Description of Greece (Jones)/Book 10
10.1.1 It is plain that such part of Phocis as is around Tithorea and Delphi was so named in very ancient days after a Corinthian, Phocus, a son of Ornytion. Not many years afterwards, the name established itself as the received title of what is today called Phocis, when the Aeginetans had disembarked on the land with Phocus the son of Aeacus.
10.1.2 Opposite the Peloponnesus, and in the direction of Boeotia, Phocis stretches to the sea, and touches it on one side at Cirrha, the port of Delphi, and on the other at the city of Anticyra. In the direction of the Lamian Gulf there are between Phocis and the sea only the Hypocnemidian Locrians. By these is Phocis bounded in this direction, by Scarpheia on the other side of Elateia, and by Opus and its port Cynus beyond Hyampolis and Abae.
10.1.3 The most renowned exploits of the Phocian people were undertaken by the whole nation. They took part in the Trojan war, and fought against the Thessalians before the Persian invasion of Greece, when they accomplished some noteworthy deeds. Expecting that the Thessalians would invade their land at Hyampolis, they buried there earthen water-pots, covered these with earth, and so waited for the Thessalian cavalry. Ignorant of the Phocian stratagem, the Thessalians without knowing it drove their horses on to the water-pots, where stumbling into them the horses were lamed, and threw or killed their riders.
10.1.4 The Thessalians, more enraged than ever against the Phocians, gathered levies from all their cities and marched out against them. Whereupon the Phocians, greatly terrified at the army of the Thessalians, especially at the number of their cavalry and the practised discipline of both mounts and riders, despatched a mission to Delphi, praying the god that they might escape the danger that threatened them. The oracle given them was this:
- “I will match in fight mortal and immortal, And to both will I give victory, but more to the mortal.”
10.1.5 On receiving this oracle, the Phocians sent three hundred picked men with Gelon in command to make an attack on the enemy. The night was just falling, and the orders given were to reconnoiter without being observed, to return to the main body by the least known route, and to remain strictly on the defensive. These picked men along with their leader Gelon, trampled on by horses and butchered by their enemies, perished to a man at the hands of the Thessalians.
10.1.6 Their disaster created such panic among the Phocians in the camp that they actually gathered together in one spot their women, children, movable property, and also their clothes, gold, silver and images of the gods, and making a vast pyre they left in charge a force of thirty men.
10.1.7 These were under orders that, should the Phocians chance to be worsted in the battle, they were first to put to death the women and the children, then to lay them like victims with the valuables on the pyre, and finally to set it alight and perish themselves, either by each other's hands or by charging the cavalry of the Thessalians. Hence all forlorn hopes are called by the Greeks “Phocian despair.” On this occasion the Phocians forthwith proceeded to attack the Thessalians.
10.1.8 The commander of their cavalry was Daiphantes of Hyampolis, of their infantry Rhoeus of Ambrossus. But the office of commander-in-chief was held by Tellias, a seer of Elis, upon whom rested all the Phocians' hopes of salvation.
10.1.9 When the battle joined, the Phocians had before their eyes what they had resolved to do to their women and children, and seeing that their own salvation trembled in the balance, they dared the most desperate deeds, and, with the favour of heaven, achieved the most famous victory of that time.
10.1.10 Then did all Greece understand the oracle given to the Phocians by Apollo. For the watchword given in battle on every occasion by the Thessalian generals was Itonian Athena, and by the Phocian generals Phocus, from whom the Phocians were named. Because of this engagement the Phocians sent as offerings to Delphi statues of Apollo, of Tellias the seer, and of all their other generals in the battle, together with images of their local heroes. The figures were the work of the Argive Aristomedon.
10.1.11 Afterwards the Phocians discovered a stratagem quite as clever as their former ones. For when the armies were lying opposite each other at the pass into Phocis, five hundred picked men of Phocis, waiting until the moon was full, attacked the Thessalians on that night, first smearing themselves with chalk and, in addition to the chalk, putting on white armour. It is said that there then occurred a wholesale slaughter of the Thessalians, who thought this apparition of the night to be too unearthly to be an attack of their enemies. It was Tellias of Elis who devised this stratagem also for the Phocians to use against the Thessalians.
10.2.1 When the Persian army crossed into Europe, it is said that the Phocians were forced to join the Great King, but deserted the Persian cause and ranged themselves with the Greeks at the battle of Plataea. Subsequently it happened that a fine was inflicted on them by the Amphictyons. I cannot find out the truth of the story, whether the fine was inflicted because of the misdeeds of the Phocians, or whether the Thessalians exacted the fine from the Phocians because of their ancient hatred.
10.2.2 As they were disheartened at the greatness of the fine, Philomelus, son of Theotimus, than whom no Phocian stood higher in rank, his country being Ledon, a city of Phocis, took charge and tried to persuade them to seize the sanctuary at Delphi, pointing out that the amount of the sum to be paid was beyond their resources. He stated, among other plausible arguments, that Athens and Sparta had always been favorable to them, and that if Thebes or any other state made war against them, they would have the better owing to their courage and resources.
10.2.3 When Philomelus put all this before them, the Phocians were nothing loath, either because their judgment was blinded by heaven, or because their nature was to put gain before religion. The seizure of Delphi by the Phocians occurred when Heracleides was president at Delphi and Agathocles archon at Athens, in the fourth year of the hundred and fifth Olympiad, when Prorus of Cyrene was victorious in the foot-race.
10.2.4 When they had seized the sanctuary, the best mercenaries in Greece at once mustered to join them, while the Thebans, at variance before, declared open war against them. The war lasted ten successive years, and during this long time victory often fell to the Phocians and their mercenaries, and often the Thebans proved the better. An engagement took place at the town of Neon, in which the Phocians were worsted, and in the rout Philomelus threw himself down a high precipice, and so lost his life. This was the very punishment fixed by the Amphictyons for spoilers of the sanctuary.
10.2.5 After the death of Philomelus the Phocians gave the command to Onomarchus, while Philip, son of Amyntas, made an alliance with the Thebans. Philip had the better of the encounter, and Onomarchus fleeing to the coast was there shot down by his own troops, who considered their defeat due to his lack of enterprise and inexperience as a general.
10.2.6 Such was the end which the daemon brought upon Onomarchus, and his brother Phaylus was chosen as strategos. It is said that no sooner had this Phaylus come to rule over the Phocians when he saw the following vision in a dream. Among the votive offerings to Apollo was a representation in bronze of a man's body in an advanced stage of decay, with the flesh already fallen off, and nothing left but the bones. The Delphians said that it was an offering of Hippocrates the physician. Now the thought came to Phaylus that he resembled this offering. Forthwith he was attacked by a wasting disease, which so fulfilled the omen of the dream.
10.2.7 On the death of Phaylus the sovereignty of the Phocians devolved on Phalaecus his son. Phalaecus, accused of appropriating to his own use the sacred treasures, was deposed, and crossing with a fleet to Crete, accompanied by such Phocians as sided with him and by a part of his mercenaries, he sat down to besiege Cydonia, which refused to accede to his demand for money, and perished along with the greater part of his army.
10.3.1 In the tenth year after the seizure of the sanctuary, Philip put an end to the war, which was called both the Phocian War and the Sacred War, in the year when Theophilus was archon [348/7 BCE] at Athens, which was the first of the hundred and eighth Olympiad at which Polycles of Cyrene was victorious in the foot-race. The cities of Phocis were captured and razed to the ground. The tale of them was Lilaea, Hyampolis, Anticyra, Parapotamii, Panopeus and Daulis. These cities were distinguished in days of old, especially because of the poetry of Homer.
10.3.2 The army of Xerxes, burning down certain of these, made them better known in Greece, namely Erochus, Charadra, Amphicleia, Neon, Tithronium and Drymaea. The rest of the Phocian cities, except Elateia, were not famous in former times, I mean Phocian Trachis, Phocian Medeon, Echedameia, Ambrossus, Ledon, Phlygonium and Stiris. On the occasion to which I have referred all the cities enumerated were razed to the ground and their people scattered in villages. The one exception to this treatment was Abae, whose citizens were free from impiety, and had had no share in the seizure of the sanctuary or in the war.
10.3.3 The Phocians were deprived of their share in the Delphic sanctuary and in the Greek assembly, and their votes were given by the Amphictyons to the Macedonians. Subsequently, however, the Phocian cities were rebuilt, and their inhabitants restored from the villages to their native cities, save such as were prevented from being rebuilt by their original weakness and by their want of funds at the period of restoration. It was the Athenians and Thebans who brought back the inhabitants before the disaster of Chaeroneia befell the Greeks.
10.3.4 The Phocians took part in the battle of Chaeroneia, and afterwards fought at Lamia and Crannon against the Macedonians under Antipater. No Greeks were keener defenders against the Gauls and the Celtic invaders than were the Phocians, who considered that they were helping the god of Delphi, and at the same time, I take it, that they were making amends for the old crimes they had committed.
10.4.1 Such were the memorable exploits of the Phocians. From Chaeroneia it is twenty stades to Panopeus, a city of the Phocians, if one can give the name of city to those who possess no government offices, no gymnasium, no theater, no agora, no water descending to a fountain, but live in bare shelters just like mountain cabins, right on a ravine. Nevertheless, they have boundaries with their neighbors, and even send delegates to the Phocian assembly. The name of the city is derived, they say, from the father of Epeius, and they maintain that they are not Phocians, but were originally Phlegyans who fled to Phocis from the land of Orchomenus.
10.4.2 A survey of the ancient circuit of Panopeus led me to guess it to be about seven stades. I was reminded of Homer's verses about Tityos, where he mentions the city of Panopeus with its beautiful dancing-floors, and how in the fight over the body of Patroclus he says that Schedius, son of Iphitus and king of the Phocians, who was killed by Hector, lived in Panopeus. It seemed to me that the reason why the king lived here was fear of the Boeotians; at this point is the easiest pass from Boeotia into Phocis, so the king used Panopeus as a fortified post.
10.4.3 The former passage, in which Homer speaks of the beautiful dancing-floors of Panopeus, I could not understand until I was taught by the women whom the Athenians call Thyiads. The Thyiads are Attic women, who with the Delphian women go to Parnassus every other year and celebrate orgies in honor of Dionysus. It is the custom for these Thyiads to hold dances at places, including Panopeus, along the road from Athens. The epithet Homer applies to Panopeus is thought to refer to the dance of the Thyiads.
10.4.4 At Panopeus there is by the roadside a small building of unburnt brick, in which is an image of Pentelic marble, said by some to be Asclepius, by others Prometheus. The latter produce evidence of their contention. At the ravine there lie two stones, each of which is big enough to fill a cart. They have the color of clay, not earthy clay, but such as would be found in a ravine or sandy torrent, and they smell very like the skin of a man. They say that these are remains of the clay out of which the whole race of mankind was fashioned by Prometheus.
10.4.5 Here at the ravine is the tomb of Tityos. The circumference of the mound is just about one-third of a stade, and they say that the verse in the Odyssey: “Lying on the ground, and he lay over nine roods,” refers, not to the size of Tityos, but to the place where he lay, the name of which was Nine Roods (Plethra Ennea).
10.4.6 Cleon of Magnesia on the Hermus used to say that those men were incredulous of wonders who in the course of their own lives had not met yet greater marvels. He declared that Tityos and other monsters had been as tradition says they were. He happened, he said, to be at Gadeira, and he, with the rest of the crowd, sailed forth from the island in accordance with the command of Heracles; on their return to Gadeira they found cast ashore a man of the sea, who was about five roods in size, and burning away, because heaven had blasted him with a thunderbolt.
10.4.7 So said Cleon. About twenty-seven stades distant from Panopeus is Daulis. The men there are few in number, but for size and strength no Phocians are more renowned even to this day. They say that the name of the city is derived from Daulis, a nymph, the daughter of the Cephisus. Others say that the place, on which the city was built, was wooded, and that such shaggy places (dasea) were called daula by the ancients. For this reason, they say, Aeschylus called the beard of Glaucus of Anthedon hypene daulos.
