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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Herodotus, Histories, 8.133-8.135

nanThe Greeks, then, sailed to Delos, and Mardonius wintered in Thessaly. Having his headquarters there he sent a man of Europus called Mys to visit the places of divination, charging him to inquire of all the oracles which he could test. What it was that he desired to learn from the oracles when he gave this charge, I cannot say, for no one tells of it. I suppose that he sent to inquire concerning his present business, and that alone.

nanThis man Mys is known to have gone to Lebadea and to have bribed a man of the country to go down into the cave of Trophonius and to have gone to the place of divination at Abae in Phocis. He went first to Thebes where he inquired of Ismenian Apollo (sacrifice is there the way of divination, as at Olympia), and moreover he bribed one who was no Theban but a stranger to lie down to sleep in the shrine of Amphiaraus. ,No Theban may seek a prophecy there, for Amphiaraus bade them by an oracle to choose which of the two they wanted and forgo the other, and take him either for their prophet or for their ally. They chose that he should be their ally. Therefore no Theban may lie down to sleep in that place.

nanBut at this time there happened, as the Thebans say, a thing at which I marvel greatly. It would seem that this man Mys of Europus came in his wanderings among the places of divination to the precinct of Ptoan Apollo. This temple is called Ptoum, and belongs to the Thebans. It lies by a hill, above lake Copais, very near to the town Acraephia. ,When the man called Mys entered into this temple together with three men of the town who were chosen on the state's behalf to write down the oracles that should be given, straightway the diviner prophesied in a foreign tongue. ,The Thebans who followed him were astonished to hear a strange language instead of Greek and knew not what this present matter might be. Mys of Europus, however, snatched from them the tablet which they carried and wrote on it that which was spoken by the prophet, saying that the words of the oracle were Carian. After writing everything down, he went back to Thessaly.

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

15 results
1. Homeric Hymns, To Apollo And The Muses, 226-276, 375-387, 225 (8th cent. BCE - 8th cent. BCE)

225. Among the gods their dear son as he played
2. Pindar, Olympian Odes, 13.63-13.64, 13.66-13.72, 13.74-13.75 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

3. Pindar, Pythian Odes, 11.1, 11.11 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4. Aristophanes, Clouds, 508, 507 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

507. δός μοι μελιτοῦτταν πρότερον: ὡς δέδοικ' ἐγὼ
5. Herodotus, Histories, 1.14, 1.46-1.49, 1.52, 1.92, 1.138, 3.76, 5.59-5.61, 5.92.7, 6.97-6.98, 6.118, 7.6, 7.43, 7.191-7.192, 7.197, 8.27, 8.33, 8.35-8.39, 8.134-8.136, 8.143-8.144, 9.36-9.38, 9.41-9.43 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.14. Thus the Mermnadae robbed the Heraclidae of the sovereignty and took it for themselves. Having gotten it, Gyges sent many offerings to Delphi : there are very many silver offerings of his there; and besides the silver, he dedicated a hoard of gold, among which six golden bowls are the offerings especially worthy of mention. ,These weigh thirty talents and stand in the treasury of the Corinthians; although in truth it is not the treasury of the Corinthian people but of Cypselus son of Eetion. This Gyges then was the first foreigner whom we know who placed offerings at Delphi after the king of Phrygia, Midas son of Gordias. ,For Midas too made an offering: namely, the royal seat on which he sat to give judgment, and a marvellous seat it is. It is set in the same place as the bowls of Gyges. This gold and the silver offered by Gyges is called by the Delphians “Gygian” after its dedicator. 1.46. After the loss of his son, Croesus remained in deep sorrow for two years. After this time, the destruction by Cyrus son of Cambyses of the sovereignty of Astyages son of Cyaxares, and the growth of the power of the Persians, distracted Croesus from his mourning; and he determined, if he could, to forestall the increase of the Persian power before they became great. ,Having thus determined, he at once made inquiries of the Greek and Libyan oracles, sending messengers separately to Delphi, to Abae in Phocia, and to Dodona, while others were despatched to Amphiaraus and Trophonius, and others to Branchidae in the Milesian country. ,These are the Greek oracles to which Croesus sent for divination: and he told others to go inquire of Ammon in Libya . His intent in sending was to test the knowledge of the oracles, so that, if they were found to know the truth, he might send again and ask if he should undertake an expedition against the Persians. 1.47. And when he sent to test these shrines he gave the Lydians these instructions: they were to keep track of the time from the day they left Sardis, and on the hundredth day inquire of the oracles what Croesus, king of Lydia, son of Alyattes, was doing then; then they were to write down whatever the oracles answered and bring the reports back to him. ,Now none relate what answer was given by the rest of the oracles. But at Delphi, no sooner had the Lydians entered the hall to inquire of the god and asked the question with which they were entrusted, than the Pythian priestess uttered the following hexameter verses: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“I know the number of the grains of sand and the extent of the sea, /l lAnd understand the mute and hear the voiceless. /l lThe smell has come to my senses of a strong-shelled tortoise /l lBoiling in a cauldron together with a lamb's flesh, /l lUnder which is bronze and over which is bronze.” /l /quote 1.48. Having written down this inspired utterance of the Pythian priestess, the Lydians went back to Sardis . When the others as well who had been sent to various places came bringing their oracles, Croesus then unfolded and examined all the writings. Some of them in no way satisfied him. But when he read the Delphian message, he acknowledged it with worship and welcome, considering Delphi as the only true place of divination, because it had discovered what he himself had done. ,For after sending his envoys to the oracles, he had thought up something which no conjecture could discover, and carried it out on the appointed day: namely, he had cut up a tortoise and a lamb, and then boiled them in a cauldron of bronze covered with a lid of the same. 1.49. Such, then, was the answer from Delphi delivered to Croesus. As to the reply which the Lydians received from the oracle of Amphiaraus when they had followed the due custom of the temple, I cannot say what it was, for nothing is recorded of it, except that Croesus believed that from this oracle too he had obtained a true answer. 1.52. Such were the gifts which he sent to Delphi . To Amphiaraus, of whose courage and fate he had heard, he dedicated a shield made entirely of gold and a spear all of solid gold, point and shaft alike. Both of these were until my time at Thebes, in the Theban temple of Ismenian Apollo. 