Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Click here for the text in ancient Greek.]

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]

This webpage reproduces a portion of
The Library of History

Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. III
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1939

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]

(Vol. III) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

 p383  Fragments of Book VIII

[link to original Greek text] 1 1 Since the Eleans were becoming a numerous people and were governing themselves in accordance with law, the Lacedaemonians viewed their growing power with suspicion and assisted them in establishing a settled mode of life for the community, in order that they might enjoy the benefits of peace and never experience the activities of war. 2 And they made the Eleans sacred to the god,​1 with the concurrence of practically the whole Greek world. As a consequence the Eleans took no part in the campaign against Xerxes, but they were relieved of service because of their responsibility for the honour due to the god, and further, in like struggles, when the Greeks were warring among themselves, no state caused them any annoyance, since all Greek states were zealous to preserve the sanctity and inviolability of the land and city. Many generations later, however, the Eleans also began to join in campaigns and to enter upon wars of their own choosing.

3 The Eleans took no part in the wars in which all the rest of the Greeks shared. In fact, when Xerxes advanced against the Greeks with so many myriads of soldiers, the allies relieved them of service in the field, the leaders instructing them that they would be returning a greater service if they should undertake responsibility for the honour due to the gods.

 p385  [link to original Greek text] 2 1 Nor was she​2 allowed the embraces of a man, even in secret; for no one (Aemulius thought) would ever be so foolish as to exchange the felicities of an entire life for the pleasure of a moment.

[link to original Greek text] 3 1 Numitor​3 had been deprived of the kingship by his own brother, whose name was Amulius and who was king of the Albans, but when, contrary to his hopes, Numitor recognized his own grandsons, Remus and Romulus, he laid a plot against this same brother to work his death. And the plot worked out: Summoning the herdsmen they marched against the palace, forced their way inside the entrance and slew all who opposed them, and later also Amulius himself.

[link to original Greek text] 4 1 When these children, Romulus and Remus, who had been exposed in infancy, had attained in the course of time to manhood, they far surpassed all the rest in beauty of body and in strength. Consequently they provided protection for all the herds and flocks, easily repelling those who practised robbery, slaying many of them in their raids and even taking some alive. 2 In addition to the zeal they displayed in this matters, they were friendly towards all the herdsmen of the region, joining in their gatherings and proving their character, to any who needed their aid, to be modest and sociable. Consequently, since the safety of all hung upon Remus and Romulus, the majority of the people subjected themselves to them and carried out their commands, assembling in whatever place they ordered.

[link to original Greek text] 5 1 When Remus and Romulus were observing the  p387 flight of birds for divination with a view to founding a city, there appeared (to Romulus), as we are told, a favourable​4 omen, and Remus, amazed, said to his brother, "In this city it was happen many a time that clumsy counsels will be followed by a favourable turn of fortune." The fact was that, although Romulus had been too hasty in dispatching the messenger and, on his own part, had been altogether wrong, yet his ignorance had been made right by mere chance.5

[link to original Greek text] 6 1 Romulus, in connection with his founding of Rome, was hastily throwing a ditch about it, to prevent any of his neighbours from attempting to hinder his undertaking. And Remus, angered at his failure to gain the chief place and jealous of the good fortune of his brother, came up to the labourers and belittled their work; for he declared that the ditch was too narrow and that the city would easily fall, since enemies would have no difficulty in getting over it. 2 But Romulus replied in anger, "I give orders to all citizens to exact vengeance of any man who attempts to get over the ditch." And a second time Remus casts insults at the labourers, and said they were making the ditch too narrow. "Why,  p389 enemies will get over it with no trouble. See, I can do it myself, easily." And with these words he leaped over it. 3 And a certain Celer, one of the labourers, answered him, "I will exact vengeance of the man who jumps over the ditch, even as the king commanded;" and with these words he raised his spade, and striking Remus on the head, slew him.

