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15.2Those who live on the shores of Ocean tell a fable of how the ancient kings of Atlantis, sprung from the seed of Poseidon, wore upon their head the bands from the male Ram-fish, as an emblem of their authority, while their wives, the queens, wore the curls of the females as a proof of theirs. Now this creature has exceedingly powerful nostrils and inhales a great quantity of breath, drawing to itself an immense amount of air; and it hunts seals in the following manner. Directly the seals realise that a Ram-fish is somewhere close at hand, bringing destruction upon them, they swim ashore with all possible speed and pass over the land and plunge into the shelter of rocky caverns. But the Ram-fish perceive that they have fled and give chase, and as they face the cave they know from the smell of flesh that their prey is within, and, as though by some all-powerful spell, with their nostrils they draw in the air that intervenes between themselves and the seal. But the seal avoids the attack of the monster's breath, as it might an arrow or a spear-point, and at first withdraws, but is finally dragged out of the cave by the overmastering pull and follows against its will, just as though it were bound fast with thongs or cords, and shrieking provides the Ram-fish with a meal.

Those who are skilled at exploring these matters assert that the hairs which grow from the nostrils of the Ram-fish serve many purposes.


3.18Varia Historia 3.18, containing Theopompus' account of Meropis, can be found on this page.

42Elege and Celane were daughters of Proetus. The Queen of Cyprus worked them to prostitute themselves, insomuch as in some parts of Peloponnesus they ran up and down, as it is said, naked and raging. They roved also mad into other parts of Greece, transported with this distemper. It is likewise reported that the wives of the Lacedemonians were transported with Bacchanalian fury; as also those of the Chians: And that those of the Boeotians were transported with divine frenzies, the very Tragedy manifests. They say that only the Minyades, Leucippe, Aristippe, and Alcithoe declined the Dance of Dionysus: the cause whereof was, that they desired to have husbands, and therefore would not be Maenades to the God; whereat he was incensed. And when they were working at their looms, and very busy in weaving, on a sudden branches of ivy and of vines twined about their looms, and dragons made nests in their baskets, and from the roof distilled drops of milk and wine. But when by all this they could not be persuaded to serve the Deity, then fury possessed them, and they committed a foul crime out of Cithaeron, no less then that in Cithaeron: for the Minyades, seised with frenzy, tore in pieces a young infant of Leucippe's, thinking it a kid; then went to the rest of the Minyades, who persecuted them for this mischief, when they were turned into birds. One was changed into a crow, the other into a bat, and the third into an owl.

5.3Aristotle affirms that those Pillars which are now called of Hercules, were first called the Pillars of Briareus; but after that Hercules had cleared the sea and Land, and beyond all question shewed much kindness to men, they in honour of him, not esteeming the memory of Briareus, called them Heraclean.



350Prometheus: I certainly owe you a favour and I shall never forget your enthusiasm. However don't trouble yourself on my account because it will be in vain.
No, better stay away from these things because even though I am suffering greatly I would never wish it that others also suffer with me.
No, absolutely not! Because I am already anxious about my brother Atlas.
He stands somewhere towards the West, holding the pillar of Heaven and Earth on his shoulders, a weight not easy to bear. I was saddened, too when I saw Typho, the Earth-born, who lives in the Cicilian caves. He is the one-hundred headed gruesome monster whose power was curbed violently. He had dared to stand up against all the gods spitting out terror through his dire jaws and flashing from his eyes, most terrifyingly, gorgon-like flames, as if he wanted to hurl Zeus himself off his throne.


F 172And Aechylus has spoken still more plainly, playing on their name on account of the resemblance of its sound, where he says: "The seven celebrated daughters of the mighty Atlas, much bewail'd with tears their father's heaven-supporting toil; where they now take the form of night-appearing visions, the wingless Peleiades."



15.9.2The ancient writers, in doubt as to the earliest origin of the Gauls, have left an incomplete account of the matter, but later Timagenes, a true Greek in accuracy as well as language, collected out of various books these facts that had been long forgotten; which, following his authority, and avoiding any obscurity, I shall state clearly and plainly. 3Some asserted that the people first seen in these regions were Aborigines, called Celts from the name of a beloved king, and Galatae (for so the Greek language terms the Gauls) from the name of his mother. Others stated that the Dorians, following the earlier Hercules, settled in the lands bordering on the Ocean. 4The Drysidae say that a part of the people was in fact indigenous, but that others also poured in from the remote islands and the regions across the Rhine, driven from their homes by continual wars and by the inundation of the stormy sea.

17.7.13Now earthquakes take place in four ways; for they are either brasmatiae, or upheavings, which lift up the ground from far within, like a tide and force upward huge masses, as in Asia Delos came to the surface, and Hiera, Anaphe, and Rhodes, called in former ages Ophiusa and Pelagia, and once drenched with a shower of gold; also Eleusis in Boeotia, Vulcanus in the Tyrrhenian sea, and many more islands. Or they are climatiae which rush along to one side and obliquely, levelling cities, buildings, and mountains. Or they are chasmatiae, or gaping, which with their intensive movement suddenly open abysses and swallow up parts of the earth; as in the Atlantic Ocean an island more extensive than all Europe, and in the Crisaean Gulf, Helice and Bura; and in the Ciminian district of Italy the town of Saccumum; these were all sunk into the deep abysses of Erebus, and lie hidden in eternal darkness.



2.4.10Now this Thespius was king of Thespiae, and Hercules went to him when he wished to catch the lion. The king entertained him for fifty days, and each night, as Hercules went forth to the hunt, Thespius bedded one of his daughters with him (fifty daughters having been borne to him by Megamede, daughter of Arneus); for he was anxious that all of them should have children by Hercules. Thus Hercules, though he thought that his bed-fellow was always the same, had intercourse with them all. And having vanquished the lion, he dressed himself in the skin and wore the scalp90 as a helmet.

5.10As a tenth labour he was ordered to fetch the kine of Geryon from Erythia. Now Erythia was an island near the ocean; it is now called Gadira. This island was inhabited by Geryon, son of Chrysaor by Callirrhoe, daughter of Ocean. He had the body of three men grown together and joined in one at the waist, but parted in three from the flanks and thighs. He owned red kine, of which Eurytion was the herdsman and Orthus, the two-headed hound, begotten by Typhon on Echidna, was the watchdog. So journeying through Europe to fetch the kine of Geryon he destroyed many wild beasts and set foot in Libya, and proceeding to Tartessus he erected as tokens of his journey two pillars over against each other at the boundaries of Europe and Libya. But being heated by the Sun on his journey, he bent his bow at the god, who in admiration of his hardihood, gave him a golden goblet in which he crossed the ocean. And having reached Erythia he lodged on Mount Abas (or Atlas). However the dog, perceiving him, rushed at him; but he smote it with his club, and when the herdsman Eurytion came to the help of the dog, Hercules killed him also. But Menoetes, who was there pasturing the kine of Hades, reported to Geryon what had occurred, and he, coming up with Hercules beside the river Anthemus (or Athemus), as he was driving away the kine, joined battle with him and was shot dead. And Hercules, embarking the kine in the goblet and sailing across to Tartessus, gave back the goblet to the Sun.

And passing through Abderia he came to Liguria, where Ialebion and Dercynus, sons of Poseidon, attempted to rob him of the kine, but he killed them and went on his way through Tyrrhenia. But at Rhegium a bull broke away and hastily plunging into the sea swam across to Sicily, and having passed through the neighboring country since called Italy after it, for the Tyrrhenians called the bull italus, came to the plain of Eryx, who reigned over the Elymi. Now Eryx was a son of Poseidon, and he mingled the bull with his own herds. So Hercules entrusted the kine to Hephaestus and hurried away in search of the bull. He found it in the herds of Eryx, and when the king refused to surrender it unless Hercules should beat him in a wrestling bout, Hercules beat him thrice, killed him in the wrestling, and taking the bull drove it with the rest of the herd to the Ionian Sea. But when he came to the creeks of the sea, Hera afflicted the cows with a gadfly, and they dispersed among the skirts of the mountains of Thrace. Hercules went in pursuit, and having caught some, drove them to the Hellespont; but the remainder were thenceforth wild. Having with difficulty collected the cows, Hercules blamed the river Strymon, and whereas it had been navigable before, he made it unnavigable by filling it with rocks; and he conveyed the kine and gave them to Eurystheus, who sacrificed them to Hera.

5.11When the labours had been performed in eight years and a month, Eurystheus ordered Hercules, as an eleventh labour, to fetch golden apples from the Hesperides, for he did not acknowledge the labour of the cattle of Augeas nor that of the hydra. These apples were not, as some have said, in Libya, but on Atlas among the Hyperboreans. They were presented to Zeus after his marriage with Hera, and guarded by an immortal dragon with a hundred heads, offspring of Typhon and Echidna, which spoke with many and divers sorts of voices. With it the Hesperides also were on guard, to wit, Aegle, Erythia, Hesperia, and Arethusa. So journeying he came to the river Echedorus. And Cycnus, son of Ares and Pyrene, challenged him to single combat. Ares championed the cause of Cycnus and marshalled the combat, but a thunderbolt was hurled between the two and parted the combatants. And going on foot through Illyria and hastening to the river Eridanus he came to the nymphs, the daughters of Zeus and Themis. They revealed Nereus to him, and Hercules seized him while he slept, and though the god turned himself into all kinds of shapes, the hero bound him and did not release him till he had learned from him where were the apples and the Hesperides. Being informed, he traversed Libya. That country was then ruled by Antaeus, son of Poseidon, who used to kill strangers by forcing them to wrestle. Being forced to wrestle with him, Hercules hugged him, lifted him aloft, broke and killed him; for when he touched earth so it was that he waxed stronger, wherefore some said that he was a son of Earth.

