Map of Greece in 431 BC
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with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D. in 4 Volumes. Volume 1.Attica
and Cornith, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann
Pausanias, reputedly born in Lydia, was a Greek traveler (as well as Greece
he also visited Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Macedonia, Epirus) during
height of Roman rule. His most important work is the Description of Greece [Periegesis
Hellados], a sort of tourist guidebook, which remains an invaluable text on ancient
The Description of Greece survives in ten books in the form of a tour of Greece
starting in Attica. The first book seems to have been completed after 143 CE,
but before 161CE. No event after 176CE is mentioned in the work.
Pausanias begins his description of each city with a synopsis of its history
followed by an account of the monuments in topographical order. He also discusses
local daily life, ceremonial rituals, legend and folklore. His main concentration
is on artistic workd from the glories of classical Greece, especially religious
art and architecture. That he can be relied on for building and works which have
since disappeared is shown by the accuracy of his descriptions of buildings which
For at Athens he discusses the pictures, portraits, and inscriptions recording
the laws of Solon; the great gold and ivory statue of Athena in the Parthenon;
and the monuments to famous men and of Athenians who died in battle.
with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D. in 4 Volumes. Volume 1.Attica
and Cornith, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann
[2.1.1] The Corinthian land is a portion of the Argive, and is named after Corinthus.
That Corinthus was a son of Zeus I have never known anybody say seriously except
the majority of the Corinthians. Eumelus, the son of Amphilytus,1 of the family
called Bacchidae, who is said to have composed the epic poem, says in his Corinthian
History (if indeed the history be his) that Ephyra, the daughter of Oceanus, dwelt
first in this land; that afterwards Marathon, the son of Epopeus, the son of Aloeus,
the son of Helius (Sun), fleeing from the lawless violence of his father migrated
to the sea coast of Attica; that on the death of Epopeus he came to Peloponnesus,
divided his kingdom among his sons, and returned to Attica; and that Asopia was
renamed after Sicyon, and Ephyraea after Corinthus.
[2.1.2] Corinth is no longer inhabited by any of the old Corinthians, but by
colonists sent out by the Romans. This change is due to the Achaean League.1 The
Corinthians, being members of it, joined in the war against the Romans, which Critolaus,
when appointed general of the Achaeans, brought about by persuading to revolt both
the Achaeans and the majority of the Greeks outside the Peloponnesus. When the Romans
won the war, they carried out a general disarmament of the Greeks2 and dismantled
the walls of such cities as were fortified. Corinth was laid waste by Mummius, who
at that time commanded the Romans in the field, and it is said that it was afterwards
refounded by Caesar,3 who was the author of the present constitution of Rome. Carthage,
too, they say, was refounded in his reign. [2.1.3] In the Corinthian territory is
also the place called Cromyon from Cromus the son of Poseidon. Here they say that
Phaea was bred; overcoming this sow was one of the traditional achievements of Theseus.
Farther on the pine still grew by the shore at the time of my visit, and there was
an altar of Melicertes. At this place, they say, the boy was brought ashore by a
dolphin; Sisyphus found him lying and gave him burial on the Isthmus, establishing
the Isthmian games in his honor.[2.1.4] At the beginning of the Isthmus is the place
where the brigand Sinis used to take hold of pine trees and draw them down. All
those whom he overcame in fight he used to tie to the trees, and then allow them
to swing up again. Thereupon each of the pines used to drag to itself the bound
man, and as the bond gave way in neither direction but was stretched equally in
both, he was torn in two. This was the way in which Sinis himself was slain by Theseus.
For Theseus rid of evildoers the road from Troezen to Athens, killing those whom
I have enumerated and, in sacred Epidaurus, Periphetes, thought to be the son of
Hephaestus, who used to fight with a bronze club.[2.1.5] The Corinthian Isthmus
stretches on the one hand to the sea at Cenchreae, and on the other to the sea at
Lechaeum. For this is what makes the region to the south mainland. He who tried
to make the Peloponnesus an island gave up before digging through the Isthmus. Where
they began to dig is still to be seen, but into the rock they did not advance at
all. So it still is mainland as its nature is to be. Alexander the son of Philip
wished to dig through Mimas, and his attempt to do this was his only unsuccessful
project. The Cnidians began to dig through their isthmus, but the Pythian priestess
stopped them. So difficult it is for man to alter by violence what Heaven has made.
[2.1.6] A legend of the Corinthians about their land is not peculiar to them,
for I believe that the Athenians were the first to relate a similar story to glorify
Attica. The Corinthians say that Poseidon had a dispute with Helius (Sun) about
the land, and that Briareos arbitrated between them, assigning to Poseidon the Isthmus
and the parts adjoining, and giving to Helius the height above the city.Ever since,
they say, the Isthmus has belonged to Poseidon.[2.1.7] Worth seeing here are a theater
and a white-marble race-course. Within the sanctuary of the god stand on the one
side portrait statues of athletes who have won victories at the Isthmian games,
on the other side pine trees growing in a row, the greater number of them rising
up straight. On the temple, which is not very large, stand bronze Tritons. In the
fore-temple are images, two of Poseidon, a third of Amphitrite, and a Sea, which
also is of bronze. The offerings inside were dedicated in our time by Herodes the
Athenian, four horses, gilded except for the hoofs, which are of ivory,[2.1.8] and
two gold Tritons beside the horses, with the parts below the waist of ivory. On
the car stand Amphitrite and Poseidon, and there is the boy Palaemon upright upon
a dolphin. These too are made of ivory and gold. On the middle of the base on which
the car is has been wrought a Sea holding up the young Aphrodite, and on either
side are the nymphs called Nereids. I know that there are altars to these in other
parts of Greece, and that some Greeks have even dedicated to them precincts by shores,
where honors are also paid to Achilles. In Gabala is a holy sanctuary of Doto, where
there was still remaining the robe by which the Greeks say that Eriphyle was bribed
to wrong her son Alcmaeon.[2.1.9] Among the reliefs on the base of the statue of
Poseidon are the sons of Tyndareus, because these too are saviours of ships and
of sea-faring men. The other offerings are images of Calm and of Sea, a horse like
a whale from the breast onward, Ino and Bellerophontes, and the horse Pegasus.
2,1,1,n1. 8th cent. B.C.
2,1,2,n1. A league of states in the northern Peloponnesus. It was most influential
in the second half of the third century B.C. Founded 280 B.C.
2,1,2,n2. 146 B.C.
2,1,2,n3. 44 B.C.
[2.2.1] Within the enclosure is on the left a temple of Palaemon, with images
in it of Poseidon, Leucothea and Palaemon himself. There is also what is called
his Holy of Holies, and an underground descent to it, where they say that Palaemon
is concealed. Whosoever, whether Corinthian or stranger, swears falsely here, can
by no means escape from his oath. There is also an ancient sanctuary called the
altar of the Cyclopes, and they sacrifice to the Cyclopes upon it.[2.2.2] The graves
of Sisyphus and of Neleus--for they say that Neleus came to Corinth, died of disease,
and was buried near the Isthmus--I do not think that anyone would look for after
reading Eumelus. For he says that not even to Nestor did Sisyphus show the tomb
of Neleus, because it must be kept unknown to everybody alike, and that Sisyphus
is indeed buried on the Isthmus, but that few Corinthians, even those of his own
day, knew where the grave was. The Isthmian games were not interrupted even when
Corinth had been laid waste by Mummius, but so long as it lay deserted the celebration
of the games was entrusted to the Sicyonians, and when it was rebuilt the honor
was restored to the present inhabitants.
[2.2.3] The names of the Corinthian harbors were given them by Leches and Cenchrias,
said to be the children of Poseidon and Peirene the daughter of Achelous, though
in the poem called The Great Eoeae1 Peirene is said to be a daughter of Oebalus.
In Lechaeum are a sanctuary and a bronze image of Poseidon, and on the road leading
from the Isthmus to Cenchreae a temple and ancient wooden image of Artemis. In Cenchreae
are a temple and a stone statue of Aphrodite, after it on the mole running into
the sea a bronze image of Poseidon, and at the other end of the harbor sanctuaries
of Asclepius and of Isis. Right opposite Cenchreae is Helen's Bath. It is a large
stream of salt, tepid water, flowing from a rock into the sea.[2.2.4] As one goes
up to Corinth are tombs, and by the gate is buried Diogenes1 of Sinope, whom the
Greeks surname the Dog. Before the city is a grove of cypresses called Craneum.
Here are a precinct of Bellerophontes, a temple of Aphrodite Melaenis and the grave
of Lais, upon which is set a lioness holding a ram in her fore-paws.
[2.2.5] There is in Thessaly another tomb which claims to be that of Lais, for
she went to that country also when she fell in love with Hippostratus. The story
is that originally she was of Hycara in Sicily. Taken captive while yet a girl by
Nicias and the Athenians, she was sold and brought to Corinth, where she surpassed
in beauty the courtesans of her time, and so won the admiration of the Corinthians
that even now they claim Lais as their own.[2.2.6] The things worthy of mention
in the city include the extant remains of antiquity, but the greater number of them
belong to the period of its second ascendancy. On the market-place, where most of
the sanctuaries are, stand Artemis surnamed Ephesian and wooden images of Dionysus,
which are covered with gold with the exception of their faces; these are ornamented
with red paint. They are called Lysius and Baccheus,[2.2.7] and I too give the story
told about them. They say that Pentheus treated Dionysus despitefully, his crowning
outrage being that he went to Cithaeron, to spy upon the women, and climbing up
a tree beheld what was done. When the women detected Pentheus, they immediately
dragged him down, and joined in tearing him, living as he was, limb from limb. Afterwards,
as the Corinthians say, the Pythian priestess commanded them by an oracle to discover
that tree and to worship it equally with the god. For this reason they have made
these images from the tree.
[2.2.8] There is also a temple of Fortune, with a standing image of Parian marble.
Beside it is a sanctuary for all the gods. Hard by is built a fountain, on which
is a bronze Poseidon; under the feet of Poseidon is a dolphin spouting water. There
is also a bronze Apollo surnamed Clarius and a statue of Aphrodite made by Hermogenes
of Cythera. There are two bronze, standing images of Hermes, for one of which a
temple has been made. The images of Zeus also are in the open; one had not a surname,
another they call Chthonius (of the Lower World) and the third Most High.
2,2,3,n1. Said to be a work of Hesiod.
2,2,4,n1. The "Cynic" philosopher
[2.3.1] In the middle of the market-place is a bronze Athena, on the pedestal
of which are wrought in relief figures of the Muses. Above the market-place is a
temple of Octavia the sister of Augustus, who was emperor of the Romans after Caesar,
the founder of the modern Corinth.[2.3.2] On leaving the market-place along the
road to Lechaeum you come to a gateway, on which are two gilded chariots, one carrying
Phaethon the son of Helius (Sun), the other Helius himself. A little farther away
from the gateway, on the right as you go in, is a bronze Heracles. After this is
the entrance to the water of Peirene. The legend about Peirene is that she was a
woman who became a spring because of her tears shed in lamentation for her son Cenchrias,
who was unintentionally killed by Artemis.
[2.3.3] The spring is ornamented with white marble, and there have been made
chambers like caves, out of which the water flows into an open-air well. It Is pleasant
to drink, and they say that the Corinthian bronze, when red-hot, is tempered by
this water, since bronze . . . the Corinthians have not. Moreover near Peirene are
an image and a sacred enclosure of Apollo; in the latter is a painting of the exploit
of Odysseus against the suitors.
[2.3.4] Proceeding on the direct road to Lechaeum we see a bronze image of a
seated Hermes. By him stands a ram, for Hermes is the god who is thought most to
care for and to increase flocks, as Homer puts it in the Iliad:--
Son was he of Phorbas, the dearest of Trojans to Hermes,
Rich in flocks, for the god vouchsafed him wealth in abundance.1
The story told at the mysteries of the Mother about Hermes and the ram I know
but do not relate. After the image of Hermes come Poseidon, Leucothea, and Palaemon
on a dolphin.[2.3.5] The Corinthians have baths in many parts of the city, some
put up at the public charge and one by the emperor Hadrian. The most famous of them
is near the Poseidon. It was made by the Spartan Eurycles,1 who beautified it with
various kinds of stone, especially the one quarried at Croceae in Laconia. On the
left of the entrance stands a Poseidon, and after him Artemis hunting. Throughout
the city are many wells, for the Corinthians have a copious supply of flowing water,
besides the water which the emperor Hadrian brought from Lake Stymphalus, but the
most noteworthy is the one by the side of the image of Artemis. Over it is a Bellerophontes,
and the water flows through the hoof of the horse Pegasus. [2.3.6] As you go along
another road from the market-place, which leads to Sicyon, you can see on the right
of the road a temple and bronze image of Apollo, and a little farther on a well
called the Well of Glauce. Into this they say she threw herself in the belief that
the water would be a cure for the drugs of Medea. Above this well has been built
what is called the Odeum (Music Hall), beside which is the tomb of Medea's children.
Their names were Mermerus and Pheres, and they are said to have been stoned to death
by the Corinthians owing to the gifts which legend says they brought to Glauce.
[2.3.7] But as their death was violent and illegal, the young babies of the Corinthians
were destroyed by them until, at the command of the oracle, yearly sacrifices were
established in their honor and a figure of Terror was set up. This figure still
exists, being the likeness of a woman frightful to look upon but after Corinth was
laid waste by the Romans and the old Corinthians were wiped out, the new settlers
broke the custom of offering those sacrifices to the sons of Medea, nor do their
children cut their hair for them or wear black clothes.[2.3.8] On the occasion referred
to Medea went to Athens and married Aegeus, but subsequently she was detected plotting
against Theseus and fled from Athens also; coming to the land then called Aria she
caused its inhabitants to be named after her Medes. The son, whom she brought with
her in her flight to the Arii, they say she had by Aegeus, and that his name was
Medus. Hellanicus,1 however, calls him Polyxenus and says that his father was Jason.[2.3.9]
The Greeks have an epic poem called Naupactia. In this Jason is represented as having
removed his home after the death of Pelias from Iolcus to Corcyra, and Mermerus,
the elder of his children, to have been killed by a lioness while hunting on the
mainland opposite. Of Pheres is recorded nothing. But Cinaethon1 of Lacedaemon,
another writer of pedigrees in verse, said that Jason's children by Medea were a
son Medeus and a daughter Eriopis; he too, however, gives no further information
about these children. [2.3.10] Eumelus said that Helius (Sun) gave the Asopian land
to Aloeus and Epliyraea to Aeetes. When Aeetes was departing for Colchis he entrusted
his land to Bunus, the son of Hermes and Alcidamea, and when Bunus died Epopeus
the son of Aloeus extended his kingdom to include the Ephyraeans. Afterwards, when
Corinthus, the son of Marathon, died childless, the Corinthians sent for Medea from
Iolcus and bestowed upon her the kingdom.
[2.3.11] Through her Jason was king in Corinth, and Medea, as her children were
born, carried each to the sanctuary of Hera and concealed them, doing so in the
belief that so they would be immortal. At last she learned that her hopes were vain,
and at the same time she was detected by Jason. When she begged for pardon he refused
it, and sailed away to Iolcus. For these reasons Medea too departed, and handed
over the kingdom to Sisyphus.
2,3,4,n1. Hom. Il. 14.490
2,3,5,n1. Probably a contemporary of Augustus.
2,3,8,n1. A writer of the fifth century B.C.
2,3,9,n1. An early epic writer.
[2.4.1] This is the account that I read, and not far from the tomb is the temple
of Athena Chalinitis (Bridler). For Athena, they say, was the divinity who gave
most help to Bellerophontes, and she delivered to him Pegasus, having herself broken
in and bridled him. The image of her is of wood, but face, hands and feet are of
white marble. [2.4.2] That Bellerophontes was not an absolute king, but was subject
to Proetus and the Argives is the belief of myself and of all who have read carefully
the Homeric poems.1 When Bellerophontes migrated to Lycia it is clear that the Corinthians
none the less were subject to the despots at Argos or Mycenae. By themselves they
provided no leader for the campaign against Troy, but shared in the expedition as
part of the forces, Mycenaean and other, led by Agamemnon. [2.4.3] Sisyphus had
other sons besides Glaucus, the father of Bellerophontes a second was Ornytion,
and besides him there were Thersander and Almus. Ornytion had a son Phocus, reputed
to have been begotten by Poseidon. He migrated to Tithorea in what is now called
Phocis, but Thoas, the younger son of Ornytion, remained behind at Corinth. Thoas
begat Damophon, Damophon begat Propodas, and Propodas begat Doridas and Hyanthidas.
While these were kings the Dorians took the field against Corinth, their leader
being Aletes, the son of Hippotas, the son of Phylas, the son of Antiochus, the
son of Heracles. So Doridas and Hyanthidas gave up the kingship to Aletes and remained
at Corinth, but the Corinthian people were conquered in battle and expelled by the
Dorians.[2.4.4] Aletes himself and his descendants reigned for five generations
to Bacchis, the son of Prumnis, and, named after him, the Bacchidae reigned for
five more generations to Telestes, the son of Aristodemus. Telestes was killed in
hate by Arieus and Perantas, and there were no more kings, but Prytanes (Presidents)
taken from the Bacchidae and ruling for one year, until Cypselus, the son of Eetion,
became tyrant and expelled the Bacchidae.1 Cypselus was a descendant of Melas, the
son of Antasus. Melas from Gonussa above Sicyon joined the Dorians in the expedition
against Corinth. When the god expressed disapproval Aletes at first ordered Melas
to withdraw to other Greeks, but afterwards, mistaking the oracle, he received him
as a settler.Such I found to be the history of the Corinthian kings. [2.4.5] Now
the sanctuary of Athena Chalinitis is by their theater, and near is a naked wooden
image of Heracles, said to be a work of Daedalus. All the works of this artist,
although rather uncouth to look at, are nevertheless distinguished by a kind of
inspiration. Above the theater is a sanctuary of Zeus surnamed in the Latin tongue
Capitolinus, which might be rendered into Greek "Coryphaeos". Not far from this
theater is the ancient gymnasium, and a spring called Lerna. Pillars stand around
it, and seats have been made to refresh in summer time those who have entered it.
By this gymnasium are temples of Zeus and Asclepius. The images of Asclepius and
of Health are of white marble, that of Zeus is of bronze.[2.4.6] The Acrocorinthus
is a mountain peak above the city, assigned to Helius by Briareos when he acted
as adjudicator, and handed over, the Corinthians say, by Helius to Aphrodite. As
you go up this Acrocorinthus you see two precincts of Isis, one if Isis surnamed
Pelagian (Marine) and the other of Egyptian Isis, and two of Serapis, one of them
being of Serapis called "in Canopus." After these are altars to Helius, and a sanctuary
of Necessity and Force, into which it is not customary to enter.
[2.4.7] Above it are a temple of the Mother of the gods and a throne; the image
and the throne are made of stone. The temple of the Fates and that of Demeter and
the Maid have images that are not exposed to view. Here, too, is the temple of Hera
Bunaea set up by Bunus the son of Hermes. It is for this reason that the goddess
is called Bunaea.
2,4,2,n1. Hom. Il. 6.159
2,4,4,n1. 655 B.C.
[2.5.1] On the summit of the Acrocorinthus is a temple of Aphrodite. The images
are Aphrodite armed, Helius, and Eros with a bow. The spring, which is behind the
temple, they say was the gift of Asopus to Sisyphus. The latter knew, so runs the
legend, that Zeus had ravished Aegina, the daughter of Asopus, but refused to give
information to the seeker before he had a spring given him on the Acrocorinthus.
When Asopus granted this request Sisyphus turned informer, and on this account he
receives--if anyone believes the story--punishment in Hades. I have heard people
say that this spring and Peirene are the same, the water in the city flowing hence
under-ground.[2.5.2] This Asopus rises in the Phliasian territory, flows through
the Sicyonian, and empties itself into the sea here. His daughters, say the Phliasians,
were Corcyra, Aegina, and Thebe. Corcyra and Aegina gave new names to the islands
called Scheria and Oenone, while from Thebe is named the city below the Cadmea.
The Thebans do not agree, but say that Thebe was the daughter of the Boeotian, and
not of the Phliasian, Asopus.[2.5.3] The other stories about the river are current
among both the Phliasians and the Sicyonians, for instance that its water is foreign
and not native, in that the Maeander, descending from Celaenae through Phrygia and
Caria, and emptying itself into the sea at Miletus, goes to the Peloponnesus and
forms the Asopus. I remember hearing a similar story from the Delians, that the
stream which they call Inopus comes to them from the Nile. Further, there is a story
that the Nile itself is the Euphrates, which disappears into a marsh, rises again
beyond Aethiopia and becomes the Nile.[2.5.4] Such is the account I heard of the
Asopus. When you have turned from the Acrocorinthus into the mountain road you see
the Teneatic gate and a sanctuary of Eilethyia. The town called Tenea is just about
sixty stades distant. The inhabitants say that they are Trojans who were taken prisoners
in Tenedos by the Greeks, and were permitted by Agamemnon to dwell in their present
home. For this reason they honor Apollo more than any other god.
[2.5.5] As you go from Corinth, not into the interior but along the road to Sicyon,
there is on the left not far from the city a burnt temple. There have, of course,
been many wars carried on in Corinthian territory, and naturally houses and sanctuaries
outside the wall have been fired. But this temple, they say, was Apollo's, and Pyrrhus
the son of Achilles burned it down. Subsequently I heard another account, that the
Corinthians built the temple for Olympian Zeus, and that suddenly fire from some
quarter fell on it and destroyed it.[2.5.6] The Sicyonians, the neighbours of the
Corinthians at this part of the border, say about their own land that Aegialeus
was its first and aboriginal inhabitant, that the district of the Peloponnesus still
called Aegialus was named after him because he reigned over it, and that he founded
the city Aegialea on the plain. Their citadel, they say, was where is now their
sanctuary of Athena; further, that Aegialeus begat Europs, Europs Telchis, and Telchis
Apis. [2.5.7] This Apis reached such a height of power before Pelops came to Olympia
that all the territory south of the Isthmus was called after him Apia. Apis begat
Thelxion, Thelxion Aegyrus, the Thurimachus, and Thurimachus Leucippus. Leucippus
had no male issue, only a daughter Calchinia. There is a story that this Calchinia
mated with Poseidon; her child was reared by Leucippus, who at his death handed
over to him the kingdom. His name was Peratus.
[2.5.8] What is reported of Plemnaeus, the son of Peratus, seemed to me very
wonderful. All the children borne to him by his wife died the very first time they
wailed. At last Demeter took pity on Plemnaeus, came to Aegialea in the guise of
a strange woman, and reared for Plemnaeus his son Orthopolis. Orthopolis had a daughter
Chrysorthe, who is thought to have borne a son named Coronus to Apollo. Coronus
had two sons, Corax and a younger one Lamedon.
[2.6.1] Corax died without issue, and at about this time came Epopeus from Thessaly
and took the kingdom. In his reign the first hostile army is said to have invaded
the land, which before this had enjoyed unbroken peace. The reason was this. Antiope,
the daughter of Nycteus, had a name among the Greeks for beauty, and there was also
a report that her father was not Nycteus but Asopus, the river that separates the
territories of Thebes and Plataea.[2.6.2] This woman Epopeus carried off but I do
not know whether he asked for her hand or adopted a bolder policy from the beginning.
The Thebans came against him in arms, and in the battle Nycteus was wounded. Epopeus
also was wounded, but won the day. Nycteus they carried back ill to Thebes, and
when he was about to die he appointed to be regent of Thebes his brother Lycus for
Labdacus, the son of Polydorus, the son of Cadmus, being still a child, was the
ward of Nycteus, who on this occasion entrusted the office of guardian to Lycus.
He also besought him to attack Aegialea with a larger army and bring vengeance upon
Epopeus; Antiope herself, if taken, was to be punished.[2.6.3] As to Epopeus, he
forthwith offered sacrifice for his victory and began a temple of Athena, and when
this was complete he prayed the goddess to make known whether the temple was finished
to her liking, and after the prayer they say that olive oil flowed before the temple.
Afterwards Epopeus also died of his wound, which he had neglected at first, so that
Lycus had now no need to wage war. For Lamedon, the son of Coronus, who became king
after Epopeus, gave up Antiope. As she was being taken to Thebes by way of Eleutherae,
she was delivered there on the road.[2.6.4] On this matter Asius the son of Amphiptolemus1
says in his poem:--
Zethus and Amphion had Antiope for their mother,
Daughter of Asopus, the swift, deep-eddying river,
Having conceived of Zeus and Epopeus, shepherd of peoples.2
Homer traces their descent to the more august side of their family, and says
that they were the first founders of Thebes, in my opinion distinguishing the lower
city from the Cadmea.[2.6.5] When Lamedon became king he took to wife an Athenian
woman, Pheno, the daughter of Clytius. Afterwards also, when war had arisen between
him and Archander and Architeles, the sons of Achaeus, he brought in as his ally
Sicyon from Attica, and gave him Zeuxippe his daughter to wife. This man became
king, and the land was named after him Sicyonia, and the city Sicyon instead of
Aegiale. But they say that Sicyon was not the son of Marathon, the son of Epopeus,
but of Metion the son of Erechtheus. Asius confirms their statement, while Hesiod
makes Sicyon the son of Erechtheus, and Ibycus says that his father was Pelops.[2.6.6]
Sicyon had a daughter Chthonophyle, and they say that she and Hermes were the parents
of Polybus. Afterwards she married Phlias, the son of Dionysus, and gave birth to
Androdamas. Polybus gave his daughter Lysianassa to Talaus the son of Bias, king
of the Argives; and when Adrastus fled from Argos he came to Polybus at Sicyon,
and afterwards on the death of Polybus he became king at Sicyon. When Adrastus returned
to Argos, Ianiscus, a descendant of Clytius the father-in-law of Lamedon, came from
Attica and was made king, and when Ianiscus died he was succeeded by Phaestus, said
to have been one of the children of Heracles.[2.6.7] After Phaestus in obedience
to an oracle migrated to Crete, the next king is said to have been Zeuxippus, the
son of Apollo and the nymph Syllis. On the death of Zeuxippus, Agamemnon led an
army against Sicyon and king Hippolytus, the son of Rhopalus, the son of Phaestus.
In terror of the army that was attacking him, Hippolytus agreed to become subject
to Agamemnon and the Mycenaeans. This Hippolytus was the father of Lacestades. Phalces
the son of Temenus, with the Dorians, surprised Sicyon by night, but did Lacestades
no harm, because he too was one of the Heracleidae, and made him partner in the
2,6,4,n1. fl. 640-617 B.C.
2,6,4,n2. Asius, unknown work
[2.7.1] From that time the Sicyonians became Dorians and their land a part of
the Argive territory. The city built by Aegialeus on the plain was destroyed by
Demetrius the son of Antigonus,1 who founded the modern city near what was once
the ancient citadel. The reason why the Sicyonians grew weak it would be wrong to
seek; we must be content with Homer's saying about Zeus:--
Many, indeed, are the cities of which he has levelled the strongholds.
When they had lost their power there came upon them an earthquake, which almost
depopulated their city and took from them many of their famous sights. It damaged
also the cities of Caria and Lycia, and the island of Rhodes was very violently
shaken, so that it was thought that the Sibyl had had her utterance about Rhodes2
[2.7.2] When you have come from the Corinthian to the Sicyonian territory you
see the tomb of Lycus the Messenian, whoever this Lycus may be; for I can discover
no Messenian Lycus who practised the pentathlon1 or won a victory at Olympia. This
tomb is a mound of earth, but the Sicyonians themselves usually bury their dead
in a uniform manner. They cover the body in the ground, and over it they build a
basement of stone upon which they set pillars. Above these they put something very
like the pediment of a temple. They add no inscription, except that they give the
dead man's name without that of his father and bid him farewell.[2.7.3] After the
tomb of Lycus, but on the other side of the Asopus, there is on the right the Olympium,
and a little farther on, to the left of the road, the grave of Eupolis, 1 the Athenian
comic poet. Farther on, if you turn in the direction of the city, you see the tomb
of Xenodice, who died in childbirth. It has not been made after the native fashion,
but so as to harmonize best with the painting, which is very well worth seeing.
[2.7.4] Farther on from here is the grave of the Sicyonians who were killed at
Pellene, at Dyme of the Achaeans, in Megalopolis and at Sellasia.1 Their story I
will relate more fully presently. By the gate they have a spring in a cave, the
water of which does not rise out of the earth, but flows down from the roof of the
cave. For this reason it is called the Dripping Spring.[2.7.5] On the modern citadel
is a sanctuary of Fortune of the Height, and after it one of the Dioscuri. Their
images and that of Fortune are of wood. On the stage of the theater built under
the citadel is a statue of a man with a shield, who they say is Aratus, the son
of Cleinias. After the theater is a temple of Dionysus. The god is of gold and ivory,
and by his side are Bacchanals of white marble. These women they say are sacred
to Dionysus and maddened by his inspiration. The Sicyonians have also some images
which are kept secret. These one night in each year they carry to the temple of
Dionysus from what they call the Cosmeterium (Tiring-room), and they do so with
lighted torches and native hymns.
[2.7.6] The first is the one named Baccheus, set up by Androdamas, the son of
Phlias, and this is followed by the one called Lysius (Deliverer), brought from
Thebes by the Theban Phanes at the command of the Pythian priestess. Phanes came
to Sicyon when Aristomachus, the son of Cleodaeus, failed to understand the oracle1
given him, and therefore failed to return to the Peloponnesus. As you walk from
the temple of Dionysus to the market-place you see on the right a temple of Artemis
of the lake. A look shows that the roof has fallen in, but the inhabitants cannot
tell whether the image has been removed or how it was destroyed on the spot.[2.7.7]
Within the market-place is a sanctuary of Persuasion; this too has no image. The
worship of Persuasion was established among them for the following reason. When
Apollo and Artemis had killed Pytho they came to Aegialea to obtain purification.
Dread coming upon them at the place now named Fear, they turned aside to Carmanor
in Crete, and the people of Aegialea were smitten by a plague. When the seers bade
them propitiate Apollo and Artemis, [2.7.8] they sent seven boys and seven maidens
as suppliants to the river Sythas. They say that the deities, persuaded by these,
came to what was then the citadel, and the place that they reached first is the
sanctuary of Persuasion. Conformable with this story is the ceremony they perform
at the present day; the children go to the Sythas at the feast of Apollo, and having
brought, as they pretend, the deities to the sanctuary of Persuasion, they say that
they take them back again to the temple of Apollo. The temple stands in the modern
market-place, and was originally, it is said, made by Proetus, because in this place
his daughters recovered from their madness. [2.7.9] It is also said that in this
temple Meleager dedicated the spear with which he slew the boar. There is also a
story that the flutes of Marsyas are dedicated here. When the Silenus met with his
disaster, the river Marsyas carried the flutes to the Maeander; reappearing in the
Asopus they were cast ashore in the Sicyonian territory and given to Apollo by the
shepherd who found them. I found none of these offerings still in existence, for
they were destroyed by fire when the temple was burnt. The temple that I saw, and
its image, were dedicated by Pythocles.
2,7,1,n1. 303 B.C.
2,7,1,n2. That it should perish and he left destitute.
2,7,2,n1. See p. 157.
2,7,3,n1. Flourished at the time of the Peloponnesian war.
2,7,4,n1. 222 B.C.
2,7,6,n1. I To wait for "the third fruit," i.e. the third generation. It was
interpreted to mean the third year.
[2.8.1] The precinct near the sanctuary of Persuasion that is devoted to Roman
emperors was once the house of the tyrant Cleon. He became tyrant in the modern
city there was another tyranny while the Sicyonians still lived in the lower city,1
that of Cleisthenes, the son of Aristonymus, the son of Myron. Before this house
is a hero-shrine of Aratus,2 whose achievements eclipsed those of all contemporary
Greeks. His history is as follows.[2.8.2] After the despotism of Cleon, many of
those in authority were seized with such an ungovernable passion for tyranny that
two actually became tyrants together, Euthydemus and Timocleidas. These were expelled
by the people, who made Cleinias, the father of Aratus, their champion. A few years
afterwards Abantidas became tyrant. Before this time Cleinias had met his death,
and Aratus went into exile, either of his own accord or because he was compelled
to do so by Abantidas. Now Abantidas was killed by some natives, and his father
Paseas immediately became tyrant.[2.8.3] He was killed by Nicocles, who succeeded
him.1 This Nicocles was attacked by Aratus with a force of Sicyonian exiles and
Argive mercenaries. Making his attempt by night, he eluded some of the defenders
in the darkness; the others he overcame, and forced his way within the wall. Day
was now breaking, and taking the populace with him he hastened to the tyrant's house.
This he easily captured, but Nicocles himself succeeded in making his escape. Aratus
restored equality of political rights to the Sicyonians, striking a bargain for
those in exile; he restored to them their houses and all their other possessions
which had been sold, compensating the buyers out of his own purse.[2.8.4] Moreover,
as all the Greeks were afraid of the Macedonians and of Antigonus, the guardian
of Philip, the son of Demetrius, he induced the Sicyonians, who were Dorians, to
join the Achaean League. He was immediately elected general by the Achaeans, and
leading them against the Locrians of Amphissa and into the land of the Aetolians,
their enemies, he ravaged their territory. Corinth was held by Antigonus, and there
was a Macedonian garrison in the city, but he threw them into a panic by the suddenness
of his assault, winning a battle and killing among others Persaeus, the commander
of the garrison, who had studied philosophy under Zeno,1 the son of Mnaseas.[2.8.5]
When Aratus had liberated Corinth, the League was joined by the Epidaurians and
Troezenians inhabiting Argolian Acte, and by the Megarians among those beyond the
Isthmus, while Ptolemy made an alliance with the Achaeans. The Lacedaemonians and
king Agis, the son of Eudamidas, surprised and took Pellene by a sudden onslaught,
but when Aratus and his army arrived they were defeated in an engagement, evacuated
Pellene, and returned home under a truce.[2.8.6] After his success in the Peloponnesus,
Aratus thought it a shame to allow the Macedonians to hold unchallenged Peiraeus,
Munychia, Salamis, and Sunium; but not expecting to be able to take them by force
he bribed Diogenes, the commander of the garrisons, to give up the positions for
a hundred and fifty talents, himself helping the Athenians by contributing a sixth
part of the sum. He induced Aristomachus also, the tyrant of Argos, to restore to
the Argives their democracy and to join the Achaean League; he captured Mantinea
from the Lacedaemonians who held it. But no man finds all his plans turn out according
to his liking, and even Aratus was compelled to become an ally of the Macedonians
and Antigonus in the following way.
2,8,1,n1. c. 590 B.C.
2,8,1,n2. 271-213 B.C.
2,8,3,n1. 251 B.C.
2,8,4,n1. The Stoic philosopher (c. 360-270 B.C.).
[2.9.1] Cleomenes, the son of Leonidas, the son of Cleonymus, having succeeded
to the kingship at Sparta, resembled Pausanias1 in being dissatisfied with the established
constitution and in aiming at a tyranny. A more fiery man than Pausanias, and no
coward, he quickly succeeded by spirit and daring in accomplishing all his ambition.
He poisoned Eurydamidas, the king of the other2 royal house, while yet a boy, raised
to the throne by means of the ephors his brother Epicleidas, destroyed the power
of the senate, and appointed in its stead a nominal Council of Fathers. Ambitious
for greater things and for supremacy over the Greeks, he first attacked the Achaeans,
hoping if successful to have them as allies, and especially wishing that they should
not hinder his activities. [2.9.2] Engaging them at Dyme beyond Patrae, Aratus being
still leader of the Achaeans, he won the victory.1 In fear for the Achaeans and
for Sicyon itself, Aratus was forced by this defeat to bring in Antigouus as an
ally. Cleomenes had violated the peace which he had made with Antigonus and had
openly acted in many ways contrary to treaty, especially in laying waste Megalopolis.
So Antigonus crossed into the Peloponnesus and the Achaeans met Cleomenes at Sellasia.2
The Achaeans were victorious, the people of Sellasia were sold into slavery, and
Lacedaemon itself was captured. Antigonus and the Achaeans restored to the Lacedaemonians
the constitution of their fathers;[2.9.3] but of the children of Leonidas, Epicleidas
was killed in the battle, and Cleomenes fled to Egypt. Held in the highest honor
by Ptolemy, he came to be cast into prison, being convicted of inciting Egyptians
to rebel against their king. He made his escape from prison and began a riot among
the Alexandrians, but at last, on being captured, he fell by his own hand. The Lacedaemonians,
glad to be rid of Cleomenes, refused to be ruled by kings any longer, but the rest
of their ancient constitution they have kept to the present day. Antigonus remained
a constant friend of Aratus, looking upon him as a benefactor who hid helped him
to accomplish brilliant deeds.[2.9.4] But when Philip succeeded to the throne, since
Aratus did not approve of his violent treatment of his subjects, and in some cases
even opposed the accomplishment of his purposes, he killed Aratus by giving him
secretly a dose of poison. This fate came upon Aratus at Aegium, from which place
he was carried to Sicyon and buried, and there is still in that city the hero-shrine
of Aratus. Philip treated two Athenians, Eurycleides and Micon, in a similar way.
These men also, who were orators enjoying the confidence of the people, he killed
by poison.[2.9.5] After all, Philip himself in his turn was fated to suffer disaster
through the fatal cup. Philip's son, Demetrius, was poisoned by Perseus, his younger
son, and grief at the murder brought the father also to his grave. I mention the
incident in passing, with my mind turned to the inspired words of the poet Hesiod,1
that he who plots mischief against his neighbor directs it first to himself.
[2.9.6] After the hero-shrine of Aratus is an altar to Isthmian Poseidon, and
also a Zeus Meilichius (Gracious) and an Artemis named Patroa (Paternal), both of
them very inartistic works. The Meilichius is like a pyramid, the Artemis like a
pillar. Here too stand their council-chamber and a portico called Cleisthenean from
the name of him who built it. It was built from spoils by Cleisthenes, who helped
the Amphictyons in the war at Cirrha.1 In the market-place under the open sky is
a bronze Zeus, a work of Lysippus,2 and by the side of it a gilded Artemis.[2.9.7]
Hard by is a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius (Wolf-god), now fallen into ruins and not
worth any attention. For wolves once so preyed upon their flocks that there was
no longer any profit therefrom, and the god, mentioning a certain place where lay
a dry log, gave an oracle that the bark of this log mixed with meat was to be set
out for the beasts to eat. As soon as they tasted it the bark killed them, and that
log lay in my time in the sanctuary of the Wolf-god, but not even the guides of
the Sicyonians knew what kind of tree it was.[2.9.8] Next after this are bronze
portrait statues, said to be the daughters of Proetus, but the inscription I found
referred to other women. Here there is a bronze Heracles, made by Lysippus the Sicyonian,
and hard by stands Hermes of the Market-place.
2,9,1,n1. The victor of Plataea (479 B.C.). Afterwards put to death for treachery.
2,9,1,n2. There were two kings at Sparta, one from each of the two royal houses.
2,9,2,n1. 225 B.C.
2,9,2,n2. 222 B.C.
2,9,5,n1. Hes. WD 265
2,9,6,n1. c. 590 B.C.
2,9,6,n2. Contemporary of Alexander the Great.
[2.10.1] In the gymnasium not far from the market-place is dedicated a stone
Heracles made by Scopas.1 There is also in another place a sanctuary of Heracles.
The whole of the enclosure here they name Paedize; in the middle of the enclosure
is the sanctuary, and in it is an old wooden figure carved by Laphaes the Phliasian.
I will now describe the ritual at the festival. The story is that on coming to the
Sicyonian land Phaestus found the people giving offerings to Heracles as to a hero.
Phaestus then refused to do anything of the kind, but insisted on sacrificing to
him as to a god. Even at the present day the Sicyonians, after slaying a lamb and
burning the thighs upon the altar, eat some of the meat as part of a victim given
to a god, while the rest they offer as to a hero. The first day of the festival
in honor of Heracles they name . . . ; the second they call Heraclea.[2.10.2] From
here is a way to a sanctuary of Asclepius. On passing into the enclosure you see
on the left a building with two rooms. In the outer room lies a figure of Sleep,
of which nothing remains now except the head. The inner room is given over to the
Carnean Apollo; into it none may enter except the priests. In the portico lies a
huge bone of a sea-monster, and after it an image of the Dream-god and Sleep, surnamed
Epidotes (Bountiful), lulling to sleep a lion. Within the sanctuary on either side
of the entrance is an image, on the one hand Pan seated, on the other Artemis standing.
[2.10.3] When you have entered you see the god, a beardless figure of gold and
ivory made by Calamis.1 He holds a staff in one hand, and a cone of the cultivated
pine in the other. The Sicyonians say that the god was carried to them from Epidaurus
on a carriage drawn by two mules, that he was in the likeness of a serpent, and
that he was brought by Nicagora of Sicyon, the mother of Agasicles and the wife
of Echetimus. Here are small figures hanging from the roof. She who is on the serpent
they say is Aristodama, the mother of Aratus, whom they hold to be a son of Asclepius.
[2.10.4] Such are the noteworthy things that this enclosure presented to me, and
opposite is another enclosure, sacred to Aphrodite. The first thing inside is a
statue of Antiope. They say that her sons were Sicyonians, and because of them the
Sicyonians will have it that Antiope herself is related to themselves. After this
is the sanctuary of Aphrodite, into which enter only a female verger, who after
her appointment may not have intercourse with a man, and a virgin, called the Bath-bearer,
holding her sacred office for a year. All others are wont to behold the goddess
from the entrance, and to pray from that place.[2.10.5] The image, which is seated,
was made by the Sicyonian Canachus, who also fashioned the Apollo at Didyma of the
Milesians, and the Ismenian Apollo for the Thebans. It is made of gold and ivory,
having on its head a polos,1 and carrying in one hand a poppy and in the other an
apple. They offer the thighs of the victims, excepting pigs; the other parts they
burn for the goddess with juniper wood, but as the thighs are burning they add to
the offering a leaf of the paideros.
[2.10.6] This is a plant in the open parts of the enclosure, and it grows nowhere
else either in Sicyonia or in any other land. Its leaves are smaller than those
of the esculent oak, but larger than those of the holm; the shape is similar to
that of the oak-leaf. One side is of a dark color, the other is white. You might
best compare the color to that of white-poplar leaves.
[2.10.7] Ascending from here to the gymnasium you see in the right a sanctuary
of Artemis Pheraea. It is said that the wooden image was brought from Pherae. This
gymnasium was built for the Sicyonians by Cleinias, and they still train the youths
here. White marble images are here, an Artemis wrought only to the waist, and a
Heracles whose lower parts are similar to the square Hermae.
2,10,1,n1. Flourished first half of fourth century B.C.
2,10,3,n1. A famous early fifth century sculptor.
2,10,5,n1. A curiously shaped head-gear.
[2.11.1] Turning away from here towards the gate called Holy you see, not far
from the gate, a temple of Athena. Dedicated long ago by Epopeus, it surpassed all
its contemporaries in size and splendor. Yet the memory of even this was doomed
to perish through lapse of time--it was burnt down by lightning--but the altar there,
which escaped injury, remains down to the present day as Epopeus made it. Before
the altar a barrow has been raised for Epopeus himself, and near the grave are the
gods Averters of evil. Near them the Greeks perform such rites as they are wont
to do in order to avert misfortunes. They say that the neighboring sanctuary of
Artemis and Apollo was also made by Epopeus, and that of Hera after it by Adrastus.
I found no images remaining in either. Behind the sanctuary of Hera he built an
altar to Pan, and one to Helius (Sun) made of white marble.[2.11.2] On the way down
to the plain is a sanctuary of Demeter, said to have been founded by Plemnaeis as
a thank-offering to the goddess for the rearing of his son. A little farther away
from the sanctuary of Hera founded by Adrastus is a temple of the Carnean Apollo.