10.4.8 Here in Daulis the women are said to have served up to Tereus his own son, which act was the first pollution of the dining-table among men. The hoopoe, into which the legend says Tereus was changed, is a bird a little larger than the quail, while the feathers on its head rise into the shape of a crest.
10.4.9 It is noteworthy that in Phocis swallows neither hatch nor lay eggs; in fact no swallow would even make a nest in the roof of a house. The Phocians say that even when Philomela was a bird she had a terror of Tereus, and so kept away from his country. At Daulis is a sanctuary of Athena with an ancient image. The xoanon, of an even earlier date, the Daulians say was brought from Athens by Procne.
10.4.10 In the territory of Daulis is a place called Tronis. Here has been built a shrine of the Archegetes (Founder) hero. This founder is said by some to have been Xanthippus, a distinguished soldier; others say that he was Phocus, son of Ornytion, son of Sisyphus. At any rate, he is worshipped every day, and the Phocians bring victims and pour the blood into the grave through a hole, but the flesh they are wont to consume on the spot.
10.5.1 There is also an ascent through Daulis to the summit of Parnassus, a longer one than that from Delphi, though not so difficult. Turning back from Daulis to the straight road to Delphi and going forwards, you see on the left of the road a building called the Phokikon, where assemble the Phocian delegates from each city.
10.5.2 The Phokikon is large, and within are pillars standing throughout its length. From the pillars rise steps to each wall, on which steps the Phocian delegates take their seats. At the end are neither pillars nor steps, but images of Zeus, Athena and Hera. That of Zeus is on a throne; on his right stands Hera, on his left Athena.
10.5.3 Going forward from here you will come to a road called the Cleft Road, the very road on which Oedipus slew his father. Fate would have it that memorials of the sufferings of Oedipus should be left throughout the length and breadth of Greece. At his birth they pieced his ankles with goads and exposed him on Mount Cithaeron in Plataean territory. Corinth and the land at the Isthmus were the scene of his upbringing. Phocis and the Cleft Road received the pollution of his murdered father's blood. Thebes is even more notorious for the marriage of Oedipus and for the sin of Eteocles.
10.5.4 The Cleft Road and the rash deed committed on it by Oedipus were the beginning of his troubles, and the tombs of Laius and the servant who followed him are still just as they were in the very middle of the place where the three roads meet, and over them have been piled unhewn stones. According to the story, it was Damasistratus, king of Plataea, who found the bodies lying and buried them.
10.5.5 From here the high road to Delphi becomes both steeper and more difficult for the walker. Many and different are the stories told about Delphi, and even more so about the oracle of Apollo. For they say that in the earliest times the oracular seat belonged to Earth, who appointed as prophetess at it Daphnis, one of the nymphs of the mountain.
10.5.6 There is extant among the Greeks an hexameter poem, the name of which is Eumolpia, and it is assigned to Musaeus, son of Antiophemus. In it the poet states that the oracle belonged to Poseidon and Earth in common; that Earth gave her oracles herself, but Poseidon used Pyrcon as his mouthpiece in giving responses. The verses are these:
- “Forthwith the voice of the Chthonian uttered a wise word,
- And with her Pyrcon, servant of the renowned Earth-shaker.”
They say that afterwards Earth gave her share to Themis, who gave it to Apollo as a gift. It is said that he gave to Poseidon Calaureia, that lies off Troezen, in exchange for his oracle.
10.5.7 I have heard too that shepherds feeding their flocks came upon the oracle, were inspired by the vapor, and prophesied as the mouthpiece of Apollo. The most prevalent view, however, is that Phemonoe was the first prophetess of the god, and first sang in hexameter verse. Boeo, a native woman who composed a hymn for the Delphians, said that the oracle was established for the god by comers from the Hyperboreans, Olen and others, and that he was the first to prophesy and the first to chant the hexameter oracles.
10.5.8 The verses of Boeo are:
- “Here in truth a mindful oracle was built
- By the sons of the Hyperboreans, Pagasus and divine Agyieus.”
After enumerating others also of the Hyperboreans, at the end of the hymn she names Olen:
- “And Olen, who became the first prophet of Phoebus,
- And first fashioned a song of ancient verses.”
Tradition, however, reports no other man as prophet, but makes mention of prophetesses only.
10.5.9 They say that the most ancient temple of Apollo was made of laurel, the branches of which were brought from the laurel in Tempe. This temple must have had the form of a hut. The Delphians say that the second temple was made by bees from beeswax and feathers, and that it was sent to the Hyperboreans by Apollo.
10.5.10 Another story is current, that the temple was set up by a Delphian, whose name was Pteras, and so the temple received its name from the builder. After this Pteras, so they say, the city in Crete was named, with the addition of a letter, Aptera. The story that the temple was built of the fern (pteris) that grows on the mountains, by interweaving fresh stalks of it, I do not accept at all.
10.5.11 It is no wonder that the third temple was made of bronze, seeing that Acrisius made a bedchamber of bronze for his daughter, the Lacedemonians still possess a sanctuary of Athena of the Bronze House, and the Roman forum, a marvel for its size and style, possesses a roof of bronze. So it would not be unlikely that a temple of bronze was made for Apollo.
10.5.12 The rest of the story I cannot believe, either that the temple was the work of Hephaestus, or the legend about the golden singers, referred to by Pindar in his verses about this bronze temple:
- “Above the pediment sang Golden Keledones (Charmers).
These words, it seems to me, are but an imitation of Homer's account of the Sirens. Neither did I find the accounts agree of the way this temple disappeared. Some say that it fell into a chasm in the earth, others that it was melted by fire.
10.5.13 The fourth temple was made by Trophonius and Agamedes; the tradition is that it was made of stone. It was burnt down in the archonship of Erxicleides at Athens, in the first year of the fifty-eighth Olympiad, when Diognetus of Crotona was victorious. The modern temple was built for the god by the Amphictyons from the sacred treasures, and the architect was one Spintharus of Corinth.
10.6.1 They say that the oldest city was founded here by Parnassus, a son of Cleodora, a nymph. Like the other heroes, as they are called, he had two fathers; one they say was the god Poseidon, the human father being Cleopompus. After this Parnassus were named, they say, both the mountain and also the Parnassian glen. Augury from flying birds was, it is said, a discovery of Parnassus.
10.6.2 Now this city, so the story goes on, was flooded by the rains that fell in the time of Deucalion. Such of the inhabitants as were able to escape the storm were led by the howls of wolves to safety on the top of Parnassus, being led on their way by these beasts, and on this account they called the city that they founded Lycoreia (Mountainwolf-city).
10.6.3 Another and different legend is current that Apollo had a son Lycorus by a nymph, Corycia, and that after Lycorus was named the city Lycoreia, and after the nymph the Corycian cave. It is also said that Celaeno was daughter to Hyamus, son of Lycorus, and that Delphus, from whom comes the present name of the city, was a son of Celaeno, daughter of Hyamus, by Apollo.
10.6.4 Others maintain that Castalius, an aboriginal, had a daughter Thyia, who was the first to be priestess of Dionysus and celebrate orgies in honor of the god. It is said that later on men called after her Thyiads all women who rave in honor of Dionysus. At any rate they hold that Delphus was a son of Apollo and Thyia. Others say that his mother was Melaena, daughter of Cephisus.
10.6.5 Afterwards the dwellers around called the city Pytho, as well as Delphi, just as Homer so calls it in the list of the Phocians. Those who would find pedigrees for everything think that Pythes was a son of Delphus, and that because he was king the city was called Pytho. But the most widespread tradition has it that the victim of Apollo's arrows rotted here, and that this was the reason why the city received the name Pytho. For the men of those days used pythesthai for the verb “to rot,” and hence Homer in his poem says that the island of the Sirens was full of bones, because the men who heard their singing rotted (epythonto).
10.6.6 The poets say that the victim of Apollo was a dragon posted by Earth to be a guard for the oracle. It is also said that he was a violent son of Crius, a man with authority around Euboea. He pillaged the sanctuary of the god, and he also pillaged the houses of rich men. But when he was making a second expedition, the Delphians besought Apollo to keep from them the danger that threatened them.
10.6.7 Phemonoe, the prophetess of that day, gave them an oracle in hexameter verse:
- “At close quarters a grievous arrow shall Apollo shoot :At the spoiler of Parnassus; and of his blood-guilt :The Cretans shall cleanse his hands; but the renown shall never die.
10.7.1 It seems that from the beginning the sanctuary at Delphi has been plotted against by a vast number of men. Attacks were made against it by this Euboean pirate, and years afterwards by the Phlegyan nation; furthermore by Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, by a portion of the army of Xerxes, by the Phocian chieftains, whose attacks on the wealth of the god were the longest and fiercest, and by the Gallic invaders. It was fated too that Delphi was to suffer from the universal irreverence of Nero, who robbed Apollo of five hundred bronze statues, some of gods, some of men.
10.7.2 The oldest contest and the one for which they first offered prizes was, according to tradition, the singing of a hymn to the god. The man who sang and won the prize was Chrysothemis of Crete, whose father Carmanor is said to have cleansed Apollo. After Chrysothemis, says tradition, Philammon won with a song, and after him his son Thamyris. But they say that Orpheus, a proud man and conceited about his mysteries, and Musaeus, who copied Orpheus in everything, refused to submit to the competition in musical skill.
10.7.3 They say too that Eleuther won a Pythian victory for his loud and sweet voice, for the song that he sang was not of his own composition. The story is that Hesiod too was debarred from competing because he had not learned to accompany his own singing on the harp. Homer too came to Delphi to inquire about his needs, but even though he had learned to play the harp, he would have found the skill useless owing to the loss of his eye-sight.
10.7.4 In the third year of the forty-eighth Olympiad, at which Glaucias of Crotona was victorious, the Amphictyons held contests for harping as from the beginning, but added competitions for flute-playing and for singing to the flute. The conquerors proclaimed were Melampus, a Cephallenian, for harping, and Echembrotus, an Arcadian, for singing to the flute, with Sacadas of Argos for flute-playing. This same Sacadas won victories at the next two Pythian festivals.
10.7.5 On that occasion they also offered for the first time prizes for athletes, the competitions being the same as those at Olympia, except the tethrippon (four-horse chariot), and the Delphians themselves added to the contests running-races for boys, the dolichos (long course) and the diaulos (double course). At the second Pythian Festival they no longer offered prizes for events, and hereafter gave a crown for victory. On this occasion they no longer included aulodia (singing to the flute), thinking that the music was ill-omened to listen to. For the tunes of the flute were most dismal, and the words sung to the tunes were lamentations.
10.7.6 What I say is confirmed by the votive offering of Echembrotus, a bronze tripod dedicated to the Heracles at Thebes. The tripod has as its inscription:
- “Echembrotus of Arcadia dedicated this pleasant gift to Heracles
- When he won a victory at the games of the Amphictyons,
- Singing for the Greeks tunes and lamentations.”
In this way the competition in singing to the flute was dropped. But they added a chariot-race, and Cleisthenes, the tyrant of Sicyon, was proclaimed victor in the chariot-race.
10.7.7 At the eighth Pythian Festival they added a contest for harpists playing without singing; Agelaus of Tegea was crowned. At the twenty-third Pythian Festival they added a race in armour. For this Timaenetus of Phlius won the laurel, five Olympiads after Damaretus of Heraea was victorious. At the forty-eighth Pythian Festival they established a race for two-horse chariots, and the chariot won of Execestides the Phocian. At the fifth Festival after this they yoked foals to a chariot, and the chariot of Orphondas of Thebes came in first.