After Libya he traversed Egypt. That country was then ruled by Busiris, a son of Poseidon by Lysianassa, daughter of Epaphus. This Busiris used to sacrifice strangers on an altar of Zeus in accordance with a certain oracle. For Egypt was visited with dearth for nine years, and Phrasius, a learned seer who had come from Cyprus, said that the dearth would cease if they slaughtered a stranger man in honor of Zeus every year. Busiris began by slaughtering the seer himself and continued to slaughter the strangers who landed. So Hercules also was seized and haled to the altars, but he burst his bonds and slew both Busiris and his son Amphidamas.

And traversing Asia he put in to Thermydrae, the harbor of the Lindians. And having loosed one of the bullocks from the cart of a cowherd, he sacrificed it and feasted. But the cowherd, unable to protect himself, stood on a certain mountain and cursed. Wherefore to this day, when they sacrifice to Hercules, they do it with curses.

And passing by Arabia he slew Emathion, son of Tithonus, and journeying through Libya to the outer sea he received the goblet from the Sun. And having crossed to the opposite mainland he shot on the Caucasus the eagle, offspring of Echidna and Typhon, that was devouring the liver of Prometheus, and he released Prometheus, after choosing for himself the bond of olive, and to Zeus he presented Chiron, who, though immortal, consented to die in his stead.

Now Prometheus had told Hercules not to go himself after the apples but to send Atlas, first relieving him of the burden of the sphere; so when he was come to Atlas in the land of the Hyperboreans, he took the advice and relieved Atlas. But when Atlas had received three apples from the Hesperides, he came to Hercules, and not wishing to support the sphere put a pad on his head. When Atlas heard that, he laid the apples down on the ground and took the sphere from Hercules. And so Hercules picked up the apples and departed. But some say that he did not get them from Atlas, but that he plucked the apples himself after killing the guardian snake. And having brought the apples he gave them to Eurystheus. But he, on receiving them, bestowed them on Hercules, from whom Athena got them and conveyed them back again; for it was not lawful that they should be laid down anywhere.

7.2Not long afterwards he collected an Arcadian army, and being joined by volunteers from the first men in Greece he marched against Augeas. But Augeas, hearing of the war that Hercules was levying, appointed Eurytus and Cteatus generals of the Eleans. They were two men joined in one, who surpassed all of that generation in strength and were sons of Actor by Molione, though their father was said to be Poseidon; now Actor was a brother of Augeas. But it came to pass that on the expedition Hercules fell sick; hence he concluded a truce with the Molionides. But afterwards, being apprized of his illness, they attacked the army and slew many. On that occasion, therefore, Hercules beat a retreat; but afterwards at the celebration of the third Isthmian festival, when the Eleans sent the Molionides to take part in the sacrifices, Hercules waylaid and killed them at Cleonae, and marching on Elis took the city. And having killed Augeas and his sons, he restored Phyleus and bestowed on him the kingdom. He also celebrated the Olympian games and founded an altar of Pelops, and built six altars of the twelve gods.

3.10.1Atlas and Pleione, daughter of Ocean, had seven daughters called the Pleiades, born to them at Cyllene in Arcadia, to wit: Alcyone, Merope, Celaeno, Electra, Sterope, Taygete, and Maia. Of these, Sterope was married to Oenomaus, and Merope to Sisyphus. And Poseidon had intercourse with two of them, first with Celaeno, by whom he had Lycus, whom Poseidon made to dwell in the Islands of the Blest, and second with Alcyone, who bore a daughter, Aethusa, the mother of Eleuther by Apollo, and two sons Hyrieus and Hyperenor. Hyrieus had Nycteus and Lycus by a nymph Clonia; and Nycteus had Antiope by Polyxo; and Antiope had Zethus and Amphion by Zeus. And Zeus consorted with the other daughters of Atlas.

10.2Maia, the eldest, as the fruit of her intercourse with Zeus, gave birth to Hermes in a cave of Cyllene. He was laid in swaddling-bands on the winnowing fan, but he slipped out and made his way to Pieria and stole the kine which Apollo was herding. And lest he should be detected by the tracks, he put shoes on their feet and brought them to Pylus, and hid the rest in a cave; but two he sacrificed and nailed the skins to rocks, while of the flesh he boiled and ate some, and some he burned. And quickly he departed to Cyllene. And before the cave he found a tortoise browsing. He cleaned it out, strung the shell with chords made from the kine he had sacrificed, and having thus produced a lyre he invented also a plectrum. But Apollo came to Pylus in search of the kine, and he questioned the inhabitants. They said that they had seen a boy driving cattle, but could not say whither they had been driven, because they could find no track. Having discovered the thief by divination, Apollo came to Maia at Cyllene and accused Hermes. But she showed him the child in his swaddling-bands. So Apollo brought him to Zeus, and claimed the kine; and when Zeus bade him restore them, Hermes denied that he had them, but not being believed he led Apollo to Pylus and restored the kine. Howbeit, when Apollo heard the lyre, he gave the kine in exchange for it. And while Hermes pastured them, he again made himself a shepherd's pipe and piped on it. And wishing to get the pipe also, Apollo offered to give him the golden wand which he owned while he herded cattle. But Hermes wished both to get the wand for the pipe and to acquire the art of divination. So he gave the pipe and learned the art of divining by pebbles. And Zeus appointed him herald to himself and to the infernal gods.

10.3Taygete had by Zeus a son Lacedaemon, after whom the country of Lacedaemon is called.

12.3And Ilus married Eurydice, daughter of Adrastus, and begat Laomedon, who married Strymo, daughter of Scamander; but according to some his wife was Placia, daughter of Otreus, and according to others she was Leucippe; and he begat five sons, Tithonus, Lampus, Clytius, Hicetaon, Podarces, and three daughters, Hesione, Cilla, and Astyoche; and by a nymph Calybe he had a son Bucolion.

14.3Herse had by Hermes a son Cephalus, whom Dawn loved and carried off, and consorting with him in Syria bore a son Tithonus, who had a son Phaethon, who had a son Astynous, who had a son Sandocus, who passed from Syria to Cilicia and founded a city Celenderis, and having married Pharnace, daughter of Megassares, king of Hyria, begat Cinyras. This Cinyras in Cyprus, whither he had come with some people, founded Paphos; and having there married Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, king of Cyprus, he begat Oxyporus and Adonis, and besides them daughters, Orsedice, Laogore, and Braesia. These by reason of the wrath of Aphrodite cohabited with foreigners, and ended their life in Egypt.



4.253And straightway Aeson's son and the rest of the heroes bethought them of Phineus, how that he had said that their course from Aea should be different, but to all alike his meaning was dim. Then Argus spake, and they eagerly hearkened: "We go to Orchomenus, whither that unerring seer, whom ye met aforetime, foretold your voyage. For there is another course, signified by those priests of the immortal gods, who have sprung from Tritonian Thebes. As yet all the stars that wheel in the heaven were not, nor yet, though one should inquire, could aught be heard of the sacred race of the Danai. Apidanean Arcadians alone existed, Arcadians who lived even before the moon, it is said, eating acorns on the hills; nor at that time was the Pelasgian land ruled by the glorious sons of Deucalion, in the days when Egypt, mother of men of an older time, was called the fertile Morning-land, and the river fair-flowing Triton, by which all the Morning-land is watered; and never does the rain from Zeus moisten the earth; but from the flooding of the river abundant crops spring up. From this land, it is said, a king made his way all round through the whole of Europe and Asia, trusting in the might and strength and courage of his people; and countless cities did he found wherever he came, whereof some are still inhabited and some not; many an age hath passed since then. But Aea abides unshaken even now and the sons of those men whom that king settled to dwell in Aea. They preserve the writings of their fathers, graven on pillars, whereon are marked all the ways and the limits of sea and land as ye journey on all sides round. There is a river, the uttermost horn of Ocean, broad and exceeding deep, that a merchant ship may traverse; they call it Ister and have marked it far off; and for a while it cleaves the boundless tilth alone in one stream; for beyond the blasts of the north wind, far off in the Rhipaean mountains, its springs burst forth with a roar. But when it enters the boundaries of the Thracians and Scythians, here, dividing its stream into two, it sends its waters partly into the Ionian sea, and partly to the south into a deep gulf that bends upwards from the Trinaerian sea, that sea which lies along your land, if indeed Achelous flows forth from your land."