Only the pillars are standing in it; you will no longer find there walls or roof,
nor yet in that of Hera Pioneer. This temple was founded by Phalces, son of Temenus,
who asserted that Hera guided him on the road to Sicyon.[2.11.3] On the direct road
from Sicyon to Phlius, on the left of the road and just about ten stades from it,
is a grove called Pyraea, and in it a sanctuary of Hera Protectress and the Maid.
Here the men celebrate a festival by themselves, giving up to the women the temple
called Nymphon for the purposes of their festival. In the Nymphon are images of
Dionysus, Demeter, and the Maid, with only their faces exposed. The road to Titane
is sixty stades long, and too narrow to be used by carriages drawn by a yoke.[2.11.4]
At a distance along it, in my opinion, of twenty stades, to the left on the other
side of the Asopus, is a grove of holm oaks and a temple of the goddesses named
by the Athenians the August, and by the Sicyonians the Kindly Ones. On one day in
each year they celebrate a festival to them and offer sheep big with young as a
burnt offering, and they are accustomed to use a libation of honey and water, and
flowers instead of garlands. They practise similar rites at the altar of the Fates;
it is in an open space in the grove.[2.11.5] On turning back to the road, and having
crossed the Asopus again and reached the summit of the hill, you come to the place
where the natives say that Titan first dwelt. They add that he was the brother of
Helius (Sun), and that after him the place got the name Titane. My own view is that
he proved clever at observing the seasons of the year and the times when the sun
increases and ripens seeds and fruits, and for this reason was held to be the brother
of Helius. Afterwards Alexanor, the son of Machaon, the son of Asclepius, came to
Sicyonia and built the sanctuary of Asclepius at Titane.[2.11.6] The neighbors are
chiefly servants of the god, and within the enclosure are old cypress trees. One
cannot learn of what wood or metal the image is, nor do they know the name of the
maker, though one or two attribute it to Alexanor himself. Of the image can be seen
only the face, hands, and feet, for it has about it a tunic of white wool and a
cloak. There is a similar image of Health; this, too, one cannot see easily because
it is so surrounded with the locks of women, who cut them off and offer them to
the goddess, and with strips of Babylonian raiment. With whichever of these a votary
here is willing to propitiate heaven, the same instructions have been given to him,
to worship this image which they are pleased to call Health.[2.11.7] There are images
also of Alexanor and of Euamerion; to the former they give offerings as to a hero
after the setting of the sun; to Euamerion, as being a god, they give burnt sacrifices.
If I conjecture aright, the Pergamenes, in accordance with an oracle, call this
Euamerion Telesphorus (Accomplisher) while the Epidaurians call him Acesis (Cure).
There is also a wooden image of Coronis, but it has no fixed position anywhere in
the temple. While to the god are being sacrificed a bull, a lamb, and a pig, they
remove Coronis to the sanctuary of Athena and honor her there. The parts of the
victims which they offer as a burnt sacrifice, and they are not content with cutting
out the thighs, they burn on the ground, except the birds, which they burn on the
[2.11.8] In the gable at the ends are figures of Heracles and of Victories. In
the portico are dedicated images of Dionysus and Hecate, with Aphrodite, the Mother
of the gods, and Fortune. These are wooden, but Asclepius, surnamed Gortynian, is
of stone. They are unwilling to enter among the sacred serpents through fear, but
they place their food before the entrance and take no further trouble. Within the
enclosure is a bronze statue of a Sicyonian named Granianus, who won the following
victories at Olympia: the pentathlon1 twice, the foot-race, the double-course foot-race
twice, once without and once with the shield.
2,11,8,n1. See note on Paus. 1.29.5
[2.12.1] In Titane there is also a sanctuary of Athena, into which they bring
up the image of Coronis. In it is an old wooden figure of Athena, and I was told
that it, too, was struck by lightning. The sanctuary is built upon a hill, at the
bottom of which is an Altar of the Winds, and on it the priest sacrifices to the
winds one night in every year. He also performs other secret rites at four pits,
taming the fierceness of the blasts, and he is said to chant as well charms of Medea.
[2.12.2] On reaching Sicyon from Titane, as you go down to the shore you see
on the left of the road a temple of Hera having now neither image nor roof. They
say that its founder was Proetus, the son of Abas. When you have gone down to the
harbor called the Sicyonians' and turned towards Aristonautae, the Port of Pellene,
you see a little above the road on the left hand a sanctuary of Poseidon. Farther
along the highway is a river called the Helisson, and after it the Sythas, both
emptying themselves into the sea.[2.12.3] Phliasia borders on Sicyonia. The city
is just about forty stades distant from Titane, and there is a straight road to
it from Sicyon. That the Phliasians are in no way related to the Arcadians is shown
by the passage in Homer that deals with the list of the Arcadians, in which the
Sicyonians are not included among the Arcadian confederates. As my narrative progresses
it will become clear that they were Argive originally, and became Dorian later after
the return of the Heracleidae to the Peloponnesus. I know that most of the traditions
concerning the Phliasians are contradictory, but I shall make use of those which
have been most generally accepted. [2.12.4] They say that the first man in this
land was Aras, who sprang from the soil. He founded a city around that hillock which
even down to our day is called the Arantine Hill, not far distant from a second
hill on which the Phliasians have their citadel and their sanctuary of Hebe. Here,
then, he founded a city, and after him in ancient times both the land and the city
were called Arantia. While he was king, Asopus, said to be the son of Celusa and
Poseidon, discovered for him the water of the river which the present inhabitants
call after him Asopus. The tomb of Aras is in the place called Celeae, where they
say is also buried Dysaules of Eleusis.
[2.12.5] Aras had a son Aoris and a daughter Araethyrea, who, the Phliasians
say, were experienced hunters and brave warriors. Araethyrea died first, and Aoris,
in memory of his sister, changed the name of the land to Araethyrea. This is why
Homer, in making a list of Agamemnon's subjects, has the verse:
Orneae was their home and Araethyrea the delightful.1
The graves of the children of Aras are, in my opinion, on the Arantine Hill and
not in any other part of the land. On the top of them are far-seen gravestones,
and before the celebration of the mysteries of Demeter the people look at these
tombs and call Aras and his children to the libations.[2.12.6] The Argives say that
Phlias, who has given the land its third name, was the son of Ceisus, the son of
Temenus. This account I can by no means accept, but I know that he is called a son
of Dionysus, and that he is said to have been one of those who sailed on the Argo.
The verses of the Rhodian poet confirm me in my opinion:--
Came after these Phlias from Araethyrea to the muster;
Here did he dwell and prosper, because Dionysus his father
Cared for him well, and his home was near to the springs of Asopus.1
The account goes on to say that the mother of Phlias was Araethyrea and not Chthonophyle.
The latter was his wife and bore him Androdamas.
2,12,5,n1. Hom. Il. 2.571
2,12,6,n1. Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica 1.115-117.
[2.13.1] On the return of the Heracleidae disturbances took place throughout
the whole of the Peloponnesus except Arcadia, so that many of the cities received
additional settlers from the Dorian race, and their inhabitants suffered yet more
revolutions. The history of Phlius is as follows. The Dorian Rhegnidas, the son
of Phalces, the son of Temenus, attacked it from Argos and Sicyonia. Some of the
Phliasians were inclined to accept the offer of Rhegnidas, which was that they should
remain on their own estates and receive Rhegnidas as their king, giving the Dorians
with him a share in the land. [2.13.2] Hippasus and his party, on the other hand,
urged the citizens to defend themselves, and not to give up many advantages to the
Dorians without striking a blow. The people, however, accepted the opposite policy,
and so Hippasus and any others who wished fled to Samos. Great-grandson of this
Hippasus was Pythagoras,1 the celebrated sage. For Pythagoras was the son of Mnesarchus,
the son of Euphranor, the son of Hippasus. This is the account the Phliasians give
about themselves, and the Sicyonians in general agree with them. [2.13.3] I will
now add an account of the most remarkable of their famous sights. On the Phliasian
citadel is a grove of cypress trees and a sanctuary which from ancient times has
been held to be peculiarly holy. The earliest Phliasians named the goddess to whom
the sanctuary belongs Ganymeda; but later authorities call her Hebe, whom Homer1
mentions in the duel between Menelaus and Alexander, saying that she was the cup-bearer
of the gods; and again he says, in the descent of Odysseus to Hell,2 that she was
the wife of Heracles. Olen,3 in his hymn to Hera, says that Hera was reared by the
Seasons, and that her children were Ares and Hebe. Of the honors that the Phliasians
pay to this goddess the greatest is the pardoning of suppliants.[2.13.4] All those
who seek sanctuary here receive full forgiveness, and prisoners, when set free,
dedicate their fetters on the trees in the grove. The Phliasians also celebrate
a yearly festival which they call Ivy-cutters. There is no image, either kept in
secret or openly displayed, and the reason for this is set forth in a sacred legend
of theirs though on the left as you go out is a temple of Hera with an image of
[2.13.5] On the citadel is another enclosure, which is sacred to Demeter, and
in it are a temple and statue of Demeter and her daughter. Here there is also a
bronze statue of Artemis, which appeared to me to be ancient. As you go down from
the citadel you see on the right a temple of Asclepius with an image of the god
as a beardless youth. Below this temple is built a theater. Not far from it is a
sanctuary of Demeter and old, seated images.[2.13.6] On the market-place is a votive
offering, a bronze she-goat for the most part covered with gold. The following is
the reason why it has received honors among the Phliasians. The constellation which
they call the Goat on its rising causes continual damage to the vines. In order
that they may suffer nothing unpleasant from it, the Phliasians pay honors to the
bronze goat on the market-place and adorn the image with gold. Here also is the
tomb of Aristias, the son of Pratinas.1 This Aristias and his father Pratinas composed
satyric plays more popular than any save those of Aeschylus.[2.13.7] Behind the
market-place is a building which the Phliasians name the House of Divination. Into
it Amphiaraus entered, slept the night there, and then first, say the Phliasians,
began to divine. According to their account Amphiaraus was for a time an ordinary
person and no diviner. Ever since that time the building has been shut up. Not far
away is what is called the Omphalos (Navel), the center of all the Peloponnesus,
if they speak the truth about it. Farther on from the Omphalos they have an old
sanctuary of Dionysus, a sanctuary of Apollo, and one of Isis. The image of Dionysus
is visible to all, and so also is that of Apollo, but the image of Isis only the
priests may behold.
[2.13.8] The Phliasians tell also the following legend. When Heracles came back
safe from Libya, bringing the apples of the Hesperides, as they were called, he
visited Phlius on some private matter. While he was staying there Oeneus came to
him from Aetolia. He had already allied himself to the family of Heracles, and after
his arrival on this occasion either he entertained Heracles or Heracles entertained
him. Be this as it may, displeased with the drink given him Heracles struck on the
head with one of his fingers the boy Cyathus, the cup-bearer of Oeneus, who died
on the spot from the blow. A chapel keeps the memory of the deed fresh among the
Phliasians; it is built by the side of the sanctuary of Apollo, and it contains
statues made of stone representing Cyathus holding out a cup to Heracles.
2,13,2,n1. The philosopher and mathematician.Fl. c. 527 B.C.
2,13,3,n1. Hom. Il. 4.2 foll.
2,13,3,n2. Hom. Od. 11.603
2,13,3,n3. A mythical poet of Greece, associated with Apollo.
2,13,6,n1. fl. c. 500 B.C.
[2.14.1] Celeae is some five stades distant from the city, and here they celebrate
the mysteries in honor of Demeter, not every year but every fourth year. The initiating
priest is not appointed for life, but at each celebration they elect a fresh one,
who takes, if he cares to do so, a wife. In this respect their custom differs from
that at Eleusis, but the actual celebration is modelled on the Eleusinian rites.
The Phliasians themselves admit that they copy the "performance" at Eleusis.[2.14.2]
They say that it was Dysaules, the brother of Celeus, who came to their land and
established the mysteries, and that he had been expelled from Eleusis by Ion, when
Ion, the son of Xuthus, was chosen by the Athenians to be commander-in-chief in
the Eleusinian war. Now I cannot possibly agree with the Phliasians in supposing
that an Eleusinian was conquered in battle and driven away into exile, for the war
terminated in a treaty before it was fought out, and Eumolpus himself remained at
Eleusis.[2.14.3] But it is possible that Dysaules came to Phlius for some other
reason than that given by the Phliasians. I do not believe either that he was related
to Celeus, or that he was in any way distinguished at Eleusis, otherwise Homer would
never have passed him by in his poems. For Homer is one of those who have written
in honor of Demeter, and when he is making a list of those to whom the goddess taught
the mysteries he knows nothing of an Eleusinian named Dysaules. These are the verses:--
She to Triptolemus taught, and to Diocles, driver of horses,
Also to mighty Eumolpus, to Celeus, leader of peoples,
Cult of the holy rites, to them all her mystery telling.1
[2.14.4] At all events, this Dysaules, according to the Phliasians, established
the mysteries here, and he it was who gave to the place the name Celeae. I have
already said that the tomb of Dysaules is here. So the grave of Aras was made earlier,
for according to the account of the Phliasians Dysaules did not arrive in the reign
of Aras, but later. For Aras, they say, was a contemporary of Prometheus, the son
of Iapetus, and three generations of men older than Pelasgus the son of Arcas and
those called at Athens aboriginals. On the roof of what is called the Anactorum
they say is dedicated the chariot of Pelops.
2,14,3,n1. HH Dem. 474-476
[2.15.1] These are the things that I found most worthy of mention among the Phliasians.
On the road from Corinth to Argos is a small city Cleonae. They say that Cleones
was a son of Pelops, though there are some who say that Cleone was one of the daughters
of Asopus, that flows by the side of Sicyon. Be this as it may, one or other of
these two accounts for the name of the city. Here there is a sanctuary of Athena,
and the image is a work of Scyllis and Dipoenus.1 Some hold them to have been the
pupils of Daedalus, but others will have it that Daedalus took a wife from Gortyn,
and that Dipoenus and Scyllis were his sons by this woman. Cleonae possesses this
sanctuary and the tomb of Eurytus and Cteatus. The story is that as they were going
as ambassadors from Elis to the Isthmian contest they were here shot by Heracles,
who charged them with being his adversaries in the war against Augeas.[2.15.2] From
Cleonae to Argos are two roads; one is direct and only for active men, the other
goes along the pass called Tretus (Pierced), is narrow like the other, being surrounded
by mountains, but is nevertheless more suitable for carriages. In these mountains
is still shown the cave of the famous lion, and the place Nemea is distant some
fifteen stades. In Nemea is a noteworthy temple of Nemean Zeus, but I found that
the roof had fallen in and that there was no longer remaining any image. Around
the temple is a grove of cypress trees, and here it is, they say, that Opheltes
was placed by his nurse in the grass and killed by the serpent.[2.15.3] The Argives
offer burnt sacrifices to Zeus in Nemea also, and elect a priest of Nemean Zeus;
moreover they offer a prize for a race in armour at the winter celebration of the
Nemean games. In this place is the grave of Opheltes; around it is a fence of stones,
and within the enclosure are altars. There is also a mound of earth which is the
tomb of Lycurgus, the father of Opheltes. The spring they call Adrastea for some
reason or other, perhaps because Adrastus found it. The land was named, they say,
after Nemea, who was another daughter of Asopus. Above Nemea is Mount Apesas, where
they say that Perseus first sacrificed to Zeus of Apesas.[2.15.4] Ascending to Tretus,
and again going along the road to Argos, you see on the left the ruins of Mycenae.
The Greeks are aware that the founder of Mycenae was Perseus, so I will narrate
the cause of its foundation and the reason why the Argives afterwards laid Mycenae
waste. The oldest tradition in the region now called Argolis is that when Inachus
was king he named the river after himself and sacrificed to Hera.
[2.15.5] There is also another legend which says that Phoroneus was the first
inhabitant of this land, and that Inachus, the father of Phoroneus, was not a man
but the river. This river, with the rivers Cephisus and Asterion, judged concerning
the land between Poseidon and Hera. They decided that the land belonged to Hera,
and so Poseidon made their waters disappear. For this reason neither Inachus nor
either of the other rivers I have mentioned provides any water except after rain.
In summer their streams are dry except those at Lerna. Phoroneus, the son of Inachus,
was the first to gather together the inhabitants, who up to that time had been scattered
and living as isolated families. The place into which they were first gathered was
named the City of Phoroneus.
2,15,1,n1. fl. sixth cent. B.C.
[2.16.1] Argus, the grandson of Phoroneus, succeeding to the throne after Phoroneus,
gave his name to the land. Argus begat Peirasus and Phorbas, Phorbas begat Triopas,
and Triopas begat Iasus and Agenor. Io, the daughter of Iasus, went to Egypt, whether
the circumstances be as Herodotus records or as the Greeks say. After Iasus, Crotopus,
the son of Agenor, came to the throne and begat Sthenelas, but Danaus sailed from
Egypt against Gelanor, the son of Sthenelas, and stayed the succession to the kingdom
of the descendants of Agenor. What followed is known to all alike: the crime the
daughters of Danaus committed against their cousins, and how, on the death of Danaus,
Lynceus succeeded him. [2.16.2] But the sons of Abas, the son of Lynceus, divided
the kingdom between themselves; Acrisius remained where he was at Argos, and Proetus
took over the Heraeum, Mideia, Tiryns, and the Argive coast region. Traces of the
residence of Proetus in Tiryns remain to the present day. Afterwards Acrisius, learning
that Perseus himself was not only alive but accomplishing great achievements, retired
to Larisa on the Peneus. And Perseus, wishing at all costs to see the father of
his mother and to greet him with fair words and deeds, visited him at Larisa. Being
in the prime of life and proud of his inventing the quoit, he gave displays before
all, and Acrisius, as luck would have it, stepped unnoticed into the path of the
quoit.[2.16.3] So the prediction of the god to Acrisius found its fulfillment, nor
was his fate prevented by his precautions against his daughter and grandson. Perseus,
ashamed because of the gossip about the homicide, on his return to Argos induced
Megapenthes, the son of Proetus, to make an exchange of kingdoms; taking over himself
that of Megapenthes, he founded Mycenae. For on its site the cap (myces) fell from
his scabbard, and he regarded this as a sign to found a city. I have also heard
the following account. He was thirsty, and the thought occurred to him to pick up
a mushroom (myces) from the ground. Drinking with joy water that flowed from it,
he gave to the place the name of Mycenae.[2.16.4] Homer in the Odyssey mentions
a woman Mycene in the following verse:--
Tyro and Alcmene and the fair-crowned lady Mycene.1
She is said to have been the daughter of Inachus and the wife of Arestor in the
poem which the Greeks call the Great Eoeae. So they say that this lady has given
her name to the city. But the account which is attributed to Acusilaus, that Myceneus
was the son of Sparton, and Sparton of Phoroneus, I cannot accept, because the Lacedaemonians
themselves do not accept it either. For the Lacedaemonians have at Amyclae a portrait
statue of a woman named Sparte, but they would be amazed at the mere mention of
a Sparton, son of Phoroneus.[2.16.5] It was jealousy which caused the Argives to
destroy Mycenae. For at the time of the Persian invasion the Argives made no move,
but the Mycenaeans sent eighty men to Thermopylae who shared in the achievement
of the Lacedaemonians. This eagerness for distinction brought ruin upon them by
exasperating the Argives. There still remain, however, parts of the city wall, including
the gate, upon which stand lions. These, too, are said to be the work of the Cyclopes,
who made for Proetus the wall at Tiryns.[2.16.6] In the ruins of Mycenae is a fountain
called Persea; there are also underground chambers of Atreus and his children, in
which were stored their treasures. There is the grave of Atreus, along with the
graves of such as returned with Agamemnon from Troy, and were murdered by Aegisthus
after he had given them a banquet. As for the tomb of Cassandra, it is claimed by
the Lacedaemonians who dwell around Amyclae. Agamemnon has his tomb, and so has
Eurymedon the charioteer, while another is shared by Teledamus and Pelops, twin
sons, they say, of Cassandra,
[2.16.7] whom while yet babies Aegisthus slew after their parents. Electra has
her tomb, for Orestes married her to Pylades. Hellanicus adds that the children
of Pylades by Electra were Medon and Strophius. Clytemnestra and Aegisthus were
buried at some little distance from the wall. They were thought unworthy of a place
within it, where lay Agamemnon himself and those who were murdered with him.
2,16,4,n1. Hom. Od., unknown line
[2.17.1] Fifteen stades distant from Mycenae is on the left the Heraeum. Beside
the road flows the brook called Water of Freedom. The priestesses use it in purifications
and for such sacrifices as are secret. The sanctuary itself is on a lower part of
Euboea. Euboea is the name they give to the hill here, saying that Asterion the
river had three daughters, Euboea, Prosymna, and Acraea, and that they were nurses
of Hera. [2.17.2] The hill opposite the Heraeum they name after Acraea, the environs
of the sanctuary they name after Euboea, and the land beneath the Heraeum after
Prosymna. This Asterion flows above the Heraeum, and falling into a cleft disappears.
On its banks grows a plant, which also is called asterion. They offer the plant
itself to Hera, and from its leaves weave her garlands.[2.17.3] It is said that
the architect of the temple was Eupolemus, an Argive. The sculptures carved above
the pillars refer either to the birth of Zeus and the battle between the gods and
the giants, or to the Trojan war and the capture of Ilium. Before the entrance stand
statues of women who have been priestesses to Hera and of various heroes, including
Orestes. They say that Orestes is the one with the inscription, that it represents
the Emperor Augustus. In the fore-temple are on the one side ancient statues of
the Graces, and on the right a couch of Hera and a votive offering, the shield which
Menelaus once took from Euphorbus at Troy. [2.17.4] The statue of Hera is seated
on a throne; it is huge, made of gold and ivory, and is a work of Polycleitus. She
is wearing a crown with Graces and Seasons worked upon it, and in one hand she carries
a pomegranate and in the other a sceptre. About the pomegranate I must say nothing,
for its story is somewhat of a holy mystery. The presence of a cuckoo seated on
the sceptre they explain by the story that when Zeus was in love with Hera in her
maidenhood he changed himself into this bird, and she caught it to be her pet. This
tale and similar legends about the gods I relate without believing them, but I relate
them nevertheless.[2.17.5] By the side of Hera stands what is said to be an image
of Hebe fashioned by Naucydes; it, too, is of ivory and gold. By its side is an
old image of Hera on a pillar. The oldest image is made of wild-pear wood, and was
dedicated in Tiryns by Peirasus, son of Argus, and when the Argives destroyed Tiryns
they carried it away to the Heraeum. I myself saw it, a small, seated image.[2.17.6]
Of the votive offerings the following are noteworthy. There is an altar upon which
is wrought in relief the fabled marriage of Hebe and Heracles. This is of silver,
but the peacock dedicated by the Emperor Hadrian is of gold and gleaming stones.
He dedicated it because they hold the bird to be sacred to Hera. There lie here
a golden crown and a purple robe, offerings of Nero.[2.17.7] Above this temple are
the foundations of the earlier temple and such parts of it as were spared by the
flames. It was burnt down because sleep overpowered Chryseis, the priestess of Hera,
when the lamp before the wreaths set fire to them. Chryseis went to Tegea and supplicated
Athena Alea. Although so great a disaster had befallen them the Argives did not
take down the statue of Chryseis; it is still in position in front of the burnt
[2.18.1] By the side of the road from Mycenae to Argos there is on the left hand
a hero-shrine of Perseus. The neighboring folk, then, pay him honors here, but the
greatest honors are paid to him in Seriphus and among the Athenians, who have a
precinct sacred to Perseus and an altar of Dictys and Clymene, who are called the
saviours of Perseus. Advancing a little way in the Argive territory from this hero-shrine
one sees on the right the grave of Thyestes. On it is a stone ram, because Thyestes
obtained the golden lamb after debauching his brother's wife. But Atreus was not
restrained by prudence from retaliating, but contrived the slaughter of the children
of Thyestes and the banquet of which the poets tell us.[2.18.2] But as to what followed,
I cannot say for certain whether Aegisthus began the sin or whether Agamemnon sinned
first in murdering Tantalus, the son of Thyestes. It is said that Tantalus had received
Clytaemnestra in marriage from Tyndareus when she was still a virgin. I myself do
not wish to condemn them of having been wicked by nature; but if the pollution of
Pelops and the avenging spirit of Myirtilus dogged their steps so long, it was after
all only consistent that the Pythian priestess said to the Spartan Glaucus, the
son of Epicydes, who consulted her about breaking his oath, that the punishment
for this also comes upon the descendants of the sinner.
[2.18.3] A little beyond the Rams--this is the name they give to the tomb of
Thyestes--there is on the left a place called Mysia and a sanctuary of Mysian Demeter,
so named from a man Mysius who, say the Argives, was one of those who entertained
Demeter. Now this sanctuary has no roof, but in it is another temple, built of burnt
brick, and wooden images of the Maid, Pluto and Demeter. Farther on is a river called
Inachus, and on the other side of it an altar of Helius (the Sun). After this you
will come to a gate named after the sanctuary near it. This sanctuary belongs to
Eileithyia.[2.18.4] The Argives are the only Greeks that I know of who have been
divided into three kingdoms. For in the reign of Anaxagoras, son of Argeus, son
of Megapenthes, the women were smitten with madness, and straying from their homes
they roamed about the country, until Melampus the son of Amythaon cured them of
the plague on condition that he himself and his brother Bias had a share of the
kingdom equal to that of Anaxagoras. Now descended from Bias five men, Neleids on
their mother's side, occupied the throne for four generations down to Cyanippus,
son of Aegialeus, and descended from Melampus six men in six generations down to
Amphilochus, son of Amphiaraus.[2.18.5] But the native house of the family of Anaxagoras
ruled longer than the other two. For Iphis, son of Alector, son of Anaxagoras, left
the throne to Sthenelus, son of Capaneus his brother. After the capture of Troy,
Amphilochus migrated to the people now called the Amphilochians, and, Cyanippus
having died without issue, Cylarabes, son of Sthenelus, became sole king. However,
he too left no offspring, and Argos was seized by Orestes, son of Agamemnon, who
was a neighbor. Besides his ancestral dominion, he had extended his rule over the
greater part of Arcadia and had succeeded to the throne of Sparta; he also had a
contingent of Phocian allies always ready to help him.[2.18.6] When Orestes became
king of the Lacedaemonians, they themselves consented to accept him for they considered
that the sons of the daughter of Tyndareus had a claim to the throne prior to that
of Nicostratus and Megapenthes, who were sons of Menelaus by a slave woman. On the
death of Orestes, there succeeded to the throne Tisamenus, the son of Orestes and
of Hermione, the daughter of Menelaus. The mother of Penthilus, the bastard son
of Orestes, was, according to the poet Cinaethon, Erigone, the daughter of Aegisthus.
[2.18.7] It was in the reign of this Tisamenus that the Heracleidae returned to
the Peloponnesus; they were Temenus and Cresphontes, the sons of Aristomachus, together
with the sons of the third brother, Aristodemus, who had died. Their claim to Argos
and to the throne of Argos was, in my opinion, most just, because Tisamenus was
descended from Pelops, but the Heracleidae were descendants of Perseus. Tyndareus
himself, they made out, had been expelled by Hippocoon, and they said that Heracles,
having killed Hippocoon and his sons, had given the land in trust to Tyndareus.
They gave the same kind of account about Messenia also, that it had been given in
trust to Nestor by Heracles after he had taken Pylus.[2.18.8] So they expelled Tisamenus
from Lacedaemon and Argos, and the descendants of Nestor from Messenia, namely Alcmaeon,
son of Sillus, son of Thrasymedes, Peisistratus, son of Peisistratus, and the sons
of Paeon, son of Antilochus, and with them Melanthus, son of Andropompus, son of
Borus, son of Penthilus, son of Periclymenus. So Tisamenus and his sons went with
his army to the land that is now Achaia.
[2.18.9] To what people Peisistratus retreated I do not know, but the rest of
the Neleidae went to Athens, and the clans of the Paeonidae and of the Alcmaeonidae
were named after them. Melanthus even came to the throne, having deposed Thymoetes
the son of Oxyntes; for Thymoetes was the last Athenian king descended from Theseus.
[2.19.1] It is not to my purpose that I should set forth here the history of
Cresphontes and of the sons of Aristodemus. But Temenus openly employed, instead
of his sons, Delphontes, son of Antimachus, son of Thrasyanor, son of Ctesippus,
son of Heracles, as general in war and as adviser on all occasions. Even before
this he had made him his son-in-law, while Hyrnetho was his favorite daughter; he
was accordingly suspected of intending to divert the throne to her and Delphontes.
For this reason his sons plotted against him, and Ceisus, the eldest of them, seized
the kingdom.[2.19.2] But from the earliest times the Argives have loved freedom
and self-government, and they limited to the utmost the authority of their kings,
so that to Medon, the son of Ceisus, and to his descendants was left a kingdom that
was such only in name. Meltas, the son of Lacedas, the tenth descendant of Medon,
was condemned by the people and deposed altogether from the kingship.[2.19.3] The
most famous building in the city of Argos is the sanctuary of Apollo Lycius (Wolf-god).
The modern image was made by the Athenian Attalus,1 but the original temple and
wooden image were the offering of Danaus. I am of opinion that in those days all
images, especially Egyptian images, were made of wood. The reason why Danaus founded
a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius was this. On coming to Argos he claimed the kingdom
against Gelanor, the son of Sthenelas. Many plausible arguments were brought forward
by both parties, and those of Sthenelas were considered as fair as those of his
opponent; so the people, who were sitting in judgment, put off, they say, the decision
to the following day. [2.19.4] At dawn a wolf fell upon a herd of oxen that was
pasturing before the wall, and attacked and fought with the bull that was the leader
of the herd. It occurred to the Argives that Gelanor was like the bull and Danaus
like the wolf, for as the wolf will not live with men, so Danaus up to that time
had not lived with them. It was because the wolf overcame the bull that Danaus won
the kingdom. Accordingly, believing that Apollo had brought the wolf on the herd,
he founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius. [2.19.5] Here is dedicated the throne of
Danaus, and here Is placed a statue of Biton, in the form of a man carrying a bull
on his shoulders. According to the poet Lyceas, when the Argives were holding a
sacrifice to Zeus at Nemea, Biton by sheer physical strength took up a bull and
carried it there. Next to this statue is a fire which they keep burning, calling
it the fire of Phoroneus. For they do not admit that fire was given to mankind by
Prometheus, but insist in assigning the discovery of fire to Phoroneus.[2.19.6]
As to the wooden images of Aphrodite and Hermes, the one they say was made by Epeus,
while the other is a votive offering of Hypermnestra. She was the only one of the
daughters of Danaus who neglected his command,1 and was accordingly brought to justice
by him, because be considered that his life was in danger so long as Lynceus was
at large, and that the refusal to share in the crime of her sisters increased the
disgrace of the contriver of the deed. On her trial she was acquitted by the Argives,
and to commemorate her escape she dedicated an image of Aphrodite, the Bringer of
[2.19.7] Within the temple is a statue of Ladas, the swiftest runner of his time,
and one of Hermes with a tortoise which he has caught to make a lyre. Before the
temple is a pit1 with a relief representing a fight between a bull and a wolf, and
with them a maiden throwing a rock at the bull. The maiden is thought to be Artemis.
Danaus dedicated these, and some pillars hard by and wooden images of Zeus and Artemis.
[2.19.8] Here are graves; one is that of Linus, the son of Apollo by Psamathe,
the daughter of Crotopus; the other, they say, is that of Linus the poet. The story
of the latter Linus is more appropriate to another part of my narrative, and so
I omit it here, while I have already given the history of the son of Psamathe in
my account of Megara. After these is an image of Apollo, God of Streets, and an
altar of Zeus, God of Rain, where those who were helping Polyneices in his efforts
to be restored to Thebes swore an oath together that they would either capture Thebes
or die. As to the tomb of Prometheus, their account seems to me to be less probable
than that of the Opuntians,1 but they hold to it nevertheless.
2,19,3,n1. A sculptor of unknown date
2,19,6,n1. To kill their husbands.
2,19,7,n1. Or (readingbathron pepoienandechon) "pedestal."
2,19,8,n1. i.e. both peoples claimed to have the grave.
[2.20.1] Passing over a statue of Creugas, a boxer, and a trophy that was set
up to celebrate a victory over the Corinthians, you come to a seated image of Zeus
Meilichius (Gracious), made of white marble by Polycleitus.1 I discovered that it
was made for the following reason. Ever since the Lacedaemonians began to make war
upon the Argives there was no cessation of hostilities until Philip, the son of
Amyntas, forced them to stay within the original boundaries of their territories.
Before this, if the Lacedaemonians were not engaged on some business outside the
Peloponnesus, they were always trying to annex a piece of Argive territory; or if
they were busied with a war beyond their borders it was the turn of the Argives
to retaliate. [2.20.2] When the hatred of both sides was at its height, the Argives
resolved to maintain a thousand picked men. The commander appointed over them was
the Argive Bryas. His general behavior to the men of the people was violent, and
a maiden who was being taken to the bridegroom he seized from those who were escorting
her and ravished. When night came on, the girl waited until he was asleep and put
out his eyes. Detected in the morning, she took refuge as a suppliant with the people.
When they did not give her up to the Thousand for punishment both sides took up
arms; the people won the day, and in their anger left none of their opponents alive.1
Subsequently they had recourse to purifications for shedding kindred blood; among
other things they dedicated an image of Zeus Meilichius.[2.20.3] Hard by are Cleobis
and Biton carved in relief on stone, themselves drawing the carriage and taking
in it their mother to the sanctuary of Hera. Opposite them is a sanctuary of Nemean
Zeus, and an upright bronze statue of the god made by Lysippus.1 Going forward from
this you see on the right the grave of Phoroneus, to whom even in our time they
bring offerings as to a hero. Over against the Nemean Zeus is a temple of Fortune,
which must be very old if it be the one in which Palamedes dedicated the dice that
he had invented.[2.20.4] The tomb near this they call that of the maenad Chorea,
saying that she was one of the women who joined Dionysus in his expedition against
Argos, and that Perseus, being victorious in the battle, put most of the women to
the sword. To the rest they gave a common grave, but to Chorea they gave burial
apart because of her high rank.[2.20.5] A little farther on is a sanctuary of the
Seasons. On coming back from here you see statues of Polyneices, the son of Oedipus,
and of all the chieftains who with him were killed in battle at the wall of Thebes.
These men Aeschylus has reduced to the number of seven only, although there were
more chiefs than this in the expedition, from Argos, from Messene, with some even
from Arcadia. But the Argives have adopted the number seven from the drama of Aeschylus,
and near to their statues are the statues of those who took Thebes: Aegialeus, son
of Adrastus; Promachus, son of Parthenopaeus, son of Talaus; Polydorus, son of Hippomedon;
Thersander; Alcmaeon and Amphilochus, the sons of Amphiaraus; Diomedes, and Sthenelus.
Among their company were also Euryalus, son of Mecisteus, and Adrastus and Timeas,
sons of Polyneices.[2.20.6] Not far from the statues are shown the tomb of Danaus
and a cenotaph of the Argives who met their death at Troy or on the journey home.
Here there is also a sanctuary of Zeus the Saviour. Beyond it is a building where
the Argive women bewail Adonis. On the right of the entrance is the sanctuary of
Cephisus. It is said that the water of this river was not utterly destroyed by Poseidon,
but that just in this place, where the sanctuary is, it can be heard flowing under
[2.20.7] Beside the sanctuary of Cephisus is a head of Medusa made of stone,
which is said to be another of the works of the Cyclopes. The ground behind it is
called even at the present time the Place of Judgment, because it was here that
they say Hypermnestra was brought to judgment by Danaus. Not far from this is a
theater. In it are some noteworthy sights, including a representation of a man killing
another, namely the Argive Perilaus, the son of Alcenor, killing the Spartan Othryadas.
Before this, Perilaus had succeeded in winning the prize for wrestling at the Nemean
games.[2.20.8] Above the theater is a sanctuary of Aphrodite, and before the image
is a slab with a representation wrought on it in relief of Telesilla, the lyric
poetess. Her books lie scattered at her feet, and she herself holds in her hand
an helmet, which she is looking at and is about to place on her head. Telesilla
was a distinguished woman who was especially renowned for her poetry. It happened
that the Argives had suffered an awful defeat at the hands of Cleomenes, the son
of Anaxandrides, and the Lacedaemonians. Some fell in the actual fighting; others,
who had fled to the grove of Argus, also perished. At first they left sanctuary
under an agreement, which was treacherously broken, and the survivors, when they
realized this, were burnt to death in the grove. So when Cleomenes led his troops
to Argos there were no men to defend it.1 [2.20.9] But Telesilla mounted on the
wall all the slaves and such as were incapable of bearing arms through youth or
old age, and she herself, collecting the arms in the sanctuaries and those that
were left in the houses, armed the women of vigorous age, and then posted them where
she knew the enemy would attack. When the Lacedaemonians came on, the women were
not dismayed at their battle-cry, but stood their ground and fought valiantly. Then
the Lacedaemonians, realizing that to destroy the women would be an invidious success
while defeat would mean a shameful disaster, gave way before the women.
[2.20.10] This fight had been foretold by the Pythian priestess in the oracle
quoted by Herodotus, who perhaps understood to what it referred and perhaps did
But when the time shall come that the female conquers in battle,
Driving away the male, and wins great glory in Argos,
Many an Argive woman will tear both cheeks in her sorrow.1
Such are the words of the oracle referring to the exploit of the women.
2,20,1,n1. c. 480-410 B.C.
2,20,2,n1. 418 B.C.
2,20,3,n1. See p. 297.
2,20,8,n1. 510 B.C.
2,20,10,n1. Hdt. 6.77
[2.21.1] Having descended thence, and having turned again to the market-place,
we come to the tomb of Cerdo, the wife of Phoroneus, and to a temple of Asclepius.
The sanctuary of Artemis, surnamed Persuasion, is another offering of Hypermnestra
after winning the trial to which she was brought by her father because of Lynceus.
Here there is also a bronze statue of Aeneas, and a place called Delta. I intentionally
do not discuss the origin of the name, because I could not accept the traditional
accounts.[2.21.2] In front of it stands an altar of Zeus Phyxius (God of Fight),
and near is the tomb of Hypermnestra, the mother of Amphiaraus, the other tomb being
that of Hypermnestra, the daughter of Danaus, with whom is also buried Lynceus.
Opposite these is the grave of Talaus, the son of Bias; the history of Bias and
his descendants I have already given. [2.21.3] A sanctuary of Athena Trumpet they
say was founded by Hegeleos. This Hegeleos, according to the story, was the son
of Tyrsenus, and Tyrsenus was the son of Heracles and the Lydian woman; Tyrsenus
invented the trumpet, and Hegeleos, the son of Tyrsenus, taught the Dorians with
Temenus how to play the instrument, and for this reason gave Athena the surname
Trumpet. Before the temple of Athena is, they say, the grave of Epimenides. The
Argive story is that the Lacedaemonians made war upon the Cnossians and took Epimenides
alive; they then put him to death for not prophesying good luck to them, and the
Argives taking his body buried it here.[2.21.4] The building of white marble in
just about the middle of the marketplace is not, as the Argives declare, a trophy
in honor of a victory over Pyrrhus of Epeirus, but it can be shown that his body
was burnt here, and that this is his monument, on which are carved in relief the
elephants and his other instruments of warfare. This building then was set up where
the pyre stood, but the bones of Pyrrhus lie in the sanctuary of Demeter, beside
which, as I have shown in my account of Attica, his death occurred. At the entrance
to this sanctuary of Demeter you can see a bronze shield of Pyrrhus hanging dedicated
over the door.[2.21.5] Not far from the building in the market-place of Argos is
a mound of earth, in which they say lies the head of the Gorgon Medusa. I omit the
miraculous, but give the rational parts of the story about her. After the death
of her father, Phorcus, she reigned over those living around Lake Tritonis, going
out hunting and leading the Libyans to battle. On one such occasion, when she was
encamped with an army over against the forces of Perseus, who was followed by picked
troops from the Peloponnesus, she was assassinated by night. Perseus, admiring her
beauty even in death, cut off her head and carried it to show the Greeks.[2.21.6]
But Procles, the son of Eucrates, a Carthaginian, thought a different account more
plausible than the preceding. It is as follows. Among the incredible monsters to
be found in the Libyan desert are wild men and wild women. Procles affirmed that
he had seen a man from them who had been brought to Rome. So he guessed that a woman
wandered from them, reached Lake Tritonis, and harried the neighbours until Perseus
killed her; Athena was supposed to have helped him in this exploit, because the
people who live around Lake Tritonis are sacred to her.[2.21.7] In Argos, by the
side of this monument of the Gorgon, is the grave of Gorgophone (Gorgon-kilIer),
the daughter of Perseus. As soon as you hear the name you can understand the reason
why it was given her. On the death of her husband, Perieres, the son of Aeolus,
whom she married when a virgin, she married Oebalus, being the first woman, they
say, to marry a second time; for before this wives were wont, on the death of their
husbands, to live as widows.
[2.21.8] In front of the grave is a trophy of stone made to commemorate a victory
over an Argive Laphaes. When this man was tyrant I write what the Argives themselves
say concerning themselves--the people rose up against him and cast him out. He fled
to Sparta, and the Lacedaemonians tried to restore him to power, but were defeated
by the Argives, who killed the greater part of them and Laphaes as well.Not far
from the trophy is the sanctuary of Leto; the image is a work of Praxiteles.[2.21.9]
The statue of the maiden beside the goddess they call Chloris (Pale), saying that
she was a daughter of Niobe, and that she was called Meliboea at the first. When
the children of Amphion were destroyed by Apollo and Arternis, she alone of her
sisters, along with Amyclas, escaped; their escape was due to their prayers to Leto.
Meliboea was struck so pale by her fright, not only at the time but also for the
rest of her life, that even her name was accordingly changed from Meliboea to Chloris.[2.21.10]
Now the Argives say that these two built originally the temple to Leto, but I think
that none of Niobe's children survived, for I place more reliance than others on
the poetry of Homer, one of whose verses bears out my view:--
Though they were only two, yet they gave all to destruction.1
So Homer knows that the house of Amphion was utterly overthrown.