[link to original Greek text] 7 1 Polychares,​6 a Messenian of great wealth and conspicuous ancestry, agreed with Euaephnus, a Spartan, to share together the border land.​7 2 And when Euaephnus took over the oversight and protection of the flocks and herdsmen, he tried to take advantage of Polychares, but he was found out. The way of it was this: He sold some of the cattle and herdsmen to merchants, on the understanding that they would be taken out of the country, and then alleged that the loss was due to the violent attack of robbers. The merchants, who were going by ship to Sicily, were making their way along the Peloponnesus; and when a storm arose they dropped anchor near the land, whereupon the herdsmen slipped off the boat at night and made their escape, feeling safe in their knowledge of the region. 3 They then made their way to Messenê and revealed to their master all the facts; and Polychares concealed the slaves and then asked his partner to come to him from Sparta. 4 And when Euaephnus held to his story that some of the herdsmen had been carried off by the robbers and the rest had been killed by them, Polychares produced the men. When Euaephnus saw the men he was struck with consternation,  p391 and since his refutation was patent, he turned to entreaties, promising that he would restore the cattle and leaving no word unsaid whereby he might be spared. 5 And Polychares, in reverence for the obligations of hospitality, made no mention of what the Spartan had done, and sent his son along with him, to receive his dues at his hands. But Euaephnus not only forgot the promises he had made but even slew the youth who had been along with him to Sparta. 6 At this deed Polychares was so enraged at such acts of lawlessness that he demanded the person of the criminal. The Lacedaemonians, however, paid no attention to his demand, but sent the son of Euaephnus to Messenê with a reply, to the effect that Polychares should come to Sparta and prefer charges before the ephors and the kings for the wrongs he had suffered. But Polychares, now that he had the opportunity to return like for like, slew the youth and in reprisal plundered the city.8

[link to original Greek text] 8 1 While the dogs were howling and the Messenians were in despair,​9 one of the elders advanced and urged the people to pay no heed to the off-hand pronouncements of the seers. For even in their private affairs, he said, they fall into many errors, by reason of their inability to foresee the future, and in this case, when matters were so involved as only the gods could be expected to know, they, being but men, could not understand them. 2 He urged the people, therefore, to send a messenger to Delphi. And the Pythian priestess gave them the following answer: They should offer up in sacrifice a maiden  p393 from the house of the Aepytidae, any one at all; and if the one on whom the lot fell could not be devoted to the gods, they should sacrifice whatever maiden any father from the same family might freely offer. "If you will do this," the oracle continued, "you will gain the victory in the war and power." . . .​10 3 For no honour, great as it might be, appeared in the eyes of the parents of equal weight with the life of their own children, since compassion for one of his own blood stole into each man's heart as he pictured to his mind's eye the slaughter, while at the same time he was filled with misgivings that he should, like a traitor, deliver up his child to certain death.

[link to original Greek text] 9 1 He​11 rushed headlong into errors unworthy of his fame; for the power of love is mighty to trip up youth, especially such youth as are proud of the strength of their bodies. And this is the reason why the ancient writers of myths have represented Heracles, him who was unconquerable by any others, as being conquered by the might of love.

[link to original Greek text] 10 1 Archias the Corinthian, being seized with love for Actaeon, first of all dispatched a messenger to the youth, making him marvellous promises; and when he was unable to win him over to act contrary to the honourable principles of his father and to the modesty of the youth himself, he gathered together the greater number of his associates, with the intention of using force on the youth who would not yield to favour or entreaty. 2 And finally once, when Archias had become drunken in the company of the men he had called together, his passion drove  p395 him to such madness that he broke into the house of Melissus and began to carry off the boy by force. 3 But the father and the other inmates of the house held fast to him, and in the violent struggle which ensued between the two groups the boy was found, without any knowing it, to have given up the ghost while in the arms of his defenders. Consequently, when we reflect upon the strange turn of the affair, we are forced both to pity the fate of the victim and to wonder at the unexpected reversal of fortune. For the boy came to the same manner of death as did he​12 whose very name he bore, since they both lost their lives in similar manner at the hands of those who had aided them most.