1537But when they had gone aboard, as the south wind blew over the sea, and they were searching for a passage to go forth from the Tritonian lake, for long they had no device, but all the day were borne on aimlessly. And as a serpent goes writhing along his crooked path when the sun's fiercest rays scorch him; and with a hiss he turns his head to this side and that, and in his fury his eyes glow like sparks of fire, until he creeps to his lair through a cleft in the rock; so Argo seeking an outlet from the lake, a fairway for ships, wandered for a long time. Then straightway Orpheus bade them bring forth from the ship Apollo's massy tripod and offer it to the gods of the land as propitiation for their return. So they went forth and set Apollo's gift on the shore; then before them stood, in the form of a youth, farswaying Triton, and he lifted a clod from the earth and offered it as a stranger's gift, and thus spake: "Take it, friends, for no stranger's gift of great worth have I here by me now to place in the hands of those who beseech me. But if ye are searching for a passage through this sea, as often is the need of men passing through a strange land, I will declare it. For my sire Poseidon has made me to be well versed in this sea. And I rule the shore if haply in your distant land you have ever heard of Eurypylus, born in Libya, the home of wild beasts."

1731But when they had loosed the hawsers thence in fair weather, then Euphemus bethought him of a dream of the night, reverencing the glorious son of Maia. For it seemed to him that the god-given clod of earth held in his palm close to his breast was being suckled by white streams of milk, and that from it, little though it was, grew a woman like a virgin; and he, overcome by strong desire, lay with her in love's embrace; and united with her he pitied her, as though she were a maiden whom he was feeding with his own milk; but she comforted him with gentle words:) "Daughter of Triton am I, dear friend, and nurse of thy children, no maiden; Triton and Libya are my parents. But restore me to the daughters of Nereus to dwell in the sea near Anaphe; I shall return again to the light of the sun, to prepare a home for thy descendants."

Of this he stored in his heart the memory, and declared it to Aeson's son; and Jason pondered a prophecy of the Far-Darter and lifted up his voice and said: "My friend, great and glorious renown has fallen to thy lot. For of this clod when thou hast cast it into the sea, the gods will make an island, where thy children's children shall dwell; for Triton gave this to thee as a stranger's gift from the Libyan mainland. None other of the immortals it was than he that gave thee this when he met thee."

Thus he spake; and Euphemus made not vain the answer of Aeson's son; but, cheered by the prophecy, he cast the clod into the depths. Therefrom rose up an island, Calliste, sacred nurse of the sons of Euphemus, who in former days dwelt in Sintian Lemnos, and from Lemnos were driven forth by Tyrrhenians and came to Sparta as suppliants; and when they left Sparta, Theras, the goodly son of Autesion, brought them to the island Calliste, and from himself he gave it the name of Thera. But this befell after the days of Euphemus.



11.1When I had poured out my prayers, ending them in pitiful lamentation, my fainting spirit sank back, once more engulfed in sleep. I had scarcely closed my eyes when a divine apparition appeared, rising from the depths of the sea, her face worthy to be adored by the gods themselves. Slowly she rose, till her whole body was in view, shaking her self free of the brine to stand before me, a radiant vision. If the poverty of human speech allows me, if the goddess herself grants me a wealth of verbal inspiration, I shall try to describe her marvellous beauty to you.

Firstly her long thick hair in tapering ringlets was loosely spread over her divine neck and shoulders, and her head was crowned with a complex garland of interwoven flowers of every kind. At the centre, over her brow, a flat disc like a mirror or rather a moon-symbol shone with brilliant light. Coiled vipers reared from the right and left of her coronet which was bristling with erect ears of corn. Her multi-coloured robe was of finest linen, gleaming here pure white, here a saffron yellow, there flaming rose-red, with a woven border flowing with flowers and fruit, and what dazzled me most of all was her jet-black cloak with its full sheen, wrapped gleaming about her, slung from the left shoulder, knotted at the breast, and sweeping over her right hip. It hung in sweetly undulating complex folds down to a tasselled fringe, and along its borders and over its surface fell a scatter of glittering stars, round a full moon at the centre breathing fiery rays. And she bore a host of emblems.

In her right hand she held the sistrum, a strip of bronze curved in a loop, with small rods across its width that made a tinkling noise as her forearm shook to a triple beat. From her left hand hung a boat-shaped vessel of gold, an asp with tumescent neck rearing to strike from the outer point of its handle. Her ambrosial feet wore slippers woven from palm-leaves, emblems of victory. And in such guise, exuding all the sweet scents of Arabia, she deigned to address me with celestial voice.



BNJ 35 F 7The author of the On the Arimaspoi thinks this stuff powerful: "This too is a great wonder to us in our minds: men live on water, away from the land on oceans. They are miserable people, as they have a grievous lot: they have their eyes on the stars, but their life in the sea, ah yes, much raising their very hands to the gods, they pray, with their guts evilly thrown up." I think it's clear to everyone that what he says is more decorative than awesome.



1280First Herald: Why? You have built an ethereal city, so glorious, so magnificent that you have no idea how much the humans love it and honour it. Before you built this city they had all suffered from Spartomania! They dragged around long clubs, left their hair long, unwashed and untidy and they all behaved like Socrates: always hungry and always in worn-out and torn clothes. Now, they've all changed completely!

1553Gum Cock: There's a land... far, far away where the One-Footers live a very odd way. So wide is their single foot that one minute they hop and the next they lay below it under its shade. They're also called Umbrellapods. There's a lake there, which Socrates, the ever-unwashed visits so as to play with all the spirits. Trusty, our cowardly general, went there one day as well, to see if he could find his own soul which had deserted him on the battlefield. He had gone there with a sheep-camel as an offering and, when he got there he did what Odysseus did, acting on Circe's orders: He just cut its throat off and turned away and left the place. So, from down below, in Hades, Chaerophon sniffed out the stench of the slaughtered flesh and blood from down the underworld and rose up as a bat!


This work deals extensively with Socrates, lampooning his beliefs.


1491Chorus: So what gives one a deal of happiness is not to park next to Socrates and waffle all day long, ignoring all great culture and the best of the tragedian's works. It's sheer madness to waste your time with lofty but idle words with words for idle speculation! That's the sign of a man who's lost his mind!



5Political strife, leading to appointment of Solon as mediator and Archon: his own description of his task. Since such, then, was the organization of the constitution, and the many were in slavery to the few, the people rose against the upper class. The strife was keen, and for a long time the two parties were ranged in hostile camps against one another, till at last, by common consent, they appointed Solon to be mediator and Archon, and committed the whole constitution to his hands. The immediate occasion of his appointment was his poem, which begins with the words: "I behold, and within my heart deep sadness has claimed its place, as I mark the oldest home of the ancient Ionian race slain by the sword."

In this poem he fights and disputes on behalf of each party in turn against the other, and finally he advises them to come to terms and put an end to the quarrel existing between them. By birth and reputation Solon was one of the foremost men of the day, but in wealth and position he was of the middle class, as is generally agreed, and is, indeed, established by his own evidence in these poems, where he exhorts the wealthy not to be grasping. "But ye who have store of good, who are sated and overflow, restrain your swelling soul, and still it and keep it low: let the heart that is great within you be trained a lowlier way; ye shall not have all at your will, and we will not for ever obey."

Indeed, he constantly fastens the blame of the conflict on the rich; and accordingly at the beginning of the poem he says that he fears 'the love of wealth and an overweening mind', evidently meaning that it was through these that the quarrel arose.

6The Seisachtheia. As soon as he was at the head of affairs, Solon liberated the people once and for all, by prohibiting all loans on the security of the debtor's person: and in addition he made laws by which he cancelled all debts, public and private. This measure is commonly called the Seisachtheia [= removal of burdens], since thereby the people had their loads removed from them. In connexion with it some persons try to traduce the character of Solon. It so happened that, when he was about to enact the Seisachtheia, he communicated his intention to some members of the upper class, whereupon, as the partisans of the popular party say, his friends stole a march on him; while those who wish to attack his character maintain that he too had a share in the fraud himself. For these persons borrowed money and bought up a large amount of land, and so when, a short time afterwards, all debts were cancelled, they became wealthy; and this, they say, was the origin of the families which were afterwards looked on as having been wealthy from primeval times. However, the story of the popular party is by far the most probable. A man who was so moderate and public-spirited in all his other actions, that when it was within his power to put his fellow-citizens beneath his feet and establish himself as tyrant, he preferred instead to incur the hostility of both parties by placing his honour and the general welfare above his personal aggrandisement, is not likely to have consented to defile his hands by such a petty and palpable fraud. That he had this absolute power is, in the first place, indicated by the desperate condition of the country; moreover, he mentions it himself repeatedly in his poems, and it is universally admitted. We are therefore bound to consider this accusation to be false.

