,1.  Certain of the wise men in Memphis have undertaken to advance an explanation of the flooding, which is incapable of disproof rather than credible, and yet it is accepted by many.,2.  They divide the earth into three parts, and say that one part is that which forms our inhabited world, that the second is exactly opposed to these regions in its seasons, and that the third lies between these two but is uninhabited by reason of the heat.,3.  Now if the Nile rose in the winter, it would be clear that it was receiving its additional waters from our zone because of the heavy rains which fall with us in that season especially; but since, on the contrary, its flood occurs in the summer, it is probable that in the regions opposite to us the winter storms are being produced and that the surplus waters of those distant regions flow into our inhabited world.,4.  And it is for this reason that no man can journey to the sources of the Nile, because the river flows from the opposite zone through the uninhabited one. A further witness to this is the excessive sweetness of the water of the Nile; for in the course of the river through the torrid zone it is tempered by the heat, and that is the reason for its being the sweetest of all rivers, inasmuch as by the law of nature that which is fiery always sweetens what is wet.,5.  But this explanation admits of an obvious rebuttal, for plainly it is quite impossible for a river to flow uphill into our inhabited world from the inhabited world opposite to ours, especially if one holds to the theory that the earth is shaped like a sphere. And indeed, if any man makes bold to do violence, by means of mere words, to facts established by observation, Nature at least will in no wise yield to him. For, in general, such men think that, by introducing a proposition incapable of being disproved and placing the uninhabited region between the two inhabited ones, they will in this way avoid all precise refutations of their argument;,6.  but the proper course for such as take a firm position on any matter is either to adduce the observed facts as evidence or to find their proofs in statements which have been agreed upon at the outset. But how can the Nile be the only river which flows from that inhabited world to our parts? For it is reasonable to suppose that other rivers as well are to be found there, just as there are many among us.,7.  Moreover, the cause which they advance for the sweetness of the water is altogether absurd. For if the river were sweetened by being tempered by the heat, it would not be so productive as it is of life, nor contain so many kinds of fishes and animals; for all water upon being changed by the fiery element is quite incapable of generating life.,8.  Therefore, since by the "tempering" process which they introduce they entirely change the real nature of the Nile, the causes which they advance for its flooding must be considered false.,1.  Oenopides of Chios says that in the summer the waters under the earth are cold, but in the winter, on the contrary, warm; and that this may be clearly observed in deep wells, for in midwinter their water is least cold, while in the hottest weather the coldest water is drawn up from them.,2.  Consequently it is reasonable that the Nile should be small and should diminish in the winter, since the heat in the earth consumes the larger part of the moisture and there are no rains in Egypt; while in the summer, since there is no longer any consumption of the moisture down in the depths of the earth, the natural flow of the river is increased without hindrance.,3.  But the answer to be given to this explanation also is that there are many rivers in Libya, whose mouths are situated like those of the Nile and whose courses are much the same, and yet they do not rise in the same manner as the Nile; on the contrary, flooding as they do in the winter and receding in the summer, they refute the false statement of any man who tries to overcome the truth with specious arguments.,4.  The nearest approach to the truth has been made by Agatharchides of Cnidus. His explanation is as follows: Every year continuous rains fall in the mountains of Ethiopia from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox;,5.  and so it is entirely reasonable that the Nile should diminish in the winter when it derives its natural supply of water solely from its sources, but should increase its volume in the summer on account of the rains which pour into it.,6.  And just because no one up to this time has been able to set forth the causes of the origin of the flood waters, it is not proper, he urges, that his personal explanation be rejected; for nature presents many contradictory phenomena, the exact causes of which are beyond the power of mankind to discover.,7.  As to his own statement, he adds, testimony to its truth is furnished by what takes place in certain regions of Asia. For on the borders of Scythia which abut upon the Caucasus mountains, annually, after the winter is over, exceptionally heavy snow-storms occur over many consecutive days; in the northern parts of India at certain seasons hailstones come beating down which in size and quantity surpass belief; about the Hydaspes river continuous rains fall at the opening of summer; and in Ethiopia, likewise, the same thing occurs some days later, this climatical condition, in its regular recurrence, always causing storms in the neighbouring regions.,8.  And so, he argues, it is nothing surprising if in Ethiopia as well, which lies above Egypt, continuous rains in the mountains, beating down in the summer, swell the river, especially since the plain fact itself is witnessed to by the barbarians who inhabit these regions.,9.  And if what has been said is of a nature opposite to what occurs among us, it should not be disbelieved on that score; for the south wind, for example, with us is accompanied by stormy weather, but in Ethiopia by clear skies, and in Europe the north winds are violent, but in that land they are gentle and light.,10.  With regard, then, to the flooding of the Nile, though we are able to answer with more varied arguments all who have offered explanations of it, we shall rest content with what has been said, in order that we may not overstep the principle of brevity which we resolved upon at the beginning. And since we have divided this Book into two parts because of its length, inasmuch as we are aiming at due proportion in our account, at this point we shall close the first portion of our history, and in the second we shall set forth the facts in the history of Egypt which come next in order, beginning with the account of the former kings of Egypt and of the earliest manner of life among the Egyptians.,1.  The First Book of Diodorus being divided because of its length into two volumes, the first contains the preface of the whole treatise and the accounts given by the Egyptians of the genesis of the world and the first forming of the universe; then he tells of the gods who founded cities in Egypt and named them after themselves, of the first men and the earliest manner of life, of the honour paid to the immortals and the building of their temples to them, then of the topography of Egypt and the marvels related about the river Nile, and also of the causes of its flooding and the opinions thereupon of the historians and the philosophers as well as the refutation of each writer.,2.  In this volume we shall discuss the topics which come next in order after the foregoing. We shall begin with the first kings of Egypt and set forth their individual deeds down to King Amasis, after we have first described in summary fashion the most ancient manner of life in Egypt.,1.  As for their means of living in primitive times, the Egyptians, they say, in the earliest period got their food from herbs and the stalks and roots of the plants which grew in the marshes, making trial of each one of them by tasting it, and the first one eaten by them and the most favoured was that called Agrostis, because it excelled the others in sweetness and supplied sufficient nutriment for the human body;,2.  for they observed that this plant was attractive to the cattle and quickly increased their bulk. Because of this fact the natives, in remembrance of the usefulness of this plant, to this day, when approaching the gods, hold some of it in their hands as they pray to them; for they believe that man is a creature of swamp and marsh, basing this conclusion on the smoothness of his skin and his physical constitution, as well as on the fact that he requires a wet rather than a dry diet.,3.  A second way by which the Egyptians subsisted was, they say, by the eating of fish, of which the river provided a great abundance, especially at the time when it receded after its flood and dried up.,4.  They also ate the flesh of some of the pasturing animals, using for clothing the skins of the beasts that were eaten, and their dwellings they built out of reeds. And traces of these customs still remain among the herdsmen of Egypt, all of whom, they say, have no other dwelling up to this time than one of reeds, considering that with this they are well enough provided for.,5.  After subsisting in this manner over a long period of time they finally turned to the edible fruits of the earth, among which may be included the bread made from the lotus. The discovery of these is attributed by some to Isis, but by others to one of their early kings called Menas.,6.  The priests, however, have the story that the discoverer of the branches of learning and of the arts was Hermes, but that it was their kings who discovered such things as are necessary for existence; and that this was the reason why the kingship in early times was bestowed, not upon the sons of their former rulers, but upon such as conferred the greatest and most numerous benefits upon the peoples, whether it be that the inhabitants in this way sought to provoke their kings to useful service for the benefit of all, or that they have in very truth received an account to this effect in their sacred writings.,1.  Some of them give the story that at first gods and heroes ruled Egypt for a little less than eighteen thousand years, the last of the gods to rule being Horus, the son of Isis; and mortals have been kings over their country, they say, for a little less than five thousand years down to the One Hundred and Eightieth Olympiad, the time when we visited Egypt and the king was Ptolemy, who took the name of The New Dionysus.,2.  For most of this period the rule was held by native kings, and for a small part of it by Ethiopians, Persians, and Macedonians. Now four Ethiopians held the throne, not consecutively but with intervals between, for a little less than thirty-six years in all;,3.  and the Persians, after their king Cambyses had subdued the nation by arms, ruled for one hundred and thirty-five years, including the periods of revolt on the part of the Egyptians which they raised because they were unable to endure the harshness of their dominion and their lack of respect for the native gods.,4.  Last of all the Macedonians and their dynasty held rule for two hundred and seventy-six years. For the rest of the time all the kings of the land were natives, four hundred and seventy of them being men and five women. About all of them the priests had records which were regularly handed down in their sacred books to each successive priest from early times, giving the stature of each of the former kings, a description of his character, and what he had done during his reign; as for us, however, it would be a long task to write of each of them severally, and superfluous also, seeing that most of the material included is of no profit.,5.  Consequently we shall undertake to recount briefly only the most important of the facts which deserve a place in history. ,1.  After the gods the first king of Egypt, according to the priests, was Menas, who taught the people to worship gods and offer sacrifices, and also to supply themselves with tables and couches and to use costly bedding, and, in a word, introduced luxury and an extravagant manner of life.,2.  For this reason when, many generations later, Tnephachthus, the father of Bocchoris the wise, was king and, while on a campaign in Arabia, ran short of supplies because the country was desert and rough, we are told that he was obliged to go without food for one day and then to live on quite simple fare at the home of some ordinary folk in private station, and that he, enjoying the experience exceedingly, denounced luxury and pronounced a curse on the king who had first taught the people their extravagant way of living; and so deeply did he take to heart the change which had taken place in the people's habits of eating, drinking, and sleeping, that he inscribed his curse in hieroglyphs on the temple of Zeus in Thebes; and this, in fact, appears to be the chief reason why the fame of Menas and his honours did not persist into later ages.,3.  And it is said that the descendants of this king, fifty-two in number all told, ruled in unbroken succession more than a thousand and forty years, but that in their reigns nothing occurred that was worthy of record.,4.  Subsequently, when Busiris became king and his descendants in turn, eight in name, the last of the line, who bore the same name as the first, founded, they say, the city which the Egyptians call Diospolis the Great, though the Greeks call it Thebes. Now the circuit of it he made one hundred and forty stades, and he adorned it in marvellous fashion with great buildings and remarkable temples and dedicatory monuments of every other kind;,5.  in the same way he caused the houses of private citizens to be constructed in some cases four stories high, in others five, and in general made it the most prosperous city, not only of Egypt, but of the whole world.,6.  And since, by reason of the city's pre-eminent wealth and power, its fame has been spread abroad to every region, even the poet, we are told, has mentioned it when he says: Nay, not for all the wealth Of Thebes in Egypt, where in ev'ry hall There lieth treasure vast; a hundred are Her gates, and warriors by each issue forth Two hundred, each of them with car and steeds.,7.  Some, however, tell us that it was not one hundred "gates" (pulai) which the city had, but rather many great propylaea in front of its temples, and that it was from these that the title "hundred-gated" was given it, that is, "having many gateways." Yet twenty thousand chariots did in truth, we are told, pass out from it to war; for there were once scattered along the river from Memphis to the Thebes which is over against Libya one hundred post-stations, each one having accommodation for two hundred horses, whose foundations are pointed out even to this day.,1.  Not only this king, we have been informed, but also many of the later rulers devoted their attention to the development of the city. For no city under the sun has ever been so adorned by votive offerings, made of silver and gold and ivory, in such number and of such size, by such a multitude of colossal statues, and, finally, by obelisks made of single blocks of stone.,2.  Of four temples erected there the oldest is a source of wonder for both its beauty and size, having a circuit of thirteen stades, a height of forty-five cubits, and walls twenty-four feet thick.,3.  In keeping with this magnificence was also the embellishment of the votive offerings within the circuit wall, marvellous for the money spent upon it and exquisitely wrought as to workmanship.,4.  Now the buildings of the temple survived down to rather recent times, but the silver and gold and costly works of ivory and rare stone were carried off by the Persians when Cambyses burned the temples of Egypt; and it was at this time, they say, that the Persians, by transferring all this wealth to Asia and taking artisans along from Egypt, constructed their famous palaces in Persepolis and Susa and throughout Media.,5.  So great was the wealth of Egypt at that period, they declare, that from the remnants left in the course of the sack and after the burning the treasure which was collected little by little was found to be worth more than three hundred talents of gold and no less than two thousand three hundred talents of silver.,6.  There are also in this city, they say, remarkable tombs of the early kings and of their successors, which leave to those who aspire to similar magnificence no opportunity to outdo them.,7.  Now the priests said that in their records they find forty-seven tombs of kings; but down to the time of Ptolemy son of Lagus, they say, only fifteen remained, most of which had been destroyed at the time we visited those regions, in the One Hundred and Eightieth Olympiad.,8.  Not only do the priests of Egypt give these facts from their records, but many also of the Greeks who visited Thebes in the time of Ptolemy son of Lagus and composed histories of Egypt, one of whom was Hecataeus, agree with what we have said.  ,1.  Ten stades from the first tombs, he says, in which, according to tradition, are buried the concubines of Zeus, stands a monument of the king known as Osymandyas. At its entrance there is a pylon, constructed of variegated stone, two plethra in breadth and forty-five cubits high;,2.  passing through this one enters a rectangular peristyle, built of stone, four plethra long on each side; it is supported, in place of pillars, by monolithic figures sixteen cubits high, wrought in the ancient manner as to shape; and the entire ceiling, which is two fathoms wide, consists of a single stone, which is highly decorated with stars on a blue field. Beyond this peristyle there is yet another entrance and pylon, in every respect like the one mentioned before, save that it is more richly wrought with every manner of relief;,3.  beside the entrance are three statues, each of a single block of black stone from Syene, of which one, that is seated, is the largest of any in Egypt, the foot measuring over seven cubits, while the other two at the knees of this, the one on the right and the other on the left, daughter and mother respectively, are smaller than the one first mentioned.,4.  And it is not merely for its size that this work merits approbation, but it is also marvellous by reason of its artistic quality and excellent because of the nature of the stone, since in a block of so great a size there is not a single crack or blemish to be seen. The inscription upon it runs: "King of Kings am I, Osymandyas. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works.",5.  There is also another statue of his mother standing alone, a monolith twenty cubits high, and it has three diadems on its head, signifying that she was both daughter and wife and mother of a king.,6.  Beyond the pylon, he says, there is a peristyle more remarkable than the former one; in it there are all manner of reliefs depicting the war which the king waged against those Bactrians who had revolted; against these he had made a campaign with four hundred thousand foot-soldiers and twenty thousand cavalry, the whole army having been divided into four divisions, all of which were under the command of sons of the king.,1.  On the first wall the king, he says, is represented in the act of besieging a walled city which is surrounded by a river, and of leading the attack against opposing troops; he is accompanied by a lion, which is aiding him with terrifying effect. Of those who have explained the scene some have said that in very truth a tame lion which the king kept accompanied him in the perils of battle and put the enemy to rout by his fierce onset; but others have maintained that the king, who was exceedingly brave and desirous of praising himself in a vulgar way, was trying to portray his own bold spirit in the figure of a lion.,2.  On the second wall, he adds, are wrought the captives as they are being led away by the king; they are without their privates and their hands, which apparently signifies that they were effeminate in spirit and had no hands when it came to the dread business of warfare.,3.  The third wall carries every manner of relief and excellent paintings, which portray the king performing a sacrifice of oxen and celebrating a triumph after the war.,4.  In the centre of the peristyle there had been constructed of the most beautiful stone an altar, open to the sky, both excellent in its workmanship and marvellous because of its size.,5.  By the last wall are two monolithic seated statues, twenty-seven cubits high, beside which are set three entrances from the peristyle; and by way of these entrances one comes into a hall whose roof was supported by pillars, constructed in the style of an Odeum, and measuring two plethra on each side.,6.  In this hall there are many wooden statues representing parties in litigation, whose eyes are fixed upon the judges who decide their cases; and these, in turn, are shown in relief on one of the walls, to the number of thirty and without any hands, and in their midst the chief justice, with a figure of Truth hanging from his neck and holding his eyes closed, and at his side a great number of books. And these figures show by their attitude that the judges shall receive no gift and that the chief justice shall have his eyes upon the truth alone.,1.  Next to these courts, he says, is an ambulatory crowded with buildings of every kind, in which there are representations of the foods that are sweetest to the taste, of every variety.,2.  Here are to be found reliefs in which the king, adorned in colours, is represented as offering to the god the gold and silver which he received each year from the silver and gold mines of all Egypt; and an inscription below gives also the total amount, which, summed up according to its value in silver, is thirty-two million minas.,3.  Next comes the sacred library, which bears the inscription "Healing-place of the Soul," and contiguous to this building are statues of all the gods of Egypt, to each of whom the king in like manner makes the offering appropriate to him, as though he were submitting proof before Osiris and his assessors in the underworld that to the end of his days he had lived a life of piety and justice towards both men and gods.,4.  Next to the library and separated from it by a party wall is an exquisitely constructed hall, which contains a table with couches for twenty and statues of Zeus and Hera as well as of the king; here, it would seem, the body of the king is also buried.,5.  In a circle about this building are many chambers which contain excellent paintings of all the animals which are held sacred in Egypt. There is an ascent leading through these chambers to the tomb as a whole. At the top of this ascent there is a circular border of gold crowning the monument, three hundred and sixty-five cubits in circumference and one cubit thick; upon this the days of the year are inscribed, one in each cubit of length, and by each day the risings and settings of the stars as nature ordains them and the signs indicating the effects which the Egyptian astrologers hold that they produce. This border, they said, had been plundered by Cambyses and the Persians when he conquered Egypt.,6.  Such, they say, was the tomb of Osymandyas the king, which is considered far to have excelled all others, not only in the amount of money lavished upon it, but also in the ingenuity shown by the artificers.,1.  As for the periods included in this work, we do not attempt to fix with any strictness the limits of those before the Trojan War, because no trustworthy chronological table covering them has come into our hands: but from the Trojan War we follow Apollodorus of Athens in setting the interval from then to the Return of the Heracleidae as eighty years, from then to the First Olympiad three hundred and twenty-eight years, reckoning the dates by the reigns of the kings of Lacedaemon, and from the First Olympiad to the beginning of the Celtic war, which we have made the end of our history, seven hundred and thirty years; so that our whole treatise of forty Books embraces eleven hundred and thirty-eight years, exclusive of the periods which embrace the events before the Trojan War.,2.  We have given at the outset this precise outline, since we desire to inform our readers about the project as a whole, and at the same time to deter those who are accustomed to make their books by compilation, from mutilating works of which they are not the authors. And throughout our entire history it is to be hoped that what we have done well may not be the object of envy, and that the matters wherein our knowledge is defective may receive correction at the hands of more able historians.,3.  Now that we have set forth the plan and purpose of our undertaking we shall attempt to make good our promise of such a treatise. ,1.  The Thebans say that they are the earliest of all men and the first people among whom philosophy and the exact science of the stars were discovered, since their country enables them to observe more distinctly than others the rising and settings of the stars.,2.  Peculiar to them also is their ordering of the months and years. For they do not reckon the days by the moon, but by the sun, making their month of thirty days, and they add five and a quarter days to the twelve months and in this way fill out the cycle of the year. But they do not intercalate months or subtract days, as most of the Greeks do. They appear to have made careful observations of the eclipses both of the sun and of the moon, and predict them, foretelling without error all the events which actually occur.,3.  Of the descendants of this king, the eighth, known as Uchoreus, founded Memphis, the most renowned city of Egypt. For he chose the most favourable spot in all the land, where the Nile divides into several branches to form the "Delta," as it is called from its shape; and the result was that the city, excellently situated as it was at the gates of the Delta, continually controlled the commerce passing into upper Egypt.,4.  Now he gave the city a circumference of one hundred and fifty stades, and made it remarkably strong and adapted to its purpose by works of the following nature.,5.  Since the Nile flowed around the city and covered it at the time of inundation, he threw out a huge mound of earth on the south to serve as a barrier against the swelling of the river and also as a citadel against the attacks of enemies by land; and all around the other sides he dug a large and deep lake, which, by taking up the force of the river and occupying all the space about the city except where the mound had been thrown up, gave it remarkable strength.,6.  And so happily did the founder of the city reckon upon the suitableness of the site that practically all subsequent kings left Thebes and established both their palaces and official residences here. Consequently from this time Thebes began to wane and Memphis to increase, until the time of Alexander the king; for after he had founded the city on the sea which bears his name, all the kings of Egypt after him concentrated their interest on the development of it.,7.  Some adorned it with magnificent palaces, some with docks and harbours, and others with further notable dedications and buildings, to such an extent that it is generally reckoned the first or second city of the inhabited world. But a detailed description of this city we shall set forth in the appropriate period.,1.  The founder of Memphis, after constructing the mound and the lake, erected a palace, which, while not inferior to those of other nations, yet was no match for the grandeur of design and love of the beautiful shown by the kings who preceded him.,2.  For the inhabitants of Egypt consider the period of this life to be of no account whatever, but place the greatest value on the time after death when they will be remembered for their virtue, and while they give the name of "lodgings" to the dwellings of the living, thus intimating that we dwell in them but a brief time, they call the tombs of the dead "eternal homes," since the dead spend endless eternity in Hades; consequently they give less thought to the furnishings of their houses, but on the manner of their burials they do not forgo any excess of zeal.,3.  The aforementioned city was named, according to some, after the daughter of the king who founded it. They tell the story that she was loved by the river Nile, who had assumed the form of a bull, and gave birth to Egyptus, a man famous among the natives for his virtue, from whom the entire land received its name.,4.  For upon succeeding to the throne he showed himself to be a kindly king, just, and, in a word, upright in all matters and so, since he was held by all to merit great approbation because of his goodwill, he received the honour mentioned.,5.  Twelve generations after the king just named, Moeris succeeded to the throne of Egypt and built in Memphis itself the north propylaea, which far surpasses the others in magnificence, while ten schoeni above the city he excavated a lake which was remarkable for its utility and an undertaking of incredible magnitude.,6.  For its circumference, they say, is three thousand six hundred stades and its depth in most parts fifty fathoms; what man, accordingly, in trying to estimate the magnitude of the work, would not reasonably inquire how many myriads of men labouring for how many years were required for its completion?,7.  And as for the utility of this lake and its contribution to the welfare of all the inhabitants of Egypt, as well as for the ingenuity of the king, no man may praise them highly enough to do justice to the truth.,1.  For since the Nile did not rise to a fixed height every year and yet the fruitfulness of the country depended on the constancy of the flood-level, he excavated the lake to receive the excess water, in order that the river might not, by an excessive volume of flow, immoderately flood the land and form marshes and pools, nor, by failing to rise to the proper height, ruin the harvests by the lack of water.,2.  He also dug a canal, eighty stades long and three plethra wide, from the river to the lake, and by this canal, sometimes turning the river into the lake and sometimes shutting it off again, he furnished the farmers with an opportune supply of water, opening and closing the entrance by a skilful device and yet at considerable expense; for it cost no less than fifty talents if a man wanted to open or close this work.,3.  The lake has continued to serve well the needs of the Egyptians down to our time, and bears the name of its builder, being called to this day the Lake of Moeris.,4.  Now the king in excavating it left a spot in the centre, where he built a tomb and two pyramids, a stade in height, one for himself and the other for his wife, on the tops of which he placed stone statues seated upon thrones, thinking that by these monuments he would leave behind him an imperishable commemoration of his good deeds.,5.  The income accruing from the fish taken from the lake he gave to his wife for her unguents and general embellishment, the value of the catch amounting to a talent of silver daily;,6.  for there are twenty-two different kinds of fish in the lake, they say, and they are caught in such abundance that the people engaged in salting them, though exceedingly many, can scarcely keep up with their task. Now this is the account which the Egyptians give of Moeris.,1.  Sesoösis, they say, who became king seven generations later, performed more renowned and greater deeds than did any of his predecessors. And since, with regard to this king, not only are the Greek writers at variance with one another but also among the Egyptians the priests and the poets who sing his praises give conflicting stories, we for our part shall endeavour to give the most probable account and that which most nearly agrees with the monuments still standing in the land.,2.  Now at the birth of Sesoösis his father did a thing worthy of a great man and a king: Gathering together from over all Egypt the male children which had been born on the same day and assigning them nurses and guardians, he prescribed the same training and education for them all, on the theory that those who had been reared in the closest companionship and had enjoyed the same frank relationship would be most loyal and as fellow-combatants in the wars most brave.,3.  He amply provided for their every need and then trained the youths by unremitting exercises and hardships; for no one of them was allowed to have anything to eat unless he had first run one hundred and eighty stades.,4.  Consequently upon attaining to manhood they were all veritable athletes of robustness of body, and in spirit qualified for leadership and endurance because of the training which they had received in the most excellent pursuits.,5.  First of all Sesoösis, his companions also accompanying him, was sent by his father with an army into Arabia, where he was subjected to the laborious training of hunting wild animals and, after hardening himself to the privations of thirst and hunger, conquered the entire nation of the Arabs, which had never been enslaved before his day;,6.  and then, on being sent to the regions to the west, he subdued the larger part of Libya, though in years still no more than a youth.,7.  And when he ascended the throne upon the death of his father, being filled with confidence by reason of his earlier exploits he undertook to conquer the inhabited earth.,8.  There are those who say that he was urged to acquire empire over the whole world by his own daughter Athyrtis, who, according to some, was far more intelligent than any of her day and showed her father that the campaign would be an easy one, while according to others she had the gift of prophecy and knew beforehand, by means both of sacrifices and the practice of sleeping in temples, as well as from the signs which appear in the heavens, what would take place in the future.,9.  Some have also written that, at the birth of Sesoösis, his father had thought that Hephaestus had appeared to him in a dream and told him that the son who had been born would rule over the whole civilized world;,10.  and that for this reason, therefore, his father collected the children of the same age as his son and granted them a royal training, thus preparing them beforehand for an attack upon the whole world, and that his son, upon attaining manhood, trusting in the prediction of the god was led to undertake this campaign.,1.  In preparation for this undertaking he first of all confirmed the goodwill of all the Egyptians towards himself, feeling it to be necessary, if he were to bring his plan to a successful end, that his soldiers on the campaign should be ready to die for their leaders, and that those left behind in their native lands should not rise in revolt.,2.  He therefore showed kindnesses to everyone by all means at his disposal, winning over some by presents of money, others by gifts of land, and others by remission of penalties, and the entire people he attached to himself by his friendly intercourse and kindly ways; for he set free unharmed everyone who was held for some crime against the king and cancelled the obligations of those who were in prison for debt, there being a great multitude in the gaols.,3.  And dividing the entire land into thirty-six parts which the Egyptians call nomes, he set over each a nomarch, who should superintend the collection of the royal revenues and administer all the affairs of his division.,4.  He then chose out the strongest of the men and formed an army worthy of the greatness of his undertaking; for he enlisted six hundred thousand foot-soldiers, twenty-four thousand cavalry, and twenty-seven thousand war chariots.,5.  In command of the several divisions of his troops he set his companions, who were by this time inured to warfare, had striven for a reputation for valour from their youth, and cherished with a brotherly love both their king and one another, the number of them being over seventeen hundred.,6.  And upon all these commanders he bestowed allotments of the best land in Egypt, in order that, enjoying sufficient income and lacking nothing, they might sedulously practise the art of war.,1.  After he had made ready his army he marched first of all against the Ethiopians who dwell south of Egypt, and after conquering them he forced that people to pay a tribute in ebony, gold and the tusks of elephants.,2.  Then he sent out a fleet of four hundred ships into the Red Sea, being the first Egyptian to build warships, and not only took possession of the islands in those waters, but also subdued the coast of the mainland as far as India, while he himself made his way by land with his army and subdued all Asia.,3.  Not only did he, in fact, visit the territory which was afterwards won by Alexander of Macedon, but also certain peoples into whose country Alexander did not cross.,4.  For he even passed over the river Ganges and visited all of India as far as the ocean, as well as the tribes of the Scythians as far as the river Tanaïs, which divides Europe from Asia; and it was at this time, they say, that some of the Egyptians, having been left behind near the Lake Maeotis, founded the nation of the Colchi.,5.  And the proof which they offer of the Egyptian origin of this nation is the fact that the Colchi practise circumcision even as the Egyptians do, the custom continuing among the colonists sent out from Egypt as it also did in the case of the Jews.,6.  In the same way he brought all the rest of Asia into subjection as well as most of the Cyclades islands. And after he had crossed into Europe and was on his way through the whole length of Thrace he nearly lost his army through lack of food and the difficult nature of the land.,7.  Consequently he fixed the limits of his expedition in Thrace, and set up stelae in many parts of the regions which he had acquired; and these carried the following inscription in the Egyptian writing which is called "sacred": "This land the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Sesoösis, subdued with his own arms.",8.  And he fashioned the stele with a representation, in case the enemy people were warlike, of the privy parts of a man, but in case they were abject and cowardly, of those of a woman, holding that the quality of the spirit of each people would be set forth most clearly to succeeding generations by the dominant member of the body.,9.  And in some places he also erected a stone statue of himself, armed with bow and arrows and a spear, in height four cubits and four palms, which was indeed his own stature.,10.  He dealt gently with all conquered peoples and, after concluding his campaign in nine years, commanded the nations to bring presents each year to Egypt according to their ability, while he himself, assembling a multitude of captives which has never been surpassed and a mass of other booty, returned to his country, having accomplished the greatest deeds of any king of Egypt to his day.,11.  All the temples of Egypt, moreover, he adorned with notable votive offerings and spoils, and honoured with gifts according to his merits every soldier who had distinguished himself for bravery.,12.  And in general, as a result of this campaign not only did the army, which had bravely shared in the deeds of the king and had gathered great wealth, make a brilliant homeward journey, but it also came to pass that all Egypt was filled to overflowing with benefits of every kind.,1.  Sesoösis now relieved his peoples of the labours of war and granted to the comrades who had bravely shared in his deeds a care-free life in the enjoyment of the good things which they had won, while he himself, being ambitious for glory and intent upon everlasting fame, constructed works which were great and marvellous in their conception as well as in the lavishness with which their cost was provided, winning in this way immortal glory for himself and for the Egyptians security combined with ease for all time.,2.  For beginning with the gods first, he built in each city of Egypt a temple to the god who was held in special reverence by its inhabitants. On these labours he used no Egyptians, but constructed them all by the hands of his captives alone; and for this reason he placed an inscription on every temple that no native had toiled upon it.,3.  And it is said that the captives brought from Babylonia revolted from the king, being unable to endure the hardships entailed by his works; and they, seizing a strong position on the banks of the river, maintained a warfare against the Egyptians and ravaged the neighbouring territory, but finally, on being granted an amnesty, they established a colony on the spot, which they also named Babylon after their native land.,4.  For a similar reason, they say, the city of Troy likewise, which even to this day exists on the bank of the Nile, received its name: for Menelaus, on his voyage from Ilium with a great number of captives, crossed over into Egypt; and the Trojans, revolting from him, seized a certain place and maintained a warfare until he granted them safety and freedom, whereupon they founded a city, to which they gave the name of their native land.,5.  I am not unaware that regarding the cities named above Ctesias of Cnidus has given a different account, saying that some of those who had come into Egypt with Semiramis founded them, calling them after their native lands.,6.  But on such matters as these it is not easy to set forth the precise truth, and yet the disagreements among historians must be considered worthy of record, in order that the reader may be able to decide upon the truth without prejudice.,1.  Now Sesoösis threw up many great mounds of earth and moved to them such cities as happened to be situated on ground that was not naturally elevated, in order that at the time of the flooding of the river both the inhabitants and their herds might have a safe place of retreat.,2.  And over the entire land from Memphis to the sea he dug frequent canals leading from the river, his purpose being that the people might carry out the harvesting of their crops quickly and easily, and that, through the constant intercourse of the peasants with one another, every district might enjoy both an easy livelihood and a great abundance of all things which minister to man's enjoyment. The greatest result of this work, however, was that he made the country secure and difficult of access against attacks by enemies;,3.  for practically all the best part of Egypt, which before this time had been easy of passage for horses and carts, has from that time on been very difficult for an enemy to invade by reason of the great number of canals leading from the river.,4.  He also fortified with a wall the side of Egypt which faces east, as a defence against inroads from Syria and Arabia; the wall extended through the desert from Pelusium to Heliopolis, and its length was some fifteen hundred stades.,5.  Moreover, he also built a ship of cedar wood, which was two hundred and eighty cubits long and plated on the exterior with gold and on the interior with silver. This ship he presented as a votive offering to the god who is held in special reverence in Thebes, as well as two obelisks of hard stone one hundred and twenty cubits high, upon which he inscribed the magnitude of his army, the multitude of his revenues, and the number of the peoples he had subdued; also in Memphis in the temples of Hephaestus he dedicated monolithic statues of himself and of his wife, thirty cubits high, and of his sons, twenty cubits high, the occasion of their erection being as follows.,6.  When Sesoösis had returned to Egypt after his great campaign and was tarrying at Pelusium, his brother, who was entertaining Sesoösis and his wife and children, plotted against them; for when they had fallen asleep after the drinking he piled great quantities of dry rushes, which he had kept in readiness for some time, around the tent in the night and set them afire.,7.  When the fire suddenly blazed up, those who had been assigned to wait upon the king came to his aid in a churlish fashion, as would men heavy with wine, but Sesoösis, raising both hands to the heavens with a prayer to the gods for the preservation of his children and wife, dashed out safe through the flames.,8.  For this unexpected escape he honoured the rest of the gods with votive offerings, as stated above, and Hephaestus most of all, on the ground that it was by his intervention that he had been saved.,1.  Although many great deeds have been credited to Sesoösis, his magnificence seems best to have been shown in the treatment which he accorded to the foreign potentates when he went forth from his palace.,2.  The kings whom he had allowed to continue their rule over the peoples which he had subdued and all others who had received from him the most important positions of command would present themselves in Egypt at specified times, bringing him gifts, and the king would welcome them and in all other matters show them honour and special preferment; but whenever he intended to visit a temple or city he would remove the horses from his four-horse chariot and in their place yoke the kings and other potentates, taking them four at a time, in this way showing to all men, as he thought, that, having conquered the mightiest of other kings and those most renowned for their excellence, he now had no one who could compete with him for the prize of excellence.,3.  This king is thought to have surpassed all former rulers in power and military exploits, and also in the magnitude and number of the votive offerings and public works which he built in Egypt. And after a reign of thirty-three years he deliberately took his own life, his eyesight having failed him; and this act won for him the admiration not only of the priests of Egypt but of the other inhabitants as well, for it was thought that he had caused the end of his life to comport with the loftiness of spirit shown in his achievements.,4.  So great became the fame of this king and so enduring through the ages that when, many generations later, Egypt fell under the power of the Persians and Darius, the father of Xerxes, was bent upon placing a statue of himself in Memphis before that of Sesoösis, the chief priest opposed it in a speech which he made in an assembly of the priests, to the effect that Darius had not yet surpassed the deeds of Sesoösis; and the king was far from being angered, but, on the contrary, being pleased at his frankness of speech, said that he would strive not to be found behind that ruler in any point when he had attained his years, and asked them to base their judgment upon the deeds of each at the same age, for that was the fairest test of their excellence.,5.  As regards Sesoösis, then, we shall rest content with what has been said.,1.  But his son, succeeding to the throne and assuming his father's appellation, did not accomplish a single thing in war or otherwise worthy of mention, though he did have a singular experience.,2.  He lost his sight, either because he shared in his father's bodily constitution or, as some fictitiously relate, because of his impiety towards the river, since once when caught in a storm upon it he had hurled a spear into the rushing current. Forced by this ill fortune to turn to the gods for aid, he strove over a long period to propitiate the deity by numerous sacrifices and honours, but received no consideration.,3.  But in the tenth year an oracular command was given to him to do honour to the god in Heliopolis and bathe his face in the urine of a woman who had never known any other man than her husband. Thereupon he began with his own wife and made trial of many, but found not one that was chaste save a certain gardener's wife, whom he married as soon as he was recovered. All the other women he burned alive in a certain village to which the Egyptians because of this incident gave the name Holy Field;,4.  and to the god in Heliopolis, out of gratitude for his benefaction, he dedicated, in accordance with the injunction of the oracle, two monolithic obelisks, eight cubits wide and one hundred high.,1.  Concerning the various conceptions of the gods formed by those who were the first to introduce the worship of the deity, and concerning the myths which are told about each of the immortals, although we shall refrain from setting forth the most part in detail, since such a procedure would require a long account, yet whatever on these subjects we may feel to be pertinent to the several parts of our proposed history we shall present in a summary fashion, that nothing which is worth hearing may be found missing.,2.  Concerning, however, every race of men, and all events that have taken place in the known parts of the inhabited world, we shall give an accurate account, so far as that is possible in the case of things that happened so long ago, beginning with the earliest times.,3.  Now as regards the first origin of mankind two opinions have arisen among the best authorities both on nature and on history. One group, which takes the position that the universe did not come into being and will not decay, has declared that the race of men also has existed from eternity, there having never been a time when men were first begotten; the other group, however, which hold that the universe came into being and will decay, has declared that, like it, men had their first origin at a definite time.,1.  After this king a long line of successors on the throne accomplished no deed worth recording. But Amasis, who became king many generations later, ruled the masses of the people with great harshness; many he punished unjustly, great numbers he deprived of their possessions, and towards all his conduct was without exception contemptuous and arrogant.,2.  Now for a time his victims bore up under this, being unable in any way to protect themselves against those of greater power; but when Actisanes, the king of the Ethiopians, led an army against Amasis, their hatred seized the opportunity and most of the Egyptians revolted.,3.  As a consequence, since he was easily overcome, Egypt fell under the rule of the Ethiopians. But Actisanes carried his good fortune as a man should and conducted himself in a kindly manner towards his subjects.,4.  For instance, he had his own manner of dealing with thieves, neither putting to death such as were liable to that punishment, nor letting them go with no punishment at all;,5.  for after he had gathered together out of the whole land those who were charged with some crime and had held a thoroughly fair examination of their cases, he took all who had been judged guilty, and, cutting off their noses, settled them in a colony on the edge of the desert, founding the city which was called Rhinocolura after the lot of its inhabitants.,6.  This city, which lies on the border between Egypt and Syria not far from the sea-coast, is wanting in practically everything which is necessary for man's existence;,7.  for it is surrounded by land which is full of brine, while within the walls there is but a small supply of water from wells, and this is impure and very bitter to the taste.,8.  But he settled them in this country in order that, in case they continued to practise their original manner of life, they might not prey upon innocent people, and also that they might not pass unrecognized as they mingled with the rest of mankind.,9.  And yet, despite the fact that they had been cast out into a desert country which lacked practically every useful thing, they contrived a way of living appropriate to the dearth about them, since nature forced them to devise every possible means to combat their destitution.,10.  For instance, by cutting down reeds in the neighbourhood and splitting them, they made long nets, which they set up along the beach for a distance of many stades and hunted quails; for these are driven in large coveys from the open sea, and in hunting them they caught a sufficient number to provide themselves with food.,1.  After the death of this king the Egyptians regained the control of their government and placed on the throne a native king, Mendes, whom some call Marrus.,2.  So far as war is concerned this ruler did not accomplish anything at all, but he did build himself a tomb known as the Labyrinth, which was not so remarkable for its size as it was impossible to imitate in respect to its ingenious design; for a man who enters it cannot easily find his way out, unless he gets a guide who is thoroughly acquainted with the structure.,3.  And some say that Daedalus, visiting Egypt and admiring the skill shown in the building, also constructed for Minos, the king of Crete, a labyrinth like the one in Egypt, in which was kept, as the myth relates, the beast called Minotaur.,4.  However, the labyrinth in Crete has entirely disappeared, whether it be that some ruler razed it to the ground or that time effaced the work, but the one in Egypt has stood intact in its entire structure down to our lifetime.,1.  After the death of this king there were no rulers for five generations, and then a man of obscure origin was chosen king, whom the Egyptians call Cetes, but who among the Greeks is thought to be that Proteus who lived at the time of the war about Ilium.,2.  Some tradition records that this Proteus was experienced in the knowledge of the winds and that he would change his body, sometimes into the form of different animals, sometimes into a tree or fire or something else, and it so happens that the account which the priests give of Cetes is in agreement with that tradition.,3.  For, according to the priests, from the close association which the king constantly maintained with the astrologers, he had gained experience in such matters, and from a custom which has been passed down among the kings of Egypt has arisen the myths current among the Greeks about the way Proteus changed his shape.,4.  For it was a practice among the rulers of Egypt to wear upon their heads the forepart of a lion, or bull, or snake as symbols of their rule; at times also trees or fire, and in some cases they even carried on their heads large bunches of fragrant herbs for incense, these last serving to enhance their comeliness and at the same time to fill all other men with fear and religious awe.,5.  On the death of Proteus his son Remphis succeeded to the throne. This ruler spent his whole life looking after the revenues and amassing riches from every source, and because of his niggardly and miserly character spent nothing either on votive offerings to the gods or on benefactions to the inhabitants.,6.  Consequently, since he had been not so much a king as only an efficient steward, in the place of a fame based upon virtue he left a treasure larger than that of any king before him; for according to tradition he amassed some four hundred thousand talents of silver and gold.,1.  After Remphis died, kings succeeded to the throne for seven generations who were confirmed sluggards and devoted only to indulgence and luxury. Consequently, in the priestly records, no costly building of theirs nor any deed worthy of historical record is handed down in connection with them, except in the case of one ruler, Nileus, from whom the river came to be named the Nile, though formerly called Aegyptus. This ruler constructed a very great number of canals at opportune places and in many ways showed himself eager to increase the usefulness of the Nile, and therefore became the cause of the present appellation of the river.,2.  The eighth king, Chemmis of Memphis, ruled fifty years and constructed the largest of the three pyramids, which are numbered among the seven wonders of the world.,3.  These pyramids, which are situated on the side of Egypt which is towards Libya, are one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis and forty-five from the Nile, and by the immensity of their structures and the skill shown in their execution they fill the beholder with wonder and astonishment.,4.  For the largest is in the form of a square and has a base length on each side of seven plethra and a height of over six plethra; it also gradually tapers to the top, where each side is six cubits long.,5.  The entire construction is of hard stone, which is difficult to work but lasts for ever; for though no fewer than a thousand years have elapsed, as they say, to our lifetime, or, as some writers have it, more than three thousand four hundred, the stones remain to this day still preserving their original position and the entire structure undecayed.,6.  It is said that the stone was conveyed over a great distance from Arabia and that the construction was effected by means of mounds, since cranes had not yet been invented at that time;,7.  and the most remarkable thing in the account is that, though the constructions were on such a great scale and the country round about them consists of nothing but sand, not a trace remains either of any mound or of the dressing of the stones, so that they do not have the appearance of being the slow handiwork of men but look like a sudden creation, as though they had been made by some god and set down bodily in the surrounding sand.,8.  Certain Egyptians would make a marvel out of these things, saying that, inasmuch as the mounds were built of salt and saltpetre, when the river was let in it melted them down and completely effaced them without the intervention of man's hand.,9.  However, there is not a word of truth in this, but the entire material for the mounds, raised as they were by the labour of many hands, was returned by the same means to the place from which it came; for three hundred and sixty thousand men, as they say, were employed on the undertaking, and the whole structure was scarcely completed in twenty years. JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use Google Maps. It seems, though, that JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To view Google Maps, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, and then try again. The Pyramids of Gizeh and the Sphinx. Diodorus' measurements can be checked, more or less. Although there were several slightly different stadia, 180 meters can be taken as an approximate value, with six plethra to a stade. Assuming Google's scale to be accurate and the text of Diodorus followed by the Loeb editors to have been transmitted without error and not tampered with by modern scholars to conform to what we now know to be the facts — two big if's — his figures are very accurate; maybe slightly low. [and if you need it,, including my own symbols & added information.] --,1.  Upon the death of this king his brother Cephren succeeded to the throne and ruled fifty-six years; but some say that it was not the brother of Chemmis, but his son, named Chabryes, who took the throne.,2.  All writers, however, agree that it was the next ruler who, emulating the example of his predecessor, built the second pyramid, which was the equal of the one just mentioned in the skill displayed in its execution but far behind it in size, since its base length on each side is only a stade.,3.  And an inscription on the larger pyramid gives the sum of money expended on it, since the writing sets forth that on vegetables and purgatives for the workmen there were paid out over sixteen hundred talents.,4.  The smaller bears no inscription but has steps cut into one side. And though the two kings built the pyramids to serve as their tombs, in the event neither of them was buried in them;,5.  for the multitudes, because of the hardships which they had endured in the building of them and the many cruel and violent acts of these kings, were filled with anger against those who had caused their sufferings and openly threatened to tear their bodies asunder and cast them in despite out of the tombs.,6.  Consequently each ruler when dying enjoined upon his kinsmen to bury his body secretly in an unmarked place. After these rulers Mycerinus, to whom some give the name Mencherinus, a son of the builder of the first pyramid, became king.,7.  He undertook the construction of a third pyramid, but died before the entire structure had been completed. The base length of each side he made three plethra, and for fifteen courses he built the walls of black stone like that found about Thebes, but the rest of it he filled out with stone like that found in the other pyramids.,8.  In size this structure falls behind those mentioned above, but far surpasses them in the skill displayed in its execution and the great cost of the stone; and on the north side of the pyramid is an inscription stating that its builder was Mycerinus.,9.  This ruler, they say, out of indignation at the cruelty of his predecessors aspired to live an honourable life and one devoted to the welfare of his subjects; and he continually did many other things which might best help to evoke the goodwill of the people towards himself, and more especially, when he gave audiences, he spent a great amount of money, giving presents to such honest men as he thought had not fared in the courts of law as they deserved.,10.  There are also three more pyramids, each of which is one plethrum long on each side and in general construction is like the others save in size; and these pyramids, they say, were built by the three kings named above for their wives.,11.  It is generally agreed that these monuments far surpass all other constructions in Egypt, not only in their massiveness and cost but also in the skill displayed by their builders.,12.  And they say that the architects of the monuments are more deserving of admiration than the kings who furnished the means for their execution; for in bringing their plans to completion the former called upon their individual souls and their zeal for honour, but the latter only used the wealth which they had inherited and the grievous toil of other men.,13.  But with regard to the pyramids there is no complete agreement among either the inhabitants of the country or the historians; for according to some the kings mentioned above were the builders, according to others they were different kings; for instance, it is said that Armaeus built the largest, Amosis the second, and Inaros the third.,14.  And this last pyramid, some say, is the tomb of the courtesan Rhodopis, for some of the nomarchs became her lovers, as the account goes, and out of their passion for her carried the building through to completion as a joint undertaking.,1.  After the kings mentioned above Bocchoris succeeded to the throne, a man who was altogether contemptible in personal appearance but in sagacity far surpassed all former kings.,2.  Much later Egypt was ruled by Sabaco, who was by birth an Ethiopian and yet in piety and uprightness far surpassed his predecessors.,3.  A proof of his goodness may be found in his abolition of the severest one of the customary penalties (I refer to the taking of life);,4.  for instead of executing the condemned he put them in chains at forced labour for the cities, and by their services constructed many dykes and dug out not a few well-placed canals; for he held that in this way he had reduced for those who were being chastised the severity of their punishment, while for the cities he had procured, in exchange for useless penalties, something of great utility.,5.  And the excessiveness of his piety may be inferred from a vision which he had in a dream and his consequent abdication of the throne.,6.  For he thought that the god of Thebes told him while he slept that he would not be able to reign over Egypt in happiness or for any great length of time, unless he should cut the bodies of all the priests in twain and accompanied by his retinue pass through the very midst of them.,7.  And when this dream came again and again, he summoned the priests from all over the land and told them that by his presence in the country he was offending the god; for were that not the case such a command would not be given to him in his sleep.,8.  And so he would rather, he continued, departing pure of all defilement from the land, deliver his life to destiny than offend the Lord, stain his own life by an impious slaughter, and reign over Egypt. And in the end he returned the kingdom to the Egyptians and retired again to Ethiopia.,1.  There being no head of the government in Egypt for two years, and the masses betaking themselves to tumults and the killing of one another, the twelve most important leaders formed a solemn league among themselves, and after they had met together for counsel in Memphis and had drawn up agreements setting forth their mutual goodwill and loyalty they proclaimed themselves kings.,2.  After they had reigned in accordance with their oaths and promises and had maintained their mutual concord for a period of fifteen years, they set about to construct a common tomb for themselves, their thought being that, just as in their lifetime they had cherished a cordial regard for one another and enjoyed equal honours, so also after their death their bodies would all rest in one place and the memorial which they had erected would hold in one embrace the glory of those buried within.,3.  Being full of zeal for this undertaking they eagerly strove to surpass all preceding rulers in the magnitude of their structure. For selecting a site at the entrance to Lake Moeris in Libya they constructed their tomb of the finest stone, and they made it in form a square but in magnitude a stade in length on each side; and in the carvings and, indeed, in all the workmanship they left nothing wherein succeeding rulers could excel them.,4.  For as a man passed through the enclosing wall he found himself in a court surrounded by columns, forty on each side, and the roof of the court consisted of a single stone, which was worked into coffers and adorned with excellent paintings.,5.  This court also contained memorials of the native district of each king and of the temples and sacrificial rites therein, artistically portrayed in most beautiful paintings.,6.  And in general, the kings are said to have made the plan of their tomb on such an expensive and enormous scale that, had they not died before the execution of their purpose, they would have left no possibility for others to surpass them, so far as the construction of monuments is concerned.,7.  After these kings had reigned over Egypt for fifteen years it came to pass that the sovereignty devolved upon one man for the following reasons.,8.  Psammetichus of Sais, who was one of the twelve kings and in charge of the regions lying along the sea, furnished wares for all merchants and especially for the Phoenicians and the Greeks;,9.  and since in this manner he disposed of the products of his own district at a profit and exchanged them for those of other peoples, he was not only possessed of great wealth but also enjoyed friendly relations with peoples and rulers.,10.  And this was the reason, they say, why the other kings became envious and opened war against him. Some of the early historians, however, tell this fanciful story: The generals had received an oracle to the effect that the first one of their number to pour a libation from a bronze bowl to the god in Memphis should rule over all Egypt, and when one of the priests brought out of the temple eleven golden bowls, Psammetichus took off his helmet and poured the libation from it.,11.  Now his colleagues, although suspecting his act, were not yet ready to put him to death, but drove him instead from public life, with orders that he should spend his days in the marshes along the sea.,12.  Whether they fell out for this reason or because of the envy which, as mentioned above, they felt towards him, at any rate Psammetichus, calling mercenaries from Caria and Ionia, overcame the others in a pitched battle near the city called Momemphis, and of the kings who opposed him some were slain in the battle and some were driven out into Libya and were no longer able to dispute with him for the throne.,1.  After Psammetichus had established his authority over the entire kingdom he built for the god in Memphis the east propylon and the enclosure about the temple, supporting it with colossi twelve cubits high in place of pillars; and among the mercenaries he distributed notable gifts over and above their promised pay, gave them the region called The Camps to dwell in, and apportioned to them much land in the region lying a little up the river from the Pelusiac mouth; they being subsequently removed thence by Amasis, who reigned many years later, and settled by him in Memphis.,2.  And since Psammetichus had established his rule with the aid of the mercenaries, he henceforth entrusted these before others with the administration of his empire and regularly maintained large mercenary forces.,3.  Once in connection with a campaign in Syria, when he was giving the mercenaries a more honourable place in his order of battle by putting them on the right wing and showing the native troops less honour by assigning them the position on the left wing of the phalanx, the Egyptians, angered by this slight and being over two hundred thousand strong, revolted and set out for Ethiopia, having determined to win for themselves a country of their own.,4.  The king at first sent some of his generals to make excuse for the dishonour done to them, but since no heed was paid to these he set out in person after them by boat, accompanied by his friends.,5.  And when they still continued their march along the Nile and were about to cross the boundary of Egypt, he besought them to change their purpose and reminded them of their temples, their homeland, and of their wives and children.,6.  But they, all crying aloud and striking their spears against their shields, declared that so long as they had weapons in their hands they would easily find homelands; and lifting their garments and pointing to their genitals they said that so long as they had those they would never be in want either of wives or of children.,7.  After such a display of high courage and of utter disdain for what among other men is regarded as of the greatest consequence, they seized the best part of Ethiopia, and after apportioning much land among themselves they made their home there.,8.  Although Psammetichus was greatly grieved over these things, he put in order the affairs of Egypt, looked after the royal revenues, and then formed alliances with both Athens and certain other Greek states.,9.  He also regularly treated with kindness any foreigners who sojourned in Egypt of their own free will, and was so great an admirer of the Hellenes that he gave his sons a Greek education; and, speaking generally, he was the first Egyptian king to open to other nations the trading-places throughout the rest of Egypt and to offer a large measure of security to strangers from across the seas.,10.  For his predecessors in power had consistently closed Egypt to strangers, either killing or enslaving any who touched its shores.,11.  Indeed, it was because of the objection to strangers on the part of the people that the impiety of Busiris became a byword among the Greeks, although this impiety was not actually such as it was described, but was made into a fictitious myth because of the exceptional disrespect of the Egyptians for ordinary customs.,1.  Four generations after Psammetichus, Apries was king for twenty-two years. He made a campaign with strong land and sea forces against Cyprus and Phoenicia, took Sidon by storm, and so terrified the other cities of Phoenicia that he secured their submission; he also defeated the Phoenicians and Cyprians in a great sea-battle and returned to Egypt with much booty.,2.  After this he sent a strong native force against Cyrenê and Barcê and, when the larger part of it was lost, the survivors became estranged from him; for they felt that he had organized the expedition with a view to its destruction in order that his rule over the rest of the Egyptians might be more secure, and so they revolted.,3.  The man sent by the king to treat with them, one Amasis, a prominent Egyptian, paid no attention to the orders given him to effect a reconciliation, but, on the contrary, increased their estrangement, joined their revolt, and was himself chosen king.,4.  When a little later all the rest of the native Egyptians also went over to Amasis, the king was in such straits that he was forced to flee for safety to the mercenaries, who numbered some thirty thousand men.,5.  A pitched battle accordingly took place near the village of Maria and the Egyptians prevailed in the struggle; Apries fell alive into the hands of the enemy and was strangled to death, and Amasis, arranging the affairs of the kingdom in whatever manner seemed to him best, ruled over the Egyptians in accordance with the laws and was held in great favour.,6.  He also reduced the cities of Cyprus and adorned many temples with noteworthy votive offerings. After a reign of fifty-five years he ended his days at the time when Cambyses, the king of the Persians, attacked Egypt, in the third year of the Sixty-third Olympiad, that in which Parmenides of Camarina won the "stadion.",1.  Now that we have discussed sufficiently the deeds of the kings of Egypt from the very earliest times down to the death of Amasis, we shall record the other events in their proper chronological setting;,2.  but at this point we shall give a summary account of the customs of Egypt, both those which are especially strange and those which can be of most value to our readers. For many of the customs obtained in ancient days among the Egyptians have not only been accepted by the present inhabitants but have aroused no little admiration among the Greeks;,3.  and for that reason those men who have won the greatest repute in intellectual things have been eager to visit Egypt in order to acquaint themselves with its laws and institutions, which they considered to be worthy of note.,4.  For despite the fact that for the reasons mentioned above strangers found it difficult in early times to enter the country, it was nevertheless eagerly visited by Orpheus and the poet Homer in the earliest times and in later times by many others, such as Pythagoras of Samos and Solon the lawgiver.,5.  Now it is maintained by the Egyptians that it was they who first discovered writing and the observation of the stars, who also discovered the basic principles of geometry and most of the arts, and established the best laws.,6.  And the best proof of all this, they say, lies in the fact that Egypt for more than four thousand seven hundred years was ruled over by kings of whom the majority were native Egyptians, and that the land was the most prosperous of the whole inhabited world; for these things could never have been true of any people which did not enjoy most excellent customs and laws and the institutions which promote culture of every kind.,7.  Now as for the stories invented by Herodotus and certain writers on Egyptian affairs, who deliberately preferred to the truth the telling of marvellous tales and the invention of myths for the delectation of their readers, these we shall omit, and we shall set forth only what appears in the written records of the priests of Egypt and has passed our careful scrutiny.,1.  When in the beginning, as their account runs, the universe was being formed, both heaven and earth were indistinguishable in appearance, since their elements were intermingled: then, when their bodies separated from one another, the universe took on in all its parts the ordered form in which it is now seen; the air set up a continual motion, and the fiery element in it gathered into the highest regions, since anything of such a nature moves upward by reason of its lightness (and it is for this reason that the sun and the multitude of other stars became involved in the universal whirl); while all that was mud-like and thick and contained an admixture of moisture sank because of its weight into one place;,2.  and as this continually turned about upon itself and became compressed, out of the wet it formed the sea, and out of what was firmer, the land, which was like potter's clay and entirely soft.,3.  But as the sun's fire shone upon the land, it first of all became firm, and then, since its surface was in a ferment because of the warmth, portions of the wet swelled up in masses in many places, and in these pustules covered with delicate membranes made their appearance. Such a phenomenon can be seen even yet in swamps and marshy places whenever, the ground having become cold, the air suddenly and without any gradual change becomes intensely warm.,4.  And while the wet was being impregnated with life by reason of the warmth in the manner described, by night the living things forthwith received their nourishment from the mist that fell from the enveloping air, and by day were made solid by the intense heat; and finally, when the embryos had attained their full development and the membranes had been thoroughly heated and broken open, there was produced every form of animal life.,5.  Of these, such as had partaken of the most warmth set off to the higher regions, having become winged, and such as retained an earthy consistency came to be numbered in the class of creeping things and of the other land animals, while those whose composition partook the most of the wet element gathered into the region congenial to them, receiving the name of water animals.,6.  And since the earth constantly grew more solid through the action of the sun's fire and of the winds, it was finally no longer able to generate any of the larger animals, but each kind of living creatures was now begotten by breeding with one another.,7.  And apparently Euripides also, who was a pupil of Anaxagoras the natural philosopher, is not opposed to this account of the nature of the universe, for in his Melanippe he writes as follows: 'Tis thus that the heav'n and earth were once one form; But since the two were sundered each from each, They now beget and bring to life all things, The trees and birds, the beasts, the spawn of sea, And race of mortals. ,1.  In the first place, then, the life which the kings of the Egyptians lived was not like that of other men who enjoy autocratic power and do in all matters exactly as they please without being held to account, but all their acts were regulated by prescriptions set forth in laws, not only their administrative acts, but also those that had to do with the way in which they spent their time from day to day, and with the food which they ate.,2.  In the matter of their servants, for instance, not one was a slave, such as had been acquired by purchase or born in the home, but all were sons of the most distinguished priests, over twenty years old and the best educated of their fellow-countrymen, in order that the king, by virtue of his having the noblest men to care for his person and to attend him throughout both day and night, might follow no low practices; for no ruler advances far along the road of evil until he has those about him who will minister to his passions.,3.  And the hours of both the day and night were laid out according to a plan, and at the specified hours it was absolutely required of the king that he should do what the laws stipulated and not what he thought best.,4.  