2,21,10,n1. Hom. Il. 24.609
[2.22.1] The temple of Hera Anthea (Flowery) is on the right of the sanctuary
of Leto, and before it is a grave of women. They were killed in a battle against
the Argives under Perseus, having come from the Aegean Islands to help Dionysus
in war; for which reason they are surnamed Haliae (Women of the Sea). Facing the
tomb of the women is a sanctuary of Demeter, surnamed Pelasgian from Pelasgus, son
of Triopas, its founder, and not far from the sanctuary is the grave of Pelasgus.[2.22.2]
Opposite the grave is a small bronze vessel supporting ancient images of Artemis,
Zeus, and Athena. Now Lyceas in his poem says that the image is of Zeus Mechaneus
(Contriver), and that here the Argives who set out against Troy swore to hold out
in the war until they either took Troy or met their end fighting. Others have said
that in the bronze vessel lie the bones of Tantalus.[2.22.3] Now that the Tantalus
is buried here who was the son of Thyestes or Broteas (both accounts are given)
and married Clytaemnestra before Agamemnon did, I will not gainsay; but the grave
of him who legend says was son of Zeus and Pluto--it is worth seeing--is on Mount
Sipylus. I know because I saw it. Moreover, no constraint came upon him to flee
from Sipylus, such as afterwards forced Pelops to run away when Ilus the Phrygian
launched an army against him.But I must pursue the inquiry no further. The ritual
performed at the pit hard by they say was instituted by Nicostratus, a native. Even
at the present day they throw into the pit burning torches in honor of the Maid
who is daughter of Demeter.[2.22.4] Here is a sanctuary of Poseidon, surnamed Prosclystius
(Flooder), for they say that Poseidon inundated the greater part of the country
because Inachus and his assessors decided that the land belonged to Hera and not
to him. Now it was Hera who induced Poseidon to send the sea back, but the Argives
made a sanctuary to Poseidon Prosclystius at the spot where the tide ebbed.[2.22.5]
Going on a little further you see the grave of Argus, reputed to be the son of Zeus
and Niobe, daughter of Phoroneus. After these comes a temple of the Dioscuri. The
images represent the Dioscuri themselves and their sons, Anaxis and Mnasinous, and
with them are their mothers, Hilaeira and Phoebe. They are of ebony wood, and were
made by Dipoenus and Scyllis.1 The horses, too, are mostly of ebony, but there is
a little ivory also in their construction.[2.22.6] Near the Lords is a sanctuary
of Eilethyia, dedicated by Helen when, Theseus having gone away with Peirithous
to Thesprotia, Aphidna had been captured by the Dioscuri and Helen was being brought
to Lacedaemon. For it is said that she was with child, was delivered In Argos, and
founded there the sanctuary of Eilethyia, giving the daughter she bore to Clytaemnestra,
who was already wedded to Agamemnon, while she herself subsequently married Menelaus.[2.22.7]
And on this matter the poets Euphorion of Chalcis and Alexander of Pleuron, and
even before them, Stesichorus of Himera, agree with the Argives in asserting that
Iphigenia was the daughter of Theseus.1 Over against the sanctuary of Eilethyia
is a temple of Hecate, and the image is a work of Scopas. This one is of stone,
while the bronze images opposite, also of Hecate, were made respectively by Polycleitus2
and his brother Naucydes, son of Mothon.[2.22.8] As you go along a straight road
to a gymnasium, called Cylarabis after the son of Sthenelus, you come to the grave
of Licymnius, the son of Electryon, who, Homer says, was killed by Tleptolemus,
the son of Heracles for which homicide Tleptolemus was banished from Argos. On turning
a little aside from the road to Cylarabis and to the gate there, you come to the
tomb of Sacadas, who was the first to play at Delphi the Pythian flute-tune;[2.22.9]
the hostility of Apollo to flute-players, which had lasted ever since the rivalry
of Marsyas the Silenus, is supposed to have stayed because of this Sacadas. In the
gymnasium of Cylarabes is an Athena called Pania; they show also the graves of Sthenelus
and of Cylarabes himself. Not far from the gymnasium has been built a common grave
of those Argives who sailed with the Athenians to enslave Syracuse and Sicily.
2,22,5,n1. Sixth cent. B.C.
2,22,7,n1. c. 610-550 B.C.
2,22,7,n2. It is uncertain who this Polycleitus was or when he lived. He was
not the great Polycleitus, and flourished probably after 400 B.C.
[2.23.1] As you go from here along a road called Hollow there is on the right
a temple of Dionysus; the image, they say, is from Euboea. For when the Greeks,
as they were returning from Troy, met with the shipwreck at Caphereus, those of
the Argives who were able to escape to land suffered from cold and hunger. Having
prayed that someone of the gods should prove himself a saviour in their present
distress, straightway as they advanced they came upon a cave of Dionysus; in the
cave was an image of the god, and on this occasion wild she-goats had gathered there
to escape from the storm. These the Argives killed, using the flesh as food and
the skins as raiment. When the storm was over and the Argives, having refitted their
ships, were returning home, they took with them the wooden image from the cave,
and continue to honor it to the present day.[2.23.2] Very near to the temple of
Dionysus you will see the house of Adrastus, farther on a sanctuary of Amphiaraus,
and opposite the sanctuary the tomb of Eriphyle. Next to these is a precinct of
Asclepius, and after them a sanctuary of Baton. Now Baton belonged to the same family
as Amphiaraus, to the Melampodidae, and served as his charioteer when he went forth
to battle. When the rout took place at the wall of Thebes, the earth opened and
received Amphiaraus and his chariot, swallowing up this Baton at the same time.
[2.23.3] Returning from Hollow Street, you see what they say is the grave of Hyrnetho.
If they allow that it is merely a cenotaph erected to the memory of the lady, their
account is likely enough but if they believe that the corpse lies here I cannot
credit it, and leave anyone to do so who has not learnt the history of Epidaurus.
[2.23.4] The most famous sanctuary of Asclepius at Argos contains at the present
day a white-marble image of the god seated, and by his side stands Health. There
are also seated figures of Xenophilus and Straton, who made the images. The original
founder of the sanctuary was Sphyrus, son of Machaon and brother of the Alexanor
who is honored among the Sicyonians in Titane. [2.23.5] The Argives, like the Athenians
and Sicyorians, worship Artemis Pheraea, and they, too, assert that the image of
the goddess was brought from Pherae in Thessaly. But I cannot agree with them when
they say that in Argos are the tombs of Deianeira, the daughter of Oeneus, and of
Helenus, son of Priam, and that there is among them the image of Athena that was
brought from Troy, thus causing the capture of that city. For the Palladium, as
it is called, was manifestly brought to Italy by Aeneas. As to Deianeira, we know
that her death took place near Trachis and not in Argos, and her grave is near Heraclea,
at the foot of Mount Oeta. [2.23.6] The story of Helenus, son of Priam, I have already
given: that he went to Epeirus with Pyrrhus, the son of. Achilles; that, wedded
to Andromache, he was guardian to the children of Pyrrhus and that the district
called Cestrine received its name from Cestrinus, son of Helenus. Now even the guides
of the Argives themselves are aware that their account is not entirely correct.
Nevertheless they hold to their opinion, for it is not easy to make the multitude
change their views. The Argives have other things worth seeing; [2.23.7] for instance,
an underground building over which was the bronze chamber which Acrisius once made
to guard his daughter. Perilaus, however, when he became tyrant, pulled it down.
Besides this building there is the tomb of Crotopus and a temple of Cretan Dionysus.
For they say that the god, having made war on Perseus, afterwards laid aside his
enmity, and received great honors at the hands of the Argives, including this precinct
set specially apart for himself.
[2.23.8] It was afterwards called the precinct of the Cretan god, because, when
Ariadne died, Dionysus buried her here. But Lyceas says that when the temple was
being rebuilt an earthenware coffin was found, and that it was Ariadne's. He also
said that both he himself and other Argives had seen it. Near the temple of Dionysus
is a temple of Heavenly Aphrodite.
[2.24.1] The citadel they call Larisa, after the daughter of Pelasgus. After
her were also named two of the cities in Thessaly, the one by the sea and the one
on the Peneus. As you go up the citadel you come to the sanctuary of Hera of the
Height, and also a temple of Apollo, which is said to have been first built by Pythaeus
when he came from Delphi. The present image is a bronze standing figure called Apollo
Deiradiotes, because this place, too, is called Deiras (Ridge). Oracular responses
are still given here, and the oracle acts in the following way. There is a woman
who prophesies, being debarred from intercourse with a man. Every month a lamb is
sacrificed at night, and the woman, after tasting the blood, becomes inspired by
the god.[2.24.2] Adjoining the temple of Apollo Deiradiotes is a sanctuary of Athena
Oxyderces (Sharp-sighted), dedicated by Diomedes, because once when he was fighting
at Troy the goddess removed the mist from his eyes. Adjoining it is the race-course,
in which they hold the games in honor of Nemean Zeus and the festival of Hera. As
you go to the citadel there is on the left of the road another tomb of the children
of Aegyptus. For here are the heads apart from the bodies, which are at Lerna. For
it was at Lerna that the youths were murdered, and when they were dead their wives
cut off their heads, to prove to their father that they had done the dreadful deed.[2.24.3]
On the top of Larisa is a temple of Zeus, surnamed Larisaean, which has no roof;
the wooden image I found no longer standing upon its pedestal. There is also a temple
of Athena worth seeing. Here are placed votive offerings, including a wooden image
of Zeus, which has two eyes in the natural place and a third on its forehead. This
Zeus, they say, was a paternal god of Priam, the son of Laomedon, set up in the
uncovered part of his court, and when Troy was taken by the Greeks Priam took sanctuary
at the altar of this god. When the spoils were divided, Sthenelus, the son of Capaneus,
received the image, and for this reason it has been dedicated here. [2.24.4] The
reason for its three eyes one might infer to be this. That Zeus is king in heaven
is a saying common to all men. As for him who is said to rule under the earth, there
is a verse of Homer which calls him, too, Zeus:--
Zeus of the Underworld, and the august Persephonea.1
The god in the sea, also, is called Zeus by Aeschylus, the son of Euphorion.
So whoever made the image made it with three eyes, as signifying that this same
god rules in all the three "allotments" of the Universe, as they are called. [2.24.5]
From Argos are roads to various parts of the Peloponnesus, including one to Teges
on the side towards Arcadia. On the right is Mount Lycone, which has trees on it,
chiefly cypresses. On the top of the mountain is built a sanctuary of Artemis Orthia
(of the Steep), and there have been made white-marble images of Apollo, Leto, and
Artemis, which they say are works of Polycleitus. On descending again from the mountain
you see on the left of the highway a temple of Artemis.[2.24.6] A little farther
on there is on the right of the road a mountain called Chaon. At its foot grow cultivated
trees, and here the water of the Erasinus rises to the surface. Up to this point
it flows from Stymphalus in Arcadia, just as the Rheiti, near the sea at Eleusis,
flow from the Euripus. At the places where the Erasinus gushes forth from the mountain
they sacrifice to Dionysus and to Pan, and to Dionysus they also hold a festival
called Tyrbe (Throng).
[2.24.7] On returning to the road that leads to Tegea you see Cenchreae on the
right of what is called the Wheel. Why the place received this name they do not
say. Perhaps in this case also it was Cenchrias, son of Peirene, that caused it
to be so called. Here are common graves of the Argives who conquered the Lacedaemonians
in battle at Hysiae.1 This fight took place, I discovered, when Peisistratus was
archon at Athens, in the fourth year of the twenty-seventh Olympiad, in which the
Athenian, Eurybotus, won the foot-race. On coming down to a lower level you reach
the ruins of Hysiae, which once was a city in Argolis, and here it is that they
say the Lacedaemonians suffered their reverse.
2,24,4,n1. Hom. Il. 9.457
2,24,7,n1. 669-8 B.C.
[2.25.1] The road from Argos to Mantinea is not the same as that to Tegea, but
begins from the gate at the Ridge. On this road is a sanctuary built with two rooms,
having an entrance on the west side and another on the east. At the latter is a
wooden image of Aphrodite, and at the west entrance one of Ares. They say that the
images are votive offerings of Polyneices and of the Argives who joined him in the
campaign to redress his wrongs.[2.25.2] Farther on from here, across the torrent
called Charadrus (Gully), is Oenoe, named, the Argives say, after Oeneus. The story
is that Oeneus, who was king in Aetolia, on being driven from his throne by the
sons of Agrius, took refuge with Diomedes at Argos, who aided him by an expedition
into Calydonia, but said that he could not remain with him, and urged Oeneus to
accompany him, if he wished, to Argos. When he came, he gave him all the attention
that it was right to give a father's father, and on his death buried him here. After
him the Argives name the place Oenoe. [2.25.3] Above Oenoe is Mount Artemisius,
with a sanctuary of Artemis on the top. On this mountain are also the springs of
the river Inachus. For it really has springs, though the water does not run far.[2.25.4]
Here I found nothing else that is worth seeing. There is another road, that leads
to Lyrcea from the gate at the Ridge. The story is that to this place came Lynceus,
being the only one of the fifty brothers to escape death, and that on his escape
he raised a beacon here. Now to raise the beacon was the signal he had agreed with
Hypermnestra to give if he should escape Danaus and reach a place of safety. She
also, they say, lighted a beacon on Larisa as a sign that she too was now out of
danger. For this reason the Argives hold every year a beacon festival.[2.25.5] At
the first the place was called Lyncea; its present name is derived from Lyrcus,
a bastard son of Abas, who afterwards dwelt there. Among the ruins are several things
not worth mentioning, besides a figure of Lyrcus upon a slab. The distance from
Argos to Lyrcea is about sixty stades, and the distance from Lyrcea to Orneae is
the same. Homer in the Catalogue makes no mention of the city Lyrcea, because at
the time of the Greek expedition against Troy it already lay deserted; Omeae, however,
was inhabited, and in his poem he places it1 on the list before Phlius and Sicyon,
which order corresponds to the position of the towns in the Argive territory.
[2.25.6] The name is derived from Orneus, the son of Erechtheus. This Orneus
begat Peteos, and Peteos begat Menestheus, who, with a body of Athenians, helped
Agamemnon to destroy the kingdom of Priam. From him then did Omeae get its name,
and afterwards the Argives removed all its citizens, who thereupon came to live
at Argos. At Orneae are a sanctuary and an upright wooden image of Artemis; there
is besides a temple devoted to all the gods in common. On the further side of Orneae
are Sicyonia and Phliasia.
[2.25.7] On the way from Argos to Epidauria there is on the right a building
made very like a pyramid, and on it in relief are wrought shields of the Argive
shape. Here took place a fight for the throne between Proetus and Acrisius; the
contest, they say, ended in a draw, and a reconciliation resulted afterwards, as
neither could gain a decisive victory. The story is that they and their hosts were
armed with shields, which were first used in this battle. For those that fell on
either side was built here a common tomb, as they were fellow citizens and kinsmen.[2.25.8]
Going on from here and turning to the right, you come to the ruins of Tiryns. The
Tirynthians also were removed by the Argives, who wished to make Argos more powerful
by adding to the population. The hero Tiryns, from whom the city derived its name,
is said to have been a son of Argus, a son of Zeus. The wall, which is the only
part of the ruins still remaining, is a work of the Cyclopes made of unwrought stones,
each stone being so big that a pair of mules could not move the smallest from its
place to the slightest degree. Long ago small stones were so inserted that each
of them binds the large blocks firmly together.[2.25.9] Going down seawards, you
come to the chambers of the daughters of Proetus. On returning to the highway you
will reach Medea on the left hand. They say that Electryon, the father of Alcmena,
was king of Medea, but in my time nothing was left of it except the foundations.
[2.25.10] On the straight road to Epidaurus is a village Lessa, in which is a
temple of Athena with a wooden image exactly like the one on the citadel Larisa.
Above Lessa is Mount Arachnaeus, which long ago, in the time of Inachus, was named
Sapyselaton.1 On it are altars to Zeus and Hera. When rain is needed they sacrifice
to them here.
2,25,5,n1. Hom. Il. 2.571
2,25,10,n1. See the Greek text, in which the name Sapyselaton is formed from
the two wordssapus elat.
[2.26.1] At Lessa the Argive territory joins that of Epidaurus. But before you
reach Epidaurus itself you will come to the sanctuary of Asclepius. Who dwelt in
this land before Epidaurus came to it I do not know, nor could I discover from the
natives the descendants of Epidaurus either. But the last king before the Dorians
arrived in the Peloponnesus was, they say, Pityreus, a descendant of Ion, son of
Xuthus, and they relate that he handed over the land to Deiphontes and the Argives
without a struggle. [2.26.2] He went to Athens with his people and dwelt there,
while Deiphontes and the Argives took possession of Epidauria. These on the death
of Temenus seceded from the other Argives; Deiphontes and Hyrnetho through hatred
of the sons of Temenus, and the army with them, because it respected Deiphontes
and Hyrnetho more than Ceisus and his brothers. Epidaurus, who gave the land its
name, was, the Eleans say, a son of Pelops but, according to Argive opinion and
the poem the Great Eoeae,1 the father of Epidaurus was Argus, son of Zeus, while
the Epidaurians maintain that Epidaurus was the child of Apollo.[2.26.3] That the
land is especially sacred to Asclepius is due to the following reason. The Epidaurians
say that Phlegyas came to the Peloponnesus, ostensibly to see the land, but really
to spy out the number of the inhabitants, and whether the greater part of them was
warlike. For Phlegyas was the greatest soldier of his time, and making forays in
all directions he carried off the crops and lifted the cattle.[2.26.4] When he went
to the Peloponnesus, he was accompanied by his daughter, who all along had kept
hidden from her father that she was with child by Apollo. In the country of the
Epidaurians she bore a son, and exposed him on the mountain called Nipple at the
present day, but then named Myrtium. As the child lay exposed he was given milk
by one of the goats that pastured about the mountain, and was guarded by the watch-dog
of the herd. And when Aresthanas (for this was the herdsman's name)[2.26.5] discovered
that the tale of the goats was not full, and that the watch-dog also was absent
from the herd, he left, they say, no stone unturned, and on finding the child desired
to take him up. As he drew near he saw lightning that flashed from the child, and,
thinking that it was something divine, as in fact it was, he turned away. Presently
it was reported over every land and sea that Asclepius was discovering everything
he wished to heal the sick, and that he was raising dead men to life.[2.26.6] There
is also another tradition concerning him. Coronis, they say, when with child with
Asclepius, had intercourse with Ischys, son of Elatus. She was killed by Artemis
to punish her for the insult done to Apollo, but when the pyre was already lighted
Hermes is said to have snatched the child from the flames.[2.26.7] The third account
is, in my opinion, the farthest from the truth; it makes Asclepius to be the son
of Arsinoe, the daughter of Leucippus. For when Apollophanes the Arcadian, came
to Delphi and asked the god if Asclepius was the son of Arsinoe and therefore a
Messenian, the Pythian priestess gave this response:--
0 Asclepius, born to bestow great joy upon mortals,
Pledge of the mutual love I enjoyed with Phlegyas' daughter,
Lovely Coronis, who bare thee in rugged land Epidaurus.1
This oracle makes it quite certain that Asclepius was not a son of Arsinoe, and
that the story was a fiction invented by Hesiod, or by one of Hesiod's interpolators,
just to please the Messenians.[2.26.8] There is other evidence that the god was
born in Epidaurus for I find that the most famous sanctuaries of Asclepius had their
origin from Epidaurus. In the first place, the Athenians, who say that they gave
a share of their mystic rites to Asclepius, call this day of the festival Epidauria,
and they allege that their worship of Asclepius dates from then. Again, when Archias,
son of Aristaechmus, was healed in Epidauria after spraining himself while hunting
about Pindasus, he brought the cult to Pergamus.[2.26.9] From the one at Pergamus
has been built in our own day the sanctuary of Asclepius by the sea at Smyrna. Further,
at Balagrae of the Cyreneans there is an Asclepius called Healer, who like the others
came from Epidaurus. From the one at Cyrene was founded the sanctuary of Asclepius
at Lebene, in Crete. There is this difference between the Cyreneans and the Epidaurians,
that whereas the former sacrifice goats, it is against the custom of the Epidaurians
to do so.[2.26.10] That Asclepius was considered a god from the first, and did not
receive the title only in course of time, I infer from several signs, including
the evidence of Homer, who makes Agamemnon say about Machaon:--
Talthybius, with all speed go summon me hither Machaon,
Mortal son of Asclepius.1
As who should say, "human son of a god."
2,26,2,n1. A poem attributed to Hesiod.
2,26,10,n1. Hom. Il. 4.193
[2.27.1] The sacred grove of Asclepius is surrounded on all sides by boundary
marks. No death or birth takes place within the enclosure the same custom prevails
also in the island of Delos. All the offerings, whether the offerer be one of the
Epidaurians themselves or a stranger, are entirely consumed within the bounds. At
Titane too, I know, there is the same rule.[2.27.2] The image of Asclepius is, in
size, half as big as the Olympian Zeus at Athens, and is made of ivory and gold.
An inscription tells us that the artist was Thrasymedes, a Parian, son of Arignotus.
The god is sitting on a seat grasping a staff; the other hand he is holding above
the head of the serpent; there is also a figure of a dog lying by his side. On the
seat are wrought in relief the exploits of Argive heroes, that of Bellerophontes
against the Chimaera, and Perseus, who has cut off the head of Medusa. Over against
the temple is the place where the suppliants of the god sleep.[2.27.3] Near has
been built a circular building of white marble, called Tholos (Round House), which
is worth seeing. In it is a picture by Pausias1 representing Love, who has cast
aside his bow and arrows, and is carrying instead of them a lyre that he has taken
up. Here there is also another work of Pausias, Drunkenness drinking out of a crystal
cup. You can see even in the painting a crystal cup and a woman's face through it.
Within the enclosure stood slabs; in my time six remained, but of old there were
more. On them are inscribed the names of both the men and the women who have been
healed by Asclepius, the disease also from which each suffered, and the means of
cure. The dialect is Doric.[2.27.4] Apart from the others is an old slab, which
declares that Hippolytus dedicated twenty horses to the god. The Aricians tell a
tale that agrees with the inscription on this slab, that when Hippolytus was killed,
owing to the curses of Theseus, Asclepius raised him from the dead. On coming to
life again he refused to forgive his father rejecting his prayers, he went to the
Aricians in Italy. There he became king and devoted a precinct to Artemis, where
down to my time the prize for the victor in single combat was the priesthood of
the goddess. The contest was open to no freeman, but only to slaves who had run
away from their masters.[2.27.5] The Epidaurians have a theater within the sanctuary,
in my opinion very well worth seeing. For while the Roman theaters are far superior
to those anywhere else in their splendor, and the Arcadian theater at Megalopolis
is unequalled for size, what architect could seriously rival Polycleitus in symmetry
and beauty? For it was Polycleitus1 who built both this theater and the circular
building. Within the grove are a temple of Artemis, an image of Epione, a sanctuary
of Aphrodite and Themis, a race-course consisting, like most Greek race-courses,
of a bank of earth, and a fountain worth seeing for its roof and general splendour.[2.27.6]
A Roman senator, Antoninus, made in our own day a bath of Asclepius and a sanctuary
of the gods they call Bountiful.1 He made also a temple to Health, Asclepius, and
Apollo, the last two surnamed Egyptian. He moreover restored the portico that was
named the Portico of Cotys, which, as the brick of which it was made had been unburnt,
had fallen into utter ruin after it had lost its roof. As the Epidaurians about
the sanctuary were in great distress, because their women had no shelter in which
to be delivered and the sick breathed their last in the open, he provided a dwelling,
so that these grievances also were redressed. Here at last was a place in which
without sin a human being could die and a woman be delivered.
[2.27.7] Above the grove are the Nipple and another mountain called Cynortium;
on the latter is a sanctuary of Maleatian Apollo. The sanctuary itself is an ancient
one, but among the things Antoninus made for the Epidaurians are various appurtenances
for the sanctuary of the Maleatian, including a reservoir into which the rain-water
collects for their use.
2,27,3,n1. 1. A famous painter of Sicyon.
2,27,5,n1. Probably the younger artist of that name.
2,27,6,n1. 138 or 161 A.D.
[2.28.1] The serpents, including a peculiar kind of a yellowish color, are considered
sacred to Asclepius, and are tame with men. These are peculiar to Epidauria, and
I have noticed that other lands have their peculiar animals. For in Libya only are
to be found land crocodiles at least two cubits long; from India alone are brought,
among other creatures, parrots. But the big snakes that grow to more than thirty
cubits, such as are found in India and in Libya, are said by the Epidaurians not
to be serpents, but some other kind of creature.[2.28.2] As you go up to Mount Coryphum
you see by the road an olive tree called Twisted. It was Heracles who gave it this
shape by bending it round with his hand, but I cannot say whether he set it to be
a boundary mark against the Asinaeans in Argolis, since in no land, which has been
depopulated, is it easy to discover the truth about the boundaries. On the Top of
the mountain there is a sanctuary of Artemis Coryphaea (of the Peak), of which Telesilla1
made mention in an ode.[2.28.3] On going down to the city of the Epidaurians, you
come to a place where wild olives grow; they call it Hyrnethium. I will relate the
story of it, which is probable enough, as given by the Epidaurians. Ceisus and the
other sons of Temenus knew that they would grieve Deiphontes most if they could
find a way to part him and Hyrnetho. So Cerynes and Phalces (for Agraeus, the youngest,
disapproved of their plan) came to Epidaurus. Staying their chariot under the wall,
they sent a herald to their sister, pretending that they wished to parley with her.
[2.28.4] When she obeyed their summons, the young men began to make many accusations
against Deiphontes, and besought her much that she would return to Argos, promising,
among other things, to give her to a husband in every respect better than Deiphontes,
one who ruled over more subjects and a more prosperous country. But Hyrnetho, pained
at their words, gave as good as she had received, retorting that Deiphontes was
a dear husband to her, and had shown himself a blameless son-in-law to Temenus;
as for them, they ought to be called the murderers of Temenus rather than his sons.[2.28.5]
Without further reply the youths seized her, placed her in the chariot, and drove
away. An Epidaurian told Deiphontes that Cerynes and Phalces had gone, taking with
them Hyrnetho against her will; he himself rushed to the rescue with all speed,
and as the Epidaurians learned the news they reinforced him. On overtaking the runaways,
Deiphontes shot Cerynes and killed him, but he was afraid to shoot at Phalces, who
was holding Hyrnetho, lest he should miss him and become the slayer of his wife;
so he closed with them and tried to get her away. But Phalces, holding on and dragging
her with greater violence, killed her, as she was with child.[2.28.6] Realizing
what he had done to his sister, he began to drive the chariot more recklessly, as
he was anxious to gain a start before all the Epidaurians could gather against him.
Deiphontes and his children--for before this children had been born to him, Antimenes,
Xanthippus, and Argeus, and a daughter, Orsobia, who, they say, after-wards married
Pamphylus, son of Aegimius--took up the dead body of Hyrnetho and carried it to
this place, which in course of time was named Hyrnethium.
[2.28.7] They built for her a hero-shrine, and bestowed upon her various honors;
in particular, the custom was established that nobody should carry home, or use
for any purpose, the pieces that break off the olive trees, or any other trees,
that grow there; these are left there on the spot to be sacred to Hyrnetho.
[2.28.8] Not far from the city is the tomb of Melissa, who married Periander,
the son of Cypselus, and another of Procles, the father of Melissa. He, too, was
tyrant of Epidaurus, as Periander, his son-in-law, was tyrant of Corinth.1
2,28,2,n1. A famous lyric poetess. See p. 355.
2,28,8,n1. c. 600 B.C.
[2.29.1] The most noteworthy things which I found the city of Epidaurus itself
had to show are these. There is, of course, a precinct of Asclepius, with images
of the god himself and of Epione. Epione, they say, was the wife of Asclepius. These
are of Parian marble, and are set up in the open. There is also in the city a temple
of Dionysus and one of Artemis. The figure of Artemis one might take to be the goddess
hunting. There is also a sanctuary of Aphrodite, while the one at the harbor, on
a height that juts out into the sea, they say is Hera's. The Athena on the citadel,
a wooden image worth seeing, they surname Cissaea (Ivy Goddess).[2.29.2] The Aeginetans
dwell in the island over against Epidauria. It is said that in the beginning there
were no men in it; but after Zeus brought to it, when uninhabited, Aegina, daughter
of Asopus, its name was changed from Oenone to Aegina; and when Aeacus, on growing
up, asked Zeus for settlers, the god, they say, raised up the inhabitants out of
the earth. They can mention no king of the island except Aeacus, since we know of
none even of the sons of Aeacus who stayed there; for to Peleus and Telamon befell
exile for the murder of Phocus, while the sons of Phocus made their home about Parnassus,
in the land that is now called Phocis. [2.29.3] This name had already been given
to the land, at the time when Phocus, son of Ornytion, came to it a generation previously.
In the time, then, of this Phocus only the district about Tithorea and Parnassus
was called Phocis, but in the time of Aeacus the name spread to all from the borders
of the Minyae at Orchomenos to Scarphea among the Locri.[2.29.4] From Peleus sprang
the kings in Epeirus; but as for the sons of Telamon, the family of Ajax is undistinguished,
because he was a man who lived a private life; though Miltiades, who led the Athenians
to Marathon,1 and Cimon, the son of Miltiades, achieved renown; but the family of
Teucer continued to be the royal house in Cyprus down to the time of Evagoras. Asius
the epic poet says that to Phocus were born Panopeus and Crisus. To Panopeus was
born Epeus, who made, according to Homer, the wooden horse; and the grandson of
Crisus was Pylades, whose father was Strophius, son of Crisus, while his mother
was Anaxibi ,sister of Agamemnon. Such was the pedigree of the Aeacidae (family
of. Aeacus), as they are called, but they departed from the beginning to other lands.
[2.29.5] Subsequently a division of the Argives who, under Deiphontes, had seized
Epidaurus, crossed to Aegina, and, settling among the old Aeginetans, established
in the island Dorian manners and the Dorian dialect. Although the Aeginetans rose
to great power, so that their navy was superior to that of Athens, and in the Persian
war supplied more ships than any state except Athens, yet their prosperity was not
permanent but when the island was depopulated by the Athenians,1 they took up their
abode at Thyrea, in Argolis, which the Lacedaemonians gave them to dwell in. They
recovered their island when the Athenian warships were captured in the Hellespont,2
yet it was never given them to rise again to their old wealth or power.[2.29.6]
Of the Greek islands, Aegina is the most difficult of access, for it is surrounded
by sunken rocks and reefs which rise up. The story is that Aeacus devised this feature
of set purpose, because he feared piratical raids by sea, and wished the approach
to be perilous to enemies. Near the harbor in which vessels mostly anchor is a temple
of Aphrodite, and in the most conspicuous part of the city what is called the shrine
of Aeacus, a quadrangular enclosure of white marble. [2.29.7] Wrought in relief
at the entrance are the envoys whom the Greeks once dispatched to Aeacus. The reason
for the embassy given by the Aeginetans is the same as that which the other Greeks
assign. A drought had for some time afflicted Greece, and no rain fell either beyond
the Isthmus or in the Peloponnesus, until at last they sent envoys to Delphi to
ask what was the cause and to beg for deliverance from the evil. The Pythian priestess
bade them propitiate Zeus, saying that he would not listen to them unless the one
to supplicate him were Aeacus.[2.29.8] And so envoys came with a request to Aeacus
from each city. By sacrifice and prayer to Zeus, God of all the Greeks (Panellenios),
he caused rain to fall upon the earth, and the Aeginetans made these likenesses
of those who came to him. Within the enclosure are olive trees that have grown there
from of old, and there is an altar which is raised but a little from the ground.
That this altar is also the tomb of Aeacus is told as a holy secret. [2.29.9] Beside
the shrine of Aeacus is the grave of Phocus, a barrow surrounded by a basement,
and on it lies a rough stone. When Telamon and Peleus had induced Phocus to compete
at the pentathlon, and it was now the turn of Peleus to hurl the stone, which they
were using for a quoit, he intentionally hit Phocus. The act was done to please
their mother; for, while they were both born of the daughter of Sciron, Phocus was
not, being, if indeed the report of the Greeks be true, the son of a sister of Thetis.
I believe it was for this reason, and not only out of friendship for Orestes, that
Pylades plotted the murder of Neoptolemus.[2.29.10] When this blow of the quoit
killed Phocus, the sons of Endeis boarded a ship and fled. Afterwards Telamon sent
a herald denying that he had plotted the death of Phocus. Aeacus, however, refused
to allow him to land on the island, and bade him make his defence standing on board
ship, or if he wished, from a mole raised in the sea. So he sailed into the harbor
called Secret, and proceeded to make a mole by night. This was finished, and still
remains at the present day. But Telamon, being condemned as implicated in the murder
of Phocus, sailed away a second time and came to Salamis.
[2.29.11] Not far from the Secret Harbor is a theater worth seeing; it is very
similar to the one at Epidaurus, both in size and in style. Behind it is built one
side of a race-course, which not only itself holds up the theater, but also in turn
uses it as a support.
2,29,4,n1. 490 B.C.
2,29,5,n1. 431 B.C.
2,29,5,n2. 405 B.C.
[2.30.1] There are three temples close together, one of Apollo, one of Artemis,
and a third of Dionysus. Apollo has a naked wooden image of native workmanship,
but Artemis is dressed, and so, too, is Dionysus, who is, moreover, represented
with a beard. The sanctuary of Asclepius is not here, but in another place, and
his image is of stone, and seated.[2.30.2] Of the gods, the Aeginetans worship most
Hecate, in whose honor every year they celebrate mystic rites which, they say, Orpheus
the Thracian established among them. Within the enclosure is a temple; its wooden
image is the work of Myron,1 and it has one face and one body. It was Alcamenes,2
in my opinion, who first made three images of Hecate attached to one another, a
figure called by the Athenians Epipurgidia (on the Tower); it stands beside the
temple of the Wingless Victory.[2.30.3] In Aegina, as you go towards the mountain
of Zeus, God of all the Greeks, you reach a sanctuary of Aphaea, in whose honor
Pindar composed an ode for the Aeginetans. The Cretans say (the story of Aphaea
is Cretan) that Carmanor, who purified Apollo alter he had killed Pytho, was the
father of Lubulus, and that the daughter of Zeus and of Carme, the daughter of Eubulus,
was Britomartis. She took delight, they say, in running and in the chase, and was
very dear to Artemis. Fleeing from Minos, who had fallen in love with her, she threw
herself into nets which had been cast (aphemena) for a draught of fishes. She was
made a goddess by Artemis, and she is worshipped, not only by the Cretans, but also
by the Aeginetans, who say that Britomartis shows herself in their island. Her surname
among the Aeginetans is Aphaea; in Crete it is Dictynna (Goddess of Nets).[2.30.4]
The Mount of all the Greeks, except for the sanctuary of Zeus, has, I found, nothing
else worthy of mention. This sanctuary, they say, was made for Zeus by Aeacus. The
story of Auxesia and Damia, how the Epidaurians suffered from drought, how in obedience
to an oracle they had these wooden images made of olive wood that they received
from the Athenians, how the Epidaurians left off paying to the Athenians what they
had agreed to pay, on the ground that the Aeginetans had the images, how the Athenians
perished who crossed over to Aegina to fetch them--all this, as Herodotus1 has described
it accurately and in detail, I have no intention of relating, because the story
has been well told already; but I will add that I saw the images, and sacrificed
to them in the same way as it is customary to sacrifice at Eleusis.[2.30.5] So much
I must relate about Aegina, for the sake of Aeacus and his exploits. Bordering on
Epidauria are the Troezenians, unrivalled glorifiers of their own country. They
say that Orus was the first to be born in their land. Now, in my opinion, Orus is
an Egyptian name and utterly un-Greek; but they assert that he became their king,
and that the land was called Oraea after him and that Althepus, the son of Poseidon
and of Leis, the daughter of Orus, inheriting the kingdom after Orus, named the
land Althepia.[2.30.6] During his reign, they say, Athena and Poseidon disputed
about the land, and after disputing held it in common, as Zeus commanded them to
do. For this reason they worship both Athena, whom they name both Polias (Urban)
and Sthenias (Strong), and also Poseidon, under the surname of King. And moreover
their old coins have as device a trident and a face of Athena.[2.30.7] After Althepus,
Saron became king. They said that this man built the sanctuary for Saronian Artemis
by a sea which is marshy and shallow, so that for this reason it was called the
Phoebaean lagoon. Now Saron was very fond of hunting. As he was chasing a doe, it
so chanced that it dashed into the sea and he dashed in alter it. The doe swam further
and further from the shore, and Saron kept close to his prey, until his ardor brought
him to the open ocean. Here his strength failed, and he was drowned in the waves.
The body was cast ashore at the grove of Artemis by the Phoebaean lagoon, and they
buried it within the sacred enclosure, and after him they named the sea in these
parts the Saronic instead of the Phoebaean lagoon.[2.30.8] They know nothing of
the later kings down to Hyperes and Anthas. These they assert to be sons of Poseidon
and of Alcyone, daughter of Atlas, adding that they founded in the country the cities
of Hyperea and Anthea; Aetius, however, the son of Anthas, on inheriting the kingdoms
of his father and of his uncle, named one of the cities Poseidonias. When Troezen
and Pittheus came to Aetius there were three kings instead of one, but the sons
of Pelops enjoyed the balance of power.[2.30.9] Here is evidence of it. When Troezen
died, Pittheus gathered the inhabitants together, incorporating both Hyperea and
Anthea into the modem city, which he named Troezen after his brother. Many years
afterwards the descendants of Aetius, son of Anthas, were dispatched as colonists
from Troezen, and founded Halicarnassus and Myndus in Caria. Anaphlystus and Sphettus,
sons of Troezen, migrated to Attica, and the parishes are named after them. As my
readers know it already, I shall not relate the story of Theseus, the grandson of
Pittheus. There is, however, one incident that I must add.
[2.30.10] On the return of the Heracleidae, the Troezenians too received Dorian
settlers from Argos. They had been subject at even an earlier date to the Argives;
Homer, too, in the Catalogue, says that their commander was Diomedes. For Diomedes
and Euryalus, son of Mecisteus, who were guardians of the boy Cyanippus, son of
Aegialeus, led the Argives to Troy. Sthenelus, as I have related above, came of
a more illustrious family, called the Anaxagoridae, and he had the best claim to
the Kingdom of Argos. Such is the story of the Troezenians, with the exception of
the cities that claim to be their colonies. I will now proceed to describe the appointments
of their sanctuaries and the remarkable sights of their country.
2,30,2,n1. fl. c. 460 B.C.
2,30,2,n2. A contemporary of Pheidias.
2,30,4,n1. Hdt. 5.82-87
[2.31.1] In the market-place of Troezen is a temple of Artemis Saviour, with
images of the goddess. It was said that the temple was founded and the name Saviour
given by Theseus when he returned from Crete after overcoming Asterion the son of
Minos. This victory he considered the most noteworthy of his achievements, not so
much, in my opinion, because Asterion was the bravest of those killed by Theseus,
but because his success in unravelling the difficult Maze and in escaping unnoticed
after the exploit made credible the saying that it was divine providence that brought
Theseus and his company back in safety.[2.31.2] In this temple are altars to the
gods said to rule under the earth. It is here that they say Semele was brought out
of Hell by Dionysus, and that Heracles dragged up the Hound of Hell.1 But I cannot
bring myself to believe even that Semele died at all, seeing that she was the wife
of Zeus; while, as for the so-called Hound of Hell, I will give my views in another
place.2 [2.31.3] Behind the temple is the tomb of Pittheus, on which are placed
three seats of white marble. On them they say that Pittheus and two men with him
used to sit in judgment. Not far off is a sanctuary of the Muses, made, they told
me, by Ardalus, son of Hephaestus. This Ardalus they hold to have invented the flute,
and after him they name the Muses Ardalides. Here, they say, Pittheus taught the
art of rhetoric, and I have myself read a book purporting to be a treatise by Pittheus,
published by a citizen of Epidaurus. Not far from the Muses' Hall is an old altar,
which also, according to report, was dedicated by Ardalus. Upon it they sacrifice
to the Muses and to Sleep, saying that Sleep is the god that is dearest to the Muses.[2.31.4]
Near the theater a temple of Artemis Lycea (Wolfish) was made by Hippolytus. About
this surname I could learn nothing from the local guides, but I gathered that either
Hippolytus destroyed wolves that were ravaging the land of Troezen, or else that
Lycea is a surname of Artemis among the Amazons, from whom he was descended through
his mother. Perhaps there may be another explanation that I am unaware of. The stone
in front of the temple, called the Sacred Stone, they say is that on which nine
men of Troezen once purified Orestes from the stain of matricide.[2.31.5] Not far
from Artemis Lycea are altars close to one another. The first of them is to Dionysus,
surnamed, in accordance with an oracle, Saotes (Saviour); the second is named the
altar of the Themides (Laws), and was dedicated, they say, by Pittheus. They had
every reason, it seems to me, for making an altar to Helius Eleutherius (Sun, God
of Freedom), seeing that they escaped being enslaved by Xerxes and the Persians.[2.31.6]
The sanctuary of Thearian Apollo, they told me, was set up by Pittheus; it is the
oldest I know of. Now the Phocaeans, too, in Ionia have an old temple of Athena,
which was once burnt by Harpagus the Persian, and the Samians also have an old one
of Pythian Apollo; these, however, were built much later than the sanctuary at Troezen.
The modern image was dedicated by Auliscus, and made by Hermon of Troezen. This
Hermon made also the wooden images of the Dioscuri.[2.31.7] Under a portico in the
market-place are set up women; both they and their children are of stone. They are
the women and children whom the Athenians gave to the Troezenians to be kept safe,
when they had resolved to evacuate Athens and not to await the attack of the Persians
by land. They are said to have dedicated likenesses, not of all the women--for,
as a matter of fact, the statues are not many--but only of those who were of high
rank.[2.31.8] In front of the sanctuary of Apollo is a building called the Booth
of Orestes. For before he was cleansed for shedding his mother's blood, no citizen
of Troezen would receive him into his home; so they lodged him here and gave him
entertainment while they cleansed him, until they had finished the purification.
Down to the present day the descendants of those who cleansed Orestes dine here
on appointed days. A little way from the booth were buried, they say, the means
of cleansing, and from them grew up a bay tree, which, indeed, still remains, being
the one before this booth.
[2.31.9] Among the means of cleansing which they say they used to cleanse Orestes
was water from Hippocrene (Horse's Fount) for the Troezenians too have a fountain
called the Horse's, and the legend about it does not differ from the one which prevails
in Boeotia. For they, too, say that the earth sent up the water when the horse Pegasus
struck the ground with his hoof, and that Bellerophontes came to Troezen to ask
Pittheus to give him Aethra to wife, but before the marriage took place he was banished
[2.31.10] Here there is also a Hermes called Polygius. Against this image, they
say, Heracles leaned his club. Now this club, which was of wild olive, taking root
in the earth (if anyone cares to believe the story), grew up again and is still
alive; Heracles, they say, discovering the wild olive by the Saronic Sea, cut a
club from it. There is also a sanctuary of Zeus surnamed Saviour, which, they say,
was made by Aetius, the son of Anthas, when he was king. To a water they give the
name River of Gold. They say that when the land was afflicted with a drought for
nine years, during which no rain fell, all the other waters dried up, but this River
of Gold even then continued to flow as before.
2,31,2,n1. Cerberus, the fabulous watch-dog.
2,31,2,n2. Paus. 3.25.6.
[2.32.1] To Hippolytus, the son of Theseus, is devoted a very famous precinct,
in which is a temple with an old image. Diomedes, they say, made these, and, moreover,
was the first to sacrifice to Hippolytus. The Troezenians have a priest of Hippolytus,
who holds his sacred office for life, and annual sacrifices have been established.