1.92. There are many offerings of Croesus' in Hellas, and not only those of which I have spoken. There is a golden tripod at Thebes in Boeotia, which he dedicated to Apollo of Ismenus; at Ephesus there are the oxen of gold and the greater part of the pillars; and in the temple of Proneia at Delphi, a golden shield. All these survived to my lifetime; but other of the offerings were destroyed. ,And the offerings of Croesus at Branchidae of the Milesians, as I learn by inquiry, are equal in weight and like those at Delphi . Those which he dedicated at Delphi and the shrine of Amphiaraus were his own, the first-fruits of the wealth inherited from his father; the rest came from the estate of an enemy who had headed a faction against Croesus before he became king, and conspired to win the throne of Lydia for Pantaleon. ,This Pantaleon was a son of Alyattes, and half-brother of Croesus: Croesus was Alyattes' son by a Carian and Pantaleon by an Ionian mother. ,So when Croesus gained the sovereignty by his father's gift, he put the man who had conspired against him to death by drawing him across a carding-comb, and first confiscated his estate, then dedicated it as and where I have said. This is all that I shall say of Croesus' offerings. 1.138. Furthermore, of what they may not do, they may not speak, either. They hold lying to be the most disgraceful thing of all and next to that debt; for which they have many other reasons, but this in particular: it is inevitable (so they say) that the debtor also speak some falsehood. The citizen who has leprosy or the white sickness may not come into town or mingle with other Persians. They say that he is so afflicted because he has sinned in some way against the sun. ,Every stranger who gets such a disease, many drive out of the country; and they do the same to white doves, for the reason given. Rivers they especially revere; they will neither urinate nor spit nor wash their hands in them, nor let anyone else do so. 3.76. The seven Persians, when they had decided to attack the Magi at once and not delay, prayed to the gods and set forth, knowing nothing of what had happened to Prexaspes. ,But when they had gone half way they learned what had happened to Prexaspes. Then they argued there, standing beside the road, Otanes' party demanding that they delay and not attack while events were in flux, and Darius' party that they go directly and do what they had decided and not put it off. ,While they were arguing, they saw seven pairs of hawks chase and slash and tear to bits two pairs of vultures. And seeing this all seven consented to Darius' opinion, and went on to the palace, encouraged by the birds. 5.59. I have myself seen Cadmean writing in the temple of Ismenian Apollo at Thebes of Boeotia engraved on certain tripods and for the most part looking like Ionian letters. On one of the tripods there is this inscription: quote type="inscription" l met="dact" Amphitryon dedicated me from the spoils of Teleboae. /l /quote This would date from about the time of Laius the son of Labdacus, grandson of Polydorus and great-grandson of Cadmus. 5.60. A second tripod says, in hexameter verse: quote type="inscription" l met="dact" Scaeus the boxer, victorious in the contest, /l lGave me to Apollo, the archer god, a lovely offering. /l /quote Scaeus the son of Hippocoon, if he is indeed the dedicator and not another of the same name, would have lived at the time of Oedipus son of Laius. 5.61. The third tripod says, in hexameter verse again: quote type="inscription" l met="dact" Laodamas, while he reigned, dedicated this cauldron /l lTo Apollo, the sure of aim, as a lovely offering. /l /quote ,During the rule of this Laodamas son of Eteocles, the Cadmeans were expelled by the Argives and went away to the Encheleis. The Gephyraeans were left behind but were later compelled by the Boeotians to withdraw to Athens. They have certain set forms of worship at Athens in which the rest of the Athenians take no part, particularly the rites and mysteries of Achaean Demeter. 6.97. While they did this, the Delians also left Delos and fled away to Tenos. As his expedition was sailing landwards, Datis went on ahead and bade his fleet anchor not off Delos, but across the water off Rhenaea. Learning where the Delians were, he sent a herald to them with this proclamation: ,“Holy men, why have you fled away, and so misjudged my intent? It is my own desire, and the king's command to me, to do no harm to the land where the two gods were born, neither to the land itself nor to its inhabitants. So return now to your homes and dwell on your island.” He made this proclamation to the Delians, and then piled up three hundred talents of frankincense on the altar and burnt it. 6.98. After doing this, Datis sailed with his army against Eretria first, taking with him Ionians and Aeolians; and after he had put out from there, Delos was shaken by an earthquake, the first and last, as the Delians say, before my time. This portent was sent by heaven, as I suppose, to be an omen of the ills that were coming on the world. ,For in three generations, that is, in the time of Darius son of Hystaspes and Xerxes son of Darius and Artaxerxes son of Xerxes, more ills happened to Hellas than in twenty generations before Darius; some coming from the Persians, some from the wars for preeminence among the chief of the nations themselves. ,Thus it was no marvel that there should be an earthquake in Delos when there had been none before. Also there was an oracle concerning Delos, where it was written: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"I will shake Delos, though unshaken before. /l /quote In the Greek language these names have the following meanings: Darius is the Doer, Xerxes the Warrior, Artaxerxes the Great Warrior. The Greeks would rightly call the kings thus in their language. 6.118. Datis journeyed with his army to Asia, and when he arrived at Myconos he saw a vision in his sleep. What that vision was is not told, but as soon as day broke Datis made a search of his ships. He found in a Phoenician ship a gilded image of Apollo, and asked where this plunder had been taken. Learning from what temple it had come, he sailed in his own ship to Delos. ,The Delians had now returned to their island, and Datis set the image in the temple, instructing the Delians to carry it away to Theban Delium, on the coast opposite Chalcis. ,Datis gave this order and sailed away, but the Delians never carried that statue away; twenty years later the Thebans brought it to Delium by command of an oracle. 