For instance, in the morning, as soon as he was awake, he first of all had to receive the letters which had been sent from all sides, the purpose being that he might be able to despatch all administrative business and perform every act properly, being thus accurately informed about everything that was being done throughout his kingdom. Then, after he had bathed and bedecked his body with rich garments and the insignia of his office, he had to sacrifice to the gods.,5.  When the victims had been brought to the altar it was the custom for the high priest to stand near the king, with the common people of Egypt gathered around, and pray in a loud voice that health and all the other good things of life be given the king if he maintains justice towards his subjects.,6.  And an open confession had also to be made of each and every virtue of the king, the priest saying that towards the gods he was piously disposed and towards men most kindly; for he was self-controlled and just and magnanimous, truthful, and generous with his possessions, and, in a word, superior to every desire, and that he punished crimes less severely than they deserved and rendered to his benefactors a gratitude exceeding the benefaction.,7.  And after reciting much more in a similar vein he concluded his prayer with a curse concerning things done in error, exempting the king from all blame therefor and asking that both the evil consequences and the punishment should fall upon those who served him and had taught him evil things.,8.  All this he would do, partly to lead the king to fear the gods and live a life pleasing to them, and partly to accustom him to a proper manner of conduct, not by sharp admonitions, but through praises that were agreeable and most conductive to virtue.,9.  After this, when the king had performed the divination from the entrails of a calf and had found the omens good, the sacred scribe read before the assemblage from out of the sacred books some of the edifying counsels and deeds of their most distinguished men, in order that he who held the supreme leadership should first contemplate in his mind the most excellent general principles and then turn to the prescribed administration of the several functions.,10.  For there was a set time not only for his holding audiences or rendering judgments, but even for his taking a walk, bathing, and sleeping with his wife, and, in a word, for every act of his life.,11.  And it was the custom for the kings to partake of delicate food, eating no other meat than veal and duck, and drinking only a prescribed amount of wine, which was not enough to make them unreasonably surfeited or drunken.,12.  And, speaking generally, their whole diet was ordered with such continence that it had the appearance of having been drawn up, not by a lawgiver, but by the most skilled of their physicians, with only their health in view.,1.  Strange as it may appear that the king did not have the entire control of his daily fare, far more remarkable still was the fact that kings were not allowed to render any legal decision or transact any business at random or to punish anyone through malice or in anger or for any other unjust reason, but only in accordance with the established laws relative to each offence.,2.  And in following the dictates of custom in these matters, so far were they from being indignant or taking offence in their souls, that, on the contrary, they actually held that they led a most happy life;,3.  for they believed that all other men, in thoughtlessly following their natural passions, commit many acts which bring them injuries and perils, and that oftentimes some who realize that they are about to commit a sin nevertheless do base acts when overpowered by love or hatred or some other passion, while they, on the other hand, by virtue of their having cultivated a manner of life which had been chosen before all others by the most prudent of all men, fell into the fewest mistakes.,4.  And since the kings followed so righteous a course in dealing with their subjects, the people manifested a goodwill towards their rulers which surpassed even the affection they had for their own kinsmen; for not only the order of the priests but, in short, all the inhabitants of Egypt were less concerned for their wives and children and their other cherished possessions than for the safety of their kings.,5.  Consequently, during most of the time covered by the reigns of the kings of whom we have a record, they maintained an orderly civil government and continued to enjoy a most felicitous life, so long as the system of laws described was in force; and, more than that, they conquered more nations and achieved greater wealth than any other people, and adorned their lands with monuments and buildings never to be surpassed, and their cities with costly dedications of every description.,1.  Again, the Egyptian ceremonies which followed upon the death of a king afforded no small proof of the goodwill of the people towards their rulers; for the fact that the honour which they paid was to one who was insensible of it constituted an authentic testimony to its sincerity.,2.  For when any king died all the inhabitants of Egypt united in mourning for him, rending their garments, closing the temples, stopping the sacrifices, and celebrating no festivals for seventy-two days; and plastering their heads with mud and wrapping strips of linen cloth below their breasts, women as well as men went about in groups of two or three hundred, and twice each day, reciting the dirge in a rhythmic chant, they sang the praises of the deceased, recalling his virtues; nor would they eat the flesh of any living thing or food prepared from wheat, and they abstained from wine and luxury of any sort.,3.  And no one would ever have seen fit to make use of baths or unguents or soft bedding, nay more, would not even have dared to indulge in sexual pleasures, but every Egyptian grieved and mourned during those seventy-two days as if it were his own beloved child that had died.,4.  But during this interval they had made splendid preparations for the burial, and on the last day, placing the coffin containing the body before the entrance to the tomb, they set up, as custom prescribed, a tribunal to sit in judgment upon the deeds done by the deceased during his life.,5.  And when permission had been given to anyone who so wished to lay complaint against him, the priests praised all his noble deeds one after another, and the common people who had gathered in myriads to the funeral, listening to them, shouted their approval if the king had led a worthy life,,6.  but if he had not, they raised a clamour of protest. And in fact many kings have been deprived of the public burial customarily accorded them because of the opposition of the people; the result was, consequently, that the successive kings practised justice, not merely for the reasons just mentioned, but also because of their fear of the despite which would be shown their body after death and of eternal obloquy. Of the customs, then, touching the early kings these are the most important.,1.  And since Egypt as a whole is divided into several parts which in Greek are called nomes, over each of these a nomarch is appointed who is charged with both the oversight and care of all its affairs.,2.  Furthermore, the entire country is divided into three parts, the first of which is held by the order of the priests, which is accorded the greatest veneration by the inhabitants both because these men have charge of the worship of the gods and because by virtue of their education they bring to bear a higher intelligence than others.,3.  With the income from these holdings of land they perform all the sacrifices throughout Egypt, maintain their assistants, and minister to their own needs; for it has always been held that the honours paid to the gods should never be changed, but should ever be performed by the same men and in the same manner, and that those who deliberate on behalf of all should not lack the necessities of life.,4.  For, speaking generally, the priests are the first to deliberate upon the most important matters and are always at the king's side, sometimes as his assistants, sometimes to propose measures and give instructions, and they also, by their knowledge of astrology and of divination, forecast future events, and read to the king, out of the record of acts preserved in their sacred books, those which can be of assistance.,5.  For it is not the case with the Egyptians as it is with the Greeks, that a single man or a single woman takes over the priesthood, but many are engaged in the sacrifices and honours paid the gods and pass on to their descendants the same rule of life. They also pay no taxes of any kind, and in repute and in power are second after the king.,6.  The second part of the country has been taken over by the kings for their revenues, out of which they pay the cost of their wars, support the splendour of their court, and reward with fitting gifts any who have distinguished themselves; and they do not swamp the private citizens by taxation, since their income from these revenues gives them a great plenty.,7.  The last part is held by the warriors, as they are called, who are subject to call for all military duties, the purpose being that those who hazard their lives may be most loyal to the country because of such allotment of land and thus may eagerly face the perils of war.,8.  For it would be absurd to entrust the safety of the entire nation to these men and yet have them possess in the country no property to fight for valuable enough to arouse their ardour. But the most important consideration is the fact that, if they are well-to‑do, they will readily beget children and thus so increase the population that the country will not need to call in any mercenary troops.,9.  And since their calling, like that of the priests, is hereditary, the warriors are incited to bravery by the distinguished records of their fathers and, inasmuch as they become zealous students of warfare from their boyhood up, they turn out to be invincible by reason of their daring and skill.,1.  There are three other classes of free citizens, namely, the herdsmen, the husbandmen, and the artisans. Now the husbandmen rent on moderate terms the arable land held by the king and the priests and the warriors, and spend their entire time in tilling the soil; and since from very infancy they are brought up in connection with the various tasks of farming, they are far more experienced in such matters than the husbandmen of any other nation;,2.  for of all mankind they acquire the most exact knowledge of the nature of the soil, the use of water in irrigation, the times of sowing and reaping, and the harvesting of crops in general, some details of which they have learned from the observations of their ancestors and others in the school of their own experience.,3.  And what has been said applies equally well to the herdsmen, who receive the care of animals from their fathers as if by a law of inheritance, and follow a pastoral life all the days of their existence.,4.  They have received, it is true, much from their ancestors relative to the best care and feeding of grazing animals, but to this they add not a little by reason of their own interest in such matters; and the most astonishing fact is that, by reason of their unusual application to such matters, the men who have charge of poultry and geese, in addition to producing them in the natural way known to all mankind, raise them by their own hands, by virtue of a skill peculiar to them, in numbers beyond telling;,5.  for they do not use the birds for hatching the eggs, but, in effecting this themselves artificially by their own wit and skill in an astounding manner, they are not surpassed by the operations of nature.,6.  Furthermore, one may see that the crafts also among the Egyptians are very diligently cultivated and brought to their proper development; for they are the only people where all the craftsmen are forbidden to follow any other occupation or belong to any other class of citizens than those stipulated by the laws and handed down to them from their parents, the result being that neither ill-will towards a teacher nor political distractions nor any other thing interferes with their interest in their work.,7.  For whereas among all other peoples it can be observed that the artisans are distracted in mind by many things, and through the desire to advance themselves do not stick exclusively to their own occupation; for some try their hands at agriculture, some dabble in trade, and some cling to two or three crafts, and in states having a democratic form of government vast numbers of them, trooping to the meetings of the Assembly, ruin the work of the government, while they make a profit for themselves at the expense of others who pay them their wage, yet among the Egyptians if any artisan should take part in public affairs or pursue several crafts he is severely punished.,8.  Such, then, were the divisions of the citizens, maintained by the early inhabitants of Egypt, and their devotion to their own class which they inherited from their ancestors.,1.  In their administration of justice the Egyptians also showed no merely casual interest, holding that the decisions of the courts exercise the greatest influence upon community life, and this in each of their two aspects.,2.  For it was evident to them that if the offenders against the law should be punished and the injured parties should be afforded succour there would be an ideal correction of wrongdoing; but if, on the other hand, the fear which wrongdoers have of the judgments of the courts should be brought to naught by bribery or favour, they saw that the break-up of community life would follow.,3.  Consequently, by appointing the best men from the most important cities as judges over the whole land they did not fall short of the end which they had in mind. For from Heliopolis and Thebes and Memphis they used to choose ten judges from each, and this court was regarded as in no way inferior to that composed of the Areopagites at Athens or of the Elders at Sparta.,4.  And when the thirty assembled they chose the best one of their number and made him chief justice, and in his stead the city sent another judge. Allowances to provide for their needs were supplied by the king, to the judges sufficient for their maintenance, and many times as much to the chief justice.,5.  The latter regularly wore suspended from his neck by a golden chain a small image made of precious stones, which they called Truth; the hearings of the pleas commenced whenever the chief justice put on the image of Truth.,6.  The entire body of the laws was written down in eight volumes which lay before the judges, and the custom was that the accuser should present in writing the particulars of his complaint, namely, the charge, how the thing happened, and the amount of injury or damage done, whereupon the defendant would take the document submitted by his opponents in the suit and reply in writing to each charge, to the effect either that he did not commit the deed, or, if he did, that he was not guilty of wrongdoing, or, if he was guilty of wrongdoing, that he should receive a lighter penalty.,7.  After that, the law required that the accuser should reply to this in writing and that the defendant should offer a rebuttal. And after both parties had twice presented their statements in writing to the judges, it was the duty of the thirty at once to declare their opinions among themselves and of the chief justice to place the image of Truth upon one or the other of the two pleas which had been presented.,1.  This was the manner, as their account goes, in which the Egyptians conducted all court proceedings, since they believed that if the advocates were allowed to speak they would greatly becloud the justice of a case; for they knew that the clever devices of orators, the cunning witchery of their delivery, and the tears of the accused would influence many to overlook the severity of the laws and the strictness of truth;,2.  at any rate they were aware that men who are highly respected as judges are often carried away by the eloquence of the advocates, either because they are deceived, or because they are won over by the speaker's charm, or because the emotion of pity has been aroused in them; but by having the parties to a suit present their pleas in writing, it was their opinion that the judgments would be strict, only the bare facts being taken into account.,3.  For in that case there would be the least chance that gifted speakers would have an advantage over the slower, or the well-practised over the inexperienced, or the audacious liars over those who were truth-loving and restrained in character, but all would get their just dues on an equal footing, since by the provision of the laws ample time is taken, on the one hand by the disputants for the examination of the arguments of the other side, and, on the other hand, by the judges for the comparison of the allegations of both parties.,1.  Since we have spoken of their legislation, we feel that it will not be foreign to the plan of our history to present such laws of the Egyptians as were especially old or took on an extraordinary form, or, in general, can be of help to lovers of reading.,2.  Now in the first place, their penalty for perjurers was death, on the ground that such men are guilty of the two greatest transgressions — being impious towards the gods and overthrowing the mightiest pledge known among men.,3.  Again, if a man, walking on a road in Egypt, saw a person being killed or, in a word, suffering any kind of violence and did not come to his aid if able to do so, he had to die; and if he was truly prevented from aiding the person because of inability, he was in any case required to lodge information against the bandits and to bring an act against their lawless act; and in case he failed to do this as the law required, it was required that he be scourged with a fixed number of stripes and be deprived of every kind of food for three days.,4.  Those who brought false accusations against others had to suffer the penalty that would have been meted out to the accused persons had they been adjudged guilty.,5.  All Egyptians were also severally required to submit to the magistrates a written declaration of the sources of their livelihood, and any man making a false declaration or gaining an unlawful means of livelihood had to pay the death penalty. And it is said that Solon, after his visit to Egypt, brought this law to Athens.,6.  If anyone intentionally killed a free man or a slave the laws enjoined that he be put to death; for they, in the first place, wished that it should not be through the accidental differences in men's condition in life but through the principles governing their actions that all men should be restrained from evil deeds, and, on the other hand, they sought to accustom mankind, through such consideration for slaves, to refrain all the more from committing any offence whatever against freemen.,7.  In the case of parents who had slain their children, though the laws did not prescribe death, yet the offenders had to hold the dead body in their arms for three successive days and nights, under the surveillance of a state guard; for it was not considered just to deprive of life those who had given life to their children, but rather by a warning which brought with it pain and repentance to turn them from such deeds.,8.  But for children who had killed their parents they reserved an extraordinary punishment; for it was required that those found guilty of this crime should have pieces of flesh about the size of a finger cut out of their bodies with sharp reeds and then be put on a bed of thorns and burned alive; for they held that to take by violence the life of those who had given them life was the greatest crime possible to man.,9.  Pregnant women who had been condemned to death were not executed until they had been delivered. The same law has also been enacted by many Greek states, since they held it entirely unjust that the innocent should suffer the same punishment as the guilty, that a penalty should be exacted of two for only one transgression, and, further, that, since the crime had been actuated by an evil intention, a being as yet without intelligence should receive the same correction, and, what is the most important consideration, that in view of the fact that the guilty had been laid at the door of the pregnant mother it was by no means proper that the child, who belongs to the father as well as to the mother, should be despatched;,10.  for a man may properly consider judges who spare the life of a murderer to be no worse than other judges who destroy that which is guilty of no crime whatsoever.,11.  Now of the laws dealing with murder these are those which are thought to have been the most successful. ,1.  Among their other laws one, which concerned military affairs, made the punishment of deserters or of any who disobeyed the command of their leaders, not death, but the uttermost disgrace;,2.  but if later on such men wiped out their disgrace by a display of manly courage, they were restored to their former freedom of speech. Thus the lawgiver at the same time made disgrace a more terrible punishment than death, in order to accustom all the people to consider dishonour the greatest of evils, and he also believed that, while dead men would never be of value to society, men who had been disgraced would do many a good deed through their desire to regain freedom of speech.<,3.  In the case of those who had disclosed military secrets to the enemy the law prescribed that their tongues should be cut out, while in the case of counterfeiters or falsifiers of measures and weights or imitators of seals, and of official scribes who made false entries or erased items, and of any who adduced false documents, it ordered that both their hands should be cut off, to the end that the offender, being punished in respect of those members of his body that were the instruments of his wrongdoing, should himself keep until death his irreparable misfortune, and at the same time, by serving as a warning example to others, should turn them from the commission of similar offences.,4.  Severe also were their laws touching women. For if a man had violated a free married woman, they stipulated that he be emasculated, considering that such a person by a single unlawful act had been guilty of the three greatest crimes, assault, abduction, and confusion of offspring;,5.  but if a man committed adultery with the woman's consent, the laws ordered that the man should receive a thousand blows with the rod, and that the woman should have her nose cut off, on the ground that a woman who tricks herself out with an eye to forbidden licence should be deprived of that which contributes most to a woman's comeliness.,1.  Their laws governing contracts they attribute to Bocchoris. These prescribe that men who had borrowed money without signing a bond, if they denied the indebtedness, might take an oath to that effect and be cleared of the obligation. The purpose, was, in the first place, that men might stand in awe of the gods by attributing great importance to oaths,,2.  for, since it is manifest that the man who has repeatedly taken such an oath will in the end lose the confidence which others had in him, everyone will consider it a matter of the utmost concern not to have recourse to the oath lest he forfeit his credit. In the second place, the lawgiver assumed that by basing confidence entirely upon a man's sense of honour he would incite all men to be virtuous in character, in order that they might not be talked about as being unworthy of confidence; and, furthermore, he held it to be unjust that men who had been trusted with a loan without an oath should not be trusted when they gave their oath regarding the same transaction. And whoever lent money along with a written bond was forbidden to do more than double the principal from interest.,3.  In the case of debtors the lawgiver ruled that the repayment of loans could be exacted only from a man's estate, and under no condition did he allow the debtor's person to be subject to seizure, holding that whereas property should belong to those who had amassed it or had received it from some earlier holder by way of a gift, the bodies of citizens should belong to the state, to the end that the state might avail itself of the services which its citizens owed it, in times of both war and peace. For it would be absurd, he felt, that a soldier, at the moment perhaps when he was setting forth to fight for his fatherland, should be haled to prison by his creditor for an unpaid loan, and that the greed of private citizens should in this way endanger the safety of all.,4.  And it appears that Solon took this law also to Athens, calling it a "disburdenment," when he absolved all the citizens of the loans, secured by their persons, which they owed.,5.  But certain individuals find fault, and not without reason, with the majority of the Greek lawgivers, who forbade the taking of weapons and ploughs and other quite indispensable things as security for loans, but nevertheless allowed the men who would use these implements to be subject to imprisonments.,1.  Concerning the first generation of the universe this is the account which we have received. But the first men to be born, he says, led an undisciplined and bestial life, setting out one by one to secure their sustenance and taking for their food both the tenderest herbs and the fruits of wild trees. Then,,2.  since they were attacked by the wild beasts, they came to each other's aid, being instructed by expediency, and when gathered together in this way by reason of their fear, they gradually came to recognize their mutual characteristics.,3.  And though the sounds which they made were at first unintelligible and indistinct, yet gradually they came to give articulation to their speech, and by agreeing with one another upon symbols for each thing which presented itself to them, made known among themselves the significance which was to be attached to each term.,4.  But since groups of this kind arose over every part of the inhabited world, not all men had the same language, inasmuch as every group organized the elements of its speech by mere chance. This is the explanation of the present existence of every conceivable kind of language, and, furthermore, out of these first groups to be formed came all the original nations of the world.,5.  Now the first men, since none of the things useful for life had yet been discovered, led a wretched existence, having no clothing to cover them, knowing not the use of dwelling and fire, and also being totally ignorant of cultivated food.,6.  For since they also even neglected the harvesting of the wild food, they laid by no store of its fruits against their needs; consequently large numbers of them perished in the winters because of the cold and the lack of food.,7.  Little by little, however, experience taught them both to take to the caves in winter and to store such fruits as could be preserved.,8.  And when they had become acquainted with fire and other useful things, the arts also and whatever else is capable of furthering man's social life were gradually discovered.,9.  Indeed, speaking generally, in all things it was necessity itself that became man's teacher, supplying in appropriate fashion instruction in every matter to a creature which was well endowed by nature and had, as its assistants for every purpose, hands and speech and sagacity of mind.,10.  And as regards the first origin of men and their earliest manner of life we shall be satisfied with what has been said, since we would keep due proportion in our account.  But as regards all the events which have been handed down to memory and took place in the known regions of the inhabited world, we shall now undertake to give a full account of them.,1.  The Egyptian law dealing with thieves was also a very peculiar one. For it bade any who chose to follow this occupation to enter their names with the Chief of the Thieves and by agreement to bring to him immediately the stolen articles, while any who had been robbed filed with him in like manner a list of all the missing articles, stating the place, the day, and the hour of the loss.,2.  And since by this method all lost articles were readily found, the owner who had lost anything had only to pay one-fourth of its value in order to recover just what belonged to him. For as it was impossible to keep all mankind from stealing, the lawgiver devised a scheme whereby every article lost would be recovered upon payment of a small ransom.,3.  In accordance with the marriage-customs of the Egyptians the priests have but one wife, but any other man takes as many as he may determine; and the Egyptians are required to raise all their children in order to increase the population, on the ground that large numbers are the greatest factor in increasing the prosperity of both country and cities. Nor do they hold any child a bastard, even though he was born of a slave mother;,4.  for they have taken the general position that the father is the sole author of procreation and that the mother only supplies the fetus with nourishment and a place to live, and they call the trees which bear fruit "male" and those which do not "female," exactly opposite to the Greek usage.,5.  They feed their children in a sort of happy-go‑lucky fashion that in its inexpensiveness quite surpasses belief; for they serve them with stews made of any stuff that is ready to hand and cheap, and give them such stalks of the byblos plant as can be roasted in the coals, and the roots and stems of marsh plants, either raw or boiled or baked.,6.  And since most of the children are reared without shoes or clothing because of the mildness of the climate of the country, the entire expense incurred by the parents of a child until it comes to maturity is not more than twenty drachmas. These are the leading reasons why Egypt has such an extraordinarily large population, and it is because of this fact that she possesses a vast number of great monuments.,1.  In the education of their sons the priests teach them two kinds of writing, that which is called "sacred" and that which is used in the more general instruction. Geometry and arithmetic are given special attention.,2.  For the river, by changing the face of the country each year in manifold ways, gives rise to many and varied disputes between neighbours over their boundary lines, and these disputes cannot be easily tested out with any exactness unless a geometer works out the truth scientifically by the application of his experience.,3.  And arithmetic is serviceable with reference to the business affairs connected with making a living and also in applying the principles of geometry, and likewise is of no small assistance to students of astrology as well.,4.  For the positions and arrangements of the stars as well as their motions have always been the subject of careful observation among the Egyptians, if anywhere in the world; they have preserved to this day the records concerning each of these stars over an incredible number of years, this subject of study having been zealously preserved among them from ancient times, and they have also observed with the utmost avidity the motions and orbits and stoppings of the planets, as well as the influences of each one on the generation of all living things — the good or the evil effects, namely, of which they are the cause.,5.  And while they are often successful in predicting to men the events which are going to befall them in the course of their lives, not infrequently they foretell destructions of the crops or, on the other hand, abundant yields, and pestilences that are to attack men or beasts, and as a result of their long observations they have prior knowledge of earthquakes and floods, of the risings of the comets, and of all things which the ordinary man looks upon as beyond all finding out.,6.  And according to them the Chaldaeans of Babylon, being colonists from Egypt, enjoy the fame which they have for their astrology because they learned that science from the priests of Egypt.,7.  As to the general mass of the Egyptians, they are instructed from their childhood by their fathers or kinsmen in the practices proper to each manner of life as previously described by us; but as for reading and writing, the Egyptians at large give their children only a superficial instruction in them, and not all do this, but for the most part only those who are engaged in the crafts. In wrestling and music, however, it is not customary among them to receive any instruction at all; for they hold that from the daily exercises in wrestling their young men will gain, not health, but a vigour that is only temporary and in fact quite dangerous, while they consider music to be not only useless but even harmful, since it makes the spirits of the listeners effeminate.,1.  In order to prevent sicknesses they look after the health of their bodies by means of drenches, fastings, and emetics, sometimes every day and sometimes at intervals of three or four days.,2.  For they say that the larger part of the food taken into the body is superfluous and that it is from this superfluous part that diseases are engendered; consequently the treatment just mentioned, by removing the beginnings of disease, would be most likely to produce health.,3.  On their military campaigns and their journeys in the country they all receive treatment without the payment of any private fee; for the physicians draw their support from public funds and administer their treatments in accordance with a written law which was composed in ancient times by many famous physicians. If they follow the rules of this law as they read them in the sacred book and yet are unable to save their patient, they are absolved from any charge and go unpunished; but if they go contrary to the law's prescriptions in any respect, they must submit to a trial with death as the penalty, the lawgiver holding that but few physicians would ever show themselves wiser than the mode of treatment which had been closely followed for a long period and had been originally prescribed by the ablest practitioners.,1.  As regards the consecration of animals in Egypt, the practice naturally appears to many to be extraordinary and worthy of investigation. For the Egyptian venerate certain animals exceedingly, not only during their lifetime but even after their death, such as cats, ichneumons and dogs, and, again, hawks and the birds which they call "ibis," as well as wolves and crocodiles and a number of other animals of that kind, and the reasons for such worship we shall undertake to set forth, after we have first spoken briefly about the animals themselves.,2.  In the first place, for each kind of animal that is accorded this worship there has been consecrated a portion of land which returns a revenue sufficient for their care and sustenance; moreover, the Egyptians make vows to certain gods on behalf of their children who have been delivered from an illness, in which case they shave off their hair and weigh it against silver or gold, and then give the money to the attendants of the animals mentioned.,3.  These cut up flesh for the hawks and calling them with a loud cry toss it up to them, as they swoop by, until they catch it, while for the cats and ichneumons they break up bread into milk and calling them with a clucking sound set it before them, or else they cut up fish caught in the Nile and feed the flesh to them raw; and in like manner each of the other kinds of animals is provided with the appropriate food.,4.  And as for the various services which these animals require, the Egyptians not only do not try to avoid them or feel ashamed to be seen by the crowds as they perform them, but on the contrary, in the belief that they are engaged in the most serious rites of divine worship, they assume airs of importance, and wearing special insignia make the rounds of the cities and the countryside. And since it can be seen from afar in the service of what animals they engaged, all who meet them fall down before them and render them honour.,5.  When one of these animals dies they wrap it in fine linen and then, wailing and beating their breasts, carry it off to be embalmed; and after it has been treated with cedar oil and such spices as have the quality of imparting a pleasant odour and of preserving the body for a long time, they lay it away in a consecrated tomb.,6.  And whoever intentionally kills one of these animals is put to death, unless it be a cat or an ibis that he kills; but if he kills one of these, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he is certainly put to death, for the common people gather in crowds and deal with the perpetrator most cruelly, sometimes doing this without waiting for a trial.,7.  And because of their fear of such a punishment any who have caught sight of one of these animals lying dead withdraw to a great distance and shout with lamentations and protestations that they found the animal already dead.,8.  So deeply implanted also in the hearts of the common people is their superstitious regard for these animals and so unalterable are the emotions cherished by every man regarding the honour due to them that once, at the time when Ptolemy their king had not as yet been given by the Romans the appellation of "friend" and the people were exercising all zeal in courting the favour of the embassy from Italy which was then visiting Egypt and, in their fear, were intent upon giving no cause for complaint or war, when one of the Romans killed a cat and the multitude rushed in a crowd to his house, neither the officials sent by the king to beg the man off nor the fear of Rome which all the people felt were enough to save the man from punishment, even though his act had been an accident.,9.  And this incident we relate, not from hearsay, but we saw it with our own eyes on the occasion of the visit we made to Egypt.,1.  But if what has been said seems to many incredible and like a fanciful tale, what is to follow will appear far more extraordinary. Once, they say, when the inhabitants of Egypt were being hard pressed by a famine, many in their need laid hands upon their fellows, yet not a single man was even accused of having partaken of the sacred animals.,2.  Furthermore, whenever a dog is found dead in any house, every inmate of it shaves his entire body and goes into mourning, and what is more astonishing than this, if any wine or grain or any other thing necessary to life happens to be stored in the building where one of these animals has expired, they would never think of using it thereafter for any purpose.,3.  And if they happen to be making a military expedition in another country, they ransom the captive cats and hawks and bring them back to Egypt, and this they do sometimes even when their supply of money for the journey is running short.,4.  As for ceremonies connected with the Apis of Memphis, the Mnevis of Heliopolis and the goat of Mendes, as well as with the crocodile of the Lake of Moeris, the lion kept in the City of Lions (Leontopolis), as it is called, and many other ceremonies like them, they could easily be described, but the writer would scarcely be believed by any who had not actually witnessed them.,5.  For these animals are kept in sacred enclosures and cared for by many men of distinction who offer them the most expensive fare; for they provide, with unfailing regularity, the finest wheaten flour or wheat-groats seethed in milk, every kind of sweetmeat made with honey, and the meat of ducks, either boiled or baked, while for the carnivorous animals birds are caught and thrown to them in abundance, and, in general, great care is given that they have an expensive fare.,6.  They are continually bathing the animals in warm water, anointing them with the most precious ointments, and burning before them every kind of fragrant incense; they furnish them with the most expensive coverlets and with splendid jewellery, and exercise the greatest care that they shall enjoy sexual intercourse according to the demands of nature; furthermore, with every animal they keep the most beautiful females of the same genus, which they call his concubines and attend to at the cost of heavy expense and assiduous service.,7.  When any animal dies they mourn for it as deeply as do those who have lost a beloved child, and bury it in a manner not in keeping with their ability but going far beyond the value of their estates.,8.  For instance, after the death of Alexander and just subsequently to the taking over of Egypt by Ptolemy the son of Lagus, it happened that the Apis in Memphis died of old age; and the man who was charged with the care of him spent on his burial not only the whole of the very large sum which had been provided for the animal's maintenance, but also borrowed in addition fifty talents of silver from Ptolemy. And even in our own day some of the keepers of these animals have spent on their burial not less than one hundred talents.,1.  There should be added to what has been said what still remains to be told concerning the ceremonies connected with the sacred bull called Apis. After he has died and has received a magnificent burial, the priests who are charged with this duty seek out a young bull which has on its body markings similar to those of its predecessor;,2.  and when it has been found the people cease their mourning and the priests who have the care of it first take the young bull to Nilopolis, where it is kept forty days, and then, putting it on a state barge fitted out with a gilded cabin, conduct it as a god to the sanctuary of Hephaestus at Memphis.,3.  During these forty days only women may look at it; these stand facing it and pulling up their garments show their genitals, but henceforth they are forever prevented from coming into the presence of this god.,4.  Some explain the origin of the honour accorded this bull in this way, saying that at the death of Osiris his soul passed into this animal, and therefore up to this day has always passed into its successors at the times of the manifestation of Osiris;,5.  but some say that when Osiris died at the hands of Typhon Isis collected the members of his body and put them in an ox (bous), made of wood covered over with fine linen, and because of this the city was called Bousiris. Many other stories are told about the Apis, but we feel that it would be a long task to recount all the details regarding them.,1.  Since all the practices of the Egyptians in their worship of animals are astonishing and beyond belief, they occasion much difficulty for those who would seek out their origins and causes.,2.  Now their priests have on this subject a teaching which may not be divulged, as we have already stated in connection with their accounts of the gods, but the majority of the Egyptians give the following three causes, the first of which belongs entirely to the realm of fable and is in keeping with the simplicity of primitive times.,3.  They say, namely, that the gods who came into existence in the beginning, being few in number and overpowered by the multitude and the lawlessness of earth-born men, took on the forms of certain animals, and in this way saved themselves from the savagery and violence of mankind; but afterwards, when they had established their power over all things in the universe, out of gratitude to the animals which had been responsible for their salvation at the outset, they made sacred those kinds whose form they had assumed, and instructed mankind to maintain them in a costly fashion while living and to bury them at death.,4.  The second cause which they give is this — that the early Egyptians, after having been defeated by their neighbours in many battles because of the lack of order in their army, conceived the idea of carrying standards before the several divisions.,5.  Consequently, they say, the commanders fashioned figures of the animals which they now worship and carried them fixed on lances, and by this device every man knew where his place was in the array. And since the good order resulting therefrom greatly contributed to victory, they thought that the animals had been responsible for their deliverance; and so the people, wishing to show their gratitude to them, established the custom of not killing any one of the animals whose likeness had been fashioned at that time, but of rendering to them, as objects of worship, the care and honour which we have previously described.,1.  The third cause which they adduce in connection with the dispute in question is the service which each one of these animals renders for the benefit of community life and of mankind.,2.  The cow, for example, bears workers and ploughs the lighter soil; the sheep lamb twice in the year and provide by their wool both protection for the body and its decorous covering, while by their milk and cheese they furnish food that is both appetizing and abundant. Again, the dog is useful both for the hunt and for man's protection, and this is why they represent the god whom they call Anubis with a dog's head, showing in this way that he was the bodyguard of Osiris and Isis.,3.  There are some, however, who explain that dogs guided Isis during her search for Osiris and protected her from wild beasts and wayfarers, and that they helped her in her search, because of the affection they bore for her, by baying; and this is the reason why at the Festival of Isis the procession is led by dogs, those who introduced the rite showing forth in this way the kindly service rendered by this animal of old.,4.  The cat is likewise useful against asps with their deadly bite and the other reptiles that sting, while the ichneumon keeps a look-out for the newly-laid seed of the crocodile and crushes the eggs left by the female, doing this carefully and zealously even though it receives no benefit from the act.,5.  Were this not done, the river would have become impassable because of the multitude of beasts that would be born. And the crocodiles themselves are also killed by this animal in an astonishing and quite incredible manner; for the ichneumons roll themselves over and over in the mud, and when the crocodiles go to sleep on the land with their mouths open they jump down their mouths into the centre of their body; then, rapidly gnawing through the bowels, they get out unscathed themselves and at the same time kill their victims instantly.,6.  And of the sacred birds the ibis is useful as a protector against the snakes, the locusts, and the caterpillars, and the hawk against the scorpions, horned serpents, and the small animals of noxious bite which cause the greatest destruction of men.,7.  But some maintain that the hawk is honoured because it is used as a bird of omen by the soothsayers in predicting to the Egyptians events which are to come.,8.  Others, however, say that in primitive times a hawk brought to the priests in Thebes a book wrapped about with a purple band, which contained written directions concerning the worship of gods and the honours due to them; and it is for this reason, they add, that the sacred scribes wear on their heads a purple band and the wing of a hawk.,9.  The eagle also is honoured by the Thebans because it is believed to be a royal animal and worthy of Zeus. ,1.  They have deified the goat, just as the Greeks are said to have honoured Priapus, because of the generative member; for this animal has a very great propensity for copulation, and it is fitting that honour be shown to that member of the body which is the cause of generation, being, as it were, the primal author of all animal life.,2.  And, in general, not only the Egyptians but not a few other peoples as well have in the rites they observe treated the male member as sacred, on the ground that it is the cause of the generation of all creatures; and the priests in Egypt who have inherited their priestly offices from their fathers are initiated first into the mysteries of this god.,3.  And both the Pans and the Satyrs, they say, are worshipped by men for the same reason; and this is why most peoples set up in their sacred places statues of them showing the phallus erect and resembling a goat's in nature, since according to tradition this animal is most efficient in copulation; consequently, by representing these creatures in such fashion, the dedicants are returning thanks to them for their own numerous offspring.,4.  The sacred bulls — I refer to the Apis and the Mnevis — are honoured like the gods, as Osiris commanded, both because of their use in farming and also because the fame of those who discovered the fruits of the earth is handed down by the labours of these animals to succeeding generations for all time. Red oxen, however, may be sacrificed, because it is thought that this was the colour of Typhon, who plotted against Osiris and was then punished by Isis for the death of her husband.,5.  Men also, if they were of the same colour as Typhon, were sacrificed, they say, in ancient times by the kings at the tomb of Osiris; however, only a few Egyptians are now found red in colour, and but the majority of such are non-Egyptians, and this is why the story spread among the Greeks of the slaying of foreigners by Busiris, although Busiris was not the name of the king but of the tomb of Osiris, which is called that in the language of the land.,6.  The wolves are honoured, they say, because their nature is so much like that of dogs, for the natures of these two animals are little different from each other and hence offspring is produced by their interbreeding. But the Egyptians offer another explanation for the honour accorded this animal, although it pertains more to the realm of myth; for they say that in early times when Isis, aided by her son Horus, was about to commence her struggle with Typhon, Osiris came from Hades to help his son and his wife, having taken on the guise of wolf; and so, upon the death of Typhon, his conquerors commanded men to honour the animal upon whose appearance victory followed.,7.  But some say that once, when the Ethiopians had marched against Egypt, a great number of bands of wolves (lykoi) gathered together and drove the invaders out of the country, pursuing them beyond the city named Elephantine; and therefore that nome was given the name Lycopolite and these animals were granted the honour in question.,1.  It remains for us to speak of the deification of crocodiles, a subject regarding which most men are entirely at a loss to explain how, when these beasts eat the flesh of men, it ever became the law to honour like the gods creatures of the most revolting habits.,2.  Their reply is, that the security of the country is ensured, not only by the river, but to a much greater degree by the crocodiles in it; that for this reason the robbers that infest both Arabia and Libya do not dare to swim across the Nile, because they fear the beasts, whose number is very great; and that this would never have been the case if war were continually being waged against the animals and they had been utterly destroyed by hunters dragging the river with nets.,3.  But still another account is given of these beasts. For some say that once one of the early kings whose name was Menas, being pursued by his own dogs, came in his flight to the Lake of Moeris, as it is called, where, strange as it may seem, a crocodile took him on his back and carried him to the other side. Wishing to show his gratitude to the beast for saving him, he founded a city near the place and named it City of the Crocodiles; and he commanded the natives of the region to worship these animals as gods and dedicated the lake to them for their sustenance; and in that place he also constructed his own tomb, erecting a pyramid with four sides, and built the Labyrinth which is admired by many.,4.  A similar diversity of customs exists, according to their accounts, with regard to everything else, but it would be a long task to set forth the details concerning them. That they have adopted these customs for themselves because of the advantage accruing therefrom to their life is clear to all from the fact that there are those among them who will not touch many particular kinds of food. Some, for instance, abstain entirely from lentils, others from beans, and some from cheese or onions or certain other foods, there being many kinds of food in Egypt, showing in this way that men must be taught to deny themselves things that are useful, and that if all ate of everything the supply of no article of consumption would hold out.,5.  But some adduce other causes and say that, since under the early kings the multitude were often revolting and conspiring against their rulers, one of the kings who was especially wise divided the land into a number of parts and commanded the inhabitants of each to revere a certain animal or else not to eat a certain food, his thought being that, with each group of people revering what was honoured among themselves but despising what was sacred to all the rest, all the inhabitants of Egypt would never be able to be of one mind.,6.  And this purpose, they declare, is clear from the results; for every group of people is at odds with its neighbours, being offended at their violations of the customs mentioned above.,2.  Now as to who were the first kings we are in no position to speak on our own authority, nor do we give assent to those historians who profess to know; for it is impossible that the discovery of writing was of so early a date as to have been contemporary with the first kings. But if a man should concede even this last point, it still seems evident that writers of history are as a class a quite recent appearance in the life of mankind.,3.  Again, with respect to the antiquity of the human race, not only do Greeks put forth their claims but many of the barbarians as well, all holding that it is they who were autochthonous and the first of all men to discover the things which are of use in life, and that it was the events in their own history which were the earliest to have been held worthy of record.,4.  So far as we are concerned, however, we shall not make the attempt to determine with precision the antiquity of each nation or what is the race whose nations are prior in point of time to the rest and by how many years, but we shall record summarily, keeping due proportion in our account, what each nation has to say concerning its antiquity and the early events in its history.,5.  The first peoples which we shall discuss will be the barbarians, not that we consider them to be earlier than the Greeks, as Ephorus has said, but because we wish to set forth most of the facts about them at the outset, in order that we may not, by beginning with the various accounts given by the Greeks, have to interpolate in the different narrations of their early history any event connected with another people.,6.  And since Egypt is the country where mythology places the origin of the gods, where the earliest observations of the stars are said to have been made, and where, furthermore, many noteworthy deeds of great men are recorded, we shall begin our history with the events connected with Egypt.,1.  Some advance some such reason as the following for their deification of the animals. When men, they say, first ceased living like the beasts and gathered into groups, at the outset they kept devouring each other and warring among themselves, the more powerful ever prevailing over the weaker; but later those who were deficient in strength, taught by expediency, grouped together and took for the device upon their standard one of the animals which was later made sacred; then, when those who were from time to time in fear flocked to this symbol, an organized body was formed which was not to be despised by any who attacked it.,2.  And when everybody else did the same thing, the whole people came to be divided into organized bodies, and in the case of each the animal which had been responsible for its safety was accorded honours like those belonging to the gods, as having rendered to them the greatest service possible; and this is why to this day the several groups of the Egyptians differ from each other in that each group honours the animals which it originally made sacred. In general, they say, the Egyptians surpass all other peoples in showing gratitude for every benefaction, since they hold that the return of gratitude to benefactors is a very great resource in life; for it is clear that all men will want to bestow their benefactions preferably upon those who they see will most honourably treasure up the favours they bestow.,3.  And it is apparently on these grounds that the Egyptians prostrate themselves before their kings and honour them as being in truth very gods, holding, on the one hand, that it was not without the influence of some divine providence that these men have attained to the supreme power, and feeling, also, that such as have the will and the strength to confer the greatest benefactions share in the divine nature.,4.  Now if we have dwelt over-long on the topic of the sacred animals, we have at least thoroughly considered those customs of the Egyptians that men most marvel at.,1.  But not least will a man marvel at the peculiarity of the customs of the Egyptians when he learns of their usages with respect to the dead. For whenever anyone dies among them, all his relatives and friends, plastering their heads with mud, roam about the city lamenting, until the body receives burial. Nay more, during that time they indulge in neither baths, nor wine, nor in any other food worth mentioning, nor do they put on bright clothing.,2.  There are three classes of burial, the most expensive, the medium, and the most humble. And if the first is used the cost, they say, is a talent of silver, if the second, twenty minae, and if the last, the expense is, they say, very little indeed.,3.  Now the men who treat the bodies are skilled artisans who have received this professional knowledge as a family tradition; and these lay before the relatives of the deceased a price-list of every item connected with the burial, and ask them in what manner they wish the body to be treated.,4.  When an agreement has been reached on every detail and they have taken the body, they turn it over to men who have been assigned to the service and have become inured to it. The first is the scribe, as he is called, who, when the body has been laid on the ground, circumscribes on the left flank the extent of the incision; then the one called the slitter cuts the flesh, as the law commands, with an Ethiopian stone and at once takes to flight on the run, while those present set out after him, pelting him with stones, heaping curses on him, and trying, as it were, to turn the profanation on his head; for in their eyes everyone is an object of general hatred who applies violence to the body of a man of the same tribe or wounds him or, in general, does him any harm.,5.  The men called embalmers, however, are considered worthy of every honour and consideration, associating with the priests and even coming and going in the temples without hindrance, as being undefiled. When they have gathered to treat the body after it has been slit open, one of them thrusts his hand through the opening in the corpse into the trunk and extracts everything but the kidneys and heart, and another one cleanses each of the viscera, washing them in palm wine and spices.,6.  And in general, they carefully dress the whole body for over thirty days, first with cedar oil and certain other preparations, and then with myrrh, cinnamon, and such spices as have the faculty not only of preserving it for a long time but also of giving it a fragrant odour. And after treating the body they return it to the relatives of the deceased, every member of it having been so preserved intact that even the hair on the eyelids and brows remains, the entire appearance of the body is unchanged, and the cast of its shape is recognizable.,7.  This explains why many Egyptians keep the bodies of their ancestors in costly chambers and gaze face to face upon those who died many generations before their own birth, so that, as they look upon the stature and proportions and the features of the countenance of each, they experience a strange enjoyment, as though they had lived with those on whom they gaze. When the body is ready to be buried the family announces the day of interment to the judges and to the relatives and friends of the deceased, and solemnly affirms that he who has just passed away — giving his name — "is about to cross the lake.",2.  Then, when the judges, forty-two in number, have assembled and have taken seats in a hemicycle which has been built across the lake, the baris is launched, which has been prepared in advance by men especially engaged in that service, and which is in the charge of the boatman whom the Egyptians in their language call charon.,3.  For this reason they insist that Orpheus, having visited Egypt in ancient times and witnessed this custom, merely invented his account of Hades, in part reproducing this practice and in part inventing on his own account; but this point we shall discuss more fully a little later.,4.  At any rate, after the baris has been launched into the lake but before the coffin containing the body is set in it, the law gives permission to anyone who wishes to arraign the dead person. Now if anyone presents himself and makes a charge, and shows that the dead man had led an evil life, the judges announce the decision to all and the body is denied the customary burial; but if it shall appear that the accuser has made an unjust charge he is severely punished.,5.  When no accuser appears or the one who presents himself is discovered to be a slanderer, the relatives put their mourning aside and laud the deceased. And of his ancestry, indeed, they say nothing, as the Greeks do, since they hold that all Egyptians are equally well born, but after recounting his training and education from childhood, they describe his righteousness and justice after he attained to manhood, also his self-control and his other virtues, and call upon the gods of the lower world to receive him into the company of the righteous; and the multitude shouts its assent and extorts the glory of the deceased, as of one who is about to spend eternity in Hades among the righteous.,6.  Those who have private sepulchres lay the body in a vault reserved for it, but those who possess none construct a new chamber in their own home, and stand the coffin upright against the firmest wall. Any also who are forbidden burial because of the accusations brought against them or because their bodies have been made security for a loan they lay away in their own homes; and it sometimes happens that their sons's sons, when they have become prosperous and paid off the debt or cleared them of the charges, give them later a magnificent funeral.,1.  It is a most sacred duty, in the eyes of the Egyptians, that they should be seen to honour their parents or ancestors all the more after they have passed to their eternal home. Another custom of theirs is to put up the bodies of their deceased parents as security for a loan; and failure to repay such debts is attended with the deepest disgrace as well as with deprivation of burial at death.,2.  And a person may well admire the men who established these customs, because they strove to inculcate in the inhabitants, as far as was possible, virtuousness and excellence of character, by means not only of their converse with the living but also of their burial and affectionate care of the dead.,3.  For the Greeks have handed down their beliefs in such matters — in the honour paid to the righteous and the punishment of the wicked — by means of fanciful tales and discredited legends; consequently these accounts not only cannot avail to spur their people on to the best life, but, on the contrary, being scoffed at by worthless men, are received with contempt.,4.  But among the Egyptians, since these matters do not belong to the realm of myth but men see with their own eyes that punishment is meted out to the wicked and honour to the good, every day of their lives both the wicked and the good are reminded of their obligations and in this way the greatest and most profitable amendment of men's characters is effected. And the best laws, in my opinion, must be held to be, not those by which men become most prosperous, but those by which they become most virtuous in character and best fitted for citizenship.,1.  We must speak also of the lawgivers who have arisen in Egypt and who instituted customs unusual and strange. After the establishment of settled life in Egypt in early times, which took place, according to the mythical account, in the period of the gods and heroes, the first, they say, to persuade the multitudes to use written laws was Mneves, a man not only great of soul but also in his life the most public-spirited of all lawgivers whose names are recorded. According to the tradition he claimed that Hermes had given the laws to him, with the assurance that they would be the cause of great blessings, just as among the Greeks, they say, Minos did in Crete and Lycurgus among the Lacedaemonians, the former saying that he received his laws from Zeus and the latter his from Apollo.,2.  Also among several other peoples tradition says that this kind of a device was used and was the cause of much good to such as believed it. Thus it is recorded that among the Arians Zathraustes claimed that the Good Spirit gave him his laws, among the people known as the Getae who represent themselves to be immortal Zalmoxis asserted the same of their common goddess Hestia, and among the Jews Moyses referred his laws to the god who is invoked as Iao. They all did this either because they believed that a conception which would help humanity was marvellous and wholly divine, or because they held that the common crowd would be more likely to obey the laws if their gaze were directed towards the majesty and power of those to whom their laws were ascribed.,3.  A second lawgiver, according to the Egyptians, was Sasychis, a man of unusual understanding. He made sundry additions to the existing laws and, in particular, laid down with the greatest precision the rites to be used in honouring the gods, and he was the inventor of geometry and taught his countrymen both to speculate about the stars and to observe them.,4.  A third one, they tell us, was the king Sesoösis, who not only performed the most renowned deeds in war of any king of Egypt but also organized the rules governing the warrior class and, in conformity with these, set in order all the regulations that have to do with military campaigns.,5.  A fourth lawgiver, they say, was the king Bocchoris, a wise sort of a man and conspicuous for his craftiness. He drew up all the regulations which governed the kings and gave precision to the laws on contracts; and so wise was he in his judicial decisions as well, that many of his judgments are remembered for their excellence even to our day. And they add that he was very weak in body, and that by disposition he was the most avaricious of all their kings.,1.  After Bocchoris, they say, their king Amasis gave attention to the laws, who, according to their accounts, drew up the rules governing the nomarchs and the entire administration of Egypt. And tradition describes him as exceedingly wise and in disposition virtuous and just, for which reasons the Egyptians invested him with the kingship, although he was not of the royal line.,2.  They say also that the citizens of Elis, when they were giving their attention to the Olympic Games, sent an embassy to him to ask how they could be conducted with the greatest fairness, and that he replied, "Provided no man of Elis participates.",3.  And though Polycrates, the ruler of the Samians, had been on terms of friendship with him, when he began oppressing both citizens and such foreigners as put in at Samos, it is said that Amasis at first sent an embassy to him and urged him to moderation; and when no attention was paid to this, he wrote a letter in which he broke up the relations of friendship and hospitality that had existed between them; for he did not wish, as he said, to be plunged into grief in a short while, knowing right well as he did that misfortune is near at hand for the ruler who maintains a tyranny in such fashion. And he was admired, they say, among the Greeks both because of his virtuous character and because his words to Polycrates were speedily fulfilled.,4.  A sixth man to concern himself with the laws of the Egyptians, it is said, was Darius the father of Xerxes; for he was incensed at the lawlessness which his predecessor, Cambyses, had shown in the treatment of the sanctuaries of Egypt, and aspired to live a life of virtue and of piety towards the gods.,5.  Indeed he associated with the priests of Egypt themselves, and took part with them in the study of theology and of the events recorded in their sacred books; and when he learned from these books about the greatness of soul of the ancient kings and about their goodwill towards their subjects he imitated their manner of life. For this reason he was the object of such great honour that he alone of all the kings was addressed as a god by the Egyptians in his lifetime, while at his death he was accorded equal honours with the ancient kings of Egypt who had ruled in strictest accord with the laws.,6.  The system, then, of law used throughout the land was the work, they say, of the men just named, and gained a renown that spread among other peoples everywhere; but in later times, they say, many institutions which were regarded as good were changed, after the Macedonians had conquered and destroyed once and for all the kingship of the native line.,1.  But now that we have examined these matters, we must enumerate what Greeks, who have won fame for their wisdom and learning, visited Egypt in ancient times, in order to become acquainted with its customs and learning.,2.  For the priests of Egypt recount from the records of their sacred books that they were visited in early times by Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampus, and Daedalus, also by the poet Homer and Lycurgus of Sparta, later by Solon of Athens and the philosopher Plato, and that there also came Pythagoras of Samos and the mathematician Eudoxus, as well as Democritus of Abdera and Oenopides of Chios.,3.  As evidence for the visits of all these men they point in some cases to their statues and in others to places or buildings which bear their names, and they offer proofs from the branch of learning which each one of these men pursued, arguing that all the things for which they were admired among the Greeks were transferred from Egypt.,4.  Orpheus, for instance, brought from Egypt most of his mystic ceremonies, the orgiastic rites that accompanied his wanderings, and his fabulous account of his experiences in Hades.,5.  For the rite of Osiris is the same as that of Dionysus and that of Isis very similar to that of Demeter, the names alone having been interchanged; and the punishments in Hades of the unrighteous, the Fields of the Righteous, and the fantastic conceptions, current among the many, which are figments of the imagination — all these were introduced by Orpheus in imitation of the Egyptian funeral customs.,6.  Hermes, for instance, the Conductor of Souls, according to the ancient Egyptian custom, brings up the body of the Apis to a certain point and then gives it over to one who wears the mask of Cerberus. And after Orpheus had introduced this notion among the Greeks, Homer followed it when he wrote: Cyllenian Hermes then did summon forth The suitors's souls, holding his wand in hand. And again a little further on he says: They passed Oceanus' streams, the Gleaming Rock, The Portals of the Sun, the Land of Dreams; And now they reached the Meadow of Asphodel, Where dwell the Souls, the shades of men outworn.,7.  Now he calls the river "Oceanus" because in their language the Egyptians speak of the Nile as Oceanus; the "Portals of the Sun" (Heliopulai) is his name for the city of Heliopolis; and "Meadows," the mythical dwelling of the dead, is his term for the place near the lake which is called Acherousia, which is near Memphis, and around it are fairest meadows, of a marsh-land and lotus and reeds. The same explanation also serves for the statement that the dwelling of the dead is in these regions, since the most and the largest tombs of the Egyptians are situated there, the dead being ferried across both the river and Lake Acherousia and their bodies laid in the vaults situated there.,8.  The other myths about Hades, current among the Greeks, also agree with the customs which are practised even now in Egypt. For the boat which receives the bodies is called baris, and the passenger's fee is given to the boatman, who in the Egyptian tongue is called charon.,9.  And near these regions, they say, are also the "Shades," which is a temple of Hecate, and "portals" of Cocytus and Lethe, which are covered at intervals with bands of bronze. There are, moreover, other portals, namely, those of Truth, and near them stands a headless statue of Justice.,1.  Many other things as well, of which mythology tells, are still to be found among the Egyptians, the name being still preserved and the customs actually being practised.,2.  In the city of Acanthi, for instance, across the Nile in the direction of Libya one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis, there is a perforated jar to which three hundred and sixty priests, one each day, bring water from the Nile;,3.  and not far from there the actual performance of the myth of Ocnus is to be seen in one of their festivals, where a single man is weaving at one end of a long rope and many others beyond him are unravelling it.,4.  Melampus also, they say, brought from Egypt the rites which the Greeks celebrate in the name of Dionysus, the myths about Cronus and the War with the Titans, and, in a word, the account of the things which happened to the gods.,5.  Daedalus, they relate, copied the maze of the Labyrinth which stands to our day and was built, according to some, by Mendes, but according to others, by king Marrus, many years before the reign of Minos.,6.  And the proportions of the ancient statues of Egypt are the same as in those made by Daedalus among the Greeks. The very beautiful propylon of the temple of Hephaestus in Memphis was also built by Daedalus, who became an object of admiration and was granted a statue of himself in wood, which was made by his own hands and set up in this temple; furthermore, he was accorded great fame because of his genius and, after making many discoveries, was granted divine honours; for on one of the islands off Memphis there stands even to this day a temple of Daedalus, which is honoured by the people of that region.,7.  And as proof of the presence of Homer in Egypt they adduce various pieces of evidence, and especially the healing drink which brings forgetfulness of all past evils, which was given by Helen to Telemachus in the home of Menelaüs. For it is manifest that the poet had acquired exact knowledge of the "nepenthic" drug which he says Helen brought from Egyptian Thebes, given her by Polydamna the wife of Thon; for, they allege, even to this day the women of this city use this powerful remedy, and in ancient times, they say, a drug to cure anger and sorrow was discovered exclusively among the women of Diospolis; but Thebes and Diospolis, they add, are the same city.,8.  Again, Aphroditê is called "golden" by the natives in accordance with an old tradition, and near the city which is called Momemphis there is a plain "of golden Aphroditê.",9.  Likewise, the myths which are related about the dalliance of Zeus and Hera and of their journey to Ethiopia he also got from Egypt; for each year among the Egyptians the shrine of Zeus is carried across the river into Libya and then brought back some days later, as if the god were arriving from Ethiopia; and as for the dalliance of these deities, in their festal gatherings the priests carry the shrines of both to an elevation that has been strewn with flowers of every description.,1.  Lycurgus also and Plato and Solon, they say, incorporated many Egyptian customs into their own legislation.,2.  And Pythagoras learned from Egyptians his teachings about the gods, his geometrical propositions and theory of numbers, as well as the transmigration of the soul into every living thing.,3.  Democritus also, as they assert, spent five years among them and was instructed in many matters relating to astrology. Oenopides likewise passed some time with the priests and astrologers and learned among other things about the orbit of the sun, that it has an oblique course and moves in a direction opposite to that of the other stars.,4.  Like the others, Eudoxus studied astrology with them and acquired a notable fame for the great amount of useful knowledge which he disseminated among the Greeks.,5.  Also of the ancient sculptors the most renowned sojourned among them, namely, Telecles and Theodorus, the sons of Rhoecus, who executed for the people of Samos the wooden statue of the Pythian Apollo.,6.  For one half of the statue, as the account is given, was worked by Telecles in Samos, and the other half was finished by his brother Theodorus at Ephesus; and when the two parts were brought together they fitted so perfectly that the whole work had the appearance of having been done by one man. This method of working is practised nowhere among the Greeks, but is followed generally among the Egyptians.,7.  For with them the symmetrical proportions of the statues are not fixed in accordance with the appearance they present to the artist's eye, as is done among the Greeks, but as soon as they lay out the stones and, after apportioning them, are ready to work on them, at that stage they take the proportions, from the smallest parts to the largest;,8.  for, dividing the structure of the entire body into twenty-one parts and one-fourth in addition, they express in this way the complete figure in its symmetrical proportions. Consequently, so soon as the artisans agree as to the size of the statue, they separate and proceed to turn out the various sizes assigned to them, in the same way that they correspond, and they do it so accurately that the peculiarity of their system excites amazement.,9.  And the wooden statue in Samos, in conformity with the ingenious method of the Egyptians, was cut into two parts from the top of the head down to the private parts and the statue was divided in the middle, each part exactly matching the other at every point. And they say that this statue is for the most part rather similar to those of Egypt, as having the arms stretched stiffly down the sides and the legs separated in a stride.,10.  Now regarding Egypt, the events which history records and the things that deserve to be mentioned, this account is sufficient; and we shall present in the next Book, in keeping with our profession at the beginning of this Book, the events and legendary accounts next in order, beginning with the part played by the Assyrians in Asia.