[link to original Greek text] 11 1 Agathocles​13 was chosen to be superintendent of the building of the temple of Athena, and picking out the finest blocks of the hewn stone, he paid for them out of his own means, but making an improper use of the stones he built with them a costly house. And at this act of his, we are told, the deity made itself manifest to men; for Agathocles was struck by lightning and he together with his house was consumed in flames. 2 The Geomori​14 ruled that his property should be confiscated to the state, although his heirs offered evidence that he had taken no money which belonged to either the sanctuary or the state. The house they consecrated to the goddess and forbade that anyone should enter it, and to this day it is called the House Struck by Lightning.

 p397  [link to original Greek text] 12 1 After this the king,​15 when he had recovered from his wounds, proposed that they hold a trial for the meed of valour. And two men entered the contest, Cleonnis and Aristomenes, each of whom possessed his own peculiar claim to fame. 2 For Cleonnis had covered the king with his shield when he had fallen and had accounted for the death of eight Spartans who charged against him — two of them were distinguished chieftains — and he had stripped the complete armour from all whom he had slain and given it to his shield-bearers, in order that he might have it as evidence of his valour for the trial. And though he had received many wounds, he had got them all in front, thus providing the fullest proof that he had given way before no one of his foes. 3 And as for Aristomenes, he had slain five Lacedaemonians in the struggle over the body of the king and had stripped their complete armour from the foemen who had set upon him. He had also kept his body free from any wound, and on his way back to the city from the battle he had performed a deed which was deserving of praise. 4 For Cleonnis lay so weakened by his wounds that he could neither walk without support nor be led by the hand; and Aristomenes, raising him on his shoulders, brought him back to the city, notwithstanding that he was also carrying his own complete armour and that Cleonnis surpassed all other men in size and strength of body. 5 Such were their resources as they came to the trial for the meed of valour, and the king together with his chief captains took his seat as the law prescribed. Thereupon Cleonnis spoke first and addressed them with the following words:

 p399  6 "Only a brief speech is necessary regarding the meed of valour, since the judges are men who themselves have witnessed the exploits of each of us; and I need only to remind you that, as we both fought against the same foemen on this single occasion and in this single place, it was I who killed the greater number. It is obvious, therefore, that he who, under identical circumstances, was first in the number of foemen he slew is also first in his just claim to the meed of valour. 7 Furthermore, the bodies of the two of us supply the most manifest proofs where is the superiority, for the one came out of the battle covered with wounds which are in front, while the other, returning as from a festive gathering and not from so fierce a pitched battle as that was, did not experience the might of an enemy's sword. 8 More fortunate Aristomenes may well be, but he may not justly be judged to be the braver of us two. For it is manifest that the man who endured such lacerations of his body offered himself unsparingly for his fatherland; whereas the man who, in close grips with the enemy and amidst such perils, kept himself unwounded was able to do that only because he shunned hurt to his person. 9 And so it would be absurd if, before judges who have themselves witnessed the battle, that man shall have the preference who slew a smaller number of the foe and exposed his own body to less danger, before the man who holds first place on both these counts. Furthermore, his carrying a body all worn out by its wounds, and when no further peril threatens, is no indication of bravery, though it does perhaps betoken strength of body. What I have said to you is sufficient; for the contest which you are to decide is one, not of words, but of deeds."