7.6. He said this because he desired adventures and wanted to be governor of Hellas. Finally he worked on Xerxes and persuaded him to do this, and other things happened that helped him to persuade Xerxes. ,Messengers came from Thessaly from the Aleuadae (who were princes of Thessaly) and invited the king into Hellas with all earnestness; the Pisistratidae who had come up to Susa used the same pleas as the Aleuadae, offering Xerxes even more than they did. ,They had come up to Sardis with Onomacritus, an Athenian diviner who had set in order the oracles of Musaeus. They had reconciled their previous hostility with him; Onomacritus had been banished from Athens by Pisistratus' son Hipparchus, when he was caught by Lasus of Hermione in the act of interpolating into the writings of Musaeus an oracle showing that the islands off Lemnos would disappear into the sea. ,Because of this Hipparchus banished him, though they had previously been close friends. Now he had arrived at Susa with the Pisistratidae, and whenever he came into the king's presence they used lofty words concerning him and he recited from his oracles; all that portended disaster to the Persian he left unspoken, choosing and reciting such prophecies as were most favorable, telling how the Hellespont must be bridged by a man of Persia and describing the expedition. ,So he brought his oracles to bear, while the Pisistratidae and Aleuadae gave their opinions. 7.43. When the army had come to the river Scamander, which was the first river after the beginning of their march from Sardis that fell short of their needs and was not sufficient for the army and the cattle to drink—arriving at this river, Xerxes ascended to the citadel of Priam, having a desire to see it. ,After he saw it and asked about everything there, he sacrificed a thousand cattle to Athena of Ilium, and the Magi offered libations to the heroes. After they did this, a panic fell upon the camp in the night. When it was day they journeyed on from there, keeping on their left the cities of Rhoetium and Ophryneum and Dardanus, which borders Abydos, and on their right the Teucrian Gergithae. 7.191. There was no counting how many grain-ships and other vessels were destroyed. The generals of the fleet were afraid that the Thessalians might attack them now that they had been defeated, so they built a high palisade out of the wreckage. ,The storm lasted three days. Finally the Magi made offerings and cast spells upon the wind, sacrificing also to Thetis and the Nereids. In this way they made the wind stop on the fourth day—or perhaps it died down on its own. They sacrificed to Thetis after hearing from the Ionians the story that it was from this place that Peleus had carried her off and that all the headland of Sepia belonged to her and to the other Nereids. 7.192. The storm, then, ceased on the fourth day. Now the scouts stationed on the headlands of Euboea ran down and told the Hellenes all about the shipwreck on the second day after the storm began. ,After hearing this they prayed to Poseidon as their savior and poured libations. Then they hurried to Artemisium hoping to find few ships opposing them. So they came to Artemisium a second time and made their station there. From that time on they call Poseidon their savior. 7.197. When Xerxes had come to Alus in Achaea, his guides, desiring to inform him of all they knew, told him the story which is related in that country concerning the worship of Laphystian Zeus, namely how Athamas son of Aeolus plotted Phrixus' death with Ino, and further, how the Achaeans by an oracle's bidding compel Phrixus descendants to certain tasks. ,They order the eldest of that family not to enter their town-hall (which the Achaeans call the People's House) and themselves keep watch there. If he should enter, he may not come out, save only to be sacrificed. They say as well that many of those who were to be sacrificed had fled in fear to another country, and that if they returned at a later day and were taken, they were brought into the town-hall. The guides showed Xerxes how the man is sacrificed, namely with fillets covering him all over and a procession to lead him forth. ,It is the descendants of Phrixus' son Cytissorus who are treated in this way, because when the Achaeans by an oracle's bidding made Athamas son of Aeolus a scapegoat for their country and were about to sacrifice him, this Cytissorus came from Aea in Colchis and delivered him, thereby bringing the god's wrath on his own descendants. ,Hearing all this, Xerxes, when he came to the temple grove, refrained from entering it himself and bade all his army do likewise, holding the house and the precinct of Athamas' descendants alike in reverence. 8.27. In the meantime, immediately after the misfortune at Thermopylae, the Thessalians sent a herald to the Phocians, because they bore an old grudge against them and still more because of their latest disaster. ,Now a few years before the king's expedition, the Thessalians and their allies had invaded Phocis with their whole army but had been worsted and roughly handled by the Phocians. ,When the Phocians were besieged on Parnassus, they had with them the diviner Tellias of Elis; Tellias devised a stratagem for them: he covered six hundred of the bravest Phocians with gypsum, themselves and their armor, and led them to attack the Thessalians by night, bidding them slay whomever they should see not whitened. ,The Thessalian sentinels were the first to see these men and to flee for fear, supposing falsely that it was something supernatural, and after the sentinels the whole army fled as well. The Phocians made themselves masters of four thousand dead, and their shields, of which they dedicated half at Abae and the rest at Delphi. ,A tithe of what they won in that fight went to the making of the great statues that stand around the tripod in front of the shrine at Delphi, and there are others like them dedicated at Abae. 8.33. Marching this way down the river Cephisus, they ravaged everything that lay in their way, burning the towns of Drymus, Charadra, Erochus, Tethronium, Amphicaea, Neon, Pediea, Tritea, Elatea, Hyampolis, Parapotamii, and Abae, where there was a richly endowed temple of Apollo, provided with wealth of treasure and offerings. There was also then as now a place of divination at this place. This temple, too, they plundered and burnt, and they pursued and caught some of the Phocians near the mountains. Certain women too perished because of the multitude of their violators. 8.35. So this part of the barbarian army marched as I have said, and others set forth with guides for the temple at Delphi, keeping Parnassus on their right. These, too, laid waste to every part of Phocis which they occupied, burning the towns of the Panopeans and Daulii and Aeolidae. ,The purpose of their parting from the rest of the army and marching this way was that they might plunder the temple at Delphi and lay its wealth before Xerxes, who (as I have been told) had better knowledge of the most notable possessions in the temple than of what he had left in his own palace, chiefly the offerings of Croesus son of Alyattes; so many had always spoken of them. 8.36. When the Delphians learned all this, they were very much afraid, and in their great fear they inquired of the oracle whether they should bury the sacred treasure in the ground or take it away to another country. The god told them to move nothing, saying that he was able to protect what belonged to him. ,Upon hearing that, the Delphians took thought for themselves. They sent their children and women overseas to Achaia. Most of the men went up to the peaks of Parnassus and carried their goods into the Corycian cave, but some escaped to Amphissa in Locris. In short, all the Delphians left the town save sixty men and the prophet. 