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nan1.  The preceding Book, being the first of the whole work, embraces the facts which concern Egypt, among which are included both the myths related by the Egyptians about their gods and about the nature of the Nile, and the other marvels which are told about this river, as well as a description of the land of Egypt and the acts of each of their ancient kings. Next in order came the structures known as the pyramids, which are listed among the seven wonders of the world.,2.  After that we discussed such matters connected with the laws and the courts of law, and also with the animals which are considered sacred among the Egyptians, as excite admiration and wonder, also their customs with respect to the dead, and then named such Greeks as were noted for their learning, who, upon visiting Egypt and being instructed in many useful things, thereupon transferred them to Greece.,3.  And in this present Book we shall set forth the events which took place in Asia in the ancient period, beginning with the time when the Assyrians were the dominant power.,4.  In the earliest age, then, the kings of Asia were native-born, and in connection with them no memory is preserved of either a notable deed or a personal name. The first to be handed down by tradition to history and memory for us as one who achieved great deeds is Ninus, king of the Assyrians, and of him we shall now endeavour to give a detailed account. For being by nature a warlike man and emulous of valour, he supplied the strongest of the young men with arms, and by training them for a considerable time he accustomed them to every hardship and all the dangers of war.,5.  And when now he had collected a notable army, he formed an alliance with Ariaeus, the king of Arabia, a country which in those times seems to have abounded in brave men. Now, in general, this nation is one which loves freedom and under no circumstances submits to a foreign ruler; consequently neither the kings of the Persians at a later time nor those of the Macedonians, though the most powerful of their day, were ever able to enslave this nation.,6.  For Arabia is, in general, a difficult country for a foreign army to campaign in, part of it being desert and part of it waterless and supplied at intervals with wells which are hidden and known only to the natives.,7.  Ninus, however, the king of the Assyrians, taking along the ruler of the Arabians as an ally, made a campaign with a great army against the Babylonians whose country bordered upon his — in those times the present city of Babylon had not yet been founded, but there were other notable cities in Babylonia — and after easily subduing the inhabitants of that region because of their inexperience in the dangers of war, he laid upon them the yearly payment of fixed tributes, but the king of the conquered, whom he took captive along with his children, he put to death.,8.  Then, invading Armenia in great force and laying waste some of its cities, he struck terror into the inhabitants; consequently their king Barzanes, realizing that he was no match for him in battle, met him with many presents and announced that he would obey his every command.,9.  But Ninus treated him with great magnanimity, and agreed that he should not only continue to rule over Armenia but should also, as his friend, furnish a contingent and supplies for the Assyrian army. And as his power continually increased, he made a campaign against Media.,10.  And the king of this country, Pharnus, meeting him in battle with a formidable force, was defeated, and he both lost the larger part of his soldiers, and himself, being taken captive along with his seven sons and wife, was crucified.,1.  There was also, because the acropolis, the Hanging Garden, as it is called, which was built, not by Semiramis, but by a later Syrian king to please one of his concubines; for she, they say, being a Persian by race and longing for the meadows of her mountains, asked the king to imitate, through the artifice of a planted garden, the distinctive landscape of Persia.,2.  The park extended four plethra on each side, and since the approach to the garden sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another tier on tier, the appearance of the whole resembled that of a theatre.,3.  When the ascending terraces had been built, there had been constructed beneath them galleries which carried the entire weight of the planted garden and rose little by little one above the other along the approach; and the uppermost gallery, which was fifty cubits high, bore the highest surface of the park, which was made level with the circuit wall of the battlements of the city.,4.  Furthermore, the walls, which had been constructed at great expense, were twenty-two feet thick, while the passage-way between each two walls was ten feet wide. The roofs of the galleries were covered over with beams of stone sixteen feet long, inclusive of the overlap, and four feet wide.,5.  The roof above these beams had first a layer of reeds laid in great quantities of bitumen, over this two courses of baked brick bonded by cement, and as a third layer a covering of lead, to the end that the moisture from the soil might not penetrate beneath. On all this again earth had been piled to a depth sufficient for the roots of the largest trees; and the ground, which was levelled off, was thickly planted with trees of every kind that, by their great size or any other charm, could give pleasure to beholder.,6.  And since the galleries, each projecting beyond another, all received the light, they contained many royal lodgings of every description; and there was one gallery which contained openings leading from the topmost surface and machines for supplying the garden with water, the machines raising the water in great abundance from the river, although no one outside could see it being done. Now this park, as I have said, was a later construction.,1.  Semiramis founded other cities also along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in which she established trading-places for the merchants who brought goods from Media, Paraetacenê, and all the neighbouring region. For the Euphrates and Tigris, the most notable, one may say, of all the rivers of Asia after the Nile and Ganges, have their sources in the mountains of Armenia and are two thousand five hundred stades apart at their origin,,2.  and after flowing through Media and Paraetacenê they enter Mesopotamia, which they enclose between them, thus giving this name to the country. After this they pass through Babylonia and empty into the Red Sea.,3.  Moreover, since they are great streams and traverse a spacious territory they offer many advantages to men who follow a merchant trade; and it is due to this fact that the regions along their banks are filled with prosperous trading-places which contribute greatly to the fame of Babylonia.,4.  Semiramis quarried out a stone from the mountains of Armenia which was one hundred and thirty feet long and twenty-five feet wide and thick;,5.  and this she hauled by means of many multitudes of yokes of mules and oxen to the river and there loaded it on a raft, on which she brought it down the stream to Babylonia; she then set it up beside the most famous street, an astonishing sight to all who passed by. And this stone is called by some an obelisk from its shape, and they number it among the seven wonders of the world.,1.  Although the sights to be seen in Babylonia are many and singular, not the least wonderful is the enormous amount of bitumen which the country produces; so great is the supply of this that it not only suffices for their buildings, which are numerous and large, but the common people also, gathering at the place, draw it out without any restriction, and drying it burn it in place of wood.,2.  And countless as is the multitude of men who draw it out, the amount remains undiminished, as if derived from some immense source. Moreover, near this source there is a vent-hole, of no great size but of remarkable potency. For it emits a heavy sulphurous vapour which brings death to all living creatures that approach it, and they meet with an end swift and strange; for after being subjected for a time to the retention of the breath they are killed, as though the expulsion of the breath were being prevented by the force which has attacked the processes of respiration; and immediately the body swells and blows up, particularly in the region about the lungs.,3.  And there is also across the river a lake whose edge offers solid footing, and if any man, unacquainted with it, enters it he swims for a short time, but as he advances towards the centre he is dragged down as though by a certain force; and when he begins to help himself and makes up his mind to turn back to shore again, though he struggles to extricate himself, it appears as if he were being hauled back by something else; and he becomes benumbed, first in his feet, then in his legs as far as the groin, and finally, overcome by numbness in his whole body, he is carried to the bottom, and a little later is cast up dead. Now concerning the wonders of Babylonia let what has been said suffice.,1.  After Semiramis had made an end of her building operations she set forth in the direction of Media with a great force. And when she had arrived at the mountain known as Bagistanus, she encamped near it and laid out a park, which had a circumference of twelve stades and, being situated in the plain, contained a great spring by means of which her plantings could be irrigated.,2.  The Bagistanus mountain is sacred to Zeus and on the side facing the park has sheer cliffs which rise to a height of seventeen stades. The lowest part of these she smoothed off and engraved thereon a likeness of herself with a hundred spearmen at her side. And she also put this inscription on the cliff in Syrian letters: "Semiramis, with the pack-saddles of the beasts of burden in her army, built up a mound from the plain and thereby climbed this precipice, even to this very ridge.",3.  Setting forth from that place and arriving at the city of Chauon in Media, she noticed on a certain high plateau a rock both of striking height and mass. Accordingly, she laid out there another park of great size, putting the rock in the middle of it, and on the rock she erected, to satisfy her taste for luxury, some very costly buildings from which she used to look down both upon her plantings in the park and on the whole army encamped on the plain.,4.  In this place she passed a long time and enjoyed to the full every device that contributed to luxury; she was unwilling, however, to contract a lawful marriage, being afraid that she might be deprived of her supreme position, but choosing out the most handsome of the soldiers she consorted with them and then made away with all who had lain with her.,5.  After this she advanced in the direction of Ecbatana and arrived at the mountain called Zarcaeus; and since this extended many stades and was full of cliffs and chasms it rendered the journey round a long one. And so she became ambitious both to leave an immortal monument of herself and at the same time to shorten her way; consequently she cut through the cliffs, filled up the low places, and thus at great expense built a short road, which to this day is called the road of Semiramis.,6.  Upon arriving at Ecbatana, a city which lies in the plain, she built in it an expensive palace and in every other way gave rather exceptional attention to the region. For since the city had no water supply and there was no spring in its vicinity, she made the whole of it well watered by bringing to it with much hardship and expense an abundance of the purest water.,7.  For at a distance from Ecbatana of about twelve stades is a mountain, which is called Orontes and is unusual for its ruggedness and enormous height, since the ascent, straight to its summit, is twenty-five stades. And since a great lake, which emptied into a river, lay on the other side, she made a cutting through the base of this mountain.,8.  The tunnel was fifteen feet wide and forty feet high; and through it she brought in the river which flowed from the lake, and filled the city with water. Now this is what she did in Media.,1.  After this she visited Persis and every other country over which she ruled throughout Asia. Everywhere she cut through the mountains and the precipitous cliffs and constructed expensive roads, while on the plains she made mounds, sometimes constructing them as tombs for those of her generals who died, and sometimes founding cities on their tops.,2.  And it was also her custom, whenever she made camp, to build little mounds, upon which setting her tent she could look down upon all the encampment. As a consequence many of the works she built throughout Asia remain to this day and are called Works of Semiramis.,3.  After this she visited all Egypt, and after subduing most of Libya she went also to the oracle of Ammon to inquire of the god regarding her own end. And the account runs that the answer was given her that she would disappear from among men and receive undying honour among some of the peoples of Asia, and that this would take place when her son Ninyas should conspire against her.,4.  Then upon her return from these regions she visited most of Ethiopia, subduing it as she went and inspecting the wonders of the land. For in that country, they say, there is a lake, square in form, with a perimeter of some hundred and sixty feet, and its water is like cinnabar in colour and the odour of it is exceedingly sweet, not unlike that of old wine; moreover, it has a remarkable power; for whoever has drunk of it, they say, falls into a frenzy and accuses himself of every sin which he had formerly committed in secret. However, a man may not readily agree with those who tell such things.,1.  In the burial of their dead the inhabitants of Ethiopia follow customs peculiar to themselves; for after they have embalmed the body and have poured a heavy coat of glass over it they stand it on a pillar, so that the body of the dead man is visible through the glass to those who pass by. This is the statement of Herodotus.,2.  But Ctesias of Cnidus, declaring that Herodotus is inventing a tale, gives for his part this account. The body is indeed embalmed, but glass is not poured about the naked bodies, for they would be burned and so completely disfigured that they could no longer preserve their likeness.,3.  For this reason they fashion a hollow statue of gold and when the corpse has been put into this they pour the glass over the statue, and the figure, prepared in this way, is then placed at the tomb, and the gold, fashioned as it is to resemble the deceased, is seen through the glass.,4.  Now the rich among them are buried in this wise, he says, but those who leave a smaller estate receive a silver statue, and the poor one made of earthenware; as for the glass, there is enough of it for everyone, since it occurs in great abundance in Ethiopia and is quite current among the inhabitants.,5.  With regard to the custom prevailing among the Ethiopians and the other features of their country we shall a little later set forth those that are the most important and deserving of record, at which time we shall also recount their early deeds and their mythology.,1.  But after Semiramis had put in order the affairs of Ethiopia and Egypt she returned with her force to Bactra in Asia. And since she had great forces and had been at peace for some time she became eager to achieve some brilliant exploit in war.,2.  And when she was informed that the Indian nation was the largest one in the world and likewise possessed both the most extensive and the fairest country, she purposed to make a campaign into India. Stabrobates at that time was king of the country and had a multitude of soldiers without number; and many elephants were also at his disposal, fitted out in an exceedingly splendid fashion with such things as would strike terror in war.,3.  For India is a land of unusual beauty, and since it is traversed by many rivers it is supplied with water over its whole area and yields two harvests each year; consequently it has such an abundance of the necessities of life that at all times it favours its inhabitants with a bounteous enjoyment of them. And it is said that because of the favourable climate in those parts the country has never experienced a famine or a destruction of crops.,4.  It also has an unbelievable number of elephants, which both in courage and in strength of body far surpass those of Libya, and likewise gold, silver, iron, and copper; furthermore, within its borders are to be found great quantities of precious stones of every kind and of practically all other things which contribute to luxury and wealth. When Semiramis had received a detailed account of these facts she was led to begin her war against the Indians, although she had been done no injury by them.,5.  And realizing that she needed an exceedingly great force in addition to what she had she despatched messengers to all the satrapies, commanding the governors to enrol the bravest of the young men and setting their quota in accordance with the size of each nation; and she further ordered them all to make new suits of armour and to be at hand, brilliantly equipped in every other respect, at Bactra on the third year thereafter.,6.  She also summoned shipwrights from Phoenicia, Syria, Cyprus, and the rest of the lands along the sea, and shipping thither an abundance of timber she ordered them to build river boats which could be taken to pieces.,7.  For the Indus river, by reason of its being the largest in that region and the boundary of her kingdom, required many boats, some for the passage across and others from which to defend the former from the Indians; and since there was no timber near the river the boats had to be brought from Bactriana by land.,8.  Observing that she was greatly inferior because of her lack of elephants, Semiramis conceived the plan of making dummies like these animals, in the hope that the Indians would be struck with terror because of their belief that no elephants ever existed at all apart from those found in India.,9.  Accordingly she chose out three hundred thousand black oxen and distributed their meat among her artisans and the men who had been assigned to the task of making the figures, but the hides she sewed together and stuffed with straw, and thus made dummies, copying in every detail the natural appearance of these animals. Each dummy had within it a man to take care of it and a camel and, when it was moved by the latter, to those who saw it from a distance it looked like an actual animal.,10.  And the artisans who were engaged in making these dummies for her worked at their task in a certain court which had been surrounded by a wall and had gates which were carefully guarded, so that no worker within could pass out no one from outside could come in to them. This she did in order that no one from the outside might see what was taking place and that no report about the dummies might escape to the Indians.,1.  When the boats and the beasts had been prepared in the two allotted years, on the third she summoned her forces from everywhere to Bactriana. And the multitude of the army which was assembled, as Ctesias of Cnidus has recorded, was three million foot-soldiers, two hundred thousand cavalry, and one hundred thousand chariots.,2.  There were also men mounted on camels, carrying swords four cubits long, as many in number as the chariots. And river boats which could be taken apart she built to the number of two thousand, and she had collected camels to carry the vessels overland. Camels also bore the dummies of the elephants, as has been mentioned; and the soldiers, by bringing their horses up to these camels, accustomed them not to fear the savage nature of the beasts.,3.  A similar thing was also done many years later by Perseus, the king of the Macedonians, before his decisive conflict with the Romans who had elephants from Libya. But neither in his case did it turn out that the zeal and ingenuity displayed in such matters had any effect on the conflict, nor in that of Semiramis, as will be shown more precisely in our further account.,4.  When Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, heard of the immensity of the forces mentioned and of the exceedingly great preparations which had been made for the war, he was anxious to surpass Semiramis in every respect.,5.  First of all, then, he made four thousand river boats out of reeds; for along its rivers and marshy places India produces a great abundance of reeds, so large in diameter that a man cannot easily put his arms about them; and it is said, furthermore, that ships built of these are exceedingly serviceable, since this wood does not rot.,6.  Moreover, he gave great care to the preparation of his arms and by visiting all India gathered a far greater force than that which had been collected by Semiramis.,7.  Furthermore, holding a hunt of the wild elephants and multiplying many times the number already at his disposal, he fitted them all out splendidly with such things as would strike terror in war;,8.  and the consequence was that when they advanced to the attack the multitude of them as well as the towers upon their backs made them appear like a thing beyond the power of human nature to understand. ,1.  When he had made all his preparations for the war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who was already on the road, accusing her of being the aggressor in the war although she had been injured in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after saying many slanderous things against her as being a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he threatened her with crucifixion when he had defeated her.,2.  Semiramis, however, on reading his letter dismissed his statements with laughter and remarked, "It will be in deeds that the Indian will make trial of my valour." And when her advance brought her with her force to the Indus river she found the boats of the enemy ready for battle.,3.  Consequently she on her side, hastily putting together her boats and manning them with her best marines, joined battle on the river, while the foot-soldiers which were drawn up along the banks also participated eagerly in the contest.,4.  The struggle raged for a long time and both sides fought spiritedly, but finally Semiramis was victorious and destroyed about a thousand of the boats, taking also not a few men prisoners.,5.  Elated now by her victory, she reduced to slavery the islands in the river and the cities on them and gathered in more than one hundred thousand captives. After these events the king of the Indians withdrew his force from the river, giving the appearance of retreating in fear but actually with the intention of enticing the enemy to cross the river.,6.  Thereupon Semiramis, now that her undertakings were prosperous as she wished, spanned the river with a costly and large bridge, by means of which she got all her forces across; and then she left sixty thousand men to guard the pontoon bridge, while with the rest of her army she advanced in pursuit of the Indians, the dummy elephants leading the way in order that the king's spies might report to the king the multitude of these animals in her army.,7.  Nor was she deceived in this hope; on the contrary, when those who had been despatched to spy her out reported to the Indians the multitude of elephants among the enemy, they were all at a loss to discover from where such a multitude of beasts as accompanied her could have come.,8.  However, the deception did not remain a secret for long; for some of Semiramis' troops were caught neglecting their night watches in the camp, and these, in fear of the consequent punishment, deserted to the enemy and pointed out to them their mistake regarding the nature of the elephants. Encouraged by this information, the king of the Indians, after informing his army about the dummies, set his forces in array and turned about to face the Assyrians.,1.  Semiramis likewise marshalled her forces, and as the two armies neared each other Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, despatched his cavalry and chariots far in advance of the main body.,2.  But the queen stoutly withstood the attack of the cavalry, and since the elephants which she had fabricated had been stationed at equal intervals in front of the main body of troops, it came about that the horses of the Indians shied at them.,3.  For whereas at a distance the dummies looked like the actual animals with which the horses of the Indians were acquainted and therefore charged upon them boldly enough, yet on nearer contact the odour which reached the horses was unfamiliar, and then the other differences, which taken all together were very great, threw them into utter confusion. Consequently some of the Indians were thrown to the ground, while others, whence their horses would not obey the rein, were carried with their mounts pell-mell into the midst of the enemy.,4.  Then Semiramis, who was in the battle with a select band of soldiers, made skilful use of her advantage and put the Indians to flight. But although these fled towards the battle-line, King Stabrobates, undismayed, advanced the ranks of his foot-soldiers, keeping the elephants in front, while he himself, taking his position on the right wing and fighting from the most powerful of the beasts, charged in terrifying fashion upon the queen, whom chance had placed opposite him.,5.  And since the rest of the elephants followed his example, the army of Semiramis withstood but a short time the attack of the beasts; for the animals, by virtue of their extraordinary courage and the confidence which they felt in their power, easily destroyed everyone who tried to withstand them,6.  Consequently there was a great slaughter, which was effected in various ways, some being trampled beneath their feet, others ripped up by their tusks, and a number tossed into the air by their trunks. And since a great multitude of corpses lay piled one upon the other and the danger aroused terrible consternation and fear in those who witnessed the sight, not a man had the courage to hold his position any longer.,7.  Now when the entire multitude turned in flight the king of the Indians pressed his attack upon Semiramis herself. And first he let fly an arrow and struck her on the arm, and then with his javelin he pierced the back of the queen, but only with a glancing blow; and since for this reason Semiramis was not seriously injured she rode swiftly away, the pursuing beast being much inferior in speed.,8.  But since all were fleeing to the pontoon bridge and so great a multitude was forcing its way into a single narrow space, some of the queen's soldiers perished by being trampled upon by one another and by cavalry and foot-soldiers being thrown together in unnatural confusion, and when the Indians pressed hard upon them a violent crowding took place on the bridge because their terror, so that many were pushed to either side of the bridge and fell into the river.,9.  As for Semiramis, when the largest part of the survivors of the battle had found safety by putting the river behind them, she cut the fastenings which held the bridge together; and when these were loosened the pontoon bridge, having been broken apart at many points and bearing great numbers of pursuing Indians, was carried down in haphazard fashion by the violence of the current and caused the death of many of the Indians, but for Semiramis it was the means of complete safety, the enemy now being prevented from crossing over against her.,10.  After these events the king of the Indians remained inactive, since heavenly omens appeared to him which his seers interpreted to mean that he must not cross the river, and Semiramis, after exchanging prisoners, made her way back to Bactra with the loss of two-thirds of her force.,1.  Since the undertakings of Ninus were prospering in this way, he was seized with a powerful desire to subdue all of Asia that lies between the Tanaïs and the Nile; for, as a general thing, when men enjoy good fortune, the steady current of their success prompts in them the desire for more. Consequently he made one of his friends satrap of Media, while he himself set about the task of subduing the nations of Asia, and within a period of seventeen years he became master of them all except the Indians and Bactrians.,2.  Now no historian has recorded the battles with each nation or the number of all the peoples conquered, but we shall undertake to run over briefly the most important nations, as given in the account of Ctesias of Cnidus.,3.  Of the lands which lie on the sea and of the others which border on these, Ninus subdued Egypt and Phoenicia, then Coele-Syria, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Lycia, and also Caria, Phrygia, and Lydia; moreover, he brought under his sway the Troad, Phrygia on the Hellespont, Propontis, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and all the barbarian nations who inhabit the shores of the Pontus as far as the Tanaïs; he also made himself lord of the lands of the Cadusii, Tapyri, Hyrcanii, Drangi, of the Derbici, Carmanii, Choromnaei, and of the Borcanii, and Parthyaei; and he invaded both Persis and Susiana and Caspiana, as it is called, which is entered by exceedingly narrow passes, known for that reason as the Caspian Gates.,4.  Many other lesser nations he also brought under his rule, about whom it would be a long task to speak. But since Bactriana was difficult to invade and contained multitudes of warlike men, after much toil and labour in vain he deferred to a later time the war against the Bactriani, and leading his forces back into Assyria selected a place excellently situated for the founding of a great city.,1.  Some time later her son Ninyas conspired against her through the agency of a certain eunuch; and remembering the prophecy given her by Ammon, she did not punish the conspirator, but, on the contrary, after turning the kingdom over to him and commanding the governors to obey him, she at once disappeared, as if she were going to be translated to the gods as the oracle had predicted.,2.  Some, making a myth of it, say that she turned into a dove and flew off in the company of many birds which alighted on her dwelling, and this, they say, is the reason why the Assyrians worship the dove as a god, thus deifying Semiramis. Be that as it may, this woman, after having been queen over all Asia with the exception of India, passed away in the manner mentioned above, having lived sixty-two years and having reigned forty-two.,3.  Such, then, is the account that Ctesias of Cnidus has given about Semiramis; but Athenaeus and certain other historians say that she was a comely courtesan and because of her beauty was loved by the king of the Assyrians.,4.  Now at first she was accorded only a moderate acceptance in the palace, but later, when she had been proclaimed a lawful wife, she persuaded the king to yield the royal prerogatives to her for a period of five days.,5.  And Semiramis, upon receiving the sceptre and the regal garb, on the first day held high festival and gave a magnificent banquet, at which she persuaded the commanders of the military forces and all the greatest dignitaries to co‑operate with her; and on the second day, while the people and the most notable citizens were paying her their respects as queen, she arrested her husband and put him in prison; and since she was by nature a woman of great designs and bold as well, she seized the throne and remaining queen until old age accomplished many great things. Such, then, are the conflicting accounts which may be found in the historians regarding the career of Semiramis.,1.  After her death Ninyas, the son of Ninus and Semiramis, succeeded to the throne and had a peaceful reign, since he in no wise emulated his mother's fondness for war and her adventurous spirit.,2.  For in the first place, he spent all his time in the palace, seen by no one but his concubines and the eunuchs who attended him, and devoted his life to luxury and idleness and the consistent avoidance of any suffering or anxiety, holding the end and aim of a happy reign to be the enjoyment of every kind of pleasure without restraint.,3.  Moreover, having in view the safety of his crown and the fear he felt with reference to his subjects, he used to summon each year a fixed number of soldiers and a general from each nation and to keep the army,,4.  which had been gathered in this way from all his subject peoples, outside his capital, appointing as commander of each nation one of the most trustworthy men in his service; and at the end of the year he would summon from his peoples a second equal number of soldiers and dismiss the former to their countries.,5.  The result of this device was that all those subject to his rule were filled with awe, seeing at all times a great host encamped in the open and punishment ready to fall on any who rebelled or would not yield obedience.,6.  This annual change of the soldiers was devised by him in order that, before the generals and all the other commanders of the army should become well acquainted with each other, every man of them would have been separated from the rest and have gone back to his own country; for long service in the field both gives the commanders experience in the arts of war and fills them with arrogance, and, above all, it offers great opportunities for rebellion and for plotting against their rulers.,7.  And the fact that he was seen by no one outside the palace made everyone ignorant of the luxury of his manner of life, and through their fear of him, as of an unseen god, each man dared not show disrespect of him even in word. So by appointing generals, satraps, financial officers, and judges for each nation and arranging all other matters as he felt at any time to be to his advantage, he remained for his lifetime in the city of Ninus.,8.  The rest of the kings also followed his example, son succeeding father upon the throne, and reigned for thirty generations down to Sardanapallus; for it was under this ruler that the Empire of the Assyrians fell to the Medes, after it had lasted more than thirteen hundred years, as Ctesias of Cnidus says in his Second Book.,1.  There is no special need of giving all the names of the kings and the number of years which each of them reigned because nothing was done by them which merits mentioning. For the only event which has been recorded is the despatch by the Assyrians to the Trojans of an allied force, which was under the command of Memnon the son of Tithonus.,2.  For when Teutamus, they say, was ruler of Asia, being the twentieth in succession from Ninyas the son of Semiramis, the Greeks made an expedition against Troy with Agamemnon, at a time when the Assyrians had controlled Asia for more than a thousand years. And Priam, who was king of the Troad and a vassal of the king of the Assyrians, being hard pressed by the war, sent an embassy to the king requesting aid; and Teutamus despatched ten thousand Ethiopians and a like number of the men of Susiana along with two hundred chariots, having appointed as general Memnon the son of Tithonus.,3.  Now Tithonus, who was at that time general of Persis, was the most highly esteemed of the governors at the king's court, and Memnon, who was in the bloom of manhood, was distinguished both for his bravery and for his nobility of spirit. He also built the palace in the upper city of Susa which stood until the time of the Persian Empire and was called after him Memnonian; moreover, he constructed through the country a public highway which bears the name Memnonian to this time.,4.  But the Ethiopians who border upon Egypt dispute this, maintaining that this man was a native of their country, and they point out an ancient palace which to this day, they say, bears the name Memnonian.,5.  At any rate, the account runs that Memnon went to the aid of the Trojans with twenty thousand foot-soldiers and two hundred chariots; and he was admired for his bravery and slew many Greeks in the fighting, but was finally ambushed by the Thessalians and slain; whereupon the Ethiopians recovered his body, burned the corpse, and took the bones back to Tithonus. Such is the account concerning Memnon that is given in the royal records, according to what the barbarians say.,1.  Sardanapallus, the thirtieth in succession from Ninus, who founded the empire, and the last king of the Assyrians, outdid all his predecessors in luxury and sluggishness. For not to mention the fact that he was not seen by any man residing outside the palace, he lived the life of a woman, and spending his days in the company of his concubines and spinning purple garments and working the softest of wool, he had assumed the feminine garb and so covered his face and indeed his entire body with whitening cosmetics and the other unguents used by courtesans, that he rendered it more delicate than that of any luxury-loving woman.,2.  He also took care to make even his voice to be like a woman's, and at his carousals not only to indulge regularly in those drinks and viands which could offer the greatest pleasure, but also to pursue the delights of love with men as well as women; for he practised sexual indulgence of both kinds without restraint, showing not the least concern for the disgrace attending such conduct.,3.  To such an excess did he go of luxury and of the most shameless sensual pleasure and in temperance, that he composed a funeral dirge for himself and commanded his successors upon the throne to inscribe it upon his tomb after his death; it was composed by him in a foreign language but was afterwards translated by a Greek as follows: Knowing full well that thou wert mortal born, Thy heart lift up, take thy delight in feast; When dead no pleasure more is thine. Thus I, Who once o'er mighty Ninus ruled, am naught But dust. Yet these are mine which gave me joy In life — the food I ate, my wantonness, And love's delights. But all those other things Men deem felicities are left behind.,4.  Because he was a man of this character, not only did he end his own life in a disgraceful manner, but he caused the total destruction of the Assyrian Empire, which had endured longer than any other known to history.,1.  The facts are these: A certain Arbaces, a Mede by race, and conspicuous for his bravery and nobility of spirit, was the general of the contingent of Medes which was sent each year to Ninus. And having made the acquaintance during this service of the general of the Babylonians, he was urged by him to overthrow the empire of the Assyrians.,2.  Now this man's name was Belesys, and he was the most distinguished of those priests whom the Babylonians call Chaldaeans. And since as a consequence he had the fullest experience of astrology and divination, he was wont to foretell the future unerringly to the people in general; therefore, being greatly admired for this gift, he also predicted to the general of the Medes, who was his friend, that it was certainly fated for him to be king over all the territory which was then held by Sardanapallus.,3.  Arbaces, commending the man, promised to give him the satrapy of Babylonia when the affair should be consummated, and for his part, like a man elated by a message from some god, both entered into a league with the commanders of the other nations and assiduously invited them all to banquets and social gatherings, establishing thereby a friendship with each of them.,4.  He was resolved also to see the king face to face and to observe his whole manner of life. Consequently he gave one of the eunuchs a golden bowl as a present and gained admittance to Sardanapallus; and when he had observed at close hand both his luxuriousness and his love of effeminate pursuits and practices, he despised the king as worthy of no consideration and was led all the more to cling to the hopes which had been held out to him by the Chaldaean.,5.  And the conclusion of the matter was that he formed a conspiracy with Belesys, whereby he should himself move the Medes and Persians to revolt while the latter should persuade the Babylonians to join the undertaking and should secure the help of the commander of the Arabs, who was his friend, for the attempt to secure the supreme control.,6.  When the year's time of their service in the king's army had passed and, another force having arrived to replace them, the relieved men had been dismissed as usual to their homes, thereupon Arbaces persuaded the Medes to attack the Assyrian kingdom and the Persians to join in the conspiracy, on the condition of receiving their freedom. Belesys too in similar fashion both persuaded the Babylonians to strike for their freedom, and sending an embassy to Arabia, won over the commander of the people of that country, a friend of his who exchanged hospitality with him, to join in the attack.,7.  And after a year's time all these leaders gathered a multitude of soldiers and came with all their forces to Ninus, ostensibly bringing up replacements, as was the custom, but in fact with the intention of destroying the empire of the Assyrians.,8.  Now when these four nations had gathered into one place the whole number of them amounted to four hundred thousand men, and when they had assembled into one camp they took counsel together concerning the best plan to pursue.,1.  As for Sardanapallus, so soon as he became aware of the revolt, he led forth against the rebels the contingents which had come from the rest of the nations. And at first, when battle was joined on the plain, those who were making the revolt were defeated, and after heavy losses were pursued to a mountain which was seventy stades distant from Ninus;,2.  but afterwards, when they came down again into the plain and were preparing for battle, Sardanapallus marshalled his army against them and despatched heralds to the camp of the enemy to make this proclamation: "Sardanapallus will give two hundred talents of gold to anyone who slays Arbaces the Mede, and will make a present of twice that amount to anyone who delivers him up alive and will also appoint him governor over Media.",3.  Likewise he promised to reward any who would either slay Belesys the Babylonian or take him alive. But since no man paid any attention to the proclamation, he joined battle, slew many of the rebels, and pursued the remainder of the multitude into their encampment in the mountains.,4.  Arbaces, having lost heart because of these defeats, now convened a meeting of his friends and called upon them to consider what should be done.,5.  Now the majority said that they should retire to their respective countries, seize strong positions, and so far as possible prepare there whatever else would be useful for the war; but Belesys the Babylonian, by maintaining that the gods were promising them by signs that with labours and hardship they would bring their enterprise to a successful end, and encouraging them in every other way as much as he could, persuaded them all to remain to face further perils.,6.  So there was a third battle, and again the king was victorious, captured the camp of the rebels, and pursued the defeated foe as far as the boundaries of Babylonia; and it also happened that Arbaces himself, who had fought most brilliantly and had slain many Assyrians, was wounded.,7.  And now that the rebels had suffered defeats so decisive following one upon the other, their commanders, abandoning all hope of victory, were preparing to disperse each to his own country.,8.  But Belesys, who had passed a sleepless night in the open and had devoted himself to the observation of the stars, said to those who had lost hope in their cause, "If you will wait five days help will come of its own accord, and there will be a mighty change to the opposite in the whole situation; for from my long study of the stars I see the gods foretelling this to us." And he appealed to them to wait that many days and test his own skill and the good will of the gods.,1.  So after they had all been called back and had waited the stipulated time, there came a messenger with the news that a force which had been despatched from Bactriana to the king was near at hand, advancing with all speed.,2.  Arbaces, accordingly, decided to go to meet their generals by the shortest route, taking along the best and most agile of his troops, so that, in case they should be unable to persuade the Bactrians by arguments to join in the revolt, they might resort to arms to force them to share with them in the same hopes.,3.  But the outcome was that the new-comers gladly listened to the call to freedom, first the commanders and then the entire force, and they all encamped in the same place.,4.  It happened at this very time that the king of the Assyrians, who was unaware of the defection of the Bactrians and had become elated over his past successes, turned to indulgence and divided among his soldiers for a feast animals and great quantities of both wine and all other provisions. Consequently, since the whole army was carousing, Arbaces, learning from some deserters of the relaxation and drunkenness in the camp of the enemy, made his attack upon it unexpectedly in the night.,5.  And as it was an assault of organized men upon disorganized and of ready men upon unprepared, they won possession of the camp, and after slaying many of the soldiers pursued the rest of them as far as the city.,6.  After this the king named for the chief command Galaemenes, his wife's brother, and gave his own attention to the affairs within the city. But the rebels, drawing up their forces in the plain before the city, overcame the Assyrians in two battles, and they not only slew Galaemenes, but of the opposing forces they cut down some in their flight, while others, who had been shut out from entering the city and forced to leap into the Euphrates river, they destroyed almost to a man.,7.  So great was the multitude of the slain that the water of the stream, mingled with the blood, was changed in colour over a considerable distance. Furthermore, now that the king was shut up in the city and besieged there, many of the nations revolted, going over in each case to the side of liberty.,8.  Sardanapallus, realizing that his entire kingdom was in the greatest danger, sent his three sons and two daughters together with much of his treasure to Paphlagonia to the governor Cotta, who was the most loyal of his subjects, while he himself, despatching letter-carriers to all his subjects, summoned forces and made preparations for the siege.,9.  Now there was a prophecy which had come down to him from his ancestors: "No enemy will ever take Ninus by storm unless the river shall first become the city's enemy." Assuming, therefore, that this would never be, he held out in hope, his thought being to endure the siege and await the troops which would be sent from his subjects.,1.  The rebels, elated at their successes, pressed the siege, but because of the strength of the walls they were unable to do any harm to the men in the city; for neither engines for throwing stones, nor shelters for sappers, nor battering-rams devised to overthrow walls had as yet been invented at that time. Moreover, the inhabitants of the city had a great abundance of all provisions, since the king had taken thought on that score. Consequently the siege dragged on, and for two years they pressed their attack, making assaults on the walls and preventing inhabitants of the city from going out into the country; but in the third year, after there had been heavy and continuous rains, it came to pass that the Euphrates, running very full, both inundated a portion of the city and broke down the walls for a distance of twenty stades.,2.  At this the king, believing that the oracle had been fulfilled and that the river had plainly become the city's enemy, abandoned hope of saving himself. And in order that he might not fall into the hands of the enemy, he built an enormous pyre in his palace, heaped upon it all his gold and silver as well as every article of the royal wardrobe, and then, shutting his concubines and eunuchs in the room which had been built in the middle of the pyre, he consigned both them and himself and his palace to the flames.,3.  The rebels, on learning of the death of Sardanapallus, took the city by forcing an entrance where the wall had fallen, and clothing Arbaces in the royal garb saluted him as king and put in his hands the supreme authority.,1.  Thereupon, after the new king had distributed among the generals who had aided him in the struggle gifts corresponding to their several deserts, and as he was appointing satraps over the nations, Belesys the Babylonian, who had foretold to Arbaces that he would be king of Asia, coming to him, reminded him of his good services, and asked that he be given the governorship of Babylonia, as had been promised at the outset.,2.  He also explained that when their cause was endangered he had made a vow to Belus that, if Sardanapallus were defeated and his palace went up in flames, he would bring its ashes to Babylon, and depositing them near the river and the sacred precinct of the god he would construct a mound which, for all who sailed down the Euphrates, would stand as an eternal memorial of the man who had overthrown the rule of the Assyrians.,3.  This request he made because he had learned from a certain eunuch, who had made his escape and come to Belesys and was kept hidden by him, of the facts regarding the silver and gold.,4.  Now since Arbaces knew nothing of this, by reason of the fact that all the inmates of the palace had been burned along with the king, he allowed him both to carry the ashes away and to hold be able without the payment of tribute. Thereupon Belesys procured boats and at once sent off to Babylon along with the ashes practically all the silver and gold; and the king, having been informed of the act which Belesys had been caught perpetrating, appointed as judges the generals who had served with him in the war.,5.  And when the accused acknowledged his guilt, the court sentenced him to death, but the king, being a magnanimous man and wishing to make his rule at the outset known for clemency, both freed Belesys from the danger threatening him and allowed him to keep the silver and gold which he had carried off; likewise, he did not even take from him the governorship over Babylon which had originally been given to him, saying that his former services were greater than his subsequent misdeeds.,6.  When this act of clemency was noised about, he won no ordinary loyalty on the part of his subjects as well as renown among the nations, all judging that a man who had conducted himself in this wise towards wrongdoers was worthy of the kingship.,7.  Arbaces, however, showing clemency towards the inhabitants of the city, settled them in villages and returned to each man his personal possessions, but the city he levelled to the ground. Then the silver and gold, amounting to many talents, which had been left in the pyre, he collected and took off to Ecbatana in Media.,8.  So the empire of the Assyrians, which had endured from the time of Ninus through thirty generations, for more than one thousand three hundred years, was destroyed by the Medes in the manner described above.,1.  But to us it seems not inappropriate to speak briefly of the Chaldaeans of Babylon and of their antiquity, that we may omit nothing which is worthy of record.,2.  Now the Chaldaeans, belonging as they do to the most ancient inhabitants of Babylonia, have about the same position among the divisions of the state as that occupied by the priests of Egypt; for being assigned to the service of the gods they spend their entire life in study, their greatest renown being in the field of astrology. But they occupy themselves largely with soothsaying as well, making predictions about future events, and in some cases by purifications, in others by sacrifices, and in others by some other charms they attempt to effect the averting of evil things and the fulfilment of the good.,3.  They are also skilled in soothsaying by the flight of birds, and they give out interpretations of both dreams and portents. They also show marked ability in making divinations from the observation of the entrails of animals, deeming that in this branch they are eminently successful. The training which they receive in all these matters is not the same as that of the Greeks who follow such practices.,4.  For among the Chaldaeans the scientific study of these subjects is passed down in the family, and son takes it over from father, being relieved of all other services in the state. Since, therefore, they have their parents for teachers, they not only are taught everything ungrudgingly but also at the same time they give heed to the precepts of their teachers with a most unwavering trust. Furthermore, since they are bred in these teachings from childhood up, they attain a great skill in them, both because of the ease with which youth is taught and because of the great amount of time which is devoted to this study.,5.  Among the Greeks, on the contrary, the student who takes up a large number of subjects without preparation turns to the higher studies only quite late, and then, after labouring upon them to some extent, gives them up, being distracted by the necessity of earning a livelihood; and but a few here and there really strip for the higher studies and continue in the pursuit of them as profit-making business, and these are always trying to make innovations in connection with the most important doctrines instead of following in the path of their predecessors.,6.  The result of this is that the barbarians, by sticking to the same things always, keep a firm hold on every detail, while the Greeks, on the other hand, aiming at the profit to be made out of the business, keep founding new schools and, wrangling with each other over the most important matters of speculation, bring it about that their pupils hold conflicting views, and that their minds, vacillating throughout their lives and unable to believe at all with firm conviction, simply wander in confusion. It is at any rate true that, if a man were to examine carefully the most famous schools of the philosophers, he would find them differing from one another to the uttermost degree and maintaining opposite opinions regarding the most fundamental tenets.,1.  For having accomplished deeds more notable than those of any king before him, he was eager to found a city of such magnitude, that not only would it be the largest of any which then existed in the whole inhabited world, but also that no other ruler of a later time should, if he undertook such a task, find it easy to surpass him.,2.  Accordingly, after honouring the king of the Arabians with gifts and rich spoils from his wars, he dismissed him and his contingent to return to their own country and then, gathering his forces from every quarter and all the necessary material, he founded on the Euphrates river a city which was well fortified with walls, giving it the form of a rectangle. The longer sides of the city were each one hundred and fifty stades in length, and the shorter ninety.,3.  And so, since the total circuit comprised four hundred and eighty stades, he was not disappointed in his hope, since a city its equal, in respect to either the length of its circuit or the magnificence of its walls, was never founded by any man after his time. For the wall had a height of one hundred feet and its width was sufficient for three chariots abreast to drive upon; and the sum total of its towers was one thousand five hundred, and their height was two hundred feet.,4.  He settled in it both Assyrians, who constituted the majority of the population and had the greatest power, and any who wished to come from all other nations. And to the city he gave his own name, Ninus, and he included within the territory of its colonists a large part of the neighbouring country.,1.  Now, as the Chaldaeans say, the world is by its nature eternal, and neither had a first beginning nor will at a later time suffer destruction; furthermore, both the disposition and the orderly arrangement of the universe have come about by virtue of a divine providence, and to‑day whatever takes place in the heavens is in every instance brought to pass, not at haphazard nor by virtue of any spontaneous action, but by some fixed and firmly determined divine decision.,2.  And since they have observed the stars over a long period of time and have noted both the movements and the influences of each of them with greater precision than any other men, they foretell to mankind many things that will take place in the future.,3.  But above all in importance, they say, is the study of the influence of the five stars known as planets, which they call "Interpreters" when speaking of them as a group, but if referring to them singly, the one named Cronus by the Greeks, which is the most conspicuous and presages more events and such as are of greater importance than the others, they call the star of Helius, whereas the other four they designate as the stars of Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes, and Zeus, as do our astrologers.,4.  The reason why they call them "Interpreters" is that whereas all the other stars are fixed and follow a singular circuit in a regular course, these alone, by virtue of following each its own course, point out future events, thus interpreting to mankind the design of the gods. For sometimes by their risings, sometimes by their settings, and again by their colour, the Chaldaeans say, they give signs of coming events to such as are willing to observe them closely;,5.  for at one time they show forth mighty storms of winds, at another excessive rains or heat, at times the appearance of comets, also eclipses of both sun and moon, and earthquakes, and in a word all the conditions which owe their origin to the atmosphere and work both benefits and harm, not only to whole peoples or regions, but also to kings and to persons of private station.,6.  Under the course in which these planets move are situated, according to them, thirty stars, which they designate as "counselling gods"; of these one half oversee the regions above the earth and the other half those beneath the earth, having under their purview the affairs of mankind and likewise those of the heavens; and every ten days one of the stars above is sent as a messenger, so to speak, to the stars below, and again in like manner one of the stars below the earth to those above, and this movement of theirs is fixed and determined by means of an orbit which is unchanging for ever.,7.  Twelve of these gods, they say, hold chief authority, and to each of these the Chaldaeans assign a month and one of the signs of the zodiac, as they are called. And through the midst of these signs, they say, both the sun and moon and the five planets make their course, the sun completing his cycle in a year and the moon traversing her circuit in a month.,1.  Each of the planets, according to them, has its own particular course, and its velocities and periods of time are subject to change and variation. These stars it is which exert the greatest influence for both good and evil upon the nativity of men; and it is chiefly from the nature of these planets and the study of them that they know what is in store for mankind.,2.  And they have made predictions, they say, not only to numerous other kings, but also to Alexander, who defeated Darius, and to Antigonus and Seleucus Nicator who afterwards became kings, and in all their prophecies they are thought to have hit the truth. But of these things we shall write in detail on a more appropriate occasion.,3.  Moreover, they also foretell to men in private station what will befall them, and with such accuracy that those who have made trial of them marvel at the feat and believe that it transcends the power of man.,4.  Beyond the circle of the zodiac they designate twenty-four other stars, of which one half, they say, are situated in the northern parts and one half in the southern, and of these those which are visible they assign to the world of the living, allow those which are invisible they regard as being adjacent to the dead, and so they call them "Judges of the Universe.",5.  And under all the stars hitherto mentioned the moon, according to them, takes her way, being nearest the earth because of her weight and completing her course in a very brief period of time, not by reason of her great velocity, but because her orbit is so short.,6.  They also agree with the Greeks in saying that her light is reflected and that her eclipses are due to the shadow of the earth. Regarding the eclipse of the sun, however, they offer the weakest kind of explanation, and do not presume to predict it or to define the times of its occurrence with any precision.,7.  Again, in connection with the earth they make assertions entirely peculiar to themselves, saying that it is shaped like a boat and hollow, and they offer many plausible arguments about both the earth and all other bodies in the firmament, a full discussion of which we feel would be alien to our history.,8.  This point, however, a man may fittingly maintain, that the Chaldaeans have of all men the greatest grasp of astrology, and that they bestowed the greatest diligence upon the study of it.,9.  But as to the number of years which, according to their statements, the order of the Chaldaeans has spent on the study of the bodies of the universe, a man can scarcely believe them; for they reckon that, down to Alexander's crossing over into Asia, it has been four hundred and seventy-three thousand years, since they began in early times to make their observations of the stars.,10.  So far as the Chaldaeans are concerned we shall be satisfied with what has been said, that we may not wander too far from the matter proper to our history; and now that we have given an account of the destruction of the kingdom of the Assyrians by the Medes we shall return to the point at which we digressed.,1.  Since the earliest writers of history are at variance concerning the mighty empire of the Medes, we feel that it is incumbent upon those who would write the history of events with a love for truth to set forth side by side the different accounts of the historians.,2.  Now Herodotus, who lived in the time of Xerxes, gives this account: After the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes, and thereafter no king arose for many generations to lay claim to supreme power, but the city-states, enjoying a regimen of their own, were administered in a democratic fashion; finally, however, after many years a man distinguished for his justice, named Cyaxares, was chosen king among the Medes.,3.  He was the first to try to attach to himself the neighbouring peoples and became for the Medes the founder of their universal empire; and after him his descendants extended the kingdom by continually adding a great deal of the adjoining country, until the reign of Astyages worth was conquered by Cyrus and the Persians. We have for the present given only the most important of these events in summary and shall later give a detailed account of them one by one when we come to the periods in which they fall; for it was in the second year of the Seventeenth Olympiad, according to Herodotus, that Cyaxares was chosen king by the Medes.,4.  Ctesias of Cnidus, on the other hand, lived during the time when Cyrus made his expedition against Artaxerxes his brother, and having been made prisoner and then retained by Artaxerxes because of his medical knowledge, he enjoyed a position of honour with him for seventeen years. Now Ctesias says that from the royal records, in which the Persians in accordance with a certain law of theirs kept an account of their ancient affairs, he carefully investigated the facts about each king, and when he had composed his history he published it to the Greeks.,5.  This, then, is his account: After the destruction of the Assyrian Empire the Medes were the chief power in Asia under their king Arbaces, who conquered Sardanapallus, as has been told before.,6.  And when he had reigned twenty-eight years his son Maudaces succeeded to the throne and reigned over Asia fifty years. After him Sosarmus ruled for thirty years, Artycas for fifty, the king known as Arbianes for twenty-two, and Artaeus for forty years.,1.  During the reign of Artaeus a great war broke out between the Medes and the Cadusii, for the following reasons. Parsondes, a Persian, a man renowned for his valour and intelligence and every other virtue, was both a friend of the king's and the most influential of the members of the royal council.,2.  Feeling himself aggrieved by the king in a certain decision, he fled with three thousand foot-soldiers and a thousand horsemen to the Cadusii, to one of whom, the most influential man in those parts, he had given his sister in marriage.,3.  And now that he had become a rebel, he persuaded the entire people to vindicate their freedom and was chosen general because of his Severus. Then, learning that a great force was being gathered against him, he armed the whole nation of the Cadusii and pitched his camp before the passes leading into the country, having a force of no less than two hundred thousand men all told.,4.  And although the king Artaeus advanced against him with eight hundred thousand soldiers, Parsondes defeated him in battle and slew more than fifty thousand of his followers, and drove the rest of the army out of the country of the Cadusii. And for this exploit he was so admired by the people of the land that he was chosen king, and he plundered Media without ceasing and laid waste every district of the country.,5.  And after he had attained great fame and was about to die of old age, he called to his side his successor to the throne and required of him an oath that the Cadusii should never put an end to their enmity towards the Medes, adding that, if peace were ever made with them, it meant the destruction of his line and of the whole race of the Cadusii.,6.  These, then, were the reasons why the Cadusii were always inveterate enemies of the Medes, and had never been subjected to the Median kings up to the time when Cyrus transferred the Empire of the Medes to the Persians.,1.  After the death of Artaeus, Ctesias continues, Artynes ruled over the Medes for twenty-two years, and Astibaras for forty. During the reign of the latter the Parthians revolted from the Medes and entrusted both their country and their city to the hands of the Sacae.,2.  This led to a war between the Sacae and the Medes, which lasted many years, and after no small number of battles and the loss of many lives on both sides, they finally agreed to peace on the following terms, that the Parthians should be subject to the Medes, but that both peoples should retain their former possessions and be friends and allies for ever.,3.  At that time the Sacae were ruled by a woman named Zarina, who was devoted to warfare and was in daring and efficiency by far the foremost of the women of the Sacae. Now this people, in general, have courageous women who share with their husbands the dangers of war, but she, it is said, was the most conspicuous of them all for her beauty and remarkable as well in respect to both her designs and whatever she undertook.,4.  For she subdued such of the neighbouring barbarian peoples as had become proud because of their boldness and were trying to enslave the people of the Sacae, and into much of her own realm she introduced civilized life, founded not a few cities, and, in a word, made the life of her people happier.,5.  Consequently her countrymen after her death, in gratitude for her benefactions and in remembrance of her virtues, built her a tomb which was far the largest of any in their land; for they erected a triangular pyramid, making the length of each side three stades and the height one stade, and bringing it to a point at the top; and on the tomb they also placed a colossal gilded statue of her and accorded her the honours belonging to heroes, and all the other honours they bestowed upon her were more magnificent than those which had fallen to the lot of her ancestors.,6.  When, Ctesias continues, Astibaras, the king of the Medes, died of old age in Ecbatana, his son Aspandas, whom the Greeks call Astyages, succeeded to the throne. And when he had been defeated by Cyrus the Persian, the kingdom passed to the Persians. Of them we shall give a detailed and exact account at the proper time.,7.  Concerning the kingdoms of the Assyrians and of the Medes, and concerning the disagreement in the accounts of the historians, we consider that enough has been said; now we shall discuss India and then, in turn, recount the legends of that land.,1.  Now India is four-sided in shape and the side which faces east and that which faces south are embraced by the Great Sea, while that which faces north is separated by the Emodus range of mountains from that part of Scythia which is inhabited by the Scythians known as the Sacae; and the fourth side, which is turned towards the west, is marked off by the river known as the Indus, which is the largest of all streams after the Nile.,2.  As for its magnitude, India as a whole, they say, extends from east to west twenty-eight thousand stades, and from north to south thirty-two thousand. And because it is of such magnitude, it is believed to take in a great extent of the sun's course in summer than any other part of the world, and in many places at the Cape of India the gnomons of sundials may be seen which do not cast a shadow, while at night the Bears are not visible; in the most southerly parts not even Arcturus can be seen, and indeed in that region, they say, the shadows fall towards the south.,3.  Now India has many lofty mountains that abound in fruit trees of every variety, and many large and fertile plains, which are remarkable for their beauty and are supplied with water by a multitude of rivers. The larger part of the country is well watered and for this reason yields two crops each year; and it abounds in all kinds of animals, remarkable for their great size and strength, land animals as well as birds.,4.  It also breeds elephants both in the greatest numbers and of the largest size, providing them with sustenance in abundance, and it is because of this food that the elephants of this land are much more powerful than those produced in Libya; consequently large numbers of them are made captive by the Indians and trained for warfare, and it is found that they play a great part in turning the scale to victory.,1.  The same is true of the inhabitants also, the abundant supply of food making them of unusual height and bulk of body; and another result is that they are skilled in the arts, since they breathe a pure air and drink water of the finest quality.,2.  And the earth, in addition to producing every fruit which admits of cultivation, also contains rich underground veins of every kind of ore; for there are found in it much silver and gold, not a little copper and iron, and tin also and whatever else is suitable for adornment, necessity, and the trappings of war.,3.  In addition to the grain of Demeter there grows throughout India much millet, which is irrigated by the abundance of running water supplied by the rivers, pulse in large quantities and of superior quality, rice also and the plant called bosporos, and in addition to these many more plants which are useful for food; and most of these are native to the country. It also yields not a few other edible fruits, that are able to sustain animal life, but to write about them would be a long task.,4.  This is the reason, they say, why a famine has never visited India or, in general, any scarcity of what is suitable for gentle fare. For since there are two rainy seasons in the country each year, during the winter rains the sowing is made of the wheat crop as among other peoples, while in the second, which comes at the summer solstice, it is the general practice to plant the rice and bosporos, as well as sesame and millet; and in most years the Indians are successful in both crops, and they never lose everything, since the fruit of one or the other sowing comes to maturity.,5.  The fruits also which flourish wild and the roots which grow in the marshy places, by reason of their remarkable sweetness, provide the people with a great abundance of food. For practically all the plains of India enjoy the sweet moisture from the rivers and from the rains which come with astonishing regularity, in a kind of fixed cycle, every year in the summer, since warm showers fall in abundance from the enveloping atmosphere and the heat ripens the roots in the marshes, especially those of the tall reeds.,6.  Furthermore, the customs of the Indians contribute towards there never being any lack of food among them; for whereas in the case of all the rest of mankind their enemies ravage the land and cause it to remain uncultivated, yet among the Indians the workers of the soil are let alone as sacred and inviolable, and such of them as labour near the battle-lines have no feeling of the dangers.,7.  For although both parties to the war kill one another in their hostilities, yet they leave uninjured those who are engaged in tilling the soil, considering that they are the common benefactors of all, nor do they burn the lands of their opponents or cut down their orchards.,1.  The land of the Indians has also many large navigable rivers which have their sources in the mountains lying to the north and then flow through the level country; and not a few of these unite and empty into the river known as the Ganges.,2.  This river, which is thirty stades in width, flows from north to south and empties into the ocean, forming the boundary towards the east of the tribe of the Gandaridae, which possesses the greatest number of elephants and the largest in size.,3.  Consequently no foreign king has ever subdued this country, all alien nations being fearful of both the multitude and the strength of the beasts. In fact even Alexander of Macedon, although he had subdued all Asia, refrained from making war upon the Gandaridae alone of all peoples; for when he had arrived at the Ganges river with his entire army, after his conquest of the rest of the Indians, upon learning that the Gandaridae had four thousand elephants equipped for war he gave up his campaign against them.,4.  