7The constitution of Solon. The property classes. Next Solon drew up a constitution and enacted new laws; and the ordinances of Draco ceased to be used, with the exception of those relating to murder. The laws were inscribed on the wooden stands, and set up in the King's Porch, and all swore to obey them; and the nine Archons made oath upon the stone, declaring that they would dedicate a golden statue if they should transgress any of them. This is the origin of the oath to that effect which they take to the present day. Solon ratified his laws for a hundred years; and the following was the fashion in which he organized the constitution. He divided the population according to property into four classes, just as it had been divided before, namely, Pentacosiomedimni, Knights, Zeugitae, and Thetes. The various magistracies, namely, the nine Archons, the Treasurers, the Commissioners for Public Contracts [Poletae], the Eleven, and the Exchequer Clerks [Colacretae], he assigned to the Pentacosiomedimni, the Knights, and the Zeugitae, giving offices to each class in proportion to the value of their rateable property. To those who ranked among the Thetes he gave nothing but a place in the Assembly and in the juries. A man had to rank as a Pentacosiomedimnus if he made, from his own land, five hundred measures, whether liquid or solid. Those ranked as Knights who made three hundred measures, or, as some say, those who were able to maintain a horse. In support of the latter definition they adduce the name of the class, which may be supposed to be derived from this fact, and also some votive offerings of early times; for in the Acropolis there is a votive offering, a statue of Diphilus, bearing this inscription: "The son of Diphilus, Anthemion hight, raised from the Thetes and become a Knight, did to the gods this sculptured charger bring, for his promotion a thank-offering." And a horse stands in evidence beside the man, implying that this was what was meant by belonging to the rank of Knight. At the same time it seems reasonable to suppose that this class, like the Pentacosiomedimni, was defined by the possession of an income of a certain number of measures. Those ranked as Zeugitae who made two hundred measures, liquid or solid; and the rest ranked as Thetes, and were not eligible for any office. Hence it is that even at the present day, when a candidate for any office is asked to what class he belongs, no one would think of saying that he belonged to the Thetes.

13Continuance of political strife. Damasias's coup d'état. The three political parties: (1) the Shore, (2) the Plain, (3) the Mountain. Such, then, were Solon's reasons for his departure from the country. After his retirement the city was still torn by divisions. For four years, indeed, they lived in peace; but in the fifth year after Solon's government they were unable to elect an Archon on account of their dissensions, and again four years later they elected no Archon for the same reason. Subsequently, after a similar period had elapsed, Damasias was elected Archon; and he governed for two years and two months, until he was forcibly expelled from his office. After this it was agreed, as a compromise, to elect ten Archons, five from the Eupatridae, three from the Agroeci, and two from the Demiurgi, and they ruled for the year following Damasias. It is clear from this that the Archon was at the time the magistrate who possessed the greatest power, since it is always in connexion with this office that conflicts are seen to arise. But altogether they were in a continual state of internal disorder. Some found the cause and justification of their discontent in the abolition of debts, because thereby they had been reduced to poverty; others were dissatisfied with the political constitution, because it had undergone a revolutionary change; while with others the motive was found in personal rivalries among themselves. The parties at this time were three in number. First there was the party of the Shore, led by Megacles the son of Alcmeon, which was considered to aim at a moderate form of government; then there were the men of the Plain, who desired an oligarchy and were led by Lycurgus; and thirdly there were the men of the Highlands, at the head of whom was Pisistratus, who was looked on as an extreme democrat. This latter party was reinforced by those who had been deprived of the debts due to them, from motives of poverty, and by those who were not of pure descent, from motives of personal apprehension. A proof of this is seen in the fact that after the tyranny was overthrown a revision was made of the citizen-roll, on the ground that many persons were partaking in the franchise without having a right to it. The names given to the respective parties were derived from the districts in which they held their lands.

14Usurpation of Pisistratus: his first expulsion and restoration. Pisistratus had the reputation of being an extreme democrat, and he also had distinguished himself greatly in the war with Megara. Taking advantage of this, he wounded himself, and by representing that his injuries had been inflicted on him by his political rivals, he persuaded the people, through a motion proposed by Aristion, to grant him a bodyguard. After he had got these 'club-bearers', as they were called, he made an attack with them on the people and seized the Acropolis. This happened in the archonship of Comeas, thirty-one years after the legislation of Solon. It is related that, when Pisistratus asked for his bodyguard, Solon opposed the request, and declared that in so doing he proved himself wiser than half the people and braver than the rest, - wiser than those who did not see that Pisistratus designed to make himself tyrant, and braver than those who saw it and kept silence. But when all his words availed nothing he carried forth his armour and set it up in front of his house, saying that he had helped his country so far as lay in his power (he was already a very old man), and that he called on all others to do the same. Solon's exhortations, however, proved fruitless, and Pisistratus assumed the sovereignty. His administration was more like a constitutional government than the rule of a tyrant; but before his power was firmly established, the adherents of Megacles and Lycurgus made a coalition and drove him out. This took place in the archonship of Hegesias, five years after the first establishment of his rule. Eleven years later Megacles, being in difficulties in a party struggle, again opened negotiations with Pisistratus, proposing that the latter should marry his daughter; and on these terms he brought him back to Athens, by a very primitive and simple-minded device. He first spread abroad a rumour that Athena was bringing back Pisistratus, and then, having found a woman of great stature and beauty, named Phye (according to Herodotus, of the deme of Paeania, but as others say a Thracian flower-seller of the deme of Collytus), he dressed her in a garb resembling that of the goddess and brought her into the city with Pisistratus. The latter drove in on a chariot with the woman beside him, and the inhabitants of the city, struck with awe, received him with adoration.

15Usurpation of Pisistratus: his second expulsion and final restoration. Disarmament of the people. In this manner did his first return take place. He did not, however, hold his power long, for about six years after his return he was again expelled. He refused to treat the daughter of Megacles as his wife, and being afraid, in consequence, of a combination of the two opposing parties, he retired from the country. First he led a colony to a place called Rhaicelus, in the region of the Thermaic gulf; and thence he passed to the country in the neighbourhood of Mt. Pangaeus. Here he acquired wealth and hired mercenaries; and not till ten years had elapsed did he return to Eretria and make an attempt to recover the government by force. In this he had the assistance of many allies, notably the Thebans and Lygdamis of Naxos, and also the Knights who held the supreme power in the constitution of Eretria. After his victory in the battle at Pallene he captured Athens, and when he had disarmed the people he at last had his tyranny securely established, and was able to take Naxos and set up Lygdamis as ruler there. He effected the disarmament of the people in the following manner. He ordered a parade in full armour in the Theseum, and began to make a speech to the people. He spoke for a short time, until the people called out that they could not hear him, whereupon he bade them come up to the entrance of the Acropolis, in order that his voice might be better heard. Then, while he continued to speak to them at great length, men whom he had appointed for the purpose collected the arms and locked them up in the chambers of the Theseum hard by, and came and made a signal to him that it was done. Pisistratus accordingly, when he had finished the rest of what he had to say, told the people also what had happened to their arms; adding that they were not to be surprised or alarmed, but go home and attend to their private affairs, while he would himself for the future manage all the business of the state.

19Deterioration of the tyrants' administration. Attacks by exiles, headed by Alcmeonidae: many failures, and final success through the Delphic oracle and Spartan help. Expulsion of the Pisistratidae. [...] This took place in the archonship of Harpactides, 38 after they had held the tyranny for about seventeen years since their father's death, or in all, including the period of their father's rule, for nine-and-forty years.

21Reforms of Cleisthenes. Establishment of ten tribes: Council of 500: division of population into demes, grouped in trittyes. The people, therefore, had good reason to place confidence in Cleisthenes. Accordingly, now that he was the popular leader, three years after the expulsion of the tyrants, in the archonship of Isagoras, his first step was to distribute the whole population into ten tribes in place of the existing four, with the object of intermixing the members of the different tribes, and so securing that more persons might have a share in the franchise.

22Reforms of Cleisthenes. The law of ostracism: its application, and growth of popular control of politics. By these reforms the constitution became much more democratic than that of Solon. The laws of Solon had been obliterated by disuse during the period of the tyranny, while Cleisthenes substituted new ones with the object of securing the goodwill of the masses. Among these was the law concerning ostracism. Four years after the establishment of this system, in the archonship of Hermocreon, they first imposed upon the Council of Five Hundred the oath which they take to the present day. Next they began to elect the generals by tribes, one from each tribe, while the Polemarch was the commander of the whole army. Then, eleven years later, in the archonship of Phaenippus they won the battle of Marathon; and two years after this victory, when the people had now gained self-confidence, they for the first time made use of the law of ostracism. This had originally been passed as a precaution against men in high office, because Pisistratus took advantage of his position as a popular leader and general to make himself tyrant; and the first person ostracized was one of his relatives, Hipparchus son of Charmus, of the deme of Collytus, the very person on whose account especially Cleisthenes had enacted the law, as he wished to get rid of him.

53The Forty [Local Justices]. Arbitrators. Eponymi. [...] The Arbitrators are persons in the sixtieth year of their age; this appears from the schedule of the Archons and the Eponymi. There are two classes of Eponymi, the ten who give their names to the tribes, and the forty-two of the years of service. The youths, on being enrolled among the citizens, were formerly registered upon whitened tablets, and the names were appended of the Archon in whose year they were enrolled, and of the Eponymus who had been in course in the preceding year; at the present day they are written on a bronze pillar, which stands in front of the Council-chamber, near the Eponymi of the tribes. Then the Forty take the last of the Eponymi of the years of service, and assign the arbitrations to the persons belonging to that year, casting lots to determine which arbitrations each shall undertake; and every one is compelled to carry through the arbitrations which the lot assigns to him. The law enacts that any one who does not serve as Arbitrator when he has arrived at the necessary age shall lose his civil rights, unless he happens to be holding some other office during that year, or to be out of the country. These are the only persons who escape the duty. Any one who suffers injustice at the hands of the Arbitrator may appeal to the whole board of Arbitrators, and if they find the magistrate guilty, the law enacts that he shall lose his civil rights. The persons thus condemned have, however, in their turn an appeal. The Eponymi are also used in reference to military expeditions; when the men of military age are despatched on service, a notice is put up stating that the men from such-and-such an Archon and Eponymus to such-and-such another Archon and Eponymus are to go on the expedition.