8.37. Now when the barbarians drew near and could see the temple, the prophet, whose name was Aceratus, saw certain sacred arms, which no man might touch without sacrilege, brought out of the chamber within and laid before the shrine. ,So he went to tell the Delphians of this miracle, but when the barbarians came with all speed near to the temple of Athena Pronaea, they were visited by miracles yet greater than the aforesaid. Marvellous indeed it is, that weapons of war should of their own motion appear lying outside in front of the shrine, but the visitation which followed was more wondrous than anything else ever seen. ,When the barbarians were near to the temple of Athena Pronaea, they were struck by thunderbolts from the sky, and two peaks broken off from Parnassus came rushing among them with a mighty noise and overwhelmed many of them. In addition to this a shout and a cry of triumph were heard from the temple of Athena. 8.38. All of this together struck panic into the barbarians, and the Delphians, perceiving that they fled, descended upon them and killed a great number. The survivors fled straight to Boeotia. Those of the barbarians who returned said (as I have been told) that they had seen other divine signs besides what I have just described: two men-at-arms of stature greater than human,they said, had come after them, slaying and pursuing. 8.39. These two, say the Delphians, were the native heroes Phylacus and Autonous, whose precincts are near the temple, Phylacus' by the road itself above the shrine of Athena Pronaea, and Autonous' near the Castalian spring, under the Hyarapean Peak. ,The rocks that fell from Parnassus were yet to be seen in my day, lying in the precinct of Athena Pronaea, from where their descent through the foreigners' ranks had hurled them. Such, then, was the manner of those men's departure from the temple. 8.134. This man Mys is known to have gone to Lebadea and to have bribed a man of the country to go down into the cave of Trophonius and to have gone to the place of divination at Abae in Phocis. He went first to Thebes where he inquired of Ismenian Apollo (sacrifice is there the way of divination, as at Olympia), and moreover he bribed one who was no Theban but a stranger to lie down to sleep in the shrine of Amphiaraus. ,No Theban may seek a prophecy there, for Amphiaraus bade them by an oracle to choose which of the two they wanted and forgo the other, and take him either for their prophet or for their ally. They chose that he should be their ally. Therefore no Theban may lie down to sleep in that place. 8.135. But at this time there happened, as the Thebans say, a thing at which I marvel greatly. It would seem that this man Mys of Europus came in his wanderings among the places of divination to the precinct of Ptoan Apollo. This temple is called Ptoum, and belongs to the Thebans. It lies by a hill, above lake Copais, very near to the town Acraephia. ,When the man called Mys entered into this temple together with three men of the town who were chosen on the state's behalf to write down the oracles that should be given, straightway the diviner prophesied in a foreign tongue. ,The Thebans who followed him were astonished to hear a strange language instead of Greek and knew not what this present matter might be. Mys of Europus, however, snatched from them the tablet which they carried and wrote on it that which was spoken by the prophet, saying that the words of the oracle were Carian. After writing everything down, he went back to Thessaly. 8.136. Mardonius read whatever was said in the oracles, and presently he sent a messenger to Athens, Alexander, a Macedonian, son of Amyntas. Him he sent, partly because the Persians were akin to him; Bubares, a Persian, had taken to wife Gygaea Alexander's sister and Amyntas' daughter, who had borne to him that Amyntas of Asia who was called by the name of his mother's father, and to whom the king gave Alabanda a great city in Phrygia for his dwelling. Partly too he sent him because he learned that Alexander was a protector and benefactor to the Athenians. ,It was thus that he supposed he could best gain the Athenians for his allies, of whom he heard that they were a numerous and valiant people, and knew that they had been the chief authors of the calamities which had befallen the Persians at sea. ,If he gained their friendship he thought he would easily become master of the seas, as truly he would have been. On land he supposed himself to be by much the stronger, and he accordingly reckoned that thus he would have the upper hand of the Greeks. This chanced to be the prediction of the oracles which counseled him to make the Athenians his ally. It was in obedience to this that he sent his messenger. 8.143. But to Alexander the Athenians replied as follows: “We know of ourselves that the power of the Mede is many times greater than ours. There is no need to taunt us with that. Nevertheless in our zeal for freedom we will defend ourselves to the best of our ability. But as regards agreements with the barbarian, do not attempt to persuade us to enter into them, nor will we consent. ,Now carry this answer back to Mardonius from the Athenians, that as long as the sun holds the course by which he now goes, we will make no agreement with Xerxes. We will fight against him without ceasing, trusting in the aid of the gods and the heroes whom he has disregarded and burnt their houses and their adornments. ,Come no more to Athenians with such a plea, nor under the semblance of rendering us a service, counsel us to act wickedly. For we do not want those who are our friends and protectors to suffer any harm at Athenian hands.” 8.144. Such was their answer to Alexander, but to the Spartan envoys they said, “It was most human that the Lacedaemonians should fear our making an agreement with the barbarian. We think that it is an ignoble thing to be afraid, especially since we know the Athenian temper to be such that there is nowhere on earth such store of gold or such territory of surpassing fairness and excellence that the gift of it should win us to take the Persian part and enslave Hellas. ,For there are many great reasons why we should not do this, even if we so desired; first and foremost, the burning and destruction of the adornments and temples of our gods, whom we are constrained to avenge to the utmost rather than make pacts with the perpetrator of these things, and next the kinship of all Greeks in blood and speech, and the shrines of gods and the sacrifices that we have in common, and the likeness of our way of life, to all of which it would not befit the Athenians to be false. ,Know this now, if you knew it not before, that as long as one Athenian is left alive we will make no agreement with Xerxes. Nevertheless we thank you for your forethought concerning us, in that you have so provided for our wasted state that you offer to nourish our households. ,For your part, you have given us full measure of kindness, yet for ourselves, we will make shift to endure as best we may, and not be burdensome to you. But now, seeing that this is so, send your army with all speed, ,for as we guess, the barbarian will be upon us and invade our country in no long time as soon as the message comes to him that we will do nothing that he requires of us; therefore, before he comes into Attica, now is the time for us to march first into Boeotia.” At this reply of the Athenians the envoys returned back to Sparta. 