 p401  10 It was now the turn of Aristomenes to speak, and he addressed the judges as follows: "I am astonished that the man who has been saved thinks to strive with his saviour for the meed of valour; for the necessary conclusion is, either that he charges the judges with folly, or that he thinks that the decision will be rendered on the basis of the words spoken now, not of the deeds done then. But it will be shown that Cleonnis is not only inferior to me in bravery, but wholly ungrateful as well. 11 For, omitting to recount his own brave achievements, he set about disparaging my deeds, thrown showing himself to be more grasping for honour than is juts; for from the man to whom he owed the greatest gratitude for saving his life, from him he in his envy has taken away the praise earned by his own noble deeds. I am ready to concede that in the perils encountered in the battle I was fortunate, but I maintain that I showed myself his superior in bravery. 12 If, indeed, I had come off unwounded because I avoided the onslaught of the foe, it would have been more fitting for me to call myself, not fortunate, but cowardly, and not even to plead for the meed of valour, but to have suffered the punishments prescribed by the law. However, since it was while fighting in the front of battle and slaying those who opposed me that I did not suffer what I inflicted on others, the necessary conclusion is that I was not only fortunate but also brave. 13 For if the enemy, in terror, did not dare to face my valour, then am I, whom they feared, deserving of great praise; or else, if they fought with spirit, and yet I slaughtered them as they came on, taking thought at the same time for my body, then am I both courageous and cunning. 14 For the man  p403 who, while fighting desperately, meets the threatening danger with calm mind, has a double claim to bravery, that of body and that of soul. And yet these just claims of mine I should plead against other men who are better than my opponent. For when I carried the disabled Cleonnis from the scene of battle to the city, keeping my arms the while, he himself, in my judgment, had acknowledged the justice of my claim. 15 Yet quite possibly, if I had paid no attention to him at that time, he would not now be striving with me for the meed of valour, nor would he be disparaging that great kindness I showed him, by claiming that the great deed I performed was nothing, because by that time the enemy had withdrawn from the field. Who, indeed, does not know that many times armies which have left the battle-field have made it their practice to wheel about and renew the attack, and to win the victory by the use of strategy of this kind? But I have said enough; for I cannot think you have need of further words."

16 After these speeches the judges with one accord gave their votes for Aristomenes.

[link to original Greek text] 13 1 The Lacedaemonians recovered their zeal; for if men have practised manly virtue and bravery from their youth, even though some turn of fortune has humbled them, yet a brief speech will recall them to their sense of duty. On the other hand the Messenians were not second to them in their zeal; nay rather, confiding in their own valour . . .

2 Since the Lacedaemonians were being worsted by the Messenians, they sent to inquire of Delphi. And the priestess made answer to them:

 p405  'Tis not alone the deeds of battle thou

Shouldstº ply at Phoebus' order. Guile it is

Whereby the folk doth hold Messenê's land,

And by the same device as it was gained

Shall it be won.

The thought is that it is not alone by deeds of strength but by those of craft as well . . .

[link to original Greek text] 14 1 Pompilius, the Roman king, lived at peace for his entire life. And certain writers state that he was a pupil of Pythagoras, and that he received from him the ordinances he laid down regarding the worship of the gods and was instructed in many other matters; and it was because of this that he became a man of renown and was summoned by the Romans to be their king.

[link to original Greek text] 15 1 It is not within our power, much as we may wish it, to honour the deity in a worthy manner. Consequently, if we were not ready, according to our ability, to show ourselves grateful, what hope should we have of the life to come, seeing that we transgress against those whom evil-doers may neither elude nor escape? For, to sum up all, it is evident that, with respect to those in whose power are both unending reward and unending punishment, we should see to it that their anger is not aroused and that their favour is everlasting. — 2 For so great is the difference between the life of the impious and the life of the pious, that though both expect of the deity the fulfilment of their prayers, the former expect the fulfilment of their own, the latter those of their enemies. . . . 3 In fine, if we give aid to enemies when they flee for refuge to altars, and if we pledge with oaths  p407 to hostile foes that we will do them no wrong, what sort of zeal should we show towards the gods themselves, who show kindnesses to the pious not only in this life, but also after death, and who, if we place confidence in the Mysteries, also have ready for them a happy existence and good fame for all eternity? Consequently there is nothing in this life about which we should be so in earnest as concerning the honour due to the gods.