1.14The same parts of the earth are not always moist or dry, but they change according as rivers come into existence and dry up. And so the relation of land to sea changes too and a place does not always remain land or sea throughout all time, but where there was dry land there comes to be sea, and where there is now sea, there one day comes to be dry land. But we must suppose these changes to follow some order and cycle. The principle and cause of these changes is that the interior of the earth grows and decays, like the bodies of plants and animals. Only in the case of these latter the process does not go on by parts, but each of them necessarily grows or decays as a whole, whereas it does go on by parts in the case of the earth. Here the causes are cold and heat, which increase and diminish on account of the sun and its course. It is owing to them that the parts of the earth come to have a different character, that some parts remain moist for a certain time, and then dry up and grow old, while other parts in their turn are filled with life and moisture. Now when places become drier the springs necessarily give out, and when this happens the rivers first decrease in size and then finally become dry; and when rivers change and disappear in one part and come into existence correspondingly in another, the sea must needs be affected.

If the sea was once pushed out by rivers and encroached upon the land anywhere, it necessarily leaves that place dry when it recedes; again, if the dry land has encroached on the sea at all by a process of silting set up by the rivers when at their full, the time must come when this place will be flooded again.

But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life, that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed. Of such destructions the most utter and sudden are due to wars; but pestilence or famine cause them too. Famines, again, are either sudden and severe or else gradual. In the latter case the disappearance of a nation is not noticed because some leave the country while others remain; and this goes on until the land is unable to maintain any inhabitants at all. So a long period of time is likely to elapse from the first departure to the last, and no one remembers and the lapse of time destroys all record even before the last inhabitants have disappeared. In the same way a nation must be supposed to lose account of the time when it first settled in a land that was changing from a marshy and watery state and becoming dry. Here, too, the change is gradual and lasts a long time and men do not remember who came first, or when, or what the land was like when they came. This has been the case with Egypt. Here it is obvious that the land is continually getting drier and that the whole country is a deposit of the river Nile. But because the neighbouring peoples settled in the land gradually as the marshes dried, the lapse of time has hidden the beginning of the process. However, all the mouths of the Nile, with the single exception of that at Canopus, are obviously artificial and not natural. And Egypt was nothing more than what is called Thebes, as Homer, too, shows, modern though he is in relation to such changes. For Thebes is the place that he mentions; which implies that Memphis did not yet exist, or at any rate was not as important as it is now. That this should be so is natural, since the lower land came to be inhabited later than that which lay higher. For the parts that lie nearer to the place where the river is depositing the silt are necessarily marshy for a longer time since the water always lies most in the newly formed land. But in time this land changes its character, and in its turn enjoys a period of prosperity. For these places dry up and come to be in good condition while the places that were formerly well-tempered some day grow excessively dry and deteriorate. This happened to the land of Argos and Mycenae in Greece. In the time of the Trojan wars the Argive land was marshy and could only support a small population, whereas the land of Mycenae was in good condition (and for this reason Mycenae was the superior). But now the opposite is the case, for the reason we have mentioned: the land of Mycenae has become completely dry and barren, while the Argive land that was formerly barren owing to the water has now become fruitful. Now the same process that has taken place in this small district must be supposed to be going on over whole countries and on a large scale.

Men whose outlook is narrow suppose the cause of such events to be change in the universe, in the sense of a coming to be of the world as a whole. Hence they say that the sea being dried up and is growing less, because this is observed to have happened in more places now than formerly. But this is only partially true. It is true that many places are now dry, that formerly were covered with water. But the opposite is true too: for if they look they will find that there are many places where the sea has invaded the land. But we must not suppose that the cause of this is that the world is in process of becoming. For it is absurd to make the universe to be in process because of small and trifling changes, when the bulk and size of the earth are surely as nothing in comparison with the whole world. Rather we must take the cause of all these changes to be that, just as winter occurs in the seasons of the year, so in determined periods there comes a great winter of a great year and with it excess of rain. But this excess does not always occur in the same place. The deluge in the time of Deucalion, for instance, took place chiefly in the Greek world and in it especially about ancient Hellas, the country about Dodona and the Achelous, a river which has often changed its course. Here the Selli dwelt and those who were formerly called Graeci and now Hellenes. When, therefore, such an excess of rain occurs we must suppose that it suffices for a long time. We have seen that some say that the size of the subterranean cavities is what makes some rivers perennial and others not, whereas we maintain that the size of the mountains is the cause, and their density and coldness; for great, dense, and cold mountains catch and keep and create most water: whereas if the mountains that overhang the sources of rivers are small or porous and stony and clayey, these rivers run dry earlier. We must recognize the same kind of thing in this case too. Where such abundance of rain falls in the great winter it tends to make the moisture of those places almost everlasting. But as time goes on places of the latter type dry up more, while those of the former, moist type, do so less: until at last the beginning of the same cycle returns.

2.1The whole of the Mediterranean does actually flow. The direction of this flow is determined by the depth of the basins and by the number of rivers. Maeotis flows into Pontus and Pontus into the Aegean. After that the flow of the remaining seas is not so easy to observe. The current of Maeotis and Pontus is due to the number of rivers (more rivers flow into the Euxine and Maeotis than into the whole Mediterranean with its much larger basin), and to their own shallowness. For we find the sea getting deeper and deeper. Pontus is deeper than Maeotis, the Aegean than Pontus, the Sicilian sea than the Aegean; the Sardinian and Tyrrhenic being the deepest of all. (Outside the pillars of Heracles the sea is shallow owing to the mud, but calm, for it lies in a hollow.) We see, then, that just as single rivers flow from mountains, so it is with the earth as a whole: the greatest volume of water flows from the higher regions in the north. Their alluvium makes the northern seas shallow, while the outer seas are deeper. Some further evidence of the height of the northern regions of the earth is afforded by the view of many of the ancient meteorologists. They believed that the sun did not pass below the earth, but round its northern part, and that it was the height of this which obscured the sun and caused night.


81In the Electrides Islands, which lie in the gulf of the Adriatic, they say that two statues have been dedicated, one of tin and one of copper, wrought in the old‑fashioned style. It is said that these are the works of Daedalus, a reminder of the old days, when escaping from Minos he came to this district from Sicily and Crete. They say that the river Eridanus silted up these islands. There is a lake apparently near the river, containing hot water. A heavy and unpleasant smell comes from it, and no animal ever drinks from it nor does bird fly over it without falling and dying. It has a circumference of two hundred stades, and a breadth of ten. The local inhabitants say that Phaethon fell into this lake when he was struck by a thunderbolt. There are many poplars in it, from which oozes the so‑called electron. They say that this is like gum, and hardens like a stone; it is collected by the inhabitants and brought to the Greeks. They say that Daedalus came to these islands, and putting in there set up in one of them his own image, and in the other that of his son Icarus. Later on, when the Pelasgians, who were expelled from Argos, sailed there, Daedalus fled, and sailed to the island of Icarus.

84This page contains a translation of the passage on the Atlantic island.


7.1328b.1We must therefore consider the list of occupations that a state requires: for from these it will appear what the indispensable classes are. First then a state must have a supply of food; secondly, handicrafts (since life needs many tools); third, arms (since the members of the association must necessarily possess arms both to use among themselves and for purposes of government, in cases of insubordination, and to employ against those who try to molest them from without); also a certain abundance of money, in order that they may have enough both for their internal needs and for requirements of war; fifth, a primary need, the service of religion, termed a priesthood; and sixth in number and most necessary of all, a provision for deciding questions of interests and of rights between the citizens. These then are the occupations that virtually every state requires (for the state is not any chance multitude of people but one self-sufficient for the needs of life, as we say, and if any of these industries happens to be wanting, it is impossible for that association to be absolutely self-sufficient). It is necessary therefore for the state to be organized 20on the lines of these functions; consequently it must possess a number of farmers who will provide the food, and craftsmen, and the military class, and the wealthy, and priests and judges to decide questions of necessity and of interests.