9.36. This Tisamenus had now been brought by the Spartans and was the diviner of the Greeks at Plataea. The sacrifices boded good to the Greeks if they would just defend themselves, but evil if they should cross the Asopus and be the first to attack. 9.37. Mardonius' sacrifices also foretold an unfavorable outcome if he should be zealous to attack first, and good if he should but defend himself. He too used the Greek manner of sacrifice, and Hegesistratus of Elis was his diviner, the most notable of the sons of Tellias. This man had been put in prison and condemned to die by the Spartans for the great harm which he had done them. ,Being in such bad shape inasmuch as he was in peril of his life and was likely to be very grievously maltreated before his death, he did something which was almost beyond belief; made fast in iron-bound stocks, he got an iron weapon which was brought in some way into his prison, and straightway conceived a plan of such courage as we have never known; reckoning how best the rest of it might get free, he cut off his own foot at the instep. ,This done, he tunneled through the wall out of the way of the guards who kept watch over him, and so escaped to Tegea. All night he journeyed, and all day he hid and lay hidden in the woods, till on the third night he came to Tegea, while all the people of Lacedaemon sought him. The latter were greatly amazed when they saw the half of his foot which had been cut off and lying there but not were unable to find the man himself. ,This, then, is the way in which he escaped the Lacedaemonians and took refuge in Tegea, which at that time was unfriendly to Lacedaemon. After he was healed and had made himself a foot of wood, he declared himself an open enemy of the Lacedaemonians. Yet the enmity which he bore them brought him no good at the last, for they caught him at his divinations in Zacynthus and killed him. 9.38. The death of Hegesistratus, however, took place after the Plataean business. At the present he was by the Asopus, hired by Mardonius for no small wage, where he sacrificed and worked zealously, both for the hatred he bore the Lacedaemonians and for gain. ,When no favorable omens for battle could be won either by the Persians themselves or by the Greeks who were with them (for they too had a diviner of their own, Hippomachus of Leucas), and the Greeks kept flocking in and their army grew, Timagenides son of Herpys, a Theban, advised Mardonius to guard the outlet of the pass over Cithaeron, telling him that the Greeks were coming in daily and that he would thereby cut off many of them. 9.41. Until ten days had passed, no more was done than this. On the eleventh day from their first encampment opposite each other, the Greeks growing greatly in number and Mardonius being greatly vexed by the delay, there was a debate held between Mardonius son of Gobryas and Artabazus son of Pharnaces, who stood as high as only few others in Xerxes' esteem. ,Their opinions in council were as I will show. Artabazus thought it best that they should strike their camp with all speed and lead the whole army within the walls of Thebes. Here there was much food stored and fodder for their beasts of burden; furthermore, they could sit at their ease here and conclude the business by doing as follows: ,they could take the great store they had of gold, minted and other, and silver drinking-cups, and send all this to all places in Hellas without stint, excepting none, but especially to the chief men in the cities of Hellas. Let them do this (he said) and the Greeks would quickly surrender their liberty; but do not let the Persians risk the event of a battle. ,This opinion of his was the same as the Thebans, inasmuch as he too had special foreknowledge. Mardonius' counsel, however, was more vehement and intemperate and not at all leaning to moderation. He said that he thought that their army was much stronger than the Greeks and that they should give battle with all speed so as not to let more Greeks muster than were mustered already. As for the sacrifices of Hegesistratus, let them pay no heed to these, nor seek to wring good from them, but rather give battle after Persian custom. 9.42. No one withstood this argument, and his opinion accordingly prevailed; for it was he and not Artabazus who was commander of the army by the king's commission. He therefore sent for the leaders of the battalions and the generals of those Greeks who were with him and asked them if they knew any oracle which prophesied that the Persians should perish in Hellas. ,Those who were summoned said nothing, some not knowing the prophecies, and some knowing them but thinking it perilous to speak, and then Mardonius himself said: “Since you either have no knowledge or are afraid to declare it, hear what I tell you based on the full knowledge that I have. ,There is an oracle that Persians are fated to come to Hellas and all perish there after they have plundered the temple at Delphi. Since we have knowledge of this same oracle, we will neither approach that temple nor attempt to plunder it; in so far as destruction hinges on that, none awaits us. ,Therefore, as many of you as wish the Persian well may rejoice in that we will overcome the Greeks.” Having spoken in this way, he gave command to have everything prepared and put in good order for the battle which would take place early the next morning. 9.43. Now for this prophecy, which Mardonius said was spoken of the Persians, I know it to have been made concerning not them but the Illyrians and the army of the Enchelees. There is, however, a prophecy made by Bacis concerning this battle: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"By Thermodon's stream and the grass-grown banks of Asopus, /l lWill be a gathering of Greeks for fight and the ring of the barbarian's war-cry; /l lMany a Median archer, by death untimely overtaken will fall /l lThere in the battle when the day of his doom is upon him. /l /quote I know that these verses and others very similar to them from Musaeus referred to the Persians. As for the river Thermodon, it flows between Tanagra and Glisas.
6. Sophocles, Antigone, 998 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

7. Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.4.7 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

6.4.7. Besides this, they were also somewhat encouraged by the oracle which was reported — that the Lacedaemonians were destined to be defeated at the spot where stood the monument of the virgins, who are said to have killed themselves because they had been violated by certain Lacedaemonians. The Thebans accordingly decorated this monument before the battle. Furthermore, reports were brought to them 371 B.C. from the city that all the temples were opening of themselves, and that the priestesses said that the gods revealed victory. And the messengers reported that from the Heracleium the arms also had disappeared, indicating that Heracles had gone forth to the battle. Some, to be sure, say that all these things were but devices of the leaders.