They also observe the following custom. Every maiden before marriage cuts off a
lock for Hippolytus, and, having cut it, she brings it to the temple and dedicates
it. They will not have it that he was dragged to death by his horses, and, though
they know his grave, they do not show it. But they believe that what is called the
Charioteer in the sky is the Hippolytus of the legend, such being the honor he enjoys
from the gods.[2.32.2] Within this enclosure is a temple of Apollo Seafaring, an
offering of Diomedes for having weathered the storm that came upon the Greeks as
they were returning from Troy. They say that Diomedes was also the first to hold
the Pythian games in honor of Apollo. Of Damia and Auxesia (for the Troezenians,
too, share in their worship) they do not give the same account as the Epidaurians
and Aeginetans, but say that they were maidens who came from Crete. A general insurrection
having arisen in the city, these too, they say, were stoned to death by the opposite
party; and they hold a festival in their honor that they call Stoning.[2.32.3] In
the other part of the enclosure is a race-course called that of Hippolytus, and
above it a temple of Aphrodite Spy. For from here, whenever Hippolytus practised
his exercises, Phaedra, who was in love with him, used to gaze upon him. Here there
still grew the myrtle, with its leaves, as I have described above, pierced with
holes. When Phaedra was in despair and could find no relief for her passion, she
used to vent her spleen upon the leaves of this myrtle.[2.32.4] There is also the
grave of Phaedra, not far from the tomb of Hippolytus, which is a barrow near the
myrtle. The image of Asclepius was made by Timotheus, but the Troezenians say that
it is not Asclepius, but a likeness of Hippolytus. I remember, too, seeing the house
of Hippolytus; before it is what is called the Fountain of Heracles, for Heracles,
say the Troezenians, discovered the water.[2.32.5] On the citadel is a temple of
Athena, called Sthenias. The wooden image itself of the goddess I was made by CalIon,
of Aegina.1 Callon was a pupil of Tectaeus and Angelion, who made the image of Apollo
for the Delians. Angelion and Tectaeus were trained in the school of Dipoenus and
Scyllis.[2.32.6] On going down from here you come to a sanctuary of Pan Lyterius
(Releasing), so named because he showed to the Troezenian magistrates dreams which
supplied a cure for the epidemic that had afflicted Troezenia, and the Athenians
more than any other people. Having crossed the sanctuary, you can see a temple of
Isis, and above it one of Aphrodite of the Height. The temple of Isis was made by
the Halicarnassians in Troezen, because this is their mother-city, but the image
of Isis was dedicated by the people of Troezen.[2.32.7] On the road that leads through
the mountains to Hermione is a spring of the river Hyllicus, originally called Taurius
(Bull-like), and a rock called the Rock of Theseus; when Theseus took up the boots
and sword of Aegeus under it, it, too, changed its name, for before it was called
the altar of Zeus Sthenius (Strong). Near the rock is a sanctuary of Aphrodite Nymphia
(Bridal), made by Theseus when he took Helen to wife.[2.32.8] Outside the wall there
is also a sanctuary of Poseidon Nurturer (Phytalmios). For they say that, being
wroth with them, Poseidon smote the land with barrenness, brine (halme) reaching
the seeds and the roots of the plants (phyta),1 until, appeased by sacrifices and
prayers, he ceased to send up the brine upon the earth. Above the temple of Poseidon
is Demeter Lawbringer (Thesmophoros), set up, they say, by Althepus.[2.32.9] On
going down to the harbor at what is called Celenderis, you come to a place called
Birthplace (Genethlion), where Theseus is said to have been born. Before this place
is a temple of Ares, for here also did Theseus conquer the Amazons in battle. These
must have belonged to the army that strove in Attica against Theseus and the Athenians.
[2.32.10] As you make your way to the Psiphaean Sea you see a wild olive growing,
which they call the Bent Rhacos. The Troezenians call rhacos every kind of barren
olive--cotinos, phylia, or elaios--and this tree they call Bent because it was when
the reins caught in it that the chariot of Hippolytus was upset. Not far from this
stands the sanctuary of Saronian Artemis, and I have already given an account of
it. I must add that every year they hold in honor of Artemis a festival called Saronia.
2,32,5,n1. early fifth cent. B.C.
2,32,8,n1. The epithet phytalmios means nourishing, but to judge from the story
he gives, Pausanias must have connected it with the Greek words for brine and plant.
[2.33.1] The Troezenians possess islands, one of which is near the mainland,
and it is possible to wade across the channel. This was formerly called Sphaeria,
but its name was changed to Sacred Island for the following reason. In it is the
tomb of Sphaerus, who, they say, was charioteer to Pelops. In obedience forsooth
to a dream from Athena, Aethra crossed over into the island with libations for Sphaerus.
After she had crossed, Poseidon is said to have had intercourse with her here. So
for this reason Aethra set up here a temple of Athena Apaturia,1 and changed the
name from Sphaeria to Sacred Island. She also established a custom for the Troezenian
maidens of dedicating their girdles before wedlock to Athena Apaturia.[2.33.2] Calaurea,
they say, was sacred to Apollo of old, at the time when Delphi was sacred to Poseidon.
Legend adds that the two gods exchanged the two places. They still say this, and
quote an oracle:--
Delos and Calaurea alike thou lovest to dwell in,
Pytho, too, the holy, and Taenarum swept by the high winds.1
At any rate, there is a holy sanctuary of Poseidon here, and it is served by
a maiden priestess until she reaches an age fit for marriage.[2.33.3] Within the
enclosure is also the tomb of Demosthenes. His fate, and that of Homer before him,
have, in my opinion, showed most plainly how spiteful the deity is; for Homer, after
losing his sight, was, in addition to this great affliction, cursed with a second--a
poverty which drove him in beggary to every land; while to Demosthenes it befell
to experience exile in his old age and to meet with such a violent end. Now, although
concerning him, not only others, but Demosthenes himself, have again and again declared
that assuredly he took no part of the money that Harpalus brought from Asia, [2.33.4]
yet I must relate the circumstances of the statement made subsequently. Shortly
after Harpalus ran away from Athens and crossed with a squadron to Crete, he was
put to death by the servants who were attending him, though some assert that he
was assassinated by Pausanias, a Macedonian. The steward of his money fled to Rhodes,
and was arrested by a Macedonian, Philoxenus, who also had demanded Harpalus from
the Athenians. Having this slave in his power, he proceeded to examine him, until
he learned everything about such as had allowed themselves to accept a bribe from
Harpalus. On obtaining this information he sent a dispatch to Athens,[2.33.5] in
which he gave a list of such as had taken a bribe from Harpalus, both their names
and the sums each had received. Demosthenes, however, he never mentioned at all,
although Alexander held him in bitter hatred, and he himself had a private quarrel
with him.So Demosthenes is honored in many parts of Greece, and especially by the
dwellers in Calaurea.
2,33,1,n1. Apparently here derived from the Greek word for deceit.
[2.34.1] Stretching out far into the sea from Troezenia is a peninsula, on the
coast of which has been founded a little town called Methana. Here there is a sanctuary
of Isis, and on the market-place is an image of Hermes, and also one of Heracles.
Some thirty stades distant from the town are hot baths. They say that it was when
Antigonus, son of Demetrius, was king of Macedon that the water first appeared,
and that what appeared at once was not water, but fire that gushed in great volume
from the ground, and when this died down the water flowed; indeed, even at the present
day it wells up hot and exceedingly salt. A bather here finds no cold water at hand,
and if he dives into the sea his swim is full of danger. For wild creatures live
in it, and it swarms with sharks. [2.34.2] I will also relate what astonished me
most in Methana. The wind called Lips,1 striking the budding vines from the Saronic
Gulf, blights their buds. So while the wind is still rushing on, two men cut in
two a cock whose feathers are all white, and run round the vines in opposite directions,
each carrying half of the cock. When they meet at their starting place, they bury
the pieces there.[2.34.3] Such are the means they have devised against the Lips.
The islets, nine in number, lying off the land are called the Isles of Pelops, and
they say that when it rains one of them is not touched. If this be the case I do
not know, though the people around Methana said that it was true, and I have seen
before now men trying to keep off hail by sacrifices and spells.
[2.34.4] Methana, then, is a peninsula of the Peloponnesus. Within it, bordering
on the land of Troezen, is Hermione. The founder of the old city, the Hermionians
say, was Hermion, the son of Europs. Now Europs, whose father was certainly Phoroneus,
Herophanes of Troezen said was an illegitimate child. For surely the kingdom of
Argos would never have devolved upon Argus, Niobe's son, the grandchild of Phoroneus,
in the presence of a legitimate son.[2.34.5] But even supposing that Europs was
a legitimate child who died before Phoroneus, I am quite sure that his son was not
likely to stand a fair chance against Niobe's child, whose father was supposed to
be Zeus. Subsequently the Dorians from Argos settled, among other places, at Hermion,
but I do not think there was war between the two peoples, or it would have been
spoken of by the Argives.
[2.34.6] There is a road from Troezen to Hermion by way of the rock which aforetime
was called the altar of Zeus Sthenius (Strong) but afterwards Theseus1 took up the
tokens, and people now call it the Rock of Theseus. As you go, then, along a mountain
road by way of this rock, you reach a temple of Apollo surnamed Platanistius (God
of the Plane-tree Grove), and a place called Eilei, where are sanctuaries of Demeter
and of her daughter Core (Maid). Seawards, on the borders of Hermionis, is a sanctuary
of Demeter surnamed Thermasia (Warmth).[2.34.7] Just about eighty stades away is
a headland Scyllaeum, which is named alter the daughter of Nisus. For when, owing
to her treachery,1 Minos had taken Nisaea and Megara, he said that now he would
not have her to wife, and ordered his Cretans to throw her from the ship. She was
drowned, and the waves cast up her body on this headland. They do not show a grave
of her, but say that the sea birds were allowed to tear the corpse to pieces.[2.34.8]
As you sail from Scyllaeum in the direction of the city, you reach another headland,
called Bucephala (Ox-head), and, after the headland, islands, the first of which
is Haliussa (Salt Island). This provides a harbor where there is good anchorage.
After it comes Pityussa (Pine Island), and the third they call Aristerae. On sailing
past these you come to another headland, Colyergia, jutting out from the mainland,
and after it to an island, called Tricrana (Three Heads), and a mountain, projecting
into the sea from the Peloponnesus, called Buporthmus (Oxford). On Buporthmus has
been built a sanctuary of Demeter and her daughter, as well as one of Athena, surnamed
Promachorma (Champion of the Anchorage).[2.34.9] Before Buporthmus lies an island
called Aperopia, not far from which is another island, Hydrea. After it the mainland
is skirted by a crescent-shaped beach and after the beach there is a spit of land
up to a sanctuary of Poseidon, beginning at the sea on the east and extending westwards.
1 It possesses harbors, and is some seven stades in length, and not more than three
stades in breadth where it is broadest.[2.34.10] Here the Hermionians had their
former city. They still have sanctuaries here: one of Poseidon at the east end of
the spit, and a temple of Athena further inland by the side of the latter are the
foundations of a race-course, in which legend says the sons of Tyndareus contended.
There is also another sanctuary of Athena, of no great size, the roof of which has
fallen in. There is a temple to Helius (Sun), another to the Graces, and a third
to Serapis and Isis. There are also circuits of large unhewn stones, within which
they perform mystic ritual to Demeter.
[2.34.11] Such are the possessions of the Hermionians in these parts. The modern
city is just about four stades distant from the headland, upon which is the sanctuary
of Poseidon, and it lies on a site which is level at first, gently rising up a slope,
which presently merges into Pron, for so they name this mountain. A wall stands
all round Hermione, a city which I found afforded much to write about, and among
the things which I thought I myself must certainly mention are a temple of Aphrodite,
surnamed both Pontia (of the Deep Sea) and Limenia (of the Harbor), and a white-marble
image of huge size, and worth seeing for its artistic excellence.[2.34.12] There
is also another temple of Aphrodite. Among the honors paid her by the Hermionians
is this custom: maidens, and widows about to remarry, all sacrifice to her before
wedding. Sanctuaries have also been built of Demeter Thermasia (Warmth), one at
the border towards Troezenia, as I have stated above, while there is another in
2,34,2,n1. A S.W. wind.
2,34,6,n1. See Paus. 1.27.8, and Paus. 2.32.7.
2,34,7,n1. See Paus. 1.19.
2,34,9,n1. i.e. the spit runs eastward into the sea from the west.
[2.35.1] Near the latter is a temple of Dionysus of the Black Goatskin. In his
honor every year they hold a competition in music, and they offer prizes for swimming-races
and boat-races. There is also a sanctuary of Artemis surnamed Iphigenia, and a bronze
Poseidon with one foot upon a dolphin. Passing by this into the sanctuary of Hestia,
we see no image, but only an altar, and they sacrifice to Hestia upon it.[2.35.2]
Of Apollo there are three temples and three images. One has no surname; the second
they call Pythaeus, and the third Horius (of the Borders). The name Pythaeus they
have learned from the Argives, for Telesilla1 tells us that they were the first
Greeks to whose country came Pythaeus, who was a son of Apollo. I cannot say for
certain why they call the third Horius, but I conjecture that they won a victory,
either in war or by arbitration, in a dispute concerning the borders (horoi) of
their land, and for this reason paid honors to Apollo Horius.[2.35.3] The sanctuary
of Fortune is said by the Hermionians to be the newest in their city; a colossus
of Parian marble stands there. Of their wells, one is very old; nobody can see the
water flowing into it, but it would never run dry, even if everybody descended and
drew water from it. Another well they made in our own day, and the name of the place
from which the water flows into it is Leimon (Meadow).
[2.35.4] The object most worthy of mention is a sanctuary of Demeter on Pron.
This sanctuary is said by the Hermionians to have been founded by Clymenus, son
of Phoroneus, and Chthonia, sister of Clymenus. But the Argive account is that when
Demeter came to Argolis, while Atheras and Mysius afforded hospitality to the goddess,
Colontas neither received her into his home nor paid her any other mark of respect.
His daughter Chthoia disapproved of this conduct. They say that Colontas was punished
by being burnt up along with his house, while Chthonia was brought to Hermion by
Demeter, and made the sanctuary for the Hermionians.[2.35.5] At any rate, the goddess
herself is called Chthonia, and Chthonia is the name of the festival they hold in
the summer of every year. The manner of it is this. The procession is headed by
the priests of the gods and by all those who hold the annual magistracies; these
are followed by both men and women. It is now a custom that some who are still children
should honor the goddess in the procession. These are dressed in white, and wear
wreaths upon their heads. Their wreaths are woven of the flower called by the natives
cosmosandalon, which, from its size and color, seems to me to be an iris; it even
has inscribed upon it the same letters of mourning.1 [2.35.6] Those who form the
procession are followed by men leading from the herd a full-grown cow, fastened
with ropes, and still untamed and frisky. Having driven the cow to the temple, some
loose her from the ropes that she may rush into the sanctuary, others, who hitherto
have been holding the doors open, when they see the cow within the temple, close
the doors. [2.35.7] Four old women, left behind inside, are they who dispatch the
cow. Whichever gets the chance cuts the throat of the cow with a sickle. Afterwards
the doors are opened, and those who are appointed drive up a second cow, and a third
after that, and yet a fourth. All are dispatched in the same way by the old women,
and the sacrifice has yet another strange feature. On whichever of her sides the
first cow falls, all the others must fall on the same.[2.35.8] Such is the manner
in which the sacrifice is performed by the Hermionians. Before the temple stand
a few statues of the women who have served Demeter as her priestess, and on passing
inside you see seats on which the old women wait for the cows to be driven in one
by one, and images, of no great age, of Athena and Demeter. But the thing itself
that they worship more than all else, I never saw, nor yet has any other man, whether
stranger or Hermionian. The old women may keep their knowledge of its nature to
[2.35.9] There is also another temple, all round which stand statues. This temple
is right opposite that of Chthonia, and is called that of Clymenus, and they sacrifice
to Clymenus here. I do not believe that Clymenus was an Argive who came to Hermion
"Clymenus" is the surname of the god, whoever legend says is king in the underworld.[2.35.10]
Beside this temple is another; it is of Ares, and has an image of the god, while
to the right of the sanctuary of Chthonia is a portico, called by the natives the
Portico of Echo. It is such that if a man speaks it reverberates at least three
times. Behind the temple of Chthonia are three places which the Hermionians call
that of Clymenus, that of Pluto, and the Acherusian Lake. All are surrounded by
fences of stones, while in the place of Clymenus there is also a chasm in the earth.
Through this, according to the legend of the Hermionians, Heracles brought up the
Hound of Hell.[2.35.11] At the gate through which there is a straight road leading
to Mases, there is a sanctuary of Eileithyia within the wall. Every day, both with
sacrifices and with incense, they magnificently propitiate the goddess, and, moreover,
there is a vast number of votive gifts offered to Eileithyia. But the image no one
may see, except, perhaps, the priestesses.
2,35,2,n1. See Paus. 2.27.8.
2,35,5,n1. The letters AI, an exclamation of woe supposed to be inscribed on
[2.36.1] Proceeding about seven stades along the straight road to Mases, you
reach, on turning to the left, a road to Halice. At the present day Halice is deserted,
but once it, too, had inhabitants, and there is mention made of citizens of Halice
on the Epidaurian slabs on which are inscribed the cures of Asclepius. I know, however,
no other authentic document in which mention is made either of the city Halice or
of its citizens. Well, to this city also there is a road, which lies midway between
Pron and another mountain, called in old days Thornax; but they say that the name
was changed because, according to legend, it was here that the transformation of
Zeus into a cuckoo took place. [2.36.2] Even to the present day there are sanctuaries
on the tops of the mountains: on Mount Cuckoo one of Zeus, on Pron one of Hera.
At the foot of Mount Cuckoo is a temple, but there are no doors standing, and I
found it without a roof or an image inside. The temple was said to be Apollo's.
by the side of it runs a road to Mases for those who have turned aside from the
straight road. Mases was in old days a city, even as Homer1 represents it in the
catalogue of the Argives, but in my time the Hermionians were using it as a seaport.[2.36.3]
From Mases there is a road on the right to a headland called Struthus (Sparrow Peak).
From this headland by way of the summits of the mountains the distance to the place
called Philanorium and to the Boleoi is two hundred and fifty stades. These Boleoi
are heaps of unhewn stones. Another place, called Twins, is twenty stades distant
from here. There is here a sanctuary of Apollo, a sanctuary of Poseidon, and in
addition one of Demeter. The images are of white marble, and are upright.
[2.36.4] Next comes a district, belonging to the Argives, that once was called
Asinaea, and by the sea are ruins of Asine. When the Lacedaemonians and their king
Nicander, son of Charillus, son of Polydectes, son of Eunomus, son of Prytanis,
son of Eurypon, invaded Argolis with an army, the Asinaeans joined in the invasion,
and with them ravaged the land of the Argives. When the Lacedaemonian expedition
departed home, the Argives under their king Eratus attacked Asine.[2.36.5] For a
time the Asinaeans defended themselves from their wall, and killed among others
Lysistratus, one of the most notable men of Argos. But when the wall was lost, the
citizens put their wives and children on board their vessels and abandoned their
own country; the Argives, while levelling Asine to the ground and annexing its territory
to their own, left the sanctuary of Apollo Pythaeus, which is still visible, and
by it they buried Lysistratus.
[2.36.6] Distant from Argos forty stades and no more is the sea at Lerna. On
the way down to Lerna the first thing on the road is the Erasinus, which empties
itself into the Phrixus, and the Phrixus into the sea between Temenium and Lerna.
About eight stades to the left from the Erasinus is a sanctuary of the Lords Dioscuri
(Sons of Zeus). Their wooden images have been made similar to those in the city.[2.36.7]
On returning to the straight road, you will cross the Erasinus and reach the river
Cheimarrus (Winter-torrent). Near it is a circuit of stones, and they say that Pluto,
after carrying off, according to the story, Core, the daughter of Demeter, descended
here to his fabled kingdom underground. Lerna is, I have already stated, by the
sea, and here they celebrate mysteries in honor of Lernaean Demeter.
[2.36.8] There is a sacred grove beginning on the mountain they call Pontinus.
Now Mount Pontinus does not let the rain-water flow away, but absorbs it into itself.
From it flows a river, also called Pontinus. Upon the top of the mountain is a sanctuary
of Athena Saitis, now merely a ruin; there are also the foundations of a house of
Hippomedon, who went to Thebes to redress the wrongs of Polyneices, son of Oedipus.
2,36,2,n1. Hom. Il. 2.562
[2.37.1] At this mountain begins the grove, which consists chiefly of plane trees,
and reaches down to the sea. Its boundaries are, on the one side the river Pantinus,
on the other side another river, called Amymane, after the daughter of Danaus. Within
the grave are images of Demeter Prosymne and of Dionysus. Of Demeter there is a
seated image of no great size.[2.37.2] Both are of stone, but in another temple
is a seated wooden image of Dionysus Saotes (Savior), while by the sea is a stone
image of Aphrodite. They say that the daughters of Danaus dedicated it, while Danaus
himself made the sanctuary of Athena by the Pontinus. The mysteries of the Lernaeans
were established, they say, by Philammon. Now the words which accompany the ritual
are evidently of no antiquity[2.37.3] and the inscription also, which I have heard
is written on the heart made of orichalcum, was shown not to be Philammon's by Arriphon,
an Aetolian of Triconium by descent, who now enjoys a reputation second to none
among the Lycians; excellent at original research, he found the clue to this problem
in the following way: the verses, and the prose interspersed among the verses, are
all written in Doric. But before the return of the Heracleidae to the Peloponnesus
the Argives spoke the same dialect as the Athenians, and in Philammon's day I do
not suppose that even the name Dorians was familiar to all Greek ears.
[2.37.4] All this was proved in the demonstration. At the source of the Amymone
grows a plane tree, beneath which, they say, the hydra (water-snake) grew. I am
ready to believe that this beast was superior in size to other water-snakes, and
that its poison had something in it so deadly that Heracles treated the points of
his arrows with its gall. It had, however, in my opinion, one head, and not several.
It was Peisander1 of Camirus who, in order that the beast might appear more frightful
and his poetry might be more remarkable, represented the hydra with its many heads.[2.37.5]
I saw also what is called the Spring of Amphiaraus and the Alcyonian Lake, through
which the Argives say Dionysus went down to Hell to bring up Semele, adding that
the descent here was shown him by Palymnus. There is no limit to the depth of the
Alcyonian Lake, and I know of nobody who by any contrivance has been able to reach
the bottom of it since not even Nero, who had ropes made several stades long and
fastened them together, tying lead to them, and omitting nothing that might help
his experiment, was able to discover any limit to its depth.[2.37.6] This, too,
I heard. The water of the lake is, to all appearance, calm and quiet but, although
it is such to look at, every swimmer who ventures to cross it is dragged down, sucked
into the depths, and swept away. The circumference of the lake is not great, being
about one-third of a stade. Upon its banks grow grass and rushes. The nocturnal
rites performed every year in honor of Dionysus I must not divulge to the world
2,37,4,n1. Peisander wrote a poem on the labors of Heracles. His date is uncertain,
but perhaps he flourished about 645 B.C.
[2.38.1] Temenium is in Argive territory, and was named after Temenus, the son
of Aristomachus. For, having seized and strengthened the position, he waged therefrom
with the Dorians the war against Tisamenus and the Achaeans. On the way to Temenium
from Lerna the river Phrixus empties itself into the sea, and in Temenium is built
a sanctuary of Poseidon, as well as one of Aphrodite; there is also the tomb of
Temenus, which is worshipped by the Dorians in Argos.[2.38.2] Fifty stades, I conjecture,
from Temenium is Nauplia, which at the present day is uninhabited; its founder was
Nauplius, reputed to be a son of Poseidon and Amymone. Of the walls, too, ruins
still remain and in Nauplia are a sanctuary of Poseidon, harbors, and a spring called
Canathus. Here, say the Argives, Hera bathes every year and recovers her maidenhood.
[2.38.3] This is one of the sayings told as a holy secret at the mysteries which
they celebrate in honor of Hera. The story told by the people in Nauplia about the
ass, how by nibbling down the shoots of a vine he caused a more plenteous crop of
grapes in the future, and how for this reason they have carved an ass on a rock,
because he taught the pruning of vines--all this I pass over as trivial.
[2.38.4] From Lerna there is also another road, which skirts the sea and leads
to a place called Genesium. By the sea is a small sanctuary of Poseidon Genesius.
Next to this is another place, called Apobathmi (Steps). The story is that this
is the first place in Argolis where Danaus landed with his daughters. From here
we pass through what is called Anigraea, along a narrow and difficult road, until
we reach a tract on the left which stretches down to the sea;[2.38.5] it is fertile
in trees, especially the olive. As you go up inland from this is a place where three
hundred picked Argives fought for this land with an equal number of specially chosen
Lacedaemonian warriors1. All were killed except one Spartan and two Argives, and
here were raised the graves for the dead. But the Lacedaemonians, having fought
against the Argives with all their forces, won a decisive victory; at first they
themselves enjoyed the fruits of the land, but afterwards they assigned it to the
Aeginetans, when they were expelled from their island by the Athenians2. In my time
Thyreatis was inhabited by the Argives, who say that they recovered it by the award
of an arbitration36"[2.38.6] As you go from these common graves you come to Athene,
where Aeginetans once made their home, another village Neris, and a third Eua, the
largest of the villages, in which there is a sanctuary of Polemocrates. This Polemocrates
is one of the sons of Machaon, and the brother of Alexanor; he cures the people
of the district, and receives honors from the neighbours.[2.38.7] Above the villages
extends Mount Parnon, on which the Lacedaemonian border meets the borders of the
Argives and Tegeatae. On the borders stand stone figures of Hermes, from which the
name of the place is derived. A river called Tanaus, which is the only one descending
from Mount Parnon, flows through the Argive territory and empties itself into the
Gulf of Thyrea.
[1.1.1] On the Greek mainland facing the Cyclades Islands and the Aegean Sea
the Sunium promontory stands out from the Attic land. When you have rounded the
promontory you see a harbor and a temple to Athena of Sunium on the peak of the
promontory. Farther on is Laurium, where once the Athenians had silver mines, and
a small uninhabited island called the Island of Patroclus. For a fortification was
built on it and a palisade constructed by Patroclus, who was admiral in command
of the Egyptian men-of-war sent by Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy, son of Lagus, to help
the Athenians, when Antigonus, son of Demetrius, was ravaging their country, which
he had invaded with an army, and at the same time was blockading them by sea with
[1.1.2] The Peiraeus was a parish from early times, though it was not a port
before Themistocles became an archon of the Athenians.1 Their port was Phalerum,
for at this place the sea comes nearest to Athens, and from here men say that Menestheus
set sail with his fleet for Troy, and before him Theseus, when he went to give satisfaction
to Minos for the death of Androgeos. But when Themistocles became archon, since
he thought that the Peiraeus was more conveniently situated for mariners, and had
three harbors as against one at Phalerum, he made it the Athenian port. Even up
to my time there were docks there, and near the largest harbor is the grave of Themistocles.
For it is said that the Athenians repented of their treatment of Themistocles, and
that his relations took up his bones and brought them from Magnesia. And the children
of Themistocles certainly returned and set up in the Parthenon a painting, on which
is a portrait of Themistocles. [1.1.3] The most noteworthy sight in the Peiraeus
is a precinct of Athena and Zeus. Both their images are of bronze; Zeus holds a
staff and a Victory, Athena a spear. Here is a portrait of Leosthenes and of his
sons, painted by Arcesilaus. This Leosthenes at the head of the Athenians and the
united Greeks defeated the Macedonians in Boeotia and again outside Thermopylae
forced them into Lamia over against Oeta, and shut them up there.1 The portrait
is in the long portico, where stands a market-place for those living near the sea--those
farther away from the harbor have another--but behind the portico near the sea stand
a Zeus and a Demos, the work of Leochares. And by the sea Conon2 built a sanctuary
of Aphrodite, after he had crushed the Lacedaemonian warships off Cnidus in the
Carian peninsula.3 For the Cnidians hold Aphrodite in very great honor, and they
have sanctuaries of the goddess; the oldest is to her as Doritis (Bountiful), the
next in age as Acraea (Of the Height), while the newest is to the Aphrodite called
Cnidian by men generally, but Euploia (Fair Voyage) by the Cnidians themselves.
[1.1.4] The Athenians have also another harbor, at Munychia, with a temple of
Artemis of Munychia, and yet another at Phalerum, as I have already stated, and
near it is a sanctuary of Demeter. Here there is also a temple of Athena Sciras,
and one of Zeus some distance away, and altars of the gods named Unknown, and of
heroes, and of the children of Theseus and Phalerus; for this Phalerus is said by
the Athenians to have sailed with Jason to Colchis. There is also an altar of Androgeos,
son of Minos, though it is called that of Heros; those, however, who pay special
attention to the study of their country's antiquities know that it belongs to Androgeos.[1.1.5]
Twenty stades away is the Coliad promontory; on to it, when the Persian fleet was
destroyed, the wrecks were carried down by the waves. There is here an image of
the Coliad Aphrodite, with the goddesses Genetyllides (Goddesses of Birth), as they
are called. And I am of opinion that the goddesses of the Phocaeans in Ionia, whom
they call Gennaides, are the same as those at Colias. On the way from Phalerum to
Athens there is a temple of Hera with neither doors nor roof. Men say that Mardonius,
son of Gobryas, burnt it. But the image there to-day is, as report goes, the work
of Alcamenes1 So that this, at any rate, cannot have been damaged by the Persians.
1,1,1,n1. c. 267-263 B.C.
1,1,2,n1. 493 B.C.
1,1,3,n1. 323 B.C.
1,1,3,n2. fl. c. 350 B.C.
1,1,3,n3. 394 B.C.
1,1,5,n1. fl. 440-400 B.C.
[1.2.1] On entering the city there is a monument to Antiope the Amazon. This
Antiope, Pindar says, was carried of by Peirithous and Theseus, but Hegias of Troezen
gives the following account of her. Heracles was besieging Themiscyra on the Thermodon,
but could not take it, but Antiope, falling in love with Theseus, who was aiding
Heracles in his campaign, surrendered the stronghold. Such is the account of Hegias.
But the Athenians assert that when the Amazons came, Antiope was shot by Molpadia,
while Molpadia was killed by Theseus. To Molpadia also there is a monument among
[1.2.2] As you go up from the Peiraeus you see the ruins of the walls which Conon
restored after the naval battle off Cnidus. For those built by Themistocles after
the retreat of the Persians were destroyed during the rule of those named the Thirty.1
Along the road are very famous graves, that of Menander, son of Diopeithes, and
a cenotaph of Euripides. He him self went to King Archelaus and lies buried in Macedonia;
as to the manner of his death (many have described it), let it be as they say.[1.2.3]
So even in his time poets lived at the courts of kings, as earlier still Anacreon
consorted with Polycrates, despot of Samos, and Aeschylus and Simonides journeyed
to Hiero at Syracuse. Dionysius, afterwards despot in Sicily had Philoxenus at his
court, and Antigonus,1 ruler of Macedonia, had Antagoras of Rhodes and Aratus of
Soli. But Hesiod and Homer either failed to win the society of kings or else purposely
despised it, Hesiod through boorishness and reluctance to travel, while Homer, having
gone very far abroad, depreciated the help afforded by despots in the acquisition
of wealth in comparison with his reputation among ordinary men. And yet Homer, too,
in his poem makes Demodocus live at the court of Alcinous, and Agamemnon leave a
poet with his wife. Not far from the gates is a grave, on which is mounted a soldier
standing by a horse. Who it is I do not know, but both horse and soldier were carved
[1.2.4] On entering the city there is a building for the preparation of the processions,
which are held in some cases every year, in others at longer intervals. Hard by
is a temple of Demeter, with images of the goddess herself and of her daughter,
and of Iacchus holding a torch. On the wall, in Attic characters, is written that
they are works of Praxiteles. Not far from the temple is Poseidon on horseback,
hurling a spear against the giant Polybotes, concerning whom is prevalent among
the Coans the story about the promontory of Chelone. But the inscription of our
time assigns the statue to another, and not to Poseidon. From the gate to the Cerameicus
there are porticoes, and in front of them brazen statues of such as had some title
to fame, both men and women.[1.2.5] One of the porticoes contains shrines of gods,
and a gymnasium called that of Hermes. In it is the house of Pulytion, at which
it is said that a mystic rite was performed by the most notable Athenians, parodying
the Eleusinian mysteries. But in my time it was devoted to the worship of Dionysus.
This Dionysus they call Melpomenus (Minstrel), on the same principle as they call
Apollo Musegetes (Leader of the Muses). Here there are images of Athena Paeonia
(Healer), of Zeus, of Mnemosyne (Memory) and of the Muses, an Apollo, the votive
offering and work of Eubulides, and Acratus, a daemon attendant upon Apollo; it
is only a face of him worked into the wall. After the precinct of Apollo is a building
that contains earthen ware images, Amphictyon, king of Athens, feasting Dionysus
and other gods. Here also is Pegasus of Eleutherae, who introduced the god to the
Athenians. Herein he was helped by the oracle at Delphi, which called to mind that
the god once dwelt in Athens in the days of Icarius. [1.2.6] Amphictyon won the
kingdom thus. It is said that Actaeus was the first king of what is now Attica.
When he died, Cecrops, the son-in-law of Actaeus, received the kingdom, and there
were born to him daughters, Herse, Aglaurus and Pandrosus, and a son Erysichthon.
This son did not become king of the Athenians, but happened to die while his father
lived, and the kingdom of Cecrops fell to Cranaus, the most powerful of the Athenians.
They say that Cranaus had daughters, and among them Atthis; and from her they call
the country Attica, which before was named Actaea. And Amphictyon, rising up against
Cranaus, although he had his daughter to wife, deposed him from power. Afterwards
he himself was banished by Erichthonius and his fellow rebels. Men say that Erichthonius
had no human father, but that his parents were Hephaestus and Earth.
1,2,2,n1. 404-403 B.C.
1,2,3,n1. Antigonus surnamed Gonatas became king of Macedonia in 283 B.C.
[1.3.1] The district of the Cerameicus has its name from the hero Ceramus, he
too being the reputed son of Dionysus and Ariadne. First on the right is what is
called the Royal Portico, where sits the king when holding the yearly office called
the kingship. On the tiling of this portico are images of baked earthenware, Theseus
throwing Sciron into the sea and Day carrying away Cephalus, who they say was very
beautiful and was ravished by Day, who was in love with him. His son was Phaethon,
[1.3.4] Here is a picture of the exploit, near Mantinea, of the Athenians who
were sent to help the Lacedaemonians.1 Xenophon among others has written a history
of the whole war--the taking of the Cadmea, the defeat of the Lacedaemonians at
Leuctra, how the Boeotians invaded the Peloponnesus,and the contingent sent to the
Lacedacmonians from the Athenians. In the picture is a cavalry battle, in which
the most famous men are, among the Athenians, Grylus the son of Xenophon, and in
the Boeotian cavalry, Epaminondas the Theban. These pictures were painted for the
Athenians by Euphranor, and he also wrought the Apollo surnamed Patrous (Paternal)
in the temple hard by. And in front of the temple is one Apollo made by Leochares;
the other Apollo, called Averter of evil, was made by Calamis. They say that the
god received this name because by an oracle from Delphi he stayed the pestilence
which afflicted the Athenians at the time of the Peloponnesian War.2
[1.3.5] Here is built also a sanctuary of the Mother of the gods; the image is
by Pheidias1. Hard by is the council chamber of those called the Five Hundred, who
are the Athenian councillors for a year. In it are a wooden figure of Zeus Counsellor
and an Apollo, the work of Peisias,2 and a Demos by Lyson. The thesmothetae (lawgivers)
were painted by Protogenes3 the Caunian, and Olbiades4 portrayed Callippus, who
led the Athenians to Thermopylae to stop the incursion of the Gauls into Greece.51,3,2,n1.
Evagoras was a king of Salamis in Cyprus, who reigned from about 410 to 374 B.C.
He favoured the Athenians, and helped Conon to defeat the Spartan fleet off Cnidus
in 394 B.C.
1,3,3,n1. 560-527 B.C.
1,3,4,n1. 362 B.C.
1,3,4,n2. 430 B.C.
1,3,5,n1. 490-432 B.C.
1,3,5,n2. The dates of these artists are unknown.
1,3,5,n3. A contemporary of Alexander the Great.
1,3,5,n4. An unknown painter.
1,3,5,n5. 279 B.C.
[1.4.1] These Gauls inhabit the most remote portion of Europe, near a great sea
that is not navigable to its extremities, and possesses ebb and flow and creatures
quite unlike those of other seas. Through their country flows the river Eridanus,
on the bank of which the daughters of Helius (Sun) are supposed to lament the fate
that befell their brother Phaethon. It was late before the name "Gauls" came into
vogue; for anciently they were called Celts both amongst themselves and by others.
An army of them mustered and turned towards the Ionian Sea, dispossessed the Illyrian
people, all who dwelt as far as Macedonia with the Macedonians themselves, and overran
Thessaly. And when they drew near to Thermopylae, the Greeks in general made no
move to prevent the inroad of the barbarians, since previously they had been severely
defeated by Alexander and Philip. Further, Antipater and Cassander1 afterwards crushed
the Greeks, so that through weakness each state thought no shame of itself taking
no part in the defence of the country.[1.4.2] But the Athenians, although they were
more exhausted than any of the Greeks by the long Macedonian war, and had been generally
unsuccessful in their battles, nevertheless set forth to Thermopylae with such Greeks
as joined them, having made the Callippus I mentioned their general. Occupying the
pass where it was narrowest, they tried to keep the foreigners from entering Greece;
but the Celts, having discovered the path by which Ephialtes of Trachis once led
the Persians, over whelmed the Phocians stationed there and crossed Oeta unperceived
by the Greeks.1 [1.4.3] Then it was that the Athenians put the Greeks under the
greatest obligation, and although outflanked offered resistance to the foreigners
on two sides. But the Athenians on the fleet suffered most, for the Lamian gulf
is a swamp near Thermopylae--the reason being, I think, the hot water that here
runs into the sea. These then were more distressed; for taking the Greeks on board
they were forced to sail through the mud weighted as they were by arms and men.
[1.4.4] So they tried to save Greece in the way described, but the Gauls, now south
of the Gates, cared not at all to capture the other towns, but were very eager to
sack Delphi and the treasures of the god. They were opposed by the Delphians themselves
and the Phocians of the cities around Parnassus; a force of Aetolians also joined
the defenders, for the Aetolians at this time were pre-eminent for their vigorous
activity. When the forces engaged, not only were thunderbolts and rocks broken off
from Parnassus hurled against the Gauls, but terrible shapes as armed warriors haunted
the foreigners. They say that two of them, Hyperochus and Amadocus, came from the
Hyperboreans, and that the third was Pyrrhus son of Achilles. Because of this help
in battle the Delphians sacrifice to Pyrrhus as to a hero, although formerly they
held even his tomb in dishonor, as being that of an enemy.[1.4.5] The greater number
of the Gauls crossed over to Asia by ship and plundered its coasts. Some time after,
the inhabitants of Pergamus, that was called of old Teuthrania, drove the Gauls
into it from the sea. Now this people occupied the country on the farther side of
the river Sangarius capturing Ancyra, a city of the Phrygians, which Midas son of
Gordius had founded in former time. And the anchor, which Midas found,1 was even
as late as my time in the sanctuary of Zeus, as well as a spring called the Spring
of Midas, water from which they say Midas mixed with wine to capture Silenus. Well
then, the Pergameni took Ancyra and Pessinus which lies under Mount Agdistis, where
they say that Attis lies buried.[1.4.6] They have spoils from the Gauls, and a painting
which portrays their deed against them. The land they dwell in was, they say, in
ancient times sacred to the Cabeiri, and they claim that they are themselves Arcadians,
being of those who crossed into Asia with Telephus. Of the wars that they have waged
no account has been published to the world, except that they have accomplished three
most notable achievements; the subjection of the coast region of Asia, the expulsion
of the Gauls therefrom, and the exploit of Telephus against the followers of Agamemnon,
at a time when the Greeks after missing Troy, were plundering the Meian plain thinking
it Trojan territory. Now I will return from my digression.
1,4,1,n1. Antipater and Cassander were successors of Alexander the Great.
1,4,2,n1. 480 B.C.
1,4,5,n1. A legend invented to explain the name "Ancyra," which means anchor.
[1.5.1] Near to the Council Chamber of the Five Hundred is what is called Tholos
(Round House); here the presidents sacrifice, and there are a few small statues
made of silver. Farther up stand statues of heroes, from whom afterwards the Athenian
tribes received their names. Who the man was who established ten tribes instead
of four, and changed their old names to new ones--all this is told by Herodotus.1
[1.5.2] The eponymoi1--this is the name given to them--are Hippothoon son of Poseidon
and Alope daughter of Cercyon, Antiochus, one of the children of Heracles borne
to him by Meda daughter of Phylas, thirdly, Ajax son of Telamon, and to the Athenians
belongs Leos, who is said to have given up his daughters, at the command of the
oracle, for the safety of the commonwealth. Among the eponymoi is Erechtheus, who
conquered the Eleusinians in battle, and killed their general, Immaradus the son
of Eumolpus. There is Aegeus also and Oeneus the bastard son of Pandion, and Acamas,
one of the children of Theseus.[1.5.3] I saw also among the eponymoi statues of
Cecrops and Pandion, but I do not know who of those names are thus honored. For
there was an earlier ruler Cecrops who took to wife the daughter of Actaeus, and
a later--he it was who migrated to Euboea--son of Erechtheus, son of Pandion, son
of Erichthonius. And there was a king Pandion who was son of Erichthonius, and another
who was son of Cecrops the second. This man was deposed from his kingdom by the
Metionidae, and when he fled to Megara--for he had to wife the daughter of Pylas
king of Megara--his children were banished with him. And Pandion is said to have
fallen ill there and died, and on the coast of the Megarid is his tomb, on the rock
called the rock of Athena the Gannet.[1.5.4] But his children expelled the Metionidae,
and returned from banishment at Megara, and Aegeus, as the eldest, became king of
the Athenians. But in rearing daughters Pandion was unlucky, nor did they leave
any sons to avenge him. And yet it was for the sake of power that he made the marriage
alliance with the king of Thrace. But there is no way for a mortal to overstep what
the deity thinks fit to send. They say that Tereus, though wedded to Procne, dishonored
Philomela, thereby transgressing Greek custom, and further, having mangled the body
of the damsel, constrained the women to avenge her. There is another statue, well
worth seeing, of Pandion on the Acropolis.
[1.5.5] These are the Athenian eponymoi who belong to the ancients. And of later
date than these they have tribes named after the following, Attalus1 the Mysian
and Ptolemy the Egyptian,2 and within my own time the emperor Hadrian3, who was
extremely religious in the respect he paid to the deity and contributed very much
to the happiness of his various subjects. He never voluntarily entered upon a war,
but he reduced the Hebrews beyond Syria, who had rebelled.4 As for the sanctuaries
of the gods that in some cases he built from the beginning, in others adorned with
offerings and furniture, and the bounties he gave to Greek cities, and sometimes
even to foreigners who asked him, all these acts are inscribed in his honor in the
sanctuary at Athens common to all the gods.
1,5,1,n1. See v. 66 and 69. The reform took place in 508 B.C.
1,5,2,n1. That is, "those after whom others are named."
1,5,5,n1. This king of Pergamus visited Athens in 200 B.C. in the company of
the Roman ambassadors, and was treated with every mark of respect by the Athenians.
1,5,5,n2. It is uncertain to which of the many kings of Egypt called by this
name Pausanias refers.
1,5,5,n3. 117-138 A.D.
1,5,5,n4. 132 A.D.
[1.6.1] But as to the history of Attalus and Ptolemy, it is more ancient in point
of time, so that tradition no longer remains, and those who lived with these kings
for the purpose of chronicling their deeds fell into neglect even before tradition
failed. Where fore it occurred to me to narrate their deeds also, and how the sovereignty
of Egypt, of the Mysians and of the neighboring peoples fell into the hands of their
[1.6.2] 1 The Macedonians consider Ptolemy to be the son of Philip, the son of
Amyntas, though putatively the son of Lagus, asserting that his mother was with
child when she was married to Lagus by Philip. And among the distinguished acts
of Ptolemy in Asia they mention that it was he who, of Alexander's companions, was
foremost in succoring him when in danger among the Oxydracae. After the death of
Alexander2, by withstanding those who would have conferred all his empire upon Aridaeus,
the son of Philip, he became chiefly responsible for the division of the various
nations into the kingdoms.[1.6.3] He crossed over to Egypt in person, and killed
Cleomenes, whom Alexander had appointed satrap of that country, considering him
a friend of Perdiccas, and therefore not faithful to himself; and the Macedonians
who had been entrusted with the task of carrying the corpse of Alexander to Aegae,
he persuaded to hand it over to him. And he proceeded to bury it with Macedonian
rites in Memphis, but, knowing that Perdiccas would make war, he kept Egypt garrisoned.