10.7.8 The pancratium for boys, a race for a chariot drawn by two foals, and a race for ridden foals, were many years afterwards introduced from Elis. The first was brought in at the sixty-first Pythian Festival, and Iolaidas of Thebes was victorious. At the next Festival but one they held a race for a ridden foal, and at the sixty-ninth Festival a race for a chariot drawn by two foals; the victor proclaimed for the former was Lycormas of Larisa, for the latter Ptolemy the Macedonian. For the kings of Egypt liked to be called Macedonians, as in fact they were. The reason why a crown of laurel is the prize for a Pythian victory is in my opinion simply and solely because the prevailing tradition has it that Apollo fell in love with the daughter of Ladon.
10.8.1 Some are of opinion that the assembly of the Greeks that meets at Delphi was established by Amphictyon, the son of Deucalion, and that the delegates were styled Amphictyons after him. But Androtion, in his Atthis, says that originally the councillors came to Delphi from the neighboring states, that the deputies were styled Amphictions (neighbors), but that as time went on their modern name prevailed.
10.8.2 They say that Amphictyon himself summoned to the common assembly the following tribes of the Greek people: — Ionians, Dolopes, Thessalians, Aenianians, Magnesians, Malians, Phthiotians, Dorians, Phocians, Locrians who border on Phocis, living at the bottom of Mount Cnemis. But when the Phocians seized the sanctuary, and the war came to an end nine years afterwards, there came a change in the Amphictyonic League. The Macedonians managed to enter it, while the Phocian nation and a section of the Dorians, namely the Lacedemonians, lost their membership, the Phocians because of their rash crime, the Lacedemonians as a penalty for allying themselves with the Phocians.
10.8.3 When Brennus led the Gallic army against Delphi, no Greeks showed greater zeal for the war than the Phocians, and for this conduct of theirs recovered their membership of the League, as well as their old reputation. The emperor Augustus willed that the Nicopolitans, whose city is near Actium, should be members of the Amphictyonic League, that the Magnesians moreover and the Malians, together with the Aenianians and Phthiotians, should be numbered with the Thessalians, and that all their votes, together with those of the Dolopes, who were no longer a separate people, should be assigned to the Nicopolitans.
10.8.4 The Amphictyons today number thirty. Nicopolis, Macedonia and Thessaly each send six deputies; the Boeotians, who in more ancient days inhabited Thessaly and were then called Aeolians, the Phocians and the Delphians, each send two; ancient Doris sends one.
10.8.5 The Ozolian Locrians, and the Locrians opposite Euboea, send one each; there is also one from Euboea. Of the Peloponnesians, the Argives, Sicyonians, and Corinthians with the Megarians send one, as does Athens. The cities Athens, Delphi, and Nicopolis send deputies to every meeting of the Amphictyonic League; but each city of the nations mentioned has the privilege of sending members in turn after the lapse of periodic intervals.
10.8.6 When you enter the city you see temples in a row. The first of them was in ruins, and the one next to it had neither images nor statues. The third had statues of a few Roman emperors; the fourth is called the temple of Athena Forethought. Of its two images the one in the fore-temple is a votive offering of the Massiliots, and is larger than the one inside the temple. The Massiliots are a colony of Phocaea in Ionia, and their city was founded by some of those who ran away from Phocaea when attacked by Harpagus the Persian. They proved superior to the Carthaginians in a sea war, acquired the territory they now hold, and reached great prosperity.
10.8.7 The votive offering of the Massiliots is of bronze. The gold shield given to Athena Pronoia (Forethought) by Croesus the Lydian was said by the Delphians to have been stolen by Philomelus. Near the sanctuary of Pronoia is a precinct of the hero Phylacus. This Phylacus is reported by the Delphians to have defended them at the time of the Persian invasion.
10.8.8 They say that in the open part of the gymnasium there once grew a wild wood, and that Odysseus, when as the guest of Autolycus he was hunting with the sons of Autolycus, received here from the wild boar the wound above the knee. Turning to the left from the gymnasium and going down not more, I think, than three stades, you come to a river named Pleistos. This Pleistos descends to Cirrha, the port of Delphi, and flows into the sea there.
10.8.9 Ascending from the gymnasium along the way to the sanctuary you reach, on the right of the way, the water of Castalia, which is sweet to drink and pleasant to bathe in. Some say that the spring was named after a native woman, others after a man called Castalius. But Panyassis, son of Polyarchus, who composed an epic poem on Heracles, says that Castalia was a daughter of Achelous. For about Heracles he says:
- “Crossing with swift feet snowy Parnassus he reached the immortal water of Castalia, daughter of Achelous.”
10.8.10 I have heard another account, that the water was a gift to Castalia from the river Cephisus. So Alcaeus has it in his prelude to Apollo. The strongest confirmation of this view is a custom of the Lilaeans, who on certain specified days throw into the spring of the Cephisus cakes of the district and other things ordained by use, and it is said that these reappear in Castalia.
10.9.1 The city of Delphi, both the sacred enclosure of Apollo and the city generally, lies altogether on sloping ground. The enclosure is very large, and is on the highest part of the city. Passages run through it, close to one another. I will mention which of the votive offerings seemed to me most worthy of notice.
10.9.2 The athletes and competitors in music that the majority of mankind have neglected, are, I think, scarcely worthy of serious attention; and the athletes who have left a reputation behind them I have set forth in my account of Elis. There is a statue at Delphi of Phaylus of Crotona. He won no victory at Olympia, but his victories at Pytho were two in the pentathlum and one in the foot-race. He also fought at sea against the Persian, in a ship of his own, equipped by himself and manned by citizens of Crotona who were staying in Greece.
10.9.3 Such is the story of the athlete of Crotona. On entering the enclosure you come to a bronze bull, a votive offering of the Corcyraeans made by Theopropus of Aegina. The story is that in Corcyra a bull, leaving the cows, would go down from the pasture and bellow on the shore. As the same thing happened every day, the herdsman went down to the sea and saw a countless number of tunny-fish.
10.9.4 He reported the matter to the Corcyraeans, who, finding their labour lost in trying to catch the tunnies, sent envoys to Delphi. So they sacrificed the bull to Poseidon, and straightway after the sacrifice they caught the fish, and dedicated their offerings at Olympia and at Delphi with a tithe of their catch.
10.9.5 Next to this are offerings of the Tegeans from spoils of the Lacedemonians: an Apollo, a Victory, the heroes of the country, Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, Arcas, who gave Arcadia its name, Elatus, Apheidas, and Azan, the sons of Arcas, and also Triphylus. The mother of this Triphylus was not Erato, but Laodameia, the daughter of Amyclas, king of Lacedemon. There is also a statue dedicated of Erasus, son of Triphylus.
10.9.6 They who made the images are as follows: The Apollo and Callisto were made by Pausanias of Apollonia; the Victory and the likeness of Arcas by Daedalus of Sicyon; Triphylus and Azan by Samolas the Arcadian; Elatus, Apheidas and Erasus by Antiphanes of Argos. These offerings were sent by the Tegeans to Delphi after they took prisoners the Lacedemonians that attacked their city.
10.9.7 Opposite these are offerings of the Lacedemonians from spoils of the Athenians: the Dioscuri, Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, and beside these Poseidon, Lysander, son of Aristocritus, represented as being crowned by Poseidon, Agias, soothsayer to Lysander on the occasion of his victory, and Hermon, who steered his flag-ship.
10.9.8 This statue of Hermon was not unnaturally made by Theocosmus of Megara, who had been enrolled as a citizen of that city. The Dioscuri were made by Antiphanes of Argos; the soothsayer by Pison, from Calaureia, in the territory of Troezen; the Artemis, Poseidon and also Lysander by Dameas; the Apollo and Zeus by Athenodorus.
10.9.9 The last two artists were Arcadians from Cleitor. Behind the offerings enumerated are statues of those who, whether Spartans or Spartan allies, assisted Lysander at Aegospotami. They are these: — Aracus of Lacedemon, Erianthes a Boeotian [probable lacuna, perhaps the eye leaping over "from Boutheia"] above Mimas, whence came Astycrates, Cephisocles, Hermophantus and Hicesius of Chios; Timarchus and Diagoras of Rhodes; Theodamus of Cnidus; Cimmerius of Ephesus and Aeantides of Miletus.
10.9.10 These were made by Tisander, but the next were made by Alypus of Sicyon, namely: — Theopompus the Myndian, Cleomedes of Samos, the two Euboeans Aristocles of Carystus and Autonomus of Eretria, Aristophantus of Corinth, Apollodorus of Troezen, and Dion from Epidaurus in Argolis. Next to these come the Achaean Axionicus from Pellene, Theares of Hermion, Pyrrhias the Phocian, Comon of Megara, Agasimenes of Sicyon, Telycrates the Leucadian, Pythodotus of Corinth and Euantidas the Ambraciot; last come the Lacedemonians Epicydidas and Eteonicus. These, they say, are works of Patrocles and Canachus.
10.9.11 The Athenians refuse to confess that their defeat at Aegospotami was fairly inflicted, maintaining that they were betrayed by Tydeus and Adeimantus, their generals, who had been bribed, they say, with money by Lysander. As a proof of this assertion they quote the following oracle of the Sibyl:
- “And then on the Athenians will be laid grievous troubles
- By Zeus the high-thunderer, whose might is the greatest,
- On the war-ships battle and fighting,
- As they are destroyed by treacherous tricks, through the baseness of the captains.”
The other evidence that they quote is taken from the oracles of Musaeus:
- “For on the Athenians comes a wild rain
- Through the baseness of their leaders, but some consolation will there be
- For the defeat; they shall not escape the notice of the city, but shall pay the penalty.”
10.9.12 So much for this belief. The struggle for the district called Thyrea between the Lacedemonians and the Argives was also foretold by the Sibyl, who said that the battle would be drawn. But the Argives claimed that they had the better of the engagement, and sent to Delphi a bronze horse, supposed to be the Wooden Horse of Troy. It is the work of Antiphanes of Argos. 10.10.1 On the base below the Trojan Horse is an inscription which says that the statues were dedicated from a tithe of the spoils taken in the engagement at Marathon. They represent Athena, Apollo, and Miltiades, one of the generals. Of those called heroes there are Erechtheus, Cecrops, Pandion, Leos, Antiochus, son of Heracles by Meda, daughter of Phylas, as well as Aegeus and Acamas, one of the sons of Theseus. These heroes gave names, in obedience to a Delphic oracle, to tribes at Athens. Codrus however, the son of Melanthus, Theseus, and Neleus, these are not givers of names to tribes.
10.10.2 The statues enumerated were made by Pheidias, and really are a tithe of the spoils of the battle. But the statues of Antigonus, of his son Demetrius, and of Ptolemy the Egyptian, were sent to Delphi by the Athenians afterwards. The statue of the Egyptian they sent out of good-will; those of the Macedonians were sent because of the dread that they inspired.
10.10.3 Near the horse are also other votive offerings of the Argives, likenesses of the captains of those who with Polyneices made war on Thebes: Adrastus, the son of Talaus, Tydeus, son of Oeneus, the descendants of Proetus, namely, Capaneus, son of Hipponous, and Eteoclus, son of Iphis, Polyneices, and Hippomedon, son of the sister of Adrastus. Near is represented the chariot of Amphiaraus, and in it stands Baton, a relative of Amphiaraus who served as his charioteer. The last of them is Alitherses.
10.10.4 These are works of Hypatodorus and Aristogeiton, who made them, as the Argives themselves say, from the spoils of the victory which they and their Athenian allies won over the Lacedemonians at Oenoe in Argive territory. From spoils of the same action, it seems to me, the Argives set up statues of those whom the Greeks call the Epigoni. For there stand statues of these also, Sthenelus, Alcmaeon, who I think was honored before Amphilochus on account of his age, Promachus also, Thersander, Aegialeus and Diomedes. Between Diomedes and Aegialeus is Euryalus.