4 Our conclusion is that bravery and justice and all the other virtues of mankind the other animals also have acquired, but that reverence for the deity in so far transcends all the other virtues as the gods themselves are in all respects superior to mortals.16

5 While reverence for the deity is a desirable thing for men in private life, far more is it appropriate to states; for states, by reason of their nearer approach to immortality, enjoy a nature akin to that of the gods and, in the considerable length of time they endure, they may expect the reward they merit — sovereignty as the reward for reverence, punishment for slighting the divinity.

[link to original Greek text] 16 1 Deïoces, the king of the Medes, despite the great lawlessness which prevailed, practised justice and the other virtues.

[link to original Greek text] 17 1 Myscellus, an Achaean by birth, went from Rhypê​17 to Delphi and inquired of the god concerning the begetting of children. And the Pythian priestess gave him the following answer:

 p409  Myscellus, too short of back,​18 beloved art thou

Of him, even Apollo, who works afar,

And he will give thee children; yet this first

Is his command, Croton the great to found

Amidst fair fields.

And since he did not understand the reference to Croton, the Pythian priestess gave answer a second time:

To thee the Far-darter in person now doth speak,

And give thou heed. Here lieth the Taphian land,

Untouched by plow, and Chalcis there, and there

The home of the Curetes, sacred soil,

And there the isles of the Echinades:

And on the islands' left a mighty sea.

This way thou can'st not miss the Lacinian Head,

Nor sacred Crimisê, nor Aesarus' stream.

2 Although the oracle thus commanded Myscellus to found Croton, he, because of his admiration of the territory of Sybaris, wished to found a city there; whereupon the following oracle was delivered to him.

Myscellus, too short of back, in searching things

Other than god commands, thou seekest naught

But tears. Approve the gift the god doth give.

[link to original Greek text] 18 1 The Sybarites are slaves to their belly and lovers of luxury. And so great was their devotion to luxury that of the peoples elsewhere their preference was above all for the Ionians and the Tyrrhenians, because they found that the former surpassed the other Greeks, and the latter the other barbarians, in the extravagance of their manner of life.

2 We are told that a wealthy Sybarite, on hearing  p411 some persons say that man had suffered a rupture at the sight of some men working, begged the speaker not to be astounded at that. "For I," he said, "at the mere hearing of it, have suffered a stitch in my side." Of another Sybarite it is told that he remarked after a visit to Sparta that he used to wonder at the bravery of the Spartans, but that now, after witnessing what a frugal and utterly miserable life they led, he could only conclude that they were no better than the lowest of men. "For the most cowardly Sybarite," he said, "would choose to die thrice rather than to endure a life like theirs." The man among them who, we are told, indulged in the greatest luxury was known as Mindyrides.

[link to original Greek text] 19 1 Mindyrides, men say, surpassed the other Sybarites in luxury. For when Cleisthenes, the tyrant of Sicyon, after winning the chariot-race made proclamation that any who purposed to marry his daughter, who was considered a girl of surpassing beauty, should gather at his home, Mindyrides, we are told, set sail from Sybaris in a ship of fifty oars, the rowers being slaves of his own household, some of them fishermen and others fowlers. 2 And upon his arrival in Sicyon he surpassed, in the equipage his fortune afforded him, not only the rival suitors but also the tyrant himself, although the whole city was participating eagerly in the occasion. And at the dinner which was held after his arrival, when a certain man approached Mindyrides to recline beside him at the table, the latter remarked that he was here in accordance with the proclamation and intended to recline either with the lady or by himself.

 p413  [link to original Greek text] 20 1 The Milesians lived in luxury. And we are told that a Sybarite who had paid them a visit, after he returned to his native city remarked, among other things which he recounted to his fellow-citizens, that in his absence from home he had seen but one free city and that was the city of the Milesians.