The river which is nearly the equal of the Ganges and is called the Indus rises like the Ganges in the north, but as it empties into the ocean forms a boundary of India; and in its course through an expanse of level plain it receives not a few navigable rivers, the most notable being the Hypanis, Hydaspes, and Acesinus.,5.  And in addition to these three rivers a vast number of others of every description traverse the country and bring it about that the land is planted in many gardens and crops of every description. Now for the multitude of rivers and the exceptional supply of water the philosophers and students of nature among them advance the following cause:,6.  The countries which surround India, they say, such as Scythia, Bactria, and Ariana, are higher than India, and so it is reasonable to assume that the waters which come together from every side into the country lying below them, gradually cause the regions to become soaked and to generate a multitude of rivers.,7.  And a peculiar thing happens in the case of one of the rivers of India, known as the Silla, which flows from a spring of the same name; for it is the only river in the world possessing the characteristic that nothing cast into it floats, but that everything, strange to say, sinks to the bottom.,1.  Now India as a whole, being of a vast extent, is inhabited, as we are told, by many other peoples of every description, and not one of them had its first origin in a foreign land, but all of them are thought to be autochthonous; it never receives any colony from abroad nor has it ever sent one to any other people.,2.  According to their myths the earliest human beings used for food the fruits of the earth which grew wild, and for clothing the skins of the native animals, as was done by the Greeks. Similarly too the discovery of the several arts and of all other things which are useful for life was made gradually, necessity itself showing the way to a creature which was well endowed by nature and had, as its assistants for every purpose, hands and speech and sagacity of mind.,3.  The most learned men among the Indians recount a myth which it may be appropriate to set forth in brief form. This, then, is what they say: In the earliest times, when the inhabitants of their land were still dwelling in scattered clan-villages, Dionysus came to them from the regions to the west of them with a notable army; and he traversed all India, since there was as yet no notable city which would have been able to oppose him.,4.  But when an oppressive heat came and the soldiers of Dionysus were being consumed by a pestilential sickness, this leader, who was conspicuous for his wisdom, led his army out of the plains into the hill-country; here, where cool breezes blew and the spring waters flowed pure at their very sources, the army got rid of its sickness. The name of this region of the hill-country, where Dionysus relieved his forces of the sickness, is Meros; and it is because of this fact that the Greeks have handed down to posterity in their account of this god the story that Dionysus was nourished in a thigh (meros).,5.  After this he took in hand the storing of the fruits and shared this knowledge with the Indians, and he communicated to them the discovery of wine and of all the other things useful for life. Furthermore, he became the founder of notable cities by gathering the villages together in well-situated regions, and he both taught them to honour the deity and introduced laws and courts; and, in brief, since he had been the introducer of many good works he was regarded as a god and received immortal honours.,6.  They also recount that he carried along with his army a great number of women, and that when he joined battle in his wars he used the sounds of drums and cymbals, since the trumpet had not yet been discovered. And after he had reigned over all India for fifty-two years he died of old age. His sons, who succeeded to the sovereignty, passed the rule on successively to their descendants; but finally, many generations later, their sovereignty was dissolved and the cities received a democratic form of government.,1.  As for Dionysus, then, and his descendants, such is the myth as it is related by the inhabitants of the hill-country of India. And with regard to Heracles they say that he was born among them and they assign to him, in common with the Greeks, both the club and the lion's skin.,2.  Moreover, as their account tells us, he was far superior to all other men in strength of body and in courage, and cleared both land and sea of their wild beasts. And marrying several wives, he begot many sons, but only one daughter; and when his sons attained to manhood, dividing all India into as many parts as he had male children, he appointed all his sons kings, and rearing his single daughter he appointed her also a queen.,3.  Likewise, he became the founder of not a few cities, the most renowned and largest of which he called Palibothra. In this city he also constructed a costly palace and settled a multitude of inhabitants, and he fortified it with remarkable ditches which were filled with water from the river.,4.  And when Heracles passed from among men he received immortal honour, but his descendants, though they held the kingship during many generations and accomplished notable deeds, made no campaign beyond their own frontiers and despatched no colony to any other people. But many years later most of the cities had received a democratic form of government, although among certain tribes the kingship endured until the time when Alexander crossed over into Asia.,5.  As for the customs of the Indians which are peculiar to them, a man may consider one which was drawn up by their ancient wise men to be the most worthy of admiration; for the law has ordained that under no circumstances shall anyone among them be a slave, but that all shall be free and respect the principle of equality in all persons. For those, they think, who have learned neither to domineer over others nor to subject themselves to others will enjoy a manner of life best suited to all circumstances; since it is silly to make laws on the basis of equality for all persons, and yet to establish inequalities in social intercourse.,1.  Since after the founding of this city Ninus made a campaign against Bactriana, where he married Semiramis, the most renowned of all women of whom we have any record, it is necessary first of all to tell how she rose from a lowly fortune to such fame.,2.  Now there is in Syria a city known as Ascalon, and not far from it a large and deep lake, full of fish. On its shore is a precinct of a famous goddess whom the Syrians call Derceto; and this goddess has the head of a woman but all the rest of her body is that of a fish, the reason being something like this.,3.  The story as given by the most learned of the inhabitants of the region is as follows: Aphrodite, being offended with this goddess, inspired in her a violent passion for a certain handsome youth among her votaries; and Derceto gave herself to the Syrian and bore a daughter, but then, filled with shame of her sinful deed, she killed the youth and exposed the child in a rocky desert region, while as for herself, from shame and grief she threw herself into the lake and was changed as to the form of her body into a fish; and it is for this reason that the Syrians to this day abstain from this animal and honour their fish as gods.,4.  But about the region where the babe was exposed a great multitude of doves had their nests, and by them the child was nurtured in an astounding and miraculous manner; for some of the doves kept the body of the babe warm on all sides by covering it with their wings, while others, when they observed that the cowherds and other keepers were absent from the nearby steadings, brought milk therefrom in their beaks and fed the babe by putting it drop by drop between its lips.,5.  And when the child was a year old and in need of more solid nourishment, the doves, pecking off bits from the cheeses, supplied it with sufficient nourishment. Now when the keepers returned and saw that the cheeses had been nibbled about the edges, they were astonished at the strange happening; they accordingly kept a look-out, and on discovering the cause found the infant, which was of surpassing beauty.,6.  At once, then, bringing it to their steadings they turned it over to the keeper of the royal herds, whose name was Simmas; and Simmas, being childless, gave every care to the rearing of the girl, as his own daughter, and called her Semiramis, a name slightly altered from the word which, in the language of the Syrians, means "doves," birds which since that time all the inhabitants of Syria have continued to honour as goddesses.,1.  The whole multitude of the Indians is divided into seven castes, the first of which is formed of the order of the philosophers, which in number is smaller than the rest of the castes, but in dignity ranks first. For being exempt from any service to the state the philosophers are neither the masters nor the servants of the others.,2.  But they are called upon by the private citizens both to offer the sacrifices which are required in their lifetime and to perform the rites for the dead, as having proved themselves to be most dear to the gods and as being especially experienced in the matters that relate to the underworld, and for this service they receive both notable gifts and honours. Moreover, they furnish great services to the whole body of the Indians, since they are invited at the beginning of the year to the Great Synod and foretell to the multitude droughts and rains, as well as the favourable blowing of winds, and epidemics, and whatever else can be of aid to their auditors.,3.  For both the common folk and the king, by learning in advance what is going to take place, store up from time to time that of which there will be a shortage and prepare beforehand from time to time anything that will be needed. And the philosopher who has erred in his predictions is subjected to no other punishment than obloquy and keeps silence for the remainder of his life.,4.  The second caste is that of the farmers, who, it would appear, are far more numerous than the rest. These, being exempt from war duties and every other service to the state, devote their entire time to labour in the fields; and no enemy, coming upon a farmer in the country, would think of doing him injury, but they look upon the farmers as common benefactors and therefore refrain from every injury to them.,5.  Consequently the land, remaining as it does unravaged and being laden with fruits, provides the inhabitants with a great supply of provisions. And the farmers spend their lives upon the land with their children and wives and refrain entirely from coming down into the city. For the land they pay rent to the kind, since all India is royal land and no man of private station is permitted to possess any ground; and apart from the rental they pay a fourth part into the royal treasury.,6.  The third division is that of the neatherds and shepherds, and, in general, of all the herdsmen who do not dwell in a city or village but spend their lives in tents; and these men are also hunters and rid the country of both birds and wild beasts. And since they are practised in this calling and follow it with zest they are bringing India under cultivation, although it still abounds in many wild beasts and birds of every kind, which eat up the seeds sown by the farmers.,1.  The fourth caste is that of the artisans; of these some are armourers and some fabricate for the farmers or certain others the things useful for the services they perform. And they are not only exempt from paying taxes but they even receive rations from the royal treasury.,2.  The fifth caste is that of the military, which is at hand in case of war; they are second in point of number and indulge to the fullest in relaxation and pastimes in the periods of peace. And the maintenance of the whole multitude of the soldiers and of the horses and elephants for use in war is met out of the royal treasury.,3.  The sixth caste is that of the inspectors. These men inquire into and inspect everything that is going on throughout India, and report back to the kings or, in case the state to which they are attached has no king, to the magistrates.,4.  The seventh caste is that of the deliberators and chancellors, whose concern is with the decisions which affect the common welfare. In point of number this group is the smallest, but in nobility of birth and wisdom the most worthy of admiration; for from their body are drawn the advisers for the kings and the administrators of the affairs of state and the judges of disputes, and, speaking generally, they take their leaders and magistrates from among these men.,5.  Such in general terms are the groups into which the body politic of the Indians is divided. Furthermore, no one is allowed to marry a person of another caste or to follow another calling or trade, as, for instance, that one who is a soldier should become a farmer, or an artisan should become a philosopher.,1.  The country of the Indians also possesses a vast number of enormous elephants, which far surpass all others both in strength and size. Nor does this animal cover the female in a peculiar manner, as some say, but in the same way as horses and all other four-footed beasts; and their period of gestation is in some cases sixteen months at the least and in other cases eighteen months at the most.,2.  They bring forth, like horses, but one young for the most part, and the females suckle their young for six years. The span of life for most of them is about that of men who attain the greatest age, though some which have reached the highest age have lived two hundred years.,3.  There are among the Indians also magistrates appointed for foreigners who take care that no foreigner shall be wronged; moreover, should any foreigner fall sick they bring him a physician and care for him in every other way, and if he dies they bury him and even turn over such property as he has to his relatives.,4.  Again, their judges examine accurately matters of dispute and proceed rigorously against such as are guilty of wrongdoing. As for India, then, and its antiquities we shall be satisfied with what has been said.,1.  But now, in turn, we shall discuss the Scythians who inhabit the country bordering upon India. This people originally possessed little territory, but later, as they gradually increased in power, they seized much territory by reason of their deeds of might and their bravery and advanced their nation to great leadership and renown.,2.  At first, then, they dwelt on the Araxes river, altogether few in number and despised because of their lack of renown; but since one of their early kings was warlike and of unusual skill as a general they acquired territory, in the mountains as far as the Caucasus, and in the steppes along the ocean and Lake Maeotis and the rest of that country as far as the Tanaïs river.,3.  At a later time, as the Scythians recount the myth, there was born among them a maiden sprung from the earth; the upper parts of her body as far as her waist were those of a woman, but the lower parts were those of a snake. With her Zeus lay begat a son whose name was Scythes. This son became more famous than any who had preceded him and called the folk Scythians after his own name. Now among the descendants of this king there were two brothers who were distinguished for their valour, the one named Palus and the other Napes.,4.  And since these two performed renowned deeds and divided the kingship between them, some of the people were called Pali after one of them and some Napae after the other. But some time later the descendants of these kings, because of their unusual valour and skill as generals, subdued much of the territory beyond the Tanaïs river as far as Thrace, and advancing with their armies to the other side they extended their power as far as the Nile in Egypt.,5.  And after enslaving many great peoples which lay between the Thracians and the Egyptians they advanced the empire of the Scythians on the one side as far as the ocean to the east, and on the other side to the Caspian Sea and Lake Maeotis; for this people increased to great strength and had notable kings, one of whom gave his name to the Sacae, another to the Massagetae, another to the Arimaspi, and several other tribes received their names in like manner.,6.  It was by these kings that many of the conquered peoples were removed to other homes, and two of these became very great colonies: the one was composed of Assyrians and was removed to the land between Paphlagonia and Pontus, and the other was drawn from Media and planted along the Tanaïs, its people receiving the name Sauromatae.,7.  Many years later this people became powerful and ravaged a large part of Scythia, and destroying utterly all whom they subdued they turned most of the land into a desert.,1.  After these events there came in Scythia a period of revolutions, in which the sovereigns were women endowed with exceptional valour. For among these peoples the women train for war just as do the men and in acts of manly valour are in no wise inferior to the men. Consequently distinguished women have been the authors of many great deeds, not in Scythia alone, but also in the territory bordering upon it.,2.  For instance, when Cyrus the king of the Persians, the mightiest ruler of his day, made a campaign with a vast army into Scythia, the queen of the Scythians not only cut the army of the Persians to pieces but she even took Cyrus prisoner and crucified him; and the nation of the Amazons, after it was once organized, was so distinguished for its manly prowess that it not only overran much of the neighbouring territory but even subdued a large part of Europe and Asia.,3.  But for our part, since we have mentioned the Amazons, we feel that it is not foreign to our purpose to discuss them, even though what we shall say will be so marvellous that it will resemble a tale from mythology.,1.  Now in the country along the Thermodon river, as the account goes, the sovereignty was in the hands of a people among whom the women held the supreme power, and its women performed the services of war just as did the men. Of these women one, who possessed the royal authority, was remarkable for her prowess in war and her bodily strength, and gathering together an army of women she drilled it in the use of arms and subdued in war some of the neighbouring peoples.,2.  And since her valour and fame increased, she made war upon people after people of neighbouring lands, and as the tide of her fortune continued favourable, she was so filled with pride that she gave herself the appellation of Daughter of Ares; but to the men she assigned the spinning of wool and such other domestic duties as belong to women. Laws were also established by her, by virtue of which she led forth the women to the contests of war, but upon the men she fastened humiliation and slavery.,3.  And as for their children, they mutilated both the legs and the arms of the males, incapacitating them in this way for the demands of war, and in the case of the females they seared the right breast that it might not project when their bodies matured and be in the way; and it is for this reason that the nation of the Amazons received the appellation it bears.,4.  In general, this queen was remarkable for her intelligence and ability as a general, and she founded a great city named Themiscyra at the mouth of the Thermodon river and built there a famous palace; furthermore, in her campaigns she devoted much attention to military discipline and at the outset subdued all her neighbours as far as the Tanaïs river.,5.  And this queen, they say, accomplished the deeds which have been mentioned, and fighting brilliantly in a certain battle she ended her life heroically.,1.  The daughter of this queen, the account continues, on succeeding to the throne emulated the excellence of her mother, and even surpassed her in some particular deeds. For instance, she exercised in the chase the maidens from their earliest girlhood and drilled them daily in the arts of war, and she also established magnificent festivals both to Ares and to the Artemis who is called Tauropolus.,2.  Then she campaigned against the territory lying beyond the Tanaïs and subdued all the peoples one after another as far as Thrace; and returning to her native land with much booty she built magnificent shrines to the deities mentioned above, and by reason of her kindly rule over her subjects received from them the greatest approbation. She also campaigned on the other side and subdued a large part of Asia and extended her power as far as Syria.,3.  After the death of this queen, as their account continues, women of her family, succeeding to the queenship from time to time, ruled with distinction and advanced the nation of the Amazons in both power and fame. And many generations after these events, when the excellence of these women had been noised abroad through the whole inhabited world, they say that Heracles, the son of Alcmenê and Zeus, was assigned by Eurystheus the Labour of securing the girdle of Hippolytê the Amazon.,4.  Consequently he embarked on this campaign, and coming off victorious in a great battle he not only cut to pieces the army of the Amazons but also, after taking captive Hippolytê together with her girdle, completely crushed this nation. Consequently the neighbouring barbarians, despising the weakness of this people and remembering against them their past injuries, waged continuous wars against the nation to such a degree that they left in existence not even the name of the race of the Amazons.,5.  For a few years after the campaign of Heracles against them, they say, during the time of the Trojan War, Penthesileia, the queen of the surviving Amazons, who was a daughter of Ares and had slain one of her kindred, fled from her native land because of the sacrilege. And fighting as an ally of the Trojans after the death of Hector she slew many of the Greeks, and after gaining distinction in the struggle she ended her life heroically at the hands of Achilles.,6.  Now they say that Penthesileia was the last of the Amazons to win distinction for bravery and that for the future the race diminished more and more and then lost all its strength; consequently in later times, whenever any writers recount their prowess, men consider the ancient stories about the Amazons to be fictitious tales.,1.  Now for our part, since we have seen fit to make mention of the regions of Asia which lie to the north, we feel that it will not be foreign to our purpose to discuss the legendary accounts of the Hyperboreans. Of those who have written about the ancient myths, Hecataeus and certain others say that in the regions beyond the land of the Celts there lies in the ocean an island no smaller than Sicily. This island, the account continues, is situated in the north and is inhabited by the Hyperboreans, who are called by that name because their home is beyond the point whence the north wind (Boreas) blows; and the island is both fertile and productive of every crop, and since it has an unusually temperate climate it produces two harvests each year.,2.  Moreover, the following legend is told concerning it: Leto was born on this island, and for that reason Apollo is honoured among them above all other gods; and the inhabitants are looked upon as priests of Apollo, after a manner, since daily they praise this god continuously in song and honour him exceedingly. And there is also on the island both a magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo and a notable temple which is adorned with many votive offerings and is spherical in shape.,3.  Furthermore, a city is there which is sacred to this god, and the majority of its inhabitants are players on the cithara; and these continually play on this instrument in the temple and sing hymns of praise to the god, glorifying his deeds.,4.  The Hyperboreans also have a language, we informed, which is peculiar to them, and are most friendly disposed towards the Greeks, and especially towards the Athenians and the Delians, who have inherited this good-will from most ancient times. The myth also relates that certain Greeks visited the Hyperboreans and left behind them there costly votive offerings bearing inscriptions in Greek letters.,5.  And in the same way Abaris, a Hyperborean, came to Greece in ancient times and renewed the good-will and kinship of his people to the Delians. They say also that the moon, as viewed from this island, appears to be but a little distance from the earth and to have upon it prominences, like those of the earth, which are visible to the eye.,6.  The account is also given that the god visits the island every nineteen years, the period in which the return of the stars to the same place in the heavens is accomplished; and for this reason the nineteen-year period is called by the Greeks the "year of Meton." At the time of this appearance of the god he both plays on the cithara and dances continuously the night through from the vernal equinox until the rising of the Pleiades, expressing in this manner his delight in his successes. And the kings of this city and the supervisors of the sacred precinct are called Boreadae, since they are descendants of Boreas, and the succession to these positions is always kept in their family.,1.  But now that we have examined these matters we shall turn our account to the other parts of Asia which have not yet been described, and more especially to Arabia. This land is situated between Syria and Egypt, and is divided among many peoples of diverse characteristics. Now the eastern parts are inhabited by Arabs, who bear the name of Nabataeans and range over a country which is partly desert and partly waterless, though a small section of it is fruitful.,2.  And they lead a life of brigandage, and overrunning a large part of the neighbouring territory they pillage it, being difficult to overcome in war. For in the waterless region, as it is called, they have dug wells at convenient intervals and have kept the knowledge of them hidden from the peoples of all other nations, and so they retreat in a body into this region out of danger.,3.  For since they themselves know about the places of hidden water and open them up, they have for their use drinking water in abundance; but such other peoples as pursue them, being in want of a watering-place by reason of their ignorance of the wells, in some cases perish because of the lack of water and in other cases regain their native land in safety only with difficulty and after suffering many ills.,4.  Consequently the Arabs who inhabit this country, being difficult to overcome in war, remain always unenslaved; furthermore, they never at any time accept a man of another country as their over-lord and continuous to maintain their liberty unimpaired.,5.  Consequently neither the Assyrians of old, nor the kings of the Medes and Persians, nor yet those of the Macedonians have been able to enslave them, and although they led many great forces against them, they never brought their attempts to a successful conclusion.,6.  There is also in the land of the Nabataeans a rock, which is exceedingly strong since it has but one approach, and using this ascent they mount it a few at a time and thus store their possessions in safety. And a large lake is also there which produces asphalt in abundance, and from it they derive not a little revenue.,7.  It has a length of about five hundred stades and a width of about sixty, and its water is so ill-smelling and so very bitter that it cannot support fish or any of the other animals which commonly live in water. And although great rivers of remarkable sweetness empty into it, the lake gets the better of them by reason of its evil smell, and from its centre it spouts forth once a year a great mass of asphalt, which sometimes extends for more than three plethra, and sometimes for only two; and when this occurs the barbarians who live about the lake usually call the larger flow a "bull" and to the smaller one they give the name "calf.",8.  Since the asphalt floats on the surface of the lake, to those who view it from a distance it takes the appearance of an island. And the fact is that the emission of the asphalt is made known to the natives twenty days before it takes place; for to a distance of many stades around the lake the odour, borne on the wind, assails them, and every piece of silver and gold and brass in the locality loses it characteristic lustre. But this returns again as soon as all the asphalt has been spouted forth; and the region round about, by reason of its being exposed to fire and to the evil odours, renders the bodies of the inhabitants susceptible to disease and makes the people very short-lived.,9.  Yet the land is good for the growing of palms, wherever it happens to be traversed by rivers with usable water or to be supplied with springs which can irrigate it. And there is also found in these regions in a certain valley the balsam tree, as it is called, from which they receive a substantial revenue, since this tree is found nowhere else in the inhabited world and the use of it for medicinal purposes is most highly valued by physicians. •  That part of Arabia which borders upon the waterless and desert country is so different from it that, because both of the multitude of fruits which grow therein and of its other good things, it has been called Arabia Felix.,2.  For the reed and the rush and every other growth that has a spicy scent are produced in great abundance, as is also, speaking generally, every kind of fragrant substance which is derived from leaves, and the land is distinguished in its several parts by the varied odours of the gums which drip from them; for myrrh and that frankincense which is most dear to the gods and is exported throughout the entire inhabited world are produced in the farthest parts of this land.,3.  And kostos and cassia and cinnamon and all other plants of this nature grow there in fields and thickets of such depth that what all other peoples sparingly place upon the altars of the gods is actually used by them as fuel under their pots, and what is found among all other peoples in small specimens there supplies material for the mattresses of the servants in their homes. Moreover, the cinnamon, as it is called, which is exceptionally useful, and resin of the pine, and the terebinth, are produced in these regions in great abundance and of sweet odour.,4.  And in the mountains grow not only silver fir and pine in abundance, but also cedar and the Phoenician cedar in abundance and boraton, as it is called. There are also many other kinds of fruit-bearing plants of sweet odour, which yield sap and fragrances most pleasing to such as approach them. Indeed the very earth itself is by its nature full of a vapour which is like sweet incense.,5.  Consequently, in certain regions of Arabia, when the earth is dug up, there are discovered veins of sweet odour, in the working of which quarries of extraordinary magnitude are formed; and from these they gather stones and build their houses. And as for their houses, whenever rain drops from the enveloping atmosphere, that part which is melted down by the moisture flows into the joints of the stones and hardening there makes the walls solid throughout.,1.  Such, then, is in substance the story that is told about the birth of Semiramis. And when she had already come to the age of marriage and far surpassed all the other maidens in beauty, an officer was sent from the king's court to inspect the royal herds; his name was Onnes, and he stood first among the members of the king's council and had been appointed governor over all Syria. He stopped with Simmas, and on seeing Semiramis was captivated by her beauty; consequently he earnestly entreated Simmas to give him the maiden in lawful marriage and took her off to Ninus, where he married her and begat two sons, Hyapates and Hydaspes.,2.  And since the other qualities of Semiramis were in keeping with the beauty of her countenance, it turned out that her husband became completely enslaved by her, and since he would do nothing without her advice he prospered in everything.,3.  It was at just this time that the king, now that he had completed the founding of the city which bore his name, undertook his campaign against the Bactrians. And since he was well aware of the great number and the valour of these men, and realized that the country had many places which because of their strength could not be approached by an enemy, he enrolled a great host of soldiers from all the negotiations under his sway; for as he had come off badly in his earlier campaign, he was resolved on appearing before Bactriana with a force many times as large as theirs.,4.  Accordingly, after the army had been assembled from every source, it numbered, as Ctesias has stated in his history, one million seven hundred thousand foot-soldiers, two hundred and ten thousand cavalry, and slightly less than ten thousand six hundred scythe-bearing chariots.,5.  Now at first hearing the great size of the army is incredible, but it will not seem at all impossible to any who consider the great extent of Asia and the vast numbers of the peoples who inhabit it. For if a man, disregarding the campaign of Darius against the Scythians with eight hundred thousand men and the crossing made by Xerxes against Greece with a host beyond number, should consider the events which have taken place in Europe only yesterday or the day before, he would the more quickly come to regard the statement as credible.,6.  In Sicily, for instance, Dionysius led forth on his campaigns from the single city of the Syracusans one hundred and twenty thousand foot-soldiers and twelve thousand cavalry, and from a single harbour four hundred warships, some of which were quadriremes and quinqueremes;,7.  and the Romans, a little before the time of Hannibal, foreseeing the magnitude of the war, enrolled all the men in Italy who were fit for military service, both citizens and allies, and the total sum of them fell only a little short of one million; and yet as regards the number of inhabitants a man would not compare all Italy with a single one of the nations of Asia. Let these facts, then, be a sufficient reply on our part to those who try to estimate the populations of the nations of Asia in ancient times on the strength of inferences drawn from the desolation which at the present time prevails in its cities.,1.  There is also mined in Arabia the gold called "fireless," which is not smelted from ores, as is done among all other peoples, but is dug out directly from the earth; it is found in nuggets about the size of chestnuts, and is so fiery-red in colour that when it is used by artisans as a setting for the most precious gems it makes the fairest of adornments.,2.  There is also in the land such a multitude of herds that many tribes which have chosen a nomad life are able to fare right well, experiencing no want of grain but being provided for in abundance by their herds. That part of the country which borders upon Syria breeds a multitude of fierce wild beasts; for the lions and leopards there are far more numerous and larger and superior in ferocity as compared with those of Libya, and in addition to these there are the Babylonian tigers, as they are called.,3.  And it produces animals which are of double form and mingled in their natures, to which belong the struthocameli, which, as their name implies, embrace in their form the compound of a bird and of a camel. For in size they are like a newly-born camel, but their heads bristle with fine hair, and their eyes are large and black, indistinguishable in general appearance and colour from those of the camel.,4.  It is also long-necked and has a beak which is very short and contracted to a sharp point. And since it his wings with feathers which are covered with a fine hair, and is supported upon two legs and on feet with cloven hoofs, it has the appearance of a land animal as well as of a bird.,5.  But being unable by reason of its weight to raise itself in the air and to fly, it swiftly skims over the land, and when pursued by hunters on horseback with its feet it hurls stones as from a sling upon its pursuers, and with such force that they often receive severe wounds.,6.  And whenever it is overtaken and surrounded, it hides its head in a bush or some such shelter, not, as some men suppose, because of its folly and stupidity of spirit, as if it thought that since it could not see the others it could not itself be seen by others either, but because its head is the weakest part of its body it seeks a shelter for it in order to save its life;,7.  for Nature is an excellent instructor of all animals for the preservation not only of their own lives but also of their offspring, since by planting in them an innate love of life she leads successive generations into an eternal cycle of continued existence.,1.  The camelopards, as they are called, represent the mixing of the two animals which are included in the name given to it. For in size they are smaller than the camel and have shorter necks, but in the head and the arrangement of the eyes they are formed very much like a leopard; and although they have a hump on the back like the camel, yet with respect to colour and hair they are like leopards; likewise in the possession of a long tail they imitate the nature of this wild beast.,2.  There are also bred tragelaphoi (goat-stags) and bubali and many other varieties of animals which are of double form and combine in one body the natures of creatures most widely different, about all of which it would be a long task to write in detail.,3.  For it would seem that the land which lies to the south breathes in a great deal of the sun's strength, which is the greatest source of life, and that, for that reason, it generates breeds of beautiful animals in great number and of varied colour;,4.  and that for the same reason there are produced in Egypt both the crocodiles and the river-horses, in Ethiopia and in the desert of Libya a multitude of elephants and of reptiles of every variety and of all other wild beasts and of serpents, which differ from one another in size and ferocity, and likewise in India the elephants of exceptional bulk and number and ferocity.,1.  In these countries are generated not only animals which differ from one another in form because of the helpful influence and strength of the sun, but also outcroppings of every kind of precious stone which are unusual in colour and resplendent in brilliancy.,2.  For the rock-crystals, so we are informed, are composed of pure water which has been hardened, not by the action of cold, but by the influence of a divine fire, and for this reason they are never subject to corruption and take on many hues when they are breathed upon.,3.  For instance smaragdi and beryllia, as they are called, which are found in the shafts of the copper mines, receive their colour by having been dipped and bound together in a bath of sulphur, and the chrysoliths, they say, which are produced by a smoky exhalation due to the heat of the sun, thereby get the colour they have.,4.  For this reason what is called "false gold," we are told, is fabricated by mortal fire, made by man, by dipping the rock crystals into it. And as for the natural qualities of the dark-red stones, it is the influence of the light, as it is compressed to a greater or less degree in them when they are hardening, which, they say, accounts for their differences.,5.  In like manner, it is reported, the different kinds of birds get their colouring, some kinds appearing to the eye as pure red, other kinds marked with colours of every variety one after the other; for some birds are flaming red in appearance, others saffron yellow, some emerald green, and many of the colour of gold when they turn towards the light, and, in brief, hues are produced in great variety and difficult to describe; and this same thing can be seen taking place in the case of the rainbow in the heavens by reason of the light of the sun.,6.  And it is from these facts that the students of nature draw their arguments when they affirm that the variety of colouring that is put forth by the things which we have mentioned above was caused by the heat coincident with their creation which dyed them, the sun, which is the source of life, assisting in the production of each several kind.,7.  And it is generally true, they continue, that of the differences in the hues of the flowers and of the varied colours of the earth the sun is the cause and creator; and the arts of mortal men, imitating the working of the sun in the physical world, impart colouring and varied hues to every object, having been instructed in this by nature.,8.  For the colours, they continue, are produced by the light, and likewise the odours of the fruits and the distinctive quality of their juices, the different sizes of the animals and their several forms, and the peculiarities which the earth shows, all are generated by the heat of the sun which imparts its warmth to a fertile land and to water endowed with the generative power and thus becomes the creator of each separate thing as it is.,9.  Consequently, neither white marble of Paros nor any other stone which men admire can be compared with the precious stones of Arabia, since their whiteness is most brilliant, their weight the heaviest, and their smoothness leaves no room for other stones to surpass them. And the cause of the peculiar nature of the several parts of the country is, as I have told, the influence of the sun, which has hardened it by its heat, compressed it by its dryness, and made it resplendent by its light.,1.  Hence it is that the race of birds also, having received the most warmth, became flying creatures because of their lightness, and of varied colour because of the influence of the sun, this being especially true in the lands which lie close to the sun.,2.  Babylonia, for instance, produces a multitude of peacocks which have blossomed out with colours of every kind, and the farthest parts of Syria produce parrots and purple coots and guinea-fowls and other kinds of animals of distinctive colouring and of every combination of hues.,3.  And the same reasoning applies also to all the other countries of the earth which lie in a similar climate, such as India and the Red Sea and Ethiopia and certain parts of Libya.,4.  But the eastern part, being more fertile, breeds nobler and larger animals; and as for the rest of Libya, each animal is produced in form and characteristics corresponding to the quality of the soil.,5.  Likewise as regards trees, the palms of Libya bear dry and small fruit, but in Coele-Syria dates called caryoti are produced which excel as to both sweetness and size and also as to their juices.,6.  But dates much larger than these can be seen growing in Arabia and Babylonia, six fingers in size and in colour either yellow like the quince, or dark red, or in some cases tending to purple, so that at the same time they both delight the eye and gratify the taste.,7.  The trunk of the palm stretches high in the air and its surface is smooth all over as far as its crown. But though they all have a tuft of foliage at the top, yet the arrangement of the foliage varies; for in some cases the fronds spread out in a complete circle and from the centre the trunk sends up, as if from out its broken bark, the fruit in a cluster like grapes, in other cases the foliage at the crown droops down on only one side so that it produces the appearance of a lamp from which the flame flares out, and occasionally they have their fronds bent down on both sides and by this double arrangement of the branches show a crown of foliage all about the trunk, thus presenting a picturesque appearance.,1.  That part of Arabia as a whole which lies to the south is called Felix, but the interior part is ranged over by a multitude of Arabians who are nomads and have chosen a tent life. These raise great flocks of animals and make their camps in plains of immeasurable extent.,2.  The region which lies between this part and Arabia Felix is desert and waterless, as has been stated; and the parts of Arabia which lie to the west are broken by sandy deserts spacious as the air in magnitude, through which those who journey must, even as voyagers upon the seas, direct their course by indications obtained from the Bears.,3.  The remaining part of Arabia, which lies towards Syria, contains a multitude of farmers and merchants of every kind, who by a seasonable exchange of merchandise make good the lack of certain wares in both countries by supplying useful things which they possess in abundance.,4.  That Arabia which lies along the ocean is situated above Arabia Felix, and since it is traversed by many great rivers, many regions in it are converted into stagnant pools and into vast stretches of great swamps.,5.  And with the water which is brought to them from the rivers and that which comes with the summer rains they irrigate a large part of the country and get two crops yearly. This region also breeds herds of elephants and other monstrous land animals, and animals of double shape which have developed peculiar forms; and in addition to these it abounds in domestic animals of every kind, especially in cattle and in the sheep with large and fat tails.,6.  This land also breeds camels in very great numbers and of most different kinds, both the hairless and the shaggy, and those which have two humps, one behind the other, along their spines and hence are called dituloi. Some of these provide milk and are eaten for meat, and so provide the inhabitants with a great abundance of this food, and others, which are trained to carry burdens on their backs, can carry some ten medimni of wheat and bear up five men lying outstretched upon a couch. Others which have short legs and are slender in build are dromedaries and can go at full stretch a day's journey of a very great distance, especially in the trips which they make through the waterless and desert region.,7.  And also in their wars the same animals carry into battle two bowmen who ride back to back to each other, one of them keeping off enemies who come on them from in front, the other those who pursue in the rear. With regard, then, to Arabia and the products of that land, even if we have written at too great length, we have at any rate reported many things to delight lovers of reading.,1.  But with regard to the island which has been discovered in the ocean to the south and the marvellous tales told concerning it, we shall now endeavour to give a brief account, after we have first set forth accurately the causes which led to its discovery.,2.  There was a certain Iambulus who from his boyhood up had been devoted to the pursuit of education, and after the death of his father, who had been a merchant, he also gave himself to that calling; and while journeying inland to the spice-bearing region of Arabia he and his companions on the trip were taken captive by some robbers. Now at first he and one of his fellow-captives were appointed to be herdsmen, but later he and his companion were made captive by certain Ethiopians and led off to the coast of Ethiopia.,3.  They were kidnapped in order that, being of an alien people, they might effect the purification of the land. For among the Ethiopians who lived in that place there was a custom, which had been handed down from ancient times, and had been ratified by oracles of the gods, over a period of twenty generations or six hundred years, the generation being reckoned at thirty years; and at the time when the purification by means of the two men was to take place, a boat had been built for them sufficient in size and strong enough to withstand the storms at sea, one which could easily be manned by two men; and then loading it with food enough to maintain two men for six months and putting them on board they commanded them to set out to sea as the oracle had ordered.,4.  Furthermore, they commanded them to steer towards the south; for, they were told, they would come to a happy island and to men of honourable character, and among them they would lead a blessed existence. And in like manner, they stated, their own people, in case the men whom they sent forth should arrive safely at the island, would enjoy peace and a happy life in every respect throughout six hundred years; but if, dismayed at the extent of the sea, they should turn back on their course they would, as impious men and destroyers of the entire nation, suffer the severest penalties.,5.  Accordingly, the Ethiopians, they say, held a great festal assembly by the sea, and after offering costly sacrifices they crowned with flowers the men who were to seek out the island and effect the purification of the nation and then sent them forth.,6.  And these men, after having sailed over a vast sea and been tossed about four months by storms, were carried to the island about which they had been informed beforehand; it was round in shape and had a circumference of about five thousand stades.,1.  But when they were now drawing near to the island, the account proceeds, some of the natives met them and drew their boat to land; and the inhabitants of the island, thronging together, were astonished at the arrival of the strangers, but they treated them honourably and shared with them the necessities of life which their country afforded.,2.  The dwellers upon this island differ greatly both in the characteristics of their bodies and in their manners from the men in our part of the inhabited world; for they are all nearly alike in the shape of their bodies and are over four cubits in height, but the bones of the body have the ability to bend to a certain extent and then straighten out again, like the sinewy parts.,3.  They are also exceedingly tender in respect to their bodies and yet more vigorous than is the case among us; for when they have seized any object in their hands no man can extract it from the grasp of their fingers. There is absolutely no hair on any part of their bodies except on the head, eyebrows and eyelids, and on the chin, but the other parts of the body are so smooth that not even the least down can be seen on them.,4.  They are also remarkably beautiful and well-proportioned in the outline of the body. The openings of their ears are much more spacious than ours and growths have developed that serve as valves, so to speak, to close them.,5.  And they have a peculiarity in regard to the tongue, partly the work of nature and congenital with them and partly intentionally brought about by artifice; among them, namely, the tongue is double for a certain distance, but they divide the inner portions still further, with the result that it becomes a double tongue as far as the base.,6.  Consequently they are very versatile as to the sounds they can utter, since they imitate not only every articulate language used by man but also the varied chatterings of the birds, and, in general, they reproduce any peculiarity of sounds. And the most remarkable thing of all is that at one and the same time they can converse perfectly with two persons who fall in with them, both answering questions and discoursing pertinently on the circumstances of the moment; for with one division of the tongue they can converse with the one person, and likewise with the other talk with the second.,7.  Their climate is most temperate, we are told, considering that they live at the equator, and they suffer neither from heat nor from cold. Moreover, the fruits in their island ripen throughout the entire year, even as the poet writes, Here pear on pear grows old, and apple close On apple, yea, and clustered grapes on grapes, And fig on fig. And with them the day is always the same length as the night, and at midday no shadow is cast of any object because the sun is in the zenith.,1.  These islanders, they go on to say, live in groups which are based on kinship and on political organizations, no more than four hundred kinsmen being gathered together in this way; and the members spend their time in the meadows, the land supplying them with many things for sustenance; for by reason of the fertility of the island and the mildness of the climate, food-stuffs are produced of themselves in greater quantity than is sufficient for their needs.,2.  For instance, a reed grows there in abundance, and bears a fruit in great plenty that is very similar to the white vetch. Now when they have gathered this they steep it in warm water until it has become the size of a pigeon's egg; then after they have crushed it and rubbed it skilfully with their hands, they mould it into loaves, which are baked and eaten, and they are of surprising sweetness.,3.  There are also in the island, they say, abundant springs of water, the warm springs serving well for bathing and the relief of fatigue, the cold excelling in sweetness and possessing the power to contribute to good health. Moreover, the inhabitants give attention to every branch of learning and especially to astrology;,4.  and they use letters which, according to the value of the sounds they represent, are twenty-eight in number, but the characters are only seven, each one of which can be formed in four different ways. Nor do they write their lines horizontally, as we do, but from the top to the bottom perpendicularly. And the inhabitants, they tell us, are extremely long-lived, living even to the age of one hundred and fifty years, and experiencing for the most part no illness.,5.  Anyone also among them who has become crippled or suffers, in general, from any physical infirmity is forced by them, in accordance with an inexorable law, to remove himself from life. And there is also a law among them that they should live only for a stipulated number of years, and that at the completion of this period they should make away with themselves of their own accord, by a strange manner of death; for there grows among them a plant of a peculiar nature, and whenever a man lies down upon it, imperceptibly and gently he falls asleep and dies.,1.  They do not marry, we are told, but possess their children in common, and maintaining the children who are born as if they belonged to all, they love them equally; and while the children are infants those who suckle the babes often change them around in order that not even the mothers may know their own offspring. Consequently, since there is no rivalry among them, they never experience civil disorders and they never cease placing the highest value upon internal harmony.,2.  There are also animals among them, we are told, which are small in size but the object of wonder by reason of the nature of their bodies and the potency of their blood; for they are round in form and very similar to tortoises, but they are marked on the surface by two diagonal yellow stripes, at each end of which they have an eye and a mouth;,3.  consequently, though seeing with four eyes and using as many mouths, yet it gathers its food into one gullet, and down this its nourishment is swallowed and all flows together into one stomach; and in like manner its other organs and all its inner parts are single. It also has beneath it all around its body many feet, by means of which it can move in whatever direction it pleases.,4.  And the blood of this animal, they say, has a marvellous potency; for it immediately glues on to its place any living member that has been severed; even if a hand or the like should happen to have been cut off, by the use of this blood it is glued on again, provided that the cut is fresh, and the same thing is true of such other parts of the body as are not connected with the regions which are vital and sustain the person's life.,5.  Each group of the inhabitants also keeps a bird of great size and of a nature peculiar to itself, by means of which a test is made of the infant children to learn what their spiritual disposition is; for they place them upon the birds, and such of them as are able to endure the flight through the air as the birds take wing they rear, but such as become nauseated and filled with consternation they cast out, as not likely either to live many years and being, besides, of no account because of their dispositions.,6.  In each group the oldest man regularly exercises the leadership, just as if he were a kind of king, and is obeyed by all the members; and when the first such ruler makes an end of his life in accordance with the law upon the completion of his one hundred and fiftieth year, the next oldest succeeds to the leadership.,7.  The sea about the island has strong currents and is subject to great flooding and ebbing of the tides and is sweet in taste. And as for the stars of our heavens, the Bears and many more, we are informed, are not visible at all. The number of these islands was seven, and they are very much the same in size and at about equal distances from one another, and all follow the same customs and laws.,1.  Although all the inhabitants enjoy an abundant provision of everything from what grows of itself in these islands, yet they do not indulge in the enjoyment of this abundance without restraint, but they practise simplicity and take for their food only what suffices for their needs. Meat and whatever else is roasted or boiled in water are prepared by them, but all the other dishes ingeniously concocted by professional cooks, such as sauces and the various kinds of seasonings, they have no notion whatsoever.,2.  And they worship as gods that which encompasses all things and the sun, and, in general, all the heavenly bodies. Fishes of every kind in great numbers are caught by them by sundry devices and not a few birds.,3.  There is also found among them an abundance of fruit trees growing wild, and olive trees and vines grow there, from which they make both olive oil and wine in abundance. Snakes also, we are told, which are of immense size and yet do no harm to the inhabitants, have a meat which is edible and exceedingly sweet.,4.  And their clothing they make themselves from a certain reed which contains in the centre a downy substance that is bright to the eye and soft, which they gather and mingle with crushed sea-shells and thus make remarkable garments of a purple hue. As for the animals of the islands, their natures are peculiar and so amazing as to defy credence.,5.  All the details of their diet, we are told, follow a prescribed arrangement, since they do not all take their food at the same time nor is it always the same; but it has been ordained that on certain fixed days they shall eat at one time fish, at another time fowl, sometimes the flesh of land animals, and sometimes olives and the most simple side-dishes.,6.  They also take turns in ministering to the needs of one another, some of them fishing, others working at the crafts, others occupying themselves in other useful tasks, and still others, with the exception of those who have come to old age, performing the services of the group in a definite cycle.,7.  And at the festivals and feasts which are held among them, there are both pronounced and sung in honour of the gods hymns and spoken laudations, and especially in honour of the sun, after whom they name both the islands and themselves.,8.  They inter their dead at the time when the tide is at the ebb, burying them in the sand along the beach, the result being that at flood-tide the place has fresh sand heaped upon it. The reeds, they say, from which the fruit for their nourishment is derived, being a span in thickness increase at the times of full-moon and again decrease proportionately as it wanes.,9.  And the water of the warm springs, being sweet and health-giving, maintains its heat and never becomes cold, save when it is mixed with cold water or wine.,1.  Now Ninus in his campaign against Bactriana with so large a force was compelled, because access to the country was difficult and passes were narrow, to advance his army in divisions.,2.  For the country of Bactriana, though there were many large cities for the people to dwell in, had one which was the most famous, this being the city containing the royal palace; it was called Bactra, and in size and in the strength of its acropolis was by far the first of them all. The king of the country, Oxyartes, had enrolled all the men of military age, and they had been gathered to the number of four hundred thousand.,3.  So taking this force with him and meeting the enemy at the passes, he allowed a division of the army of Ninus to enter the country; and when he thought that a sufficient number of the enemy had debouched into the plain he drew out his own forces in battle-order. A fierce struggle then ensued in which the Bactrians put the Assyrians to flight, and pursuing them as far as the mountains which overlooked the field, killed about one hundred thousand of the enemy.,4.  But later, when the whole Assyrian force entered their country, the Bactrians, overpowered by the multitude of them, withdrew city by city, each group intending to defend its own homeland. And so Ninus easily subdued all the other cities, but Bactra, because of its strength and the equipment for war which it contained, he was unable to take by storm.,5.  But when the siege was proving a long affair the husband of Semiramis, who was enamoured of his wife and was making the campaign with the king, sent for the woman. And she, endowed as she was with understanding, daring, and all the other qualities which contribute to distinction, seized the opportunity to display her native ability.,6.  First of all, then, since she was about to set out upon a journey of many days, she devised a garb which made it impossible to distinguish whether the wearer of it was a man or a woman. This dress was well adapted to her needs, as regards both her travelling in the heat, for protecting the colour of her skin, and her convenience in doing whatever she might wish to do, since it was quite pliable and suitable to a young person, and, in a word was so attractive that in later times the Medes, who were then dominant in Asia, always wore the garb of Semiramis, as did the Persians after them.,7.  Now when Semiramis arrived in Bactriana and observed the progress of the siege, she noted that it was on the plains and at positions which were easily assailed that attacks were being made, but that no one ever assaulted the acropolis because of its strong position, and that its defender had left their posts there and were coming to aid of those who were hard pressed on the walls below.,8.  Consequently, taking with her such soldiers as were accustomed to clambering up rocky heights, and making her way with them up through a certain difficult ravine, she seized a part of the acropolis and gave a signal to those who were besieging the wall down in the plain. Thereupon the defenders of the city, struck with terror at the seizure of the height, left the walls and abandoned all hope of saving themselves.,9.  When the city had been taken in this way, the king, marvelling at the ability of the woman, at first honoured her with great gifts, and later, becoming infatuated with her because of her beauty, tried to persuade her husband to yield her to him of his own accord, offering in return for this favour to give him his own daughter Sosanê to wife.,10.  But when the man took his offer with ill grace, Ninus threatened to put out his eyes unless he at once accede to his commands. And Onnes, partly out of fear of the king's threats and partly out of his passion for his wife, fell into a kind of frenzy and madness, put a rope about his neck, and hanged himself. Such, then, were the circumstances whereby Semiramis attained the position of queen.,1.  After remaining among this people for seven years, the account continues, Iambulus and his companion were ejected against their will, as being malefactors and as having been educated to evil habits. Consequently, after they had again fitted out their little boat they were compelled to take their leave, and when they had stored up provisions in it they continued their voyage for more than four months. Then they were shipwrecked upon a sandy and marshy region of India;,2.  and his companion lost his life in the surf, but Iambulus, having found his way to a certain village, was then brought by the natives into the presence of the king at Palibothra, a city which was distant a journey of many days from the sea.,3.  And since the king was friendly to the Greeks and devoted to learning he considered Iambulus worthy of cordial welcome; and at length, upon receiving a permission of safe-conduct, he passed over first of all into Persia and later arrived safe in Greece. Now Iambulus felt that these matters deserved to be written down, and he added to his account not a few facts about India, facts of which all other men were ignorant at that time. But for our part, since we have fulfilled the promise made at the beginning of this Book, we shall bring it to a conclusion at this point.,1.  Ninus secured the treasures of Bactra, which contained a great amount of both gold and silver, and after settling the affairs of Bactriana disbanded his forces. After this he begat by Semiramis a son Ninyas, and then died, leaving his wife as queen. Semiramis buried Ninus in the precinct of the palace and erected over his tomb a very large mound, nine stades high and ten wide, as Ctesias says.,2.  Consequently, since the city lay on a plain along the Euphrates, the mound was visible for a distance of many stades, like an acropolis; and this mound stands, they say, even to this day, though Ninus was razed to the ground by the Medes when they destroyed the empire of the Assyrians. Semiramis, whose nature made her eager for great exploits and ambitious to surpass the fame of her predecessor on the throne, set her mind upon founding a city in Babylonia, and after securing the architects of all the world and skilled artisans and making all the other necessary preparations, she gathered together from her entire kingdom two million men to complete the work.,3.  Taking the Euphrates river into the centre she threw about the city a wall with great towers set at frequent intervals, the wall being three hundred and sixty stades in circumference, as Ctesias of Cnidus says, but according to the account of Cleitarchus and certain of those who at a later time crossed into Asia with Alexander, three hundred and sixty-five stades; and these latter add that it was her desire to make the number of stades the same as the days in the year.,4.  Making baked bricks fast in bitumen she built a wall with a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms, but, as some later writers have recorded, of fifty cubits, and wide enough for more than two chariots abreast to drive upon; and the towers numbered two hundred and fifty, their height and width corresponding to the massive scale of the wall.,5.  Now it need occasion no wonder that, considering the great length of the circuit wall, Semiramis constructed a small number of towers; for since over a long distance the city was surrounded by swamps, she decided not to build towers along that space, the swamps offering a sufficient natural defence. And all along between the dwellings and the walls a road was left two plethra wide.,1.  In order to expedite the building of these constructions she apportioned a stade to each of her friends, furnishing sufficient material for their task and directing them to complete their work within a year.,2.  And when they had finished these assignments with great speed she gratefully accepted their zeal, but she took for herself the construction of a bridge five stades long at the narrowest point of the river, skilfully sinking the piers, which stood twelve feet apart, into its bed. And the stones, which were set firmly together, she bonded with iron cramps, and the joints of the cramps she filled by pouring in lead. Again, before the piers on the side which would receive the current she constructed cutwaters whose sides were rounded to turn off the water and which gradually diminished to the width of the pier, in order that the sharp points of the cutwaters might divide the impetus of the stream, while the rounded sides, yielding to its force, might soften the violence of the river.,3.  This bridge, then, floored as it was with beams of cedar and cypress and with palm logs of exceptional size and having a width of thirty feet, is considered to have been inferior in technical skill to none of the works of Semiramis. And on each side of the river she built an expensive quay of about the same width as the walls and one hundred and sixty stades long. Semiramis also built two palaces on the very banks of the river, one at each end of the bridge, her intention being that from them she might be able both to look down over the entire city and to hold the keys, as it were, to its most important sections.,4.  And since the Euphrates river passed through the centre of Babylon and flowed in a southerly direction, one palace faced the rising and the other the setting sun, and both had been constructed on a lavish scale. For in the case of the one which faced west she made the length of its first or outer circuit wall sixty stades, fortifying it with lofty walls, which had been built at great cost and were of burned brick. And within this she built a second, circular in form, in the bricks of which, before they were baked, wild animals of every kind had been engraved, and by the ingenious use of colours these figures reproduced the actual appearance of the animals themselves;,5.  this circuit wall had a length of forty stades, a width of three hundred bricks, and a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms; the height of the towers, however, was seventy fathoms.,6.  And she built within these two yet a third circuit wall, which enclosed an acropolis whose circumference was twenty stades in length, but the height and width of the structure surpassed the dimensions of the middle circuit wall. On both the towers and the walls there were again animals of every kind, ingeniously executed by the use of colours as well as by the realistic imitation of the several types; and the whole had been made to represent a hunt, complete in every detail, of all sorts of wild animals, and their size was more than four cubits. Among the animals, moreover, Semiramis had also been portrayed, on horseback and in the act of hurling a javelin at a leopard, and nearby was her husband Ninus, in the act of thrusting his spear into a lion at close quarters.,7.  In this wall she also set triple gates, two of which were of bronze and were opened by a mechanical device. Now this palace far surpassed in both size and details of execution the one on the other bank of the river. For the circuit wall of the latter, made of burned brick, was only thirty stades long, and instead of the ingenious portrayal of animals it had bronze statues of Ninus and Semiramis and their officers, and one also of Zeus, whom the Babylonians call Belus; and on it were also portrayed both battle-scenes and hunts of every kind, which filled those who gazed thereon with varied emotions of pleasure.,1.  After this Semiramis picked out the lowest spot in Babylonia and built a square reservoir, which was three hundred stades long on each side; it was constructed of baked brick and bitumen, and had a depth of thirty-five feet.,2.  Then, diverting the river into it, she built an underground passage-way from one palace to the other; and making it of burned brick, she coated the vaulted chambers on both sides with hot bitumen until she had made the thickness of this coating four cubits. The side walls of the passage-way were twenty bricks thick and twelve feet high, exclusive of the barrel-vault, and the width of the passage-way was fifteen feet.,3.  And after this construction had been finished in only seven days she let the river back again into its old channel, and so, since the stream flowed above the passage-way, Semiramis was able to go across from one palace to the other without passing over the river. At each end of the passage-way she also set bronze gates which stood until the time of the Persian rule.,4.  After this she built in the centre of the city a temple of Zeus whom, as we have said, the Babylonians call Belus. Now since with regard to this temple the historians are at variance, and since time has caused the structure to fall into ruins, it is impossible to give the exact facts concerning it. But all agree that it was exceedingly high, and that in it the Chaldaeans made their observations of the stars, whose risings and settings could be accurately observed by reason of the height of the structure.,5.  Now the entire building was ingeniously constructed at great expense of bitumen and brick, and at the top of the ascent Semiramis set up three statues of hammered gold, of Zeus, Hera, and Rhea. Of these statues that of Zeus represented him erect and striding forward, and, being forty feet high, weighed a thousand Babylonian talents; that of Rhea showed her seated on a golden throne and was of the same weight as that of Zeus; and at her knees stood two lions, while near by were huge serpents of silver, each one weighing thirty talents.,6.  The statue of Hera was also standing, weighing eight hundred talents, and in her right hand she held a snake by the head and in her left a sceptre studded with precious stones.,7.  A table for all three statues, made of hammered gold, stood before them, forty feet long, fifteen wide, and weighing five hundred talents. Upon it rested two drinking-cups, weighing thirty talents.,8.  And there were censers as well, also two in number but weighing each three hundred talents, and also three gold mixing bowls, of which the one belonging to Zeus weighed twelve hundred Babylonian talents and the other two six hundred each.,9.  But all these were later carried off as spoil by the kings of the Persians, while as for the palaces and the other buildings, time has either entirely effaced them or left them in ruins; and in fact of Babylon itself but a small part is inhabited at this time, and most of the area within its walls is given over to agriculture.