10.10.5 Opposite them are other statues, dedicated by the Argives who helped the Thebans under Epaminondas to found Messene. The statues are of heroes: Danaus, the most powerful king of Argos, and Hypermestra, for she alone of her sisters kept her hands undefiled. By her side is Lynceus also, and the whole family of them to Heracles, and further back still to Perseus.
10.10.6 The bronze horses and captive women dedicated by the Tarentines were made from spoils taken from the Messapians, a non-Greek people bordering on the territory of Tarentum, and are works of Ageladas the Argive. Tarentum is a colony of the Lacedemonians, and its founder was Phalanthus, a Spartan. On setting out to found a colony Phalanthus received an oracle from Delphi, declaring that when he should feel rain under a cloudless sky (aethra), he would then win both a territory and a city.
10.10.7 At first he neither examined the oracle himself nor informed one of his interpreters, but came to Italy with his ships. But when, although he won victories over the barbarians, he succeeded neither in taking a city nor in making himself master of a territory, he called to mind the oracle, and thought that the god had foretold an impossibility. For never could rain fall from a clear and cloudless sky. When he was in despair, his wife, who had accompanied him from home, among other endearments placed her husband's head between her knees and began to pick out the lice. And it chanced that the wife, such was her affection, wept as she saw her husband's fortunes coming to nothing.
10.10.8 As her tears fell in showers, and she wetted the head of Phalanthus, he realized the meaning of the oracle, for his wife's name was Aethra. And so on that night he took from the barbarians Tarentum, the largest and most prosperous city on the coast. They say that Taras the hero was a son of Poseidon by a nymph of the country, and that after this hero were named both the city and the river. For the river, just like the city, is called Taras.
10.11.1 Near the votive offering of the Tarentines is a treasury of the Sicyonians, but there is no treasure to be seen either here or in any other of the treasuries. The Cnidians brought the following images to Delphi: Triopas, founder of Cnidus, standing by a horse, Leto, and Apollo and Artemis shooting arrows at Tityos, who has already been wounded in the body.
10.11.2 These stand by the treasury of the Sicyonians. The Siphnians too made a treasury, the reason being as follows. Their island contained gold mines, and the god ordered them to pay a tithe of the revenues to Delphi. So they built the treasury, and continued to pay the tithe until greed made them omit the tribute, when the sea flooded their mines and hid them from sight.
10.11.3 The people of Lipara too dedicated statues to commemorate a naval victory over the Tyrrhenians. These people were colonists from Cnidus, and the leader of the colony is said to have been a Cnidian, whose name was Pentathlus according to a statement made by the Syracusan Antiochus, son of Xenophanes, in his History of Sicily. He says also that they built a city on Cape Pachynum in Sicily, but were hard pressed in a war with the Elymi and Phoenicians, and driven out, but occupied the islands, from which they expelled the inhabitants if they were not still uninhabited, still called, as they are called by Homer, the islands of Aeolus.
10.11.4 Of these islands they dwell in Lipara, on which they built a city, but Hiera, Strongyle and Didymae they cultivate, crossing to them in ships. On Strongyle fire is to be seen rising out of the ground, while in Hiera fire of its own accord bursts out on the summit of the island, and by the sea are baths, comfortable enough if the water receive you kindly, but if not, painful to enter because of the heat.
10.11.5 The Thebans have a treasury built from the spoils of war, and so have the Athenians. Whether the Cnidians built to commemorate a victory or to display their prosperity I do not know, but the Theban treasury was made from the spoils taken at the battle of Leuctra, and the Athenian treasury from those taken from the army that landed with Datis at Marathon. The inhabitants of Cleonae were, like the Athenians, afflicted with the plague, and obeying an oracle from Delphi sacrificed a he-goat to the sun while it was still rising. This put an end to the trouble, and so they sent a bronze he-goat to Apollo. The Syracusans have a treasury built from the spoils taken in the great Attic disaster, the Potidaeans in Thrace built one to show their piety to the god.
10.11.6 The Athenians also built a stoa out of the spoils they took in their war against the Peloponnesians and their Greek allies. There are also dedicated the figure-heads of ships and bronze shields. The inscription on them enumerates the cities from which the Athenians sent the first-fruits: Elis, Lacedemon, Sicyon, Megara, Pellene in Achaia, Ambracia, Leucas, and Corinth itself. It also says that from the spoils taken in these sea-battles a sacrifice was offered to Theseus and to Poseidon at the cape called Rhium. It seems to me that the inscription refers to Phormio, son of Asopichus, and to his achievements.
10.12.1 There is a rock rising up above the ground. On it, say the Delphians, there stood and chanted the oracles a woman, by name Herophile and surnamed Sibyl. The former Sibyl I find was as ancient as any; the Greeks say that she was a daughter of Zeus by Lamia, daughter of Poseidon, that she was the first woman to chant oracles, and that the name Sibyl was given her by the Libyans.
10.12.2 Herophile was younger than she was, but nevertheless she too was clearly born before the Trojan war, as she foretold in her oracles that Helen would be brought up in Sparta to be the ruin of Asia and of Europe, and that for her sake the Greeks would capture Troy. The Delians remember also a hymn this woman composed to Apollo. In her poem she calls herself not only Herophile but also Artemis, and the wedded wife of Apollo, saying too sometimes that she is his sister, and sometimes that she is his daughter.
10.12.3 These statements she made in her poetry when in a frenzy and possessed by the god. Elsewhere in her oracles she states that her mother was an immortal, one of the nymphs of Ida, while her father was a human. These are the verses:
- “I am by birth half mortal, half divine;
- An immortal nymph was my mother, my father an eater of corn;
- On my mother's side of Idaean birth, but my fatherland was red
- Marpessus, sacred to the Mother, and the river Aedoneus.
10.12.4 Even today there remain on Trojan Ida the ruins of the city Marpessus, with some sixty inhabitants. All the land around Marpessus is reddish and terribly parched, so that the light and porous nature of Ida in this place is in my opinion the reason why the river Aedoneus sinks into the ground, rises to sink once more, finally disappearing altogether beneath the earth. Marpessus is two hundred and forty stades distant from Alexandria in the Troad.
10.12.5 The inhabitants of this Alexandria say that Herophile became the attendant of the temple of Apollo Smintheus, and that on the occasion of Hecuba's dream she uttered the prophecy which we know was actually fulfilled. This Sibyl passed the greater part of her life in Samos, but she also visited Clarus in the territory of Colophon, Delos and Delphi. Whenever she visited Delphi, she would stand on this rock and sing her chants.
10.12.6 However, death came upon her in the Troad, and her tomb is in the grove of the Sminthian with these elegiac verses inscribed upon the tomb-stone:
- “Here I am, the plain-speaking Sibyl of Phoebus,
- Hidden beneath this stone tomb.
- A maiden once gifted with voice, but now for ever voiceless,
- By hard fate doomed to this fetter.
- But I am buried near the nymphs and this Hermes,
- Enjoying in the world below a part of the kingdom I had then.”
The Hermes stands by the side of the tomb, a square-shaped figure of stone. On the left is water running down into a well, and the images of the nymphs.
10.12.7 The Erythraeans, who are more eager than any other Greeks to lay claim to Herophile, adduce as evidence a mountain called Mount Corycus with a cave in it, saying that Herophile was born in it, and that she was a daughter of Theodorus, a shepherd of the district, and of a nymph. They add that the surname Idaean was given to the nymph simply because the men of those days called idai places that were thickly wooded. The verse about Marpessus and the river Aedoneus is cut out of the oracles by the Erythraeans.
10.12.8 The next woman to give oracles in the same way, according to Hyperochus of Cumae, a historian, was called Demo, and came from Cumae in the territory of the Opici. The Cumaeans can point to no oracle given by this woman, but they show a small stone urn in a sanctuary of Apollo, in which they say are placed the bones of the Sibyl.
10.12.9 Later than Demo there grew up among the Hebrews above Palestine a woman who gave oracles and was named Sabbe. They say that the father of Sabbe was Berosus, and her mother Erymanthe. But some call her a Babylonian Sibyl, others an Egyptian.
10.12.10 Phaennis, daughter of a king of the Chaonians, and the Peleiae (Doves) at Dodona also gave oracles under the inspiration of a god, but they were not called by men Sibyls. To learn the date of Phaennis and to read her oracles . . . for Phaennis was born when Antiochus was establishing his kingship immediately after the capture of Demetrius. The Peleiades are said to have been born still earlier than Phemonoe, and to have been the first women to chant these verses: “Zeus was, Zeus is, Zeus shall be; O mighty Zeus. Earth sends up the harvest, therefore sing the praise of earth as Mother.”
10.12.11 It is said that the men who uttered oracles were Euclus of Cyprus, the Athenians Musaeus, son of Antiophemus, and Lycus, son of Pandion, and also Bacis, a Boeotian who was possessed by nymphs. I have read the oracles of all these except those of Lycus. These are the women and men who, down to the present day, are said to have been the mouthpiece by which a god prophesied. But time is long, and perhaps similar things may occur again.
10.13.1 A bronze head of the Paeonian bull called the bison was sent to Delphi by the Paeonian king Dropion, son of Leon. These bisons are the most difficult beasts to capture alive, and no nets could be made strong enough to hold out against their rush. They are hunted in the following manner. When the hunters have found a place sinking to a hollow, they first strengthen it all round with a stout fence, and then they cover the slope and the level part at the end with fresh skins, or, if they should chance to be without skins, they make dry hides slippery with olive oil.
10.13.2 Next their best riders drive the bisons together into the place I have described. These at once slip on the first skins and roll down the slope until they reach the level ground, where at the first they are left to lie. On about the fourth or fifth day, when the beasts have lost most of their spirit through hunger and distress,
10.13.3 those of the hunters who are professional tamers bring to them as they lie fruit of the cultivated pine, first peeling off the inner husk; for the moment the beasts would touch no other food. Finally they tie ropes round them and lead them off.
10.13.4 This is the way in which the bisons are caught. Opposite the bronze head of the bison is a statue of a man wearing a breastplate, on which is a cloak. The Delphians say that it is an offering of the Andrians, and a portrait of Andreus, their founder. The images of Apollo, Athena, and Artemis were dedicated by the Phocians from the spoils taken from the Thessalians, their enemies always, who are their neighbors except where the Epicnemidian Locrians come between.
10.13.5 The Thessalians too of Pharsalus dedicated an Achilles on horseback, with Patroclus running beside his horse; the Macedonians living in Dium, a city at the foot of Mount Pieria, the Apollo who has taken hold of the deer; the people of Cyrene, a Greek city in Libya, the chariot with an image of Ammon in it. The Dorians of Corinth too built a treasury, where used to be stored the gold from Lydia.
10.13.6 The image of Heracles is a votive offering of the Thebans, sent when they had fought what is called the Sacred War against the Phocians. There are also bronze statues, which the Phocians dedicated when they had put to flight the Thessalian cavalry in the second engagement. The Phliasians brought to Delphi a bronze Zeus, and with the Zeus an image of Aegina. The Mantineans of Arcadia dedicated a bronze Apollo, which stands near the treasury of the Corinthians.
10.13.7 Heracles and Apollo are holding on to the tripod, and are preparing to fight about it. Leto and Artemis are calming Apollo, and Athena is calming Heracles. This too is an offering of the Phocians, dedicated when Tellias of Elis led them against the Thessalians. Athena and Artemis were made by Chionis, the other images are works shared by Diyllus and Amyclaeus. They are said to be Corinthians.
10.13.8 The Delphians say that when Heracles the son of Amphitryon came to the oracle, the prophetess Xenocleia refused to give a response on the ground that he was guilty of the death of Iphitus. Whereupon Heracles took up the tripod and carried it out of the temple. Then the prophetess said: “Then there was another Heracles, of Tiryns, not the Canopian.” For before this the Egyptian Heracles had visited Delphi. On the occasion to which I refer the son of Amphitryon restored the tripod to Apollo, and was told by Xenocleia all he wished to know. The poets adopted the story, and sing about a fight between Heracles and Apollo for a tripod.