[link to original Greek text] 21 1 The Epeunactae​19 had agreed with Phalanthus that they would rise in revolt in the market-place, as soon as Phalanthus, in full armour,​20 would pull his helmet over his forehead; but a certain man disclosed to the ephors what was going to take place. The majority of the ephors believed that they should put Phalanthus to death, but Agathiadas, who had become a lover of his, stated that if they did this they would plunge Sparta into the greatest civil strife, in which, if they were victorious, they would win a profitless victory, and, if they lost, they would duty destroy their fatherland. 2 He gave as advice, therefore, that the herald should publicly proclaim that Phalanthus should let his helmet rest as it was. This was done, and the Partheniae gave up the undertaking and began to seek a reconciliation.

3 The Epeunactae sent envoys to Delphi and inquired of the god if he would give them the territory of Sicyon. And the priestess replied:

 p415  Fair is the plain 'twixt Corinth and Sicyon;

But not a home for thee, though thou wert clad

Throughout in bronze. Mark thou Satyrion

And Taras' gleaming flood, the harbour on

The left, and where the goat catches with joy

The salt smell of the sea, wetting the tip

Of his gray beard. There build thou Taras firm

Within Satyrion's land.

When they heard this reply they could not understand it; whereupon the priestess spoke more plainly:

Satyrion is my gift to thee wherein

To dwell, and the fat land of Taras too,

A bane to be to the Iapygian folk.

[link to original Greek text] 22 1 Hippomenes, the Athenian archon, exacted of his daughter, who had been violated by an unknown person, a punishment which was cruel and extraordinary. He shut her up together with a horse in a small stall, and by keeping the beast without food for some days he forced it, through hunger, to eat the body of the girl who had been thrown to it.

[link to original Greek text] 23 1 Antiphemus and Entimus, who founded Gela, made inquiry of the Pythian priestess, who gave them the following answer:

Entimus and thou, illustrious Craton's son

Sagacious, fare ye two forth to Sicelê,

On her fair soil to dwell, where ye shall build

A city, home for men of Crete and Rhodes,

E'en Gela, at that sacred river's mouth

Whose name it too shall bear.

 p417  2 The Chalcidians, a tenth of whom had been dedicated​21 to Apollo, came to the god to inquire about sending forth a colony, and they received the reply:

Where Apsia, most sacred river, falls

Into the sea, and as one enters it

The female weds the male, a city found

Thou there, the land of Auson is thy gift.

And they, finding on the banks of the river Apsia a grape-vine entwined about a wild fig-tree,​22 founded there a city.23

3 As he passed by he cried with a loud voice, "Is there anyone who is ready to win immortal glory in exchange for a mortal life Who will be the first to say, 'I give my life for the safety of the commonwealth?' "

4 Once a worthless fellow, meeting a man on his way to the countryside, asked him whether there was anything unusual taking place in the city. And the fellow was fined by the Locrian magistrates, so intent were they upon the maintenance of justice.

[link to original Greek text] 24 1 The inhabitants of Sicyon received from the Pythian priestess the oracle that they would be "governed by the scourge" for one hundred years. And when they inquired further who would ply the scourge, she answered the second time that it would be the first man to whom they should hear, after they put ashore, a son had been born. Now it so happened that a cook by the name of Andreas​24 had accompanied  p419 the envoys, to have charge of the sacrifices. He was a hired servant of the magistrates, charged with bearing the scourges.

[link to original Greek text] 25 1 While Tullus Hostilius was king of the Romans, the Albans, viewing with suspicion the rising power of the Romans and wishing to humble them, claimed that the Romans had robbed their territory and sent ambassadors to Rome to demand justice, and, in case the Romans should give them no heed, to declare war. 2 But Hostilius, the Roman king, learning that the Albans were only seeking a pretext for war, gave orders that his friends should receive the ambassadors and invite them to be their guests; while as for himself, avoiding any meeting with the ambassadors, he sent men to the Albans to make similar demands of them. 3 This he did in pursuance of an ancient custom, because men of ancient times were concerned about nothing else so much as that the wars they waged should be just ones; for he was cautious lest, if he were unable to discover the men responsible for the robbery and to hand them over to those who demanded them, it should be thought that he was entering upon an unjust war. 4 But by good fortune his ambassadors to Alba were the first to be refused justice, and they therefore declared war for the thirtieth day following. And the ambassadors of the Albans, therefore, when they presented their demands, received the answer that, since the Albans had been the first to refuse justice, the Romans had declared war upon them. Such, then, was the reason why these two peoples, who enjoyed mutual rights of marriage and of friendship, got at variance with each other.