These matters having been settled, it remains to consider whether everybody is to take part in all of these functions (for it is possible for the whole of the people to be at once farmers and craftsmen and the councillors and judges), or whether we are to assume different classes corresponding to each of the functions mentioned, or whether some of them must necessarily be specialized and others combined. But it will not be the same in every form of constitution; for, as we said, it is possible either for all the people to take part in all the functions or for not all to take part in all but for certain people to have certain functions. In fact these different distributions of functions are the cause of the difference between constitutions: democracies are states in which all the people participate in all the functions, oligarchies where the contrary is the case. But at present we are studying the best constitution, and this is the constitution under which the state would be most happy, and it has been stated before that happiness cannot be forthcoming without virtue; it is therefore clear from these considerations that in the most nobly constituted state, and the one that possesses men that are absolutely just, not merely just relatively to the principle that is the basis of the constitution, the citizens must not live a mechanic or a mercantile life (for such a life is ignoble and inimical to virtue), nor yet must those who are to be citizens in the best state be tillers of the soil 1329a.1(for leisure is needed both for the development of virtue and for active participation in politics). And since the state also contains the military class and the class that deliberates about matters of policy and judges questions of justice, and these are manifestly in a special sense parts of the state, are these classes also to be set down as distinct or are both functions to be assigned to the same persons? But here also the answer is clear, because in a certain sense they should be assigned to the same persons, but in a certain sense to different ones. Inasmuch as each of these two functions belongs to a different prime of life, and one requires wisdom, the other strength, they are to be assigned to different people; but inasmuch as it is a thing impossible that when a set of men are able to employ force and to resist control, these should submit always to be ruled, from this point of view both functions must be assigned to the same people; for those who have the power of arms have the power to decide whether the constitution shall stand or fall. The only course left them is to assign this constitutional function to both sets of men without distinction, yet not simultaneously, but, as in the natural order of things strength is found in the younger men and wisdom in the elder, it seems to be expedient and just for their functions to be allotted to both in this way, for this mode of division possesses conformity with merit. Moreover the ownership of properties also must be centered round these classes, for the citizens must necessarily possess plentiful means, and these are the citizens. For the 20artisan class has no share in the state, nor has any other class that is not 'an artificer of virtue.' And this is clear from our basic principle; for in conjunction with virtue happiness is bound to be forthcoming, but we should pronounce a state happy having regard not to a particular section of it but to all its citizens. And it is also manifest that the properties must belong to these classes, inasmuch as it is necessary for the tillers of the soil to be slaves, or serfs of alien race. There remains of the list enumerated the class of priests; and the position of this class also is manifest. Priests must be appointed neither from the tillers of the soil nor from the artisans, for it is seemly that the gods should be worshipped by citizens; and since the citizen body is divided into two parts, the military class and the councillor class, and as it is seemly that those who have relinquished these duties owing to age should render to the gods their due worship and should spend their retirement in their service, it is to these that the priestly offices should be assigned.

We have therefore stated the things indispensable for the constitution of a state, and the things that are parts of a state: tillers of the soil, craftsmen and the laboring class generally are a necessary appurtenance of states, but the military and deliberative classes are parts of the state; and moreover each of these divisions is separate from the others, either permanently or by turn.

And that it is proper for the state to be divided up into castes and for the military class to be distinct from that of the tillers of the soil 1329b.1does not seem to be a discovery of political philosophers of today or one made recently. In Egypt this arrangement still exists even now, as also in Crete; it is said to have been established in Egypt by the legislation of Sesostris and in Crete by that of Minos. Common meals also seem to be an ancient institution, those in Crete having begun in the reign of Minos, while those in Italy are much older than these. According to the historians one of the settlers there, a certain Italus, became king of Oenotria, and from him they took the name of Italians instead of that of Oenotrians, and the name of Italy was given to all that promontory of Europe lying between the Gulfs of Scylletium and of Lametus, which are half a day's journey apart. It was this Italus then who according to tradition converted the Oenotrians from a pastoral life to one of agriculture and gave them various ordinances, being the first to institute their system of common meals; hence the common meals and some of his laws are still observed by certain of his successors even today. The settlers in the direction of Tyrrhenia were Opicans, who today as in former times bear the surname of 20Ausonians; the region towards Iapygia and the Ionian Gulf, called Syrtis, was inhabited by the Chones, who also were Oenotrians by race. It is from this country that the system of common meals has its origin, while the division of the citizen-body by hereditary caste came from Egypt, for the reign of Sesostris long antedates that of Minos. We may almost take it therefore that all other political devices also have been discovered repeatedly, or rather an infinite number of times over, in the lapse of ages; for the discoveries of a necessary kind are probably taught by need itself, and when the necessaries have been provided it is reasonable that things contributing to refinement and luxury should find their development; so that we must assume that this is the way with political institutions also. The antiquity of all of them is indicated by the history of Egypt; for the Egyptians are reputed to be the oldest of nations, but they have always had laws and a political system.


2.10.5And it is evident whom men envy, for it has just been stated by implication. They envy those who are near them in time, place, age, and reputation, whence it was said, "Kinship knows how to envy also;" and those with whom they are in rivalry, who are those just spoken of; for no man tries to rival those who lived ten thousand years ago, or are about to be born, or are already dead; nor those who live near the Pillars of Hercules; nor those who, in his own opinion or in that of others, are either far inferior or superior to him; and the people and things which one envies are on the same footing.



4.84.184dBut music was a favourite amusement of all the Greeks of old time; on which account also skill in playing the flute was much aimed at. Accordingly, Chamæleon of Heraclia, in his book entitled Protrepticus, says that the Lacedæmonians and Thebans all learned to play on the flute, and the inhabitants of Heraclea in Pontus devoted themselves to the same study down to his own time. And that so did the most illustrious of the Athenians, Callias the son of Hipponicus, and Critias the son of Callaeschrus. But Duris, in his treatise on Euripides and Sophocles, says that Alcibiades learnt music, not of any ordinary master, but of Pronomus, who had the very highest reputation in that line. And Aristoxenus says that Epaminondas the Theban learnt to play the flute of Olympiodorus and Orthagoras. And likewise, many of the Pythagoreans practised the art of flute-playing, as Euphranor, and Archytas, and Philolaus, and many others. But Euphranor has also left behind an essay on Flutes, and so too has Archytas.

11.80.491a= Aeschylus F 172.



6.13Throughout Gaul there are two classes of persons of definite account and dignity. As for the common folk, they are treated almost as slaves, venturing naught of themselves, never taken into counsel. The more part of them, oppressed as they are either by debt, or by the heavy weight of tribute, or by the wrongdoing of the more powerful men, commit themselves in slavery to the nobles, who have, in fact, the same rights over them as masters over slaves. Of the two classes above mentioned one consists of Druids, the other of knights. The former are concerned with divine worship, the due performance of p337 sacrifices, public and private, and the interpretation of ritual questions: a great number of young men gather about them for the sake of instruction and hold them in great honour. In fact, it is they who decide in almost all disputes, public and private; and if any crime has been committed, or murder done, or there is any disposes about succession or boundaries, they also decide it, determining rewards and penalties: if any person or people does not abide by their decision, they ban such from sacrifice, which is their heaviest penalty. Those that are so banned are reckoned as impious and criminal; all men move out of their path and shun their approach and conversation, for fear they may get some harm from their contact, and no justice is done if they seek it, no distinction falls to their share. Of all these Druids one is chief, who has the highest authority among them. At his death, either any other that is preëminent in position succeeds, or, if there be several of equal standing, they strive for the primacy by the vote of the Druids, or sometimes even with armed force. These Druids, at a certain time of the year, meet within the borders of the Carnutes, whose territory is reckoned as the centre of all Gaul, and sit in conclave in a consecrated spot. Thither assemble from every side all that have disputes, and they obey the decisions and judgments of the Druids. It is believed that their rule of life was discovered in Britain and transferred thence to Gaul; and to‑day those who would study the subject more accurately journey, as a rule, to Britain to learn it.



1.5In this crisis no state gave assistance to the Athenians, except that of Plataea, which sent them a thousand men. On the arrival of these, the number of ten thousand armed men was made up; a band which was animated with an extraordinary ardour to fight. Hence it happened that Miltiades had more influence than his colleagues, for the Athenians, incited by his authority, led out their forces from the city, and pitched their camp in an eligible place. The next day, having set themselves in array at the foot of the hills opposite the enemy, they engaged in battle with a novel stratagem, and with the utmost impetuosity. For trees had been strewed in many directions, with this intention, that, while they themselves were covered by the high hills, the enemy's cavalry might be impeded by the spread of trees, so that they might not be surrounded by numbers. Datis, though he saw that the ground was unfavourable for his men, yet, depending on the number of his force, was desirous to engage, and the rather, because he thought it of advantage to fight before the Spartans came to the enemy's assistance. He led into the field, therefore, a hundred thousand foot and ten thousand horse, and proceeded to battle. In the encounter the Athenians, through their valour, had so much the advantage, that they routed ten times the number of the enemy, and threw them into such a consternation, that the Persians betook themselves, not to their camp, but to their ships. Than this battle there has hitherto been none more glorious; for never did so small a band overthrow so numerous a host.

10.1He was familiar with the elder Dionysius, not less on account of his character than his relationship; for though the cruelty of Dionysius offended him, yet he was desirous that he should be secure because of his family connexion with himself, and still more for the sake of his own relatives. He aided him in important matters, and the tyrant was greatly influenced by his advice, unless, in any case, some violent humour of his own interposed. But embassies, such at least as were of a more distinguished kind, were all conducted by Dion; and by discharging them assiduously, and managing faithfully, he palliated the most cruel name of tyrant with his own benevolence. The Carthaginians so much respected him, when he was sent thither by Dionysius, that they never regarded any man that spoke the Greek tongue with more admiration.

8While he knew not, as he contemplated this state of things, how he should put a stop to it, and was apprehensive as to what it might end in, a certain Callicrates, a citizen of Athens, who had accompanied him from the Peloponnesus to Sicily, a man of address, subtle enough for any artifice, and without any regard for religion or honour, went to him, and told him that "he was in great danger on account of the disaffection of the people and the hostile feelings of the soldiers; which danger he could by no means escape, unless he commissioned some one of his friends to pretend that he was an enemy to him; and that, if he found him fit for the undertaking, he would learn the feelings of every one, and cut off his enemies, as his opponents would readily disclose their thoughts to any one disaffected towards him."