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nan1.  I am not unaware of the fact that those who compile the narratives of ancient mythology labour under many disadvantages in their composition. For, in the first place, the antiquity of the events they have to record, since it makes record difficult, is a cause of much perplexity to those who would compose an account of them; and again, inasmuch as any pronouncement they may make of the dates of events does not admit of the strictest kind of proof or disproof, a feeling of contempt for the narration is aroused in the mind of those who read it; furthermore, the variety and the multitude of the heroes, demi-gods, and men in general whose genealogies must be set down make their recital a difficult thing to achieve; but the greatest and most disconcerting obstacle of all consists in the fact that those who have recorded the deeds and myths of the earliest times are in disagreement among themselves.,2.  For these reasons the writers of greatest reputation among the later historians have stood aloof from the narration of the ancient mythology because of its difficulty, and have undertaken to record only the more recent events.,3.  Ephorus of Cymê, for instance, a pupil of Isocrates, when he undertook to write his universal history, passed over the tales of the old mythology and commenced his history with a narration of the events which took place after the Return of the Heracleidae. Likewise Callisthenes and Theopompus, who were contemporaries of Ephorus, held aloof from the old myths.,4.  We, however, holding the opposite opinion to theirs, have shouldered the labour which such a record involves and have expended all the care within our power upon the ancient legends. For very great and most numerous deeds have been performed by the heroes and demi-gods and by many good men likewise, who, because of the benefits they conferred which have been shared by all men, have been honoured by succeeding generations with sacrifices which in some cases are like those offered to the gods, in other cases like such as are paid to heroes, and of one and all the appropriate praises have been sung by the voice of history for all time.,5.  Now in the three preceding Books we have recorded the deeds of mythological times which are found among other nations and what their histories relate about the gods, also the topography of the land in every case and the wild beasts and other animals which are found among them, and, speaking generally, we have described everything which was worthy of mention and was marvellous to relate; and in the present Book we shall set forth what the Greeks in their histories of the ancient periods tell about their most renowned heroes and demi-gods and, in general, about all who have performed any notable exploit in war, and likewise about such also as in time of peace have made some useful discovery or enacted some good law contributing to man's social life.,6.  And we shall begin with Dionysus because he not only belongs to a very ancient time but also conferred very great benefactions upon the race of men. We have stated in the previous Books that certain barbarian peoples claim for themselves the birthplace of this god. The Egyptians, for example, say that the god who among them bears the name Osiris is the one whom the Greeks call Dionysus.,7.  And this god, as their myths relate, visited all the inhabited world, was the discoverer of wine, taught mankind how to cultivate the vine, and because of this benefaction of his received the gift of immortality with the approval of all. But the Indians likewise declare that this god was born among them, and that after he had ingeniously discovered how to cultivate the vine he shared the benefit which wine imparts with human beings throughout the inhabited world. But for our part, since we have spoken of these matters in detail, we shall at this point recount what the Greeks have to say about this god.,1.  After this Hera sent two serpents to destroy the babe, but the boy, instead of being terrified, gripped the neck of a serpent in each hand and strangled them both. Consequently the inhabitants of Argos, on learning of what had taken place, gave him the name Heracles because he had gained glory (kleos) by the aid of Hera, although he had formerly been called Alcaeus. Other children are given their names by their parents, this one alone gained his name by his valour.,2.  After this time Amphitryon was banished from Tiryns and changed his residence to Thebes; and Heracles, in his rearing and education and especially in the thorough instruction which he received in physical exercises, came to be the first by far in bodily strength among all the rest and famed for nobility of spirit. Indeed, while he was still a youth in age he first of all restored the freedom of Thebes, returning in this way to the city, as though it were the place of his birth, the gratitude which he owed it.,3.  For though the Thebans had been made subject to Erginus, the king of the Minyans, and were paying him a fixed yearly tribute, Heracles was not dismayed at the superior power of these overlords but had the courage to accomplish a deed of fame. Indeed, when the agents of the Minyans appeared to require the tribute and were insolent in their exactions, Heracles mutilated them and then expelled them from the city.,4.  Erginus then demanded that the guilty party be handed over to him, and Creon, the king of the Thebans, dismayed at the great power of Erginus, was prepared to deliver the man who was responsible for the crime complained of. Heracles, however, persuading the young men of his age to strike for the freedom of their fatherland, took out of the temples the suits of armour which had been affixed to their walls, dedicated to the gods by their forefathers as spoil from their wars; for there was not to be found in the city any arms in the hands of a private citizen, the Minyans having stripped the city of its arms in order that the inhabitants of Thebes might not entertain any thought of revolting from them.,5.  And when Heracles learned that Erginus, the king of the Minyans, was advancing with troops against the city he went out to meet him in a certain narrow place, whereby he rendered the multitude of the hostile force of no avail, killed Erginus himself, and slew practically all the men who had accompanied him. Then appearing unawares before the city of the Orchomenians and slipping in at their gates he both burned the palace of the Minyans and razed the city to the ground.,6.  After this deed had been noised about throughout the whole of Greece and all men were filled with wonder at the unexpected happening, Creon the king, admiring the high achievement of the young man, united his daughter Megara in marriage to him and entrusted him with the affairs of the city as though he were his lawful son; but Eurystheus, who was ruler of Argolis, viewing with suspicion the growing power of Heracles, summoned him to his side and commanded him to perform Labours.,7.  And when Heracles ignored the summons Zeus despatched word to him to enter the service of Eurystheus; whereupon Heracles journeyed to Delphi, and on inquiring of the god regarding the matter he received a reply which stated that the gods had decided that he should perform twelve Labours at the command of Eurystheus and that upon their conclusion he should receive the gift of immortality.,1.  At such a turn of affairs Heracles fell into despondency of no ordinary kind; for he felt that servitude to an inferior was a thing which his high achievements did not deserve, and yet he saw that it would be hurtful to himself and impossible not to obey Zeus, who was his father as well. While he was thus greatly at a loss, Hera sent upon him a frenzy, and in his vexation of soul he fell into a madness. As the affliction grew on him he lost his mind and tried to slay Iolaüs, and when Iolaüs made his escape but his own children by Megara were near by, he shot his bow and killed them under the impression that they were enemies of his.,2.  When he finally recovered from his madness and recognized the mistake he had made through a misapprehension, he was plunged in grief over the magnitude of the calamity. And while all extended him sympathy and joined in his grief, for a long whole he stayed inactive at home, avoiding any association or meeting with men; at last, however, time assuaged his grief, and making up his mind to undergo the dangers he made his appearance at the court of Eurystheus.,3.  The first Labour which he undertook was the slaying of the lion in Nemea. This was a beast of enormous size, which could not be wounded by iron or bronze or stone and required the compulsion of the human hand for his subduing. It passed the larger part of its time between Mycenae and Nemea, in the neighbourhood of a mountain which was called Tretus from a peculiarity which it possessed; for it had a cleft at its base which extended clean through it and in which the beast was accustomed to lurk.,4.  Heracles came to the region and attacked the lion, and when the beast retreated into the cleft, after closing up the other opening he followed in after it and grappled with it, and winding his arms about its neck choked it to death. The skin of the lion he put about himself, and since he could cover his whole body with it because of its great size, he had in it a protection against the perils which were to follow.,5.  The second Labour which he undertook was the slaying of the Lernaean hydra, springing from whose single body were fashioned a hundred necks, each bearing the head of a serpent. And when one head was cut off, the place where it was severed put forth two others; for this reason it was considered to be invincible, and with good reason, since the part of it which was subdued sent forth a two-fold assistance in its place.,6.  Against a thing so difficult to manage as this Heracles devised an ingenious scheme and commanded Iolaüs to sear with a burning brand the part which had been severed, in order to check the flow of the blood. So when he had subdued the animal by this means he dipped the heads of his arrows in the venom, in order that when the missile should be shot the wound which the point made might be incurable.,1.  The third Command which he received was the bringing back alive of the Erymanthian boar which lived on Mount Lampeia in Arcadia. This Command was thought to be exceedingly difficult, since it required of the man who fought such a beast that he possess such a superiority over it as to catch precisely the proper moment in the very heat of the encounter. For should he let it loose while it still retained its strength he would be in danger from its tushes, and should he attack it more violently than was proper, then he would have killed it and so the Labour would remain unfulfilled.,2.  However, when it came to the struggle he kept so careful an eye on the proper balance that he brought back the boar alive to Eurystheus; and when the king saw him carrying the boar on his shoulders, he was terrified and hid himself in a bronze vessel.,3.  About the time that Heracles was performing these Labours, there was a struggle between him and the Centaurs, as they are called, the reason being as follows. Pholus was a Centaur, from whom the neighbouring mountain came to be called Pholoê, and receiving Heracles with the courtesies due to a guest he opened for him a jar of wine which had been buried in the earth. This jar, the writers of myths relate, had of old been left with a certain Centaur by Dionysus, who had given him orders only to open it when Heracles should come to that place. And so, four generations after that time, when Heracles was being entertained as a guest, Pholus recalled the orders of Dionysus.,4.  Now when the jar had been opened and the sweet odour of the wine, because of its great age and strength, came to the Centaurs dwelling near there, it came to pass that they were driven mad; consequently they rushed in a body to the dwelling of Pholus and set about plundering him of the wine in a terrifying manner.,5.  At this Pholus hid himself in fear, but Heracles, to their surprise, grappled with those who were employing such violence. He had indeed to struggle with beings who were gods on their mother's side, who possessed the swiftness of horses, who had the strength of two bodies, and enjoyed in addition the experience and wisdom of men. The Centaurs advanced upon him, some with pine trees which they had plucked up together with the roots, others with great rocks, some with burning firebrands, and still others with axes such as are used to slaughter oxen.,6.  But he withstood them without sign of fear and maintained a battle which was worthy of his former exploits. The Centaurs were aided in their struggle by their mother Nephelê, who sent down a heavy rain, by which she gave no trouble to those who had four legs, but for him who was supported upon two made the footing slippery. Despite all this Heracles maintained an astonishing struggle with those who enjoyed such advantages as these, slew the larger part of them, and forced the survivors to flee.,7.  Of the Centaurs which were killed the most renowned were Daphnis, Argeius, Amphion, also Hippotion, Oreius, Isoples, Melanchaetes, and Thereus, Doupon, and Phrixus. As for those who escaped the peril by flight, every one of them later received a fitting punishment: Homadus, for instance, was killed in Arcadia when he was attempting to violate Alcyonê, the sister of Eurystheus. And for this feat it came to pass that Heracles was marvelled at exceedingly; for though he had private grounds for hating his enemy, yet because he pitied her who was being outraged, he determined to be superior to others in humanity.,8.  A peculiar thing also happened in the case of him who was called Pholus, the friend of Heracles. While he was burying the fallen Centaurs, since they were his kindred, and was extracting an arrow from one of them, he was wounded by the barb, and since the wound could not be healed he came to his death. Heracles gave him a magnificent funeral and buried him at the foot of the mountain, which serves better than a gravestone to preserve his glory; for Pholoê makes known the identity of the buried man by bearing his name and no inscription is needed. Likewise Heracles unwittingly by a shot from his bow killed the Centaur Cheiron, who was admired for his knowledge of healing. But as for the Centaurs let what we have said suffice.,1.  The next Command which Heracles received was the bringing back of the hart which had golden horns and excelled in swiftness of foot. In the performance of this Labour his sagacity stood him in not less stead than his strength of body. For some say that he captured it by the use of nets, others that he tracked it down and mastered it while it was asleep, and some that he wore it out by running it down. One thing is certain, that he accomplished this Labour by sagacity of mind, without the use of force and without running any perils.,2.  Heracles then received a Command to drive the birds out of the Stymphalian Lake, and he easily accomplished the Labour by means of a device of art and by ingenuity. The lake abounded, it would appear, with a multitude of birds without telling, which destroyed the fruits of the country roundabout. Now it was not possible to master the animals by force because of the exceptional multitude of them, and so the deed called for ingenuity in cleverly discovering some device. Consequently he fashioned a bronze rattle whereby he made a terrible noise and frightened the animals away, and furthermore, by maintaining a continual din, he easily forced them to abandon their siege of the place and cleansed the lake of them.,3.  Upon the performance of this Labour he received a Command from Eurystheus to cleanse the stables of Augeas, and to do this without the assistance of any other man. These stables contained an enormous mass of dung which had accumulated over a great period, and it was a spirit of insult which induced Eurystheus to lay upon him the command to clean out this dung. Heracles declined as unworthy of him to carry this out upon his shoulders, in order to avoid the disgrace which would follow upon the insulting command; and so, turning the course of the Alpheius river, as it is called, into the stables and cleansing them by means of the stream, he accomplished Labour in a single day, and without suffering any insult. Surely, then, we may well marvel at the ingenuity of Heracles; for he accomplished the ignoble task involved in the Command without incurring any disgrace or submitting to something which would render him unworthy of immortality.,4.  The next Labour which Heracles undertook was to bring back from Crete the bull of which, they say, Pasiphaê had been enamoured, and sailing to the island he secured the aid of Minos the king and brought it back to Peloponnesus, having voyaged upon its back over so wide an expanse of sea.,1.  After the performance of this Labour Heracles established the Olympic Games, having selected for so great a festival the most beautiful of places, which was the plain lying along the banks of the Alpheius river, where he dedicated these Games to Zeus the Father. And he stipulated that the prize in them should be only a crown, since he himself had conferred benefits upon the race of men without receiving any monetary reward.,2.  All the contests were won by him without opposition by anyone else, since no one was bold enough to contend with him because of his exceeding prowess. And yet the contests are very different one from another, since it is hard for a boxer or one who enters for the "Pankration" to defeat a man who runs the "stadion," and equally difficult for the man who wins first place in the light contests to wear down those who excel in the heavy. Consequently it was fitting that of all Games the Olympic should be the one most honoured, since they were instituted by a noble man.,3.  It would also not be right to overlook the gifts which were bestowed upon Heracles by the gods because of his high achievements. For instance, when he returned from the wars to devote himself to both relaxations and festivals, as well as to feasts and contests, each one of the gods honoured him with appropriate gifts; Athena with a robe, Hephaestus with a war-club and coat of mail, these two gods vying with one another in accordance with the arts they practised, the one with an eye to the enjoyment and delight afforded in times of peace, the other looking to his safety amid the perils of war. As for the other gods, Poseidon presented him with horses, Hermes with a sword, Apollo gave him a bow and arrows and taught him their use, and Demeter instituted the Lesser Mysteries in honour of Heracles, that she might purify him of the guilt he had incurred in the slaughter of the Centaurs.,4.  A peculiar thing also came to pass in connection with the birth of this god. The first mortal woman, for instance, with whom Zeus lay was Niobê, the daughter of Phoroneus, and the last was Alcmenê, who, as the writers of myths state in their genealogies, was the sixteenth lineal descendant from Niobê. It appears, then, that Zeus began to beget human beings with the ancestors of Alcmenê and ceased with her; that is, he stopped with her his intercourse with mortal women since he had no hope that he would beget in after times one who would be worthy of his former children and was unwilling to have the better followed by the worse.,1.  After this, when the Giants about Pallenê chose to begin the war against the immortals, Heracles fought on the side of the gods, and slaying many of the Sons of Earth he received the highest approbation. For Zeus gave the name of "Olympian" only to those gods who had fought by his side, in order that the courageous, by being adorned by so honourable a title, might be distinguished by this designation from the coward; and of those who were born of mortal women he considered only Dionysus and Heracles worthy of this name, not only because they had Zeus for their father, but also because they had avowed the same plan of life as he and conferred great benefits upon the life of men.,2.  And Zeus, when Prometheus had taken fire and given it to men, put him in chains and set an eagle at his side which devoured his liver. But when Heracles saw him suffering such punishment because of the benefit which he had conferred upon men, he killed the eagle with an arrow, and then persuading Zeus to cease from his anger he rescued him who had been the benefactor of all.,3.  The next Labour which Heracles undertook was the bringing back of the horses of Diomedes, the Thracian. The feeding-troughs of these horses were of brass because the steeds were so savage, and they were fastened by iron chains because of their strength, and the food they ate was not the natural produce of the soil but they tore apart the limbs of strangers and so got their food from the ill lot of hapless men. Heracles, in order to control them, threw to them their master Diomedes, and when he had satisfied the hunger of the animals by means of the flesh of the man who had taught them to violate human law in this fashion, he had them under his control.,4.  And when the horses were brought to Eurystheus he consecrated them to Hera, and in fact their breed continued down to the reign of Alexander of Macedon. When this Labour was finished Heracles sailed forth with Jason as a member of the expedition to the Colchi to get the golden fleece. But we shall give a detailed account of these matters in connection with the expedition of the Argonauts.,1.  Heracles then received a Command to bring back the girdle of Hippolytê the Amazon and so made the expedition against the Amazons. Accordingly he sailed into the Pontus, which was named by him Euxeinus, and continuing to the mouth of the Thermodon River he encamped near the city of Themiscyra, in which was situated the palace of the Amazons.,2.  And first of all he demanded of them the girdle which he had been commanded to get; but when they would pay no heed to him, he joined battle with them. Now the general mass of the Amazons were arrayed against the main body of the followers of Heracles, but the most honoured of the women were drawn up opposite Heracles himself and put up a stubborn battle. The first, for instance, to join battle with him was Aella, who had been given this name because of her swiftness, but she found her opponent more agile than herself. The second, Philippis, encountering a mortal blow at the very first conflict, was slain. Then he joined battle with Prothoê, who, they said, had been victorious seven times over the opponents whom she had challenged to battle. When she fell, the fourth whom he overcame was known as Eriboea. She had boasted that because of the manly bravery which she displayed in contests of war she had no need of anyone to help her, but she found her claim was false when she encountered her better.,3.  The next, Celaeno, Eurybia, and Phoebê, who were companions of Artemis in the hunt and whose spears found their mark invariably, did not even graze the single target, but in that fight they were one and all cut down as they stood shoulder to shoulder with each other. After them Deïaneira, Asteria and Marpê, and Tecmessa and Alcippê were overcome. The last-named had taken a vow to remain a maiden, and the vow she kept, but her life she could not preserve. The commander of the Amazons, Melanippê, who was also greatly admired for her manly courage, now lost her supremacy.,4.  And Heracles, after thus killing the most renowned of the Amazons, and forcing the remaining multitude to turn in flight, cut down the greater number of them, so that the race of them was utterly exterminated. As for the captives, he gave Antiopê as a gift to Theseus and set Melanippê free, accepting her girdle as her ransom.,1.  Eurystheus then enjoined upon him as a tenth Labour the bringing back of the cattle of Geryones, which pastured in the parts of Iberia which slope towards the ocean. And Heracles, realizing that this task called for preparation on a large scale and involved great hardships, gathered a notable armament and a multitude of soldiers such as would be adequate for this expedition.,2.  For it had been noised abroad throughout all the inhabited world that Chrysaor, who received this appellation because of his wealth, was king over the whole of Iberia, and that he had three sons to fight at his side, who excelled in both strength of body and the deeds of courage which they displayed in contests of war; it was known, furthermore, that each of these sons had at his disposal great forces which were recruited from warlike tribes. It was because of these reports that Eurystheus, thinking any expedition against these men would be too difficult to succeed, had assigned to Heracles the Labour just described.,3.  But Heracles met the perils with the same bold spirit which he had displayed in the deeds which he had performed up to this time. His forces he gathered and brought to Crete, having decided to make his departure from that place; for this island is especially well situated for expeditions against any part of the inhabited world. Before his departure he was magnificently honoured by the natives, and wishing to show his gratitude to the Cretans he cleansed the island of the wild beasts which infested it. And this is the reason why in later times not a single wild animal, such as a bear, or wolf, or serpent, or any similar beast, was to be found on the island. This deed he accomplished for the glory of the island, which, the myths relate, was both the birthplace and the early home of Zeus.,4.  Setting sail, then, from Crete, Heracles put in at Libya, and first of all he challenged to a fight Antaeus, whose fame was noised abroad because of his strength of body and his skill in wrestling, and because he was wont to put to death all strangers whom he had defeated in wrestling, and grappling with him Heracles slew the giant. Following up this great deed he subdued Libya, which was full of wild animals, and large parts of the adjoining desert, and brought it all under cultivation, so that the whole land was filled with ploughed fields and such plantings in general as bear fruit, much of it being devoted to vineyards and much to olive orchards; and, speaking generally, Libya, which before that time had been uninhabitable because of the multitude of the wild beasts which infested the whole land, was brought under cultivation by him and made inferior to no other country in point of prosperity.,5.  He likewise punished with death such men as defied the law or arrogant rulers and gave prosperity to the cities. And the myths relate that he hated every kind of wild beast and lawless men and warred upon them because of the fact that it had been his lot that while yet an infant the serpents made an attempt on his life, and that when he came to man's estate he became subject to the power of an arrogant and unjust despot who laid upon him these Labours.,1.  After Heracles had slain Antaeus he passed into Egypt and put to death Busiris, the king of the land, who made it his practice to kill the strangers who visited that country. Then he made his way through the waterless part of Libya, and coming upon a land which was well watered and fruitful he founded a city of marvellous size, which was called Hecatompylon, giving it this name because of the multitude of its gates. And the prosperity of this city continued until comparatively recent times, when the Carthaginians made an expedition against it with notable forces under the command of able generals and made themselves its masters.,2.  And after Heracles had visited a large part of Libya he arrived at the ocean near Gadeira, where he set up pillars on each of the two continents. His fleet accompanied him along the coast and on it he crossed over into Iberia. And finding there the sons of Chrysaor encamped at some distance from one another with three great armies, he challenged each of the leaders to single combat and slew them all, and then after subduing Iberia he drove off the celebrated herds of cattle.,3.  He then traversed the country of the Iberians, and since he had received honours at the hands of a certain king of the natives, a man who excelled in piety and justice, he left with the king a portion of the cattle as a present. The king accepted them, but dedicated them all to Heracles and made it his practice each year to sacrifice to Heracles the fairest bull of the herd; and it came to pass that the kine are still maintained in Iberia and continue to be sacred to Heracles down to our own time.,4.  But since we have mentioned the pillars of Heracles, we deem it to be appropriate to set forth the facts concerning them. When Heracles arrived at the farthest points of the continents of Libya and Europe which lie upon the ocean, he decided to set up these pillars to commemorate his campaign. And since he wished to leave upon the ocean a monument which would be had in everlasting remembrance, he built out both the promontories, they say, to a great distance;,5.  consequently, whereas before that time a great space had stood between them, he now narrowed the passage, in order that by making it shallow and narrow he might prevent the great sea-monsters from passing out of the ocean into the inner sea, and that at the same time the fame of their builder might be held in everlasting remembrance by reason of the magnitude of the structures. Some authorities, however, say just the opposite, namely, that the two continents were originally joined and that he cut a passage between them, and that by opening the passage he brought it about that the ocean was mingled with our sea. On this question, however, it will be possible for every man to think as he may please.,6.  A thing very much like this he had already done in Greece. For instance, in the region which is called Tempê, where the country is like a plain and was largely covered with marshes, he cut a channel through the territory which bordered on it, and carrying off through this ditch all the water of the marsh he caused the plains to appear which are now in Thessaly along the Peneius river.,7.  But in Boeotia he did just the opposite and damming the stream which flowed near the Minyan city of Orchomenus he turned the country into a lake and caused the ruin of that whole region. But what he did in Thessaly was to confer a benefit upon the Greeks, whereas in Boeotia he was exacting punishment from those who dwelt in Minyan territory, because they had enslaved the Thebans.,1.  Heracles, then, delivered over the kingdom of the Iberians to the noblest men among the natives and, on his part, took his army and passing into Celtica and traversing the length and breadth of it he put an end to the lawlessness and murdering of strangers to which the people had become addicted; and since a great multitude of men from every tribe flocked to his army of their own accord, he founded a great city which was named Alesia after the "wandering" (alê) on his campaign.,2.  But he also mingled among the citizens of the city many natives, and since these surpassed the others in multitude, it came to pass that the inhabitants as a whole were barbarized. The Celts up to the present time hold this city in honour, looking upon it as the hearth and mother-city of all Celtica. And for the entire period from the days of Heracles this city remained free and was never sacked until our own time; but at last Gaius Caesar, who has been pronounced a god because of the magnitude of his deeds, took it by storm and made it and the other Celts subjects of the Romans.,3.  Heracles then made his way from Celtica to Italy, and as he traversed the mountain pass through the Alps he made a highway out of the route, which was rough and almost impassable, with the result that it can now be crossed by armies and baggage-trains.,4.  The barbarians who had inhabited this mountain region had been accustomed to butcher and to plunder such armies as passed through when they came to the difficult portions of the way, but he subdued them all, slew those that were the leaders in lawlessness of this kind, and made the journey safe for succeeding generations. And after crossing the Alps he passed through the level plain of what is now called Galatia and made his way through Liguria.,1.  The Greek account of Dionysus runs like this: Cadmus, the son of Agenor, was sent forth from Phoenicia by the king to seek out Europê, under orders either to bring him the maiden or never to come back to Phoenicia. After Cadmus had traversed a wide territory without being able to find her, he despaired of ever returning to his home; and when he had arrived in Boeotia, in obedience to the oracle which he had received he founded the city of Thebes. Here he made his home and marrying Harmonia, the daughter of Aphroditê, he begat by her Semelê, Ino, Autonoê, Agavê, and Polydorus.,2.  Semelê was loved by Zeus because of her beauty, but since he had his intercourse with her secretly and without speech she thought that the god despised her; consequently she made the request of him that he come to her embraces in the same manner as in his approaches to Hera.,3.  Accordingly, Zeus visited her in a way befitting a god, accompanied by thunder and lightning, revealing himself to her as he embraced her; but Semelê, who was pregnant and unable to endure the majesty of the divine presence, brought forth the babe untimely and was herself slain by the fire. Thereupon Zeus, taking up the child, handed it over to the care of Hermes, and ordered him to take it to the cave in Nysa, which lay between Phoenicia and the Nile, where he should deliver it to the nymphs that they should rear it and with great solicitude bestow upon it the best of care.,4.  Consequently, since Dionysus was reared in Nysa, he received the name he bears from Zeus and Nysa. And Homer bears witness to this in his Hymns, when he says: There is a certain Nysa, mountain high, With forests thick, in Phoenicê afar, Close to Aegyptus' streams.,5.  After he had received his rearing by the nymphs in Nysa, they say, he made the discovery of wine and taught mankind how to cultivate the vine. And as he visited the inhabited world almost in its entirety, he brought much land under cultivation and in return for this received most high honours at the hands of all men. He also discovered the drink made out of barley and called by some zythos, the bouquet of which is not much inferior to that of wine. The preparation of this drink he taught to those peoples whose country was unsuited to the cultivation of the vine.,6.  He also led about with himself an army composed not only of men but of women as well, and punished such men as were unjust and impious. In Boeotia, out of gratitude to the land of his birth, he freed all the cities and founded a city whose name signified independence, which he called Eleutherae.,1.  The Ligurians who dwell in this land possess a soil which is stony and altogether wretched, and, in return for the labours and exceedingly great hardships of the natives, produces only scanty crops which are wrung from it. Consequently the inhabitants are of small bulk and are kept vigorous by their constant exercise; for since they are far removed from the care-free life which accompanies luxury, they are light in their movements and excel in vigour when it comes to contests of war.,2.  In general, the inhabitants of the region round about are inured to continuous work, and since the land requires much labour for its cultivation, the Ligurians have become accustomed to require the women to share in the hardships which the cultivation involves. And since both the men and the women work side by side for hire, it came to pass that a strange and surprising thing took place in our day in connection with a certain woman.,3.  She was with child, and while working for hire in company with the men she was seized by the labour-pains in the midst of her work and quietly withdrew into a thicket; here she gave birth to the child, and then, after covering it with leaves, she hid the babe there and herself rejoined the labourers, continuing to endure the same hardship as that in which they were engaged and giving no hint of what had happened. And when the babe wailed and the occurrence became known, the overseer could in no wise persuade her to stop her work; and indeed she did not desist from the hardship until her employer took pity upon her, paid her the wages due her, and set her free from work.,1.  After Heracles had passed through the lands of the Ligurians and of the Tyrrhenians he came to the river Tiber and pitched his camp at the site where Rome now stands. But this city was founded many generations afterwards by Romulus, the son of Ares, and at this time certain people of the vicinity had their homes on the Palatine Hill, as it is now called, and formed an altogether inconsiderable city.,2.  Here some of the notable men, among them Cacius and Pinarius, welcomed Heracles with marked acts of hospitality and honoured him with pleasing gifts; and memorials of these men abide in Rome to the present day. For, of the nobles of our time, the gens which bears the name Pinarii still exists among the Romans, being regarded as very ancient, and as for Cacius, there is a passage on the Palatine which leads downward, furnished with a stairway of stone, and is called after him the "Steps of Cacius," and it lies near the original house of Cacius.,3.  Now Heracles received with favour the good-will shown him by the dwellers on the Palatine and foretold to them that, after he had passed into the circle of the gods, it would come to pass that whatever men should make a vow to dedicate to Heracles a tithe of their goods would lead a more happy and prosperous life. And in fact this custom did arise in later times and has persisted to our own day;,4.  for many Romans, and not only those of moderate fortunes but some even of great wealth, who have taken a vow to dedicate a tenth to Heracles and have thereafter become happy and prosperous, have presented him with a tenth of their possessions, which came to four thousand talents. Lucullus, for instance, who was perhaps the wealthiest Roman of his day, had his estate appraised and then offered a full tenth of it to the god, thus providing continuous feastings and expensive ones withal. Furthermore, the Romans have built to this god a notable temple on the bank of the Tiber, with the purpose of performing in it the sacrifices from the proceeds of the tithe.,5.  Heracles then moved on from the Tiber, and as he passed down the coast of what now bears the name of Italy he came to the Cumaean Plain. Here, the myths relate, there were men of outstanding strength the fame of whom had gone abroad for lawlessness and they were called Giants. This plain was called Phlegraean ("fiery") from the mountain which of old spouted forth a huge fire as Aetna did in Sicily; at this time, however, the mountain is called Vesuvius and shows many signs of the fire which once raged in those ancient times.,6.  Now the Giants, according to the account, on learning that Heracles was at hand, gathered in full force and drew themselves up in battle-order against him. The struggle which took place was a wonderful one, in view of both the strength and the courage of the Giants, but Heracles, they say, with the help of the gods who fought on his side, gained the upper hand in the battle, slew most of the Giants, and brought the land under cultivation.,7.  The myths record that the Giants were sons of the earth because of the exceedingly great size of their bodies. With regard, then, to the Giants who were slain in Phlegra, this is the account of certain writers of myths, who have been followed by the historian Timaeus also.,1.  From the Phlegraean Plain Heracles went down to the sea, where he constructed works about the lake which bears the name Lake of Avernus and is held sacred to Persephonê. Now this lake lies between Misenum and Dicaearcheia near the hot waters, and is about five stades in circumference and of incredible depth; for its water is very pure and has to the eye a dark blue colour because of its very great depth.,2.  And the myths record that in ancient times there had been on its shores an oracle of the dead which, they say, was destroyed in later days. Lake Avernus once had an opening into the sea, but Heracles is said to have filled up the outlet and constructed the road which runs at this time along the sea and is called after him the "Way of Heracles.",3.  These, then, are the deeds of Heracles in the regions mentioned above. And moving on from there he came to a certain rock in the country of the people of Poseidonia, where the myths relate that a peculiar and marvellous thing once took place. There was, that is, among the natives of the region a certain hunter, the fame of whom had gone abroad because of his brave exploits in hunting. On former occasions it had been his practice to dedicate to Artemis the heads and feet of the animals he secured and to nail them to the trees, but once, when he had overpowered a huge wild boar, he said, as though in contempt of the goddess, "The head of the beast I dedicate to myself," and bearing out this words he hung the head on a tree, and then, the atmosphere being very warm, at midday he fell asleep. And while he was thus asleep the thong broke, and the head fell down of itself upon the sleeper and killed him.,4.  And in truth there is no reason why anyone should marvel at this happening, for many actual occurrences are recorded which illustrate the vengeance this goddess takes upon the impious. But in the case of Heracles his piety was such that the opposite happened to him.,5.  For when he had arrived at the border between Rheginê and Locris and lay down to rest after his wearying journey, they say that he was disturbed by the crickets and that he prayed to the gods that the creatures which were disturbing him might disappear; whereupon the gods granted his petition, and not only did his prayer cause the insects to disappear for the moment, but in all later times as well not a cricket has ever been seen in the land.,6.  When Heracles arrived at the strait where the sea is narrowest, he had the cattle taken over into Sicily, but as for himself, he took hold of the horn of a bull and swam across the passage, the distance between the shores being thirteen stades, as Timaeus says.,1.  Upon his arrival in Sicily Heracles desired to make the circuit of the entire island and so set out from Pelorias in the direction of Eryx. While passing along the coast of the island, the myths relate, the Nymphs caused warm baths to gush forth so that he might refresh himself after the toil sustained in his journeying. There are two of these, called respectively Himeraea and Egestaea, each of them having its name from the place where the baths are.,2.  As Heracles approached the region of Eryx, he was challenged to a wrestling match by Eryx, who was the son of Aphroditê and Butas, who was then king of that country. The contest of the rivals carried with it a penalty, whereby Eryx was to surrender his land and Heracles the cattle. Now at first Eryx was displeased at such terms, maintaining that the cattle were of far less value as compared with the land; but when Heracles in answer to his arguments showed that if he lost the cattle he would likewise lose his immortality, Eryx agreed to the terms, and wrestling with him was defeated and lost his land.,3.  Heracles turned the land over to the natives of the region, agreeing with them that they should gather the fruits of it until one of his descendants should appear among them and demand it back; and this actually came to pass. For in fact many generations later Dorieus the Lacedaemonian came to Sicily, and taking back the land founded the city of Heracleia. Since the city grew rapidly, the Carthaginians, being jealous of it and also afraid that it would grow stronger than Carthage and take from the Phoenicians their sovereignty, came up against it with a great army, took it by storm, and razed it to the ground. But this affair we shall discuss in detail in connection with the period in which it falls.,4.  While Heracles was making the circuit of Sicily at this time he came to the city which is now Syracuse, and on learning what the myth relates about the Rape of Corê he offered sacrifices to the goddesses on a magnificent scale, and after dedicating to her the fairest bull of his herd and casting it in the spring Cyanê he commanded the natives to sacrifice each year to Corê and to conduct at Cyanê a festive gathering and a sacrifice in splendid fashion.,5.  He then passed with his cattle through the interior of the island, and when the native Sicani opposed him in great force, he overcame them in a notable battle and slew many of their number, among whom, certain writers of myths relate, were also some distinguished generals who receive the honours accorded to heroes even to this day, such as Leucaspis, Pediacrates, Buphonas, Glychatas, Bytaeas, and Crytidas.,1.  After this Heracles, as he passed through the plain of Leontini, marvelled at the beauty of the land, and to show his affection for the men who honoured him he left behind him there imperishable memorials of his presence. And it came to pass that a peculiar thing took place near the city of Agyrium. Here he was honoured on equal terms with the Olympian gods by festivals and splendid sacrifices, and though before this time he had accepted no sacrifice, he then gave his consent for the first time, since the deity was giving intimations to him of his coming immortality.,2.  For instance, there was a road not far from the city which was all of rock, and yet the cattle left their tracks in it as if in a waxy substance. Since, then, this same thing happened in the case of Heracles as well and his tenth Labour was likewise coming to an end, he considered that he was already to a degree participating in immortality and so accepted the annual sacrifices which were offered him by the people of the city.,3.  Consequently, as a mark of his gratitude to the people who had found favour with him, he built before the city a lake, four stades in circumference, which he ordained should be called by his name; and he likewise gave his name to the moulds of the tracks which the cattle had left in the rock and dedicated to the hero Geryones a sacred precinct which is honoured to this day by the people of that region.,4.  To Iolaüs, his nephew, who was his companion on the expedition, he likewise dedicated a notable sacred precinct, and ordained that annual honours and sacrifices will be offered to him, as is done even to this day; for all the inhabitants of this city let the hair of their heads grow from their birth in honour of Iolaüs, until they have obtained good omens in costly sacrifices and have rendered the god propitious.,5.  And such a holiness and majesty pervade the sacred precinct that the boys who fail to perform the customary rites lose their power of speech and become like dead men. But so soon as anyone of them who is suffering from this malady takes a vow that he will pay the sacrifice and vouchsafes to the god a pledge to that effect, at once, they say, he is restored to health.,6.  Now the inhabitants, in pursuance of these rites, call the gate, at which they come into the presence of the god and offer him these sacrifices, "The Heracleian," and every year with the utmost zeal they hold games which include gymnastic contests and horse-races. And since the whole populace, both free men and slaves, unite in approbation of the god they have commanded their servants, as they do honour to him apart from the rest, to gather in bands and when they come together to hold banquets and perform sacrifices to the god.,7.  Heracles then crossed over into Italy with the cattle and proceeded along the coast; there he slew Lacinius as he was attempting to steal some of the cattle, and to Croton, whom he killed by accident, he accorded a magnificent funeral and erected for him a tomb; and he foretold to the natives of the place that also in after times a famous city would arise which should bear the name of the man who had died.,1.  But when Heracles had made the circuit of the Adriatic, and had journeyed around the gulf on foot, he came to Epirus, whence he made his way to Peloponnesus. And now that he had performed the tenth Labour he received a Command from Eurystheus to bring Cerberus up from Hades to the light of day. And assuming that it would be to his advantage for the accomplishment of this Labour, he went to Athens and took part in the Eleusinian Mysteries, Musaeus, the son of Orpheus, being at that time in charge of the initiatory rites.,2.  Since we have mentioned Orpheus it will not be inappropriate for us in passing to speak briefly about him. He was the son of Oeagrus, a Thracian by birth, and in culture and song-music and poesy he far surpassed all men of whom we have a record; for he composed a poem which was an object of wonder and excelled in its melody when it was sung. And his fame grew to such a degree that men believed that with his music he held a spell over both the wild beasts and the trees.,3.  And after he had devoted his entire time to his education and had learned whatever the myths had to say about the gods, he journeyed to Egypt, where he further increased his knowledge and so became the greatest man among the Greeks both for his knowledge of the gods and for their rites, as well as for his poems and songs.,4.  He also took part in the expedition of the Argonauts, and because of the love he held for his wife he dared the amazing deed of descending into Hades, where he entranced Persephonê by his melodious song and persuaded her to assist him in his desires and to allow him to bring up his dead wife from Hades, in this exploit resembling Dionysus; for the myths relate that Dionysus brought up his mother Semelê from Hades, and that, sharing with her his own immortality, he changed her name to Thyonê. But now that we have discussed Orpheus, we shall return to Heracles.,1.  Heracles, then, according to the myths which have come down to us, descended into the realm of Hades, and being welcomed like a brother by Persephonê brought Theseus and Peirithoüs back to the upper world after freeing them from their bonds. This he accomplished by the favour of Persephonê, and receiving the dog Cerberus in chains he carried him away to the amazement of all and exhibited him to men.,2.  The last Labour which Heracles undertook was the bringing back of the golden apples of the Hesperides, and so he again sailed to Libya. With regard to these apples there is disagreement among the writers of myths, and some say that there were golden apples in certain gardens of the Hesperides in Libya, where they were guarded without ceasing by a most formidable dragon, whereas others assert that the Hesperides possessed flocks of sheep which excelled in beauty and were therefore called for their beauty, as the poets might do, "golden apples," just as Aphroditê is called "golden" because of her loveliness.,3.  There are some, however, who say that it was because the sheep had a peculiar colour like gold that they got this designation, and that Dracon ("dragon") was the name of the shepherd of the sheep, a man who excelled in strength of body and courage, who guarded the sheep and slew any who might dare to carry them off. But with regard to such matters it will be every man's privilege to form such opinions as accord with his own belief.,4.  At any rate Heracles slew the guardian of the apples, and after he had duly brought them to Eurystheus and had in this wise finished his Labours he waited to receive the gift of immortality, even as Apollo had prophesied to him.,1.  But we must not fail to mention what the myths relate about Atlas and about the race of the Hesperides. The account runs like this: In the country known as Hesperitis there were two brothers whose fame was known abroad, Hesperus and Atlas. These brothers possessed flocks of sheep which excelled in beauty and were in colour of a golden yellow, this being the reason why the poets, in speaking of these sheep as mela, called them golden mela.,2.  Now Hesperus begat a daughter named Hesperis, whom he gave in marriage to his brother and after whom the land was given the name Hesperitis; and Atlas begat by her seven daughters, who were named after their father Atlantides, and after their mother, Hesperides. And since these Atlantides excelled in beauty and chastity, Busiris the king of the Egyptians, the account says, was seized with desire to get the maidens into his power; and consequently he dispatched pirates by sea with orders to seize the girls and deliver them into his hands.,3.  About this time Heracles, while engaged in the performance of his last Labour, slew in Libya Antaeus, who was compelling all strangers to wrestle with him, and upon Busiris in Egypt, who was sacrificing to Zeus the strangers who visited his country, he inflicted the punishment which he deserved. After this Heracles sailed up the Nile into Ethiopia, where he slew Emathion, the king of the Ethiopians, who made battle with him unprovoked, and then returned to the completion of his last Labour.,4.  Meanwhile the pirates had seized the girls while they were playing in a certain garden and carried them off, and fleeing swiftly to their ships had sailed away with them. Heracles came upon the pirates as they were taking their meal on a certain strand, and learning from the maidens what had taken place he slew the pirates to a man and brought the girls back to Atlas their father; and in return Atlas was so grateful to Heracles for his kindly deed that he not only gladly gave him such assistance as his Labour called for, but he also instructed him quite freely in the knowledge of astrology.,5.  For Atlas had worked out the science of astrology to a degree surpassing others and had ingeniously discovered the spherical nature of the stars, and for that reason was generally believed to be bearing the entire firmament upon his shoulders. Similarly in the case of Heracles, when he had brought to the Greeks the doctrine of the sphere, he gained great fame, as if he had taken over the burden of the firmament which Atlas had borne, since men intimated in this enigmatic way what had actually taken place.,1.  While Heracles was busied with the matters just described, the Amazons, they say, of whom there were some still left in the region of the Thermodon river, gathered in a body and set out to get revenge upon the Greeks for what Heracles had done in his campaign against them. They were especially eager to punish the Athenians because Theseus had made a slave of Antiopê, the leader of the Amazons, or, as others write, of Hippolytê.,2.  The Scythians had joined forces with the Amazons, and so it came about that a notable army had been assembled, with which the leaders of the Amazons crossed the Cimmerian Bosporus and advanced through Thrace. Finally they traversed a large part of Europe and came to Attica, where they pitched their camp in what is at present called after them "the Amazoneum.",3.  When Theseus learned of the oncoming of the Amazons he came to the aid of the forces of his citizens, bringing with him the Amazon Antiopê, by whom he already had a son Hippolytus. Theseus joined battle with the Amazons, and since the Athenians surpassed them in bravery, he gained the victory, and of the Amazons who opposed him, some he slew at the time and the rest he drove out of Attica.,4.  And it came to pass that Antiopê, who was fighting at the side of her husband Theseus, distinguished herself in the battle and died fighting heroically. The Amazons who survived renounced their ancestral soil, and returned with the Scythians into Scythia and made their homes among that people. But we have spoken enough about the Amazons, and shall return to the deeds of Heracles.,1.  After Heracles had performed his Labours, the god revealed to him that it would be well if, before he passed into the company of the gods, he should despatch a colony to Sardinia and make the sons who had been born to him by the daughters of Thespius the leaders of the settlement, and so he decided to send his nephew Iolaüs with the boys, since they were still quite young.,2.  Now it seems to us indispensable that we should speak first of the birth of the boys, in order that we may be able to set forth more clearly what is to be said about the colony. Thespius was by birth a distinguished man of Athens and son of Erechtheus, and he was king of the land which bears his name and begot by his wives, of whom he had a great number, fifty daughters.,3.  And when Heracles was still a boy, but already of extraordinary strength of body, the king strongly desired that his daughters should bear children by him. Consequently he invited Heracles to a sacrifice, and after entertaining him in brilliant fashion he sent his daughters one by one in to him; and Heracles lay with them all, brought them all with child, and so became the father of fifty sons. These sons all took the same name after the daughters of Thespius, and when they had arrived at manhood Heracles decided to send them to Sardinia to found a colony, as the oracle had commanded.,4.  And since the expedition was under the general command of Iolaüs, who had accompanied Heracles on practically all of his campaigns, the latter entrusted him with the care of the Thespiadae and the planting of the colony. Of the fifty boys, two continued to dwell in Thebes, their descendants, they say, being honoured even to the present day, and seven in Thespiae, where they are called demouchi, and where their descendants, they say, were the chief men of the city until recent times.,5.  All the other Thespiadae and many more who wished to join in the founding of the colony Iolaüs took with him and sailed away to Sardinia. Here he overcame the natives in battle and divided the fairest part of the island into allotments, especially the land which was a level plain and is called to this day Iolaeium.,6.  When he had brought the land under cultivation and planted it with fruit-bearing trees he made of the island an object of contention; for instance, it gained such fame for the abundance of its fruits that at a later time the Carthaginians, when they had grown powerful, desired the island and faced many struggles and perils for possession of it. But we shall write of these matters in connection with the period to which they belong.,1.  Then he made a campaign into India, whence he returned to Boeotia in the third year, bringing with him a notable quantity of booty, and he was the first man ever to celebrate a triumph seated on an Indian elephant.,2.  And the Boeotians and other Greeks and the Thracians, in memory of the campaign in India, have established sacrifices every other year to Dionysus, and believe that at that time the god reveals himself to human beings.,3.  Consequently in many Greek cities every other year Bacchic bands of women gather, and it is lawful for the maidens to carry the thyrsus and to join in the frenzied revelry, crying out "Euai!" and honouring the god; while the matrons, forming in groups, offer sacrifices to the god and celebrate his mysteries and, in general, extol with hymns the presence of Dionysus, in this manner acting the part of the Maenads who, as history records, were of old the companions of the god.,4.  He also punished here and there throughout all the inhabited world many men who were thought to be impious, the most renowned among the number being Pentheus and Lycurgus. And since the discovery of wine and the gift of it to human beings were the source of such great satisfaction to them, both because of the pleasure which derives from the drinking of it and because of the greater vigour which comes to the bodies of those who partake of it, it is the custom, they say, when unmixed wine is served during a meal to greet it with the words, "To the Good Deity!" but when the cup is passed around after the meal diluted with water, to cry out, "To Zeus Saviour!" For the drinking of unmixed wine results in a state of madness, but when it is mixed with the rain from Zeus the delight and pleasure continue, but the ill effect of madness and stupor is avoided.,5.  And, in general, the myths relate that the gods who receive the greatest approval at the hands of human beings are those who excelled in their benefactions by reason of their discovery of good things, namely, Dionysus and Demeter, the former because he was the discoverer of the most pleasing drink, the latter because she gave to the race of men the most excellent of the dry foods.,1.  At the time we are considering, Iolaüs established the colony, and summoning Daedalus from Sicily he built through him many great works which stand to this day and are called "Daedaleia" after their builder. He also had large and expensive gymnasia constructed and established courts of justice and the other institutions which contribute to the prosperity of a state.,2.  Furthermore, Iolaüs named the folk of the colony Iolaeis, calling them after himself, the Thespiadae consenting to this and granting to him this honour as to a father. In fact his regard for them led them to entertain such a kindly feeling towards him that they bestowed upon him as a title the appellation usually given to the progenitor of a people; consequently those who in later times off sacrifices to this god address him as "Father Iolaüs," as the Persians do when they address Cyrus.,3.  After this Iolaüs, on his return to Greece, sailed over to Sicily and spent a considerable time on that island. And at this time several of those who were visiting the island in his company remained in Sicily because of the beauty of the land, and uniting with the Sicani they settled in the island, being especially honoured by the natives. Iolaüs also received a great welcome, and since he conferred benefits upon many men he was honoured in many of the cities with sacred precincts and with such distinctions as are accorded to heroes.,4.  And a peculiar and astonishing thing came to pass in connection with this colony in Sardinia. For the god had told them in an oracle that all who joined in this colony and their descendants should continually remain free men for evermore, and the event in their case has continued to be in harmony with the oracle even to our own times.,5.  For the people of the colony in the long course of time came to be barbarized, since the barbarians who took part in the colony above them outnumbered them, and so they removed into the mountainous part of the island and made their home in the rough and barren regions and there, accustoming themselves to live on milk and meat and raising large flocks and herds, they had no need of grain. They also built themselves underground dwellings, and by spending their lives in such dug-out homes they avoided the perils which wars entail.,6.  As a consequence both the Carthaginians in former days and the Romans later, despite the many wars which they waged with this people, did not attain their design. As regards Iolaüs, then, and the Thespiadae and the colony which was sent to Sardinia, we shall rest satisfied with what has been said, and we shall continue the story of Heracles from the point at which our account left off.,1.  After Heracles had completed his Labours he gave his own wife Megara in marriage to Iolaüs, being apprehensive of begetting any children by her because of the calamity which had befallen their other offspring, and sought another wife by whom he might have children without apprehension. Consequently he wooed Iolê, the daughter of Eurytus who was ruler of Oechalia.,2.  But Eurytus was hesitant because of the ill fortune which had come in the case of Megara and replied that he would deliberate concerning the marriage. Since Heracles had met with a refusal to his suit, because of the dishonour which had been shown him he now drove off the mares of Eurytus.,3.  But Iphitus, the son of Eurytus, harboured suspicions of what had been done and came to Tiryns in search of the horses, whereupon Heracles, taking him up on a lofty tower of the castle, asked him to see were they were by chance grazing anywhere; and when Iphitus was unable to discover them, he claimed that Iphitus had falsely accused him of the theft and threw him down headlong from the tower.,4.  Because of his murder of Iphitus Heracles was attacked by a disease, and coming to Neleus at Pylus he besought him to purify him of the blood-guilt. Thereupon Neleus took counsel with his sons and found that all of them, with the exception of Nestor who was the youngest, agreed in advising him that he should not undertake the rite of purification.,5.  