And Perdiccas took Aridaeus, son of Philip, and the boy Alexander, whom Roxana,
daughter of Oxyartes, had borne to Alexander, to lend color to the campaign, but
really he was plotting to take from Ptolemy his kingdom in Egypt. But being expelled
from Egypt, and having lost his reputation as a soldier, and being in other respects
unpopular with the Macedonians, he was put to death by his body guard.[1.6.4] The
death of Perdiccas immediately raised Ptolemy to power, who both reduced the Syrians
and Phoenicia, and also welcomed Seleucus, son of Antiochus, who was in exile, having
been expelled by Antigonus; he further himself prepared to attack Antigonus. He
prevailed on Cassander, son of Anti pater, and Lysimachus, who was king in Thrace,
to join in the war, urging that Seleucus was in exile and that the growth of the
power of Antigonus was dangerous to them all.[1.6.5] For a time Antigonus pre pared
for war, and was by no means confident of the issue; but on learning that the revolt
of Cyrene had called Ptolemy to Libya, he immediately reduced the Syrians and Phoenicians
by a sudden inroad, handed them over to Demetrius, his son, a man who for all his
youth had already a reputation for good sense, and went down to the Hellespont.
But he led his army back without crossing, on hearing that Demetrius had been overcome
by Ptolemy in battle. But Demetrius had not altogether evacuated the country before
Ptolemy, and having surprised a body of Egyptians, killed a few of them. Then on
the arrival of Antigonus Ptolemy did not wait for him but returned to Egypt.[1.6.6]
When the winter was over, Demetrius sailed to Cyprus and overcame in a naval action
Menelaus, the satrap of Ptolemy, and afterwards Ptolemy him self, who had crossed
to bring help. Ptolemy fled to Egypt, where he was besieged by Antigonus on land
and by Demetrius with a fleet. In spite of his extreme peril Ptolemy saved his empire
by making a stand with an army at Pelusium while offering resistance with warships
from the river. Antigonus now abandoned all hope of reducing Egypt in the circumstances,
and dispatched Demetrius against the Rhodians with a fleet and a large army, hoping,
if the island were won, to use it as a base against the Egyptians. But the Rhodians
displayed daring and ingenuity in the face of the besiegers, while Ptolemy helped
them with all the forces he could muster. [1.6.7] Antigonus thus failed to reduce
Egypt or, later, Rhodes, and shortly afterwards he offered battle to Lysimachus,
and to Cassander and the army of Seleucus, lost most of his forces, and was himself
killed, having suffered most by reason of the length of the war with Eumenes. Of
the kings who put down Antigonus I hold that the most wicked was Cassander, who
although he had recovered the throne of Macedonia with the aid of Antigonus, nevertheless
came to fight against a benefactor.[1.6.8] After the death of Antigonus, Ptolemy
again reduced the Syrians and Cyprus, and also restored Pyrrhus to Thesprotia on
the mainland. Cyrene rebelled; but Magas, the son of Berenice (who was at this time
married to Ptolemy) captured Cyrene in the fifth year of the rebellion. If this
Ptolemy really was the son of Philip, son of Amyntas, he must have inherited from
his father his passion for women, for, while wedded to Eurydice, the daughter of
Antipater, although he had children he took a fancy to Berenice, whom Antipater
had sent to Egypt with Eurydice. He fell in love with this woman and had children
by her, and when his end drew near he left the kingdom of Egypt to Ptolemy (from
whom the Athenians name their tribe) being the son of Berenice and not of the daughter
1,6,2,n1. The account which follows deals with the troubled period which came
after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. The generals Antigonus, Ptolemy,
Seleucus, Lysimachus and Cassander quarrelled over the division of the empire.
1,6,2,n2. 323 B.C.
[1.7.1] This Ptolemy fell in love with Arsinoe, his full sister, and married
her, violating herein Macedonian custom, but following that of his Egyptian subjects.
Secondly he put to death his brother Argaeus, who was, it is said, plotting against
him; and he it was who brought down from Memphis the corpse of Alexander. He put
to death another brother also, son of Eurydice, on discovering that he was creating
disaffection among the Cyprians. Then Magas, the half-brother of Ptolemy, who had
been entrusted with the governorship of Cyrene by his mother Berenice--she had borne
him to Philip, a Macedonians but of no note and of lowly origin--induced the people
of Cyrene to revolt from Ptolemy and marched against Egypt.[1.7.2] Ptolemy fortified
the entrance into Egypt and awaited the attack of the Cyrenians. But while on the
march Magas was in formed that the Marmaridae,a tribe of Libyan nomads, had revolted,
and thereupon fell back upon Cyrene. Ptolemy resolved to pursue, but was checked
owing to the following circumstance. When he was preparing to meet the attack of
Magas, he engaged mercenaries, including some four thousand Gauls. Discovering that
they were plotting to seize Egypt, he led them through the river to a deserted island.
There they perished at one another's hands or by famine.[1.7.3] Magas, who was married
to Apame, daughter of Antiochus, son of Seleucus, persuaded Antiochus to break the
treaty which his father Seleucus had made with Ptolemy and to attack Egypt. When
Antiochus resolved to attack, Ptolemy dispatched forces against all the subjects
of Antiochus, freebooters to overrun the lands of the weaker, and an army to hold
back the stronger, so that Antiochus never had an opportunity of attacking Egypt.
I have already stated how this Ptolemy sent a fleet to help the Athenians against
Antigonus and the Macedonians, but it did very little to save Athens. His children
were by Arsinoe, not his sister, but the daughter of Lysimachus. His sister who
had wedded him happened to die before this, leaving no issue, and there is in Egypt
a district called Arsinoites after her.
[1.8.1] It is pertinent to add here an account of Attalus, because he too is
one of the Athenian eponymoi. A Macedonian of the name of Docimus, a general of
Antigonus, who afterwards surrendered both himself and his property to Lysimachus,
had a Paphlagonian eunuch called Philetaerus. All that Philetaerus did to further
the revolt from Lysimachus, and how he won over Seleucus, will form an episode in
my account of Lysimachus. Attalus, however, son of Attalus and nephew of Philetaerus,
received the kingdom from his cousin Eumenes, who handed it over. The greatest of
his achievements was his forcing the Gauls to retire from the sea into the country
which they still hold.
[1.8.2] After the statues of the eponymoi come statues of gods, Amphiaraus, and
Eirene (Peace) carrying the boy Plutus (Wealth). Here stands a bronze figure of
Lycurgus, 1 son of Lycophron, and of Callias, who, as most of the Athenians say,
brought about the peace between the Greeks and Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes. 2 Here
also is Demosthenes, whom the Athenians forced to retire to Calauria, the island
off Troezen, and then, after receiving him back, banished again after the disaster
at Lamia.[1.8.3] Exiled for the second time 1 Demosthenes crossed once more to Calauria,
and committed suicide there by taking poison, being the only Greek exile whom Archias
failed to bring back to Antipater and the Macedonians. This Archias was a Thurian
who undertook the abominable task of bringing to Antipater for punishment those
who had opposed the Macedonians before the Greeks met with their defeat in Thessaly.
Such was Demosthenes' reward for his great devotion to Athens. I heartily agree
with the remark that no man who has unsparingly thrown himself into politics trusting
in the loyalty of the democracy has ever met with a happy death.
[1.8.4] Near the statue of Demosthenes is a sanctuary of Ares, where are placed
two images of Aphrodite, one of Ares made by Alcamenes, and one of Athena made by
a Parian of the name of Locrus. There is also an image of Enyo, made by the sons
of Praxiteles. About the temple stand images of Heracles, Theseus, Apollo binding
his hair with a fillet, and statues of Calades,1 who it is said framed laws 2 for
the Athenians, and of Pindar, the statue being one of the rewards the Athenians
gave him for praising them in an ode.[1.8.5] Hard by stand statues of Harmodius
and Aristogiton, who killed Hipparchus.1 The reason of this act and the method of
its execution have been related by others; of the figures some were made by Critius2,
the old ones being the work of Antenor. When Xerxes took Athens after the Athenians
had abandoned the city he took away these statues also among the spoils, but they
were afterwards restored to the Athenians by Antiochus.
[1.8.6] Before the entrance of the theater which they call the Odeum (Music Hall)
are statues of Egyptian kings. They are all alike called Ptolemy, but each has his
own surname. For they call one Philometor, and another Philadelphus, while the son
of Lagus is called Soter, a name given him by the Rhodians. Of these, Philadelphus
is he whom I have mentioned before among the eponymoi, and near him is a statue
of his sister Arsinoe.
1,8,2,n1. An Athenian orator who did great service to Athens when Demosthenes
was trying to stir up his countrymen against Philip of Macedon.
1,8,2,n2. c. 448 B.C.
1,8,3,n1. 323 B.C.
1,8,4,n1. Nothing more is known of this person.
1,8,4,n2. Or "tunes."
1,8,5,n1. 514 B.C.
1,8,5,n2. fl. c. 445 B.C.
[1.9.1] The one called Philometor is eighth in descent from Ptolemy son of Lagus,
and his surname was given him in sarcastic mockery, for we know of none of the kings
who was so hated by his mother. Although he was the eldest of her children she would
not allow him to be called to the throne, but prevailed on his father before the
call came to send him to Cyprus. Among the reasons assigned for Cleopatra's enmity
towards her son is her expectation that Alexander the younger of her sons would
prove more subservient, and this consideration induced her to urge the Egyptians
to choose Alexander as king.[1.9.2] When the people offered opposition, she dispatched
Alexander for the second time to Cyprus, ostensibly as general, but really because
she wished by his means to make Ptolemy more afraid of her. Finally she covered
with wounds those eunuchs she thought best disposed, and presented them to the people,
making out that she was the victim of Ptolemy's machinations, and that he had treated
the eunuchs in such a fashion. The people of Alexandria rushed to kill Ptolemy,
and when he escaped on board a ship, made Alexander, who returned from Cyprus, their
king. [1.9.3] Retribution for the exile of Ptolemy came upon Cleopatra, for she
was put to death by Alexander, whom she herself had made to be king of the Egyptians.
When the deed was discovered, and Alexander fled in fear of the citizens, Ptolemy
returned and for the second time assumed control of Egypt. He made war against the
Thebans, who had revolted, reduced them two years after the revolt, and treated
them so cruelly that they were left not even a memorial of their former prosperity,
which had so grown that they surpassed in wealth the richest of the Greeks, the
sanctuary of Delphi and the Orchomenians. Shortly after this Ptolemy met with his
appointed fate, and the Athenians, who had been benefited by him in many ways which
I need not stop to relate, set up a bronze likeness of him and of Berenice, his
only legitimate child.
[1.9.4] After the Egyptians come statues of Philip and of his son Alexander.
The events of their lives were too important to form a mere digression in another
story. Now the Egyptians had their honors bestowed upon them out of genuine respect
and because they were benefactors, but it was rather the sycophancy of the people
that gave them to Philip and Alexander, since they set up a statue to Lysimachus
also not so much out of goodwill as because they thought to serve their immediate
[1.9.5] This Lysimachus was a Macedonian by birth and one of Alexander's body-guards,
whom Alexander once in anger shut up in a chamber with a lion, and afterwards found
that he had overpowered the brute. Henceforth he always treated him with respect,
and honored him as much as the noblest Macedonians. After the death of Alexander,
Lysimachus ruled such of the Thracians, who are neighbors of the Macedonians, as
had been under the sway of Alexander and before him of Philip. These would comprise
but a small part of Thrace. If race be compared with race no nation of men except
the Celts are more numerous than the Thracians taken all together, and for this
reason no one before the Romans reduced the whole Thracian population. But the Romans
have subdued all Thrace, and they also hold such Celtic territory as is worth possessing,
but they have intentionally overlooked the parts that they consider useless through
excessive cold or barrenness.[1.9.6] Then Lysimachus made war against his neighbours,
first the Odrysae, secondly the Getae and Dromichaetes. Engaging with men not unversed
in warfare and far his superiors in number, he himself escaped from a position of
extreme danger, but his son Agathocles, who was serving with him then for the first
time, was taken prisoner by the Getae. Lysimachus met with other reverses afterwards,
and attaching great importance to the capture of his son made peace with Dromicliaetes,
yielding to the Getic king the parts of his empire beyond the Ister, and, chiefly
under compulsion, giving him his daughter in marriage. Others say that not Agathocles
but Lysimachus himself was taken prisoner, regaining his liberty when Agathocles
treated with the Getic king on his behalf. On his return he married to Agathocles
Lysandra, the daughter of Ptolemy, son of Lagus, and of Eurydice. [1.9.7] He also
crossed with a fleet to Asia and helped to overthrow the empire of Antigonus.1 He
founded also the modern city of Ephesus as far as the coast, bringing to it as settlers
people of Lebedos and Colophon, after destroying their cities, so that the iambic
poet Phoenix com posed a lament for the capture of Colophon. Mermesianax, the elegiac
writer, was, I think, no longer living, otherwise he too would certainly have been
moved by the taking of Colophon to write a dirge. Lysimachus also went to war with
Pyrrhus, son of Aeacides. Waiting for his departure from Epeirus (Pyrrhus was of
a very roving disposition) he ravaged Epeirus until he reached the royal tombs.[1.9.8]
The next part of the story is incredible to me, but Hieronymus the Cardian1 relates
that he destroyed the tombs and cast out the bones of the dead. But this Hieronymus
has a reputation generally of being biased against all the kings except Antigonus,
and of being unfairly partial towards him. As to the treatment of the Epeirot graves,
it is perfectly plain that it was malice that made him record that a Macedonian
desecrated the tombs of the dead. Besides, Lysimachus was surely aware that they
were the ancestors not of Pyrrhus only but also of Alexander. In fact Alexander
was an Epeirot and an Aeacid on his mother's side, and the subsequent alliance between
Pyrrhus and Lysimachus proves that even as enemies they were not irreconcilable.
Possibly Hieronymus had grievances against Lysimachus, especially his destroying
the city of the Cardians and founding Lysimachea in its stead on the isthmus of
the Thracian Chersonesus.
1,9,7,n1. 302 B.C.
1,9,8,n1. fl. 20-300 B.C.
[1.10.1] As long as Aridaeus reigned, and after him Cassander and his sons, friendly
relations continued between Lysimachus and Macedon. But when the kingdom devolved
upon Demetrius, son of Antigonus, Lysimachus, henceforth expecting that war would
be declared upon him by Demetrius, resolved to take aggressive action. He was aware
that Demetrius inherited a tendency to aggrandise, and he also knew that he visited
Macedonia at the summons of Alexander and Cassander, and on his arrival murdered
Alexander himself 1 and ruled the Macedonians in his stead. [1.10.2] Therefore encountering
Demetrius at Amphipolis he came near to being expelled from Thrace1, but on Pyrrhus'
coming to his aid he mastered Thrace and afterwards extended his empire at the expense
of the Nestians and Macedonians. The greater part of Macedonia was under the control
of Pyrrhus himself, who came from Epeirus with an army and was at that time on friendly
terms with Lysimachus. When however Demetrius crossed over into Asia and made war
on Seleucus, the alliance between Pyrrhus and Lysimachus lasted only as long as
Demetrius continued hostilities; when Demetrius submitted to Seleucus, the friendship
between Lysimachus and Pyrrhus was broken, and when war broke out Lysimachus fought
against Antigonus son of Demetrius and against Pyrrhus himself, had much the better
of the struggle, conquered Macedonia and forced Pyrrhus to retreat to Epeirus.[1.10.3]
Love is wont to bring many calamities upon men. Lysimachus, although by this time
of mature age and considered happy in respect of his children, and although Agathocles
had children by Lysandra, nevertheless married Lysandra's sister Arsinoe. This Arsinoe,
fearing for her children, lest on the death of Lysimachus they should fall into
the hands of Agathocles, is said for this reason to have plotted against Agathocles.
Historians have already related how Arsinoe fell in love with Agathocles, and being
unsuccessful they say that she plotted against his life. They say also that Lysimachus
discovered later his wife's machinations, but was by this time powerless, having
lost all his friends. [1.10.4] Since Lysimachus, then, overlooked Arsinoe's murder
of Agathocles, Lysandra fled to Seleucus, taking with her her children and her brothers,
who were taking refuge with Ptolemy and finally adopted this course. They were accompanied
on their flight to Seleucus by Alexander who was the son of Lysimachus by an Odrysian
woman. So they going up to Babylon entreated Seleucus to make war on Lysimachus.
And at the same time Philetaerus, to whom the property of Lysimachus had been entrusted,
aggrieved at the death of Agathocles and suspicious of the treatment he would receive
at the hands of Arsinoe, seized Pergamus on the Caicus, and sending a herald offered
both the property and himself to Seleucus.[1.10.5] Lysimachus hearing of all these
things lost no time in crossing into Asia1, and assuming the initiative met Seleucus,
suffered a severe defeat and was killed. Alexander, his son by the Odrysian woman,
after interceding long with Lysandra, won his body and afterwards carried it to
the Chersonesus and buried it, where his grave is still to be seen between the village
of Cardia and Pactye.
1,10,1,n1. 294 B.C.
1,10,2,n1. 288 B.C.
1,10,5,n1. 281 B.C.
[1.11.1] Such was the history of Lysimachus. The Athenians have also a statue
of Pyrrhus. This Pyrrhus was not related to Alexander, except by ancestry. Pyrrhus
was son of Aeacides, son of Arybbas, but Alexander was son of Olympias, daughter
of Neoptolemus, and the father of Neoptolemus and Aryblas was Alcetas, son of Tharypus.
And from Tharypus to Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, are fifteen generations. Now Pyrrhus
was the first who after the capture of Troy disdained to return to Thessaly, but
sailing to Epeirus dwelt there because of the oracles of Helenus. By Hermione Pyrrhus
had no child, but by Andromache he had Molossus, Pielus, and Pergamus, who was the
youngest. Helenus also had a son, Cestrinus, being married to Andromache after the
murder of Pyrrhus at Delphi. [1.11.2] Helenus on his death passed on the kingdom
to Molossus, son of Pyrrhus, so that Cestrinus with volunteers from the Epeirots
took possession of the region beyond the river Thyamis, while Pergamus crossed into
Asia and killed Areius, despot in Teuthrania, who fought with him in single combat
for his kingdom, and gave his name to the city which is still called after him.
To Andromache, who accompanied him, there is still a shrine in the city. Pielus
remained behind in Epeirus, and to him as ancestor Pyrrhus, the son of Aeacides,
and his fathers traced their descent, and not to Molossus.[1.11.3] Down to Alcetas,
son of Tharypus, Epeirus too was under one king. But the sons of Alcetas after a
quarrel agreed to rule with equal authority, remaining faithful to their compact;
and afterwards, when Alexander, son of Neoptolemus, died among the Leucani, and
Olympias returned to Epeirus through fear of Antipater, Aeacides, son of Arybbas,
continued in allegiance to Olympias and joined in her campaign against Aridaeus
and the Macedonians, although the Epeirots refused to accompany him.[1.11.4] Olympias
on her victory behaved wickedly in the matter of the death of Aridaeus, and much
more wickedly to certain Macedonians, and for this reason was considered to have
deserved her subsequent treatment at the hands of Cassander; so Aeacides at first
was not received even by the Epeirots because of their hatred of Olympias, and when
after wards they forgave him, his return to Epeirus was next opposed by Cassander.
When a battle occurred at Oeneadae between Philip, brother of Cassander, and Aeacides,
Aeacides was wounded and shortly after met his fate.1 [1.11.5] The Epeirots accepted
Alcetas as their king, being the son of Arybbas and the elder brother of Aeacides,
but of an uncontrollable temper and on this account banished by his father. Immediately
on his arrival he began to vent his fury on the Epeirots, until they rose up and
put him and his children to death at night. After killing him they brought back
Pyrrhus, son of Aeacides. No sooner had he arrived than Cassander made war upon
him, while he was young in years and before he had consolidated his empire. When
the Macedonians attacked him, Pyrrhus went to Ptolemy, son of Lagus, in Egypt. Ptolemy
gave him to wife the half-sister of his children, and restored him by an Egyptian
[1.11.6] The first Greeks that Pyrrhus attacked on becoming king were the Corcyraeans.
He saw that the island lay off his own territory, and he did not wish others to
have a base from which to attack him. My account of Lysimachus has already related
how he fared, after taking Corcyra, in his war with Lysimachus, how he expelled
Demetrius and ruled Macedonia until he was in turn expelled by Lysimachus, the most
important of his achievements until he waged war against the Romans,[1.11.7] being
the first Greek we know of to do so. For no further battle, it is said, took place
between Aeneas and Diomedes with his Argives. One of the many ambitions of the Athenians
was to reduce all Italy, but the disaster at Syracuse1 prevented their trying conclusions
with the Romans. Alexander, son of Neoptolemus, of the same family as Pyrrhus but
older, died among the Leucani before he could meet the Romans in battle.
1,11,4,n1. 313 B.C.
1,11,7,n1. 413 B.C.
[1.12.1] So Pyrrhus was the first to cross the Ionian Sea from Greece to attack
the Romans.1 And even he crossed on the invitation of the Tarentines. For they were
already involved in a war with the Romans, but were no match for them unaided. Pyrrhus
was already in their debt, because they had sent a fleet to help him in his war
with Corcyra, but the most cogent arguments of the Tarentine envoys were their accounts
of Italy, how its prosperity was equal to that of the whole of Greece, and their
plea that it was wicked to dismiss them when they had come as friends and suppliants
in their hour of need. When the envoys urged these considerations, Pyrrhus remembered
the capture of Troy, which he took to be an omen of his success in the war, as he
was a descendant of Achilles making war upon a colony of Trojans.[1.12.2] Pleased
with this proposal, and being a man who never lost time when once he had made up
his mind, he immediately proceeded to man war ships and to prepare transports to
carry horses and men-at-arms. There are books written by men of no renown as historians,
entitled "Memoirs." When I read these I marvelled greatly both at the personal bravery
of Pyrrhus in battle, and also at the forethought he displayed whenever a contest
was imminent. So on this occasion also when crossing to Italy with a fleet he eluded
the observation of the Romans, and for some time after his arrival they were unaware
of his presence; it was only when the Romans made an attack upon the Tarentines
that he appeared on the scene with his army, and his unexpected assault naturally
threw his enemies into confusion.[1.12.3] And being perfectly aware that he was
no match for the Romans, he prepared to let loose against them his elephants. The
first European to acquire elephants was Alexander, after subduing Porus and the
power of the Indians; after his death others of the kings got them but Antigonus
more than any; Pyrrhus captured his beasts in the battle with Demetrius. When on
this occasion they came in sight the Romans were seized with panic, and did not
believe they were animals.[1.12.4] For although the use of ivory in arts and crafts
all men obviously have known from of old, the actual beasts, before the Macedonians
crossed into Asia, nobody had seen at all except the Indians themselves, the Libyans,
and their neighbours. This is proved by Homer, who describes the couches and houses
of the more prosperous kings as ornamented with ivory, but never mentions the beast;
but if he had seen or heard about it he would, in my opinion have been much more
likely to speak of it than of the battle between the Dwarf-men and cranes.1 [1.12.5]
Pyrrhus was brought over to Sicily by an embassy of the Syracusans. The Carthaginians
had crossed over and were destroying the Greek cities, and had sat down to invest
Syracuse, the only one now remaining. When Pyrrhus heard this from the envoys he
abandoned Tarentum and the Italiots on the coast, and crossing into Sicily forced
the Carthaginians to raise the siege of Syracuse. In his self-conceit, although
the Carthaginians, being Phoenicians of Tyre by ancient descent, were more experienced
sea men than any other non-Greek people of that day, Pyrrhus was nevertheless encouraged
to meet them in a naval battle, employing the Epeirots, the majority of whom, even
after the capture of Troy, knew no thing of the sea nor even as yet how to use salt.
Witness the words of Homer in the Odyssey:--
Nothing they know of ocean, and mix not salt
with their victuals.1
1,12,1,n1. 280 B.C.
1,12,4,n1. Hom. Il. 3.3f.
1,12,5,n1. Hom. Od. 11.122
[1.13.1] Worsted on this occasion Pyrrhus put back with the remainder of his
vessels to Tarentum. Here he met with a serious reverse, and his retirement, for
he knew that the Romans would not let him depart without striking a blow, he contrived
in the following manner. On his return from Sicily and his defeat, he first sent
various dispatches to Asia and to Antigonus, asking some of the kings for troops,
some for money, and Antigonus for both. When the envoys returned and their dispatches
were delivered, he summoned those in authority, whether Epeirot or Tarentine, and
without reading any of the dispatches declared that reinforcements would come. A
report spread quickly even to the Romans that Macedonians and Asiatic tribes also
were crossing to the aid of Pyrrhus. The Romans, on hearing this, made no move,
but Pyrrhus on the approach of that very night crossed to the headlands of the mountains
[1.13.2] After the defeat in Italy Pyrrhus gave his forces a rest and then declared
war on Antigonus, his chief ground of complaint being the failure to send reinforcements
to Italy. Overpowering the native troops of Antigonus an his Gallic mercenaries
he pursued them to the coast cities, and himself reduced upper Macedonia and the
Thessalians. The extent of the fighting and the decisive character of the victory
of Pyrrhus are shown best by the Celtic armour dedicated in the sanctuary of Itonian
Athena between Pherae and Larisa, with this inscription on them:--
Pyrrhus the Molossian hung these shields[1.13.3]
taken from the bold Gauls as a gift to Itonian
Athena, when he had destroyed all the host
of Antigonus. 'Tis no great marvel. The
Aeacidae are warriors now, even as they were
These shields then are here, but the bucklers of the Macedonians themselves he
dedicated to Dodonian Zeus. They too have an inscription:--
These once ravaged golden Asia, and brought
slavery upon the Greeks. Now ownerless
they lie by the pillars of the temple of Zeus,
spoils of boastful Macedonia.
Pyrrhus came very near to reducing Macedonia entirely, but,[1.13.4] being usually
readier to do what came first to hand, he was prevented by Cleonymus. This Cleonymus,
who persuaded Pyrrhus to abandon his Macedonian adventure and to go to the Peloponnesus,
was a Lacedaemonian who led an hostile army into the Lacedaemonian territory for
a reason which I will relate after giving the descent of Cleonymus. Pausanias, who
was in command of the Greeks at Plataea1, was the father of Pleistoanax, he of Pausanias,
and he of Cleombrotus, who was killed at Leuctra fighting against Epaminondas and
the Thebans. Cleombrotus was the father of Agesipolis and Cleomenes, and, Agesipolis
dying without issue, Cleomenes ascended the throne. [1.13.5] Cleomenes had two sons,
the elder being Acrotatus and the younger Cleonymus. Now Acrotatus died first; and
when afterwards Cleomenes died, a claim to the throne was put forward by Areus son
of Acrotatus, and Cleonymus took steps to induce Pyrrhus to enter the country. Before
the battle of Leuctra1 the Lacedaemonians had suffered no disaster, so that they
even refused to admit that they had yet been worsted in a land battle. For Leonidas,
they said, had won the victory 2, but his followers were insufficient for the entire
destruction of the Persians; the achievement of Demosthenes and the Athenians on
the island of Sphacteria3 was no victory, but only a trick in war.[1.13.6] Their
first reverse took place in Boeotia, and they afterwards suffered a severe defeat
at the hands of Antipater and the Macedonians1. Thirdly the war with Demetrius2
came as an unexpected misfortune to their land. Invaded by Pyrrhus and seeing a
hostile army for the fourth time, they arrayed themselves to meet it along with
the Argives and Messenians who had come as their allies. Pyrrhus won the day, and
came near to capturing Sparta without further fighting, but desisted for a while
after ravaging the land and carrying off plunder.3 The citizens prepared for a siege,
and Sparta even before this in the war with Demetrius had been fortified with deep
trenches and strong stakes, and at the most vulnerable points with buildings as
well. [1.13.7] Just about this time, while the Laconian war was dragging on, Antigonus,
having recovered the Macedonian cities, hastened to the Peloponnesus being well
aware that if Pyrrhus were to reduce Lacedaemon and the greater part of the Peloponnesus,
he would not return to Epeirus but to Macedonia to make war there again. When Antigonus
was about to lead his army from Argos into Laconia, Pyrrhus himself reached Argos.
Victorious once more he dashed into the city along with the fugitives, and his formation
not unnaturally was broken up.[1.13.8] When the fighting was now taking place by
sanctuaries and houses, and in the narrow lanes, between detached bodies in different
parts of the town, Pyrrhus left by himself was wounded in the head. It is said that
his death1 was caused by a blow from a tile thrown by a woman. The Argives however
declare that it was not a woman who killed him but Demeter in the likeness of a
woman. This is what the Argives themselves relate about his end, and Lyceas, the
guide for the neighborhood, has written a poem which confirms the story. They have
a sanctuary of Demeter, built at the command of the oracle, on the spot where Pyrrhus
died, and in it Pyrrhus is buried.[1.13.9] I consider it remarkable that of those
styled Aeacidae three met their end by similar heaven-sent means; if, as Homer says,
Achilles was killed by Alexander, son of Priam, and by Apollo, if the Delphians
were bidden by the Pythia to slay Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, and if the end of the
son of Aeacides was such as the Argives say and Lyceas has described in his poem.
The account, how ever, given by Hieronymus the Cardian is different, for a man who
associates with royalty cannot help being a partial historian. If Philistus was
justified in sup pressing the most wicked deeds of Dionysius, because he expected
his return to Syracuse, surely Hieronymus may be fully forgiven for writing to please
1,13,4,n1. 479 B.C.
1,13,5,n1. 371 B.C.
1,13,5,n2. 480 B.C.
1,13,5,n3. 425 B.C.
1,13,6,n1. 330 B.C.
1,13,6,n2. 295 B.C.
1,13,6,n3. 272 B.C.
1,13,8,n1. 272 B.C.
[1.14.1] So ended the period of Epeirot ascendancy. When you have entered the
Odeum at Athens you meet, among other objects, a figure of Dionysus worth seeing.
Hard by is a spring called Enneacrunos (Nine Jets), embellished as you see it by
Peisistratus. There are cisterns all over the city, but this is the only fountain.
Above the spring are two temples, one to Demeter and the Maid, while in that of
Triptolemus is a statue of him. The accounts given of Triptolemus I shall write,
omitting from the story as much as relates to Deiope.[1.14.2] The Greeks who dispute
most the Athenian claim to antiquity and the gifts they say they have received from
the gods are the Argives, just as among those who are not Greeks the Egyptians compete
with the Phrygians. It is said, then, that when Demeter came to Argos she was received
by Pelasgus into his home, and that Chrysanthis, knowing about the rape of the Maid,
related the story to her. Afterwards Trochilus, the priest of the mysteries, fled,
they say, from Argos because of the enmity of Agenor, came to Attica and married
a woman of Eleusis, by whom he had two children, Eubuleus and Triptolemus. That
is the account given by the Argives. But the Athenians and those who with them.
. . know that Triptolemus, son of Celeus, was the first to sow seed for cultivation.[1.14.3]
Some extant verses of Musaeus, if indeed they are to be included among his works,
say that Triptolemus was the son of Oceanus and Earth; while those ascribed to Orpheus
(though in my opinion the received authorship is again incorrect) say that Eubuleus
and Triptolemus were sons of Dysaules, and that because they gave Demeter information
about her daughter the sowing of seed was her reward to them. But Choerilus, an
Athenian, who wrote a play called Alope, says that Cercyon and Triptolemus were
brothers, that their mother was the daughter of Amphictyon, while the father of
Triptolemus was Rarus, of Cercyon, Poseidon. After I had intended to go further
into this story, and to describe the contents of the sanctuary at Athens, called
the Eleusinium, I was stayed by a vision in a dream. I shall therefore turn to those
things it is lawful to write of to all men.[1.14.4] In front of this temple, where
is also the statue of Triptolemus, is a bronze bull being led as it were to sacrifice,
and there is a sitting figure of Epimenides of Cnossus1, who they say entered a
cave in the country and slept. And the sleep did not leave him before the fortieth
year, and afterwards he wrote verses and purified Athens and other cities. But Thales
who stayed the plague for the Lacedaemonians was not related to Epimenides in any
way, and belonged to a different city. The latter was from Cnossus, but Thales was
from Gortyn, according to Polymnastus of Colophon, who com posed a poem about him
for the Lacedaemonians.[1.14.5] Still farther of is a temple to Glory, this too
being a thank-offering for the victory over the Persians, who had landed at Marathon.
This is the victory of which I am of opinion the Athenians were proudest; while
Aeschylus, who had won such renown for his poetry and for his share in the naval
battles before Artemisium and at Salamis, recorded at the prospect of death nothing
else, and merely wrote his name, his father's name, and the name of his city, and
added that he had witnesses to his valor in the grove at Marathon and in the Persians
who landed there.
[1.14.6] Above the Cerameicus and the portico called the King's Portico is a
temple of Hephaestus. I was not surprised that by it stands a statue of Athena,
be cause I knew the story about Erichthonius. But when I saw that the statue of
Athena had blue eyes I found out that the legend about them is Libyan. For the Libyans
have a saying that the Goddess is the daughter of Poseidon and Lake Tritonis, and
for this reason has blue eyes like Poseidon.[1.14.7] Hard by is a sanctuary of the
Heavenly Aphrodite; the first men to establish her cult were the Assyrians, after
the Assyrians the Paphians of Cyprus and the Phoenicians who live at Ascalon in
Palestine; the Phoenicians taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Among the
Athenians the cult was established by Aegeus, who thought that he was childless
(he had, in fact, no children at the time) and that his sisters had suffered their
misfortune because of the wrath of Heavenly Aphrodite. The statue still extant is
of Parian marble and is the work of Pheidias. One of the Athenian parishes is that
of the Athmoneis, who say that Porphyrion, an earlier king than Actaeus, founded
their sanctuary of the Heavenly One. But the traditions current among the Parishes
often differ altogether from those of the city.
1,14,4,n1. fl. c. 600 B.C.
[1.15.1] As you go to the portico which they call painted, because of its pictures,
there is a bronze statue of Hermes of the Market-place, and near it a gate. On it
is a trophy erected by the Athenians, who in a cavalry action overcame Pleistarchus,
to whose command his brother Cassander had entrusted his cavalry and mercenaries.
This portico contains, first, the Athenians arrayed against the Lacedaemonians at
Oenoe in the Argive territory.1 What is depicted is not the crisis of the battle
nor when the action had advanced as far as the display of deeds of valor, but the
beginning of the fight when the combatants were about to close.[1.15.2] On the middle
wall are the Athenians and Theseus fighting with the Amazons. So, it seems, only
the women did not lose through their defeats their reckless courage in the face
of danger; Themiscyra was taken by Heracles, and afterwards the army which they
dispatched to Athens was destroyed, but nevertheless they came to Troy to fight
all the Greeks as well as the Athenians them selves. After the Amazons come the
Greeks when they have taken Troy, and the kings assembled on account of the outrage
committed by Ajax against Cassandra. The picture includes Ajax himself, Cassandra
and other captive women.[1.15.3] At the end of the painting are those who fought
at Marathon; the Boeotians of Plataea and the Attic contingent are coming to blows
with the foreigners. In this place neither side has the better, but the center of
the fighting shows the foreigners in flight and pushing one another into the morass,
while at the end of the painting are the Phoenician ships, and the Greeks killing
the foreigners who are scrambling into them. Here is also a portrait of the hero
Marathon, after whom the plain is named, of Theseus represented as coming up from
the under-world, of Athena and of Heracles. The Marathonians, according to their
own account, were the first to regard Heracles as a god. Of the fighters the most
conspicuous figures in the painting are Callimachus, who had been elected commander-in-chief
by the Athenians, Miltiades, one of the generals, and a hero called Echetlus, of
whom I shall make mention later.[1.15.4] Here are dedicated brazen shields, and
some have an inscription that they are taken from the Scioneans and their allies1,
while others, smeared with pitch lest they should be worn by age and rust, are said
to be those of the Lacedaemonians who were taken prisoners in the island of Sphacteria.2
1,15,1,n1. Date unknown.
1,15,4,n1. 421 B.C.
1,15,4,n2. 425 B.C.
[1.16.1] Here are placed bronze statues, one, in front of the portico, of Solon,
who composed the laws for the Athenians1, and, a little farther away, one of Seleucus,
whose future prosperity was foreshadowed by unmistakable signs. When he was about
to set forth from Macedonia with Alexander, and was sacrificing at Pella to Zeus,
the wood that lay on the altar advanced of its own accord to the image and caught
fire without the application of a light. On the death of Alexander, Seleucus, in
fear of Antigonus, who had arrived at Babylon, fled to Ptolemy, son of Lagus, and
then returned again to Babylon. On his return he overcame the army of Antigonus
and killed Antigonus himself, afterwards capturing Demetrius, son of Antigonus,
who had advanced with an army.[1.16.2] After these successes, which were shortly
followed by the fall of Lysimachus, he entrusted to his son Antiochus all his empire
in Asia, and himself proceeded rapidly towards Macedonia, having with him an army
both of Greeks and of foreigners. But Ptolemy, brother of Lysandra, had taken refuge
with him from Lysimachus; this man, an adventurous character named for this reason
the Thunderbolt, when the army of Seleucus had advanced as far as Lysimachea, assassinated
Seleucus, allowed the kings to seize his wealth1, and ruled over Macedonia until,
being the first of the kings to my knowledge to dare to meet the Gauls in battle,
he was killed by the foreigners.2 The empire was recovered by Antigonus, son of
Demetrius.[1.16.3] I am persuaded that Seleucus was the most righteous, and in particular
the most religious of the kings. Firstly, it was Seleucus who sent back to Branchidae
for the Milesians the bronze Apollo that had been carried by Xerxes to Ecbatana
in Persia. Secondly, when he founded Seleucea on the river Tigris and brought to
it Babylonian colonists he spared the wall of Babylon as well as the sanctuary of
Bel, near which he permitted the Chaldeans to live.
1,16,1,n1. 594 B.C.
1,16,2,n1. 281 B.C.
1,16,2,n2. 280 B.C.
[1.17.1] In the Athenian market-place among the objects not generally known is
an altar to Mercy, of all divinities the most useful in the life of mortals and
in the vicissitudes of fortune, but honored by the Athenians alone among the Greeks.
And they are conspicuous not only for their humanity but also for their devotion
to religion. They have an altar to Shamefastness, one to Rumour and one to Effort.
It is quite obvious that those who excel in piety are correspondingly rewarded by
good fortune.[1.17.2] In the gymnasium not far from the market-place, called Ptolemy's
from the founder, are stone Hermae well worth seeing and a likeness in bronze of
Ptolemy. Here also is Juba the Libyan and Chrysippus1 of Soli.Hard by the gymnasium
is a sanctuary of Theseus, where are pictures of Athenians fighting Amazons. This
war they have also represented on the shield of their Athena and upon the pedestal
of the Olympian Zeus. In the sanctuary of Theseus is also a painting of the battle
between the Centaurs and the Lapithae. Theseus has already killed a Centaur, but
elsewhere the fighting is still undecided.[1.17.3] The painting on the third wall
is not intelligible to those unfamiliar with the traditions, partly through age
and partly because Micon has not represented in the picture the whole of the legend.
When Minos was taking Theseus and the rest of the company of young folk to Crete
he fell in love with Periboea, and on meeting with determined opposition from Theseus,
hurled insults at him and denied that he was a son of Poseidon, since he could not
recover for him the signet-ring, which he happened to be wearing, if he threw it
into the sea. With these words Minos is said to have thrown the ring, but they say
that Theseus came up from the sea with that ring and also with a gold crown that
Amphitrite gave him.[1.17.4] The accounts of the end of Theseus are many and inconsistent.
They say he was kept a prisoner until Heracles restored him to the light of day,
but the most plausible account I have heard is this. Theseus invaded Thesprotia
to carry off the wife of the Thesprotian king, and in this way lost the greater
part of his army, and both he and Peirithous (he too was taking part in the expedition,
being eager for the marriage) were taken captive. The Thesprotian king kept them
prisoners at Cichyrus.[1.17.5] Among the sights of Thesprotia are a sanctuary of
Zeus at Dodona and an oak sacred to the god. Near Cichyrus is a lake called Acherusia,
and a river called Acheron. There is also Cocytus, a most unlovely stream. I believe
it was because Homer had seen these places that he made bold to describe in his
poems the regions of Hades, and gave to the rivers there the names of those in Thesprotia.
While Theseus was thus kept in bonds, the sons of Tyndareus marched against Aphidna,
captured it and restored Menestheus to the kingdom. [1.17.6] Now Menestheus took
no account of the children of Theseus, who had secretly withdrawn to Elephenor in
Euboea, but he was aware that Theseus, if ever he returned from Thesprotia, would
be a doughty antagonist, and so curried favour with his subjects that Theseus on
re covering afterwards his liberty was expelled. So Theseus set out to Deucalion
in Crete. Being carried out of his course by winds to the island of Scyros he was
treated with marked honor by the inhabitants, both for the fame of his family and
for the reputation of his own achievements. Accordingly Lycomedes contrived his
death. His close was built at Athens after the Persians landed at Marathon, when
Cimon, son of Miltiades, ravaged Scyros, thus avenging Theseus' death, and carried
his bones to Athens.
1,17,2,n1. The Stoic philosopher, 280-207 B.C.
[1.18.1] The sanctuary of the Dioscuri is ancient. They them selves are represented
as standing, while their sons are seated on horses. Here Polygnotus 1 has painted
the marriage of the daughters of Leucippus, was a part of the gods' history, but
Micon those who sailed with Jason to the Colchians, and he has concentrated his
attention upon Acastus and his horses. [1.18.2] Above the sanctuary of the Dioscuri
is a sacred enclosure of Aglaurus. It was to Aglaurus and her sisters, Herse and
Pandrosus, that they say Athena gave Erichthonius, whom she had hidden in a chest,
forbidding them to pry curiously into what was entrusted to their charge. Pandrosus,
they say, obeyed, but the other two (for they opened the chest) went mad when they
saw Erichthonius, and threw themselves down the steepest part of the Acropolis.
Here it was that the Persians climbed and killed the Athenians who thought that
they understood the oracle1 better than did Themistocles, and fortified the Acropolis
with logs and stakes. 2 [1.18.3] Hard by is the Prytaneum (Town-hall), in which
the laws of Solon are inscribed, and figures are placed of the goddesses Peace and
Hestia (Hearth), while among the statues is Autolycus the pancratiast.1 For the
likenesses of Miltiades and Themistocles have had their titles changed to a Roman
and a Thracian.[1.18.4] As you descend from here to the lower part of the city,
is a sanctuary of Serapis, whose worship the Athenians introduced from Ptolemy.
Of the Egyptian sanctuaries of Serapis the most famous is at Alexandria, the oldest
at Memphis. Into this neither stranger nor priest may enter, until they bury Apis.
Not far from the sanctuary of Serapis is the place where they say that Peirithous
and Theseus made their pact before setting forth to Lacedaemon and afterwards to
Thesprotia.[1.18.5] Hard by is built a temple of Eileithyia, who they say came from
the Hyperboreans to Delos and helped Leto in her labour; and from Delos the name
spread to other peoples. The Delians sacrifice to Eileithyia and sing a hymn of
Olen. But the Cretans suppose that Eileithyia was born at Auunisus in the Cnossian
territory, and that Hera was her mother. Only among the Athenians are the wooden
figures of Eileithyia draped to the feet. The women told me that two are Cretan,
being offerings of Phaedra, and that the third, which is the oldest, Erysichthon
brought from Delos.