9With this resolution, on the next festival day, while Dion was keeping himself at home, secluded from the assembly of the people, and was reposing in an upper room, he committed to his accomplices the stronger parts of the city, surrounded Dion's house with guards, and stationed trusty persons at the door, who were not to leave it; he also manned a trireme with an armed force, entrusted it to his brother Philocrates, and gave directions that it should be rowed about in the harbour, as if he wished to exercise the rowers, with a view, if fortune should baffle his attempts, to have a vessel in which he might flee to a place of safety. He then chose from among his followers some young men of Zacynthus, of great courage and extraordinary strength, whom he ordered to go to Dion's house unarmed, so that they might seem to have come for the sake of speaking with him. These youths, as being well known, were admitted, but as soon as they had crossed the threshold, they bolted the door, seized him as he lay on his couch, and bound him. A great noise ensued, so that it was distinctly heard out of doors. And here it was easy to be understood, as has often been said before, how unpopular absolute power is, and how unhappy the life of those who had rather be feared than loved; for those very guards,if they had been favourably inclined towards him, might have saved him by breaking open the door, as the Zacynthians, who were unarmed, were holding him still alive, calling to those without for a weapon. Nobody coming to his rescue, one Lyco, a Syracusan, gave them a sword through the window, with which Dion was slain.

13.3When he was at an advanced age, and had ceased to hold any office, the Athenians began to be pressed with war on every side. Samos had revolted; the Hellespont had deserted them; Philip of Macedon, then very powerful, was making many efforts; and in Chares, who had been opposed to him, there was not thought to be sufficient defence. Menestheus, the son of Iphicrates, and son-in-law of Timotheus, was in consequence made commander, and a decree was passed that he should proceed to take the management of the war. These two persons, his father and father-in-law, men eminent in experience and wisdom, were appointed to give him advice, for there was such force of character in them, that great hopes were entertained that what had been lost might be recovered by their means. When they had set out for Samos; and Chares, having heard of their approach, was also proceeding thither with his force, lest anything should appear to be done in his absence, it happened that, as they drew near the island, a great storm arose, which the two veteran commanders, thinking it expedient to avoid, checked the progress of their fleet. But Chares, taking a rash course, would not submit to the advice of his elders, but, as if success depended on his own vessel, pushed his way for the point to which he had been steering, and sent orders to Timotheus and Iphicrates to follow him thither. But having subsequently mis-managed the affair, and lost several ships, he returned to the same place from which he had come, and despatched a letter to the government at Athens, saying that it would have been easy for him to take Samos, if he had not been left unsupported by Timotheus and Iphicrates. On this charge they were impeached. The people, violent, suspicious, fickle, and unfavourable to them, recalled them home; and they were brought to trial for treason. On this charge Timotheus was found guilty, and his fine was fixed at a hundred talents; when, compelled by the hatred of an ungrateful people, he sought a refuge at Chalcis.



25Some think that Eros is also the whole cosmos: beautiful, desirable, young, and at the same time the oldest thing of all; rich in fire, and the cause of swift motion, such as that produced by a bow, the use of wings. 26In another sense they say that it is Atlas, tirelessly producing everything that comes to be according to the principles encompassed in it, and thus holding up even the heavens. Its great pillars are the powers of the elements, which lead to some things being borne upwards, and some downwards; heaven and earth are governed by them. Atlas is called Sagacious because he is concerned for the universe and provident in seeing to the welfare of all its parts. From him were born the Pleiades, it being established that it generated all the stars, of which there are a superabundance. He is identical with Astraios and Thaumas because it does not stand still (it is never everywhere at rest - although its progress is the best possible, and calm), and it produces great wonder in those who contemplate its organisation.



A time there was when anarchy did rule the lives of men, which then were like the beasts, enslaved by force; nor was there then reward for good men, nor for wicked punishment. Next, as I deem, did men establish laws for punishment, that Justice might be lord of all mankind, and Insolence enchain'd; and whosoe'r did sin was penalized. Next, as the laws did hold men back from deeds of open violence, but still such deeds were done in secret, - then, as I maintain, some shrewd man first, a man in counsel wise, discovered unto men the fear of Gods, thereby to frighten sinners should they sin e'en secretly in deed, or word, or thought. Hence was it that he brought in Deity telling how God enjoys an endless life, hears with his mind and sees, and taketh thought and heeds things, and his nature is divine, so that he hearkens to men's every word and has the power to see men's every act. E'en if you plan in silence some ill deed, the Gods will surely mark it; for in them wisdom resides. So, speaking words like these most cunning doctrine did he introduce, the truth concealing under speech untrue. The place he spoke of as the God's abode was that whereby he could affright men most, - the place from which, he knew, both terrors came and easements unto men of toilsome life - to wit the vault above, wherein do dwell the lightnings, he beheld, and awesome claps of thunder, and the starry face of heaven, fair-spangled by that cunning craftsman Time, - whence, too, the meteor's glowing mass doth speed and liquid rain descends upon the earth. Such were the fears wherewith he hedged men round, and so to God he gave a fitting home, by this his speech, and in a fitting place, and thus extinguished lawlessness by laws. [...] Thus first did some man, as I deem, persuade men to suppose the race of Gods exists.



1.65.1After the kings mentioned above Bocchoris succeeded to the throne, a man who was altogether contemptible in personal appearance but in sagacity far surpassed all former kings.

79.1Their laws governing contracts they attribute to Bocchoris. These prescribe that men who had borrowed money without signing a bond, if they denied the indebtedness, might take an oath to that effect and be cleared of the obligation. The purpose, was, in the first place, that men might stand in awe of the gods by attributing great importance to oaths, 2for, since it is manifest that the man who has repeatedly taken such an oath will in the end lose the confidence which others had in him, everyone will consider it a matter of the utmost concern not to have recourse to the oath lest he forfeit his credit. In the second place, the lawgiver assumed that by basing confidence entirely upon a man's sense of honour he would incite all men to be virtuous in character, in order that they might not be talked about as being unworthy of confidence; and, furthermore, he held it to be unjust that men who had been trusted with a loan without an oath should not be trusted when they gave their oath regarding the same transaction. And whoever lent money along with a written bond was forbidden to do more than double the principal from interest.

3In the case of debtors the lawgiver ruled that the repayment of loans could be exacted only from a man's estate, and under no condition did he allow the debtor's person to be subject to seizure, holding that whereas property should belong to those who had amassed it or had received it from some earlier holder by way of a gift, the bodies of citizens should belong to the state, to the end that the state might avail itself of the services which its citizens owed it, in times of both war and peace. For it would be absurd, he felt, that a soldier, at the moment perhaps when he was setting forth to fight for his fatherland, should be haled to prison by his creditor for an unpaid loan, and that the greed of private citizens should in this way endanger the safety of all. 4And it appears that Solon took this law also to Athens, calling it a "disburdenment," when he absolved all the citizens of the loans, secured by their persons, which they owed. 5But certain individuals find fault, and not without reason, with the majority of the Greek lawgivers, who forbade the taking of weapons and ploughs and other quite indispensable things as security for loans, but nevertheless allowed the men who would use these implements to be subject to imprisonments.

94.3A second lawgiver, according to the Egyptians, was Sasychis, a man of unusual understanding. He made sundry additions to the existing laws and, in particular, laid down with the greatest precision the rites to be used in honouring the gods, and he was the inventor of geometry and taught his countrymen both to speculate about the stars and to observe them. 4A third one, they tell us, was the king Sesoösis, who not only performed the most renowned deeds in war of any king of Egypt but also organized the rules governing the warrior class and, in conformity with these, set in order all the regulations that have to do with military campaigns. 5A fourth lawgiver, they say, was the king Bocchoris, a wise sort of a man and conspicuous for his craftiness. He drew up all the regulations which governed the kings and gave precision to the laws on contracts; and so wise was he in his judicial decisions as well, that many of his judgments are remembered for their excellence even to our day. And they add that he was very weak in body, and that by disposition he was the most avaricious of all their kings.

3.53.4See this page for an account of the Libyan Amazons.

4.18.4But since we have mentioned the pillars of Heracles, we deem it to be appropriate to set forth the facts concerning them. When Heracles arrived at the farthest points of the continents of Libya and Europe which lie upon the ocean, he decided to set up these pillars to commemorate his campaign. And since he wished to leave upon the ocean a monument which would be had in everlasting remembrance, he built out both the promontories, they say, to a great distance; 5consequently, whereas before that time a great space had stood between them, he now narrowed the passage, in order that by making it shallow and narrow he might prevent the great sea-monsters from passing out of the ocean into the inner sea, and that at the same time the fame of their builder might be held in everlasting remembrance by reason of the magnitude of the structures. Some authorities, however, say just the opposite, namely, that the two continents were originally joined and that he cut a passage between them, and that by opening the passage he brought it about that the ocean was mingled with our sea. On this question, however, it will be possible for every man to think as he may please.