10.13.9 The Greeks in common dedicated from the spoils taken at the battle of Plataea a gold tripod set on a bronze serpent. The bronze part of the offering is still preserved, but the Phocian leaders did not leave the gold as they did the bronze.
10.13.10 The Tarentines sent yet another tithe to Delphi from spoils taken from the Peucetii, a non-Greek people. The offerings are the work of Onatas the Aeginetan, and Ageladas the Argive, and consist of statues of footmen and horsemen — Opis, king of the Iapygians, come to be an ally to the Peucetii. Opis is represented as killed in the fighting, and on his prostrate body stand the hero Taras and Phalanthus of Lacedemon, near whom is a dolphin. For they say that before Phalanthus reached Italy, he suffered shipwreck in the Crisaean sea, and was brought ashore by a dolphin.
10.14.1 The axes were dedicated by Periclytus, son of Euthymachus, a man of Tenedos, and allude to an old story. Cycnus, they say, was a son of Poseidon, and ruled as king in Colonae, a city in the Troad situated opposite the island Leucophrys.
10.14.2 He had a daughter, by name Hemithea, and a son, called Tennes, by Procleia, who was a daughter of Clytius and a sister of Caletor. Homer in the Iliad says that this Caletor, as he was putting the fire under the ship of Protesilaus, was killed by Ajax. Procleia died before Cycnus, and his second wife, Philonome, daughter of Cragasus, fell in love with Tennes. Rejected by him she falsely accused him before her husband, saying that he had made love to her, and she had rejected him. Cycnus was deceived by the trick, placed Tennes with his sister in a chest and launched it out to sea.
10.14.3 The young people came safely to the island Leucophrys, and the island was given its present name from Tennes. Cycnus, however, was not to remain for ever ignorant of the trick, and sailed to his son to confess his ignorance and to ask for pardon for his mistake. He put in at the island and fastened the cables of his ship to something — a rock or a tree — but Tennes in a passion cut them adrift with an axe.
10.14.4 For this reason a by-word has arisen, which is used of those who make a stern refusal: “So and so has cut whatever it may be with an axe of Tenedos.” The Greeks say that while Tennes was defending his country he was killed by Achilles. In course of time weakness compelled the people of Tenedos to merge themselves with the Alexandrians on the Troad mainland.
10.14.5 The Greeks who fought against the king, besides dedicating at Olympia a bronze Zeus, dedicated also an Apollo at Delphi, from spoils taken in the naval actions at Artemisium and Salamis. There is also a story that Themistocles came to Delphi bringing with him for Apollo some of the Persian spoils. He asked whether he should dedicate them within the temple, but the Pythian priestess bade him carry them from the sanctuary altogether. The part of the oracle referring to this runs as follows:
- “The splendid beauty of the Persian's spoils
- Set not within my temple. Despatch them home speedily.”
10.14.6 Now I greatly marveled that it was from Themistocles alone that the priestess refused to accept Persian spoils. Some thought that the god would have rejected alike all offerings from Persian spoils, if like Themistocles the others had inquired of Apollo before making their dedication. Others said that the god knew that Themistocles would become a suppliant of the Persian king, and refused to take the gifts so that Themistocles might not by a dedication render the Persian's enmity unappeasable. The expedition of the barbarian against Greece we find foretold in the oracles of Bacis, and Euclus wrote his verses about it at an even earlier date.
10.14.7 Near the great altar is a bronze wolf, an offering of the Delphians themselves. They say that a fellow robbed the god of some treasure, and kept himself and the gold hidden at the place on Mount Parnassus where the forest is thickest. As he slept a wolf attacked and killed him, and every day went to the city and howled. When the people began to realize that the matter was not without the direction of heaven, they followed the beast and found the sacred gold. So to the god they dedicated a bronze wolf.
10.15.1 A gilt statue of Phryne was made by Praxiteles, one of her lovers, but it was Phryne herself who dedicated the statue. The offerings next to Phryne include two images of Apollo, one dedicated from Persian spoils by the Epidaurians of Argolis, the other dedicated by the Megarians to commemorate a victory over the Athenians at Nisaea. The Plataeans have dedicated an ox, an offering made at the time when, in their own territory, they took part, along with the other Greeks, in the defence against Mardonius, the son of Gobryas. Then there are another two images of Apollo, one dedicated by the citizens of Heracleia on the Euxine, the other by the Amphictyons when they fined the Phocians for tilling the territory of the god.
10.15.2 The second Apollo the Delphians call Sitalcas, and he is thirty-five cubits high. The Aetolians have statues of most of their generals, and images of Artemis, Athena and two of Apollo, dedicated after their conclusion of the war against the Gauls. That the Celtic army would cross from Europe to Asia to destroy the cities there was prophesied by Phaennis in her oracles a generation before the invasion occurred:
- “Then verily, having crossed the narrow strait of the Hellespont,
- The devastating host of the Gauls shall pipe; and lawlessly
- They shall ravage Asia; and much worse shall God do
- To those who dwell by the shores of the sea
- For a short while. For right soon the son of Cronos
- Shall raise them a helper, the dear son of a bull reared by Zeus,
- Who on all the Gauls shall bring a day of destruction.”
By the son of a bull she meant Attalus, king of Pergamus, who was also styled bull-horned by an oracle.
10.15.4 Statues of cavalry leaders, mounted on horses, were dedicated in Apollo's sanctuary by the Pheraeans after routing the Attic cavalry. The bronze palm-tree, as well as a gilt image of Athena on it, was dedicated by the Athenians from the spoils they took in their two successes on the same day at the Eurymedon, one on land, and the other with their fleet on the river. The gold on this image was, I noticed, damaged in parts.
10.15.5 I myself put the blame on rogues and thieves. But Cleitodemus, the oldest writer to describe the customs of the Athenians, says in his Atthis that when the Athenians were preparing the Sicilian expedition a vast flock of crows swooped on Delphi, pecked this image all over, and with their beaks tore away its gold. He says that the crows also broke off the spear, the owls, and the imitation fruit on the palm-tree.
10.15.6 Cleitodemus describes other omens that told the Athenians to beware of sailing against Sicily. The Cyrenaeans have dedicated at Delphi a figure of Battus in a chariot; he it was who brought them in ships from Thera to Libya. The reins are held by Cyrene, and in the chariot is Battus, who is being crowned by Libya. The artist was a Cnossian, Amphion the son of Acestor.
10.15.7 It is said that, after Battus had founded Cyrene, he was cured of his stammering in the following way. As he was passing through the territory of the Cyrenaeans, in the extreme parts of it, as yet desert, he saw a lion, and the terror of the sight compelled him to cry out in a clear and loud voice. Not far from the Battus the Amphictyons have set up yet another Apollo from the fine they inflicted on the Phocians for their sin against the god.
10.16.1 Of the offerings sent by the Lydian kings I found nothing remaining except the iron stand of the bowl of Alyattes. This is the work of Glaucus the Chian, the man who discovered how to weld iron. Each plate of the stand is fastened to another, not by bolts or rivets, but by the welding, which is the only thing that fastens and holds together the iron.
10.16.2 The shape of the stand is very like that of a tower, wider at the bottom and rising to a narrow top. Each side of the stand is not solid throughout, but the iron cross-strips are placed like the rungs of a ladder. The upright iron plates are turned outwards at the top, so forming a seat for the bowl.
10.16.3 What is called the Omphalus (Navel) by the Delphians is made of white marble, and is said by the Delphians to be the center of all the earth. Pindar in one of his odes supports their view.
10.16.4 There is here an offering of the Lacedemonians, made by Calamis, depicting Hermione, daughter of Menelaus, who married Orestes, son of Agamemnon, having previously been wedded to Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. The Aetolians have dedicated a statue of Eurydamus, general of the Aetolians, who was their leader in the war against the army of the Gauls.
10.16.5 On the mountains of Crete there is still in my time a city called Elyrus. Now the citizens sent to Delphi a bronze goat, which is suckling the babies, Phylacides and Philander. The Elyrians say that these were children of Apollo by the nymph Acacallis, and that Apollo mated with Acacallis in the house of Carmanor in the city of Tarrha.
10.16.6 The Euboeans of Carystus too set up in the sanctuary of Apollo a bronze ox, from spoils taken in the Persian war. The Carystians and the Plataeans dedicated oxen, I believe, because, having repulsed the barbarian, they had won a secure prosperity, and especially a land free to plough. The Aetolian nation, having subdued their neighbors the Acarnanians, sent statues of generals and images of Apollo and Artemis.
10.16.7 I learnt a very strange thing that happened to the Liparaeans in a war with the Etruscans. For the Liparaeans were bidden by the Pythian priestess to engage the Etruscans with the fewest possible ships. So they put out against the Etruscans with five triremes. Their enemies, refusing to admit that their seamanship was unequal to that of the Liparaeans, went out to meet them with an equal number of ships. These the Liparaeans captured, as they did a second five that came out against them, overcoming too a third squadron of five, and likewise a fourth. So they dedicated at Delphi images of Apollo equal in number to the ships that they had captured.
10.16.8 Echecratides of Larisa dedicated the small Apollo, said by the Delphians to have been the very first offering to be set up.
10.17.1 Of the non-Greeks in the west, the people of Sardinia have sent a bronze statue of him after whom they are called. In size and prosperity Sardinia is the equal of the most celebrated islands. What the ancient name was that the natives give it I do not know, but those of the Greeks who sailed there to trade called it Ichnussa, because the shape of the island is very like a man's footprint (ichnos). Its length is one thousand one hundred and twenty stades, and its breadth extends to four hundred and twenty.
10.17.2 The first sailors to cross to the island are said to have been Libyans. Their leader was Sardus, son of Maceris, the Maceris surnamed Heracles by the Egyptians and Libyans. Maceris himself was celebrated chiefly for his journey to Delphi, but Sardus it was who led the Libyans to Ichnussa, and after him the island was renamed. However, the Libyan army did not expel the aboriginals, who received the invaders as settlers through compulsion rather than in goodwill. Neither the Libyans nor the native population knew how to build cities. They dwelt in scattered groups, where chance found them a home in cabins or caves.
10.17.3 Years after the Libyans, there came to the island from Greece Aristaeus and his followers. Aristaeus is said to have been a son of Apollo and Cyrene, and they say that, deeply grieved by the fate of Actaeon, and vexed alike with Boeotia and the whole of Greece, he migrated to Sardinia.
10.17.4 Others think that Daedalus too ran away from Camicus [ms corrupt] on this occasion, because of the invasion of the Cretans, and took a part in the colony that Aristaeus led to Sardinia. But it is nonsense to think that Daedalus, a contemporary of Oedipus, king of Thebes, had a part in a colony or anything else along with Aristaeus, who married Autonoe, the daughter of Cadmus. At any rate, these colonists too founded no city, the reason being, I think, that neither in numbers nor in strength were they capable of the task.
10.17.5 After Aristaeus the Iberians crossed to Sardinia, under Norax as leader of the expedition, and they founded the city of Nora. The tradition is that this was the first city in the island, and they say that Norax was a son of Erytheia, the daughter of Geryones, with Hermes for his father. A fourth component part of the population was the army of Iolaus, consisting of Thespians and men from Attica, which put in at Sardinia and founded Olbia; by themselves the Athenians founded Ogryle, either in commemoration of one of their demes in the home-land, or else because one Ogrylus himself took part in the expedition. Be this as it may, there are still today places in Sardinia called Iolaia, and Iolaus is worshipped by the inhabitants.
10.17.6 When Troy was taken, among those Trojans who fled were those who escaped with Aeneas. A part of them, carried from their course by winds, reached Sardinia and intermarried with the Greeks already settled there. But the non-Greek element were prevented from coming to blows with the Greeks and Trojans, for the two enemies were evenly matched in all warlike equipment, while the river Thorsus, flowing between their territories, made both equally afraid to cross it.