[1.18.6] Before the entrance to the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus--Hadrian the Roman
emperor dedicated the temple and the statue, one worth seeing, which in size exceeds
all other statues save the colossi at Rhodes and Rome, and is made of ivory and
gold with an artistic skill which is remarkable when the size is taken into account--before
the entrance, I say, stand statues of Hadrian, two of Thasian stone, two of Egyptian.
Before the pillars stand bronze statues which the Athenians call "colonies." The
whole circumference of the precincts is about four stades, and they are full of
statues; for every city has dedicated a likeness of the emperor Hadrian, and the
Athenians have surpassed them in dedicating, behind the temple, the remarkable colossus.
[1.18.7] Within the precincts are antiquities: a bronze Zeus, a temple of Cronus
and Rhea and an enclosure of Earth surnamed Olympian. Here the floor opens to the
width of a cubit, and they say that along this bed flowed off the water after the
deluge that occurred in the time of Deucalion, and into it they cast every year
wheat meal mixed with honey.[1.18.8] On a pillar is a statue of Isocrates, whose
memory is remarkable for three things: his diligence in continuing to teach to the
end of his ninety-eight years, his self-restraint in keeping aloof from politics
and from interfering with public affairs, and his love of liberty in dying a voluntary
death, distressed at the news of the battle at Chaeronea1. There are also statues
in Phrygian marble of Persians supporting a bronze tripod; both the figures and
the tripod are worth seeing. The ancient sanctuary of Olympian Zeus the Athenians
say was built by Deucalion, and they cite as evidence that Deucalion lived at Athens
a grave which is not far from the present temple.[1.18.9] Hadrian constructed other
buildings also for the Athenians: a temple of Hera and Zeus Panellenios (Common
to all Greeks), a sanctuary common to all the gods, and, most famous of all, a hundred
pillars of Phrygian marble. The walls too are constructed of the same material as
the cloisters. And there are rooms there adorned with a gilded roof and with alabaster
stone, as well as with statues and paintings. In them are kept books. There is also
a gymnasium named after Hadrian; of this too the pillars are a hundred in number
from the Libyan quarries.
1,18,1,n1. fl. 465 B.C.
1,18,2,n1. That the Athenians were to trust their "wooden walls," i.e. their
1,18,2,n2. 480 B.C.
1,18,3,n1. See Paus. 1.35.6.
1,18,8,n1. 338 B.C.
[1.19.1] Close to the temple of Olympian Zeus is a statue of the Pythian Apollo.
There is further a sanctuary of Apollo surnamed Delphinius. The story has it that
when the temple was finished with the exception of the roof Theseus arrived in the
city, a stranger as yet to everybody. When he came to the temple of the Delphinian,
wearing a tunic that reached to his feet and with his hair neatly plaited, those
who were building the roof mockingly inquired what a marriageable virgin was doing
wandering about by herself. The only answer that Theseus made was to loose, it is
said, the oxen from the cart hard by, and to throw them higher than the roof of
the temple they were building.[1.19.2] Concerning the district called The Gardens,
and the temple of Aphrodite, there is no story that is told by them, nor yet about
the Aphrodite which stands near the temple. Now the shape of it is square, like
that of the Hermae, and the inscription declares that the Heavenly Aphrodite is
the oldest of those called Fates. But the statue of Aphrodite in the Gardens is
the work of Alcamenes, and one of the most note worthy things in Athens. [1.19.3]
There is also the place called Cynosarges, sacred to Heracles; the story of the
white dog1 may be known by reading the oracle. There are altars of Heracles and
Hebe, who they think is the daughter of Zeus and wife to Heracles. An altar has
been built to Alcmena and to Iolaus, who shared with Heracles most of his labours.
The Lyceum has its name from Lycus, the son of Pandion, but it was considered sacred
to Apollo from the be ginning down to my time, and here was the god first named
Lyceus. There is a legend that the Termilae also, to whom Lycus came when he fled
from Aegeus, were called Lycii after him.[1.19.4] Behind the Lyceum is a monument
of Nisus, who was killed while king of Megara by Minos, and the Athenians carried
him here and buried him. About this Nisus there is a legend. His hair, they say,
was red, and it was fated that he should die on its being cut off. When the Cretans
attacked the country, they captured the other cities of the Megarid by assault,
but Nisaea, in which Nisus had taken refuge, they beleaguered. The story says how
the daughter of Nisus, falling in love here with Minos, cut off her father's hair.
[1.19.5] Such is the legend.The rivers that flow through Athenian territory are
the Ilisus and its tributary the Eridanus, whose name is the same as that of the
Celtic river. This Ilisus is the river by which Oreithyia was playing when, according
to the story, she was carried off by the North Wind. With Oreithyia he lived in
wedlock, and be cause of the tie between him and the Athenians he helped them by
destroying most of the foreigners' warships. The Athenians hold that the Ilisus
is sacred to other deities as well, and on its bank is an altar of the Ilisian Muses.
The place too is pointed out where the Peloponnesians killed Codrus, son of Melanthus
and king of Athens.[1.19.6] Across the Ilisus is a district called Agrae and a temple
of Artemis Agrotera (the Huntress). They say that Artemis first hunted here when
she came from Delos, and for this reason the statue carries a bow. A marvel to the
eyes, though not so impressive to hear of, is a race-course of white marble, the
size of which can best be estimated from the fact that beginning in a crescent on
the heights above the Ilisus it descends in two straight lines to the river bank.
This was built by Herodes, an Athenian, and the greater part of the Pentelic quarry
was exhausted in its construction.
1,19,3,n1. "Cynosarges" may mean white dog.
[1.20.1] Leading from the prytaneum is a road called Tripods. The place takes
its name from the shrines, large enough to hold the tripods which stand upon them,
of bronze, but containing very remarkable works of art, including a Satyr, of which
Praxiteles is said to have been very proud. Phryne once asked of him the most beautiful
of his works, and the story goes that lover-like he agreed to give it, but refused
to say which he thought the most beautiful. So a slave of Phryne rushed in saying
that a fire had broken out in the studio of Praxiteles, and the greater number of
his works were lost, though not all were destroyed.[1.20.2] Praxiteles at once started
to rush through the door crying that his labour was all wasted if indeed the flames
had caught his Satyr and his Love. But Phryne bade him stay and be of good courage,
for he had suffered no grievous loss, but had been trapped into confessing which
were the most beautiful of his works. So Phryne chose the statue of Love; while
a Satyr is in the temple of Dionysus hard by, a boy holding out a cup. The Love
standing with him and the Dionysus were made by Thymilus. [1.20.3] The oldest sanctuary
of Dionysus is near the theater. Within the precincts are two temples and two statues
of Dionysus, the Eleuthereus (Deliverer) and the one Alcamenes made of ivory and
gold. There are paintings here--Dionysus bringing Hephaestus up to heaven. One of
the Greek legends is that Hephaestus, when he was born, was thrown down by Hera.
In revenge he sent as a gift a golden chair with invisible fetters. When Hera sat
down she was held fast, and Hephaestus refused to listen to any other of the gods
save Dionysus--in him he reposed the fullest trust--and after making him drunk Dionysus
brought him to heaven. Besides this picture there are also represented Pentheus
and Lycurgus paying the penalty of their insolence to Dionysus, Ariadne asleep,
Theseus putting out to sea, and Dionysus on his arrival to carry off Ariadne.
[1.20.4] Near the sanctuary of Dionysus and the theater is a structure, which
is said to be a copy of Xerxes' tent. It has been rebuilt, for the old building
was burnt by the Roman general Sulla when he took Athens1. The cause of the war
was this. Mithridates was king over the foreigners around the Euxine. Now the grounds
on which he made war against the Romans, how he crossed into Asia, and the cities
he took by force of arms or made his friends, I must leave for those to find out
who wish to know the history of Mithridates, and I shall confine my narrative to
the capture of Athens.[1.20.5] There was an Athenian, Aristion, whom Mithridates
employed as his envoy to the Greek cities. He induced the Athenians to join Mithridates
rather than the Romans, although he did not induce all, but only the lower orders,
and only the turbulent among them. The respectable Athenians fled to the Romans
of their own accord. In the engagement that ensued the Romans won a decisive victory;
Aristion and the Athenians they drove in flight into the city, Archelaus and the
foreigners into the Peiraeus. This Archelaus was another general of Mithridates,
whom earlier than this the Magnetes, who inhabit Sipylus, wounded when he raided
their territory, killing most of the foreigners as well. So Athens was invested.[1.20.6]
Taxilus, a general of Mithridates, was at the time besieging Elatea in Phocis, but
on receiving the news he withdrew his troops towards Attica. Learning this, the
Roman general entrusted the siege of Athens to a portion of his army, and with the
greater part of his forces advanced in person to meet Taxilus in Boeotia. On the
third day from this, news came to both the Roman armies; Sulla heard that the Athenian
fortifications had been stormed, and the besieging force learnt that Taxilus had
been defeated in battle near Chaeronea. When Sulla returned to Attica he imprisoned
in the Cerameicus the Athenians who had opposed him, and one chosen by lot out of
every ten he ordered to be led to execution.[1.20.7] Sulla abated nothing of his
wrath against the Athenians, and so a few effected an escape to Delphi, and asked
if the time were now come when it was fated for Athens also to be made desolate,
receiving from the Pythia the response about the wine skin. Afterwards Sulla was
smitten with the disease which I learn attacked Pherecydes the Syrian. Although
Sulla's treatment of the Athenian people was so savage as to be unworthy of a Roman,
I do not think that this was the cause of his calamity, but rather the vengeance
of the suppliants' Protector, for he had dragged Aristion from the sanctuary of
Athena, where he had taken refuge, and killed him.Such wise was Athens sorely afflicted
by the war with Rome, but she flourished again when Hadrian was emperor.
1,20,4,n1. 86 B.C.
[1.21.1] In the theater the Athenians have portrait statues of poets, both tragic
and comic, but they are mostly of undistinguished persons. With the exception of
Menander no poet of comedy represented here won a reputation, but tragedy has two
illustrious representatives, Euripides and Sophocles. There is a legend that after
the death of Sophocles the Lacedaemonians invaded Attica, and their commander saw
in a vision Dionysus, who bade him honor, with all the customary honors of the dead,
the new Siren. He interpreted the dream as referring to Sophocles and his poetry,
and down to the present day men are wont to liken to a Siren whatever is charming
in both poetry and prose. [1.21.2] The likeness of Aeschylus is, I think, much later
than his death and than the painting which depicts the action at Marathon Aeschylus
himself said that when a youth he slept while watching grapes in a field, and that
Dionysus appeared and bade him write tragedy. When day came, in obedience to the
vision, he made an attempt and hereafter found composing quite easy.[1.21.3] Such
were his words. On the South wall, as it is called, of the Acropolis, which faces
the theater, there is dedicated a gilded head of Medusa the Gorgon, and round it
is wrought an aegis. At the top of the theater is a cave in the rocks under the
Acropolis. This also has a tripod over it, wherein are Apollo and Artemis slaying
the children of Niobe. This Niobe I myself saw when I had gone up to Mount Sipylus.
When you are near it is a beetling crag, with not the slightest resemblance to a
woman, mourning or otherwise; but if you go further away you will think you see
a woman in tears, with head bowed down.
[1.21.4] On the way to the Athenian Acropolis from the theater is the tomb of
Calos. Daedalus murdered this Calos, who was his sister's son and a student of his
craft, and therefore he fled to Crete; afterwards he escaped to Cocalus in Sicily.
The sanctuary of Asclepius is worth seeing both for its paintings and for the statues
of the god and his children. In it there is a spring, by which they say that Poseidon's
son Halirrhothius deflowered Alcippe the daughter of Ares, who killed the ravisher
and was the first to be put on his trial for the shedding of blood.[1.21.5] Among
the votive offerings there is a Sauromatic breast plate. On seeing this a man will
say that no less than Greeks are foreigners skilled in the arts. For the Sauromatae
have no iron, neither mined by them selves nor yet imported. They have, in fact,
no dealings at all with the foreigners around them. To meet this deficiency they
have contrived inventions. In place of iron they use bone for their spear-blades,
and cornel-wood for their bows and arrows, with bone points for the arrows. They
throw a lasso round any enemy they meet, and then turning round their horses upset
the enemy caught in the lasso.[1.21.6] Their breastplates they make in the following
fashion. Each man keeps many mares, since the land is not divided into private allotments,
nor does it bear any thing except wild trees, as the people are nomads. These mares
they not only use for war, but also sacrifice them to the local gods and eat them
for food. Their hoofs they collect, clean, split, and make from them as it were
python scales. Whoever has never seen a python must at least have seen a pine-cone
still green. He will not be mistaken if he liken the product from the hoof to the
segments that are seen on the pine-cone. These pieces they bore and stitch together
with the sinews of horses and oxen, and then use them as breastplates that are as
handsome and strong as those of the Greeks. For they can withstand blows of missiles
and those struck in close combat.[1.21.7] Linen breastplates are not so useful to
fighters, for they let the iron pass through, if the blow be a violent one. They
aid hunters, how ever, for the teeth of lions or leopards break off in them. You
may see linen breastplates dedicated in other sanctuaries, notably in that at Gryneum,
where there is a most beautiful grove of Apollo, with cultivated trees, and all
those which, although they bear no fruit, are pleasing to smell or look upon.
[1.22.1] After the sanctuary of Asclepius, as you go by this way towards the
Acropolis, there is a temple of Themis. Before it is raised a sepulchral mound to
Hippolytus. The end of his life, they say, came from curses. Everybody, even a foreigner
who has learnt Greek, knows about the love of Phaedra and the wickedness the nurse
dared commit to serve her. The Troezenians too have a grave of Hippolytus, and their
legend about it is this. [1.22.2] When Theseus was about to marry Phaedra, not wishing,
should he have children, Hippolytus either to be their subject or to be king in
their stead, sent him to Pittheus to be brought up and to be the future king of
Troezen. Afterwards Pallas and his sons rebelled against Theseus. After putting
them to death he went to Troezen for purification, and Phaedra first saw Hippolytus
there. Falling in love with him she contrived the plot for his death. The Troezenians
have a myrtle with every one of its leaves pierced; they say that it did not grow
originally in this fashion, the holes being due to Phaedra's disgust with love and
to the pin which she wore in her hair. [1.22.3] When Theseus had united into one
state the many Athenian parishes, he established the cults of Aphrodite Pandemos
(Common) and of Persuasion. The old statues no longer existed in my time, but those
I saw were the work of no inferior artists. There is also a sanctuary of Earth,
Nurse of Youth, and of Demeter Chloe (Green). You can learn all about their names
by conversing with the priests.
[1.22.4] There is but one entry to the Acropolis. It affords no other, being
precipitous throughout and having a strong wall. The gateway has a roof of white
marble, and down to the present day it is unrivalled for the beauty and size of
its stones. Now as to the statues of the horsemen, I cannot tell for certain whether
they are the sons of Xenophon or whether they were made merely to beautify the place.
On the right of the gateway is a temple of Wingless Victory. From this point the
sea is visible, and here it was that, according to legend, Aegeus threw him self
down to his death.[1.22.5] For the ship that carried the young people to Crete began
her voyage with black sails; but Theseus, who was sailing on an adventure against
the bull of Minos, as it is called, had told his father beforehand that he would
use white sails if he should sail back victorious over the bull. But the loss of
Ariadne made him forget the signal. Then Aegeus, when from this eminence he saw
the vessel borne by black sails, thinking that his son was dead, threw himself down
to destruction. There is at Athens a sanctuary dedicated to him, and called the
hero-shrine of Aegeus.[1.22.6] On the left of the gateway is a building with pictures.
Among those not effaced by time I found Diomedes taking the Athena from Troy, and
Odysseus in Lemnos taking away the bow of Philoctetes. There in the pictures is
Orestes killing Aegisthus, and Pylades killing the sons of Nauplius who had come
to bring Aegisthus succor. And there is Polyxena about to be sacrificed near the
grave of Achilles. Homer did well in passing by this barbarous act. I think too
that he showed poetic insight in making Achilles capture Scyros, differing entirely
from those who say that Achilles lived in Scyros with the maidens, as Polygnotus
has re presented in his picture. He also painted Odysseus coming upon the women
washing clothes with Nausicaa at the river, just like the description in Homer.
There are other pictures, including a portrait of Alcibiades,[1.22.7] and in the
picture are emblems of the victory his horses won at Nemea. There is also Perseus
journeying to Seriphos, and carrying to Polydectes the head of Medusa, the legend
about whom I am unwilling to relate in my description of Attica. Included among
the paintings--I omit the boy carrying the water-jars and the wrestler of Timaenetus1--is
Musaeus. I have read verse in which Musaeus receives from the North Wind the gift
of flight, but, in my opinion, Onomacritus wrote them, and there are no certainly
genuine works of Musaeus except a hymn to Demeter written for the Lycomidae.
[1.22.8] Right at the very entrance to the Acropolis are a Hermes (called Hermes
of the Gateway) and figures of Graces, which tradition says were sculptured by Socrates,
the son of Sophroniscus, who the Pythia testified was the wisest of men, a title
she refused to Anacharsis, although he desired it and came to Delphi to win it.
1,22,7,n1. An unknown painter.
[1.23.1] Among the sayings of the Greeks is one that there were seven wise men.
Two of them were the despot of Lesbos and Periander the son of Cypselus. And yet
Peisistratus and his son Hippias were more humane than Periander, wiser too in war
fare and in statecraft, until, on account of the murder of Hipparchus, Hippias vented
his passion against all and sundry, including a woman named Leaena (Lioness). [1.23.2]
What I am about to say has never before been committed to writing, but is generally
credited among the Athenians. When Hipparchus died, Hippias tortured Leaena to death,
because he knew she was the mistress of Aristogeiton, and therefore could not possibly,
he held, be in ignorance of the plot. As a recompense, when the tyranny of the Peisistratidae
was at an end, the Athenians put up a bronze lioness in memory of the woman, which
they say Callias dedicated and Calamis made.
[1.23.3] Hard by is a bronze statue of Diitrephes shot through by arrows.1 Among
the acts reported of this Diitrephes by the Athenians is his leading back home the
Thracian mercenaries who arrived too late to take part in the expedition of Demosthenes
against Syracuse. He also put into the Chalcidic Euripus, where the Boeotians had
an inland town Mycalessus, marched up to this town from the coast and took it. Of
the inhabitants the Thracians put to the sword not only the combatants but also
the women and children. I have evidence to bring. All the Boeotian towns which the
Thebans sacked were inhabited in my time, as the people escaped just before the
capture; so if the foreigners had not exterminated the Mycalessians the survivors
would have afterwards reoccupied the town.[1.23.4] I was greatly surprised to see
the statue of Diitrephes pierced with arrows, because the only Greeks whose custom
it is to use that weapon are the Cretans. For the Opuntian Locrians, whom Homer
represents as coming to Troy with bows and slings, we know were armed as heavy infantry
by the time of the Persian wars. Neither indeed did the Malians continue the practice
of the bow; in fact, I believe that they did not know it before the time of Philoctetes,
and gave it up soon after. Near the statue of Diitrephes--I do not wish to write
of the less distinguished portraits--are figures of gods; of Health, whom legend
calls daughter of Asclepius, and of Athena, also surnamed Health.[1.23.5] There
is also a smallish stone, just large enough to serve as a seat to a little man.
On it legend says Silenus rested when Dionysus came to the land. The oldest of the
Satyrs they call Sileni. Wishing to know better than most people who the Satyrs
are I have inquired from many about this very point. Euphemus the Carian said that
on a voyage to Italy he was driven out of his course by winds and was carried into
the outer sea, beyond the course of seamen. He affirmed that there were many uninhabited
islands, while in others lived wild men. The sailors did not wish to put in at the
latter,[1.23.6] because, having put in before, they had some experience of the inhabitants,
but on this occasion they had no choice in the matter. The islands were called Satyrides
by the sailors, and the inhabitants were red haired, and had upon their flanks tails
not much smaller than those of horses. As soon as they caught sight of their visitors,
they ran down to the ship with out uttering a cry and assaulted the women in the
ship. At last the sailors in fear cast a foreign woman on to the island. Her the
Satyrs outraged not only in the usual way, but also in a most shocking manner.
[1.23.7] I remember looking at other things also on the Athenian Acropolis, a
bronze boy holding the sprinkler, by Lycius son of Myron, and Myron's Perseus after
beheading Medusa. There is also a sanctuary of Brauronian Artemis; the image is
the work of Praxiteles, but the goddess derives her name from the parish of Brauron.
The old wooden image is in Brauron, the Tauric Artemis as she is called.[1.23.8]
There is the horse called Wooden set up in bronze. That the work of Epeius was a
contrivance to make a breach in the Trojan wall is known to everybody who does not
attribute utter silliness to the Phrygians. But legend says of that horse that it
contained the most valiant of the Greeks, and the design of the bronze figure fits
in well with this story. Menestheus and Teucer are peeping out of it, and so are
the sons of Theseus.[1.23.9] Of the statues that stand after the horse, the likeness
of Epicharinus who practised the race in armour was made by Critius, while Oenobius
performed a kind service for Thucydides the son of Olorus.1 He succeeded in getting
a decree passed for the return of Thucydides to Athens, who was treacherously murdered
as he was returning, and there is a monument to him not far from the Melitid gate.[1.23.10]
The stories of Hermolycus the pancratiast and Phormio1 the son of Asopichus I omit,
as others have told them. About Phormio, however, I have a detail to add. Quite
one of the best men at Athens and distinguished for the fame of his ancestors he
chanced to be heavily in debt. So he withdrew to the parish Paeania and lived there
until the Athenians elected him to command a naval expedition. But he refused the
office on the ground that before his debts were discharged he lacked the spirit
to face his troops. So the Athenians, who were absolutely determined to have Phormio
as their commander, paid all his creditors.
1,23,3,n1. 413 B.C.
1,23,9,n1. The great historian of the Peloponnesian war.
1,23,10,n1. A famous Athenian admiral who served during the first period of the
[1.24.1] In this place is a statue of Athena striking Marsyas the Silenus for
taking up the flutes that the goddess wished to be cast away for good. Opposite
these I have mentioned is represented the fight which legend says Theseus fought
with the so-called Bull of Minos, whether this was a man or a beast of the nature
he is said to have been in the accepted story. For even in our time women have given
birth to far more extraordinary monsters than this.[1.24.2] There is also a statue
of Phrixus the son of Athamas carried ashore to the Colchians by the ram. Having
sacrificed the animal to some god or other, presumably to the one called by the
Orchomenians Laphystius, he has cut out the thighs in accordance with Greek custom
and is watching them as they burn. Next come other statues, including one of Heracles
strangling the serpents as the legend describes. There is Athena too coming up out
of the head of Zeus, and also a bull dedicated by the Council of the Areopagus on
some occasion or other, about which, if one cared, one could make many conjectures.[1.24.3]
I have already stated that the Athenians are far more devoted to religion than other
men. They were the first to surname Athena Ergane (Worker); they were the first
to set up limbless Hermae, and the temple of their goddess is shared by the Spirit
of Good men. Those who prefer artistic workmanship to mere antiquity may look at
the following: a man wearing a helmet, by Cleoetas, whose nails the artist has made
of silver, and an image of Earth beseeching Zeus to rain upon her; perhaps the Athenians
them selves needed showers, or may be all the Greeks had been plagued with a drought.
There also are set up Timotheus the son of Conon and Conon himself; Procne too,
who has already made up her mind about the boy, and Itys as well--a group dedicated
by Alcamenes. Athena is represented displaying the olive plant, and Poseidon the
wave,[1.24.4] and there are statues of Zeus, one made by Leochares1 and one called
Polieus (Urban), the customary mode of sacrificing to whom I will give without adding
the traditional reason thereof. Upon the altar of Zeus Polieus they place barley
mixed with wheat and leave it unguarded. The ox, which they keep already prepared
for sacrifice, goes to the altar and partakes of the grain. One of the priests they
call the ox-slayer, who kills the ox and then, casting aside the axe here according
to the ritual runs away. The others bring the axe to trial, as though they know
not the man who did the deed.
[1.24.5] Their ritual, then, is such as I have described. As you enter the temple
that they name the Parthenon, all the sculptures you see on what is called the pediment
refer to the birth of Athena, those on the rear pediment represent the contest for
the land between Athena and Poseidon. The statue itself is made of ivory and gold.
On the middle of her helmet is placed a likeness of the Sphinx--the tale of the
Sphinx I will give when I come to my description of Boeotia--and on either side
of the helmet are griffins in relief.[1.24.6] These griffins, Aristeas1 of Proconnesus
says in his poem, fight for the gold with the Arimaspi beyond the Issedones. The
gold which the griffins guard, he says, comes out of the earth; the Arimaspi are
men all born with one eye; griffins are beasts like lions, but with the beak and
wings of an eagle. I will say no more about the griffins.[1.24.7] The statue of
Athena is upright, with a tunic reaching to the feet, and on her breast the head
of Medusa is worked in ivory. She holds a statue of Victory about four cubits high,
and in the other hand a spear; at her feet lies a shield and near the spear is a
serpent. This serpent would be Erichthonius. On the pedestal is the birth of Pandora
in relief. Hesiod and others have sung how this Pandora was the first woman; before
Pandora was born there was as yet no womankind. The only portrait statue I remember
seeing here is one of the emperor Hadrian, and at the entrance one of Iphicrates,1
who accomplished many remarkable achievements.
[1.24.8] Opposite the temple is a bronze Apollo, said to be the work of Pheidias.
They call it the Locust God, because once when locusts were devastating the land
the god said that he would drive them from Attica. That he did drive them away they
know, but they do not say how. I myself know that locusts have been destroyed three
times in the past on Mount Sipylus, and not in the same way. Once a gale arose and
swept them away; on another occasion violent heat came on after rain and destroyed
them; the third time sudden cold caught them and they died.
1,24,4,n1. See Paus. 1.1.3.
1,24,6,n1. An early Greek traveller and writer.
1,24,7,n1. A famous Athenian soldier.fl. 390 B.C.
[1.25.1] Such were the fates I saw befall the locusts. On the Athenian Acropolis
is a statue of Pericles, the son of Xanthippus, and one of Xanthippus him self,
who fought against the Persians at the naval battle of Mycale.1 But that of Pericles
stands apart, while near Xanthippus stands Anacreon of Teos, the first poet after
Sappho of Lesbos to devote himself to love songs, and his posture is as it were
that of a man singing when he is drunk. Deinomenes2 made the two female figures
which stand near, Io, the daughter of Inachus, and Callisto, the daughter of Lycaon,
of both of whom exactly the same story is told, to wit, love of Zeus, wrath of Hera,
and metamorphosis, Io becoming a cow and Callisto a bear.
[1.25.2] By the south wall are represented the legendary war with the giants,
who once dwelt about Thrace and on the isthmus of Pallene, the battle between the
Athenians and the Amazons, the engagement with the Persians at Marathon and the
destruction of the Gauls in Mysia.1 Each is about two cubits, and all were dedicated
by Attalus. There stands too Olympiodorus, who won fame for the greatness of his
achievements, especially in the crisis when he displayed a brave confidence among
men who had met with continuous reverses, and were therefore in despair of winning
a single success in the days to come.[1.25.3] For the disaster at Chaeronea1 was
the beginning of misfortune for all the Greeks, and especially did it enslave those
who had been blind to thedanger and such as had sided with Macedon. Most of their
cities Philip captured; with Athens he nominally came to terms, but really imposed
the severest penalties upon her, taking away the islands and putting an end to her
maritime empire. For a time the Athenians remained passive, during the reign of
Philip and subsequently of Alexander. But when on the death of Alexander the Macedonians
chose Aridaeus to be their king, though the whole empire had been entrusted to Antipater,
the Athenians now thought it intolerable if Greece should be for ever under the
Macedonians, and themselves embarked on war besides inciting others to join them.
[1.25.4] The cities that took part were, of the Peloponnesians, Argos, Epidaurus,
Sicyon, Troezen, the Eleans, the Phliasians, Messene; on the other side of the Corinthian
isthmus the Locrians, the Phocians, the Thessalians, Carystus, the Acarnanians belonging
to the Aetolian League. The Boeotians, who occupied the Thebaid territory now that
there were no Thebans left to dwell there, in fear lest the Athenians should injure
them by founding a settlement on the site of Thebes, refused to join the alliance
and lent all their forces to furthering the Macedonian cause.[1.25.5] Each city
ranged under the alliance had its own general, but as commander-in-chief was chosen
the Athenian Leosthenes, both because of the fame of his city and also because he
had the reputation of being an experienced soldier. He had already proved himself
a general benefactor of Greece. All the Greeks that were serving as mercenaries
in the armies of Darius and his satraps Alexander had wished to deport to Persia,
but Leosthenes was too quick for him, and brought them by sea to Europe. On this
occasion too his brilliant actions surpassed expectation, and his death produced
a general despair which was chiefly responsible for the defeat. A Macedonian garrison
was set over the Athenians, and occupied first Munychia and afterwards Peiraeus
also and the Long Walls.1 [1.25.6] On the death of Antipater Olympias came over
from Epeirus, killed Aridaeus, and for a time occupied the throne; but shortly afterwards
she was besieged by Cassander, taken and delivered up to the people. Of the acts
of Cassander when he came to the throne my narrative will deal only with such as
concern the Athenians. He seized the fort of Panactum in Attica and also Salamis,
and established as tyrant in Athens Demetrius the son of Phanostratus, a man who
had won a reputation for wisdom. This tyrant was put down by Demetrius the son of
Antigonus, a young man of strong Greek sympathies.[1.25.7] But Cassander, inspired
by a deep hatred of the Athenians, made a friend of Lachares, who up to now had
been the popular champion, and induced him also to arrange a tyranny. We know no
tyrant who proved so cruel to man and so impious to the gods. Although Demetrius
the son of Antigonus was now at variance with the Athenian people, he notwithstanding
deposed Lachares too from his tyranny, who, on the capture of the fortifications,
escaped to Boeotia. Lachares took golden shields from the Acropolis, and stripped
even the statue of Athena of its removable ornament; he was accordingly suspected
of being a very wealthy man,[1.25.8] and was murdered by some men of Coronea for
the sake of this wealth. After freeing the Athenians from tyrants Demetrius the
son of Antigonus did not restore the Peiraeus to them immediately after the flight
of Lachares, but subsequently overcame them and brought a garrison even into the
upper city, fortifying the place called the Museum. This is a hill right opposite
the Acropolis within the old city boundaries, where legend says Musaeus used to
sing, and, dying of old age, was buried. Afterwards a monument also was erected
here to a Syrian. At the time to which I refer Demetrius fortified and held it.
1,25,1,n1. 479 B.C.
1,25,1,n2. fl. 400 B.C.
1,25,2,n1. See Paus. 1.4.5.
1,25,3,n1. 338 B.C.
1,25,5,n1. 322 B.C.
[1.26.1] But afterwards a few men called to mind their forefathers, and the contrast
between their present position and the ancient glory of Athens, and without more
ado forth with elected Olympiodorus to be their general. He led them against the
Macedonians1, both the old men and the youths, and trusted for military success
more to enthusiasm than to strength. The Macedonians came out to meet him, but he
over came them, pursued them to the Museum, and captured the position.[1.26.2] So
Athens was delivered from the Macedonians, and though all the Athenians fought memorably,
Leocritus the son of Protarchus is said to have displayed most daring in the engagement.
For he was the first to scale the fortification, and the first to rush into the
Museum; and when he fell fighting, the Athenians did him great honor, dedicating
his shield to Zeus of Freedom and in scribing on it the name of Leocritus and his
exploit.[1.26.3] This is the greatest achievement of Olympiodorus, not to mention
his success in recovering Peiraeus and Munychia; and again, when the Macedonians
were raiding Eleusis he collected a force of Eleusinians and defeated the invaders.
Still earlier than this, when Cassander had invaded Attica, Olympiodorus sailed
to Aetolia and induced the Aetolians to help. This allied force was the main reason
why the Athenians escaped war with Cassander. Olympiodorus has not only honors at
Athens, both on the Acropolis and in the town hall but also a portrait at Eleusis.
The Phocians too of Elatea dedicated at Delphi a bronze statue of Olympiodorus for
help in their revolt from Cassander.
[1.26.4] Near the statue of Olympiodorus stands a bronze image of Artemis surnamed
Leucophryne, dedicated by the sons of Themistocles; for the Magnesians, whose city
the King had given him to rule, hold Artemis Leucophryne in honor.But my narrative
must not loiter, as my task is a general description of all Greece. Endoeus1 was
an Athenian by birth and a pupil of Daedalus, who also, when Daedalus was in exile
because of the death of Calos, followed him to Crete. Made by him is a statue of
Athena seated, with an inscription that Callias dedicated the image, but Endoeus
made it. [1.26.5] There is also a building called the Erechtheum. Before the entrance
is an altar of Zeus the Most High, on which they never sacrifice a living creature
but offer cakes, not being wont to use any wine either. Inside the entrance are
altars, one to Poseidon, on which in obedience to an oracle they sacrifice also
to Erechtheus, the second to the hero Butes, and the third to Hephaestus. On the
walls are paintings representing members of the clan Butadae; there is also inside--the
building is double--sea-water in a cistern. This is no great marvel, for other inland
regions have similar wells, in particular Aphrodisias in Caria. But this cistern
is remarkable for the noise of waves it sends forth when a south wind blows. On
the rock is the outline of a trident. Legend says that these appeared as evidence
in support of Poseidon's claim to the land.
[1.26.6] Both the city and the whole of the land are alike sacred to Athena;
for even those who in their parishes have an established worship of other gods nevertheless
hold Athena in honor. But the most holy symbol, that was so considered by all many
years before the unification of the parishes, is the image of Athena which is on
what is now called the Acropolis, but in early days the Polis (City). A legend concerning
it says that it fell from heaven; whether this is true or not I shall not discuss.
A golden lamp for the goddess was made by Callimachus1 [1.26.7] Having filled the
lamp with oil, they wait until the same day next year, and the oil is sufficient
for the lamp during the interval, although it is alight both day and night. The
wick in it is of Carpasian flax,1 the only kind of flax which is fire-proof, and
a bronze palm above the lamp reaches to the roof and draws off the smoke. The Callimachus
who made the lamp, although not of the first rank of artists, was yet of unparalleled
cleverness, so that he was the first to drill holes through stones, and gave himself
the title of Refiner of Art, or perhaps others gave the title and he adopted it
1,26,1,n1. 288 B.C.
1,26,4,n1. fl. 540 B.C.
1,26,6,n1. fl. 400 B.C.?
1,26,7,n1. Probably asbestos.
[1.27.1] In the temple of Athena Polias (Of the City) is a wooden Hermes, said
to have been dedicated by Cecrops, but not visible because of myrtle boughs. The
votive offerings worth noting are, of the old ones, a folding chair made by Daedalus,
Persian spoils, namely the breastplate of Masistius, who commanded the cavalry at
Plataea1, and a scimitar said to have belonged to Mardonius. Now Masistius I know
was killed by the Athenian cavalry. But Mardonius was opposed by the Lacedaemonians
and was killed by a Spartan; so the Athenians could not have taken the scimitar
to begin with, and furthermore the Lacedaemonians would scarcely have suffered them
to carry it off.[1.27.2] About the olive they have nothing to say except that it
was testimony the goddess produced when she contended for their land. Legend also
says that when the Persians fired Athens the olive was burnt down, but on the very
day it was burnt it grew again to the height of two cubits.Adjoining the temple
of Athena is the temple of Pandrosus, the only one of the sisters to be faithful
to the trust.[1.27.3] I was much amazed at something which is not generally known,
and so I will describe the circumstances. Two maidens dwell not far from the temple
of Athena Polias, called by the Athenians Bearers of the Sacred Offerings. For a
time they live with the goddess, but when the festival comes round they perform
at night the following rites. Having placed on their heads what the priestess of
Athena gives them to carry--neither she who gives nor they who carry have any knowledge
what it is--the maidens descend by the natural underground passage that goes across
the adjacent precincts, within the city, of Aphrodite in the Gardens. They leave
down below what they carry and receive something else which they bring back covered
up. These maidens they henceforth let go free, and take up to the Acropolis others
in their place. [1.27.4] By the temple of Athena is .... an old woman about a cubit
high, the inscription calling her a handmaid of Lysimache, and large bronze figures
of men facing each other for a fight, one of whom they call Erechtheus, the other
Eumolpus; and yet those Athenians who are acquainted with antiquity must surely
know that this victim of Erechtheus was Immaradus, the son of Eumolpus.[1.27.5]
On the pedestal are also statues of Theaenetus, who was seer to Tolmides, and of
Tolmides himself, who when in command of the Athenian fleet inflicted severe damage
upon the enemy, especially upon the Peloponnesians who dwell along the coast, burnt
the dock-yards at Gythium and captured Boeae, belonging to the "provincials," and
the island of Cythera. He made a descent on Sicyonia, and, attacked by the citizens
as he was laying waste the country, he put them to flight and chased them to the
city. Returning afterwards to Athens, he conducted Athenian colonists to Euboea
and Naxos and invaded Boeotia with an army. Having ravaged the greater part of the
land and reduced Chaeronea by a siege, he advanced into the territory of Haliartus,where
he was killed in battle and all his army worsted.1 Such was the history of Tolmides
that I learnt.[1.27.6] There are also old figures of Athena, no limbs of which indeed
are missing, but they are rather black and too fragile to bear a blow. For they
too were caught by the flames when the Athenians had gone on board their ships and
the King captured the city emptied of its able-bodied inhabitants. There is also
a boar-hunt (I do not know for certain whether it is the Calydonian boar) and Cycnus
fighting with Heracles. This Cycnus is said to have killed, among others, Lycus
a Thracian, a prize having been proposed for the winner of the duel, but near the
river Peneius he was himself killed by Heracles.
[1.27.7] One of the Troezenian legends about Theseus is the following. When Heracles
visited Pittheus at Troezen, he laid aside his lion's skin to eat his dinner, and
there came in to see him some Troezenian children with Theseus, then about seven
years of age. The story goes that when they saw the skin the other children ran
away, but Theseus slipped out not much afraid, seized an axe from the servants and
straightway attacked the skin in earnest, thinking it to be a lion.[1.27.8] This
is the first Troezenian legend about Theseus. The next is that Aegeus placed boots
and a sword under a rock as tokens for the child, and then sailed away to Athens;
Theseus, when sixteen years old, pushed the rock away and departed, taking what
Aegeus had deposited. There is a representation of this legend on the Acropolis,
everything in bronze except the rock.[1.27.9] Another deed of Theseus they have
represented in an offering, and the story about it is as follows:--The land of the
Cretans and especially that by the river Tethris was ravaged by a bull. It would
seem that in the days of old the beasts were much more formidable to men, for example
the Nemean lion, the lion of Parnassus, the serpents in many parts of Greece, and
the boars of Calydon, Eryrmanthus and Crommyon in the land of Corinth, so that it
was said that some were sent up by the earth, that others were sacred to the gods,
while others had been let loose to punish mankind. And so the Cretans say that this
bull was sent by Poseidon to their land because, although Minos was lord of the
Greek Sea, he did not worship Poseidon more than any other god. [1.27.10] They say
that this bull crossed from Crete to the Peloponnesus, and came to be one of what
are called the Twelve Labours of Heracles. When he was let loose on the Argive plain
he fled through the isthmus of Corinth, into the land of Attica as far as the Attic
parish of Marathon, killing all he met, including Androgeos, son of Minos. Minos
sailed against Athens with a fleet, not believing that the Athenians were innocent
of the death of Androgeos, and sorely harassed them until it was agreed that he
should take seven maidens and seven boys for the Minotaur that was said to dwell
in the Labyrinth at Cnossus. But the bull at Marathon Theseus is said to have driven
afterwards to the Acropolis and to have sacrificed to the goddess; the offering
commemorating this deed was dedicated by the parish of Marathon.
1,27,1,n1. 479 B.C.
1,27,5,n1. 447 B.C.
[1.28.1] Why they set up a bronze statue of Cylon in spite of his plotting a
tyranny 1, I cannot say for certain; but I infer that it was because he was very
beautiful to look upon, and of no undistinguished fame, having won an Olympian victory
in the double foot-race, while he had married the daughter of Theagenes, tyrant
of Megara.[1.28.2] In addition to the works I have mentioned, there are two tithes
dedicated by the Athenians after wars. There is first a bronze Athena, tithe from
the Persians who landed at Marathon. It is the work of Pheidias, but the reliefs
upon the shield, including the fight between Centaurs and Lapithae, are said to
be from the chisel of Mys1, for whom they say Parrhasius the son of Evenor, designed
this and the rest of his works. The point of the spear of this Athena and the crest
of her helmet are visible to those sailing to Athens, as soon as Sunium is passed.
Then there is a bronze chariot, tithe from the Boeotians and the Chalcidians in
Euboea2. There are two other offerings, a statue of Pericles, the son of Xanthippus,
and the best worth seeing of the works of Pheidias, the statue of Athena called
Lemnian after those who dedicated it.[1.28.3] All the Acropolis is surrounded by
a wall; a part was constructed by Cimon, son of Miltiades, but all the rest is said
to have been built round it by the Pelasgians, who once lived under the Acropolis.
The builders, they say, were Agrolas and Hyperbius. On inquiring who they were I
could discover nothing except that they were Sicilians originally who emigrated
[1.28.4] On descending, not to the lower city, but to just beneath the Gateway,
you see a fountain and near it a sanctuary of Apollo in a cave. It is here that
Apollo is believed to have met Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus.... when the Persians
had landed in Attica Philippides was sent to carry the tidings to Lacedaemon. On
his return he said that the Lacedacmonians had postponed their departure, because
it was their custom not to go out to fight before the moon was full. Philippides
went on to say that near Mount Parthenius he had been met by Pan, who told him that
he was friendly to the Athenians and would come to Marathon to fight for them. This
deity, then, has been honored for this announcement. [1.28.5] There is also the
Hill of Ares, so named because Ares was the first to be tried here; my narrative
has already told that he killed Halirrhothius, and what were his grounds for this
act. Afterwards, they say, Orestes was tried for killing his mother, and there is
an altar to Athena Areia (Warlike), which he dedicated on being acquitted. The unhewn
stones on which stand the defendants and the prosecutors, they call the stone of
Outrage and the stone of Ruthlessness.
[1.28.6] Hard by is a sanctuary of the goddesses which the Athenians call the
August, but Hesiod in the Theogony1 calls them Erinyes (Furies). It was Aeschylus
who first represented them with snakes in their hair. But on the images neither
of these nor of any of the under-world deities is there anything terrible. There
are images of Pluto, Hermes, and Earth, by which sacrifice those who have received
an acquittal on the Hill of Ares; sacrifices are also offered on other occasions
by both citizens and aliens.[1.28.7] Within the precincts is a monument to Oedipus,
whose bones, after diligent inquiry, I found were brought from Thebes. The account
of the death of Oedipus in the drama of Sophocles I am prevented from believing
by Homer, who says that after the death of Oedipus Mecisteus came to Thebes and
took part in the funeral games.
[1.28.8] The Athenians have other law courts as well, which are not so famous.