6A thing very much like this he had already done in Greece. For instance, in the region which is called Tempê, where the country is like a plain and was largely covered with marshes, he cut a channel through the territory which bordered on it, and carrying off through this ditch all the water of the marsh he caused the plains to appear which are now in Thessaly along the Peneius river. 7But in Boeotia he did just the opposite and damming the stream which flowed near the Minyan city of Orchomenus he turned the country into a lake and caused the ruin of that whole region. But what he did in Thessaly was to confer a benefit upon the Greeks, whereas in Boeotia he was exacting punishment from those who dwelt in Minyan territory, because they had enslaved the Thebans.

27.1But we must not fail to mention what the myths relate about Atlas and about the race of the Hesperides. The account runs like this: In the country known as Hesperitis there were two brothers whose fame was known abroad, Hesperus and Atlas. These brothers possessed flocks of sheep which excelled in beauty and were in colour of a golden yellow, this being the reason why the poets, in speaking of these sheep as mela, called them golden mela. 2Now Hesperus begat a daughter named Hesperis, whom he gave in marriage to his brother and after whom the land was given the name Hesperitis; and Atlas begat by her seven daughters, who were named after their father Atlantides, and after their mother, Hesperides. And since these Atlantides excelled in beauty and chastity, Busiris the king of the Egyptians, the account says, was seized with desire to get the maidens into his power; and consequently he dispatched pirates by sea with orders to seize the girls and deliver them into his hands.

5.55.4Poseidon, the myth continues, when he had grown to manhood, became enamoured of Halia, the sister of the Telchines, and lying with her he begat six male children and one daughter, called Rhodos, after whom the island was named. 5And at this period in the eastern parts of the island there sprung up the Giants, as they were called; and at the time when Zeus is said to have subdued the Titans, he became enamoured of one of the nymphs, Himalia by name, and begat by her three sons, Spartaeus, Cronius, and Cytus. 6And while these were still young men, Aphroditê, they say, as she was journeying from Cytherae to Cyprus and dropped anchor near Rhodes, was prevented from stopping there by the sons of Poseidon, who were arrogant and insolent men; whereupon the goddess, in her wrath, brought a madness upon them, and they lay with their mother against her will and committed many acts of violence upon the natives. 7But when Poseidon learned of what had happened he buried his sons beneath the earth, because of their shameful deed, and men called them the "Eastern Demons"; and Halia cast herself into the sea, and she was afterwards given the name of Leucothea and attained to immortal honour in the eyes of the natives.

14.5.1When the attendants came forward and were dragging him off, Theramenes bore his bad fortune with a noble spirit, since indeed he had had no little acquaintance with philosophy in company with Socrates; the multitude, however, in general mourned the ill-fortune of Theramenes, but had not the courage to come to his aid since a strong armed guard stood around him. 2Now Socrates the philosopher and two of his intimates ran forward and endeavoured to hinder the attendants. But Theramenes entreated them to do nothing of the kind; he appreciated, he said, their friendship and bravery, but as for himself, it would be the greatest grief if he should be the cause of the death of those who were so intimately associated with him. 3Socrates and his helpers, since they had no aid from anyone else and saw the intransigence of those in authority increasing, made no move. Then those who had received their orders dragged Theramenes from the altar and hustled him through the centre of the market-place to his execution; 4and the populace, terror-stricken at the arms of the garrison, were filled with pity for the unfortunate man and shed tears, not only over his fate, but also over their own slavery. For all the common sort, when they saw a man of such virtue as Theramenes treated with such contumely, had concluded that they in their weakness would be sacrificed without a thought.



3.1Plato was the son of Ariston and a citizen of Athens. His mother was Perictione (or Potone), who traced back her descent to Solon. For Solon had a brother, Dropides; he was the father of Critias, who was the father of Callaeschrus, who was the father of Critias, one of the Thirty, as well as of Glaucon, who was the father of Charmides and Perictione. Thus Plato, the son of this Perictione and Ariston, was in the sixth generation from Solon. And Solon traced his descent to Neleus and Poseidon. His father too is said to be in the direct line from Codrus, the son of Melanthus, and, according to Thrasylus, Codrus and Melanthus also trace their descent from Poseidon.

6From that time onward, having reached his twentieth year (so it is said), he was the pupil of Socrates. When Socrates was gone, he attached himself to Cratylus the Heraclitean, and to Hermogenes who professed the philosophy of Parmenides. Then at the age of twenty-eight, according to Hermodorus, he withdrew to Megara to Euclides, with certain other disciples of Socrates. Next he proceeded to Cyrene on a visit to Theodorus the mathematician, thence to Italy to see the Pythagorean philosophers Philolaus and Eurytus, and thence to Egypt to see those who interpreted the will of the gods; and Euripides is said to have accompanied him thither. There he fell sick and was cured by the priests, who treated him with sea-water, and for this reason he cited the line: "The sea doth wash away all human ills."

7Furthermore he said that, according to Homer, beyond all men the Egyptians were skilled in healing. Plato also intended to make the acquaintance of the Magians, but was prevented by the wars in Asia. Having returned to Athens, he lived in the Academy, which is a gymnasium outside the walls, in a grove named after a certain hero, Hecademus, as is stated by Eupolis in his play entitled Shirkers: "In the shady walks of the divine Hecademus."

Moreover, there are verses of Timon which refer to Plato: "Amongst all of them Plato was the leader, a big fish, but a sweet-voiced speaker, musical in prose as the cicala who, perched on the trees of Hecademus, pours forth a strain as delicate as a lily."

4.24Crantor of Soli, though he was much esteemed in his native country, left it for Athens and attended the lectures of Xenocrates at the same time as Polemo. He left memoirs extending to 30,000 lines, some of which are by some critics attributed to Arcesilaus. He is said to have been asked what it was in Polemo that attracted him, and to have replied, "The fact that I never heard him raise or lower his voice in speaking." He happened to fall ill, and retired to the temple of Asclepius, where he proceeded to walk about. At once people flocked round him in the belief that he had retired thither, not on account of illness, but in order to open a school. Among them was Arcesilaus, who wished to be introduced by his means to Polemo, notwithstanding the affection which united the two, as will be related in the Life of Arcesilaus. 25However, when he recovered, he continued to attend Polemo's lectures, and for this he was universally praised. He is also said to have left Arcesilaus his property, to the value of twelve talents. And when asked by him where he wished to be buried, he answered: "Sweet in some nook of native soil to rest."

It is also said that he wrote poems and deposited them under seal in the temple of Athena in his native place. And Theaetetus the poet writes thus of him: "Pleasing to men, more pleasing to the Muses, lived Crantor, and never saw old age. Receive, O earth, the hallowed dead; gently may he live and thrive even in the world below."

26Crantor admired Homer and Euripides above all other poets; it is hard, he said, at once to write tragedy and to stir the emotions in the language of everyday life. And he would quote the line from the story of Bellerophon: "Alas! But why Alas? We have suffered the lot of mortals."

And it is said that there are extant these lines of the poet Antagoras, spoken by Crantor on Love: "My mind is in doubt, since thy birth is disputed, whether I am to call thee, Love, the first of the immortal gods, the eldest of all the children whom old Erebus and queenly Night brought to birth in the depths beneath wide Ocean; 27or art thou the child of wise Cypris, or of Earth, or of the Winds? So many are the goods and ills thou devisest for men in thy wanderings. Therefore hast thou a body of double form."

He was also clever at inventing terms. For instance, he said of a tragic player's voice that it was unpolished and unpeeled. And of a certain poet that his verses abounded in miserliness. And that the disquisitions of Theophrastus were written with an oyster-shell. His most highly esteemed work is the treatise On Grief. He died before Polemo and Crates, his end being hastened by dropsy. I have composed upon him the following epigram: "The worst of maladies overwhelmed you, Crantor, and thus did you descend the black abyss of Pluto. While you fare well even in the world below, the Academy and your country of Soli are bereft of your discourses."



10Hera had stirred up all those Tuscan pirates and got them to kidnap you and sell you as a slave in some distant country or other! There I was, my Lord, at the stern of the ship, at the wheel, my sons turning the grey sea waves white, working hard at the oars, scanning the horizon, looking for you!

But then, just as we were about to take the Headland around Malea, a terrible easterly blew hard upon us and sped our ship away from there. We landed near this rock here, this rock called Aetna. Here, in Aetna, where Poseidon's murderous children, the one-eyed Cyclopes live in their bleak caves.


3Aphrodite. [...] Of those mortals who look upon the light of the sun and who live between the very edges of the East, the Black Sea and the farthest ends of the West, the great Pillars of Atlas, of all those of them who respect my power, I, respect them, also.

741Chorus: Soaring high above the swelling ocean, all the way to the shores around the Adriatic, above the waters of Eridanus. The waters of Eridanus where the tears of grief from the unlucky virgins fall, drip by drip the gleaming amber of their tears, tears of grief over their brother's fall, son of Helios, the sun god. They fall and fall into the deep blue waves.

How I wish! How I wish I could fly to that shore where the apple trees grow. The trees of the harmony lovers, the Hesperides! There, where Poseidon, the Lord of the sea, forbids the mariners from passing through into the turbulent waters and where he marks the boundary in the sky which Atlas holds. There in Zeus' halls, where fountains gush out ambrosia, beside his every couch. There where the sacred earth gives rich fruit to the gods, gracing them with even greater bliss.

Sir Graham