10.17.7 However, many years afterwards the Libyans crossed again to the island with a stronger army, and began a war against the Greeks. The Greeks were utterly destroyed, or only a few of them survived. The Trojans made their escape to the high parts of the island, and occupied mountains difficult to climb, being precipitous and protected by stakes. Even at the present day they are called Ilians, but in figure, in the fashion of their arms, and in their mode of living generally, they are like the Libyans.
10.17.8 Not far distant from Sardinia is an island, called Cyrnus by the Greeks, but Corsica by the Libyans who inhabit it. A large part of the population, oppressed by civil strife, left it and came to Sardinia; there they took up their abode, confining themselves to the highlands. The Sardinians, however, call them by the name of Corsicans, which they brought with them from home.
10.17.9 When the Carthaginians were at the height of their sea power, they overcame all in Sardinia except the Ilians and Corsicans, who were kept from slavery by the strength of the mountains. These Carthaginians, like those who preceded them, founded cities in the island, namely, Caralis and Sulci. Some of the Carthaginian mercenaries, either Libyans or Iberians, quarrelled about the booty, mutinied in a passion, and added to the number of the highland settlers. Their name in the Cyrnian language is Balari, which is the Cyrnian word for fugitives.
10.17.10 These are the races that dwell in Sardinia, and such was the method of their settlement. The northern part of the island and that towards the mainland of Italy consist of an unbroken chain of impassable mountains. And if you sail along the coast you will find no anchorage on this side of the island, while violent but irregular gusts of wind sweep down to the sea from the tops of the mountains.
10.17.11 Across the middle of the island runs another chain of mountains, but lower in height. The atmosphere here is on the whole heavy and unwholesome. The reason is partly the salt that crystallizes here, partly the oppressive, violent south wind, and partly the fact that, because of the height of the mountains on the side towards Italy, the north winds are prevented, when they blow in summer, from cooling the atmosphere and the ground here. Others say that the cause is Cyrnus, which is separated from Sardinia by no more than eight stades of sea, and is hilly and high all over. So they think that Cyrnus prevents Zephyros and Boreas (the west wind and north wind) from reaching as far as Sardinia.
10.17.12 Neither poisonous nor harmless snakes can live in Sardinia, nor yet wolves. The he-goats are no bigger than those found elsewhere, but their shape is that of the wild ram which an artist would carve in Aeginetan style, except that their breasts are too shaggy to liken them to Aeginetan art. Their horns do not stand out away from the head, but curl straight beside the ears. In speed they are the swiftest of all beasts.
10.17.13 Except for one plant the island is free from poisons. This deadly herb is like celery, and they say that those who eat it die laughing. Wherefore Homer, and men after him, call unwholesome laughter sardonic. The herb grows mostly around springs, but does not impart any of its poison to the water. I have introduced into my history of Phocis this account of Sardinia, because it is an island about which the Greeks are very ignorant.
10.18.1 The horse next to the statue of Sardus was dedicated, says the Athenian Callias son of Lysimachides, in the inscription, by Callias himself from spoils he had taken in the Persian war. The Achaeans dedicated an image of Athena after reducing by siege one of the cities of Aetolia, the name of which was Phana. They say that the siege was not a short one, and being unable to take the city, they sent envoys to Delphi, to whom was given the following response:
- “Dwellers in the land of Pelops and in Achaia, who to Pytho
- Have come to inquire how ye shall take a city,
- Come, consider what daily ration,
- Drunk by the folk, saves the city which has so drunk.
- For so ye may take the towered village of Phana.”
10.18.3 So not understanding what was the meaning of the oracle, they were minded to raise the siege and sail away, while the defenders paid no attention to them, one of their women coming from behind the walls to fetch water from the spring just under them. Some of the besiegers ran up and took the woman prisoner, who informed the Achaeans that the scanty water from the spring, that was fetched each night, was rationed among the besieged, who had nothing else to quench their thirst. So the Achaeans, by filling up the spring, captured the town.
10.18.4 By the side of this Athena the Rhodians of Lindus set up their image of Apollo. The Ambraciots dedicated also a bronze ass, having conquered the Molossians in a night battle. The Molossians had prepared an ambush for them by night. It chanced that an ass, being driven back from the fields, was chasing a she-ass with harsh braying and wanton gait, while the driver of the ass increased the din by his horrible, inarticulate yells. So the men in the Molossian ambush rushed out affrighted, and the Ambraciots, detecting the trap prepared for them, attacked in the night and overcame the Molossians in battle.
10.18.5 The men of Orneae in Argolis, when hard pressed in war by the Sicyonians, vowed to Apollo that, if they should drive the host of the Sicyonians out of their native land, they would organize a daily procession in his honor at Delphi, and sacrifice victims of a certain kind and of a certain number. Well, they conquered the Sicyonians in battle. But finding the daily fulfillment of their vow a great expense and a still greater trouble, they devised the trick of dedicating to the god bronze figures representing a sacrifice and a procession.
10.18.6 There is here one of the labours of Heracles, namely, his fight with the Hydra. Tisagoras not only dedicated the offering, but also made it. Both the Hydra and Heracles are of iron. To make images of iron is a very difficult task, involving great labour. So the work of Tisagoras, whoever he was, is marvellous. Very marvellous too are the heads of a lion and wild boar at Pergamus, also of iron, which were made as offerings to Dionysus.
10.18.7 The Phocians who live at Elateia, who held their city, with the help of Olympiodorus from Athens, when besieged by Cassander, sent to Apollo at Delphi a bronze lion. The Apollo, very near to the lion, was dedicated by the Massiliots as firstfruits of their naval victory over the Carthaginians. The Aetolians have made a trophy and the image of an armed woman, supposed to represent Aetolia. These were dedicated by the Aetolians when they had punished the Gauls for their cruelty to the Callians. A gilt statue, offered by Gorgias of Leontini, is a portrait of Gorgias himself.
10.19.1 Beside the Gorgias is a votive offering of the Amphictyons, representing Scyllis of Scione, who, tradition says, dived into the very deepest parts of every sea. He also taught his daughter Hydna to dive.
10.19.2 When the fleet of Xerxes was attacked by a violent storm off Mount Pelion, father and daughter completed its destruction by dragging away under the sea the anchors and any other security the triremes had. In return for this deed the Amphictyons dedicated statues of Scyllis and his daughter. The statue of Hydna completed the number of the statues that Nero carried off from Delphi. Only those of the female sex who are pure virgins may dive into the sea.
10.19.3 I am going on to tell a Lesbian story. Certain fishermen of Methymna found that their nets dragged up to the surface of the sea a face made of olive-wood. Its appearance suggested a touch of divinity, but it was outlandish, and unlike the normal features of Greek gods. So the people of Methymna asked the Pythian priestess of what god or hero the figure was a likeness, and she bade them worship Dionysus Phallen. Whereupon the people of Methymna kept for themselves the wooden image out of the sea, worshipping it with sacrifices and prayers, but sent a bronze copy to Delphi.
10.19.4 The carvings in the pediments are: Artemis, Leto, Apollo, Muses, a setting Sun, and Dionysus together with the Thyiad women. The first of them are the work of Praxias, an Athenian and a pupil of Calamis, but the temple took some time to build, during which Praxias died. So the rest of the ornament in the pediments was carved by Androsthenes, like Praxias an Athenian by birth, but a pupil of Eucadmus. There are arms of gold on the architraves; the Athenians dedicated the shields from spoils taken at the battle of Marathon, and the Aetolians the arms, supposed to be Gallic, behind and on the left. Their shape is very like that of Persian wicker shields.
10.19.5 I have made some mention of the Gallic invasion of Greece in my description of the Bouleuterion in my Attica account. But I have resolved to give a more detailed account of the Gauls in my description of Delphi, because the greatest of the Greek exploits against the barbarians took place there. The Celts conducted their first foreign expedition under the leadership of Cambaules. Advancing as far as Thrace they lost heart and broke off their march, realizing that they were too few in number to be a match for the Greeks.
10.19.6 But when they decided to invade foreign territory a second time, so great was the influence of Cambaules' veterans, who had tasted the joy of plunder and acquired a passion for robbery and plunder, that a large force of infantry and no small number of mounted men attended the muster. So the army was split up into three divisions by the chieftains, to each of whom was assigned a separate land to invade.
10.19.7 Cerethrius was to be leader against the Thracians and the nation of the Triballi. The invaders of Paeonia were under the command of Brennus and Acichorius. Bolgius attacked the Macedonians and Illyrians, and engaged in a struggle with Ptolemy, king of the Macedonians at that time. It was this Ptolemy who, though he had taken refuge as a suppliant with Seleucus, the son of Antiochus, treacherously murdered him, and was surnamed Keraunos (Thunderbolt) because of his recklessness. Ptolemy himself perished in the fighting, and the Macedonian losses were heavy. But once more the Celts lacked courage to advance against Greece, and so the second expedition returned home.
10.19.8 It was then that Brennus, both in public meetings and also in personal talks with individual Gallic officers, strongly urged a campaign against Greece, enlarging on the weakness of Greece at the time, on the wealth of the Greek states, and on the even greater wealth in sanctuaries, including votive offerings and coined silver and gold. So he induced the Gauls to march against Greece. Among the officers he chose to be his colleagues was Acichorius.
10.19.9 The muster of foot amounted to one hundred and fifty-two thousand, with twenty thousand four hundred horse. This was the number of horsemen in action at any one time, but the real number was sixty-one thousand two hundred. For to each horseman were attached two servants, who were themselves skilled riders and, like their masters, had a horse.
10.19.10 When the Gallic horsemen were engaged, the servants remained behind the ranks and proved useful in the following way. Should a horseman or his horse fall, the slave brought him a horse to mount; if the rider was killed, the slave mounted the horse in his master's place; if both rider and horse were killed, there was a mounted man ready. When a rider was wounded, one slave brought back to camp the wounded man, while the other took his vacant place in the ranks.
10.19.11 I believe that the Gauls in adopting these methods copied the Persian regiment of the Ten Thousand, who were called the Immortals. There was, however, this difference. The Persians used to wait until the battle was over before replacing casualties, while the Gauls kept reinforcing the horsemen to their full number during the height of the action. This organization is called in their native speech trimarcisia, for I would have you know that marca is the Celtic name for a horse.
10.19.12 This was the size of the army, and such was the intention of Brennus, when he attacked Greece. The spirit of the Greeks was utterly broken, but the extremity of their terror forced them to defend Greece. They realized that the struggle that faced them would not be one for liberty, as it was when they fought the Persian, and that giving water and earth would not bring them safety. They still remembered the fate of Macedonia, Thrace and Paeonia during the former incursion of the Gauls, and reports were coming in of enormities committed at that very time on the Thessalians. So every man, as well as every state, was convinced that they must either conquer or perish.
10.20.1 Any one who so wishes can compare the number of those who mustered to meet king Xerxes at Thermopylae with those who now mustered to oppose the Gauls. To meet the Persians there came Greek contingents of the following strength. Lacedemonians with Leonidas not more than three hundred; Tegeans five hundred, and five hundred from Mantineia; from Orchomenus in Arcadia a hundred and twenty; from the other cities in Arcadia one thousand; from Mycenae eighty; from Phlius two hundred, and from Corinth twice this number; of the Boeotians there mustered seven hundred from Thespiae and four hundred from Thebes. A thousand Phocians guarded the path on Mount Oeta, and the number of these should be added to the Greek total.