Heracles then went to Deïphobus, the son of Hippolytus, and prevailing upon him was given the rite of purification, but being still unable to rid himself of the disease he inquired of Apollo how to heal it. Apollo gave him the answer that he would easily rid himself of the disease if he should be sold as a slave and honourably pay over the purchase price of himself to the sons of Iphitus, and so, being now under constraint to obey the oracle, he sailed over to Asia in company with some of his friends. There he willingly submitted to be sold by one of his friends and became the slave of Omphalê, the daughter of Iardanus, who was still unmarried and was queen of the people who were called at that time Maeonians, but now Lydians.,6.  The man who had sold Heracles paid over the purchase price to the sons of Iphitus, as the oracle had commanded, and Heracles, healed now of the disease and serving Omphalê as her slave, began to mete out punishment upon the robbers who infested the land.,7.  As for the Cercopes, for instance, as they are called, who were robbing and committing many evil acts, some of them he put to death and others he took captive and delivered in chains to Omphalê. Syleus, who was seizing any strangers who passed by and was forcing to hoe his vineyards, he slew by a blow with his own hoe; and from the Itoni, who had been plundering a large part of the land of Omphalê, he took away their booty, and the city which they had made the base of their raids he sacked, and enslaving its inhabitants razed it to the ground.,8.  Omphalê was pleased with the courage Heracles displayed, and on learning who he was and who had been his parents she marvelled at his valour, set him free, and marrying him bore him Lamus. Already before this, while he was yet a slave, there had been born to Heracles by a slave a son Cleodaeus.,1.  After this Heracles, returning to Peloponnesus, made war against Ilium, since he had a ground of complaint against its king, Laomedon. For when Heracles was on the expedition with Jason to get the golden fleece and had slain the sea-monster, Laomedon had withheld from him the mares which he had agreed to give him and of which we shall give a detailed account a little later in connection with the Argonauts.,2.  At that time Heracles had not had the leisure, since he was engaged upon the expedition of Jason, but later he found an opportunity and made war upon Troy with eighteen ships of war, as some say, but, as Homer writes, with six in all, when he introduces Heracles' son Tlepolemus as saying: Aye, what a man, they say, was Heracles In might, my father he, steadfast, with heart Of lion, who once came here to carry off The mares of King Laomedon, with but Six ships and scantier men, yet sacked he then The city of proud Ilium, and made Her streets bereft.,3.  When Heracles, then, had landed on the coast of the Troad, he advanced in person with his select troops against the city and left in command of the ships Oecles, the son of Amphiaraus. And since the presence of the enemy had not been expected, it proved impossible for Laomedon, on account of the exigencies of the moment, to collect a passable army, but gathering as many soldiers as he could he advanced with them against the ships, in the hope that if he could burn them he could bring an end to the war. Oecles came out to meet him, but when he, the general, fell, the rest succeeded in making good their flight to the ships and in putting out to sea from the land.,4.  Laomedon then withdrew and joining combat with the troops of Heracles near the city he was slain himself and most of the soldiers with him. Heracles then took the city by storm and after slaughtering many of its inhabitants in the action he gave the kingdom of the Iliadae to Priam because of his sense of justice;,5.  for Priam was the only one of the sons of Laomedon who had opposed his father and had counselled him to give the mares back to Heracles, as he had promised to do. And Heracles crowned Telamon with the meed of valour by bestowing upon him Hesionê the daughter of Laomedon, for in the siege he had been the first to force his way into the city, while Heracles was assaulting the strongest section of the wall of the acropolis.,1.  After this Heracles returned to Peloponnesus and set out against Augeas, since the latter had defrauded him of his reward. It came to a battle between him and the Eleans, but on this occasion he had no success and so returned to Olenus to Dexamenus. The latter's daughter Hippolytê was being joined in marriage to Azan, and when Heracles, as he sat at the wedding feast, observed the Centaur Eurytion acting in an insulting manner towards Hippolytê and endeavouring to do violence to her, he slew him.,2.  When Heracles returned to Tiryns, Eurystheus charged him with plotting to seize the kingdom and commanded that he and Alcmenê and Iphicles and Iolaüs should depart from Tiryns. Consequently he was forced to go into exile along with these just mentioned and made his dwelling in Pheneus in Arcadia.,3.  This city he took for his headquarters, and learning once that a sacred procession had been sent forth from Elis to the Isthmus in honour of Poseidon and that Eurytus, the son of Augeas, was at the head of it, he fell unexpectedly upon Eurytus and killed him near Cleonae, where a temple of Heracles still stands.,4.  After this he made war upon Elis and slew Augeas its king, and taking the city by storm he recalled Phyleus, the son of Augeas, and gave the kingdom into his hands; for the son had been exiled by his father at the time when he had served as arbitrator between his father and Heracles in the matter of the reward and had given the decision to Heracles.,5.  After this Hippocoön exiled from Sparta his brother Tyndareüs, and the sons of Hippocoön, twenty in number, put to death Oeonus who was the son of Licymnius and a friend of Heracles; whereupon Heracles was angered and set out against them, and being victorious in a great battle he made a slaughter of every man of them. Then, taking Sparta by storm he restored Tyndareüs, who was the father of the Dioscori, to his kingdom and bestowed upon him the kingdom on the ground that it was his by right of war, commanding him to keep it safe for Heracles' own descendants.,6.  There fell in the battle but a very few of the comrades of Heracles, though among them were famous men, such as Iphiclus and Cepheus and seventeen sons of Cepheus, since only three of his twenty sons came out alive; whereas of the opponents Hippocoön himself fell, and ten sons along with him, and vast numbers of the rest of the Spartans.,7.  From this campaign Heracles returned into Arcadia, and as he stopped at the home of Aleos the king he lay secretly with his daughter Augê, brought her with child, and went back to Stymphalus.,8.  Aleos was ignorant of what had taken place, but when the bulk of the child in the womb betrayed the violation of his daughter he inquired who had violated her. And when Augê disclosed that it was Heracles who had done violence to her, he would not believe what she had said, but gave her into the hands of Nauplius his friend with orders to drown her in the sea.,9.  But as Augê was being led off to Nauplia and was near Mount Parthenium, she felt herself overcome by the birth-pains and withdrew into a near-by thicket as if to perform a certain necessary act; here she gave birth to a male child, and hiding the babe in some bushes she left it there. After doing this Augê went back to Nauplius, and when she had arrived at the harbour of Nauplia in Argolis she was saved from death in an unexpected manner.,10.  Nauplius, that is, decided not to drown her, as he had been ordered, but to make a gift of her to some Carians who were setting out for Asia; and these men took Augê to Asia and gave her to Teuthras the king of Mysia.,11.  As for the babe that had been left on Parthenium by Augê, certain herdsmen belonging to Corythus the king came upon it as it was getting its food from the teat of a hind and brought it as a gift to their master. Corythus received the child gladly, raised him as if he were his own son, and named him Telephus after the hind (elaphos) which had suckled it. After Telephus had come to manhood, being seized with the desire to learn who his mother was, he went to Delphi and received the reply to sail to Mysia to Teuthras the king.,12.  Here he discovered his mother, and when it was known who his father was he received the heartiest welcome. And since Teuthras had no male children he joined his daughter Argiopê in marriage to Telephus and named him his successor to the kingdom.,1.  In the fifth year after Heracles had changed his residence to Pheneus, being grieved over the death of Oeonus, the son of Licymnius, and of Iphiclus his brother, he removed of his free will from Arcadia and all Peloponnesus. There withdrew with him a great many people of Arcadia and he went to Calydon in Aetolia and made his home there. And since he had neither legitimate children nor a lawful wife, he married Deïaneira, the daughter of Oeneus, Meleager being now dead. In this connection it would not, in our opinion, be inappropriate for us to digress briefly and to speak of the reversal of fortune which befel Meleager.,2.  The facts are these: Once when Oeneus had an excellent crop of grain, he offered sacrifices to the other gods, but neglected Artemis alone; and angered at him for this the goddess sent forth against him the famous Calydonian boar, a creature of enormous size.,4.  But Atalantê, the daughter of Schoeneus, participated in the hunt, and since Meleager was enamoured of her, he relinquished in her favour the skin and the praise for the greatest bravery. The sons of Thestius, however, who had also joined in the hunt, were angered at what he had done, since he had honoured a stranger woman above them and set kinship aside. Consequently, setting at naught the award which Meleager had made, they lay in wait for Atalantê, and falling upon her as she returned to Arcadia took from her the skin.,5.  Meleager, however, was deeply incensed both because of the love which he bore Atalantê and because of the dishonour shown her, and espoused the cause of Atalantê. And first of all he urged the robbers to return to the woman the meed of valour which he had given her; and when they paid no heed to him he slew them, although they were brothers of Althaea. Consequently Althaea, overcome with anguish at the slaying of the men of her own blood, uttered a curse in which she demanded the death of Meleager; and the immortals, so the account runs, gave heed to her and made an end of his life.,6.  But certain writers of myths give the following account: — At the time of the birth of Meleager the Fates stood over Althaea in her sleep and said to her that her son Meleager would die at the moment when the brand in the fire had been consumed. Consequently, when she had given birth, she believed that the safety of her child depended upon the preservation of the brand and so she guarded the brand with every care.,7.  Afterward, however, being deeply incensed at the murder of her brothers, she burned the brand and so made herself the cause of the death of Meleager; but as time went on she grieved more and more over what she had done and finally made an end of her life by hanging.,3.  This animal harried the neighbouring land and damaged the farms; whereupon Meleager, the son of Oeneus, being then in the bloom of youth and excelling in strength and in courage, took along with himself many of the bravest men and set out to hunt the beast. Meleager was the first to plunge his javelin into it and by general agreement was accorded the reward of valour, which consisted of the skin of the animal.,1.  At the time that these things were taking place, the myth continues, Hipponoüs in Olenus, angered at his daughter Periboea because she claimed that she was with child by Ares, sent her away into Aetolia to Oeneus with orders for him to do away with him at the first opportunity.,2.  Oeneus, however, who had recently lost son and wife, was unwilling to slay Periboea, but married her instead and begat a son Tydeus. Such, then, is the way the story runs of Meleager and Althaea and Oeneus.,3.  But Heracles, desiring to do a service to the Calydonians, diverted the river Acheloüs, and making another bed for it he recovered a large amount of ')" onMouseOut="nd();"fruitful land which was now irrigated by this stream.,4.  Consequently certain poets, as we are told, have made this deed into a myth; for they have introduced Heracles as joining battle with Acheloüs, the river assuming the form of a bull, and as breaking off in the struggle one of his horns, which he gave to the Aetolians. This they call the "Horn of Amaltheia," and represent it as filled with a great quantity of every kind of autumn fruit, such as grapes and apples and the like, the poets signifying in this obscure manner by the horn of Acheloüs the stream which ran through the canal, and by the apples and pomegranates and grapes the fruitful land which was watered by the river and the multitude of its fruit-bearing plants. Moreover, they say that the phrase "Amaltheia's Horn" is used as of a quality incapable of being softened (a-malakistia), whereby is indicated the tense vigour of the man who built the work.,1.  Heracles took the field with the Calydonians against the Thesprotians, captured the city of Ephyra by storm, and slew Phyleus the king of the Thesprotians.,2.  And taking prisoner the daughter of Phyleus he lay with her and begat Tlepolemus. Three years after his marriage to Deïaneira Heracles was dining in the home of Oeneus and Eurynomus, the son of Architeles, who was still a lad in years, was serving him, and when the boy made some slip in the service Heracles gave him a blow with his fist, and striking him too hard he unintentionally killed the lad.,3.  Overcome with grief at this misfortune he went again into voluntary exile from Calydonia along with his wife Deïaneira and Hyllus, his son by her, who was still a boy in years. And when in his journeying he arrived at the Euenus river he found there the Centaur Nessus who was conveying travellers across the river for a fee.,4.  Nessus carried Deïaneira across first, and becoming enamoured of her because of her beauty he tried to assault her. But when she called to her husband for help Heracles shot the Centaur with an arrow, and Nessus, struck even while he was having intercourse with her and because of the sharpness of the blow being at once on the point of death, told Deianeira that he would give her a love-charm to the end that Heracles should never desire to approach any other woman.,5.  He urged her, accordingly, to take the seed which had fallen from him and, mixing it with olive oil and the blood which was dripping from the barb of the arrow, to anoint with this the shirt of Heracles. This counsel, then, Nessus gave Deïaneira and at once breathed his last. And she put the seed, as Nessus had enjoined upon her, into a jar and dipped in it the barb of the arrow and kept it all unknown to Heracles. And he, after crossing the river, came to Ceÿx, the king of Trachis, and made his dwelling with him, having with him the Arcadians who always accompanied him on his campaigns.,1.  After this, when Phylas, the king of the Dryopes, had in the eyes of men committed an act of impiety against the temple of Delphi, Heracles took the field against him in company with the inhabitants of Melis, slew the king of the Dryopes, drove the rest of them out of the land, and gave it to the people of Melis; and the daughter of Phylas he took captive and lying with her begat a son Antiochus. By Deïaneira he became the father of two sons, younger than Hyllus, Gleneus and Hodites.,2.  Of the Dryopes who had been driven from their land some passed over into Euboea and founded there the city Carystus, others sailed to the island of Cyprus, where they mixed with the natives of the island and made their home, while the rest of the Dryopes took refuge with Eurystheus and won his aid because of the enmity which he bore to Heracles; and with the aid of Eurystheus they founded three cities in Peloponnesus, Asinê, Hermionê, and Eïon.,3.  After the removal of the Dryopes from their land a war arose between the Dorieis who inhabit the land called Hestiaeotis, whose king was Aegimius, and the Lapithae dwelling about Mount Olympus, whose king was Coronus, the son of Caeneus. And since the Lapithae greatly excelled in the number of their forces, the Dorieis turned to Heracles for aid and implored him to join with them, promising him a third part of the land of Doris and of the kingship, and when they had won him over they made common cause in the campaign against the Lapithae. Heracles had with him the Arcadians who accompanied him on his campaigns, and mastering the Lapithae with their aid he slew king Coronus himself, and massacring most of the rest he compelled them to withdraw from the land which was in dispute.,4.  After accomplishing these deeds he entrusted to Aegimius the third part of the land, which was his share, with orders that he keep it in trust in favour of Heracles' descendants. He now returned to Trachis, and upon being challenged to combat by Cycnus, the son of Ares, he slew the man; and as he was leaving the territory of Itonus and was making his way through Pelasgiotis he fell in with Ormenius the king and asked of him the hand of his daughter Astydameia. When Ormenius refused him because he already had for lawful wife Deïaneira, the daughter of Oeneus, Heracles took the field against him, captured his city, and slew the king who would not obey him, and taking captive Astydameia he lay with her and begat a son Ctesippus.,5.  After finishing this exploit he set out to Oechalia to take the field against the sons of Eurytus because he had been refused in his suit for the hand of Iolê. The Arcadians again fought on his side and he captured the city and slew the sons of Eurytus, who were Toxeus, Molion, and Clytius. And taking Iolê captive he departed from Euboea to the promontory which is called Cenaeum.,1.  At Cenaeon Heracles, wishing to perform a sacrifice, dispatched his attendant Lichas to Deïaneira his wife, commanding him to ask her for the shirt and robe which he customarily wore in the celebration of sacrifices. But when Deïaneira learned from Lichas of the love which Heracles had for Iolê, she wished him to have a greater affection for herself and so anointed the shirt with the love-charm which had been given her by the Centaur, whose intention was to bring about the death of Heracles.,2.  Lichas, then, in ignorance of these matters, brought back the garments for the sacrifice; and Heracles put on the shirt which had been anointed, and as the strength of the toxic drug began slowly to work he met with the most terrible calamity. For the arrow's barb had carried the poison of the adder, and when the shirt for this reason, as it became heated, attacked the flesh of the body, Heracles was seized with such anguish that he slew Lichas, who had been his servant, and then, disbanding his army, returned to Trachis.,3.  As Heracles continued to suffer more and more from his malady he dispatched Licymnius and Iolaüs to Delphi to inquire of Apollo what he must do to heal the malady, but Deïaneira was so stricken by the magnitude of Heracles' misfortune that, being conscious of her error, she ended her life by hanging herself. The god gave the reply that Heracles should be taken, and with him his armour and weapons of war, unto Oetê and that they should build a huge pyre near him; what remained to be done, he said, would rest with Zeus.,4.  Now when Iolaüs had carried out these orders and had withdrawn to a distance to see what would take place, Heracles, having abandoned hope for himself, ascended the pyre and asked each one who came up to him to put torch to the pyre. And when no one had the courage to obey him Philoctetes alone was prevailed upon; and he, having received in return for his compliance the gift of the bow and arrows of Heracles, lighted the pyre. And immediately lightning also fell from the heavens and the pyre was wholly consumed.,5.  After this, when the companions of Iolaüs came to gather up the bones of Heracles and found not a single bone anywhere, they assumed that, in accordance with the words of the oracle, he had passed from among men into the company of the gods.,1.  These men, therefore, performed the offerings to the dead as to a hero, and after throwing up a great mound of earth returned to Trachis. Following their example Menoetius, the son of Actor and a friend of Heracles, sacrificed a boar and a bull and a ram to him as to a hero and commanded that each year in Opus Heracles should receive the sacrifices and honours of a hero. Much the same thing was likewise done by the Thebans, but the Athenians were the first of all other men to honour Heracles with sacrifices like as to a god, and by holding up as an example for all other men to follow their own reverence for the god they induced the Greeks first of all, and after them all men throughout the inhabited world, to honour Heracles as a god.,2.  We should add to what has been said about Heracles, that after his apotheosis Zeus persuaded Hera to adopt him as her son and henceforth for all time to cherish him with a mother's love, and this adoption, they say, took place in the following manner. Hera lay upon a bed, and drawing Heracles close to her body then let him fall through her garments to the ground, imitating in this way the actual birth; and this ceremony is observed to this day by the barbarians whenever they wish to adopt a son.,3.  Hera, the myths relate, after she had adopted Heracles in this fashion, joined him in marriage to Hebê, regarding whom the poet speaks in the "Necyïa": I saw the shade of Heracles, but for Himself he takes delight of feasts among Th' immortal gods and for his wife he hath The shapely-ankled Hebê.,4.  They report of Heracles further that Zeus enrolled him among the twelve gods but that he would not accept this honour; for it was impossible for him thus to be enrolled unless one of the twelve gods were first cast out; hence in his eyes it would be monstrous for him to accept an honour which involved depriving another god of his honour. Now on the subject of Heracles if we have dwelt over-long, we have at least omitted nothing from the myths which are related concerning him.,1.  Some writers of myths, however, relate that there was a second Dionysus who was much earlier in time than the one we have just mentioned. For according to them there was born of Zeus and Persephonê a Dionysus who is called by some Sabazius and whose birth and sacrifices and honours are celebrated at night and in secret, because of the disgrace resulting from the intercourse of the sexes.,2.  They state also that he excelled in sagacity and was the first to attempt the yoking of oxen and by their aid to effect the sowing of the seed, this being the reason why they also represent him as wearing a horn. But the Dionysus who was born of Semelê in more recent times, they say, was a man who was effeminate in body and altogether delicate; in beauty, however, he far excelled all other men and was addicted to indulgence in the delights of love, and on his campaigns he led about with himself a multitude of women who were armed with lances which were shaped like thyrsi.,3.  They say also that when he went abroad he was accompanied by the Muses, who were maidens that had received an unusually excellent education, and that by their songs and dancing and other talents in which they had been instructed these maidens delighted the heart of the god. They also add that he was accompanied on his campaigns by a personal attendant and caretaker, Seilenus, who was his adviser and instructor in the most excellent pursuits and contributed greatly to the high achievements and fame of Dionysus.,4.  And in the battles which took place during his wars he arrayed himself in arms suitable for war and in the skins of panthers, but in assemblages and at festive gatherings in time of peace he wore garments which were bright-coloured and luxurious in their effeminacy. Furthermore, in order to ward off the headaches which every man gets from drinking too much wine he bound about his head, they report, a band (mitra), which was the reason for his receiving the name Mitrephorus; and it was this head-band, they say, that in later times led to the introduction of the diadem for kings.,5.  He was also called Dimetor, they relate, because the two Dionysi were born of one father, but of two mothers. The younger one also inherited the deeds of the older, and so the men of later times, being unaware of the truth and being deceived because of the identity of their names thought there had been but one Dionysus.,6.  The narthex is also associated with Dionysus for the following reason. When wine was first discovered, the mixing of water with it had not as yet been devised and the wine was drunk unmixed; but when friends gathered together and enjoyed good cheer, the revellers, filling themselves to abundance with the unmixed wine, became like madmen and used their wooden staves to strike one another.,7.  Consequently, since some of them were wounded and some died of wounds inflicted in vital spots, Dionysus was offended at such happenings, and though he did not decide that they should refrain from drinking the unmixed wine in abundance, because the drink gave such pleasure, he ordered them hereafter to carry a narthex and not a wooden staff.,1.  As for the Argonauts, since Heracles joined them in their campaign, it may be appropriate to speak of them in this connection. This is the account which is given: — Jason was the son of Aeson and the nephew through his father of Pelias, the king of the Thessalians, and excelling as he did above those of his years in strength of body and nobility of spirit he was eager to accomplish a deed worthy of memory.,2.  And since he observed that of the men of former times Perseus and certain others had gained glory which was held in everlasting remembrance from the campaigns which they had waged in foreign lands and the hazard attending the labours they had performed, he was eager to follow the examples they had set. As a consequence he revealed his undertaking to the king and quickly received his approval. It was not so much that Pelias was eager to bring distinction to the youth that he hoped that in the hazardous expeditions he would lose his life;,3.  for he himself had been deprived by nature of any male children and was fearful that his brother, with his son to aid him, would make an attempt upon the kingdom. Hiding, however, this suspicion and promising to supply everything which would be needed for the expedition, he urged Jason to undertake an exploit by sailing to Colchis after the renowned golden-fleeced skin of the ram.,4.  The Pontus at that time was inhabited on all its shores by nations which were barbarous and altogether fierce and was called "Axenos," since the natives were in the habit of slaying the strangers who landed on its shores.,5.  Jason, who was eager for glory, recognizing that the labour was difficult of accomplishment and yet not altogether impossible, and concluding that for this very reason the greater renown would attach to himself, made ready everything needed for the undertaking.,1.  First of all, in the vicinity of Mount Pelion he built a ship which far surpassed in its size and in its equipment in general any vessel known in those days, since the men of that time put to sea on rafts or in very small boats. Consequently those who saw the ship at the time were greatly astonished, and when the report was noised about throughout Greece both of the exploit of the enterprise of building the ship, no small number of the youths of prominence were eager to take part in the expedition.,2.  Jason, then, after he had launched the ship and fitted it out in brilliant fashion with everything which would astonish the mind, picked out the most renowned chieftains from those who were eager to share his plan, with the result that the whole number of those in his company amounted to fifty-four. Of these the most famous were Castor and Polydeuces, Heracles and Telamon, Orpheus and Atalantê the daughter of Schoeneus, and the sons of Thespius, and the leader himself who was setting out on the voyage to Colchis.,3.  The vessel was called Argo after Argus, as some writers of myths record, who was the master-builder of the ship and went along on the voyage in order to repair the parts of the vessel as they were strained from time to time, but, as some say, after its exceeding great swiftness, since the ancients called what is swift Argos. Now after the chieftains had gathered together they chose Heracles to be their general, preferring him because of his courage.,1.  After they had sailed from Iolcus, the account continues, and had gone past Athos and Samothrace, they encountered a storm and were carried to Sigeium in the Troad. When they disembarked there, it is said, they discovered a maiden bound in chains upon the shore, the reason for it being as follows.,2.  Poseidon, as the story runs, became angry with Laomedon the king of Troy in connection with the building of its walls, according to the mythical story, and sent forth from the sea a monster to ravage the land. By this monster those who made their living by the seashore and the farmers who tilled the land contiguous to the sea were being surprised and carried off. Furthermore, a pestilence fell upon the people and a total destruction of their crops, so that all the inhabitants were at their wits' end because of the magnitude of what had befallen them.,3.  Consequently the common crowd gathered together into an assembly and sought for a deliverance from their misfortunes, and the king, it is said, dispatched a mission to Apollo to inquire of the god respecting what had befallen them. When the oracle, then, became known, which told that the cause was the anger of Poseidon and that only then would it cease when the Trojans should of their free will select by lot one of their children and deliver him to the monster for his food, although all the children submitted to the lot, it fell upon the king's daughter Hesionê.,4.  Consequently Laomedon was constrained by necessity to deliver the maiden and to leave her, bound in chains, upon the shore.,5.  Here Heracles, when he had disembarked with the Argonauts and learned from the girl of her sudden change of fortune, rent asunder the chains which were about her body and going up to the city made an offer to the king to slay the monster.,6.  When Laomedon accepted the proposal and promised to give him as his reward his invincible mares, Heracles, they say, did slay the monster and Hesionê was given the choice either to leave her home with her saviour or to remain in her native land with her parents. The girl, then, chose to spend her life with the stranger, not merely because she preferred the benefaction she had received to the ties of kinship, but also because she feared that a monster might again appear and she be exposed by citizens to the same fate as that from which she had just escaped.,7.  As for Heracles, after he had been splendidly honoured with gifts and the appropriate tokens of hospitality, he left Hesionê and the mares in keeping with Laomedon, having arranged that after he had returned from Colchis, he should receive them again; he then set sail with all haste in the company of the Argonauts to accomplish the labour which lay before them.,1.  But there came on a great storm and the chieftains had given up hope of being saved, when Orpheus, they say, who was the only one on shipboard who had ever been initiated in the mysteries of the deities of Samothrace, offered to these deities the prayers for their salvation.,2.  And immediately the wind died down and two stars fell over the heads of the Dioscori, and the whole company was amazed at the marvel which had taken place and concluded that they had been rescued from their perils by an act of Providence of the gods. For this reason, the story of this reversal of fortune for the Argonauts has been handed down to succeeding generations, and sailors when caught in storms always direct their prayers to the deities of Samothrace and attribute the appearance of the two stars to the epiphany of the Dioscori.,3.  At that time, however, the tale continues, when the storm had abated, the chieftains landed in Thrace on the country which was ruled by Phineus. Here they came upon two youths who by way of punishment had been shut within a burial vault where they were being subjected to continual blows of the whip; these were sons of Phineus and Cleopatra, who men said was born of Oreithyïa, the daughter of Erechtheus, and Boreas, and had unjustly been subjected to such a punishment because of the unscrupulousness and lying accusations of their mother-in‑law.,4.  For Phineus had married Idaea, the daughter of Dardanus the king of the Scythians, and yielding to her every desire out of his love for her he had believed her charge that his sons by an earlier marriage had insolently offered violence to their mother-in‑law out of a desire to please their mother.,5.  And when Heracles and his friends unexpectedly appeared, the youths who were suffering these tortures, they say, made supplication to the chieftains as they would to gods, and setting forth the causes of their father's unlawful conduct implored that they be delivered from their unfortunate lot.,1.  Phineus, however, the account continues, met the strangers with bitter words and ordered them not to busy themselves with his affairs; for no father, he said, exacts punishment of his sons of his free will, unless they have overcome, by the magnitude of their crimes, the natural love which parents bear towards their children.,2.  Thereupon the young men, who were known as Boreadae and were of the company which sailed with Heracles, since they were brothers of Cleopatra, and because of their kinship with the young men, were the first, it is said, to rush to their aid, and they tore apart the chains which encircled them and slew such barbarians as offered resistance.,3.  And when Phineus hastened to join battle with them and the Thracian multitude ran together, Heracles, they say, who performed the mightiest deeds of them all, slew Phineus himself and no small number of the rest, and finally capturing the royal palace led Cleopatra forth from out the prison, and restored to the sons of Phineus their ancestral rule. But when the sons wished to put their stepmother to death under torture, Heracles persuaded them to renounce such a vengeance, and so the sons, sending her to her father in Scythia, urged that she be punished for her wicked treatment of them.,4.  And this was done; the Scythian condemned his daughter to death, and the sons of Cleopatra gained in this way among the Thracians a reputation for equitable dealing. I am not unaware that certain writers of myths say that the sons of Phineus were blinded by their father and that Phineus suffered the like fate at the hands of Boreas.,5.  Likewise certain writers have passed down the account that Heracles, when he went ashore once in Asia to get water, was left behind in the country by the Argonauts. But, as a general thing, we find that the ancient myths do not give us a simple and consistent story;,6.  consequently it would occasion no surprise if we find, when we put the ancient accounts together, that in some details they are not in agreement with those given by every poet and historian. At any rate, according to these ancient accounts, the sons of Phineus turned over the kingdom to their mother Cleopatra and joined with the chieftains in the expedition.,7.  And after they had set sail from Thrace and had entered the Pontus, they put in at the Tauric Chersonese, being ignorant of the savage ways of the native people. For it is customary among the barbarians who inhabit this land to sacrifice to Artemis Tauropolus the strangers who put in there, and it is among them, they say, that at a later time Iphigeneia became a priestess of this goddess and sacrificed to her those who were taken captive.,1.  Since it is the task of history to inquire into the reasons for this slaying of strangers, we must discuss these reasons briefly, especially since the digression on this subject will be appropriate in connection with the deeds of the Argonauts. We are told, that is, that Helius had two sons, Aeëtes and Perses, Aeëtes being king of Colchis and the other king of the Tauric Chersonese, and that both of them were exceedingly cruel.,2.  And Perses had a daughter Hecatê, who surpassed her father in boldness and lawlessness; she was also fond of hunting, and with she had no luck she would turn her arrows upon human beings instead of the beasts.,3.  Being likewise ingenious in the mixing of deadly poisons she discovered the drug called aconite and tried out the strength of each poison by mixing it in the food given to the strangers.,4.  And since she possessed great experience in such matters she first of all poisoned her father and so succeeded to the throne, and then, founding a temple of Artemis and commanding that strangers who landed there should be sacrificed to the goddess, she became known far and wide for her cruelty.,5.  After this she married Aeëtes and bore two daughters, Circê and Medea, and a son Aegialeus.,6.  Although Circê also, it is said, devoted herself to the devising of all kinds of drugs and discovered roots of all manner of natures and potencies such as are difficult to credit, yet, notwithstanding that she was taught by her mother Hecatê about not a few drugs, she discovered by her own study a far greater number, so that she left to the other woman no superiority whatever in the matter of devising uses of drugs.,7.  She was given in marriage to the king of the Sarmatians, whom some call Scythians, and first she poisoned her husband and after that, succeeding to the throne, she committed many cruel and violent acts against her subjects.,8.  For this reason she was deposed from her throne and, according to some writers of myths, fled to the ocean, where she seized a desert island, and there established herself with the women who had fled with her, though according to some historians she left the Pontus and settled in Italy on a promontory which to this day bears after her the name Circaeum.,1.  Concerning Medea this story is related:— From her mother and sister she learned all the powers which drugs possess, but her purpose in using them was exactly the opposite. For she made a practice of rescuing from their perils the strangers who came to their shores, sometimes demanding from her father by entreaty and coaxing that the lives be spared of those who were to die, and sometimes herself releasing from prison and then devising plans for the safety of the unfortunate men. For Aeëtes, partly because of his own natural cruelty and partly because he was under the influence of his wife Hecatê, had given his approval to the custom of slaying strangers.,2.  But since Medea as time went on opposed the purpose of her parents more and more, Aeëtes, they say, suspecting his daughter of plotting against him consigned her to free custody; Medea, however, made her escape and fled for refuge to a sacred precinct of Helius on the shore of the sea.,3.  This happened at the very time when the Argonauts arrived from the Tauric Chersonese and landed by night in Colchis at the precinct. There they came upon Medea, as she wandered along the shore, and learning from her of the custom of slaying strangers they praised the maiden for her kindly spirit, and then, revealing to her their own project, they learned in turn from her of the danger which threatened her from her father because of the reverence which she showed to strangers.,4.  Since they now recognized that it was to their mutual advantage, Medea promised to co-operate with them until they should perform the labour which lay before them, while Jason gave her his pledge under oath that he would marry her and keep her as his life's companion as long as he lived.,5.  After this the Argonauts left guards to watch the ship and set off by night with Medea to get the golden fleece, concerning which it may be proper for us to give a detailed account, in order that nothing which belongs to the history which we have undertaken may remain unknown.,1.  Phrixus, the son of Athamas, the myths relate, because of his stepmother's plots against him, took his sister Hellê and fled with her from Greece. And while they were making the passage from Europe to Asia, as a kind of Providence of the gods directed, on the back of a ram, whose fleece was of gold, the maiden fell into the sea, which was named after her Hellespont, but Phrixus continued on into the Pontus and was carried to Colchis, where, as some oracle had commanded, he sacrificed the ram and hung up its fleece as a dedicatory offering in the temple of Ares.,2.  After this, while Aeëtes was king of Colchis, an oracle became known, to the effect that he was to come to the end of his life whenever strangers should land there and carry off the golden fleece. For this reason and because of his own cruelty as well, Aeëtes ordained that strangers should be offered up in sacrifice, in order that, the report of the cruelty of the Colchi having been spread abroad to every part of the world, no stranger should have the courage to set foot on the land. He also threw a wall about the precinct and stationed there many guardians, these being men of the Tauric Chersonese, and it is because of these guards that the Greeks invented monstrous myths.,3.  For instance, the report was spread abroad that there were fire-breathing bulls (tauroi) round about the precinct and that a sleepless dragon (drakon) guarded the fleece, the identity of the names having led to the transfer from the men who were Taurians to the cattle because of their strength and the cruelty shown in the murder of strangers having been made into the myth of the bulls breathing fire; and similarly the name of the guardian who watched over the sacred precinct, which was Dracon, has been transferred by the poets to the monstrous and fear-inspiring beast, the dragon.,4.  Also the account of Phrixus underwent a similar working into a myth. For, as some men say, he made his voyage upon a ship which bore the head of a ram upon its bow, and Hellê, being troubled with sea-sickness, while leaning far over the side of the boat for this reason, fell into the sea.,5.  Some say, however, that the king of the Scythians, who was a son-in‑law of Aeëtes, was visiting among the Colchi at the very time when, as it happened, Phrixus and his attendant were taken captive, and conceiving a passion for the boy he received him from Aeëtes as a gift, loved him like a son of his own loins, and left his kingdom to him. The attendant, however, whose name was Crius (ram), was sacrificed to the gods, and when his body had been flayed the skin was nailed up on the temple, in keeping with a certain custom.,6.  And when later an oracle was delivered to Aeëtes to the effect that he was to die whenever strangers would sail to his land and carry off the skin of Crius, the king, they say, built a wall about the precinct and stationed a guard over it; furthermore, he gilded the skin in order that by reason of its brilliant appearance the soldiers should consider it worthy of the most careful guarding. As for these matters, however, it rests with my readers to judge each in accordance with his own predilections.,1.  Medea, we are told, led the way for the Argonauts to the sacred precinct of Ares, which was seventy stades distant from the city which was called Sybaris and contained the palace of the rulers of the Colchi. And approaching the gates, which were kept closed at night, she addressed the guards in the Tauric speech.,2.  And when the soldiers readily opened the gates to her as being the king's daughter, the Argonauts, they say, rushing in with drawn swords slew many of the barbarians and drove the rest, who were struck with terror by the unexpected happening, out of the precinct, and then, taking with them the fleece, made for the ship with all speed.,3.  Medea likewise, assisting the Argonauts, slew with poisons the dragon which, according to the myths, never slept as it lay coiled about the fleece in the precinct, and made her way with Jason down to the sea.,4.  The Tauri who had escaped by flight reported to the king the attack which had been made upon them, and Aeëtes, they say, took with him the soldiers who guarded his person, set out in pursuit of the Greeks, and came upon them near the sea. Joining battle on the first contact with them, he slew one of the Argonauts, Iphitus, the brother of that Eurystheus who had the Labours upon Heracles, but soon, when he enveloped the rest of them with the multitude of his followers and pressed too hotly into the fray, he was slain by Meleager.,5.  The moment the king fell, the Greeks took courage, and the Colchi turned in flight and the larger part of them were slain in the pursuit. There were wounded among the chieftains Jason, Laërtes, Atalantê, and the sons of Thespius, as they are called. However they were all healed in a few days, they say, by Medea by means of roots and certain herbs, and the Argonauts, after securing provisions for themselves, set out to sea, and they had already reached the middle of the Pontic sea when they ran into a storm which put them in the greatest peril.,6.  But when Orpheus, as on the former occasion, offered up prayers to the deities of Samothrace, the winds ceased and there appeared near the ship Glaucus the Sea-god, as he is called. The god accompanied the ship in its voyage without ceasing for two days and nights and foretold to Heracles his Labours and immortality, and to the Tyndaridae that they should be called Dioscori ("Sons of Zeus") and receive at the hands of all mankind honour like that offered to the gods.,7.  And, in general, he addressed all the Argonauts by name and told them that because of the prayers of Orpheus he had appeared in accordance with a Providence of the gods and was showing forth to them what was destined to take place; and he counselled them, accordingly, that so soon as they touched land they should pay their vows to the gods through the intervention of whom they had twice already been saved.,1.  After this, the account continues, Glaucus sank back beneath the deep, and the Argonauts, arriving at the mouth of the Pontus, put in to the land, the king of the country being at that time Byzas, after whom the city of Byzantium was named.,2.  There they set up altars, and when they had paid their vows to the gods they sanctified the place, which is even to this day held in honour by the sailors who pass by.,3.  After this they put out to sea, and after sailing through the Propontis and Hellespont they landed at the Troad. Here, when Heracles dispatched to the city his brother Iphiclus and Telamon to demand back both the mares and Hesionê, Laomedon, it is said, threw the ambassadors into prison and planned to lay an ambush for the other Argonauts and encompass their death. He had the rest of his sons as willing aids in the deed, but Priam alone opposed it; for he declared that Laomedon should observe justice in his dealings with the strangers and should deliver to them both his sister and the mares which had been promised.,4.  But when no one paid any heed to Priam, he brought two swords to the prison, they say, and gave them secretly to Telamon and his companions, and by disclosing the plan of his father he became the cause of their deliverance.,5.  For immediately Telamon and his companions slew such of the guards as offered resistance, and fleeing to the sea gave the Argonauts a full account of what had happened. Accordingly, these got ready for battle and went out to meet the forces which were pouring out of the city with the king.,6.  There was a sharp battle, but their courage gave the chieftains the upper hand, and Heracles, the myths report, performed the bravest feats of them all; for he slew Laomedon, and taking the city at the first assault he punished those who were parties with the king to the plot, but to Priam, because of the spirit of justice he had shown, he gave the kingship, entered into a league of friendship with him, and then sailed away in company with the Argonauts.,7.  But certain of the ancient poets have handed down the account that Heracles took Troy, not with the aid of the Argonauts, but on a campaign of his own with six ships, in order to get the mares; and Homer also adds his witness to this version in the following lines: Aye, what a man, they say, was Heracles In might, my father he, steadfast, with heart Of lion, who once came here to carry off The mares of King Laomedon, with but Six ships and scantier men, yet sacked he then The city of proud Ilium, and made Her streets bereft.,8.  But the Argonauts, they say, set forth from the road and arrived at Samothrace, where they again paid their vows to the great gods and dedicated in the sacred precinct the bowls which are preserved there even to this day.,1.  Many epithets, so we are informed, have been given him by men, who have found the occasions from which they arose in the practices and customs which have become associated with him. So, for instance, he has been called Baccheius from Bacchic bands of women who accompanied him, Lenaeus from the custom of treading the clusters of grapes in a wine-tub (lenos), and Bromius from the thunder (bromos) which attended his birth; likewise for a similar reason he has been called Pyrigenes ("Born-of‑Fire").,2.  Thriambus is a name that has been given him, they say, because he was the first of those of whom we have a record to have celebrated a triumph (thriambos) upon entering his native land after his campaign, this having been done when he returned from India with great booty. It is on a similar basis that the other appellations or epithets have been given to him, but we feel that it would be a long task to tell of them and inappropriate to the history which we are writing. He was thought to have two forms, men say, because there were two Dionysi, the ancient one having a long beard because all men in early times wore long beards, the younger one being youthful and effeminate and young, as we have mentioned before.,3.  Certain writers say, however, that it was because men who become drunk get into two states, being either joyous or sullen, that the god has been called "two-formed." Satyrs also, it is reported, were carried about by him in his company and afforded the god greatest delight and pleasure in connection with their dancings and their goat-songs.,4.  And, in general, the Muses who bestowed benefits and delights through the advantages which their education gave them, and the Satyrs by the use of the devices which contribute to mirth, made the life of Dionysus happy and agreeable. There is general agreement also, they say, that he was the inventor of thymelic contests, and that he introduced places where the spectators could witness the shows and organized musical concerts; furthermore, he freed from any forced contribution to the state those who had cultivated any sort of musical skill during his campaigns, and it is for these reasons that later generations have formed musical associations of the artists of Dionysus and have relieved of taxes the followers of this profession. As for Dionysus and the myths which are related about him we shall rest content with what has been said, since we are aiming at due proportion in our account.,1.  While the return of the chieftains was as yet not known in Thessaly, a rumour, they say, went the rounds there that all the companions of Jason in the expedition had perished in the region of Pontus. Consequently Pelias, thinking that an occasion was now come to do away with all who were waiting for the throne, forced the father of Jason to drink the blood of a bull, and murdered his brother Promachus, who was still a mere lad in years.,2.  But Amphinomê, his mother, they say, when on the point of being slain, performed a manly deed and one worthy of mention; for fleeing to the hearth of the king she pronounced a curse against him, to the effect that he might suffer the fate which his impious deeds merited, and then, striking her own breast with a sword, she ended her life heroically.,3.  But as for Pelias, when he had utterly destroyed in this fashion all the relatives of Jason, he speedily received the punishment befitting his impious deeds. For Jason, who had sailed that night into a road-stead which lay not far from Iolcus and yet was not in sight of the dwellers in the city, learned from one of the country-folk of the misfortunes which had befallen his kinsmen.,4.  Now all the chieftains stood ready to lend Jason their aid and to face any peril on his behalf, but they fell into dispute over how they should make the attack; some, for instance, advised that they force their way at once into the city and fall upon the king while he was not expecting them, but certain others declared that each one of them should gather soldiers from his own birthplace and then raise a general war; since it was impossible, they maintained, for fifty-three men to overcome a king who controlled an army and important cities.,5.  While they were in this perplexity Medea, it is said, promised to slay Pelias all alone by means of cunning to deliver to the chieftains the royal palace without their running any risk.,6.  And when they all expressed astonishment at her statement and sought to learn what sort of a scheme she had in mind, she said that she had brought with her many drugs of marvellous potency which had been discovered by her mother Hecatê and by her sister Circê; and though before this time she had never used them to destroy human beings, on this occasion she would by means of them easily wreak vengeance upon men who were deserving of punishment.,7.  Then, after disclosing beforehand to the chieftains the detailed plans of the attack she would make, she promised them that she would give them a signal from the palace during the day by means of smoke, during the night by fire, in the direction of the look-out which stood high above the sea.,1.  Then Medea, the tale goes on, fashioning a hollow image of Artemis secreted in it drugs of diverse natures, and as for herself, she anointed her hair with certain potent ointments and made it grey, and filled her face and body so full of wrinkles that all who looked upon her thought that she was surely an old woman. And finally, taking with her the statue of the goddess which had been so made as to strike with terror the superstitious populace and move it to fear of the gods, at daybreak she entered the city.,2.  She acted like one inspired, and as the multitude rushed together along the streets she summoned the whole people to receive the goddess with reverence, telling them that the goddess had come to them from the Hyperboreans to bring good luck to both the whole city and the king.,3.  And while all the inhabitants were rendering obeisance to the goddess and honouring her with sacrifices, and the whole city, in a word, was, along with Medea herself, acting like people inspired, she entered the palace, and there she threw Pelias into such a state of superstitious fear and, by her magic arts, so terrified his daughters that they believed that the goddess was actually there in person to bring prosperity to the house of the king.,4.  For she declared that Artemis, riding through the air upon a chariot drawn by dragons, had flown in the air over many parts of the inhabited earth and had chosen out the realm of the most pious king in all the world for the establishment of her own worship and for honours which should be for ever and ever; and that the goddess had commanded her not only to divest Pelias, by means of certain powers which she possessed, of his old age and make his body entirely young, but also to bestow upon him many other gifts, to the end that his life should be blessed and pleasing to the gods.,5.  The king was filled with amazement at these astonishing proposals, but Medea, we are informed, promised him that then and there, in the case of her own body, she would furnish the proof of what she had said. Then she told one of the daughters of Pelias to bring pure water, and when the maiden at once carried out her request, she shut herself up, they say, in a small chamber and washing thoroughly her whole body she made it clean of the potent influences of the drugs. Being restored, then, to her former condition, and showing herself to the king, she amazed those who gazed upon her, and they thought that a kind of Providence of the gods had transformed her old age into a maiden's youth and striking beauty.,6.  Also, by means of certain drugs, Medea caused shapes of the dragons to appear, which she declared had brought the goddess through the air from the Hyperboreans to make her stay with Pelias. And since the deeds which Medea had performed appeared to be too great for mortal nature, and the king saw fit to regard her with great approval and, in a word, believed that she was telling the truth, she now, they say, in private conversation with Pelias urged him to order his daughters to co-operate with her and to do whatever she might command them; for it was fitting, she said, that the king's body should receive the favour which the gods were according to him through the hands, not of servants, but of his own children.,7.  Consequently Pelias gave explicit directions to his daughters to do everything that Medea might command them with respect to the body of their father, and the maidens were quite ready to carry out her orders.,1.  Medea then, the story relates, when night had come and Pelias had fallen asleep, informed the daughters that it was required that the body of Pelias be boiled in a cauldron. But when the maidens received the proposal with hostility, she devised a second proof that what she said could be believed. For there was a ram full of years which was kept in their home, and she announced to the maidens that she would first boil it and thus make it into a lamb again.,2.  When they agreed to this, we are told that Medea severed it apart limb by limb, boiled the ram's body, and then, working a deception by means of certain drugs, she drew out of the cauldron an image which looked like a lamb. Thereupon the maidens were astounded, and were so convinced that they had received all possible proofs that she could do what she was promising that they carried out her orders. All the rest of them beat their father to death, but Alcestis alone, because of her great piety, would not lay hands upon him who had begotten her.,3.  After Pelias had been slain in this way, Medea, they say, took no part in cutting the body to pieces or in boiling it, but pretending that she must first offer prayers to the moon, she caused the maidens to ascend with lamps to the highest part of the roof of the palace, while she herself took much time repeating a long prayer in the Colchian speech, thus affording an interval to those who were to make the attack.,4.  Consequently the Argonauts, when from their look-out they made out the fire, believing that the slaying of the king had been accomplished, hastened to the city on the run, and passing inside the walls entered the palace with drawn swords and slew such guards as offered opposition. The daughters of Pelias, who had only at that moment descended from the roof to attend to the boiling of their father, when they saw to their surprise both Jason and the chieftains in the palace, were filled with dismay at how had befallen them; for it was not within their power to avenge themselves on Medea, nor could they by deceit make amends for the abominable act which they had done.,5.  Consequently the daughters, it is related, were about to make an end of their lives, but Jason, taking pity upon their distress, restrained them, and exhorting them to be of good courage, showed them that it was not from evil design that they had done wrong but it was against their will and because of deception that they had suffered this misfortune.,1.  Jason now, we are informed, promising all his kindred in general that he would conduct himself honourably and magnanimously, summoned the people to an assembly. And after defending himself for what he had done and explaining that he had only taken vengeance on men who had wronged him first, inflicting a less severe punishment on them than the evils he himself had suffered, he bestowed upon Acastus, the son of Pelias, the ancestral kingdom, and as for the daughters of the king, he said that he considered it right that he himself should assume the responsibility for them.,2.  And ultimately he fulfilled his promise, they say, by joining them all in marriage after a time to the most renowned men. Alcestis, for instance, the eldest he gave in marriage to Admetus of Thessaly, the son of Pheres, Amphinomê to Andraemon, the brother of Leonteus, Euadnê to Canes, who was the son of Cephalus and king at that time of the Phocians. These marriages he arranged at a later period; but at the time in question, sailing together with the chieftains to the Isthmus of Peloponnesus, he performed a sacrifice to Poseidon and also dedicated to the god the ship Argo.,3.  And since he received a great welcome at the court of Creon, the king of the Corinthians, he became a citizen of that city and spent the rest of his days in Corinth.,4.  When the Argonauts were on the point of separating and departing to their native lands, Heracles, they say, proposed to the chieftains that, in view of the unexpected turns fortune takes, they should exchange oaths among one another to fight at the side of anyone of their number who should call for aid; and that, furthermore, they should choose out the most excellent place in Greece, there to institute games and a festival for the whole race, and should dedicate the games to the greatest of the gods, Olympian Zeus.,5.  After the chieftains had taken their oath concerning the alliance and had entrusted Heracles with the management of the games, he, they say, picked the place for the festival on the bank of the Alpheius river in the land of the Eleans. Accordingly, this place besides the river he made sacred to the greatest of the gods and called it Olympia after his appellation. When he had instituted horse-races and gymnastic contests, he fixed the rules governing the events and then dispatched sacred commissioners to announce to the cities the spectacle of the games.,6.  And although Heracles had won no moderate degree of fame because of the high esteem in which he was held by the Argonauts throughout their expedition, to this was now added the glory of having founded the festival at Olympia, so that he was the most renowned man among all the Greeks and, known as he was in almost every state, there were many who sought his friendship and who were eager to share with him in every danger.,7.  And since he was an object of admiration because of his bravery and his skill as a general, he gathered a most powerful army and visited all the inhabited world, conferring his benefactions upon the race of men, and it was in return for these that with general approval he received the gift of immortality. But the poets, following their custom of giving a tale of wonder, have recounted the myth that Heracles, single-handed and without the aid of armed forces, performed the Labours which are on the lips of all.,1.  But we have now recounted all the myths which are told about this god, and at this time must add what remains to be said about Jason. The account runs like this:— Jason made his home in Corinth and living with Medea as his wife for ten years he begat children by her, the two oldest, Thessalus and Alcimenes, being twins, and the third, Tisandrus, being much younger than the other two.,2.  Now during this period, we are informed, Medea was highly approved by her husband, because she not only excelled in beauty but was adorned with modesty and every other virtue; but afterward, as time more and more diminished her natural comeliness, Jason, it is said, became enamoured of Glaucê, Creon's daughter, and sought the maiden's hand in marriage.,3.  After her father had given his consent and had set a day for the marriage, Jason, they say, at first tried to persuade Medea to withdraw from their wedlock of her free-will; for, he told her, he desired to marry the maiden, not because he felt his relations with Medea were beneath him, but because he was eager to establish a kinship between the king's house and his children.,4.  But when his wife was angered and called upon the gods who had been the witnesses of their vows, they say that Jason, disdaining the vows, married the daughter of the king.,5.  Thereupon Medea was driven out of the city, and being allowed by Creon but one day to make the preparations for her exile, she entered the palace by night, having altered her appearance by means of drugs, and set fire to the building by applying to it a little root which had been discovered by her sister Circê and had the property that when it was kindled it was hard to put out. Now when the palace suddenly burst into flames, Jason quickly made his way out of it, but as for Glaucê and Creon, the fire hemmed them in on all sides and they were consumed by it.,6.  