8. Hyperides, Pro Euxenippo, 16 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

9. Plutarch, Sayings of The Spartans, 19.1-19.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

19.1. Archidamus, the son of Zeuxidamus, when someone inquired of him who were at the head of Sparta, said, The laws and the magistrates in accordance with the laws. 19.2. In answer to a man who praised a harper and expressed amazement at his ability, he said, My good sir, what honours shall you be able to offer to good men when you have such praise for a harper?
10. Plutarch, Aristides, 19.1-19.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. Aelius Aristides, Orations, 39.6, 39.12, 39.15, 39.17 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. Maximus of Tyre, Dialexeis, 8.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.4.1-9.4.2, 9.39-9.40, 9.39.5-9.39.14 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9.4.1. The Plataeans have also a sanctuary of Athena surnamed Warlike; it was built from the spoils given them by the Athenians as their share from the battle of Marathon. It is a wooden image gilded, but the face, hands and feet are of Pentelic marble. In size it is but little smaller than the bronze Athena on the Acropolis, the one which the Athenians also erected as first-fruits of the battle at Marathon; the Plataeans too had Pheidias for the maker of their image of Athena. 9.4.2. In the temple are paintings: one of them, by Polygnotus, represents Odysseus after he has killed the wooers; the other, painted by Onasias, is the former expedition of the Argives, under Adrastus, against Thebes . These paintings are on the walls of the fore-temple, while at the feet of the image is a portrait of Arimnestus, who commanded the Plataeans at the battle against Mardonius, and yet before that at Marathon. 9.39.5. What happens at the oracle is as follows. When a man has made up his mind to descend to the oracle of Trophonius, he first lodges in a certain building for an appointed number of days, this being sacred to the good Spirit and to good Fortune. While he lodges there, among other regulations for purity he abstains from hot baths, bathing only in the river Hercyna. Meat he has in plenty from the sacrifices, for he who descends sacrifices to Trophonius himself and to the children of Trophonius, to Apollo also and Cronus, to Zeus surnamed King, to Hera Charioteer, and to Demeter whom they surname Europa and say was the nurse of Trophonius. 9.39.6. At each sacrifice a diviner is present, who looks into the entrails of the victim, and after an inspection prophesies to the person descending whether Trophonius will give him a kind and gracious reception. The entrails of the other victims do not declare the mind of Trophonius so much as a ram, which each inquirer sacrifices over a pit on the night he descends, calling upon Agamedes. Even though the previous sacrifices have appeared propitious, no account is taken of them unless the entrails of this ram indicate the same; but if they agree, then the inquirer descends in good hope. The procedure of the descent is this. 9.39.7. First, during the night he is taken to the river Hercyna by two boys of the citizens about thirteen years old, named Hermae, who after taking him there anoint him with oil and wash him. It is these who wash the descender, and do all the other necessary services as his attendant boys. After this he is taken by the priests, not at once to the oracle, but to fountains of water very near to each other. 9.39.8. Here he must drink water called the water of Forgetfulness, that he may forget all that he has been thinking of hitherto, and afterwards he drinks of another water, the water of Memory, which causes him to remember what he sees after his descent. After looking at the image which they say was made by Daedalus (it is not shown by the priests save to such as are going to visit Trophonius), having seen it, worshipped it and prayed, he proceeds to the oracle, dressed in a linen tunic, with ribbons girding it, and wearing the boots of the country. 9.39.9. The oracle is on the mountain, beyond the grove. Round it is a circular basement of white marble, the circumference of which is about that of the smallest threshing floor, while its height is just short of two cubits. On the basement stand spikes, which, like the cross-bars holding them together, are of bronze, while through them has been made a double door. Within the enclosure is a chasm in the earth, not natural, but artificially constructed after the most accurate masonry. 9.39.10. The shape of this structure is like that of a bread-oven. Its breadth across the middle one might conjecture to be about four cubits, and its depth also could not be estimated to extend to more than eight cubits. They have made no way of descent to the bottom, but when a man comes to Trophonius, they bring him a narrow, light ladder. After going down he finds a hole between the floor and the structure. Its breadth appeared to be two spans, and its height one span. 9.39.11. The descender lies with his back on the ground, holding barley-cakes kneaded with honey, thrusts his feet into the hole and himself follows, trying hard to get his knees into the hole. After his knees the rest of his body is at once swiftly drawn in, just as the largest and most rapid river will catch a man in its eddy and carry him under. After this those who have entered the shrine learn the future, not in one and the same way in all cases, but by sight sometimes and at other times by hearing. The return upwards is by the same mouth, the feet darting out first. 9.39.12. They say that no one who has made the descent has been killed, save only one of the bodyguard of Demetrius. But they declare that he performed none of the usual rites in the sanctuary, and that he descended, not to consult the god but in the hope of stealing gold and silver from the shrine. It is said that the body of this man appeared in a different place, and was not cast out at the sacred mouth. Other tales are told about the fellow, but I have given the one most worthy of consideration. 9.39.13. After his ascent from Trophonius the inquirer is again taken in hand by the priests, who set him upon a chair called the chair of Memory, which stands not far from the shrine, and they ask of him, when seated there, all he has seen or learned. After gaining this information they then entrust him to his relatives. These lift him, paralyzed with terror and unconscious both of himself and of his surroundings, and carry him to the building where he lodged before with Good Fortune and the Good Spirit. Afterwards, however, he will recover all his faculties, and the power to laugh will return to him. 9.39.14. What I write is not hearsay; I have myself inquired of Trophonius and seen other inquirers. Those who have descended into the shrine of Trophonius are obliged to dedicate a tablet on which is written all that each has heard or seen. The shield also of Aristomenes is still preserved here. Its story I have already given in a former part of my work. See Paus. 4.16.7 to Paus. 4.32.6 .