We have the Parabystum (Thrust aside) and the Triangle; the former is in an obscure
part of the city, and in it the most trivial cases are tried; the latter is named
from its shape. The names of Green Court and Red Court, due to their colors, have
lasted down to the present day. The largest court, to which the greatest numbers
come, is called Heliaea. One of the other courts that deal with bloodshed is called
"At Palladium," into which are brought cases of involuntary homicide. All are agreed
that Demophon was the first to be tried there, but as to the nature of the charge
accounts differ.[1.28.9] It is reported that after the capture of Troy Diomedes
was returning home with his fleet when night overtook them as in their voyage they
were off Phalerum. The Argives landed, under the impression that it was hostile
territory, the darkness preventing them from seeing that it was Attica. Thereupon
they say that Demophon, he too being unaware of the facts and ignorant that those
who had landed were Argives, attacked them and, having killed a number of them,
went off with the Palladium. An Athenian, however, not seeing before him in the
dark, was knocked over by the horse of Demophon, trampled upon and killed. Whereupon
Demophon was brought to trial, some say by the relatives of the man who was trampled
upon, others say by the Argive commonwealth.[1.28.10] At Delphinium are tried those
who claim that they have committed justifiable homicide, the plea put forward by
Theseus when he was acquitted, after having killed Pallas, who had risen in revolt
against him, and his sons. Before Theseus was acquitted it was the established custom
among all men for the shedder of blood to go into exile, or, if he remained, to
be put to a similar death. The Court in the Prytaneum, as it is called, where they
try iron and all similar inanimate things, had its origin, I believe, in the following
incident. It was when Erechtheus was king of Athens that the ox-slayer first killed
an ox at the altar of Zeus Polieus. Leaving the axe where it lay he went out of
the land into exile, and the axe was forthwith tried and acquitted, and the trial
has been repeated year by year down to the present.[1.28.11] Furthermore, it is
also said that inanimate objects have on occasion of their own accord inflicted
righteous retribution upon men, of this the scimitar of Cambyses affords the best
and most famous instance.1 Near the sea at the Peiraeus is Phreattys. Here it is
that men in exile, when a further charge has been brought against them in their
absence, make their defense on a ship while the judges listen on land. The legend
is that Teucer first defended himself in this way before Telamon, urging that he
was guiltless in the matter of the death of Ajax. Let this account suffice for those
who are interested to learn about the law courts.
1,28,1,n1. 632 B.C.
1,28,2,n1. fl. 430 B.C.
1,28,2,n2. c. 507 B.C.
1,28,6,n1. l. 185.
1,28,11,n1. See Hdt. 3.64.
[1.30.1] Before the entrance to the Academy is an altar to Love, with an inscription
that Charmus was the first Athenian to dedicate an altar to that god. The altar
within the city called the altar of Anteros (Love Avenged) they say was dedicated
by resident aliens, because the Athenian Meles, spurning the love of Timagoras,
a resident alien, bade him ascend to the highest point of the rock and cast himself
down. Now Timagoras took no account of his life, and was ready to gratify the youth
in any of his requests, so he went and cast himself down. When Meles saw that Timagoras
was dead, he suffered such pangs of remorse that he threw himself from the same
rock and so died. From this time the resident aliens worshipped as Anteros the avenging
spirit of Timagoras.[1.30.2] In the Academy is an altar to Prometheus, and from
it they run to the city carrying burning torches. The contest is while running to
keep the torch still alight; if the torch of the first runner goes out, he has no
longer any claim to victory, but the second runner has. If his torch also goes out,
then the third man is the victor. If all the torches go out, no one is left to be
winner. There is an altar to the Muses, and another to Hermes, and one within to
Athena, and they have built one to Heracles. There is also an olive tree, accounted
to be the second that appeared.
[1.30.3] Not far from the Academy is the monument of Plato, to whom heaven foretold
that he would be the prince of philosophers. The manner of the foretelling was this.
On the night before Plato was to become his pupil Socrates in a dream saw a swan
fly into his bosom. Now the swan is a bird with a reputation for music, because,
they say, a musician of the name of Swan became king of the Ligyes on the other
side of the Eridanus beyond the Celtic territory, and after his death by the will
of Apollo he was changed into the bird. I am ready to believe that a musician became
king of the Ligyes, but I cannot believe that a bird grew out of a man.[1.30.4]
In this part of the country is seen the tower of Timon, the only man to see that
there is no way to be happy except to shun other men. There is also pointed out
a place called the Hill of Horses, the first point in Attica, they say, that Oedipus
reached--this account too differs from that given by Homer, but it is nevertheless
current tradition--and an altar to Poseidon, Horse God, and to Athena, Horse Goddess,
and a chapel to the heroes Peirithous and Theseus, Oedipus and Adrastus. The grove
and temple of Poseidon were burnt by Antigonus1 when he invaded Attica, who at other
times also ravaged the land of the Athenians.
1,30,4,n1. See Paus. 1.1.1.
[1.31.1] The small parishes of Attica, which were founded severally as chance
would have it, presented the following noteworthy features. At Alimus is a sanctuary
of Demeter Lawgiver and of the Maid, and at Zoster (Girdle) on the coast is an altar
to Athena, as well as to Apollo, to Artemis and to Leto. The story is that Leto
did not give birth to her children here, but loosened her girdle with a view to
her delivery, and the place received its name from this incident. Prospalta has
also a sanctuary of the Maid and Demeter, and Anagyrus a sanctuary of the Mother
of the gods. At Cephale the chief cult is that of the Dioscuri, for the in habitants
call them the Great gods.[1.31.2] At Prasiae is a temple of Apollo. Hither they
say are sent the first-fruits of the Hyperboreans, and the Hyperboreans are said
to hand them over to the Arimaspi, the Arimaspi to the Issedones, from these the
Scythians bring them to Sinope, thence they are carried by Greeks to Prasiae, and
the Athenians take them to Delos. The first-fruits are hidden in wheat straw, and
they are known of none. There is at Prasiae a monument to Erysichthon, who died
on the voyage home from Delos, after the sacred mission thither. [1.31.3] How Amphictyon
banished Cranaus, his kinsman by marriage and king of Athens, I have already related.
They say that fleeing with his supporters to the parish of Lamptrae he died and
was buried there, and at the present day there is a monument to Cranaus at Lamptrae.
At Potami in Attica is also the grave of Ion the son of Xuthus--for he too dwelt
among the Athenians and was their commander-in-chief in the war with Eleusis.[1.31.4]
Such is the legend. Phlya and Myrrhinus have altars of Apollo Dionysodotus, Artemis
Light-bearer, Dionysus Flower-god, the Ismenian nymphs and Earth, whom they name
the Great goddess; a second temple contains altars of Demeter Anesidora (Sender-up
of Gifts), Zeus Ctesius (God of Gain), Tithrone Athena, the Maid First-born and
the goddesses styled August. The wooden image at Myrrhinus is of Colaenis.[1.31.5]
Athmonia worships Artemis Amarysia. On inquiry I discovered that the guides knew
nothing about these deities, so I give my own conjecture. Amarynthus is a town in
Euboea, the inhabitants of which worship Amarysia, while the festival of Amarysia
which the Athenians celebrate is no less splendid than the Euboean. The name of
the goddess, I think, came to Athmonia in this fashion and the Colaenis in Myrrhinus
is called after Colaenus. I have already written that many of the inhabitants of
the parishes say that they were ruled by kings even before the reign of Cecrops.
Now Colaenus, say the Myrrhinusians, is the name of a man who ruled before Cecrops
became king.[1.31.6] There is a parish called Acharnae, where they worship Apollo
Agyieus (God of Streets) and Heracles, and there is an altar of Athena Health. And
they call upon the name of Athena Horse-goddess and Dionysus Singer and Dionysus
Ivy, saying that the plant ivy first appeared there.
[1.32.1] The Attic mountains are Pentelicus, where there are quarries, Parnes,
where there is hunting of wild boars and of bears, and Hymettus, which grows the
most suitable pasture for bees, except that of the Alazones.1 For these people have
actually bees ranging free, tamely following the other creatures when they go to
pasture. These bees are not kept shut up in hives, and they work in any part of
the land they happen to visit. They produce a solid mass from which you cannot separate
either wax or honey. Such then is its nature.[1.32.2] The Athenians have also statues
of gods on their mountains. On Pentelicus is a statue of Athena, on Hymettus one
of Zeus Hymettius. There are altars both of Zeus Rain-god and of Apollo Foreseer.
On Parnes is a bronze Zeus Parnethius, and an altar to Zeus Semaleus (Sign-giving).
There is on Parnes another altar, and on it they make sacrifice, calling Zeus sometimes
Rain-god, sometimes Averter of Ills. Anchesmus is a mountain of no great size, with
an image of Zeus Anchesmius.
[1.32.3] Before turning to a description of the islands, I must again proceed
with my account of the parishes. There is a parish called Marathon, equally distant
from Athens and Carystus in Euboea. It was at this pointin Attica that the foreigners
landed, were defeated in battle, and lost some of their vessels as they were putting
off from the land.1 On the plain is the grave of the Athenians, and upon it are
slabs giving the names of the killed according to their tribes; and there is another
grave for the Boeotian Plataeans and for the slaves, for slaves fought then for
the first time by the side of their masters.[1.32.4] here is also a separate monument
to one man, Miltiades, the son of Cimon, although his end came later, after he had
failed to take Paros and for this reason had been brought to trial by the Athenians.
At Marathon every night you can hear horses neighing and men fighting. No one who
has expressly set himself to behold this vision has ever got any good from it, but
the spirits are not wroth with such as in ignorance chance to be spectators. The
Marathonians worship both those who died in the fighting, calling them heroes, and
secondly Marathon, from whom the parish derives its name, and then Heracles, saying
that they were the first among the Greeks to acknowledge him as a god.[1.32.5] They
say too that there chanced to be present in the battle a man of rustic appearance
and dress. Having slaughtered many of the foreigners with a plough he was seen no
more after the engagement. When the Athenians made enquiries at the oracle the god
merely ordered them to honor Echetlaeus (He of the Plough-tail) as a hero. A trophy
too of white marble has been erected. Although the Athenians assert that they buried
the Persians, because in every case the divine law applies that a corpse should
be laid under the earth, yet I could find no grave. There was neither mound nor
other trace to be seen, as the dead were carried to a trench and thrown in anyhow.[1.32.6]
In Marathon is a spring called Macaria with the following legend. When Heracles
left Tiryns, fleeing from Eurystheus, he went to live with his friend Ceyx, who
was king of Trachis. But when Heracles departed this life Eurystheus demanded his
children; whereupon the king of Trachis sent them to Athens, saying that he was
weak but Theseus had power enough to succor them. The arrival of the children as
suppliants caused for the first time war between Peloponnesians and Athenians, Theseus
refusing to give up the refugees at the demand of Eurystheus. The story says that
an oracle was given the Athenians that one of the children of Heracles must die
a voluntary death, or else victory could not be theirs. Thereupon Macaria, daughter
of Deianeira and Heracles, slew herself and gave to the Athenians victory in the
war and to the spring her own name.[1.32.7] There is at Marathon a lake which for
the most part is marshy. Into this ignorance of the roads made the foreigners fall
in their flight, and it is said that this accident was the cause of their great
losses. Above the lake are the stone stables of Artaphernes' horses, and marks of
his tent on the rocks. Out of the lake flows a river, affording near the lake itself
water suitable for cattle, but near its mouth it becomes salt and full of sea fish.
A little beyond the plain is the Hill of Pan and a remarkable Cave of Pan. The entrance
to it is narrow, but farther in are chambers and baths and the so-called "Pan's
herd of goats," which are rocks shaped in most respects like to goats.
1,32,1,n1. A people of S. Russia.
1,32,3,n1. 490 B.C.
[1.29.1] Near the Hill of Ares is shown a ship built for the procession of the
Panathenaea. This ship, I suppose, has been surpassed in size by others, but I know
of no builder who has beaten the vessel at Delos, with its nine banks of oars below
the deck. [1.29.2] Outside the city, too, in the parishes and on the roads, the
Athenians have sanctuaries of the gods, and graves of heroes and of men. The nearest
is the Academy, once the property of a private individual, but in my time a gymnasium.
As you go down to it you come to a precinct of Artemis, and wooden images of Ariste
(Best) and Calliste (Fairest). In my opinion, which is supported by the poems of
Pamphos, these are surnames of Artemis. There is another account of them, which
I know but shall omit. Then there is a small temple, into which every year on fixed
days they carry the image of Dionysus Eleuthereus.[1.29.3] Such are their sanctuaries
here, and of the graves the first is that of Thrasybulus son of Lycus, in all respects
the greatest of all famous Athenians, whether they lived before him or after him.
The greater number of his achievements I shall pass by, but the following facts
will suffice to bear out my assertion. He put down what is known as the tyranny
of the Thirty1, setting out from Thebes with a force amounting at first to sixty
men; he also persuaded the Athenians, who were torn by factions, to be reconciled,
and to abide by their compact. His is the first grave, and after it come those of
Pericles, Chabrias 2 and Phormio.3 [1.29.4] There is also a monument for all the
Athenians whose fate it has been to fall in battle, whether at sea or on land, except
such of them as fought at Marathon. These, for their valor, have their graves on
the field of battle, but the others lie along the road to the Academy, and on their
graves stand slabs bearing the name and parish of each. First were buried those
who in Thrace, after a victorious advance as far as Drabescus1, were unexpectedly
attacked by the Edonians and slaughtered. There is also a legend that they were
struck by lightning. [1.29.5] Among the generals were Leagrus, to whom was entrusted
chief command of the army, and Sophanes of Decelea, who killed when he came to the
help of the Aeginetans Eurybates the Argive, who won the prize in the pentathlon1
at the Nemean games. This was the third expedition which the Athenians dispatched
out of Greece. For against Priam and the Trojans war was made with one accord by
all the Greeks; but by them selves the Athenians sent armies, first with Iolaus
to Sardinia, secondly to what is now Ionia, and thirdly on the present occasion
to Thrace.[1.29.6] Before the monument is a slab on which are horsemen fighting.
Their names are Melanopus and Macartatus, who met their death fighting against the
Lacedaemonians and Boeotians on the borders of Eleon and Tanagra. There is also
a grave of Thessalian horsemen who, by reason of an old alliance, came when the
Peloponnesians with Archidamus invaded Attica with an army for the first time1,
and hard by that of Cretan bowmen. Again there are monuments to Athenians: to Cleisthenes,
who invented the system of the tribes at present existing2, and to horsemen who
died when the Thessalians shared the fortune of war with the Athenians. [1.29.7]
Here too lie the men of Cleone, who came with the Argives into Attica1; the occasion
whereof I shall set forth when in the course of my narrative I come to the Argives.
There is also the grave of the Athenians who fought against the Aeginetans before
the Persian invasion. It was surely a just decree even for a democracy when the
Athenians actually allowed slaves a public funeral, and to have their names inscribed
on a slab, which declares that in the war they proved good men and true to their
masters. There are also monuments of other men, their fields of battle lying in
various regions. Here lie the most renowned of those who went against Olynthus2,
and Melesander who sailed with a fleet along the Maeander into upper Caria3; [1.29.8]
also those who died in the war with Cassander, and the Argives who once fought as
the allies of Athens. It is said that the alliance between the two peoples was brought
about thus. Sparta was once shaken by an earthquake, and the Helots seceded to Ithome.1
After the secession the Lacedaemonians sent for help to various places, including
Athens, which dispatched picked troops under the command of Cimon, the son of Miltiades.
These the Lacedaemonians dismissed, because they suspected them.[1.29.9] The Athenians
regarded the insult as intolerable, and on their way back made an alliance with
the Argives, the immemorial enemies of the Lacedaemonians. Afterwards, when a battle
was imminent at Tanagra1, the Athenians opposing the Boeotians and Lacedaemonians,
the Argives reinforced the Athenians. For a time the Argives had the better, but
night came on and took from them the assurance of their victory, and on the next
day the Lacedaemonians had the better, as the Thessalians betrayed the Athenians.[1.29.10]
It occurred to me to tell of the following men also, firstly Apollodorus, commander
of the mercenaries, who was an Athenian dispatched by Arsites, satrap of Phrygia
by the Hellespont, and saved their city for the Perinthians when Philip had invaded
their territory with an army.1 He, then, is buried here, and also Eubulus 2 the
son of Spintharus, along with men who though brave were not attended by good fortune;
some attacked Lachares when he was tyrant, others planned the capture of the Peiraeus
when in the hands of a Macedonian garrison, but before the deed could be accomplished
were betrayed by their accomplices and put to death.[1.29.11] Here also lie those
who fell near Corinth. 1 Heaven showed most distinctly here and again at Leuctra2
that those whom the Greeks call brave are as nothing if Good Fortune be not with
them, seeing that the Lacedaemonians, who had on this occasion overcome Corinthians
and Athenians, and furthermore Argives and Boeotians, were afterwards at Leuctra
so utterly overthrown by the Boeotians alone. After those who were killed at Corinth,
we come across elegiac verses declaring that one and the same slab has been erected
to those who died in Euboea and Chios 3, and to those who perished in the remote
parts of the continent of Asia, or in Sicily.[1.29.12] The names of the generals
are inscribed with the exception of Nicias, and among the private soldiers are included
the Plataeans along with the Athenians. This is the reason why Nicias was passed
over, and my account is identical with that of Philistus, who says that while Demosthenes
made a truce for the others and excluded himself, attempting to commit suicide when
taken prisoner, Nicias voluntarily submitted to the surrender.1 For this reason
Nicias had not his name inscribed on the slab, being condemned as a voluntary prisoner
and an unworthy soldier.[1.29.13] On another slab are the names of those who fought
in the region of Thrace and at Megara1, and when Alcibiades persuaded the Arcadians
in Mantinea and the Eleans to revolt from the Lacedaemonians2, and of those who
were victorious over the Syracusans before Demosthenes arrived in Sicily. Here were
buried also those who fought in the sea-fights near the Hellespont3, those who opposed
the Macedonians at Charonea 4, those who were killed at Delium in the territory
of Tanagra5, the men Leosthenes led into Thessaly, those who sailed with Cimon to
Cyprus6, and of those who with Olympiodorus 7 expelled the garrison not more than
thirteen men.[1.29.14] The Athenians declare that when the Romans were waging a
border war they sent a small force to help them, and later on five Attic warships
assisted the Romans in a naval action against the Carthaginians. Accordingly these
men also have their grave here. The achievements of Tolmides and his men, and the
manner of their death, I have already set forth, and any who are interested may
take note that they are buried along this road. Here lie too those who with Cimon
achieved the great feat of winning a land and naval victory on one and the same
day. 1 [1.29.15] Here also are buried Conon and Timotheus, father and son, the second
pair thus related to accomplish illustrious deeds, Miltiades and Cimon being the
first; Zeno too, the son of Mnaseas and Chrysippus1 of Soli, Nicias the son of Nicomedes,
the best painter from life of all his contemporaries, Harmodius and Aristogeiton,
who killed Hipparchus, the son of Peisistratus; there are also two orators, Ephialtes,
who was chiefly responsible for the abolition of the privileges of the Areopagus2,
and Lycurgus,3 the son of Lycophron;[1.29.16] Lycurgus provided for the state-treasury
six thousand five hundred talents more than Pericles, the son of Xanthippus, collected,
and furnished for the procession of the Goddess golden figures of Victory and ornaments
for a hundred maidens; for war he provided arms and missiles, besides increasing
the fleet to four hundred warships. As for buildings, he completed the theater that
others had begun, while during his political life he built dockyards in the Peiraeus
and the gymnasium near what is called the Lyceum. Everything made of silver or gold
became part of the plunder Lachares made away with when he became tyrant, but the
buildings remained to my time.
1,29,3,n1. 403 B.C.
1,29,3,n2. Died 357 B.C.
1,29,3,n3. A famous Athenian admiral who fought well in the early part of the
1,29,4,n1. c. 465 B.C.
1,29,5,n1. A group of five contests: leaping, foot-racing, throwing the quoit,
throwing the spear, wrestling.
1,29,6,n1. 431 B.C.
1,29,6,n2. 508 B.C.
1,29,7,n1. 457 B.C.
1,29,7,n2. 349 B.C.
1,29,7,n3. 430 B.C.
1,29,8,n1. 461 B.C.
1,29,9,n1. 457 B.C.
1,29,10,n1. 340 B.C.
1,29,10,n2. A contemporary of Demosthenes.
1,29,11,n1. 394 B.C.
1,29,11,n2. 371 B.C.
1,29,11,n3. 445 B.C.
1,29,12,n1. 413 B.C.
1,29,13,n1. 445 B.C.
1,29,13,n2. 420 B.C.
1,29,13,n3. 409 B.C.
1,29,13,n4. 338 B.C., those who marched with Cleon to Amphipolis<422 B.C.
1,29,13,n5. 424 B.C.
1,29,13,n6. 449 B.C.
1,29,13,n7. See Paus. 1.26.3.
1,29,14,n1. 466 B.C.
1,29,15,n1. Stoic philosophers.
1,29,15,n2. 463-1 B.C. 1,29,15,n3. A contemporary of Demosthenes.
[1.33.1] At some distance from Marathon is Brauron, where, according to the legend,
Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon, landed with the image of Artemis when she
fled from the Tauri; leaving the image there she came to Athens also and afterwards
to Argos. There is indeed an old wooden image of Artemis here, but who in my opinion
have the one taken from the foreigners I will set forth in another place.[1.33.2]
About sixty stades from Marathon as you go along the road by the sea to Oropus stands
Rhamnus. The dwelling houses are on the coast, but a little way inland is a sanctuary
of Nemesis, the most implacable deity to men of violence. It is thought that the
wrath of this goddess fell also upon the foreigners who landed at Marathon. For
thinking in their pride that nothing stood in the way of their taking Athens, they
were bringing a piece of Parian marble to make a trophy, convinced that their task
was already finished.[1.33.3] Of this marble Pheidias made a statue of Nemesis,
and on the head of the goddess is a crown with deer and small images of Victory.
In her left hand she holds an apple branch, in her right hand a cup on which are
wrought Aethiopians. As to the Aethiopians, I could hazard no guess myself, nor
could I accept the statement of those who are convinced that the Aethiopians have
been carved upon the cup be cause of the river Ocean. For the Aethiopians, they
say, dwell near it, and Ocean is the father of Nemesis.[1.33.4] It is not the river
Ocean, but the farthest part of the sea navigated by man, near which dwell the Iberians
and the Celts, and Ocean surrounds the island of Britain. But of the Aethiopians
beyond Syene, those who live farthest in the direction of the Red Sea are the Ichthyophagi
(Fish-eaters), and the gulf round which they live is called after them. The most
righteous of them inhabit the city Meroe and what is called the Aethiopian plain.
These are they who show the Table of the Sun,1 and they have neither sea nor river
except the Nile.[1.33.5] There are other Aethiopians who are neighbours of the Mauri
and extend as far as the Nasamones. For the Nasamones, whom Herodotus calls the
Atlantes, and those who profess to know the measurements of the earth name the Lixitae,
are the Libyans who live the farthest close to Mount Atlas, and they do not till
the ground at all, but live on wild vines. But neither these Aethiopians nor yet
the Nasamones have any river. For the water near Atlas, which provides a beginning
to three streams, does not make any of the streams a river, as the sand swallows
it all up at once. So the Aethiopians dwell near no river Ocean.[1.33.6] The water
from Atlas is muddy,and near the source were crocodiles of not less than two cubits,
which when the men approached dashed down into the spring. The thought has occurred
to many that it is the reappearance of this water out of the sand which gives the
Nile to Egypt. Mount Atlas is so high that its peaks are said to touch heaven, but
is inaccessible because of the water and the presence everywhere of trees. Its region
indeed near the Nasamones is known, but we know of nobody yet who has sailed along
the parts facing the sea. I must now resume.[1.33.7] Neither this nor any other
ancient statue of Nemesis has wings, for not even the holiest wooden images of the
Smyrnaeans have them, but later artists, convinced that the goddess manifests herself
most as a consequence of love, give wings to Nemesis as they do to Love. I will
now go onto describe what is figured on the pedestal of the statue, having made
this preface for the sake of clearness. The Greeks say that Nemesis was the mother
of Helen, while Leda suckled and nursed her. The father of Helen the Greeks like
everybody else hold to be not Tyndareus but Zeus.[1.33.8] Having heard this legend
Pheidias has represented Helen as being led to Nemesis by Leda, and he has represented
Tyndareus and his children with a man Hippeus by name standing by with a horse.
There are Agamemnon and Menelaus and Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles and first husband
of Hermione, the daughter of Helen. Orestes was passed over because of his crime
against his mother, yet Hermione stayed by his side in everything and bore him a
child. Next upon the pedestal is one called Epochus and another youth; the only
thing I heard about them was that they were brothers of Oenoe, from whom the parish
has its name.
1,33,4,n1. A meadow near the city of the Aethiopians, in which they dined.
[1.34.1] The land of Oropus, between Attica and the land of Tanagra, which originally
belonged to Boeotia, in our time belongs to the Athenians, who always fought for
it but never won secure pos session until Philip gave it to them after taking Thebes.
The city is on the coast and affords nothing remarkable to record. About twelve
stades from the city is a sanctuary of Amphiaraus.[1.34.2] Legend says that when
Amphiaraus was exiled from Thebes the earth opened and swallowed both him and his
chariot. Only they say that the incident did not happen here, the place called the
Chariot being on the road from Thebes to Chalcis. The divinity of Amphiaraus was
first established among the Oropians, from whom afterwards all the Greeks received
the cult. I can enumerate other men also born at this time who are worshipped among
the Greeks as gods; some even have cities dedicated to them, such as Eleus in Chersonnesus
dedicated to Protesilaus, and Lebadea of the Boeotians dedicated to Trophonius.
The Oropians have both a temple and a white marble statue of Amphiaraus.[1.34.3]
The altar shows parts. One part is to Heracles, Zeus, and Apollo Healer, another
is given up to heroes and to wives of heroes, the third is to Hestia and Hermes
and Amphiaraus and the children of Amphilochus. But Alcmaeon, because of his treatment
of Eriphyle, is honored neither in the temple of Amphiaraus nor yet with Amphilochus.
The fourth portion of the altar is to Aphrodite and Panacea, and further to Iaso,
Health and Athena Healer. The fifth is dedicated to the nymphs and to Pan, and to
the rivers Achelous and Cephisus. The Athenians too have an altar to Amphilochus
in the city, and there is at Mallus in Cilicia an oracle of his which is the most
trustworthy of my day.[1.34.4] The Oropians have near the temple a spring, which
they call the Spring of Amphiaraus; they neither sacrifice into it nor are wont
to use it for purifications or for lustral water. But when a man has been cured
of a disease through a response the custom is to throw silver and coined gold into
the spring, for by this way they say that Amphiaraus rose up after he had become
a god. Iophon the Cnossian, a guide, produced responses in hexameter verse, saying
that Amphiaraus gave them to the Argives who were sent against Thebes. These verses
unrestrainedly appealed to popular taste. Except those whom they say Apollo inspired
of old none of the seers uttered oracles, but they were good at explaining dreams
and interpreting the flights of birds and the entrails of victims.[1.34.5] My opinion
is that Amphiaraus devoted him self most to the exposition of dreams. It is manifest
that, when his divinity was established, it was a dream oracle that he set up. One
who has come to consult Amphiaraus is wont first to purify himself. The mode of
purification is to sacrifice to the god, and they sacrifice not only to him but
also to all those whose names are on the altar. And when all these things have been
first done, they sacrifice a ram, and, spreading the skin under them, go to sleep
and await enlightenment in a dream.
[1.35.1] There are islands not far from Attica. Of the one called the Island
of Patroclus I have already given an account.1 There is another when you have sailed
past Sunium with Attica on the left. On this they say that Helen landed after the
capture of Troy,[1.35.2] and for this reason the name of the island is Helene. Salamis
lies over against Eleusis, and stretches as far as the territory of Megara. It is
said that the first to give this name to the island was Cychreus, who called it
after his mother Salamis, the daughter of Asopus, and afterwards it was colonized
by the Aeginetans with Telamon. Philaeus, the son of Eurysaces, the son of Ajax,
is said to have handed the island over to the Athenians, having been made an Athenian
by them. Many years afterwards the Athenians drove out all the Salaminians, having
discovered that they had been guilty of treachery in the war with Cassander1, and
mainly of set purpose had surrendered to the Macedonians. They sentenced to death
Aeschetades, who on this occasion had been elected general for Salamis, and they
swore never to forget the treachery of the Salaminians. [1.35.3] There are still
the remains of a market-place, a temple of Ajax and his statue in ebony. Even at
the present day the Athenians pay honors to Ajax himself and to Eurysaces, for there
is an altar of Eurysaces also at Athens. In Salamis is shown a stone not far from
the harbor, on which they say that Telamon sat when he gazed at the ship in which
his children were sailing away to Aulis to take part in the joint expedition of
the Greeks.[1.35.4] Those who dwell about Salamis say that it was when Ajax died
that the flower first appeared in their country. It is white and tinged with red,
both flower and leaves being smaller than those of the lily; there are letters on
it like to those on the iris. About the judgment concerning the armour I heard a
story of the Aeolians who afterwards settled at Ilium, to the effect that when Odysseus
suffered shipwreck the armour was cast ashore near the grave of Ajax. As to the
hero's size, a Mysian was my informant.[1.35.5] He said that the sea flooded the
side of the grave facing the beach and made it easy a enter the tomb, and he bade
me form an estimate of the size of the corpse in the following way. The bones on
his knees, called by doctors the knee-pan, were in the case of Ajax as big as the
quoit of a boy in the pentathlon. I saw nothing to wonder at in the stature of those
Celts who live farthest of on the borders of the land which is uninhabited because
of the cold; these people, the Cabares, are no bigger than Egyptian corpses. But
I will relate all that appeared to me worth seeing.[1.35.6] For the Magnesians on
the Lethaeus, Protophanes, one of the citizens, won at Olympia in one day victories
in the pancration1 and in wrestling. Into the grave of this man robbers entered,
thinking to gain some advantage, and after the robbers people came in to see the
corpse, which had ribs not separated but joined together from the shoulders to the
smallest ribs, those called by doctors bastard. Before the city of the Milesians
is an island called Lade, and from it certain islets are detached. One of these
they call the islet of Asterius, and say that Asterius was buried in it, and that
Asterius was the son of Anax, and Anax the son of Earth. Now the corpse is not less
than ten cubits. [1.35.7] But what really caused me surprise is this. There is a
small city of upper Lydia called The Doors of Temenus. There a crest broke away
in a storm, and there appeared bones the shape of which led one to sup pose that
they were human, but from their size one would never have thought it. At once the
story spread among the multitude that it was the corpse of Geryon, the son of Chrysaor,
and that the seat also was his. For there is a man's seat carved on a rocky spur
of the mountain. And a torrent they called the river Ocean, and they said that men
ploughing met with the horns of cattle, for the story is that Geryon reared excellent
cows.[1.35.8] And when I criticized the account and pointed out to them that Geryon
is at Gadeira, where there is, not his tomb, but a tree showing different shapes,
the guides of the Lydians related the true story, that the corpse is that of Hyllus,
a son of Earth, from whom the river is named. They also said that Heracles from
his sojourning with Omphale called his son Hyllus after the river.
1,35,1,n1. See Paus. 1.1.1.
1,35,2,n1. 318 B.C.
1,35,6,n1. Boxing and wrestling combined.
[1.36.1] But I will return to my subject. In Salamis is a sanctuary of Artemis,
and also a trophy erected in honor of the victory which Themistocles the son of
Neocles won for the Greeks.1 There is also a sanctuary of Cychreus. When the Athenians
were fighting the Persians at sea, a serpent is said to have appeared in the fleet,
and the god in an oracle told the Athenians that it was Cychreus the hero.[1.36.2]
Before Salamis there is an island called Psyttalea. Here they say that about four
hundred of the Persians landed, and when the fleet of Xerxes was defeated, these
also were killed after the Greeks had crossed over to Psyttalea. The island has
no artistic statue, only some roughly carved wooden images of Pan.
[1.36.3] As you go to Eleusis from Athens along what the Athenians call the Sacred
Way you see the tomb of Anthemocritus.1 The Megarians committed against him a most
wicked deed, for when he had come as a herald to forbid them to encroach upon the
land in future they put him to death. For this act the wrath of the Two Goddesses
lies upon them even to this day, for they are the only Greeks that not even the
emperor Hadrian could make more prosperous.[1.36.4] After the tombstone of Anthemocritus
comes the grave of Molottus, who was deemed worthy of commanding the Athenians when
they crossed into Euboea1 to reinforce Plutarch,2 and also a place called Scirum,
which received its name for the following reason. The Eleusinians were making war
against Erechtheus when there came from Dodona a seer called Scirus, who also set
up at Phalerum the ancient sanctuary of Athena Sciras. When he fell in the fighting
the Elusinians buried him near a torrent, and the hero has given his name to both
place and torrent.[1.36.5] Hard by is the tomb of Cephisodorus, who was champion
of the people and opposed to the utmost Philip, the son of Demetrius, king of Macedon.
Cephisodorus induced to become allies of Athens two kings, Attalus the Mysian and
Ptolemy the Egyptian, and, of the self-governing peoples, the Aetolians with the
Rhodians and the Cretans among the islanders.[1.36.6] As the reinforcements from
Egypt, Mysia, and Crete were for the most part too late, and the Rhodians, whose
strength lay only in their fleet, were of little help against the Macedonian men-at-arms,
Cephisodorus sailed with other Athenians to Italy and begged aid of the Romans.1
They sent a force and a general, who so reduced Philip and the Macedonians that
afterwards Perseus, the son of Philip, lost his throne and was himself taken prisoner
to Italy. This Philip was the son of Demetrius. Demetrius was the first of this
house to hold the throne of Macedon, having put to death Alexander, son of Cassander,
as I have related in a former part of my account.
1,36,1,n1. 480 B.C.
1,36,3,n1. Just before the Peloponnesian War.
1,36,4,n1. 350 B.C.
1,36,4,n2. Tyrant of Eretria in Euboea.
1,36,6,n1. 198 B.C.
[1.37.1] After the tomb of Cephisodorus is the grave of Heliodorus Halis.1 A
portrait of this man is also to be seen in the great temple of Athena. Here too
is the grave of Themistocles, son of Poliarchus, and grandson of the Themistocles
who fought the sea fight against Xerxes and the Persians. Of the later descendants
I shall mention none except Acestium. She, her father Xenocles, his father Sophocles,
and his father Leon, all of them up to her great-grandfather Leon won the honor
of being torch-bearer, and in her own lifetime she saw as torch-bearers, first her
brother Sophocles, after him her husband Themistocles, and after his death her son
Theophrastus. Such was the fortune, they say, that happened to her.[1.37.2] A little
way past the grave of Themistocles is a precinct sacred to Lacius, a hero, a parish
called after him Laciadae, and the tomb of Nicocles of Tarentum, who won a unique
reputation as a harpist. There is also an altar of Zephyrus and a sanctuary of Demeter
and her daughter. With them Athena and Poseidon are worshipped. There is a legend
that in this place Phytalus welcomed Demeter in his home, for which act the goddess
gave him the fig tree. This story is borne out by the inscription on the grave of
Hero and king, Phytalus here welcome gave to Demeter,
August goddess, when first she created fruit of the harvest;
Sacred fig is the name which mortal men have assigned it.
Whence Phytalus and his race have gotten honours immortal.
[1.37.3] Before you cross the Cephisus you come to the tomb of Theodorus, the
best tragic actor of his day.1 By the river is a statue of Mnesimache, and a votive
statue of her son cutting his hair as a gift for Cephisus. That this habit has existed
from ancient times among all the Greeks may be inferred from the poetry of Homer,2
who makes Peleus vow that on the safe return of Achilles from Troy he will cut off
the young man's hair as a gift for the Spercheus.
[1.37.4] Across the Cephisus is an ancient altar of Zeus Meilichius (Gracious).
At this altar Theseus obtained purification at the hands of the descendants of Phytalus
after killing brigands, including Sinis who was related to him through Pittheus.
Here is the grave of Theodectes1 of Phaselis, and also that of Mnesitheus. They
say that he was a skilful physician and dedicated statues, among which is a representation
of Iacchus. On the road stands a small temple called that of Cyamites.2 I cannot
state for certain whether he was the first to sow beans, or whether they gave this
name to a hero because they may not attribute to Demeter the discovery of beans.
Whoever has been initiated at Eleusis or has read what are called the Orphica3 knows
what I mean. [1.37.5] Of the tombs, the largest and most beautiful are that of a
Rhodian who settled at Athens, and the one made by the Macedonian Harpalus, who
ran away from Alexander and crossed with a fleet from Asia to Europe. On his arrival
at Athens he was arrested by the citizens, but ran away after bribing among others
the friends of Alexander. But before this he married Pythonice, whose family I do
not know, but she was a courtesan at Athens and at Corinth. His love for her was
so great that when she died he made her a tomb which is the most noteworthy of all
the old Greek tombs.
[1.37.6] There is a sanctuary in which are set statues of Demeter, her daughter,
Athena, and Apollo. At the first it was built in honor of Apollo only. For legend
says that Cephalus, the son of Deion, having helped Amphitryon to destroy the Teleboans,
was the first to dwell in that island which now is called after him Cephallenia,
and that he resided till that time at Thebes, exiled from Athens because he had
killed his wife Procris. In the tenth generation afterwards Chalcinus and Daetus,
descendants of Cephalus, sailed to Delphi and asked the god for permission to return
to Athens.[1.37.7] He ordered them first to sacrifice to Apollo in that spot in
Attica where they should see a man-of-war running on the land. When they reached
the mountain called the Many-colored Mountain a snake was seen hurrying into its
hole. In this place they sacrificed to Apollo; afterwards they came to Athens and
the Athenians made them citizens. After this is a temple of Aphrodite, before which
is a note worthy wall of unwrought stone.
1,37,1,n1. Nothing more is known of this man.
1,37,3,n1. fl. c. 370 B.C.
1,37,3,n2. Hom. Il. 23.141 f.
1,37,4,n1. A pupil of Isocrates
1,37,4,n2. Cyamos means "bean."
1,37,4,n3. A poem describing certain aspects of the Orphic religion.
[1.38.1] The streams called Rheiti are rivers only in so far as they are currents,
for their water is sea water. It is a reasonable belief that they flow beneath the
ground from the Euripus of the Chalcidians, and fall into a sea of a lower level.
They are said to be sacred to the Maid and to Demeter, and only the priests of these
goddesses are permitted to catch the fish in them. Anciently, I learn, these streams
were the boundaries between the land of the Eleusinians and that of the other Athenians,
[1.38.2] and the first to dwell on the other side of the Rheiti was Crocon, where
at the present day is what is called the palace of Crocon. This Crocon the Athenians
say married Saesara, daughter of Celeus. Not all of them say this, but only those
who belong to the parish of Scambonidae. I could not find the grave of Crocon, but
Eleusinians and Athenians agreed in identifying the tomb of Eumolpus. This Eumolpus
they say came from Thrace, being the son of Poseidon and Chione. Chione they say
was the daughter of the wind Boreas and of Oreithyia. Homer says nothing about the
family of Eumolpus, but in his poems styles him "manly."[1.38.3] When the Eleusinians
fought with the Athenians, Erechtheus, king of the Athenians, was killed, as was
also Immaradus, son of Eumolpus. These were the terms on which they concluded the
war: the Eleusinians were to have in dependent control of the mysteries, but in
all things else were to be subject to the Athenians. The ministers of the Two Goddesses
were Eumolpus and the daughters of Celeus, whom Pamphos and Homer agree in naming
Diogenia, Pammerope, and the third Saesara. Eumolpus was survived by Ceryx, the
younger of his sons whom the Ceryces themselves say was a son of Aglaurus, daughter
of Cecrops, and of Hermes, not of Eumolpus.
[1.38.4] There is also a shrine of the hero Hippothoon, after whom the tribe
is named, and hard by one of Zarex. The latter they say learned music from Apollo,
but my opinion is that he was a Lacedaemonian who came as a stranger to the land,
and that after him is named Zarax, a town in the Laconian territory near the sea.
If there is a native Athenian hero called Zarex, I have nothing to say concerning
him.[1.38.5] At Eleusis flows a Cephisus which is more violent than the Cephisus
I mentioned above, and by the side of it is the place they call Erineus, saying
that Pluto descended there to the lower world after carrying off the Maid. Near
this Cephisus Theseus killed a brigand named Polypemon and surnamed Procrustes.[1.38.6]
The Eleusinians have a temple of Triptolemus, of Artemis of the Portal, and of Poseidon
Father, and a well called Callichorum (Lovely dance), where first the women of the
Eleusinians danced and sang in praise of the goddess. They say that the plain called
Rharium was the first to be sown and the first to grow crops, and for this reason
it is the custom to use sacrificial barley and to make cakes for the sacrifices
from its produce. Here there is shown a threshing-floor called that of Triptolemus
and an altar.[1.38.7] My dream forbade the description of the things within the
wall of the sanctuary, and the uninitiated are of course not permitted to learn
that which they are prevented from seeing. The hero Eleusis, after whom the city
is named, some assert to be a son of Hermes and of Daeira, daughter of Ocean; there
are poets, however, who have made Ogygus father of Eleusis. Ancient legends, deprived
of the help of poetry, have given rise to many fictions, especially concerning the
pedigrees of heroes.
[1.38.8] When you have turned from Eleusis to Boeotia you come to the Plataean
land, which borders on Attica. Formerly Eleutherae formed the boundary on the side
towards Attica, but when it came over to the Athenians henceforth the boundary of
Boeotia was Cithaeron. The reason why the people of Eleutherae came over was not
because they were reduced by war, but because they desired to share Athenian citizenship
and hated the Thebans. In this plain is a temple of Dionysus, from which the old
wooden image was carried off to Athens. The image at Eleutherae at the present day
is a copy of the old one.[1.38.9] A little farther on is a small cave, and beside
it is a spring of cold water. The legend about the cave is that Antiope after her
labour placed her babies into it; as to the spring, it is said that the shepherd
who found the babies washed them there for the first time, taking off their swaddling
clothes. Of Eleutherae there were still left the ruins of the wall and of the houses.
From these it is clear that the city was built a little above the plain close to
[1.39.1] There is another road from Eleusis, which leads to Megara. As you go
along this road you come to a well called Anthium (Flowery Well). Pamphos in his
poems describes how Demeter in the likeness of an old woman sat at this well after
the rape of her daughter, how the daughters of Celeus thence took her as an Argive
woman to their mother, and how Metaneira thereupon entrusted to her the rearing
of her son.[1.39.2] A little farther on from the well is a sanctuary of Metaneira,
and after it are graves of those who went against Thebes. For Creon, who at that
time ruled in Thebes as guardian of Laodamas the son of Eteocles, refused to allow
the relatives to take up and bury their dead. But Adrastus having supplicated Theseus,
the Athenians fought with the Boeotians, and Theseus being victorious in the fight
carried the dead to the Eleusinian territory and buried them here. The Thebans,
however, say that they voluntarily gave up the dead for burial and deny that they
engaged in battle.[1.39.3] After the graves of the Argives is the tomb of Alope,
who, legend says, being mother of Hippothoon by Poseidon was on this spot put to
death by her father Cercyon. He is said to have treated strangers wickedly, especially
in wrestling with them against their will. So even to my day this place is called
the Wrestling Ground of Cercyon, being a little way from the grave of Alope. Cercyon
is said to have killed all those who tried a bout with him except Theseus, who out
matched him mainly by his skill. For Theseus was the first to discover the art of
wrestling, and through him afterwards was established the teaching of the art. Before
him men used in wrestling only size and strength of body.Such in my opinion are
the most famous legends and sights among the Athenians, and from the beginning my
narrative has picked out of much material the things that deserve to be recorded.