Certain historians, however, say that the sons of Medea brought to the bride gifts which had been anointed with poisons, and that when Glaucê took them and put them about her body both she herself met her end and her father, when he ran to help her and embraced her body, likewise perished.,7.  Although Medea had been successful in her first undertakings, yet she did not refrain, so we are told, from taking her revenge upon Jason. For she had come to such a state of rage and jealousy, yes, even of savageness, that, since he had escaped from the peril which threatened him at the same time as his bride, she determined, by the murder of the children of them both, to plunge him into the deepest misfortunes; for, except for the one son who made his escape with her, she slew the other sons and in company with her most faithful maids fled in the dead of night from Corinth and made her way safely to Heracles in Thebes. Her reason for doing so was that Heracles had acted as a mediator in connection with the agreements which had been entered into in the land of the Colchians and had promised to come to her aid if she should ever find them violated.,1.  Meanwhile, they go on to say, in the opinion of everyone Jason, in losing children and wife, had suffered only what was just; consequently, being unable to endure the magnitude of the affliction, he put an end to his life. The Corinthians were greatly distressed at such a terrible reversal of fortune and were especially perplexed about the burial of the children. Accordingly, they dispatched messengers to Pytho to inquire of the god what should be done with the bodies of the children, and the Pythian priestess commanded them to bury the children in the sacred precinct of Hera and to pay them the honours which are accorded to heroes.,2.  After the Corinthians had performed this command, Thessalus, they say, who had escaped being murdered by his mother, was reared as a youth in Corinth and then removed to Iolcus, which was the native land of Jason; and finding on his arrival that Acastus, the son of Pelias, had recently died, he took over the throne which belonged to him by inheritance and called the people who were subject to himself Thessalians after his own name.,3.  I am not unaware that this is not the only explanation given of the name the Thessalians bear, but the fact is that the other accounts which have been handed down to us are likewise at variance with one another, and concerning these we shall speak on a more appropriate occasion.,4.  Now as for Medea, he says, on finding upon her arrival in Thebes that Heracles was possessed of a frenzy of madness and had slain his sons, she restored him to health by means of drugs. But since Eurystheus was pressing Heracles with his commands, she despaired of receiving any aid from him at the moment and sought refuge in Athens with Aegeus, the son of Pandion.,5.  Here, as some say, she married Aegeus and gave birth to Medus, who was later king of Media, but certain writers give the account that, when her person was demanded by Hippotes, the son of Creon, she was granted a trial and cleared of the charges he raised against her.,6.  After this, when Theseus returned to Athens from Troezen, a charge of poisoning was brought against her and she was exiled from the city; but by the gift of Aegeus she received an escort to go with her to whatever country she might wish and she came to Phoenicia.,7.  From there she journeyed into the interior regions of Asia and married a certain king of renown, to whom she bore a son Medus; and the son, succeeding to the throne after the death of the father, was greatly admired for his courage and named the people Medes after himself.,1.  Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out; and some indeed, in their desire to win favour with the Athenians, say that she took that Medus whom she bore to Aegeus and got off safe to Colchis; and at that time Aeëtes, who had been forcibly driven from the throne by his brother Perses, had regained his kingdom, Medus, Medea's son, having slain Perses; and that afterwards Medus, securing the command of an army, advanced over a large part of Asia which lies above the Pontus and secured possession of Media, which has been named after this Medus.,2.  But since in our judgment it is unnecessary and would be tedious to record all the assertions which the writers of myths have made about Medea, we shall add only those items which have been passed over concerning the history of the Argonauts.,3.  Not a few both of the ancient historians and of the later ones as well, one of whom is Timaeus, say that the Argonauts, after the seizure of the fleece, learning that the mouth of the Pontus had already been blockaded by the fleet of Aeëtes, performed an amazing exploit which is worthy of mention. They sailed, that is to say, up the Tanaïs river as far as its sources, and at a certain place they hauled the ship overland, and following in turn another river which flows into the ocean they sailed down it to the sea; then they made their course from the north to the west, keeping the land on their left, and when they had arrived near Gadeira (Cadiz) they sailed into our sea.,4.  And the writers even offer proofs of these things, pointing out that the Celts who dwell along the ocean venerate the Dioscori above any of the gods, since they have a tradition handed down from ancient times that these gods appeared among them coming from the ocean. Moreover, the country which skirts the ocean bears, they say, not a few names which are derived from the Argonauts and the Dioscori.,5.  And likewise the continent this side of Gadeira contains visible tokens of the return voyage of the Argonauts. So, for example, as they sailed about the Tyrrhenian Sea, when they put in at an island called Aethaleia they named its harbour, which is the fairest of any in those regions, Argoön after their ship, and such has remained its name to this day.,6.  In like manner to what we have just narrated a harbour in Etruria eight hundred stades from Rome was named by them Telamon, and also at Phormia in Italy the harbour Aeëtes, which is now known as Caeëtes. Furthermore, when they were driven by winds to the Syrtes and had learned from Triton, who was king of Libya at that time, of the peculiar nature of the sea there, upon escaping safe out of the peril they presented him with the bronze tripod which was inscribed with ancient characters and stood until rather recent times among the people of Euhesperis.,7.  We must not leave unrefuted the account of those who state that the Argonauts sailed up the Ister river as far as its sources and then, by its arm which flows in the opposite direction, descended to the Adriatic Gulf.,8.  For time has refuted those who assumed that the Ister which empties by several mouths into the Pontus and the Ister which issues into the Adriatic flow from the same regions. As a matter of fact, when the Romans subdued the nation of the Istrians it was discovered that the latter river has its sources only forty stades from the sea. But the cause of the error on the part of the historians was, they say, the identity in name of the two rivers.,1.  Since we have sufficiently elaborated the history of the Argonauts and the deeds accomplished by Heracles, it may be appropriate also to record, in accordance with the promise we made, the deeds of his sons.,2.  Now after the deification of Heracles his sons made their home in Trachis at the court of Ceÿx the king. But later, when Hyllus and some of the others had attained to manhood, Eurystheus, being afraid lest, after they had all come of age, he might be driven from his kingdom at Mycenae, decided to send the Heracleidae into exile from the whole of Greece.,3.  Consequently he served notice upon Ceÿx, the king, to banish both the Heracleidae and the sons of Licymnius, and Iolaüs as well and the band of Arcadians who had served with Heracles on his campaigns, adding that, if he should fail to do these things, he must submit to war.,4.  But the Heracleidae and their friends, perceiving that they were of themselves not sufficient in number to carry on a war against Eurystheus, decided to leave Trachis of their own free will, and going about among the most important of the other cities they asked them to receive them as fellow-townsmen. When no other city had the courage to take them in, the Athenians alone of all, such being their inborn sense of justice, extended a welcome to the sons of Heracles, and they settled them and their companions in the flight in the city of Tricorythus, which is one of the cities of what is called the Tetrapolis.,5.  And after some time, when all the sons of Heracles had attained to manhood and a spirit of pride sprang up in the young men because of the glory of descent from Heracles, Eurystheus, viewing with suspicion their growing power, came up against them with a great army.,6.  But the Heracleidae, who had the aid of the Athenians, chose as their leader Iolaüs, the nephew of Heracles, and after entrusting to him and Theseus and Hyllus the direction of the war, they defeated Eurystheus in a pitched battle. In the course of the battle the larger part of the army of Eurystheus was slain and Eurystheus himself, when his chariot was wrecked in the flight, was killed by Hyllus, the son of Heracles; likewise the sons of Eurystheus perished in the battle to a man.,1.  After these events all the Heracleidae, now that they had conquered Eurystheus in a battle whose fame was noised abroad and were well supplied with allies because of their success, embarked upon a campaign against Peloponnesus with Hyllus as their commander.,2.  Atreus, after the death of Eurystheus, had taken over the kingship in Mycenae, and having added to his forces the Tegeatans and certain other peoples as allies, he went forth to meet the Heracleidae.,3.  When the two armies were assembled at the Isthmus, Hyllus, Heracles' son, challenged to single combat any one of the enemy who would face him, on the agreement that, if Hyllus should conquer his opponent, the Heracleidae should receive the kingdom of Eurystheus, but that, if Hyllus were defeated, the Heracleidae would not return to Peloponnesus for a period of fifty years.,4.  Echemus, the king of the Tegeatans, came out to meet the challenge, and in the single combat which followed Hyllus was slain and the Heracleidae gave up, as they had promised, their effort to return and made their way back to Tricorythus.,5.  Some time later Licymnius and his sons and Tlepolemus, the son of Heracles, made their home in Argos, the Argives admitting them to citizenship of their own accord; but all the rest who had made their homes in Tricorythus, when the fifty-year period had expired, returned to Peloponnesus. Their deeds we shall record when we have come to those times.,6.  Alcmenê returned to Thebes, and when some time later she vanished from sight she received divine honours at the hands of the Thebans. The rest of the Heracleidae, they say, came to Aegimius, the son of Dorus, and demanding back the land which their father had entrusted to him made their home among the Dorians.,7.  But Tlepolemus, the son of Heracles, while he dwelt in Argos, slew Licymnius, the son of Electryon, we are told, in a quarrel over a certain matter, and being exiled from Argos because of this murder changed his residence to Rhodes. This island was inhabited at that time by Greeks who had been planted there by Triopas, the son of Phorbas.,8.  Accordingly, Tlepolemus, acting with the common consent of the natives, divided Rhodes into three parts and founded there three cities, Lindus, Ielysus (Ialysus), and Cameirus; and he became king over all the Rhodians, because of the fame of his father Heracles, and in later times took part with Agamemnon in the war against Troy.,1.  But since we have set forth the facts concerning Heracles and his descendants, it will be appropriate in this connexion to speak of Theseus, since he emulated the Labours of Heracles. Theseus, then, was born of Aethra, the daughter of Pittheus, and Poseidon, and was reared in Troezen at the home of Pittheus, his mother's father, and after he had found and taken up the tokens which, as the myths relate, had been placed by Aegeus beneath a certain rock, he came to Athens. And taking the road along the coast, as men say, since he emulated the high achievements of Heracles, he set about performing Labours which would bring him both approbation and fame.,2.  The first, then, whom he slew was he who was called Corynetes, who carried a corynê, as it was called, or club, which was the weapon with which he fought, and with it killed any who passed by, and the second was Sinis who made his home on the Isthmus.,3.  Sinis, it should be explained, used to bend over two pines, fasten one arm to each of them, and then suddenly release the pines, the result being that bodies were pulled asunder by the force of the pines and the unfortunate victims met a death of great vengeance.,4.  For his third deed he slew the wild sow which had its haunts about Crommyon, a beast which excelled in both ferocity and size and was killing many human beings. Then he punished Sceiron who made his home in the rocks of Megaris which are called after him the Sceironian Rocks. This man, namely, made it his practice to compel those who passed by to wash his feet at a precipitous place, and then, suddenly giving them a kick, he would roll them down the crags into the sea at a place called Chelonê.,5.  And near Eleusis he slew Cercyon, who wrestled with those who passed by and killed whomever he could defeat. After this he put to death Procrustes, as he was called, who dwelt in what was known as Corydallus in Attica; this man compelled the travellers who passed by to lie down upon a bed, and if any were too long for the bed he cut off the parts of their body which protruded, while in the case of such as were too short for it he stretched (prokrouein) their legs, this being the reason why he was given the name Procrustes.,6.  After successfully accomplishing the deeds which we have mentioned, Theseus came to Athens and by means of the tokens caused Aegeus to recognize him. Then he grappled with the Marathonian bull which Heracles in the performance of one of his Labours had brought from Crete to the Peloponnesus, and mastering the animal he brought it to Athens; this bull Aegeus received from him and ')" onMouseOut="nd();"sacrificed to Apollo.,1.  We shall at this point discuss Priapus and the myths related about him, realizing that an account of him is appropriate in connection with the history of Dionysus. Now the ancients record in their myths that Priapus was the son of Dionysus and Aphroditê and they present a plausible argument for this lineage; for men when under the influence of wine find the members of their bodies tense and inclined to the pleasures of love.,2.  But certain writers say that when the ancients wished to speak in their myths of the sexual organ of males they called it Priapus. Some, however, relate that the generative member, since it is the cause of the reproduction of human beings and of their continued existence through all time, became the object of immortal honour.,3.  But Egyptians in their myths about Priapus say that in ancient times the Titans formed a conspiracy against Osiris and slew him, and then, taking his body and dividing it into equal parts among themselves, they slipped them secretly out of the house, but this organ alone they threw into the river, since no one of them was willing to take it with him. But Isis tracked down the murder of her husband, and after slaying the Titans and fashioning the several pieces of his body into the shape of a human figure, she gave them to the priests with orders that they pay Osiris the honours of a god, but since the only member she was unable to recover was the organ of sex she commanded them to pay to it the honours of a god and to set it up in their temples in an erect position. Now this is the myth about the birth of Priapus and the honour paid to him, as it is given by the ancient Egyptians.,4.  This god is also called by some Ithyphallus, by others Tychon. Honours are accorded him not only in the city, in the temples, but also throughout the countryside, where men set up his statue to watch over their vineyards and gardens, and introduce him as one who punishes any who cast a spell over some fair thing which they possess. And in the sacred rites, not only of Dionysus but of practically all other gods as well, this god receives honour to some extent, being introduced in the sacrifices to the accompaniment of laughter and sport.,5.  A birth like that of Priapus is ascribed by some writers of myths to Hermaphroditus, as he has been called, who was born of Hermes and Aphroditê and received a name which is a combination of those of both his parents. Some say that this Hermaphroditus is a god and appears at certain times among men, and that he is born with a physical body which is a combination of that of a man and that of a woman, in that he has a body which is beautiful and delicate like that of a woman, but has the masculine quality and vigour of a man. But there are some who declare that such creatures of two sexes are monstrosities, and coming rarely into the world as they do have the quality of presaging the future, sometimes for evil and sometimes for good. But let this be enough for us on such matters.,1.  It remains for us now to speak of the Minotaur which was slain by Theseus, in order that we may complete our account of the deeds of Theseus. But we must revert to earlier times and set forth the facts which are interwoven with this performance, in order that the whole narrative may be clear.,2.  Tectamus, the son of Dorus, the son of Hellen, the son of Deucalion, sailed to Crete with Aeolians and Pelasgians and became king of the island, and marrying the daughter of Cretheus he begat Asteirus. And during the time when he was king in Crete Zeus, as they say, carried off Europê from Phoenicia, and carrying her across to Crete upon the back of a bull, he lay with her there and begat three sons, Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon.,3.  After this Asterius, the king of Crete, took Europê to wife; and since he was without children by her he adopted the sons of Zeus and left them at his death to succeed to the kingdom. As for these children, Rhadamanthys gave the Cretans their laws, and Minos, succeeding to the throne and marrying Itonê, the daughter of Lyctius, begat Lycastus, who in turn succeeded to the supreme power and marrying Idê, the daughter of Corybas, begat the second Minos, who, as some writers record, was the son of Zeus. This Minos was the first Greek to create a powerful naval force and to become master of the sea.,4.  And marrying Pasiphaê, the daughter of Helius and Cretê, he begat Deucalion and Catreus and Androgeos and Ariadnê and had other, natural, children more in number than these. As for the sons of Minos, Androgeos came to Athens at the time of the Panathenaic festival, while Aegeus was king, and defeating all the contestants in the games he became a close friend of the sons of Pallas.,5.  Thereupon Aegeus, viewing with suspicion the friendship which Androgeos had formed, since he feared that Minos might lend his aid to the sons of Pallas and take from him the supreme power, plotted against the life of Androgeos. Consequently, when the latter was on his way to Thebes in order to attend a festival there, Aegeus caused him to be treacherously slain by certain natives of the region in the neighbourhood of Oenoê in Attica.,1.  Minos, when he learned of the fate which had befallen his son, came to Athens and demanded satisfaction for the murder of Androgeos. And when no one paid any attention to him, he declared war against the Athenians and uttered imprecations to Zeus, calling down drought and famine throughout the state of the Athenians. And when drought quickly prevailed about Attica and Greece and the crops were destroyed, the heads of the communities gathered together and inquired of the god what steps they could take to rid themselves of their present evils. The god made answer to them that they should go to Aeacus, the son of Zeus and Aeginê, the daughter of Asopus, and ask him to off up prayers on their behalf.,2.  And when they had done as they had been commanded, among the rest of the Greeks, the drought was broken, but among the Athenians alone it continued; wherefore the Athenians were compelled to make inquiry of the god how they might be rid of their present evils. Thereupon the god made answer that they could do so if they would render to Minos such satisfaction for the murder of Androgeos as he might demand.,3.  The Athenians obeyed the order of the god, and Minos commanded them that they should give seven youths and as many maidens every nine years to the Minotaur for him to devour, for as long a time as the monster should live. And when the Athenians gave them, the inhabitants of Attica were rid of their evils and Minos ceased warring on Athens. At the expiration of nine years Minos came again to Attica accompanied by a great fleet and demanded and received the fourteen young people.,4.  Now Theseus was one of those who were to set forth, and Aegeus made the agreement with the captain of the vessel that, if Theseus should overcome the Minotaur, they should sail back with their sails white, but if he died, they should be black, just as they had been accustomed to do on the previous occasion. When they had landed in Crete, Ariadnê, the daughter of Minos, became enamoured of Theseus, who was unusually handsome, and Theseus, after conversing with her and securing her assistance, both slew the Minotaur and got safely away, since he had learned from her the way out of the labyrinth.,5.  In making his way back to his native land he carried off Ariadnê and sailed out unobserved during the night, after which he put in at the island which at that time was called Dia, but is now called Naxos. At this same time, the myths relate, Dionysus showed himself on the island, and because of the beauty of Ariadnê he took the maiden away from Theseus and kept her as his lawful wife, loving her exceedingly. Indeed, after her death he considered her worthy of immortal honours because of the affection he had for her, and placed among the stars of heaven the "Crown of Ariadnê.",6.  But Theseus, they say, being vexed exceedingly because the maiden had been taken from him, and forgetting because of his grief the command of Aegeus, came to port in Attica with the black sails.,7.  And of Aegeus, we are told, witnessing the return of the ship and thinking that his son was dead, performed an act which was at the same time heroic and a calamity; for he ascended the acropolis and then, because he was disgusted with life by reason of his excessive grief, cast himself down from the height.,8.  After Aegeus had died, Theseus, succeeding to the kingship, ruled over the masses in accordance with the laws and performed many deeds which contributed to the aggrandisement of his native land. The most notable thing which he accomplished was the incorporation of the demes, which were small in size but many in number, into the city of Athens;,9.  since from that time on the Athenians were filled with pride by reason of the importance of their state and aspired to the leadership of the Greeks. But for our part, now that we have set forth these facts at sufficient length, we shall record what remains to be said about Theseus.,1.  Deucalion, the eldest of the sons of Minos, while he was ruler of Crete, formed an alliance with the Athenians and united his own sister Phaedra in marriage to Theseus. After the marriage Theseus sent his son Hippolytus, who had been born to him by the Amazon, to Troezen to be reared among the brothers of Aethra, and by Phaedra he begat Acamas and Demophon.,2.  A short time after this Hippolytus returned to Athens for the celebration of the mysteries, and Phaedra, becoming enamoured of him because of his beauty, at that time, after he had returned to Troezen, erected a temple of Aphroditê beside the acropolis at the place whence one can look across and see Troezen, but at a later time, when she was stopping together with Theseus at the home of Pittheus, she asked Hippolytus to lie with her. Upon his refusal to do so Phaedra, they say, was vexed, and on her return to Athens she told Theseus that Hippolytus had proposed lying with her.,3.  And since Theseus had his doubts about the accusation, he sent for Hippolytus in order to put him to the test, whereupon Phaedra, fearing the result of the examination, hanged herself; as for Hippolytus, who was driving a chariot when he heard of the accusation, he was so distraught in spirit that the horses got out of control and ran away with him, and in the event the chariot was smashed to bits and the youth, becoming entangled in the leathern thongs, was dragged along till he died.,4.  Hippolytus, then, since he had ended his life because of his chastity, received at the hands of the Troezenians honours equal to those offered to the gods, but Theseus, when after these happenings he was overpowered by a rival faction and banished from his native land, met his death on foreign soil. The Athenians, however, repenting of what they had done, brought back his bones and accorded him honours equal to those offered to the gods, and they set aside in Athens a sacred precinct which enjoyed the right of sanctuary and was called after him the Theseum.,1.  Since we have duly set forth the story of Theseus, we shall discuss in turn the rape of Helen and the wooing of Persephonê by Peirithoüs; for these deeds are interwoven with the affairs of Theseus. Peirithoüs, we are told, the son of Ixion, when his wife Hippodameia died leaving behind her a son Polypoetes, came to visit Theseus at Athens.,2.  And finding on his arrival that Phaedra, the wife of Theseus, was dead, he persuaded him to seize and carry off Helen, the daughter of Leda and Zeus, who was only ten years of age, but excelled all women in beauty. When they arrived in Lacedaemon with a number of companions and had found a favourable occasion, they assisted each other in seizing Helen and carrying her off to Athens.,3.  Thereupon they agreed among themselves to cast lots, and the one who had drawn the lot was to marry Helen and aid the other in getting another woman as wife, and in so doing to endure any danger. When they had exchanged oaths to this effect they cast lots, and it turned out that by the lot Theseus won her. Theseus, then, got the maiden for his own in the manner we have described; but since the Athenians were displeased at what had taken place, Theseus in fear of them got Helen off safely to Aphidna, one of the cities of Attica. With her he stationed his mother Aethra and the bravest men among his friends to serve as guardians of the maiden.,4.  Peirithoüs now decided to seek the hand of Persephonê in marriage, and when he asked Theseus to make the journey with him Theseus at first endeavoured to dissuade him and to turn him away from such a deed as being impious; but since Peirithoüs firmly insisted upon it Theseus was bound by the oaths to join with him in the deed. And when they had at last made their way below to the regions of Hades, it came to pass that because of the impiety of their act they were both put in chains, and although Theseus was later let go by reason of the favour with which Heracles regarded him, Peirithoüs because of the impiety remained in Hades, enduring everlasting punishment; but some writers of myths say that both of them never returned.,5.  While this was taking place, they say that Helen's brothers, the Dioscori, came up in arms against Aphidna, and taking the city razed it to the ground, and that they brought back Helen, who was still a virgin, to Lacedaemon and along with her, to serve as a slave, Aethra, the mother of Theseus.,1.  Since we have spoken on these matters at sufficient length, we shall now give the account of The Seven against Thebes, taking up the original causes of the war. Laïus, the king of Thebes, married Jocastê, the daughter of Creon, and since he was childless for some time he inquired of the god regarding his begetting of children. The Pythian priestess made reply that it would not be to his interest that children should be born to him, since the son who should be begotten of him would be the murderer of his father and would bring great misfortunes upon all the house; but Laïus forgot the oracle and begat a son, and he exposed the babe after he had pierced its ankles through with a piece of iron, this being the reason why it was later given the name Oedipus.,2.  But the household slaves who took the infant were unwilling to expose it, and gave it as a present to the wife of Polybus, since she could bear no children. Later, after the boy had attained to manhood, Laïus, decided to inquire of the god regarding the babe which had been exposed, and Oedipus likewise, having learned from someone of the substitution which had been made in his case, set about to inquire of the Pythian priestess who were his true parents. In Phocis these two met face to face, and when Laïus in a disdainful manner ordered Oedipus to make way for him, the latter in anger slew Laïus, not knowing that he was his father.,3.  At this very time, the myths go on to say, a sphinx, a beast of double form, had come to Thebes and was propounding a riddle to anyone who might be able to solve it, and many were being slain by her because of their inability to do so. And although a generous reward was offered to the man who should solve it, that he should marry Jocastê and be king of Thebes, yet no man was able to comprehend what was propounded except Oedipus, who alone solved the riddle. What had been propounded by the sphinx was this: What is it that is at the same time a biped, a triped, and a quadruped?,4.  And while all the rest were perplexed, Oedipus declared that the animal proposed in the riddle was "man," since as an infant he is a quadruped, when grown a biped, and in old age a triped, using, because of his infirmity, a staff. At this answer the sphinx, in accordance with the oracle which the myth recounts, threw herself down a precipice, and Oedipus then married the woman who, unknown to himself, was his mother, and begat two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices, and two daughters, Antigonê and Ismenê.,1.  When the sons had attained to manhood, they go on to say, and the impious deeds of the family became known, Oedipus, because of the disgrace, was compelled by his sons to remain always in retirement, and the young men, taking over the throne, agreed together that they should reign in alternate years. Eteocles, being the elder, was the first to reign, and upon the termination of the period he did not wish to give over the kingship.,2.  But Polyneices demanded of him the throne as they had agreed, and when his brother would not comply with his demand he fled to Argos to king Adrastus. At the same time that this was taking place Tydeus, they say, the son of Oeneus, who had slain his cousins Alcathoüs and Lycopeus in Calydon, fled from Aetolia to Argos.,3.  Adrastus received both the fugitives kindly, and in obedience to a certain oracle joined his daughters in marriage to them, Argeia to Polyneices, and Deïpylê to Tydeus. And since the young men were held in high esteem and enjoyed the king's favour to a great degree, Adrastus, they say, as a mark of his good-will promised to restore both Polyneices and Tydeus to their native lands.,4.  And having decided to restore Polyneices first, he sent Tydeus as an envoy to Eteocles in Thebes to negotiate the return. But while Tydeus was on his way thither, we are told, he was set upon from ambush by fifty men sent by Eteocles, but he slew every man of them and got through to Argos, to the astonishment of all, whereupon Adrastus, when he learned what had taken place, made preparations for the consequent campaign against Eteocles, having persuaded Capaneus and Hippomedon and Parthenopaeus, the son of Atalantê, the daughter of Schoeneus, to be his allies in the war.,5.  Polyneices also endeavoured to persuade the seer Amphiaraüs to take part with him in the campaign against Thebes; and when the latter, because he knew in advance that he would perish if he should take part in the campaign, would not for that reason consent to do so, Polyneices, they say, gave the golden necklace which, as the myth relates, had once been given by Aphroditê as a present to Harmonia, to the wife of Amphiaraüs, in order that she might persuade her husband to join the others as their ally.,6.  At the time in question Amphiaraüs, we are told, was at variance with Adrastus, striving for the kingship, and the two came to an agreement among themselves whereby they committed the decision of the matter at issue between them to Eriphylê, the wife of Amphiaraüs and sister of Adrastus. When Eriphylê awarded the victory to Adrastus and, with regard to the campaign against Thebes, gave it as her opinion that it should be undertaken, Amphiaraüs, believing that his wife had betrayed him, did agree to take part in the campaign, but left orders with his son Alcmaeon that after his death he should slay Eriphylê.,7.  Alcmaeon, therefore, at a later time slew his mother according to his father's injunction, and because he was conscious of the pollution he had incurred he was driven to madness. But Adrastus and Polyneices and Tydeus, adding to their number four leaders, Amphiaraüs, Capaneus, Hippomedon, and Parthenopaeus, the son of Atalantê the daughter of Schoeneus, set out against Thebes, accompanied by a notable army.,8.  After this Eteocles and Polyneices slew each other, Capaneus died while impetuously ascending the wall by a scaling-ladder, and as for Amphiaraüs, the earth opened and he together with his chariot fell into the opening and disappeared from sight.,9.  When the rest of the leaders, with the exception of Adrastus, had likewise perished and many soldiers had fallen, the Thebans refused to allow the removal of the dead and so Adrastus left them unburied and returned to Argos. So the bodies of those who had fallen at the foot of the Cadmeia remained unburied and no one had the courage to inter them, but the Athenians, who excelled all others in uprightness, honoured with funeral rites all who had fallen at the foot of the Cadmeia.,1.  As for The Seven against Thebes, such, then, was the outcome of their campaign. But their sons, who were known as Epigoni, being intent upon avenging the death of their fathers, decided to make common cause in a campaign against Thebes, having received an oracle from Apollo that they should make war upon this city, and with Alcmaeon, the son of Amphiaraüs, as their supreme commander.,2.  Alcmaeon, after they had chosen him to be their commander, inquired of the god concerning the campaign against Thebes and also concerning the punishment of his mother Eriphylê.,3.  And Apollo replied that he should perform both these deeds, not only because Eriphylê had accepted the golden necklace in return for working the destruction of his father, but also because she had received a robe as a reward for securing the death of her son. For Aphroditê, as we are told, in ancient times had given both the necklace and a robe as presents to Harmonia, the daughter of Cadmus, and Eriphylê had accepted both of them, receiving the necklace from Polyneices and the robe from Thersandrus, the son of Polyneices, who had given it to her in order to induce her to persuade her son to make the campaign against Thebes. Alcmaeon, accordingly, gathered soldiers, not only from Argos but from the neighbouring cities as well, and so had a notable army as he set out on the campaign against Thebes.,4.  The Thebans drew themselves up against him and a mighty battle took place in which Alcmaeon and his allies were victorious; and the Thebans, since they had been worsted in the battle and had lost many of their citizens, found their hopes shattered. And since they were not strong enough to offer further resistance, they consulted the seer Teiresias, who advised them to flee from the city, for only in this way, he said, could they save their lives.,5.  Consequently the Cadmeans left the city, as the seer had counselled them to do, and gathered for refuge by month in a place in Boeotia called Tilphossaeum. Thereupon the Epigoni took the city and sacked it, and capturing Daphnê, the daughter of Teiresias, they dedicated her, in accordance with a certain vow, to the service of the temple at Delphi as an offering to the god of the first-fruits of the booty.,6.  This maiden possessed no less knowledge of prophecy than her father, and in the course of her stay at Delphi she developed her skill to a far greater degree; moreover, by virtue of the employment of a marvellous natural gift, she also wrote oracular responses of every sort, excelling in their composition; and indeed it was from her poetry, they say, that the poet Homer took many verses which he appropriated as his own and with them adorned his own poesy. And since she was often like one inspired when she delivered oracles, they say that she was also called Sibylla, for to be inspired in one's tongue is expressed by the word sibyllainein.,1.  The Epigoni, after they had made their campaign renowned, returned to their native lands, bearing with them great booty. Of the Cadmeans who fled in a body to Tilphossaeum, Teiresias died there, and the Cadmeans buried him in state and accorded him honours equal to those offered to the gods; but as for themselves, they left the city and marched against the Dorians; and having conquered them in battle they drove out of their native lands the inhabitants of that country and they themselves settled there for some time, some of them remaining there permanently and others returning to Thebes when Creon, the son of Menoeceus, was king. But those who had been expelled from their native lands returned at some later period to Doris and made their homes in Erineus, Cytinium, and Boeum.,2.  Before the period in which these things took place, Boeotus, the son of Arnê and Poseidon, came into the land which was then called Aeolis but is now called Thessaly, and gave to his followers the name of Boeotians. But concerning these inhabitants of Aeolis, we must revert to earlier times and give a detailed account of them.,3.  In the times before that which we are discussing the rest of the sons of Aeolus, who was the son of Hellen, who was the son of Deucalion, settled in the regions we have mentioned, but Mimas remained behind and ruled as king of Aeolis. Hippotes, who was born of Mimas, begat Aeolus by Melanippê, and Arnê, who was the daughter of Aeolus, bore Boeotus by Poseidon.,4.  But Aeolus, not believing that it was Poseidon who had lain with Arnê and holding her to blame for her downfall, handed her over to a stranger from Metapontium who happened to be sojourning there at the time, with orders to carry her off to Metapontium. And after the stranger had done as he was ordered, Arnê, while living in Metapontium, gave birth to Aeolus and Boeotus, whom the Metapontian, being childless, in obedience to a certain oracle adopted as his own sons.,5.  When the boys had attained to manhood, a civil discord arose in Metapontium and they seized the kingship by violence. Later, however, a quarrel took place between Arnê and Autolytê, the wife of the Metapontian, and the young men took the side of their mother and slew Autolytê. But the Metapontian was indignant at this deed, and so they got boats ready and taking Arnê with them set out to sea accompanied by many friends.,6.  Now Aeolus took possession of the islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea which are called after him "Aeolian" and founded a city to which he gave the name Lipara; but Boeotus sailed home to Aeolus, the father of Arnê, by whom he was adopted and in succession to him he took over the kingship of Aeolis; and the land he named Arnê after his mother, but the inhabitants Boeotians after himself.,7.  And Itonus, the son of Boeotus, begat four sons, Hippalcimus, Electryon, Archilycus, and Alegenor. Of these sons Hippalcimus begat Penelos, Electryon begat Leïtus, Alegenor begat Clonius, and Archilycus begat Prothoënor and Arcesilaüs, who were the leaders of all the Boeotians in the expedition against Troy.,1.  Now that we have examined these matters we shall endeavour to set forth the facts concerning Salmoneus and Tyro and their descendants as far as Nestor, who took part in the campaign against Troy. Salmoneus was a son of Aeolus, who was the son of Hellen, who was the son of Deucalion, and setting out from Aeolis with a number of Aeolians he founded a city in Eleia on the banks of the river Alpheius and called it Salmonia after his own name. And marrying Alcidicê, the daughter of Aleus, he begat by her a daughter, her who was given the name Tyro, a maiden of surpassing beauty.,2.  When his wife Alcidicê died Salmoneus took for a second wife Sidero, as she was called, who treated Tyro unkindly, as a step-mother would. Afterwards Salmoneus, being an overbearing man and impious, came to be hated by his subjects and because of his impiety was slain by Zeus with a bolt of lightning.,3.  As for Tyro, who was still a virgin when this took place, Poseidon lay with her and begat two sons, Pelias and Neleus. Then Tyro married Cretheus and bore Amythaon and Pheres and Aeson. But at the death of Cretheus a strife over the kingship arose between Pelias and Neleus. Of these two Pelias came to be king over Iolcus and the neighbouring districts, but Neleus, taking with him Melampous and Bias, the sons of Amythaon and Aglaïa, and certain other Achaeans of Phthiotis and Aeolians, made a campaign into the Peloponnesus.,4.  Melampous, who was a seer, healed the women of Argos of the madness which the wrath of Dionysus had brought upon them, and in return for this benefaction he received from the king of the Argives, Anaxagoras the son of Megapenthes, two-thirds of the kingdom; and he made his home in Argos and shared the kingship with Bias his brother.,5.  And marrying Iphianeira, the daughter of Megapenthes, he begat Antiphates and Manto, and also Bias and Pronoê; and of Antiphates and of Zeuxippê, the daughter of Hippocoön, the children were Oecles and Amphalces, and to Oecles and Hypermnestra, the daughter of Thespius, were born Iphianeira, Polyboea, and Amphiaraüs.,6.  Now Melampous and Bias and their descendants shared in the kingship in Argos, as we have stated, but Neleus, when he had arrived in Messenê together with his companions, founded the city of Pylus, the natives of the region giving him the site. And while king of this city he married Chloris, the daughter of Amphion the Theban, and begat twelve sons, the oldest of whom was Periclymenus and the youngest the Nestor who engaged in the expedition against Troy. As regards the ancestors of Nestor, then, we shall be satisfied with what has been said, since we are aiming at due proportion in our account.,1.  We shall now discuss in turn the Lapiths and Centaurs. To Oceanus and Tethys, so the myths relate, were born a number of sons who gave their names to rivers, and among them was Peneius, from whom the river Peneius in Thessaly later got its name. He lay with the nymph named Creüsa and begat as children Hypseus and Stilbê, and with the latter Apollo lay and begat Lapithes and Centaurus.,2.  Of these two, Lapithes made his home about the Peneius river and ruled over these regions, and marrying Orsinomê, the daughter of Eurynomus, he begat two sons, Phorbas and Periphas. And these sons became kings in this region and all the peoples there were called "Lapiths" after Lapithes. As for the sons of Lapithes, Phorbas went to Olenus, from which city Alector, the king of Eleia, summoned him to come to his aid, since he stood in fear of the overlordship of Pelops, and he gave him a share of the kingship of Elis;,3.  and to Phorbas were born two sons, Aegeus and Actor, who received the kingship over the Eleans. The other son of Lapithes, namely, Periphas, married Astyaguia, the daughter of Hypseus, and begat eight sons, the oldest of whom was Antion, who lay with Perimela, the daughter of Amythaon, and begat Ixion. He, the story goes, having promised that he would give many gifts of wooing to Eïoneus, married Dia, the daughter of Eïoneus, by whom he begat Peirithoüs.,4.  But when afterward Ixion would not pay over the gifts of wooing to his wife, Eïoneus took as security for these his mares. Ixion thereupon summoned Eïoneus to come to him, assuring that he would comply in every respect, but when Eïoneus arrived he cast him into a pit which he had filled with fire. Because of the enormity of this crime no man, we are informed, was willing to purify him of the murder. The myths recount, however, that in the end he was purified by Zeus, but that he became enamoured of Hera and had the temerity to make advances to her.,5.  Thereupon, men say, Zeus formed a figure of Hera out of a cloud and sent it to him, and Ixion, lying with the cloud (Nephelê) begat the Centaurs, as they are called, which have the shapes of men. But the myths relate that in the end Ixion, because of the enormity of his misdeeds, was bound by Zeus upon a wheel and after death had to suffer punishment for all eternity.,1.  As for the Muses, since we have referred to them in connection with the deeds of Dionysus, it may be appropriate to give the facts about them in summary. For the majority of the writers of myths and those who enjoy the greatest reputation say that they were daughters of Zeus and Mnemosynê; but a few poets, among whose number is Alcman, state that they were daughters of Uranus and Gê.,2.  Writers similarly disagree also concerning the number of the Muses; for some say that they are three, and others that they are nine, but the number nine has prevailed since it rests upon the authority of the most distinguished men, such as Homer and Hesiod and others like them. Homer, for instance, writes: The Muses, nine in all, replying each To each with voices sweet; and Hesiod even gives their names when he writes: Cleio, Euterpê, and Thaleia, Melpomenê, Terpsichorê and Erato, and Polymnia, Urania, Calliopê too, of them all the most comely.,3.  To each of the Muses men assign her special aptitude for one of the branches of the liberal arts, such as poetry, song, pantomimic dancing, the round dance with music, the study of the stars, and the other liberal arts. They are also believed to be virgins, as most writers of myths say, because men consider that the high attainment which is reached through education is pure and uncontaminated.,4.  Men have given the Muses their name from the word muein, which signifies the teaching of those things which are noble and expedient and are not known by the uneducated. For the name of each Muse, they say, men have found a reason appropriate to her: Cleio is so named because the praise which poets sing in their encomia bestows great glory (kleos) upon those who are praised; Euterpê, because she gives to those who hear her sing delight (terpein) in the blessings which education bestows; Thaleia, because men whose praises have been sung in poems flourish (thallein) through long periods of time; Melpomenê, from the chanting (melodia) by which she charms the souls of her listeners; Terpsichorê, because she delights (terpein) her disciples with the good things which come from education; Erato, because she makes those who are instructed by her men who are desired and worthy to be loved; Polymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she bring distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame; Urania, because men who have been instructed of her she raises aloft to heaven (ouranos), for it is a fact that imagination and the power of thought lift men's souls to heavenly heights; Calliopê, because of her beautiful (kale) voice (ops), that is, by reason of the exceeding beauty of her language she wins the approbation of her auditors. But since we have spoken sufficiently on these matters we shall turn our discussion to the deeds of Heracles.,1.  The Centaurs, according to some writers, were reared by Nymphs on Mt. Pelion, and when they had attained to manhood they consorted with mares and brought into being the Hippocentaurs, as they are called, which are creatures of double form; but others say that it was the Centaurs born of Ixion and Nephelê who were called Hippocentaurs, because they were the first to essay the riding of horses, and that they were then made into a fictitious myth, to the effect that they were of double form.,2.  We are also told that they demanded of Peirithoüs, on the ground of kinship, their share of their father's kingdom, and that when Peirithoüs would not yield it to them they made war on both him and the Lapiths.,3.  At a later time, the account goes on to say, when they had made up their differences, Peirithoüs married Hippodameia, the daughter of Butes, and invited both Theseus and the Centaurs to the wedding. The Centaurs, however, becoming drunken assaulted the female guests and lay with them by violence, whereupon both Theseus and the Lapiths, incensed by such a display of lawlessness, slew not a few of them and drove the rest out of the city.,4.  Because of this the Centaurs gathered all their forces, made a campaign against the Lapiths, and slew many of them, the survivors fleeing into Mt. Pholoê in Arcadia and ultimately escaping from there to Cape Malea, where they made their home. And the Centaurs, elated by these successes, made Mt. Pholoê the base of their operations, plundered the Greeks who passed by, and slew many of their neighbours.,1.  Now that we have examined these matters we shall endeavour to set forth the facts concerning Asclepius and his descendants. This, then, is what the myths relate: Asclepius was the son of Apollo and Coronis, and since he excelled in natural ability and sagacity of mind, he devoted himself to the science of healing and made many discoveries which contribute to the health of mankind. And so far did he advance along the road of fame that, to the amazement of all, he healed many sick whose lives had been despaired of, and for this reason it was believed that he had brought back to life many who had died.,2.  Consequently, the myth goes on to say, Hades brought accusation against Asclepius, charging him before Zeus of acting to the detriment of his own province, for, he said, the number of the dead was steadily diminishing, now that men were being healed by Asclepius.,3.  So Zeus, in indignation, slew Asclepius with his thunderbolt, but Apollo, indignant at the slaying of Asclepius, murdered the Cyclopes who had forged the thunderbolt for Zeus; but at the death of the Cyclopes Zeus was again indignant and laid a command upon Apollo that he should serve as a labourer for a human being and that this should be the punishment he should receive from him for his crimes.,4.  To Asclepius, we are told further, sons were born, Machaon and Podaleirius, who also developed the healing art and accompanied Agamemnon in the expedition against Troy. Throughout the course of the war they were of great service to the Greeks, healing most skilfully the wounded, and because of these benefactions they attained to great fame among the Greeks; furthermore, they were granted exemption from the perils of battles and from the other obligations of citizenship, because of the very great service which they offered by their healing. Now as regards Asclepius and his sons we shall be satisfied with what has been said.,1.  We shall now recount the story of the daughters of Asopus and of the sons who were born to Aeacus. According to the myths there were born to Oceanus and Tethys a number of children who gave their names to rivers, and among their number were Peneius and Asopus. Now Peneius made his home in what is now Thessaly and called after himself the river which bears his name; but Asopus made his home in Phlius, where he married Metopê, the daughter of Ladon, to whom were born two sons, Pelagus and Ismenus, and twelve daughters, Corcyra and Salamis, also Aegina, Peirenê, and Cleonê, then Thebê, Tanagra, Thespeia, and Asopis, also Sinopê, and finally Ornia and Chalcis.,2.  One of his sons, Ismenus, came to Boeotia and settled near the river which received its name from him; but as for the daughters, Sinopê was seized by Apollo and carried off to the place where now stands the city of Sinopê, which was named after her, and to her and Apollo was born a son Syrus, who became king of the Syrians, who were named after him.,3.  Corcyra was carried off by Poseidon to the island which was named Corcyra after her; and to her and Poseidon was born Phaeax, from whom the Phaeacians afterwards received the name they bear.,4.  To Phaeax was born Alcinoüs, who brought about the return of Odysseus to Ithaca. Salamis was seized by Poseidon and taken to the island which was named Salamis after her; and she lay with Poseidon and bore Cychreus, who became king of this island and acquired fame by reason of his slaying a snake of huge size which was destroying the inhabitants of the island.,5.  Aegina was seized by Zeus and taken off by him from Phlius to the island which was named Aegina after her, and lying with Zeus on this island she gave birth to Aeacus, who became its king.,6.  To Aeacus sons were born, Peleus and Telamon. Of these, Peleus, while hurling a discus, accidentally slew Phocus, who was his brother by the same father although born of another mother. Because of this slaying Peleus was banished by his father and fled to Phthia in what is now called Thessaly, where he was purified by Actor the king of the country and succeeded to the kingship, Actor being childless. To Peleus and Thetis was born Achilleus, who accompanied Agamemnon in the expedition against Troy.,7.  Telamon, being also a fugitive from Aegina, went to Salamis and marrying Glaucê, the daughter of Cychreus, the king of the Salaminians, he became king of the island. When his wife Glaucê died he married Eriboea of Athens, the daughter of Alcathus, by whom he begat Ajax, who served in the expedition against Troy.,1.  Now that we have examined these matters we shall endeavour to set forth the facts concerning Pelops and Tantalus and Oenomaüs, but to do so we must revert to earlier times and give in summary the whole story from the beginning. The account runs like this: In the city of Pisa in the Peloponnesus Ares lay with Harpinê, the daughter of Asopus,,2.  and begat Oenomaüs, who, in turn, begat a daughter, an only child, and named her Hippodameia. And once when he consulted an oracle about the end of his life the god replied to him that he should die whenever his daughter Hippodameia should marry. Consequently, we are told, he proceeded cautiously regarding the marriage of his daughter and decided to see that she was kept a virgin, assuming that only in this way could he escape from the danger which her marriage would entail.,3.  And so, since there were many suitors for the girl's hand, he proposed a contest for any who wished to marry her, the conditions being that the defeated suitor must die, but whoever should win would have the girl in marriage. The contest he set was a chariot-race from Pisa to the altar of Poseidon on the Isthmus of Corinth, and the starting of the horses he arranged as follows:,4.  Oenomaüs was to be sacrificing a ram to Zeus, when the suitor should set out, driving a chariot drawn by four horses; then, when the sacrifice had been completed, Oenomaüs was to begin the race and make after the suitor, having a spear and Myrtilus as his driver, and if he should succeed in overtaking the chariot which he was pursuing he was to smite the suitor with the spear and slay him. By employing this method he kept overtaking the suitors as they appeared, his horses being swift, and was slaying them in great numbers.,5.  But when Pelops, the son of Tantalus, came to Pisa and looked upon Hippodameia, he set his heart upon marrying her, and by corrupting Myrtilus, the charioteer of Oenomaüs, and thus securing his co-operation toward winning the victory, he was the first to arrive at the altar of Poseidon on the Isthmus.,6.  And Oenomaüs, believing that the oracle had been fulfilled, was so disheartened by grief that he removed himself from life. In this way, then, Pelops got Hippodameia for his wife and succeeded to the sovereignty of Pisa, and increasing steadily in power by reason of his courage and his wisdom, he won over to himself the larger number of those who dwelt in the Peloponnesus and called the land after his own name "Peloponnesus.",1.  And since we have made mention of Pelops, we must also relate the story concerning his father Tantalus, in order that we may omit nothing which deserves to be made known. Tantalus was a son of Zeus, and he possessed surpassing wealth and renown, dwelling in that part of Asia which is now called Paphlagonia. And because of his noble descent from Zeus his father he became, as men say, a very especial friend of the gods.,2.  At a later time, however, he did not bear as a human being should the good fortune which came to him, and being admitted to the common table of the gods and to all their intimate talk as well, he made known to men happenings among the immortals which were not to be divulged.,3.  For this reason he was chastened while yet in this life and after his death, as the myths relate, was condemned to eternal punishment by being rated in Hades among the impious. To him were born a son Pelops and a daughter Niobê, and Niobê became the mother of seven sons and an equal number of daughters, maids of exceeding beauty. And since she gave herself haughty airs over the number of her children, she frequently declared in boastful way that she was more blest in her children than was Leto. At this, so the myths tell us, Leto in anger commanded Apollo to slay with his arrows the sons of Niobê and Artemis the daughters. And when these two hearkened to the command of their mother and slew with their arrows the children of Niobê at the same time, it came to pass that immediately, almost in a single moment, that woman was both blest with children and childless.,4.  But since Tantalus, after he had incurred the enmity of the gods, was driven out of Paphlagonia by Ilus, the son of Tros, we must also set forth all that relates to Ilus and his ancestors.,1.  The first to rule as king over the land of Troy was Teucrus, the son of the river-god Scamandrus and a nymph of Mt. Ida; he was a distinguished man and caused the people of the land to be called Teucrians, after his own name. To Teucrus was born a daughter Bateia, whom Dardanus, the son of Zeus, married, and when Dardanus succeeded to the throne he called the people of the land Dardanians after his own name, and founding a city on the shore of the sea he called it also Dardanus after himself.,2.  To him a son Erichthonius was born, who far excelled in good fortune and in wealth. Of him the poet Homer writes: The wealthiest was he of mortal men; Three thousand mares he had that grazed throughout His marshy pastures.,3.  To Erichthonius was born a son Tros, who called the people of the land Trojans, after his own name. To Tros were born three sons, Ilus, Assaracus, and Ganymedes. Ilus founded in a plain a city which was the most renowned among the cities in the Troad, giving it after himself the name Ilium.,4.  And to Ilus was born a son Laomedon, who begat Tithonus and Priam; and Tithonus, after making a campaign against those parts of Asia which lay to the east of him and pushing as far as Ethiopia, begat by Eos, as the myths relate, Memnon, who came to the aid of the Trojans and was slain by Achilleus, whereas Priam married Hecabê and begat, in addition to a number of other sons, Hector, who won very great distinction in the Trojan War.,5.  Assaracus became king of the Dardanians and begat Capys, whose son was Anchises, who by Aphroditê begat Aeneas, the most renowned man among the Trojans. And Ganymedes, who excelled all men in beauty, was snatched up by the gods to serve as the cupbearer of Zeus.,6.  But now that we have examined these matters we shall endeavour to set forth what relates to Daedalus, the Minotaur, and the expedition of Minos into Sicily against King Cocalus.,1.  Daedalus was an Athenian by birth and was known as one of the clan named Erechthids, since he was the son of Metion, the son of Eupalamus, the son of Erechtheus. In natural ability he towered far above all other men and cultivated the building art, the making of statues, and the working of stone. He was also the inventor of many devices which contributed to the advancement of his art and built works in many regions of the inhabited world which arouse the wonder of men.,2.  In the carving of his statues he so far excelled all other men that later generations invented the story about him that the statues of his making were quite like their living models; they could see, they said, and walk and, in a word, preserved so well the characteristics of the entire body that the beholder thought that the image made by him was a being endowed with life.,3.  And since he was the first to represent the open eye and to fashion the legs separated in a stride and the arms and hands as extended, it was a natural thing that he should have received the admiration of mankind; for the artists before his time had carved their statues with the eyes closed and the arms and hands hanging and attached to the sides.,4.  But though Daedalus was an object of admiration because of his technical skill, yet he had to flee from his native land, since he had been condemned for murder for the following reason. Talos, a son of the sister of Daedalus, was receiving his education in the home of Daedalus, while he was still a lad in years.,5.  But being more gifted than his teacher he invented the potter's wheel, and then, when once he had come by chance upon a jawbone of a snake and with it had sawn through a small piece of wood, he tried to imitate the jaggedness of the serpent's teeth. Consequently he fashioned a saw out of iron, by means of which he would saw the lumber which he used in his work, and for this accomplishment he gained the reputation of having discovered a device which would be of great service to the art of building. He likewise discovered also the tool for describing a circle and certain other cunningly contrived devices whereby he gained for himself great fame.,6.  But Daedalus, becoming jealous of the youth and feeling that his fame was going to rise far above that of his teacher, treacherously slew the youth. And being detected in the act of burying him, he was asked what he was burying, whereupon he replied, "I am inhuming a snake." Here a man may well wonder at the strange happening, that the same animal that led to the thought of devising the saw should also have been the means through which the murder came to be discovered.,7.  And Daedalus, having been accused and adjudged guilty of murder by the court of the Areopagites, at first fled to one of the demes of Attica, the inhabitants of which, we are told, were named after him Daedalidae.,1.  Afterwards Daedalus made his escape out of Attica to Crete, where, being admired because of the fame of his art, he became a friend of Minos who was king there. Now according to the myth which has been handed down to us Pasiphaê, the wife of Minos, became enamoured of the bull, and Daedalus, by fashioning a contrivance in the shape of a cow, assisted Pasiphaê to gratify her passion.,2.  In explanation of this the myths offer the following account: Before this time it had been the custom of Minos annually to dedicate to Poseidon the fairest bull born in his herds and to sacrifice it to the god; but at the time in question there was born a bull of extraordinary beauty and he sacrificed another from among those which were inferior, whereupon Poseidon, becoming angry at Minos, caused his wife Pasiphaê to become enamoured of the bull.,3.  And by means of the ingenuity of Daedalus Pasiphaê had intercourse with the bull and gave birth to the Minotaur, famed in the myth. This creature, they say, was of double form, the upper parts of the body as far as the shoulders being those of a bull and the remaining parts those of a man.,4.  As a place in which to keep this monstrous thing Daedalus, the story goes, built a labyrinth, the passage-ways of which were so winding that those unfamiliar with them had difficulty in making their way out; in this labyrinth the Minotaur was maintained and here it devoured the seven youths and seven maidens which were sent to it from Athens, as we have already related.,5.  But Daedalus, they say, on learning that Minos had made threats against him because he had fashioned the cow, became fearful of the anger of the king and departed from Crete, Pasiphaê helping him and providing a vessel for his escape.,6.  