14. Philostratus The Athenian, Life of Apollonius, 8.19 (2nd cent. CE - missingth cent. CE)

8.19. After forty days, given up to discussions in Olympia, in which many topics were handled, Apollonius said: I will also, O men of Hellas, discourse to you in your several cities, at your festivals, at your religious processions, at your mysteries, your sacrifices, at your public libations, and they require the services of a clever man; but for the present I must go down to Lebadea, for I have never yet had an interview with Trophonius, although I once visited his shrine. And with these words he at once started for Boeotia attended by every one of his admirers. Now the cavern in Lebadea is dedicated to Trophonius, the son of Apollo, and it can only be entered by those who resort thither in order to get an oracle, and it is not visible in the sanctuary, but lies a little above it on a mound; and it is shut in by iron spits which surround it, and you descend into it as it were sitting down and being drawn down. Those who enter it are clad in white raiment, and are escorted thither with honey-cakes in their hands to appease the reptiles which assail them as they descend. But the earth brings them to the surface again, in some cases close by, but in other cases a long way off; for they are sent up to the surface beyond Locris and beyond Phocis, but most of them about the borders of Boeotia. Accordingly Apollonius entered the shrine and said: I wish to descend into the cave in the interests of philosophy.But the priests opposed him and though they told the multitude that they would never allow a wizard like him to examine and test the shrine, they pretended to the sage himself that there were forbidden days and days unclean for consulting. So on that day he delivered a discourse at the springs of Hercyne, about the origin and conduct of the shrine; for it is the only oracle which gives responses through the person himself who consults it. And when the evening approached, he went to the mouth of the cave with his train of youthful followers, and having pulled up four of the obelisks, which constitute a bar to the passage, he went down below ground wearing his philosopher's mantle, having dressed himself as if he were going to deliver an address upon philosophy — a step which the god Trophonius so thoroughly approved of, that he appeared to the priests and not only rebuked them for the reception they had given Apollonius, but enjoined them all to follow him to Aulis, for he said it was there that he would come to surface in such a marvelous fashion as no man before. And in fact he emerged after seven days, a longer period than it had taken anyone of those who until then had entered the oracle, and he had with him a volume thoroughly in keeping with the questions he had asked: for had gone down saying: What, O Trophonius, do you consider the most complete and purest philosophy? And the volume contained the tenets of Pythagoras, a good proof this, that the oracle was in agreement with this form of wisdom.
15. Epigraphy, Ig Vii, 3055

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abae Mikalson (2003) 87, 122
achaea Mikalson (2003) 157
aeschylus,regional,in local ritual setting Kowalzig (2007) 376
aetiologies,specific,apollo ismenios Kowalzig (2007) 375
agents Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
akraiphia Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375
alexander i of macedon Mikalson (2003) 87, 88
alexander the great Renberg (2017) 569
amphiaraos,and apollo Renberg (2017) 311
amphiaraos,consulted by croesus Renberg (2017) 102, 660
amphiaraos,consulted by mys Renberg (2017) 102, 103, 310, 311, 660
amphiaraos,cults theban origin Renberg (2017) 103, 311, 660
amphiaraos,divinatory incubation Renberg (2017) 310, 311
amphiaraos,divinatory incubation preceding therapeutic Renberg (2017) 310, 311
amphiaraos,sought for both divinatory and therapeutic incubation Renberg (2017) 103, 311
amphiaraos,transformation into healer at oropos Renberg (2017) 103
amphiaraos Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70; Renberg (2017) 310, 311, 660
amphiaraus,hero of thebes Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
amphilochos Renberg (2017) 310
amyntas son of perdikkas (macedonian royal figure),consultation at trophonion Renberg (2017) 569
aphrodite,abaios Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
aphrodite,ismenius of thebes Mikalson (2003) 87, 122
aphrodite,of delion Mikalson (2003) 122
aphrodite,of delos Mikalson (2003) 122
aphrodite,ptoös of ptoön Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
apollo ismenios (thebes),(not) part of mantic pool Kowalzig (2007) 376
apollo ismenios (thebes),aetiology of Kowalzig (2007) 375
apollo ismenios (thebes),and boiotia Kowalzig (2007) 376
apollo ismenios (thebes),and musical innovation Kowalzig (2007) 375
apollo ismenios (thebes),divination at Kowalzig (2007) 376
apollo ismenios (thebes),myth-ritual nexus of Kowalzig (2007) 375
apollo ismenios (thebes),songs for Kowalzig (2007) 375
apollo ismenios (thebes) Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
apollo pto(i)os,ptoieus,(not) controlled by thebes Kowalzig (2007) 369
apollo pto(i)os,ptoieus,and koinon Kowalzig (2007) 369
apollo pto(i)os,ptoieus,archaeology Kowalzig (2007) 369
apollo pto(i)os,ptoieus,cult song for Kowalzig (2007) 369
apollo pto(i)os,ptoieus Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
apollo ptoios Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
apollo pythios (delphi),apollo tegyraios Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
apollo pythios (delphi),thilphousaios Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
apollo pythios (delphi),thourios Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
argos (without epithet),linking boiotia Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
asios Kowalzig (2007) 369
athamantine plain Kowalzig (2007) 369
athamas Kowalzig (2007) 369
athena,ilias of troy Mikalson (2003) 157
athenians,consultation of oracle of amphiaraos at oropos Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
athenians,trust in gods and heroes Mikalson (2003) 88
athens,euxenipposs consultation at oropos amphiareion Renberg (2017) 311
birth (mythical),as myth-ritual nexus Kowalzig (2007) 375
carians Mikalson (2003) 87, 122
chresmologoi Mikalson (2003) 157
corinth,incubation by bellerophon at athena sanctuary Renberg (2017) 102
croesus (lydian king),consultation of greek oracles Renberg (2017) 102, 568, 660
croesus of lydia,dedications of Mikalson (2003) 122
croesus of lydia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 88
cult centres,local and regional Kowalzig (2007) 369
darius of persia Mikalson (2003) 122, 157
datis,persians general,apollo of delion and Mikalson (2003) 122
datis,persians general,delos and Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
datis,persians general,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 122