[1.39.4] Next to Eleusis is the district called Megaris. This too belonged to Athens
in ancient times, Pylas the king having left it to Pandion. My evidence is this;
in the land is the grave of Pandion, and Nisus, while giving up the rule over the
Athenians to Aegeus, the eldest of all the family, was himself made king of Megara
and of the territory as far as Corinth. Even at the present day the port of the
Megarians is called Nisaea after him. Subsequently in the reign of Codrus the Peloponnesians
made an expedition against Athens. Having accomplished nothing brilliant, on their
way home they took Megara from the Athenians, and gave it as a dwelling-place to
such of the Corinthians and of their other allies as wished to go there.[1.39.5]
In this way the Megarians changed their customs and dialect and became Dorians,
and they say that the city received its name when Car the son of Phoroneus was king
in this land. It was then they say that sanctuaries of Demeter were first made by
them, and then that men used the name Megara (Chambers). This is their history according
to the Megarians themselves. But the Boeotians declare that Megareus, son of Poseidon,
who dwelt in Onchestus, came with an army of Boeotians to help Nisus wage the war
against Minos; that falling in the battle he was buried on the spot, and the city
was named Megara from him, having previously been called Nisa.[1.39.6] In the twelfth
generation after Car the son of Phoroneus the Megarians say that Lelex arrived from
Egypt and became king, and that in his reign the tribe Leleges received its name.
Lelex they say begat Cleson, Cleson Pylas and Pylas Sciron, who married the daughter
of Pandion and afterwards disputed with Nisus, the son of Pandion, about the throne,
the dispute being settled by Aeacus, who gave the kingship to Nisus and his descendants,
and to Sciron the leadership in war. They say further that Nisus was succeeded by
Megareus, the son of Poseidon, who married Iphinoe, the daughter of Nisus, but they
ignore altogether the Cretan war and the capture of the city in the reign of Nisus.
[1.40.1] There is in the city a fountain, which was built for the citizens by
Theagenes,1 whom I have mentioned previously as having given his daughter in marriage
to Cylon the Athenian. This Theagenes upon becoming tyrant built the fountain, which
is noteworthy for its size, beauty and the number of its pillars. Water flows into
it called the water of the Sithnid nymphs. The Megarians say that the Sithnid nymphs
are native, and that one of them mated with Zeus; that Megarus, a son of Zeus and
of this nymph, escaped the flood in the time of Deucalion, and made his escape to
the heights of Gerania. The mountain had not yet received this name, but was then
named Gerania (Crane Hill) because cranes were flying and Megarus swam towards the
cry of the birds.[1.40.2] Not far from this fountain is an ancient sanctuary, and
in our day likenesses stand in it of Roman emperors, and a bronze image is there
of Artemis surnamed Saviour. There is a story that a detachment of the army of Mardonius,
having over run Megaris1, wished to return to Mardonius at Thebes, but that by the
will of Artemis night came on them as they marched, and missing their way they turned
into the hilly region. Trying to find out whether there was a hostile force near
they shot some missiles. The rock near groaned when struck, and they shot again
with greater eagerness,[1.40.3] until at last they used up all their arrows thinking
that they were shooting at the enemy. When the day broke, the Megarians attacked,
and being men in armour fighting against men without armour who no longer had even
a supply of missiles, they killed the greater number of their opponents. For this
reason they had an image made of Artemis Saviour. Here are also images of the gods
named the Twelve, said to be the work of Praxiteles. But the image of Artemis herself
was made by Strongylion.
[1.40.4] After this when you have entered the precinct of Zeus called the Olympieum
you see a note worthy temple. But the image of Zeus was not finished, for the work
was interrupted by the war of the Peloponnesians against the Athenians, in which
the Athenians every year ravaged the land of the Megarians with a fleet and an army,
damaging public revenues and bringing private families to dire distress. The face
of the image of Zeus is of ivory and gold, the other parts are of clay and gypsum.
The artist is said to have been Theocosmus, a native, helped by Pheidias. Above
the head of Zeus are the Seasons and Fates, and all may see that he is the only
god obeyed by Destiny, and that he apportions the seasons as is due. Behind the
temple lie half-worked pieces of wood, which Theocosmus intended to overlay with
ivory and gold in order a complete the image of Zeus. [1.40.5] In the temple itself
is dedicated a bronze ram of a galley. This ship they say that they captured off
Salamis in a naval action with the Athenians. The Athenians too admit that for a
time they evacuated the island before the Megarians, saying that after wards Solon1
wrote elegiac poems and encouraged them, and that thereupon the Athenians challenged
their enemies, won the war and recovered Salamis. But the Megarians say that exiles
from themselves, whom they call Dorycleans, reached the colonists in Salamis and
betrayed the island to the Athenians.
[1.40.6] After the precinct of Zeus, when you have ascended the citadel, which
even at the present day is called Caria from Car, son of Phoroneus, you see a temple
of Dionysus Nyctelius (Nocturnal), a sanctuary built to Aphrodite Epistrophia (She
who turns men to love), an oracle called that of Night and a temple of Zeus Conius
(Dusty) without a roof. The image of Asclepius and also that of Health were made
by Bryaxis. Here too is what is called the Chamber of Demeter, built, they say,
by Car when he was king.
1,40,1,n1. See Paus. 1.28.1.
1,40,2,n1. 479 B.C.
1,40,5,n1. The great legislator, who flourished early in the sixth century B.C.
[1.41.1] On coming down from the citadel, where the ground turns northwards,
is the tomb of Alcmena, near the Olympieum. They say that as she was walking from
Argos to Thebes she died on the way at Megara, and that the Heracleidae fell to
disputing, some wishing to carry the corpse of Alcmena back to Argos, others wishing
to take it to Thebes, as in Thebes were buried Amphitryon and the children of Heracles
by Megara. But the god in Delphi gave them an oracle that it was better for them
to bury Alcmena in Megara. [1.41.2] From this place the local guide took us to a
place which he said was named Rhus (Stream), for that water once flowed here from
the mountains above the city. But Theagenes, who was tyrant at that time, turned
the water into another direction and made here an altar to Achelous. Hard by is
the tomb of Hyllus, son of Heracles, who fought a duel with an Arcadian, Echemus
the son of Aeropus. Who the Echemus was who killed Hyllus I will tell in another
part of my narrative, but Hyllus also is buried at Megara. These events might correctly
be called an expedition of the Heracleidae into the Peloponnesus in the reign of
Orestes.[1.41.3] Not far from the tomb of Hyllus is a temple of Isis, and beside
it one of Apollo and of Artemis. They say that Alcathous made it after killing the
lion called Cithaeronian. By this lion they say many were slain, including Euippus,
the son of Megareus their king, whose elder son Timalcus had before this been killed
by Theseus while on a campaign with the Dioscuri against Aphidna. Megareus they
say promised that he who killed the Cithaeronian lion should marry his daughter
and succeed him in the kingdom. Alcathous therefore, son of Pelops, attacked the
beast and overcame it, and when he came to the throne he built this sanctuary, surnaming
Artemis Agrotera (Huntress) and Apollo Agraeus (Hunter).[1.41.4] Such is the account
of the Megarians; but although I wish my account to agree with theirs, yet I cannot
accept everything they say. I am ready to believe that a lion was killed by Alcathous
on Cithaeron, but what historian has re corded that Timalcus the son of Megareus
came with the Dioscuri to Aphidna? And supposing he had gone there, how could one
hold that he had been killed by Theseus, when Alcman wrote a poem on the Dioscuri1,
in which he says that they captured Athens and carried into captivity the mother
of Theseus, but Theseus himself was absent? [1.41.5] Pindar in his poems agrees
with this account, saying that Theseus, wishing to be related to the Dioscuri, carried
off Helen and kept her until he departed to carry out with Peirithous the marriage
that they tell of. Whoever has studied genealogy finds the Megarians guilty of great
silliness, since Theseus was a descendant of Pelops. The fact is that the Megarians
know the true story but conceal it, not wishing it to be thought that their city
was captured in the reign of Nisus, but that both Megareus, the son-in-law of Nisus,
and Alcathous, the son-in-law of Megareus, succeeded their respective fathers-in-law
as king.[1.41.6] It is evident that Alcathous arrived from Elis just at the time
when Nisus had died and the Megarians had lost everything. Witness to the truth
of my statements the fact that he built the wall afresh from the beginning, the
old one round the city having been destroyed by the Cretans.Let so much suffice
for Alcathous and for the lion, whether it was on Cithaeron or elsewhere that the
killing took place that caused him to make a temple to Artemis Agrotera and Apollo
Agraeus. On going down from this sanctuary you see the shrine of the hero Pandion.
My narrative has already told how Pandion was buried on what is called the Rock
of Athena Aethyia (Gannet). He receives honors from the Megarians in the city as
[1.41.7] Near the shrine of the hero Pandion is the tomb of Hippolyte. I will
record the account the Megarians give of her. When the Amazons, having marched against
the Athenians because of Antiope, were over come by Theseus, most of them met their
death in the fight, but Hippolyte, the sister of Antiope and on this occasion the
leader of the women, escaped with a few others to Megara. Having suffered such a
military disaster, being in despair at her present situation and even more hopeless
of reaching her home in Themiscyra, she died of a broken heart, and the Megarians
gave her burial. The shape of her tomb is like an Amazonian shield.[1.41.8] Not
far from this is the grave of Tereus, who married Procne the daughter of Pandion.
The Megarians say that Tereus was king of the region around what is called Pagae
(Springs) of Megaris, but my opinion, which is confirmed by extant evidence, is
that he ruled over Daulis beyond Chaeronea, for in ancient times the greater part
of what is now called Greece was inhabited by foreigners. When Tereus did what he
did to Philomela and Itys suffered at the hands of the women, Tereus found himself
unable to seize them.[1.41.9] He committed suicide in Megara, and the Megarians
forthwith raised him a barrow, and every year sacrifice to him, using in the sacrifice
gravel instead of barley meal; they say that the bird called the hoopoe appeared
here for the first time. The women came to Athens, and while lamenting their sufferings
and their revenge, perished through their tears; their reported metamorphosis into
a nightingale and a swallow is due, I think, to the fact that the note of these
birds is plaintive and like a lamentation.
1,41,4,n1. 640-600 B.C.
[1.42.1] The Megarians have another citadel, which is named after Alcathous.
As you ascend this citadel you see on the right the tomb of Megareus, who at the
time of the Cretan invasion came as an ally from Onchestus. There is also shown
a hearth of the gods called Prodomeis (Builders before). They say that Alcathous
was the first to sacrifice to them, at the time when he was about to begin the building
of the wall.[1.42.2] Near this hearth is a stone, on which they say Apollo laid
his lyre when he was helping Alcathous in the building. I am confirmed in my view
that the Megarians used to be tributary to the Athenians by the fact that Alcathous
appears to have sent his daughter Periboea with Theseus to Crete in payment of the
tribute. On the occasion of his building the wall, the Megarians say, Apollo helped
him and placed his lyre on the stone; and if you happen to hit it with a pebble
it sounds just as a lyre does when struck. [1.42.3] This made me marvel, but the
colossus in Egypt made me marvel far more than anything else. In Egyptian Thebes,
on crossing the Nile to the so called Pipes, I saw a statue, still sitting, which
gave out a sound. The many call it Memnon, who they say from Aethiopia overran Egypt
and as far as Susa. The Thebans, however, say that it is a statue, not of Memnon,
but of a native named Phamenoph, and I have heard some say that it is Sesostris.
This statue was broken in two by Cambyses, and at the present day from head to middle
it is thrown down; but the rest is seated, and every day at the rising of the sun
it makes a noise, and the sound one could best liken to that of a harp or lyre when
a string has been broken.
[1.42.4] The Megarians have a council chamber which once, they say, was the grave
of Timalcus, who just now I said was not killed by Theseus. On the top of the citadel
is built a temple of Athena, with an image gilt except the hands and feet; these
and the face are of ivory. There is another sanctuary built here, of Athena Victory,
and yet a third of Athena Aeantis (Ajacian). About the last the Megarian guides
have omitted to record anything, but I will write what I take to be the facts. Telamon
the son of Aeacus married Periboea the daughter of Alcathous; so my opinion is that
Ajax, who succeeded to the throne of Alcathous, made the statue of Athena.
[1.42.5] The ancient temple of Apollo was of brick, but the emperor Hadrian afterwards
built it of white marble. The Apollo called Pythian and the one called Decatephorus
(Bringer of Tithes) are very like the Egyptian wooden images, but the one surnamed
Archegetes (Founder) resembles Aeginetan works. They are all alike made of ebony.
I have heard a man of Cyprus, who was skilled at sorting herbs for medicinal purposes,
say that the ebony does not grow leaves or bear fruit, or even appear in the sunlight
at all, but consists of underground roots which are dug up by the Aethiopians, who
have men skilled at finding ebony.[1.42.6] There is also a sanctuary of Demeter
Thesmophorus (Lawgiver). On going down from it you see the tomb of Callipolis, son
of Alcathous. Alcathous had also an elder son, Ischepolis, whom his father sent
to help Meleager to destroy the wild beast in Aetolia. There he died, and Callipolis
was the first to hear of his death. Running up to the citadel, at the moment when
his father was preparing a fire to sacrifice to Apollo, he flung the logs from the
altar. Alcathous, who had not yet heard of the fate of Ischepolis, judged that Callipolis
was guilty of impiety, and forthwith, angry as he was, killed him by striking his
head with one of the logs that had been flung from the altar.
[1.42.7] On the road to the Town-hall is the shrine of the heroine Ino, about
which is a fencing of stones, and beside it grow olives. The Megarians are the only
Greeks who say that the corpse of Ino was cast up on their coast, that Cleso and
Tauropolis, the daughters of Cleson, son of Lelex, found and buried it, and they
say that among them first was she named Leucothea, and that every year they offer
[1.43.1] They say that there is also a shrine of the heroine Iphigenia; for she
too according to them died in Megara. Now I have heard another account of Iphigenia
that is given by Arcadians and I know that Hesiod, in his poem A Catalogue of Women,
says that Iphigenia did not die, but by the will of Artemis is Hecate. With this
agrees the account of Herodotus, that the Tauri near Scythia sacrifice castaways
to a maiden who they say is Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon. Adrastus also
is honored among the Megarians, who say that he too died among them when he was
leading back his army after taking Thebes, and that his death was caused by old
age and the fate of Aegialeus. A sanctuary of Artemis was made by Agamemnon when
he came to persuade Calchas, who dwelt in Megara, to accompany him to Troy.[1.43.2]
In the Town-hall are buried, they say, Euippus the son of Megareus and Ischepolis
the son of Alcathous. Near the Town-hall is a rock. They name it Anaclethris (Recall),
because Demeter (if the story be credible) here too called her daughter back when
she was wandering in search of her. Even in our day the Megarian women hold a performance
that is a mimic representation of the legend.
[1.43.3] In the city are graves of Megarians. They made one for those who died
in the Persian invasion, and what is called the Aesymnium (Shrine of Aesymnus) was
also a tomb of heroes. When Agamemnon's son Hyperion, the last king of Megara, was
killed by Sandion for his greed and violence, they resolved no longer to be ruled
by one king, but to have elected magistrates and to obey one another in turn. Then
Aesymnus, who had a reputation second to none among the Megarians, came to the god
in Delphi and asked in what way they could be prosperous. The oracle in its reply
said that they would fare well if they took counsel with the majority. This utterance
they took to refer to the dead, and built a council chamber in this place in order
that the grave of their heroes might be within it.
[1.43.4] Between this and the hero-shrine of Alcathous, which in my day the Megarians
used as a record office, was the tomb, they said, of Pyrgo, the wife of Alcathous
before he married Euaechme, the daughter of Megareus, and the tomb of Iphinoe, the
daughter of Alcathous; she died, they say, a maid. It is customary for the girls
to bring libations to the tomb of Iphiaoe and to offer a lock of their hair before
their wedding, just as the daughters of the Delians once cut their hair for Hecaerge
and Opis.[1.43.5] Beside the entrance to the sanctuary of Dionysus is the grave
of Astycratea and Manto. They were daughters of Polyidus, son of Coeranus, son of
Abas, son of Melampus, who came to Megara to purify Alcathous when he had killed
his son Callipolis. Polyidus also built the sanctuary of Dionysus, and dedicated
a wooden image that in our day is covered up except the face, which alone is exposed.
By the side of it is a Satyr of Parian marble made by Praxiteles. This Dionysus
they call Patrous (Paternal); but the image of another, that they surname Dasyllius,
they say was dedicated by Euchenor, son of Coeranus, son of Polyidus.[1.43.6] After
the sanctuary of Dionysus is a temple of Aphrodite, with an ivory image of Aphrodite
surnamed Praxis (Action). This is the oldest object in the temple. There is also
Persuasion and another goddess, whom they name Consoler, works of Praxiteles. By
Scopas are Love and Desire and Yearning, if indeed their functions are as different
as their names. Near the temple of Aphrodite is a sanctuary of Fortune, the image
being one of the works of Praxiteles. In the temple hard by are Muses and a bronze
Zeus by Lysippus.
[1.43.7] The Megarians have also the grave of Coroebus. The poetical story of
him, although it equally concerns Argos, I will relate here. They say that in the
reign of Crotopus at Argos, Psamathe, the daughter of Crotopus, bore a son to Apollo,
and being in dire terror of her father, exposed the child. He was found and destroyed
by sheepdogs of Crotopus, and Apollo sent Vengeance to the city to punish the Argives.
They say that she used to snatch the children from their mothers, until Coroebus
to please the Argives slew Vengeance. Whereat as a second punishment plague fell
upon them and stayed not. So Coroebus of his own accord went to Delphi to submit
to the punishment of the god for having slain Vengeance.[1.43.8] The Pythia would
not allow Coroebus to return to Argos, but ordered him to take up a tripod and carry
it out of the sanctuary, and where the tripod should fall from his hands, there
he was to build a temple of Apollo and to dwell himself. At Mount Gerania the tripod
slipped and fell unawares. Here he dwelt in the village called the Little Tripods.
The grave of Coroebus is in the market-place of the Megarians. The story of Psamathe
and of Coroebus himself is carved on it in elegiac verses and further, upon the
top of the grave is represented Coroebus slaying Vengeance. These are the oldest
stone images I am aware of having seen among the Greeks.
[1.44.1] Near Coroebus is buried Orsippus who won the footrace at Olympia by
running naked when all his competitors wore girdles according to ancient custom.1
They say also that Orsippus when general afterwards annexed some of the neighboring
territory. My own opinion is that at Olympia he intentionally let the girdle slip
off him, realizing that a naked man can run more easily than one girt.[1.44.2] As
you go down from the market-place you see on the right of the street called Straight
a sanctuary of Apollo Prostaterius (Protecting). You must turn a little aside from
the road to discover it. In it is a noteworthy Apollo, Artemis also, and Leto, and
other statues, made by Praxiteles. In the old gymnasium near the gate called the
Gate of the Nymphs is a stone of the shape of a small pyramid. This they name Apollo
Carinus, and here there is a sanctuary of the Eileithyiae.Such are the sights that
the city had to show.[1.44.3] When you have gone down to the port, which to the
present day is called Nisaea, you see a sanctuary of Demeter Malophorus (Sheep-bearer
or Apple-bearer). One of the accounts given of the surname is that those who first
reared sheep in the land named Demeter Malophorus. The roof of the temple one might
conclude has fallen in through age. There is a citadel here, which also is called
Nisaea. Below the citadel near the sea is the tomb of Lelex, who they say arrived
from Egypt and became king, being the son of Poseidon and of Libya, daughter of
Epphus. Parallel to Nisaea lies the small island of Minoa, where in the war against
Nisus anchored the fleet of the Cretans.[1.44.4] The hilly part of Megaris borders
upon Boeotia, and in it the Megarians have built the city Pagae and another one
called Aegosthena. As you go to Pagae, on turning a little aside from the highway,
you are shown a rock with arrows stuck all over it, into which the Persians once
shot in the night. In Pagae a noteworthy relic is a bronze image of Artemis surnamed
Saviour, in size equal to that at Megara and exactly like it in shape. There is
also a hero-shrine of Aegialeus, son of Adrastus. When the Argives made their second
attack on Thebes he died at Glisas early in the first battle, and his relatives
carried him to Pagae in Megaris and buried him, the shrine being still called the
Aegialeum.[1.44.5] In Aegosthena is a sanctuary of Melampus, son of Amythaon, and
a small figure of a man carved upon a slab. To Melampus they sacrifice and hold
a festival every year. They say that he divines neither by dreams nor in any other
way. Here is something else that I heard in Erenea, a village of the Megarians.
Autonoe, daughter of Cadmus, left Thebes to live here owing to her great grief at
the death of Actaeon, the manner of which is told in legend, and at the general
misfortune of her father's house. The tomb of Autonoe is in this village.
[1.44.6] On the road from Megara to Corinth are graves, including that of the
Samian flute-player Telephanes,1 said to have been made by Cleopatra, daughter of
Philip, son of Amyntas. There is also the tomb of Car, son of Phoroneus, which was
originally a mound of earth, but afterwards, at the command of the oracle, it was
adorned with mussel stone. The Megarians are the only Greeks to possess this stone,
and in the city also they have made many things out of it. It is very white, and
softer than other stone; in it throughout are sea mussels. Such is the nature of
the stone. The road called Scironian to this day and named after Sciron, was made
by him when he was war minister of the Megarians, and originally they say was constructed
for the use of active men. But the emperor Hadrian broadened it, and made it suitable
even for chariots to pass each other in opposite directions.
[1.44.7] There are legends about the rocks, which rise especially at the narrow
part of the road. As to the Molurian, it is said that from it Ino flung her self
into the sea with Melicertes, the younger of her children. Learchus, the elder of
them, had been killed by his father. One account is that Athamas did this in a fit
of madness; another is that he vented on Ino and her children unbridled rage when
he learned that the famine which befell the Orchomenians and the supposed death
of Phrixus were not accidents from heaven, but that Ino, the step-mother, had intrigued
for all these things.[1.44.8] Then it was that she fled to the sea and cast herself
and her son from the Molurian Rock. The son, they say, was landed on the Corinthian
Isthmus by a dolphin, and honors were offered to Melicertes, then renamed Palaemon,
including the celebration of the Isthmian games. The Molurian dock they thought
sacred to Leucothea and Palaemon; but those after it they consider accursed, in
that Sciron, who dwelt by them, used to cast into the sea all the strangers he met.
A tortoise used to swim under the rocks to seize those that fell in. Sea tortoises
are like land tortoises except in size and for their feet, which are like those
of seals. Retribution for these deeds overtook Sciron, for he was cast into the
same sea by Theseus.[1.44.9] On the top of the mountain is a temple of Zeus surnamed
Aphesius (Releaser). It is said that on the occasion of the drought that once afflicted
the Greeks Aeacus in obedience to an oracular utterance sacrificed in Aegina to
Zeus God of all the Greeks, and Zeus rained and ended the drought, gaining thus
the name Aphesius. Here there are also images of Aphrodite, Apollo, and Pan. [1.44.10]
Farther on is the tomb of Eurystheus. The story is that he fled from Attica after
the battle with the Heracleidae and was killed here by Iolaus. When you have gone
down from this road you see a sanctuary of Apollo Latous, after which is the boundary
between Megara and Corinth, where legend says that Hyllus, son of Heracles, fought
a duel with the Arcadian Echemus.
This part of Herodotus's History tells a famous story
of the encounter between the Lydian King Croesus, reckoned as one of the richest
men in the world, and Solon, the wise Athenian.
When all these conquests had been added to the Lydian empire, and the prosperity
of Sardis was now at its height, there came thither, one after another, all the
sages of Greece living at the time, and among them Solon, the Athenian. He was
on his travels, having left Athens to be absent ten years, under the pretence
of wishing to see the world, but really to avoid being forced to repeal any of
the laws which, at the request of the Athenians, he had made for them. Without
his sanction the Athenians could not repeal them, as they had bound themselves
under a heavy curse to be governed for ten years by the laws which should be imposed
on them by Solon.
On this account, as well as to see the world, Solon set out upon his travels,
in the course of which he went to Egypt to the court of Amasis, and also came
on a visit to Croesus at Sardis. Croesus received him as his guest, and lodged
him in the royal palace. On the third or fourth day after, he bade his servants
conduct Solon. over his treasuries, and show him all their greatness and magnificence.
When he had seen them all, and, so far as time allowed, inspected them, Croesus
addressed this question to him. "Stranger of Athens, we have heard much of thy
wisdom and of thy travels through many lands, from love of knowledge and a wish
to see the world. I am curious therefore to inquire of thee, whom, of all the
men that thou hast seen, thou deemest the most happy?" This he asked because he
thought himself the happiest of mortals: but Solon answered him without flattery,
according to his true sentiments, "Tellus of Athens, sire." Full of astonishment
at what he heard, Croesus demanded sharply, "And wherefore dost thou deem Tellus
happiest?" To which the other replied, "First, because his country was flourishing
in his days, and he himself had sons both beautiful and good, and he lived to
see children born to each of them, and these children all grew up; and further
because, after a life spent in what our people look upon as comfort, his end was
surpassingly glorious. In a battle between the Athenians and their neighbours
near Eleusis, he came to the assistance of his countrymen, routed the foe, and
died upon the field most gallantly. The Athenians gave him a public funeral on
the spot where he fell, and paid him the highest honours."
Thus did Solon admonish Croesus by the example of Tellus, enumerating the manifold
particulars of his happiness. When he had ended, Croesus inquired a second time,
who after Tellus seemed to him the happiest, expecting that at any rate, he would
be given the second place. "Cleobis and Bito," Solon answered; "they were of Argive
race; their fortune was enough for their wants, and they were besides endowed
with so much bodily strength that they had both gained prizes at the Games. Also
this tale is told of them:- There was a great festival in honour of the goddess
Juno at Argos, to which their mother must needs be taken in a car. Now the oxen
did not come home from the field in time: so the youths, fearful of being too
late, put the yoke on their own necks, and themselves drew the car in which their
mother rode. Five and forty furlongs did they draw her, and stopped before the
temple. This deed of theirs was witnessed by the whole assembly of worshippers,
and then their life closed in the best possible way. Herein, too, God showed forth
most evidently, how much better a thing for man death is than life. For the Argive
men, who stood around the car, extolled the vast strength of the youths; and the
Argive women extolled the mother who was blessed with such a pair of sons; and
the mother herself, overjoyed at the deed and at the praises it had won, standing
straight before the image, besought the goddess to bestow on Cleobis and Bito,
the sons who had so mightily honoured her, the highest blessing to which mortals
can attain. Her prayer ended, they offered sacrifice and partook of the holy banquet,
after which the two youths fell asleep in the temple. They never woke more, but
so passed from the earth. The Argives, looking on them as among the best of men,
caused statues of them to be made, which they gave to the shrine at Delphi."
When Solon had thus assigned these youths the second place, Croesus broke in
angrily, "What, stranger of Athens, is my happiness, then, so utterly set at nought
by thee, that thou dost not even put me on a level with private men?"
"Oh! Croesus," replied the other, "thou askedst a question concerning the condition
of man, of one who knows that the power above us is full of jealousy, and fond
of troubling our lot. A long life gives one to witness much, and experience much
oneself, that one would not choose. Seventy years I regard as the limit of the
life of man. In these seventy years are contained, without reckoning intercalary
months, twenty-five thousand and two hundred days. Add an intercalary month to
every other year, that the seasons may come round at the right time, and there
will be, besides the seventy years, thirty-five such months, making an addition
of one thousand and fifty days. The whole number of the days contained in the
seventy years will thus be twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty, whereof
not one but will produce events unlike the rest. Hence man is wholly accident.
For thyself, oh! Croesus, I see that thou art wonderfully rich, and art the lord
of many nations; but with respect to that whereon thou questionest me, I have
no answer to give, until I hear that thou hast closed thy life happily. For assuredly
he who possesses great store of riches is no nearer happiness than he who has
what suffices for his daily needs, unless it so hap that luck attend upon him,
and so he continue in the enjoyment of all his good things to the end of life.
For many of the wealthiest men have been unfavoured of fortune, and many whose
means were moderate have had excellent luck. Men of the former class excel those
of the latter but in two respects; these last excel the former in many. The wealthy
man is better able to content his desires, and to bear up against a sudden buffet
of calamity. The other has less ability to withstand these evils (from which,
however, his good luck keeps him clear), but he enjoys all these following blessings:
he is whole of limb, a stranger to disease, free from misfortune, happy in his
children, and comely to look upon. If, in addition to all this, he end his life
well, he is of a truth the man of whom thou art in search, the man who may rightly
be termed happy. Call him, however, until he die, not happy but fortunate. Scarcely,
indeed, can any man unite all these advantages: as there is no country which contains
within it all that it needs, but each, while it possesses some things, lacks others,
and the best country is that which contains the most; so no single human being
is complete in every respect- something is always lacking. He who unites the greatest
number of advantages, and retaining them to the day of his death, then dies peaceably,
that man alone, sire, is, in my judgment, entitled to bear the name of 'happy.'
But in every matter it behoves us to mark well the end: for oftentimes God gives
men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges them into ruin."
Such was the speech which Solon addressed to Croesus, a speech which brought
him neither largess nor honour. The king saw him depart with much indifference,
since he thought that a man must be an arrant fool who made no account of present
good, but bade men always wait and mark the end.
After Solon had gone away a dreadful vengeance, sent of God, came upon Croesus,
to punish him, it is likely, for deeming himself the happiest of men. First he
had a dream in the night, which foreshowed him truly the evils that were about
to befall him in the person of his son. For Croesus had two sons, one blasted
by a natural defect, being deaf and dumb; the other, distinguished far above all
his co-mates in every pursuit. The name of the last was Atys. It was this son
concerning whom he dreamt a dream that he would die by the blow of an iron weapon.
When he woke, he considered earnestly with himself, and, greatly alarmed at the
dream, instantly made his son take a wife, and whereas in former years the youth
had been wont to command the Lydian forces in the field, he now would not suffer
him to accompany them. All the spears and javelins, and weapons used in the wars,
he removed out of the male apartments, and laid them in heaps in the chambers
of the women, fearing lest perhaps one of the weapons that hung against the wall
might fall and strike him.
Now it chanced that while he was making arrangements for the wedding, there
came to Sardis a man under a misfortune, who had upon him the stain of blood.
He was by race a Phrygian, and belonged to the family of the king. Presenting
himself at the palace of Croesus, he prayed to be admitted to purification according
to the customs of the country. Now the Lydian method of purifying is very nearly
the same as the Greek. Croesus granted the request, and went through all the customary
rites, after which he asked the suppliant of his birth and country, addressing
him as follows:- "Who art thou, stranger, and from what part of Phrygia fleddest
thou to take refuge at my hearth? And whom, moreover, what man or what woman,
hast thou slain?" "Oh! king," replied the Phrygian, "I am the son of Gordias,
son of Midas. I am named Adrastus. The man I unintentionally slew was my own brother.
For this my father drove me from the land, and I lost all. Then fled I here to
thee." "Thou art the offspring," Croesus rejoined, "of a house friendly to mine,
and thou art come to friends. Thou shalt want for nothing so long as thou abidest
in my dominions. Bear thy misfortune as easily as thou mayest, so will it go best
with thee." Thenceforth Adrastus lived in the palace of the king.
It chanced that at this very same time there was in the Mysian Olympus a huge
monster of a boar, which went forth often from this mountain country, and wasted
the corn-fields of the Mysians. Many a time had the Mysians collected to hunt
the beast, but instead of doing him any hurt, they came off always with some loss
to themselves. At length they sent ambassadors to Croesus, who delivered their
message to him in these words: "Oh! king, a mighty monster of a boar has appeared
in our parts, and destroys the labour of our hands. We do our best to take him,
but in vain. Now therefore we beseech thee to let thy son accompany us back, with
some chosen youths and hounds, that we may rid our country of the animal." Such
was the tenor of their prayer.
But Croesus bethought him of his dream, and answered, "Say no more of my son
going with you; that may not be in any wise. He is but just joined in wedlock,
and is busy enough with that. I will grant you a picked band of Lydians, and all
my huntsmen and hounds; and I will charge those whom I send to use all zeal in
aiding you to rid your country of the brute."
With this reply the Mysians were content; but the king's son, hearing what
the prayer of the Mysians was, came suddenly in, and on the refusal of Croesus
to let him go with them, thus addressed his father: "Formerly, my father, it was
deemed the noblest and most suitable thing for me to frequent the wars and hunting-parties,
and win myself glory in them; but now thou keepest me away from both, although
thou hast never beheld in me either cowardice or lack of spirit. What face meanwhile
must I wear as I walk to the forum or return from it? What must the citizens,
what must my young bride think of me? What sort of man will she suppose her husband
to be? Either, therefore, let me go to the chase of this boar, or give me a reason
why it is best for me to do according to thy wishes."
Then Croesus answered, "My son, it is not because I have seen in thee either
cowardice or aught else which has displeased me that I keep thee back; but because
a vision which came before me in a dream as I slept, warned me that thou wert
doomed to die young, pierced by an iron weapon. It was this which first led me
to hasten on thy wedding, and now it hinders me from sending thee upon this enterprise.
Fain would I keep watch over thee, if by any means I may cheat fate of thee during
my own lifetime. For thou art the one and only son that I possess; the other,
whose hearing is destroyed, I regard as if he were not."
"Ah! father," returned the youth, "I blame thee not for keeping watch over
me after a dream so terrible; but if thou mistakest, if thou dost not apprehend
the dream aright, 'tis no blame for me to show thee wherein thou errest. Now the
dream, thou saidst thyself, foretold that I should die stricken by an iron weapon.
But what hands has a boar to strike with? What iron weapon does he wield? Yet
this is what thou fearest for me. Had the dream said that I should die pierced
by a tusk, then thou hadst done well to keep me away; but it said a weapon. Now
here we do not combat men, but a wild animal. I pray thee, therefore, let me go
"There thou hast me, my son," said Croesus, "thy interpretation is better than
mine. I yield to it, and change my mind, and consent to let thee go."
Then the king sent for Adrastus, the Phrygian, and said to him, "Adrastus,
when thou wert smitten with the rod of affliction- no reproach, my friend- I purified
thee, and have taken thee to live with me in my palace, and have been at every
charge. Now, therefore, it behoves thee to requite the good offices which thou
hast received at my hands by consenting to go with my son on this hunting party,
and to watch over him, if perchance you should be attacked upon the road by some
band of daring robbers. Even apart from this, it were right for thee to go where
thou mayest make thyself famous by noble deeds. They are the heritage of thy family,
and thou too art so stalwart and strong."
Adrastus answered, "Except for thy request, Oh! king, I would rather have kept
away from this hunt; for methinks it ill beseems a man under a misfortune such
as mine to consort with his happier compeers; and besides, I have no heart to
it. On many grounds I had stayed behind; but, as thou urgest it, and I am bound
to pleasure thee (for truly it does behove me to requite thy good offices), I
am content to do as thou wishest. For thy son, whom thou givest into my charge,
be sure thou shalt receive him back safe and sound, so far as depends upon a guardian's
Thus assured, Croesus let them depart, accompanied by a band of picked youths,
and well provided with dogs of chase. When they reached Olympus, they scattered
in quest of the animal; he was soon found, and the hunters, drawing round him
in a circle, hurled their weapons at him. Then the stranger, the man who had been
purified of blood, whose name was Adrastus, he also hurled his spear at the boar,
but missed his aim, and struck Atys. Thus was the son of Croesus slain by the
point of an iron weapon, and the warning of the vision was fulfilled. Then one
ran to Sardis to bear the tidings to the king, and he came and informed him of
the combat and of the fate that had befallen his son.
If it was a heavy blow to the father to learn that his child was dead, it yet
more strongly affected him to think that the very man whom he himself once purified
had done the deed. In the violence of his grief he called aloud on Jupiter Catharsius
to be a witness of what he had suffered at the stranger's hands. Afterwards he
invoked the same god as Jupiter Ephistius and Hetaereus- using the one term because
he had unwittingly harboured in his house the man who had now slain his son; and
the other, because the stranger, who had been sent as his child's guardian, had
turned out his most cruel enemy.
Presently the Lydians arrived, bearing the body of the youth, and behind them
followed the homicide. He took his stand in front of the corse, and, stretching
forth his hands to Croesus, delivered himself into his power with earnest entreaties
that he would sacrifice him upon the body of his son- "his former misfortune was
burthen enough; now that he had added to it a second, and had brought ruin on
the man who purified him, he could not bear to live." Then Croesus, when he heard
these words, was moved with pity towards Adrastus, notwithstanding the bitterness
of his own calamity; and so he answered, "Enough, my friend; I have all the revenge
that I require, since thou givest sentence of death against thyself. But in sooth
it is not thou who hast injured me, except so far as thou hast unwittingly dealt
the blow. Some god is the author of my misfortune, and I was forewarned of it
a long time ago." Croesus after this buried the body of his son, with such honours
as befitted the occasion. Adrastus, son of Gordias, son of Midas, the destroyer
of his brother in time past, the destroyer now of his purifier, regarding himself
as the most unfortunate wretch whom he had ever known, so soon as all was quiet
about the place, slew himself upon the tomb. Croesus, bereft of his son, gave
himself up to mourning for two full years.
At the end of this time the grief of Croesus was interrupted by intelligence
from abroad. He learnt that Cyrus, the son of Cambyses, had destroyed the empire
of Astyages, the son of Cyaxares; and that the Persians were becoming daily more
powerful. This led him to consider with himself whether it were possible to check
the growing power of that people before it came to a head. With this design he
resolved to make instant trial of the several oracles in Greece, and of the one
in Libya. So he sent his messengers in different directions, some to Delphi, some
to Abae in Phocis, and some to Dodona; others to the oracle of Amphiaraus; others
to that of Trophonius; others, again, to Branchidae in Milesia. These were the
Greek oracles which he consulted. To Libya he sent another embassy, to consult
the oracle of Ammon. These messengers were sent to test the knowledge of the oracles,
that, if they were found really to return true answers, he might send a second
time, and inquire if he ought to attack the Persians.
The messengers who were despatched to make trial of the oracles were given
the following instructions: they were to keep count of the days from the time
of their leaving Sardis, and, reckoning from that date, on the hundredth day they
were to consult the oracles, and to inquire of them what Croesus the son of Alyattes,
king of Lydia, was doing at that moment. The answers given them were to be taken
down in writing, and brought back to him. None of the replies remain on record
except that of the oracle at Delphi. There, the moment that the Lydians entered
the sanctuary, and before they put their questions, the Pythoness thus answered
them in hexameter verse:-
I can count the sands, and I can measure the ocean;
I have ears for the silent, and know what the dumb man meaneth;
Lo! on my sense there striketh the smell of a shell-covered tortoise,
Boiling now on a fire, with the flesh of a lamb, in a cauldron--
Brass is the vessel below, and brass the cover above it.
These words the Lydians wrote down at the mouth of the Pythoness as she prophesied,
and then set off on their return to Sardis. When all the messengers had come back
with the answers which they had received, Croesus undid the rolls, and read what
was written in each. Only one approved itself to him, that of the Delphic oracle.
This he had no sooner heard than he instantly made an act of adoration, and accepted
it as true, declaring that the Delphic was the only really oracular shrine, the
only one that had discovered in what way he was in fact employed. For on the departure
of his messengers he had set himself to think what was most impossible for any
one to conceive of his doing, and then, waiting till the day agreed on came, he
acted as he had determined. He took a tortoise and a lamb, and cutting them in
pieces with his own hands, boiled them both together in a brazen cauldron, covered
over with a lid which was also of brass.
Such then was the answer returned to Croesus from Delphi. What the answer was
which the Lydians who went to the shrine of Amphiarans and performed the customary
rites obtained of the oracle there, I have it not in my power to mention, for
there is no record of it. All that is known is that Croesus believed himself to
have found there also an oracle which spoke the truth.
After this Croesus, having resolved to propitiate the Delphic god with a magnificent
sacrifice, offered up three thousand of every kind of sacrificial beast, and besides
made a huge pile, and placed upon it couches coated with silver and with gold,
and golden goblets, and robes and vests of purple; all which he burnt in the hope
of thereby making himself more secure of the favour of the god. Further he issued
his orders to all the people of the land to offer a sacrifice according to their
means. When the sacrifice was ended, the king melted down a vast quantity of gold,
and ran it into ingots, making them six palms long, three palms broad, and one
palm in thickness. The number of ingots was a hundred and seventeen, four being
of refined gold, in weight two talents and a half; the others of pale gold, and
in weight two talents. He also caused a statue of a lion to be made in refined
gold, the weight of which was ten talents. At the time when the temple of Delphi
was burnt to the ground, this lion fell from the ingots on which it was placed;
it now stands in the Corinthian treasury, and weighs only six talents and a half,
having lost three talents and a half by the fire.
On the completion of these works Croesus sent them away to Delphi, and with
them two bowls of an enormous size, one of gold, the other of silver, which used
to stand, the latter upon the right, the former upon the left, as one entered
the temple. They too were moved at the time of the fire; and now the golden one
is in the Clazomenian treasury, and weighs eight talents and forty-two minae;
the silver one stands in the corner of the ante-chapel, and holds six hundred
amphorae. This is known because the Delphians fill it at the time of the Theophania.
It is said by the Delphians to be a work of Theodore the Samian, and I think that
they say true, for assuredly it is the work of no common artist. Croesus sent
also four silver casks, which are in the Corinthian treasury, and two lustral
vases, a golden and a silver one. On the former is inscribed the name of the Lacedaemonians,
and they claim it as a gift of theirs, but wrongly, since it was really given
by Croesus. The inscription upon it was cut by a Delphian, who wished to pleasure
the Lacedaemonians. His name is known to me, but I forbear to mention it. The
boy, through whose hand the water runs, is (I confess) a Lacedaemonian gift, but
they did not give either of the lustral vases. Besides these various offerings,
Croesus sent to Delphi many others of less account, among the rest a number of
round silver basins. Also he dedicated a female figure in gold, three cubits high,
which is said by the Delphians to be the statue of his baking-woman; and further,
he presented the necklace and the girdles of his wife.
These were the offerings sent by Croesus to Delphi. To the shrine of Amphiaraus,
with whose valour and misfortune he was acquainted, he sent a shield entirely
of gold, and a spear, also of solid gold, both head and shaft. They were still
existing in my day at Thebes, laid up in the temple of Ismenian Apollo.
The messengers who had the charge of conveying these treasures to the shrines,
received instructions to ask the oracles whether Croesus should go to war with
the Persians and if so, whether he should strengthen himself by the forces of
an ally. Accordingly, when they had reached their destinations and presented the
gifts, they proceeded to consult the oracles in the following terms:- "Croesus,
of Lydia and other countries, believing that these are the only real oracles in
all the world, has sent you such presents as your discoveries deserved, and now
inquires of you whether he shall go to war with the Persians, and if so, whether
he shall strengthen himself by the forces of a confederate." Both the oracles
agreed in the tenor of their reply, which was in each case a prophecy that if
Croesus attacked the Persians, he would destroy a mighty empire, and a recommendation
to him to look and see who were the most powerful of the Greeks, and to make alliance
At the receipt of these oracular replies Croesus was overjoyed, and feeling
sure now that he would destroy the empire of the Persians, he sent once more to
Pytho, and presented to the Delphians, the number of whom he had ascertained,
two gold staters apiece. In return for this the Delphians granted to Croesus and
the Lydians the privilege of precedency in consulting the oracle, exemption from
all charges, the most honourable seat at the festivals, and the perpetual right
of becoming at pleasure citizens of their town.
After sending these presents to the Delphians, Croesus a third time consulted
the oracle, for having once proved its truthfulness, he wished to make constant
use of it. The question whereto he now desired an answer was- "Whether his kingdom
would be of long duration?" The following was the reply of the Pythoness:--
Wait till the time shall come when a mule is monarch of Media;
Then, thou delicate Lydian, away to the pebbles of Hermus;
Haste, oh! haste thee away, nor blush to behave like a coward.
Of all the answers that had reached him, this pleased him far the best, for
it seemed incredible that a mule should ever come to be king of the Medes, and
so he concluded that the sovereignty would never depart from himself or his seed
after him. Afterwards he turned his thoughts to the alliance which he had been
recommended to contract, and sought to ascertain by inquiry which was the most
powerful of the Grecian states.
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