10.20.2 Herodotus does not give the number of the Locrians under Mount Cnemis, but he does say that each of their cities sent a contingent. It is possible, however, to make an estimate of these also that comes very near to the truth. For not more than nine thousand Athenians marched to Marathon, even if we include those who were too old for active service and slaves; so the number of Locrian fighting men who marched to Thermopylae cannot have exceeded six thousand. So the whole army would amount to eleven thousand two hundred. But it is well known that not even these remained all the time guarding the pass; for if we except the Lacedemonians, Thespians and Mycenaeans, the rest left the field before the conclusion of the fighting.
10.20.3 To meet the barbarians who came from the Ocean the following Greek forces came to Thermopylae. Of the Boeotians ten thousand hoplites and five hundred cavalry, the Boeotarchs being Cephisodotus, Thearidas, Diogenes and Lysander. From Phocis came five hundred cavalry with footmen three thousand in number. The generals of the Phocians were Critobulus and Antiochus.
10.20.4 The Locrians over against the island of Atalanta were under the command of Meidias; they numbered seven hundred, and no cavalry was with them. Of the Megarians came four hundred hoplites commanded by Hipponicus of Megara. The Aetolians sent a large contingent, including every class of fighting men; the number of cavalry is not given, but the light-armed were seven hundred and ninety, and their hoplites numbered more than seven thousand. Their leaders were Polyarchus, Polyphron and Lacrates.
10.20.5 The Athenian general was Callippus, the son of Moerocles, as I have said in an earlier part of my work, and their forces consisted of all their seaworthy triremes, five hundred horse and one thousand foot. Because of their ancient reputation the Athenians held the chief command. The king of Macedonia sent five hundred mercenaries, and the king of Asia a like number; the leader of those sent by Antigonus was Aristodemus, a Macedonian, and Telesarchus, one of the Syrians on the Orontes, commanded the forces that Antiochus sent from Asia.
10.20.6 When the Greeks assembled at Thermopylae learned that the army of the Gauls was already in the neighborhood of Magnesia and Phthiotis, they resolved to detach the cavalry and a thousand light armed troops and to send them to the Spercheius, so that even the crossing of the river could not be effected by the barbarians without a struggle and risks. On their arrival these forces broke down the bridges and by themselves encamped along the bank. But Brennus himself was not utterly stupid, nor inexperienced, for a barbarian, in devising tricks of strategy.
10.20.7 So on that very night he despatched some troops to the Spercheius, not to the places where the old bridges had stood, but lower down, where the Greeks would not notice the crossing, and just where the river spread over the plain and made a marsh and lake instead of a narrow, violent stream. Hither Brennus sent some ten thousand Gauls, picking out the swimmers and the tallest men; and the Celts as a race are far taller than any other people.
10.20.8 So these crossed in the night, swimming over the river where it expands into a lake; each man used his shield, his national buckler, as a raft, and the tallest of them were able to cross the water by wading. The Greeks on the Spercheius, as soon as they learned that a detachment of the barbarians had crossed by the marsh, forthwith retreated to the main army. Brennus ordered the dwellers round the Malian Gulf to build bridges across the Spercheius, and they proceeded to accomplish their task with a will, for they were frightened of Brennus, and anxious for the barbarians to go away out of their country instead of staying to devastate it further.
10.20.9 Brennus brought his army across over the bridges and proceeded to Heracleia. The Gauls plundered the country, and massacred those whom they caught in the fields, but did not capture the city. For a year previous to this the Aetolians had forced Heracleia to join the Aetolian League; so now they defended a city which they considered to belong to them just as much as to the Heracleots. Brennus did not trouble himself much about Heracleia, but directed his efforts to driving away those opposed to him at the pass, in order to invade Greece south of Thermopylae.
10.21.1 Deserters kept Brennus informed about the forces from each city mustered at Thermopylae. So despising the Greek army he advanced from Heracleia, and began the battle at sun-rise on the next day. He had no Greek soothsayer, and made no use of his own country's sacrifices, if indeed the Celts have any art of divination. Whereupon the Greeks attacked silently and in good order. When they came to close quarters, the infantry did not rush out of their line far enough to disturb their proper formation, while the light-armed troops remained in position, throwing javelins, shooting arrows or slinging bullets.
10.21.2 The cavalry on both sides proved useless, as the ground at the Pass is not only narrow, but also smooth because of the natural rock, while most of it is slippery owing to its being covered with streams. The Gauls were worse armed than the Greeks, having no other defensive armour than their national shields, while they were still more inferior in war experience.
10.21.3 On they marched against their enemies with the unreasoning fury and passion of brutes. Slashed with axe or sword they kept their desperation while they still breathed; pierced by arrow or javelin, they did not abate of their passion so long as life remained. Some drew out from their wounds the spears, by which they had been hit, and threw them at the Greeks or used them in close fighting.
10.21.4 Meanwhile the Athenians on the triremes, with difficulty and with danger, nevertheless coasted along through the mud that extends far out to sea, brought their ships as close to the barbarians as possible, and raked them with arrows and every other kind of missile. The Celts were in unspeakable distress, and as in the confined space they inflicted few losses but suffered twice or four times as many, their captains gave the signal to retire to their camp. Retreating in confusion and without any order, many were crushed beneath the feet of their friends, and many others fell into the swamp and disappeared under the mud. Their loss in the retreat was no less than the loss that occurred while the battle raged.
10.21.5 On this day the Attic contingent surpassed the other Greeks in courage. Of the Athenians themselves the bravest was Cydias, a young man who had never before been in battle. He was killed by the Gauls, but his relatives dedicated his shield to Zeus Eleutherios, and the inscription ran: “Here hang I, yearning for the still youthful bloom of Cydias, The shield of a glorious man, an offering to Zeus. I was the very first through which at this battle he thrust his left arm, When furious Ares was at his peak against the Gaul.”
10.21.6 This inscription remained until Sulla and his army took away, among other Athenian treasures, the shields in the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. After this battle at Thermopylae the Greeks buried their own dead and spoiled the barbarians, but the Gauls sent no herald to ask leave to take up the bodies, and were indifferent whether the earth received them or whether they were devoured by wild beasts or carrion birds.
10.21.7 There were in my opinion two reasons that made them careless about the burial of their dead: they wished to strike terror into their enemies, and through habit they have no tender feeling for those who have gone. In the battle there fell forty of the Greeks; the losses of the barbarians it was impossible to discover exactly. For the number of them that disappeared beneath the mud was great.
10.22.1 On the seventh day after the battle a regiment of Gauls attempted to go up to Oeta by way of Heracleia. Here too a narrow path rises just past the ruins of Trachis. There was also at that time a sanctuary of Athena above the Trachinian territory, and in it were votive offerings. So they hoped to ascend Oeta by this path and at the same time to get possession of the offerings in the temple in passing. [This path was defended by the Phocians under Telesarchus.] They overcame the barbarians in the engagement, but Telesarchus himself fell, a man devoted, if ever a man was, to the Greek cause.
10.22.2 All the leaders of the barbarians except Brennus were terrified of the Greeks, and at the same time were despondent of the future, seeing that their present condition showed no signs of improvement. But Brennus reasoned that if he could compel the Aetolians to return home to Aetolia, he would find the war against Greece prove easier hereafter. So he detached from his army forty thousand foot and about eight hundred horse. Over these he set in command Orestorius and Combutis, who, making their way back by way of the bridges over the Spercheius
10.22.3 and across Thessaly again, invaded Aetolia. The fate of the Callians at the hands of Combutis and Orestorius is the most wicked ever heard of, and is without a parallel in the crimes of men. Every male they put to the sword, and there were butchered old men equally with children at their mothers' breasts. The more plump of these sucking babes the Gauls killed, drinking their blood and eating their flesh.
10.22.4 Women and adult maidens, if they had any spirit at all in them, anticipated their end when the city was captured. Those who survived suffered under imperious violence every form of outrage at the hands of men equally void of pity or of love. Every woman who chanced to find a Gallic sword committed suicide. The others were soon to die of hunger and want of sleep, the incontinent barbarians outraging them by turns, and sating their lust even on the dying and the dead.
10.22.5 The Aetolians had been informed by messengers what disasters had befallen them, and at once with all speed removed their forces from Thermopylae and hastened to Aetolia, being exasperated at the sufferings of the Callians, and still more fired with determination to save the cities not yet captured. From all the cities at home were mobilized the men of military age; and even those too old for service, their fighting spirit roused by the crisis, were in the ranks, and their very women gladly served with them, being even more enraged against the Gauls than were the men.
10.22.6 When the barbarians, having pillaged houses and sanctuaries, and having fired Callium, were returning by the same way, they were met by the Patraeans, who alone of the Achaeans were helping the Aetolians. Being trained as hoplites they made a frontal attack on the barbarians, but suffered severely owing to the number and desperation of the Gauls. But the Aetolians, men and women, drawn up all along the road, kept shooting at the barbarians, and few shots failed to find a mark among enemies protected by nothing but their national shields. Pursued by the Gauls they easily escaped, renewing their attack with vigor when their enemies returned from the pursuit.
10.22.7 Although the Callians suffered so terribly that even Homer's account of the Laestrygones and the Cyclops does not seem outside the truth, yet they were duly and fully avenged. For out of their number of forty thousand eight hundred, there escaped of the barbarians to the camp at Thermopylae less than one half.
10.22.8 Meantime the Greeks at Thermopylae were faring as follows. There are two paths across Mount Oeta: the one above Trachis is very steep, and for the most part precipitous; the other, through the territory of the Aenianians, is easier for an army to cross. It was through this that on a former occasion Hydarnes the Persian passed to attack in the rear the Greeks under Leonidas.
10.22.9 By this road the Heracleots and the Aenianians promised to lead Brennus, not that they were ill-disposed to the Greek cause, but because they were anxious for the Celts to go away from their country, and not to establish themselves in it to its ruin. I think that Pindar spoke the truth again when he said that every one is crushed by his own misfortunes but is untouched by the woes of others.
10.22.10 Brennus was encouraged by the promise made by the Aenianians and Heracleots. Leaving Acichorius behind in charge of the main army, with instructions that it was to attack only when the enveloping movement was complete, Brennus himself, with a detachment of forty thousand, began his march along the pass.
10.22.11 It so happened on that day that the mist rolled thick down the mountain, darkening the sun, so that the Phocians who were guarding the path found the barbarians upon them before they were aware of their approach. Thereupon the Gauls attacked. The Phocians resisted manfully, but at last were forced to retreat from the path. However, they succeeded in running down to their friends with a report of what was happening before the envelopment of the Greek army was quite complete on all sides.
10.22.12 Whereupon the Athenians with the fleet succeeded in withdrawing in time the Greek forces from Thermopylae, which disbanded and returned to their several homes. Brennus, without delaying any longer, began his march against Delphi without waiting for the army with Acichorius to join up. In terror the Delphians took refuge in the oracle. The god bade them not to be afraid, and promised that he would himself defend his own.
10.22.13 The Greeks who came in defence of the god were as follow: the Phocians, who came from all their cities; from Amphissa four hundred hoplites; from the Aetolians a few came at once on hearing of the advance of the barbarians, and later on Philomelus brought one thousand two hundred. The flower of the Aetolians turned against the army of Acichorius, and without offering battle attacked continuously the rear of their line of march, plundering the baggage and putting the carriers to the sword. It was chiefly for this reason that their march proved slow. Furthermore, at Heracleia Acichorius had left a part of his army, who were to guard the baggage of the camp.
10.23.1 Brennus and his army were now faced by the Greeks who had mustered at Delphi, and soon portents boding no good to the barbarians were sent by the god, the clearest recorded in history. For the whole ground occupied by the Gallic army was shaken violently most of the day, with continuous thunder and lightning.
10.23.2 The thunder both terrified the Gauls and prevented them hearing their orders, while the bolts from heaven set on fire not only those whom they struck but also their neighbors, themselves and their armour alike. Then there were seen by them ghosts of the heroes Hyperochus, Laodocus and Pyrrhus; according to some a fourth appeared, Phylacus, a local hero of Delphi.