dead,treatment of Mikalson (2003) 157
dedications,after plataea Mikalson (2003) 122
dedications,to amphiaraus Mikalson (2003) 122
delos and delians Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
delphi and delphians Mikalson (2003) 87, 88
divination (greek and roman),auditory dream/epiphany Renberg (2017) 569
divinities (greek and roman),apollo Renberg (2017) 311
divinities (greek and roman),apollo ismenios Renberg (2017) 103
divinities (greek and roman),apollo ptoios Renberg (2017) 102, 103
divinities (greek and roman),athena chalinitis Renberg (2017) 102
divinities (greek and roman),herakles Renberg (2017) 310
dream incubation Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
dreams Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
dreams (in greek and latin literature),hyperides,for euxenippos Renberg (2017) 311
dreams (in greek and latin literature),pindar,olympian odes Renberg (2017) 102
dreams (in greek and latin literature),plutarch,life of aristides Renberg (2017) 102
drought,oracular Kowalzig (2007) 376
eleusinian mysteries Renberg (2017) 569
euromus (carian city) Renberg (2017) 103
euxenippos Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
experience Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
expertise Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
graeca interpretatio Mikalson (2003) 157
heroes and heroines,of thebes Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
heroes and heroines,of troy Mikalson (2003) 87, 157
heroes and heroines Mikalson (2003) 88
incubation (greek),early development Renberg (2017) 102, 103
incubation (greek),in bellerophon myth Renberg (2017) 102
incubation (greek),question of incubation at trophonion Renberg (2017) 569
insular,regional Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
laodamas of thebes Mikalson (2003) 122
lebadeia Kowalzig (2007) 375
locality,orchestration of religious Kowalzig (2007) 375
magoi Mikalson (2003) 157
manteis Mikalson (2003) 157
mardonios (persian commander) Renberg (2017) 102, 103, 310, 311, 568
mardonius of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 157
mardonius of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 87, 88, 122, 157
memories,social,appropriated in song Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
migrations,myths of,boiotia Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
miracles' Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
miracles,at delos Mikalson (2003) 122
miracles,at ptoön Mikalson (2003) 87
mousike,music,and social change Kowalzig (2007) 375
myndos,mys,oracular tour of Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375
mys of europos Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
mys of europus Mikalson (2003) 87, 122, 157
myth-ritual nexus,ritual moment Kowalzig (2007) 375
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),bellerophon Renberg (2017) 102
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),polyidos of corinth Renberg (2017) 102
nereids,goddesses Mikalson (2003) 157
network,of myths and rituals (also myth-ritual web,grid,framework),and regional integration (kopais) Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
network,of myths and rituals (also myth-ritual web,grid,framework),one replaced by another Kowalzig (2007) 369
oedipus of thebes Mikalson (2003) 122
olympia,divination at Mikalson (2003) 87
onomacritus Mikalson (2003) 157
oracles,of trophonius Mikalson (2003) 87, 88, 157
oracles Mikalson (2003) 88, 157
oracles (greek),thebes,oracle of apollo ismenios Renberg (2017) 103
oracles (italic),ephyra/thesprotia Renberg (2017) 102
oropos,oracle of amphiaraos Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
oropos amphiareion,viewed as original amphiareion Renberg (2017) 660
oropos amphiareion,visit of euxenipposs delegation Renberg (2017) 311
oropos amphiareion Renberg (2017) 103, 310, 311, 660
past,mythical,unified in song Kowalzig (2007) 375
performances of myth and ritual (also song),(re)creation of worshipping groups Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
performances of myth and ritual (also song),embracing social change Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
periander (corinthian tyrant),inquiry of thesprotia nekyomanteion Renberg (2017) 102
phocians Mikalson (2003) 122
phokis Kowalzig (2007) 369
plutarch Kowalzig (2007) 376
pto(i)os,hero Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375
ptoion Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
region,as religious system Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
region,integration of in song Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376
religion (greek),katabasis Renberg (2017) 569
sacrifice,and divination Kowalzig (2007) 376
sacrifices,by persians Mikalson (2003) 157
sacrifices Mikalson (2003) 87
sanctuaries,,controversial control of Kowalzig (2007) 369
spartans Mikalson (2003) 88
tegyra,apollos oracle at Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
telphousa,tilphousa,spring Kowalzig (2007) 375
teneros,theban hero,and theban appropriation of kopais traditions Kowalzig (2007) 369
teneros,theban hero,birth of at ismenion Kowalzig (2007) 375
teneros,theban hero Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
thebans Mikalson (2003) 87, 122
thebes,adopting thessalian kopais traditions through song Kowalzig (2007) 369
thebes,identical with boiotia Kowalzig (2007) 369
thebes Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
thebes (greece),and early cult of amphiaraos Renberg (2017) 660
theorodokia Kowalzig (2007) 369
thero Kowalzig (2007) 375
thessalians Kowalzig (2007) 369, 375, 376; Mikalson (2003) 122
thessaly/thessalians Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70
thetis,goddess Mikalson (2003) 87, 157
thoudippos decree,thourion,apollo at Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
trikka asklepieion Renberg (2017) 569
trophonios Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy (2019) 70; Kowalzig (2007) 375, 376
trophonios (and trophonion),consulted by amyntas son of perdikkas Renberg (2017) 569
trophonios (and trophonion),consulted by croesus Renberg (2017) 568
trophonios (and trophonion),consulted by mys for mardonios Renberg (2017) 103, 568, 569
trophonios (and trophonion),lost works of literature on trophonios Renberg (2017) 568
trophonios (and trophonion),nature of revelatory experience Renberg (2017) 568, 569
trophonios (and trophonion) Renberg (2017) 568, 569
trophonius,god of lebadea Mikalson (2003) 87, 88, 157
troy,xerxes at Mikalson (2003) 87, 157
victor,of epinikian odes,protected by local deity Kowalzig (2007) 375
votives,votive offerings,mythical Kowalzig (2007) 375
xerxes of persia,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 88, 122
xerxes of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 157
xerxes of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 157
xerxes of persia,respect for religious conventions Mikalson (2003) 87, 88, 157