With him fled also his son Icarus and they put in at a certain island which lay in the open sea. But when Icarus was disembarking onto the island in a reckless manner, he fell into the sea and perished, and in memory of him the sea was named the Icarian and the island was called Icaria. Daedalus, however, sailing away from this island, landed in Sicily near the territory over which Cocalus reigned as king, who courteously received Daedalus and because of his genius and his renown made him his close friend.,7.  But certain writers of myths have the following account: Daedalus remained a while longer in Crete, being kept hidden by Pasiphaê, and king Minos, desiring to wreak vengeance upon him and yet being unable to find him, caused all the boats which were on the island to be searched and announced that he would give a great sum of money to the man who should discover Daedalus.,8.  Thereupon Daedalus, despairing of making his escape by any boat, fashioned with amazing ingenuity wings which were cleverly designed and marvellously fitted together with wax; and fastening these on his son's body and his own he spread them out for flight, to the astonishment of all, and made his escape over the open sea which lies near the island of Crete.,9.  As for Icarus, because of the ignorance of youth he made his flight too far aloft and fell into the sea when the wax which held the wings together was melted by the sun, whereas Daedalus, by flying close to the sea and repeatedly wetting the wings, made his way in safety, marvellous to relate, to Sicily. Now as for these matters, even though the myth is a tale of marvel, we none the less have thought it best not to leave it unmentioned.,1.  Daedalus spent a considerable time with Cocalus and the Sicani, being greatly admired for his very great skill in his art. And on this island he constructed certain works which stand even to this day. For instance, near Megaris he ingeniously built a kolumbethra, as men have named it, from which a great river, called the Alabon, empties into the sea which is not far distant from it.,2.  Also in the present territory of Acragas on the Camicus river, as it is called, he built a city which lay upon a rock and was the strongest of any in Sicily and altogether impregnable to any attack by force; for the ascent to it he made narrow and winding, building it in so ingenious a manner that it could be defended by three or four men. Consequently Cocalus built in this city the royal residence, and storing his treasures there he had them in a city which the inventiveness of its designer had made impregnable.,3.  A third construction of his, in the territory of Selinus, was a grotto where he so successfully expelled the steam caused by the fire which burned in it that those who frequented the grotto got into a perspiration imperceptibly because of the gentle action of the heat, and gradually, and actually with pleasure to themselves, they cured the infirmities of their bodies without experiencing any annoyance from the heat.,4.  Also at Eryx, where a rock rose sheer to an extraordinary height and the narrow space, where the temple of Aphroditê lay, made it necessary to build it on the precipitous tip of the rock, he constructed a wall upon the very crag, by this means extending in an astonishing manner the overhanging ledge of the crag.,5.  Moreover, for the Aphroditê of Mt. Eryx, they say, he ingeniously constructed a golden ram, working it with exceeding care and making it the perfect image of an actual ram. Many other works as well, men say, he ingeniously constructed throughout Sicily, but they have perished because of the long time which has elapsed.,1.  Minos, the king of the Cretans, who was at that time the master of the seas, when he learned that Daedalus had fled to Sicily, decided to make a campaign against that island. After preparing a notable naval force he sailed forth from Crete and landed at a place in the territory of Acragas which was called after him Minoa. Here he disembarked his troops and sending messengers to King Cocalus he demanded Daedalus of him for punishment.,2.  But Cocalus invited Minos to a conference, and after promising to meet all his demands he brought him to his home as a guest. And when Minos was bathing Cocalus kept him too long in the hot water and thus slew him; the body he gave back to the Cretans, explaining his death on the ground that he had slipped in the bath and by falling into the hot water had met his end.,3.  Thereupon the comrades of Minos buried the body of the king with magnificent ceremonies, and constructing a tomb of two storeys, in the part of it which was hidden underground they placed the bones, and in that which lay open to gaze they made a shrine of Aphroditê. Here Minos received honours over many generations, the inhabitants of the region offering sacrifices there in the belief that the shrine was Aphroditê's; but in more recent times, after the city of the Acragantini had been founded and it became known that the bones had been placed there, it came to pass that the tomb was dismantled and the bones were given back to the Cretans, this being done when Theron was lord over the people of Acragas.,5.  However, the Cretans of Sicily, after the death of Minos, fell into factious strife, since they had no ruler, and, since their ships had been burned by the Sicani serving under Cocalus, they gave up any hope they had had of returning to their native land; and deciding to make their home in Sicily, a part of them established on that island a city to which they gave the name Minoa after their king, and others, after wandering about through the interior of the island, seized a place which was naturally strong and founded a city to which they gave the name Engyum after the spring which flowed forth within the city.,6.  And at a later time, after the capture of Troy, when Meriones the Cretan came to shore in Sicily, they welcomed, because of their kinship to them, the Cretans who landed with him and shared with them their citizenship; and using as their base a well-fortified city and having subdued certain of the neighbouring peoples, they secured for themselves a fairly large territory.,7.  And growing steadily stronger all the while they built a temple to the Mothers and accorded these goddesses unusual honours, adorning their temple with many votive offerings. The cult of these goddesses, so men say, they moved from their home in Crete, since the Cretans also hold these goddesses in special honour.,1.  I am not unaware that many difficulties beset those who undertake to give an account of the ancient myths, and especially is this true with respect to the myths about Heracles. For as regards the magnitude of the deeds which he accomplished it is generally agreed that Heracles has been handed down as one who surpassed all men of whom memory from the beginning of time has brought down an account; consequently it is a difficult attainment to report each one of his deeds in a worthy manner and to present a record which shall be on a level with labours so great, the magnitude of which won for him the prize of immortality.,2.  Furthermore, since in the eyes of many men the very early age and astonishing nature of the facts which are related make the myths incredible, a writer is under the necessity either of omitting the greatest deeds and so detracting somewhat from the fame of the god, or of recounting them all and in so doing making the history of them incredible.,3.  For some readers set up an unfair standard and require in the accounts of the ancient myths the same exactness as in the events of our own time, and using their own life as a standard they pass judgment on those deeds the magnitude of which throw them open to doubt, and estimate the might of Heracles by the weakness of the men of our day, with the result that the exceeding magnitude of his deeds makes the account of them incredible.,4.  For, speaking generally, when the histories of myths are concerned, a man should by no means scrutinize the truth with so sharp an eye. In the theatres, for instance, though we are persuaded there have existed no Centaurs who are composed of two different kinds of bodies nor any Geryones with three bodies, we yet look with favour upon such products of the myth as these, and by our applause we enhance the honour of the god.,5.  And strange it would be that Heracles, while yet among mortal men, should by his own labours have brought under cultivation the inhabited world, and that human beings should nevertheless forget the benefactions which he rendered them generally and slander the commendation he receives for the noblest deeds, and strange that our ancestors should have unanimously accorded immortality to him because of his exceedingly great attainments, and that we should nevertheless fail to cherish and maintain for the god the pious devotion which has been handed down to us from our fathers. However, we shall leave such considerations and relate his deeds from the beginning, basing our account on those of the most ancient poets and writers of myths.,1.  The account which the myths preserve of the Mothers runs like this: They nurtured Zeus of old without the knowledge of his father Cronus, in return for which Zeus translated them into the heavens and designated them as a constellation which he named the Bears.,2.  And Aratus agrees with this account when he states in his poem on the stars: Turned backwards then upon their shoulders are The Bears; if true it be that they from Crete Into the heavens mounted by the will Of mighty Zeus, for that when he was babe In fragrant Dicton near th' Idaean mount They set him in a cave and nurtured him A year, the while Curetes Dictaean Practised deceit on Cronus.,3.  There is no reason why we should omit to mention the sanctity of these goddesses and the renown which they enjoy among mankind. They are honoured, indeed, not only by the inhabitants of this city, but certain of the neighbouring peoples also glorify these goddesses with magnificent sacrifices and every other kind of honour.,4.  Some cities were indeed commanded by oracles from the Pythian god to honour the goddesses, being assured that in this way the lives of their private citizens would be blessed with good fortune and their cities would flourish. And in the end the renown of the goddesses advanced to such a degree that the inhabitants of this region have continued to honour them with many votive offerings in silver and gold down to the time of the writing of this history.,5.  For instance, a temple was built there for them which not only excels in size but also occasions wonder by reason of the expense incurred in its construction; for since the people had no suitable stone in their own territory they brought it from their neighbours, the inhabitants of Agyrium, though the cities were nearly one hundred stades apart and the road by which they had to transport the blocks were rough and altogether hard to traverse. For this reason they constructed wagons with four wheels and transported the stone by the use of one hundred span of oxen.,6.  Indeed, because of the vast quantity of the sacred properties of the temple they were so plentifully supplied with means that, by reason of their abundant prosperity, they took no account of the expense; for only a short time before our day the goddesses possessed three hundred head of sacred cattle and vast holdings of land, so that they were the recipients of great revenues.,1.  But now that we have discoursed upon these matters at sufficient length, we shall next undertake to write about Aristaeus. Aristaeus was the son of Apollo and Cyrenê, the daughter of Hypseus the son of Peneius, and the manner of his birth is given by certain writers of myths as follows: Apollo became enamoured of a maiden by the name of Cyrenê, who was reared in the neighbourhood of Mt. Pelion and was of surpassing beauty, and he carried her off from there to that part of the land of Libya where in later times he founded a city and named it, after her, Cyrenê.,2.  Now Apollo begat by Cyrenê in that land a son Aristaeus and gave him while yet a babe into the hands of the Nymphs to nurture, and the latter bestowed upon him three different names, calling him, that is, Nomius, Aristaeus, and Agreus. He learned from the Nymphs how to curdle milk, to make bee-hives, and to cultivate olive-trees, and was the first to instruct men in these matters.,3.  And because of the advantage which came to them from these discoveries the men who had received his benefactions rendered to Aristaeus honours equal to those offered to the gods, even as they had done in the case of Dionysus. After this, they say, Aristaeus went to Boeotia, where he married one of the daughters of Cadmus, Autonoê, to whom was born Acteon, who, as the myths relate, was torn to pieces by his own dogs.,4.  The reason for this bad turn of fortune of his, as some explain it, was that, presuming upon his dedication to Artemis of the first-fruits of his hunting, he purposed to consummate the marriage with Artemis at the temple of the goddess, but according to others, it was because he represented himself as superior to Artemis in skill as a hunter.,5.  But it is not incredible that it was for both these reasons that the goddess became angry; for whether Acteon made an improper use of the spoils of his hunting to satisfy his own desire upon her who has no part in marriage, or whether he was so bold as to assert that as a hunter he was to be preferred above her before whom even gods withdraw from rivalry in the chase, all would agree that the goddess was justified in having become indignant at him. And, speaking generally, we may well believe that, when he had been changed into the form of one of the animals which he was wont to hunt, he was slain by the dogs which were accustomed to prey upon the other wild beasts.,1.  As for Aristaeus, after the death of Acteon, we are told, he went to the oracle of his father, Apollo, who prophesied to him that he was to change his home to the island of Ceos and told him likewise of the honours which would be his among the Ceans.,2.  To this island he sailed, but since a plague prevailed throughout Greece the sacrifice he offered there was on behalf of all the Greeks. And since the sacrifice was made at the time of the rising of the star Sirius, which is the period when the etesian winds customarily blow, the pestilential diseases, we are told, came to an end.,3.  Now the man who ponders upon this event may reasonably marvel at the strange turn which fortune took; for the same man who saw his son done to death by the dogs likewise put an end to the influence of that star which, of all the stars of heaven, bears the same name and is thought to bring destruction upon mankind, and by so doing was responsible for saving the lives of the rest.,4.  We are further informed that Aristaeus left descendants behind on the island of Ceos and then returned to Libya, from where he set forth with the aid of his mother, a Nymph, and put ashore on the island of Sardinia. Here he made his home, and since he loved the island because of its beauty, he set out plantings in it and brought it under cultivation, whereas formerly it had lain waste.,5.  And after this he visited other islands and spent some time in Sicily, where, because of the abundance of the fruits on the island and the multitude of flocks and herds which grazed there, he was eager to display to its inhabitants the benefactions which were his to bestow. Consequently among the inhabitants of Sicily, as men say, Aristaeus received especial honour as a god, in particular by those who harvested the fruit of the olive-tree.,6.  And finally, as the myths relate, he visited Dionysus in Thrace and was initiated into his secret rites, and during his stay in the company of the god he learned from him much useful knowledge. And after dwelling some time in the neighbourhood of Mount Haemus he never was seen again of men, and became the recipient of immortal honours not only among the barbarians of that region but among the Greeks as well.,1.  But as regards Aristaeus we shall rest content with what has been said, and we shall next endeavour to set forth what relates to Daphnis and Eryx. This is what is told of them: Eryx was a son of Aphroditê and Butas, a certain native king of Sicily of very great fame, and he was admired by the natives because of his noble birth on his mother's side and became king over a part of the island. He also founded a notable city which bore his name; it was set upon a lofty place, and on the highest point within the city he established a shrine of his mother, which he embellished not only with a beautifully built temple, but also with the multitude of his dedications.,2.  The goddess, both because of the reverence which the inhabitants of the region paid to her and because of the honour which she received from the son whom she had borne, displayed an exceptional love for the city, and for this reason she came to be called Erycinian Aphroditê. And a man may well be filled with wonder when he stops to sum up the fame which has gathered about this shrine;,3.  all other sanctuaries have indeed enjoyed a flush of fame, but frequently sundry happenings have brought them low, whereas this is the only temple which, founded as it was at the beginning of time, not only has never failed to be the object of veneration but, on the contrary, has as time went on ever continued to enjoy great growth.,4.  For after Eryx has bestowed upon it the honours we have described, Aeneas, the son of Aphroditê, when at a later time he was on his way to Italy and came to anchor off the island, embellished the sanctuary, since it was that of his own mother, with many votive offerings; after him the Sicanians paid honour to the goddess for many generations and kept continually embellishing it with both magnificent sacrifices and votive offerings; and after that time the Carthaginians, when they had become the masters of a part of Sicily, never failed to hold the goddess in special honour. And last of all the Romans, when they had subdued all Sicily, surpassed all people who had preceded them in the honours they paid to her.,5.  And it was with good reason that they did so, for since they traced back their ancestry to her and for this reason were successful in their undertakings, they were but requiting her who was the cause of their aggrandisement with such expressions of gratitude and honours as they owed to her.,6.  The consuls and praetors, for instance, who visit the island and all Romans who sojourn there clothed with any authority, whenever they come to Eryx, embellish the sanctuary with magnificent sacrifices and honours, and laying aside the austerity of their authority, they enter into sports and have conversation with women in a spirit of great gaiety, believing that only in this way will they make their presence there pleasing to the goddess.,7.  Indeed the Roman senate has so zealously concerned itself with the honours of the goddess that it has decreed that the seventeen cities of Sicily which are most faithful to Rome shall pay a tax in gold to Aphroditê, and that two hundred soldiers shall serve as a guard of her shrine. Now if we have dwelt over-long on the topic of Eryx, we have at least given an account of the goddess such as was rightly her due.,1.  At this time we shall endeavour to set forth what the myths relate concerning Daphnis. There are in Sicily, namely, the Heraean Mountains, which, men say, are naturally well suited, by reason of the beauty and special character of the region round about, to relaxation and enjoyment in the summer season. For they possess many springs of exceptionally sweet water and are full of trees of every description. On them also is a multitude of great oak-trees which bear fruit of extraordinary size, since it is twice as large as any that grows in other lands. And they possess as well some of the cultivated fruits, which have sprung up of their own accord, since the vine is found there in profusion and tree-fruits in quantities beyond telling.,2.  Consequently the area once supported a Carthaginian army when it was facing starvation, the mountains supplying many tens of thousands of soldiers with sources of food for their unfailing sustenance. It was in this region, where there were glens filled with trees and meet for a god and a grove consecrated to the Nymphs, that, as the myths relate, he who was known as Daphnis was born, a son of Hermes and a Nymph, and he, because of the sweet bay (daphnê) which grew there in such profusion and so thick, was given the name Daphnis.,3.  He was reared by Nymphs, and since he possessed very many herds of cattle and gave great attention to their care, he was for this reason called by the name Bucolus or "Neatherd." And being endowed with an unusual gift of song, he invented the bucolic or pastoral poem and the bucolic song which continues to be so popular throughout Sicily to the present day.,4.  The myths add that Daphnis accompanied Artemis in her hunting, serving the goddess in an acceptable manner, and that with his shepherd's pipe and singing of pastoral songs he pleased her exceedingly. The story is also told the one of the Nymphs became enamoured of him and prophesied to him that if he lay with any other woman he would be deprived of his sight; and indeed, when once he had been made drunken by a daughter of a king and had lain with her, he was deprived of his sight in accordance with the prophecy delivered by the Nymph. As for Daphnis, then, let what we have said suffice.,1.  We shall now recount what the myths relate about Orion. The story runs like this: Orion, far surpassing in size and strength of body all the heroes of whom we have record, was a lover of the chase and the builder of mighty works by reason of his great strength and love of glory. In Sicily, for instance, for Zanclus, who was king at that time of the city which was called at that time after him Zanclê, but now Messenê, he built certain works, and among them he formed the harbour by throwing up a mole and made the Actê, as it is called.,2.  And since we have mentioned Messenê we think it will not be foreign to our purpose to add to what has been set forth thus far what men have written about the Strait.,3.  The ancient mythographers, that is, say that Sicily was originally a peninsula, and that afterward it became an island, the cause being somewhat as follows. The isthmus at its narrowest point was subjected to the dash of the waves of the sea on its two sides and so a gap (rhegma) was made (anarrhegnusthai), and for this reason the spot was named rhegion, and the city which was founded many years later received the same appellation as the place.,4.  Some men say, however, that mighty earthquakes took place and the neck of what was the mainland was broken through, and in this way the Strait was formed, since the sea now separated the mainland from the island.,5.  But the poet Hesiod states the very opposite, namely, that when the sea extended itself in between, Orion built out the headland which lies at Peloris and also erected there the sanctuary of Poseidon which is held in special honour by the natives; after he had finished these works he removed to Euboea and made his home there; and then, because of his fame, he was numbered among the stars of heaven and thus won for himself important remembrance.,6.  And he is also mentioned by the poet Homer in his "Necuia" when he says: And after him I marked Orion huge, Driving wild beasts together o'er the mead Of asphodel, the beasts that he himself Had slain on lonely hills; and in his hands He held a mace, ever unbroken, all Of bronze.,7.  Likewise, to show forth also his great size, whereas he had spoken before of the Aloiadae, that at nine years of age they were nine cubits in breadth and an equal number of fathoms in height, he adds: These were the tallest men that ever earth, Giver of grain, did rear, and goodliest By far, save for Orion, famed abroad. But for our part, since we have spoken, in accordance with the plan which we announced at the beginning, at sufficient length about the heroes and demigods, at this point we shall close the present Book.,1.  This, then, is the story as it has been given us: Perseus was the son of Danaê, the daughter of Acrisius, and Zeus. Now Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus, lay with him and bore Electryon, and then Eurydicê, the daughter of Pelops, married him and gave birth to Alcmenê, who in turn was wooed by Zeus, who deceived her, and bore Heracles.,2.  Consequently the sources of his descent, in their entirety, lead back, as is claimed, through both his parents to the greatest of the gods, in the manner we have shown. The prowess which was found in him was not only to be seen in his deeds, but was also recognized even before his birth. For when Zeus lay with Alcmenê he made the night three times its normal length and by the magnitude of the time expended on the procreation he presaged the exceptional might of the child which would be begotten.,3.  And, in general, he did not effect this union from the desire of love, as he did in the case of other women, but rather only for the sake of procreation. Consequently, desiring to give legality to his embraces, he did not choose to offer violence to Alcmenê, and yet he could not hope to persuade her because of her chastity; and so, deciding to use deception, he deceived Alcmenê by assuming in every respect the shape of Amphitryon.,4.  When the natural time of pregnancy had passed, Zeus, whose mind was fixed upon the birth of Heracles, announced in advance in the presence of all the gods that it was his intention to make the child who should be born that day king over the descendants of Perseus; whereupon Hera, who was filled with jealousy, using as her helper Eileithyia her daughter, checked the birth-pains of Alcmenê and brought Eurystheus forth to the light before his full time.,5.  Zeus, however, though he had been outgeneralled, wished both to fulfill his promise and to take thought for the future fame of Heracles; consequently, they say, he persuaded Hera to agree that Eurystheus should be king as he had promised, but that Heracles should serve Eurystheus and perform twelve Labours, these to be whatever Eurystheus should prescribe, and that after he had done so he should receive the gift of immortality.,6.  After Alcmenê had brought forth the babe, fearful of Hera's jealousy she exposed it at a place which to this time is called after him the Field of Heracles. Now at this very time Athena, approaching the spot in the company of Hera and being amazed at the natural vigour of the child, persuaded Hera to offer it the breast. But when the boy tugged upon her breast with greater violence than would be expected at his age, Hera was unable to endure the pain and cast the babe from her, whereupon Athena took it to its mother and urged her to rear it.,7.  And anyone may well be surprised at the unexpected turn of the affair; for the mother whose duty it was to love her own offspring was trying to destroy it, while she who cherished towards it a stepmother's hatred, in ignorance saved the life of one who was her natural enemy.


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nan1.  Solon was the son of Execestides and his family was of Salamis in Attica; and in wisdom and learning he surpassed all the men of his time. Being by nature far superior as regards virtue to the rest of men, he cultivated assiduously a virtue that wins applause; for he devoted much time to every branch of knowledge and became practised in every kind of virtue.,2.  While still a youth, for instance, he availed himself of the best teachers, and when he attained to manhood he spent his time in the company of the men who enjoyed the greatest influence for their pursuit of wisdom. As a consequence, by reason of his companionship and association with men of this kind, he came to be called one of the Seven Wise Men and won for himself the highest rank in sagacity, not only among the men just mentioned, but also among all who were regarded with admiration.,3.  The same Solon, who had acquired great fame by his legislation, also in his conversations and answers to questions as a private citizen became an object of wonder by reason of his attainments in learning.,4.  The same Solon, although the city followed the whole Ionian manner of life and luxury and a carefree existence had made the inhabitants effeminate, worked a change in them by accustoming them to practise virtue and to emulate the deeds of virile folk. And it was because of this that Harmodius and Aristogeiton, their spirits equipped with the panoply of his legislation, made the attempt to destroy the rule of the Peisistratidae.,1.  When Chilon came to Delphi he thought to dedicate to the god the firstlings, as it were, of his own wisdom, and engraved upon a column these three maxims: "Know thyself"; "Nothing overmuch"; and the third, "A pledge, and ruin is nigh." Each of these maxims, though short and laconic, displays deep reflection.,2.  For the maxim "Know thyself" exhorts us to become educated and to get prudence, it being only by these means that a man may come to know himself, either because it is chiefly those who are uneducated and thoughtless that think themselves to be very sagacious — and that, according to Plato, is of all kinds of ignorance the worst — or because such people consider wicked men to be virtuous, and honest men, on the contrary, to be of no account; for only in this one way may a man know himself and his neighbour — by getting an education and a sagacity that are superior.,3.  Likewise, the maxim "Nothing overmuch" exhorts us to observe due measure in all things and not to make an irrevocable decision about any human affairs, as the Epidamnians once did. This people, who dwelt on the shores of the Adriatic, once quarrelled among themselves, and casting red-hot masses of iron right into the sea they swore an oath that they would never make up their mutual enmity until the masses of iron should be brought up hot out of the sea. And although they had sworn so severe an oath and had taken no thought of the admonition "Nothing overmuch," later under the compulsion of circumstances they put an end to their enmity, leaving the masses of iron to lie cold in the depths of the sea.,4.  And as for the maxim "A pledge, and ruin is nigh," some have assumed that by it Chilon was advising against marriage; for among most Greek peoples the agreement to marry is also called a "pledge," and this is confirmed by the common experience of men in that the worst and most numerous ills of life are due to wives. But some writers say that such an interpretation is unworthy of Chilon, because if marriage were destroyed life could not continue, and that he declares that "ruin" is nigh to such pledges as those made in connection with contracts and with agreements on other matters, all of which are concerned with money. As Euripides says: No pledge I give, observing well the loss Which those incur who of the pledge are fond; And writings there at Pytho say me nay.,5.  But some also say that it is not the meaning of Chilon nor is it the act of a good citizen, not to come to the aid of a friend when he needs help of this kind; but rather that he advises against strong asseverations, against eagerness in giving pledges, and against irrevocable decisions in human affairs, such as the Greeks once made in connection with their victory over Xerxes. For they took oath at Plataea that they would hand down enmity to the Persians as an inheritance even to their children's children, so long as the rivers run into the sea, as the race of men endures, and as the earth brings forth fruit; and yet, despite the binding pledge they had taken against fickle fortune, after a time they were sending ambassadors to Artaxerxes, Xerxes' son, to negotiate a treaty of friendship and alliance.,6.  Chilon's precepts, though brief, embrace the entire counsel necessary for the best life, since these pithy sayings of his are worth more than all the votive offerings set up in Delphi. The golden ingots of Croesus and other handiwork like them have vanished and were but great incentives to men who chose to lift impious hands against the temple; but Chilon's maxims are kept alive for all time, stored up as they are in the souls of educated men and constituting the fairest treasure, on which neither Phocians nor Gauls would be quick to lay their hands.,1.  Pittacus of Mitylenê was not only admired of men for his wisdom, but he was also such a citizen as the island never produced again, nor, in my opinion, could produce in time to come — not until it bears wine both more abundant and more delicious. For he was an excellent law-giver, in his dealings with individual citizens affable and kindly, and he freed his native land from the three greatest evils, from tyranny, civil strife, and war.,2.  Pittacus was a man of consequence, gentle and inclined to self-disparagement. Consequently he was regarded by all as a man who, beyond dispute, was perfect in respect of every virtue: for as to his legislation, he showed himself statesmanlike and prudent, as to keeping his plighted faith strictly just, as to his distinction in armed combat, courageous, and as to his greatness of soul in the matter of lucre, having no trace of avarice.,1.  When the inhabitants of Mitylenê offered to Pittacus the half of the land for which he had fought in single combat, he would not accept it, but arranged to assign to every man by lot an equal part, uttering the maxim, "The equal share is more than the greater." For in measuring "the greater" in terms of fair dealing, not of profit, he judged wisely; since he reasoned that equality would be followed by fame and security, but greediness by opprobrium and fear, which would speedily have taken away from him the people's gift.,2.  Pittacus acted consistently with these principles toward Croesus also, when the latter offered him as much money from his treasury as Pittacus might desire to take. For on that occasion, we are told, in refusing the gift he said that he already had twice as much as he wished. And when Croesus expressed his surprise at the man's freedom from avarice and inquired of him the meaning of his reply, Pittacus said, "My brother died childless and I inherited his estate, which was the equal of my own, and I have experienced no pleasure in having received the extra amount.",3.  The poet Alcaeus, who had been a most confirmed enemy of Pittacus and had reviled him most bitterly in his poems, once fell into his hands, but Pittacus let him go free, uttering the maxim: "Forgiveness is preferable to punishment.",1.  The inhabitants of Priene recount that Bias ransomed from robbers some maidens of distinguished families of Messenia and reared them in honour, as if they were his own daughters. And after some time, when their kinsfolk came in search of them, he gave the maidens over to them, asking for neither the cost of their rearing nor the price of their ransom, but on the contrary giving them many presents from his own possessions. The maidens, therefore, loved him as a father, both because they had lived in his home and because he had done so much for them, so that, even when they had departed together with their own families to their native land, they did not forget the kindness they had received in a foreign country.,2.  Some Messenian fishermen, when casting their net, brought up nothing at all except a brazen tripod, which bore the inscription, "To the wisest." And they took the tripod out of the sea and gave it to Bias.,3.  Bias was a most able speaker, and surpassed in this respect all his contemporaries. But he used his great eloquence far otherwise than do many men; for he employed it, not to gain fees or income, but to give aid to those who were being wronged. Rarely indeed is a thing like this to be found.,1.  It is no great thing to possess strength, whatever kind it is, but to use it as one should. For of what advantage to Milo of Croton was his enormous strength of body?,2.  The death of Polydamas, the Thessalian, when he was crushed by the rocks, made clear to all men how precarious it is to have great strength but little sense.,1.  This Polydamas was of the city of Scotusa, and he used to slay lions with his bare hands as if they were sheep and easily outstrip swift-running chariots with winged feet. He also endeavoured to support with his hand the crumbling roof of a cave, as Diodorus the Sicilian recounts the story.,1.  After the people of Cirrha had been besieged for a long time because they had attempted to plunder the oracle, some of the Greeks returned to their native cities, but others of them inquired of the Pythian priestess and received the following response: Ye shall not seize and lay in ruins the tower Of yonder city, before the plashing wave Of dark-eyed Amphitritê inundates My sacred precinct, here on these holy cliffs. ,1.  It should be known that Solon lived in Athens in the period of the tyrants before the Persian wars, and that Draco lived forty-seven years before him, as Diodorus says.,1.  The sculptor Perilaüs made a brazen bull for Phalaris the tyrant to use in punishing his own people, but he was himself the first to make trial of that terrible form of punishment. For, in general, those who plan an evil thing aimed at others are usually snared in their own devices.,1.  This Phalaris burned to death Perilaüs, the well-known Attic worker in bronze, in the brazen bull. Perilaüs had fashioned in bronze the contrivance of the bull, making small sounding pipes in the nostrils and fitting a door for an opening in the bull's side; and this bull he brings as a present to Phalaris. And Phalaris welcomes the man with presents and gives orders that the contrivance be dedicated to the gods. Then that worker in bronze opens the side, the evil device of treachery, and says with inhuman savagery, "If you ever wish to punish some man, O Phalaris, shut him up within the bull and lay a fire beneath it; by his groanings the bull will be thought to bellow and his cries of pain will give you pleasure as they come through the pipes in the nostrils." When Phalaris learned of this scheme, he was filled with loathing of the man and says, "Come then, Perilaüs, do you be the first to illustrate this; imitate those who will play the pipes and make clear to me the working of your device." And as soon as Perilaüs had crept in, to give an example, so he thought, of the sound of the pipes, Phalaris closes up the bull and heaps fire under it. But in order that the man's death might not pollute the work of bronze, he took him out, when half-dead, and hurled him down the cliffs. This tale about the bull is recounted by Lucian of Syria, by Diodorus, by Pindar, and countless others beside them.,1.  Croesus, the king of the Lydians, who was possessed of great military forces and had purposely amassed a large amount of silver and gold, used to call to his court the wisest men from among the Greeks, spend some time in their company, and then send them away with many presents, he himself having been greatly aided thereby toward a life of virtue. And on one occasion he summoned Solon, and showing him his military forces and his wealth he asked him whether he thought there was any other man more blest than he.,2.  And Solon replied, with the freedom of speech customary among lovers of wisdom, that no man while yet living was blest; for the man who waxes haughty over his prosperity and thinks that he has Fortune as his helpmeet does not know whether she will remain with him to the last. Consequently, he continued, we must look to the end of life, and only of the man who has continued until then to be fortunate may we properly say that he is blest.,3.  And at a later time, when Croesus had been taken prisoner by Cyrus and was about to be burned upon a great pyre, he recalled the answer Solon had given him. And so, while the fire was already blazing about him, he kept continually calling the name of Solon.,4.  And Cyrus sent men to find out the reason for his continual calling of the name of Solon; and on learning the cause Cyrus changed his purpose, and since he believed that Solon's reply was the truth, he ceased regarding Croesus with contempt, put out the burning pyre, saved the life of Croesus, and counted him henceforth as one of his friends.,5.  Solon believed that the boxers and short-distance runners and all other athletes contributed nothing worth mentioning to the safety of states, but that only men who excel in prudence and virtue are able to protect their native lands in times of danger.,1.  Solon the law-giver once entered the assembly and urged the Athenians to overthrow the tyranny before it became all-powerful. And when no man paid attention to him, he put on his full armour and appeared in the market-place, although an old man, and calling upon the gods as witnesses he declared that by word and deed, so far as in him lay, he had brought aid to the fatherland when it was in peril. But since the populace did not perceive the design of Peisistratus, it turned out that Solon, though he spoke the truth, was disregarded.,2.  And it is said that Solon also predicted the approaching tyranny to the Athenians in elegiac verse: From cloud is born the might of snow and hail And from bright lightning's flash the thunder comes. And from great men a city finds its doom; The people in their ignorance have bowed In slavery to a monarch's single rule. For him who puts too far from shore 'tis hard The harbour later on to make; but now At once one needs must think of everything. ,3.  And later, when the tyranny was already established, he said: If now you suffer grievous things because Of your own cowardice, charge not this fate Unto the gods' account; for you yourselves Exalted these men's power by giving them A guard, and on this count have you put on The yoke of evil slavery. Each by each With fox's steps you move, but meeting all Together trifling judgement do you show. For to man's tongue and shifty word you look, But to the deed he does you ne'er give heed.,4.  Peisistratus urged Solon to hold his peace and to share with him in the advantages arising from the tyranny. And when he could find no means to change Solon's purpose, but saw in fact that he was ever more and more aroused and steadfastly threatening to bring him to punishment, he asked him upon what resources he relied in his opposition to his designs. And we are told that Solon replied, "Upon my old age." [Herodotus, who lived in the time of Xerxes, gives this account: After the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes, and thereafter no king arose for many generations to lay claim to supreme power, but the city-states, enjoying a regimen of their own, were administered in a democratic fashion; finally, however, after many years a man distinguished for his justice, named Cyaxares, was chosen king among the Medes. He was the first to try to attach to himself the neighbouring peoples and became for the Medes the founder of their universal empire; and after him each of his successive descendants extended the kingdom by adding a great deal of the adjoining country, until the reign of Astyages, who was conquered by Cyrus and the Persians. We have for the present given only the most important of these events in summary and shall later give a detailed account of them one by one when we come to the periods in which they fall; for it was in the second year of the Seventeenth Olympiad, according to Herodotus, that Cyaxares was chosen king of the Medes.] [When Astibaras, the king of the Medes, died of old age in Ecbatana, his son Aspandas, whom the Greeks call Astyages, succeeded to the throne. And when he had been defeated by Cyrus the Persian, the kingdom passed to the Persians. Of them we shall give a detailed and exact account at the proper time.],1.  Cyrus became king of the Persians in the opening year of the Fifty-fifth Olympiad, as may be found in the Library of Diodorus and in the histories of Thallus and Castor and Polybius and Phlegon and all others who have used the reckoning by Olympiads. For all these writers agree as to the date.,1.  Cyrus, the son of Cambyses and Mandanê, the daughter of Astyages who was king of the Medes, was pre-eminent among the men of his time in bravery and sagacity and the other virtues; for his father had reared him after the manner of kings and had made him zealous to emulate the highest achievements. And it was clear that he would take hold of great affairs, since he revealed an excellence beyond his years.,1.  When Astyages, the king of the Medes, had been defeated and was in disgraceful flight, he vented his wrath upon his soldiers; and he displaced all who had been assigned positions of command, appointing others in their stead, and he picked out all who were responsible for the flight and put them to the sword, thinking that by punishing them in that way he could force the rest to show themselves brave fighters in times of danger, since he was a cruel man and, by nature, hard. Nevertheless, the people were not dismayed at the harsh treatment he meted out; on the contrary, every man, hating his violent and lawless manner, yearned for a change of affairs. Consequently there were gatherings of small groups and seditious conversations, the larger number exhorting one another to take vengeance on him.,1.  Cyrus, we are told, was not only a courageous man in war, but he was also considerate and humane in his treatment of his subjects. And it was for this reason that the Persians called him Father.,1.  Croesus was once building ships of war, we are told, with the intention of making a campaign against the islands. And Bias, or Pittacus, who happened to be visiting Lydia at the time and was observing the building of the ships, was asked by the king whether he had heard of any news among the Greeks. And when he was given the reply that all the islanders were collecting horses and were planning a campaign against the Lydians, Croesus is said to have exclaimed, "Would that some one could persuade the islanders to fight against the Lydians on horseback!" For the Lydians are skilled horsemen and Croesus believed that they would come off victorious on land.,2.  Whereupon Pittacus, or Bias, answered him, "Well, you say that the Lydians, who live on the mainland, would be eager to catch islanders on the land; but do you not suppose that those who live on the islands have prayed the gods that they may catch Lydians on the sea, in order that, in return for the evils which have befallen the Greeks on the mainland, they may avenge themselves at sea on the man who has enslaved their kinsmen?" Croesus, in admiration of this reply, changed his purpose at once and stopped building the ships.,1.  Croesus used to send for the most distinguished wise men from Greece, to display to them the magnitude of his felicity, and would honour with rich gifts those who lauded his good fortune. And he also sent for Solon as well as for such others as enjoyed the greatest fame for their love of wisdom, wishing to have the witness of these men set the seal of approval upon his own felicity.,2.  And there came to him Anacharsis the Scythian and Bias and Solon and Pittacus, to whom he showed the highest honour at banquets and at his council, and he displayed his wealth before them and the magnitude of his own power.,3.  Now in those days men of learning sought brevity of speech. And Croesus, after he had displayed to the men the felicity of his kingdom and the multitude of the peoples subject to him, asked Anacharsis, who was older than the other men of wisdom, "Whom do you consider to be the bravest of living beings?" He replied, "The wildest animals; for they alone willingly die in order to maintain their freedom.",4.  And Croesus, believing that he had erred in his reply, and that a second time he would give an answer to please him, asked him, "Whom do you judge to be the most just of living beings?" And Anacharsis again answered, "The wildest animals; for they alone live in accordance with nature, not in accordance with laws; since nature is a work of God, while law is an ordinance of man, and it is more just to follow the institutions of God than those of men.",5.  Then Croesus, wishing to make Anacharsis appear ridiculous, inquired of him, "And are the beasts, then, also the wisest?" And Anacharsis agreed that they were, adding this explanation: "The peculiar characteristic of wisdom consists in showing a greater respect to the truth which nature imparts than to the ordinance of the law." And Croesus laughed at him and the answers he had given, as those of one coming from Scythia and from a bestial manner of living.,1.  And Croesus asked Solon who of all living beings he had seen enjoyed the most felicitous life, thinking that Solon would by all means concede this distinction to him. But Solon replied, "I cannot justly apply this term to anyone, since I have not seen the end of life of anyone still living; for until that time no one may properly be considered to be blest. For it often happens that those who have been regarded before then as blest of Fortune all their lives have at the very close of their lives fallen upon the greatest misfortunes.",2.  The king then said, "Do you not judge me to be the wealthiest?" And Solon made the same reply, explaining that not those who have the greatest possessions, but those who consider wisdom to be the most valuable of all possessions, are to be regarded as the wealthiest; and that wisdom, seeing that there is nothing which can be balanced against it, confers upon those who value it highly, and upon them alone, a wealth which is the greatest and most secure.,3.  Croesus then asked Bias whether, in his opinion, Solon had answered correctly or had erred. And he replied, "Correctly; for he wishes to make his decision after he has seen the possessions you have in yourself, whereas up to now he has seen only the possessions which lie about you; and it is through the former, not the latter, that men have felicity." The king said, "But even if you do not give first honour to wealth in gold, at least you see my friends, so great a multitude as no other man possesses." But Bias answered, "Even the number of friends is uncertain because of your good fortune.",4.  And Croesus, we are told, asked Pittacus, "What is the best form of government you have seen?" And he replied, "That of the painted wood," referring to the laws.,1.  Aesop flourished in the same period of time as the Seven Wise Men, and he remarked once, "These men do not know how to act in the company of a ruler; for a man should associate with rulers either as little as possible, or with the best grace possible.",1.  Adrastus, a man of Phrygia, while out hunting with Atys, as he was called, the son of the Lydian king, Croesus, unwittingly struck and killed the boy while hurling his spear at a boar. And although he had slain the boy unwittingly, he declared that he did not deserve to live; consequently he urged the king not to spare his life, but to slay him at once upon the tomb of the dead youth.,2.  Croesus at first was enraged at Adrastus for the murder, as he considered it, of his son, and threatened to burn him alive; but when he saw that Adrastus was ready and willing to give his life in punishment for the dead boy, he thereupon abandoned his anger and gave up his thought of punishing the slayer, laying the blame upon his own fortune and not upon the intent of Adrastus. Nevertheless Adrastus, on his own initiative, went to the tomb of Atys and slew himself upon it.,1.  When there was a dispute about the golden tripod, the Pythian priestess delivered the following oracle: Miletus' son, dost ask Apollo's will About the tripod? Who is first of all In wisdom, his the tripod is, I say.,2.  But some writers have a different account, as follows: War had broken out among the Ionians, and when the tripod was brought up in their seine by some fishermen, they inquired of the god how they might end the war. And the priestess replied Never shall cease the war twixt Meropes And Iones, until that golden stand Hephaestus worked with skill ye send away; And it shall come to that man's dwelling-place Who in his wisdom hath foreseen the things That are and likewise things that are to be.,3.  The Milesians, wishing to follow the injunction of the oracle, desired to award the prize to Thales of Miletus. But Thales said that he was not the wisest of all and advised them to send it to another and wiser man. And in this manner the other six of the Seven Wise Men likewise rejected the tripod, and it was given to Solon, who was thought to have surpassed all men in both wisdom and understanding. And Solon advised that it be dedicated to Apollo, since he was wiser than all of them.,1.  Phalaris, seeing a multitude of doves being pursued by a single hawk, remarked, "Do you observe, sirs, how fear will make so great a multitude flee before a single pursuer? And yet if they should summon the courage to turn about, they would easily overcome their pursuer." (But it was Phalaris himself who was falsifying; for the victory was won by courage and not by superiority of numbers.) And as a result of this speech Phalaris lost his dominion, as it is recorded in the section "On the Succession of Kings.",1.  When Croesus was taking the field against Cyrus the Persian, he made inquiry of the oracle. And the answer ran: If Croesus crosses Halys, a mighty realm Will he destroy. He received and interpreted the ambiguous answer of the oracle in the light of his own purpose and so came to grief.,2.  Croesus inquired a second time whether he was to enjoy a rule of long duration. And the oracle spoke the following verses: The day a mule becomes the king of Medes, Then, tender-footed Lydian, do thou flee Along the pebbly bed of Hermus, nor Abide, nor be ashamed a coward to be. By a "mule" Cyrus was meant, because his mother was a Mede and his father a Persian.,3.  Cyrus, the king of the Persians, appeared with all his host at the passes of Cappadocia and sent messengers to Croesus both to spy out his power and to declare to him that Cyrus would forgive his previous misdeeds and appoint him satrap of Lydia, provided he presented himself at Cyrus' court and acknowledged, as others did, that he was his slave. But Croesus answered the messengers that it would be more fitting if Cyrus and the Persians should submit to be the slaves of Croesus, reminding them that theretofore they had been slaves of the Medes and that he had never yet taken orders from another.,1.  Croesus, the king of the Lydians, under the guise of sending to Delphi, dispatched Eurybatus of Ephesus to the Peloponnesus, having given him money with which to recruit as many mercenaries as he could from among the Greeks. But this agent of Croesus went over to Cyrus the Persian and revealed everything to him. Consequently the wickedness of Eurybatus became a by-word among the Greeks, and to this day whenever a man wishes to cast another's knavery in his teeth he calls him a Eurybatus.,1.  Although evil men may avoid for the moment punishment at the hands of those whom they have wronged, yet the evil report of them is preserved for all time and punishes them so far as possible even after death.,2.  We are told that Croesus, on the eve of his war with Cyrus, dispatched ambassadors to Delphi to inquire by what means it would be possible for his son to speak; and that the Pythian priestess replied: O thou of Lydian stock, o'er many king, Thou great fool Croesus, never wish to hear Within thy halls the much-desired sound Of thy son speaking. Better far for thee That he remain apart; for the first words He speaks shall be upon a luckless day.,3.  A man should bear good fortune with moderation and not put his trust in the successes such as fall to human beings, since they can take a great shift with a slight turn of the scale.,4.  After Croesus had been taken prisoner and the pyre had been quenched, when he observed that the city was being plundered and that much silver and gold, besides everything else, were being carried off, he asked Cyrus, "What are the soldiers doing?" Cyrus laughingly replied, "They are making plunder of your wealth"; whereupon Croesus said, "Not so, by Zeus, but of yours; for Croesus has no longer a thing of his own." And Cyrus, impressed by his words, at once changed his purpose, and putting a stop to the plundering of the soldiers he took the possessions of the inhabitants of Sardis for the Royal Treasury.,1.  Cyrus, believing Croesus to be a pious man because a rainstorm had burst forth and quenched the flame, and calling to mind the reply of Solon, kept Croesus at his side in a position of honour. He gave him a place also in his council, believing him to be a person of sagacity by reason of his having associated with many men of learning and wisdom.,1.  Harpagus had been appointed commander on the sea by Cyrus the Persian, and when the Greeks of Asia sent an embassy to Cyrus for the purpose of making a treaty of friendship with him, Harpagus remarked to them that what they were doing was very much like a former experience of his own.,2.  Once when he wished to marry he had asked a girl's father for the hand of his daughter. At first, however, her father decided that he was not worthy to marry his daughter and betrothed her to a man of higher position, but later, observing that Harpagus was being honoured by the king, he offered him his daughter; but he replied that he would no longer have her as his wife, but would consent to take her as a concubine.,3.  By such words he pointed out to the Greeks that formerly, when Cyrus had urged them to become friends of the Persians, they had been unwilling, but now, after matters had taken a different turn and they were anxious to agree upon relations of friendship, Cyrus would make no terms with them as with allies, but he would receive them as slaves if they would throw themselves upon the good-faith of the Persians.,1.  When the Lacedaemonians learned that the Greeks of Asia were in peril, they sent a message to Cyrus stating that the Lacedaemonians, being kinsmen of the Greeks of Asia, forbade him to enslave the Greek cities. And Cyrus, marvelling at such words, remarked that he would judge of their valour when he should send one of his own slaves to subdue Greece.,2.  When the Lacedaemonians were setting out to conquer Arcadia, they received the following oracle: Arcadia dost thou demand of me? A high demand, nor will I give it thee. For many warriors, acorn-eaters all, Dwell in Arcadia, and they will ward Thee off. Yet for my part I grudge thee not. Tegea's land, smitten with tripping feet, I'll give to thee, wherein to dance and plot The fertile plain with measuring-line for tilth.,3.  The Lacedaemonians sent to Delphi to inquire in what place the bones of Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, were buried. And the oracle replied in this wise: A certain Tegea there is of Arcady In a smooth and level plain, where two winds blow Before a stern necessity, to stroke Comes answering stroke, and bane is heaped on bane. There the life-giving earth holds fast the son Of Agamemnon; bring thou him thence and then The overlord of Tegea thou shalt be. It was a smithy that was referred to, and the oracle means by the two winds the bellows, signifying by "stroke" the anvil and the hammers, and by "bane heaped on bane," the iron upon iron; for iron is called a "bane" because the discovery of it has worked to the hurt of mankind.,4.  It is better to die, than to live and witness yourself and your kinsmen meeting misfortune as bad as death.,1.  Once when the daughter of Peisistratus was carrying the sacred basket in procession and she was thought to excel all others in beauty, a young man stepped up and with a superior air kissed the maiden. The girl's brothers, on learning what had been done, were incensed at the youth's insolence, and leading him to their father they demanded that he be punished. But Peisistratus laughingly said, "What shall we do then to those who hate us, if we heap punishments on those who love us?",2.  Once when Peisistratus was journeying through the country he saw a man on the slopes of Hymettus working in a field where the soil was exceedingly thin and stony. And wondering at the man's zeal for the work, he sent some of his company to inquire of him what return he got from working ground like that.,3.  And when the men had carried out the command, the farmer replied that he got from the field only grievous pains; but he did not care, since he gave the tenth part of them to Peisistratus. And the ruler, on hearing the reply, laughed, and made the field exempt from taxation, whence arose the proverb, Even spasms give tax-exemption.,1.  Solon, seeing toward the end of his life how Peisistratus, to please the masses, was playing the demagogue and was on the road to tyranny, tried at first by arguments to turn him from his intention; and when Peisistratus paid no attention to him, he once appeared in the market-place arrayed in full armour, although he was already a very old man.,2.  And when the people, the sight being so incongruous, flocked to him, he called upon the citizens to seize their arms and at once make an end of the tyrant. But no man paid any attention to him, all of them concluding that he was mad and some declaring that he was in his dotage. Peisistratus, who had already gathered a guard of a few spearmen, came up to Solon and asked him, "Upon what resources do you rely that you wish to destroy my tyranny?" And when Solon replied, "Upon my old age," Peisistratus, in admiration of his common sense, did him no harm.,1.  The man who puts his hands to lawless and unjust deeds may never properly be considered wise. ,1.  We are told that the Scythian Anacharsis, who took great pride in his wisdom, once came to Pytho and inquired of the oracle who of the Greeks was wiser than he. And the oracle replied: A man of Oeta, Myson, they report, Is more endowed than thou with prudent brains. Myson was a Malian and had his home on Mt. Oeta in a village called Chenae.,1.  Myson was a man of Malis who dwelt in a village called Chenae, and he spent his entire time in the country and was unknown to most men. He was included among the Seven Wise Men in the place of Periander of Corinth, who was rejected because he had turned into a harsh tyrant.,1.  Solon was curious to see the place where Myson spent his days, and found him at the threshing-floor fitting a handle to a plow. And to make trial of the man Solon said, "Now is not the season for the plow, Myson." "Not to use it," he replied, "but to make it ready.",1.  In the case of Chilon his life agreed with his teaching, a thing one rarely finds. As for the philosophers of our time, for instance, most of them are to be seen uttering the noblest sentiments, but following the basest practices, and the solemnity and sagacity expressed in their pronouncements are refuted when the speakers are put to the proof. But as for Chilon, not to mention the virtue which he displayed in every deed throughout his life, he thought out and expressed many precepts which are worthy of record.


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aristotle Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
aurum coronarium Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire (2013) 182
character Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
consecration' Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire (2013) 182
demetrius of phalerum Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
greek, literature/sources Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
hecataeus of abdera Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
israel Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
jerusalem Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
josephus Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
judaism Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
judea Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
law, jewish/of moses Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
manetho Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
middle way Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
pescennius niger Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire (2013) 182
philosophy, pythagorean Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
philosophy peripatetic/aristotelean Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
philosophystoic Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
photius Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
ps.-aristeas Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
pseudo-hecataeus, on the jews Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
pseudo-hecataeus Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
severus, accession of Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire (2013) 182
symposium/symposia Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
translators, jewish Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40
wealth Wright, The Letter of Aristeas: 'Aristeas to Philocrates' or 'On the Translation of the Law of the Jews' (2015) 40