 p421  [link to original Greek text] 26 1 In former times the Romans, who were by origin Latins, never waged war upon a people without formal announcement; but they would first hurl a spear, as a signal, into the territory of the opposing people, the spear denoting the beginning of the hostilities. After doing this they commenced war upon the people. This is what Diodorus says, as well as every other writer on Latin affairs.

[link to original Greek text] 27 1 The Spartans, having suffered defeat at the hands of the Messenians, sent to Delphi and asked the god for advice concerning the war. And they were told to get a commander from the Athenians.

2 The Lacedaemonians, under the inspiration of Tyrtaeus,​25 became so eager for battle that, when about to enter the conflict, they wrote their names on little sticks which they fastened to their arms, in order that, if they died, they would not be unidentified by their kinsmen. So ready were they to accept gladly an honourable death, if victory were beyond their grasp.

[link to original Greek text] 28 1 Terpander, who sang to the cithara, was a native of Methymna. And once, when the Lacedaemonians were embroiled in civil strife, an oracle came to them, that they would again be reconciled among themselves if Terpander of Methymna should sing to them to the accompaniment of the cithara. And Terpander did in fact so sing a song to them with an artist's skill, and by his harmonious lay, as Diodorus writes, brought harmony again into their midst. In fact they were entirely changed, and fell to embracing and tearfully kissing one another.

 p423  [link to original Greek text] 29 1 Aristotle, who was also called Battus,​26 wishing to found the city of Cyrenê, received an oracle to the following effect:

O Battus, thou did'st come about a voice;

But Phoebus, even Lord Apollo, sends

Thee forth to fair-crowned Libya, there to rule

O'er broad Cyrenê and enjoy the place

Reserved to kings. Barbarian warriors there,

Clad in the skins of beasts, will rush against

Thee, when thou settest foot on Libyan soil.

But pray to Cronus' son, to Pallas who

Stirs up the fight, of flashing eyes, withal

To Phoebus, ever-young, the son of Zeus,

And in thy hand shall lie the victory.

And over fair-crowned Libya shalt thou rule

Blessed, thou and thy house: Thy guide thereto

Is Phoebus Apollo.

2 For envy by its nature lies in wait for success, and therefore works the destruction of those who are pre-eminent in fame.

[link to original Greek text] 30 1 Arcesilaüs, the king of the Cyrenians, bitterly complaining of his misfortunes, made inquiry of Delphi, and received this reply: The gods were wroth; for the later kings were not ruling after the manner of Battus, the first king. For Battus had contented himself with the appellation alone of king, and had been an equitable ruler, friendly to the people, maintaining the while — the important thing — the honours due to the gods. But the rule of the later kings had taken on more and more the character of tyranny, and they had appropriated to themselves the public revenues and had neglected reverence toward the deity.

 p425  2 For the civil strife which arose among the Cyrenians an arbitrator appeared in the person of Demonax of Mantinea, who was considered to be a man of unusual sagacity and justice. Accordingly he sailed to Cyrenê, and receiving from all the stewardship of public affairs, he reconciled the cities on the following conditions.

[link to original Greek text] 31 1 Lucius Tarquinius, the king of the Romans, received a careful rearing, and since he proved to be an eager seeker after knowledge, his virtue made him the object of no little admiration. For when he had attained to manhood, he became associated with the Roman king Ancus Marcius, grew to be a most intimate friend of his, and aided the king in the administration of many affairs of the kingdom. And growing very wealthy, he aided by gifts of money many who were in need, and mingling as he did in friendly fashion with all men, he lived without reproach and was famed for his wisdom.

[link to original Greek text] 32 1 The Locrians​27 sent to Sparta asking her aid in war. The Lacedaemonians, however, hearing of the great military strength of the inhabitants of Croton, replied, as if responding in a perfunctory manner, and as though the Locrians could be saved only in the way they suggested, that they were giving the Locrians for allies the sons of Tyndareüs.​28 And the ambassadors, whether under the guidance of the providence of God or because they took the reply as an omen, accepted the aid they proffered, and after they had received favourable signs in a sacrifice, they prepared a couch on their ship for the Dioscori and sailed back to their native land.

 p427  3 How (he asked) will the fathers who have accompanied them feel when they, seeing their sons suffering unspeakable torment at the hands of the barbarians, can bring them no aid, and all they can do is to tear their grey hair and make lament to the deaf ears of Fate?

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Zeus.

2 The reference is to the Vestal Rhea Silvia, the mother of Romulus and Remus.

3 Diodorus gives the name as "Nemetor."

4 Literally, "on the right." The play upon "on the left (clumsy)" and "on the right (favourable)," in the following lines cannot be reproduced in the translation.

5 Diodorus' account of this incident must have followed closely that of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 1.86: The brothers agree to watch in different places for an omen from the flight of birds, that one, to whom the omen first appeared, to be the king of the city. Romulus, "in eagerness and envy," sends false word to Remus that he has already seen the birds of omen; before the messengers reach Remus the latter has seen six vultures on the right. Remus rushes to Romulus and asks him what kind of birds he had been the first to see. While Romulus hesitates to reply, suddenly twelve vultures appear to him, and he asks Remus how he can raise the question when he can see for himself the very birds.

6 The story, with many differences, is also in Pausanias, 4.4.4 f.

7 Between Sparta and Messenia.

8 Sparta.

9 According to the account of Pausanias (4.9.1 ff.), this took place after the Messenians had withdrawn before the Spartans into Ithomê.

10 The lost part probably described how the fathers avoided offering their children. Pausanias describes the affair rather fully.

11 Perhaps the reference is to the Archias of the following chapter.

12 Actaeon, the hunter, who was killed by his dogs; cp. Book 4.81.3 ff.

13 This Agathocles is otherwise unknown.

14 The Geomori ("land-owners") in Syracuse and Samos were the nobility; precisely what their class was in Athens is not yet established.

15 Euphaës of Messenê; cp. Pausanias, 4.10.5.

16 The thought appears to be that reverence for god is the single virtue found only in man and not in other animals.

17 In Achaea.

18 He is reputed to have been a hunchback.

19 A group of Spartan helots which was formed during the Messenian Wars. Because of the heavy loss of Spartan citizens helots were "assigned to the nuptial beds" of the dead husbands; cp. Athenaeus, 271C. They are identified below with the Partheniae, a slightly different group of helots formed at the same time.

20 Or "as soon as Phalanthus should pull his helmet over his forehead as far as the eyes" (Wurm; see critical note).

The critical note to the Greek text (ὅταν ὁ αὐτὸς ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον ἐφελκύσῃ τὴν κυνῆν, μετὰ τῶν ὅπλων) reads:

For μετὰ τῶν ὅπλων Wurm suggests μέχρι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν.

21 According to Strabo (6.1.6), every tenth Chalcidian had been dedicated "because of a failure of crops."

22 The gender of "grape-vine" is feminine, of "fig-tree" masculine.

23 Rhegium.

24 Andreas was the father of Myron, who became tyrant of Sicyon, handing down his power to his son Aristonymus and to his grandson Cleisthenes (Herodotus 6.126).

25 The lyric poet, sent to the Spartans by the Athenians seem to be their "commander."

26 "The Stutterer." See Herodotus 4.15.5.

27 Referring to the Epizephyrian Locrians of Southern Italy.

28 Castor and Polydeuces. But the Spartans also claimed descent from their former king Tyndareüs, and so their answer had the appearance of granting the request.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 21 Apr 18