10.23.3 Among the many Phocians who were killed in the action was Aleximachus, who in this battle excelled all the other Greeks in devoting youth, physical strength, and a stout heart, to slaying the barbarians. The Phocians made a statue of Aleximachus and sent it to Delphi as an offering to Apollo.
10.23.4 All the day the barbarians were beset by calamities and terrors of this kind. But the night was to bring upon them experiences far more painful. For there came on a severe frost, and snow with it; and great rocks slipping from Parnassus, and crags breaking away, made the barbarians their target, the crash of which brought destruction, not on one or two at a time, but on thirty or even more, as they chanced to be gathered in groups, keeping guard or taking rest.
10.23.5 At sunrise the Greeks came on from Delphi, making a frontal attack with the exception of the Phocians, who, being more familiar with the district, descended through the snow down the precipitous parts of Parnassus, and surprised the Celts in their rear, shooting them down with arrows and javelins without anything to fear from the barbarians.
10.23.6 At the beginning of the fight the Gauls offered a spirited resistance, especially the company attached to Brennus, which was composed of the tallest and bravest of the Gauls, and that though they were shot at from all sides, and no less distressed by the frost, especially the wounded men. But when Brennus himself was wounded, he was carried fainting from the battle, and the barbarians, harassed on all sides by the Greeks, fell back reluctantly, putting to the sword those who, disabled by wounds or sickness, could not go with them.
10.23.7 They encamped where night overtook them in their retreat, and during the night there fell on them a “panic.” For causeless terrors are said to come from the god Pan. It was when evening was turning to night that the confusion fell on the army, and at first only a few became mad, and these imagined that they heard the trampling of horses at a gallop, and the attack of advancing enemies; but after a little time the delusion spread to all.
10.23.8 So rushing to arms they divided into two parties, killing and being killed, neither understanding their mother tongue nor recognizing one another's forms or the shape of their shields. Both parties alike under the present delusion thought that their opponents were Greek, men and armour, and that the language they spoke was Greek, so that a great mutual slaughter was wrought among the Gauls by the madness sent by the god.
10.23.9 Those Phocians who had been left behind in the fields to guard the flocks were the first to perceive and report to the Greeks the panic that had seized the barbarians in the night. The Phocians were thus encouraged to attack the Celts with yet greater spirit, keeping a more careful watch on their encampments, and not letting them take from the country the necessities of life without a struggle, so that the whole Gallic army suffered at once from a pressing shortage of corn and other food.
10.23.10 Their losses in Phocis were these: in the battles were killed close on six thousand; those who perished in the wintry storm at night and afterwards in the panic terror amounted to over ten thousand, as likewise did those who were starved to death.
10.23.11 Athenian scouts arrived at Delphi to gather information, after which they returned and reported what had happened to the barbarians, and all that the god had inflicted upon them. Whereupon the Athenians took the field, and as they marched through Boeotia they were joined by the Boeotians. Thus the combined armies followed the barbarians, lying in wait and killing those who happened to be the last.
10.23.12 Those who fled with Brennus had been joined by the army under Acichorius only on the previous night. For the Aetolians had delayed their march, hurling at them a merciless shower of javelins and anything else they could lay hands on, so that only a small part of them escaped to the camp at Heracleia. There was still a hope of saving the life of Brennus, so far as his wounds were concerned; but, they say, partly because he feared his fellow-countrymen, and still more because he was conscience-stricken at the calamities he had brought on Greece, he took his own life by drinking neat wine.
10.23.13 After this the barbarians proceeded with difficulty as far as the Spercheius, pressed hotly by the Aetolians. But after their arrival at the Spercheius, during the rest of the retreat the Thessalians and Malians kept lying in wait for them, and so took their fill of slaughter that not a Gaul returned home in safety.
10.23.14 The expedition of the Celts against Greece, and their destruction, took place when Anaxicrates was archon [279/8 BCE] at Athens, in the second year of the hundred and twenty-fifth Olympiad, when Ladas of Aegium was victor in the footrace. In the following year, when Democles was archon 278/7 BCE] at Athens, the Celts crossed back again to Asia.
10.24.1 Such was the course of the war. In the fore-temple at Delphi are written maxims useful for the life of men, inscribed by those whom the Greeks say were sages. These were: from Ionia, Thales of Miletus and Bias of Priene; of the Aeolians in Lesbos, Pittacus of Mitylene; of the Dorians in Asia, Cleobulus of Lindus; Solon of Athens and Chilon of Sparta; the seventh sage, according to the list of Plato, the son of Ariston, is not Periander, the son of Cypselus, but Myson of Chenae, a village on Mount Oeta. These sages, then, came to Delphi and dedicated to Apollo the celebrated maxims, “Know thyself,” and “Nothing in excess.”
10.24.2 So these men wrote what I have said, and you can see a bronze portrait of Homer on a stele, and read the oracle that they say Homer received:
- “Blessed and unhappy, for to be both wast thou born.
- Thou seekest thy father-land; but no father-land hast thou, only a mother-land.
- The island of Ios is the father-land of thy mother, which will receive thee
- When thou hast died; but be on thy guard against the riddle of the young children.”
The inhabitants of Ios point to Homer's tomb in the island, and in another part to that of Clymene, who was, they say, the mother of Homer.
10.24.3 But the Cyprians, who also claim Homer as their own, say that Themisto, one of their native women, was the mother of Homer, and that Euclus foretold the birth of Homer in the following verses:
- “And then in sea-girt Cyprus there will be a mighty singer,
- Whom Themisto, lady fair, shall bear in the fields,
- A man of renown, far from rich Salamis.
- Leaving Cyprus, tossed and wetted by the waves,
- The first and only poet to sing of the woes of spacious Greece,
- For ever shall he be deathless and ageless.”
These things I have heard, and I have read the oracles, but express no private opinion about either the age or date of Homer.
10.24.4 In the temple has been built an altar of Poseidon, because Poseidon too possessed in part the most ancient oracle. There are also images of two Fates; but in place of the third Fate there stand by their side Zeus, Guide of Fate (Moiragetes), and Apollo Moiragetes. Here you may behold the hearth on which the priest of Apollo killed Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. The story of the end of Neoptolemus I have told elsewhere.
10.24.5 Not far from the hearth has been dedicated a chair of Pindar. The chair is of iron, and on it they say Pindar sat whenever he came to Delphi, and there composed his songs to Apollo. Into the innermost part of the temple there pass but few, but there is dedicated in it another image of Apollo, made of gold.
10.24.6 Leaving the temple and turning to the left you will come to an enclosure in which is the grave of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. Every year the Delphians sacrifice to him as to a hero. Ascending from the tomb you come to a stone of no large size. Over it every day they pour olive oil, and at each feast they place on it unworked wool. There is also an opinion about this stone, that it was given to Cronus instead of his child, and that Cronus vomited it up again.
10.24.7 Coming back to the temple after seeing the stone, you come to the spring called Cassotis. By it is a wall of no great size, and the ascent to the spring is through the wall. It is said that the water of this Cassotis sinks under the ground, and inspires the women in the shrine of the god. She who gave her name to the spring is said to have been a nymph of Parnassus.
10.25.1 Beyond the Cassotis stands a building with paintings of Polygnotus. It was dedicated by the Cnidians, and is called by the Delphians Lesche (Club Room), because here in days of old they used to meet and chat about the more serious matters and legendary history. That there used to be many such places all over Greece is shown by Homer's words in the passage where Melantho abuses Odysseus: “And you will not go to the smith's house to sleep, Nor yet to the Lesche, but you make long speeches here.”
10.25.2 [POLYGNOTUS' PAINTINGS] Inside this building the whole of the painting on the right depicts Troy taken and the Greeks sailing away. On the ship of Menelaus they are preparing to put to sea. The ship is painted with children among the grown-up sailors; amidships is Phrontis the steersman holding two boat-hooks. Homer represents Nestor as speaking about Phrontis in his conversation with Telemachus, saying that he was the son of Onetor and the steersman of Menelaus, of very high repute in his craft, and how he came to his end when he was already rounding Sunium in Attica. Up to this point Menelaus had been sailing along with Nestor, but now he was left behind to build Phrontis a tomb, and to pay him the due rites of burial.
10.25.3 Phrontis then is in the painting of Polygnotus, and beneath him is one Ithaemenes carrying clothes, and Echoeax is going down the gangway, carrying a bronze urn. Polites, Strophius and Alphius are pulling down the hut of Menelaus, which is not far from the ship. Another hut is being pulled down by Amphialus, at whose feet is seated a boy. There is no inscription on the boy, and Phrontis is the only one with a beard. His too is the only name that Polygnotus took from the Odyssey; the names of the others he invented, I think, himself.
10.25.4 Briseis is standing with Diomeda above her and Iphis in front of both; they appear to be examining the form of Helen. Helen herself is sitting, and so is Eurybates near her. We inferred that he was the herald of Odysseus, although he had yet no beard. One handmaid, Panthalis, is standing beside Helen; another, Electra, is fastening her mistress' sandals. These names too are different from those given by Homer in the Iliad, where he tells of Helen going to the wall with her slave women.
10.25.5 Beyond Helen, a man wrapped in a purple cloak is sitting in an attitude of the deepest dejection; one might conjecture that he was Helenus, the son of Priam, even before reading the inscription. Near Helenus is Meges, who is wounded in the arm, as Lescheos of Pyrrha, son of Aeschylinus, describes in the Iliupersis. For he says that he was wounded by Admetus, son of Augeias, in the battle that the Trojans fought in the night.
10.25.6 Beside Meges is also painted Lycomedes the son of Creon, who has a wound in the wrist; Lescheos says he was so wounded by Agenor. So it is plain that Polygnotus would not have represented them so wounded, if he had not read the poem of Lescheos. However, he has painted Lycomedes as wounded also in the ankle, and yet again in the head. Euryalus the son of Mecisteus has also received a wound in the head and another in the wrist.
10.25.7 These are painted higher up than Helen in the picture. Next to Helen comes the mother of Theseus with her head shaved, and Demophon, one of the sons of Theseus, is considering, to judge from his attitude, whether it will be possible for him to rescue Aethra. The Argives say that Theseus had also a son Melanippus by the daughter of Sinis, and that Melanippus won a running-race when the Epigoni, as they are called, held the second celebration of the Nemean games, that of Adrastus being the first.
10.25.8 Lescheos says of Aethra that, when Troy was taken, she came stealthily to the Greek camp. She was recognized by the sons of Theseus, and Demophon asked for her from Agamemnon. He was ready to grant Demophon the favour, but said that Helen must first give her consent. He sent a herald, and Helen granted him the favour. So in the painting Eurybates appears to have come to Helen to ask about Aethra, and to be saying what he had been told to say by Agamemnon.
10.25.9 The Trojan women are represented as already captives and lamenting. Andromache is in the painting, and near stands her boy grasping her breast; this child Lescheos says was put to death by being flung from the tower, not that the Greeks had so decreed, but Neoptolemus, of his own accord, was minded to murder him. In the painting is also Medesicaste, another of Priam's illegitimate daughters, who according to Homer left her home and went to the city of Pedaeum to be the wife of Imbrius, the son of Mentor.
10.25.10 Andromache and Medesicaste are wearing hoods, but the hair of Polyxena is braided after the custom of maidens. Poets sing of her death at the tomb of Achilles, and both at Athens and at Pergamus on the Caicus I have seen the tragedy of Polyxena depicted in paintings.
10.25.11 The artist has painted Nestor with a cap on his head and a spear in his hand. There is also a horse, in the attitude of one about to roll in the dust. Right up to the horse there is a beach with what appear to be pebbles, but beyond the horse the sea-scene breaks off.
10.26.1 Above the women between Aethra and Nestor are other captive women, Clymene, Creusa, Aristomache and Xenodice. Now Stesichorus, in the Iliupersis, includes Clymene in the number of the captives; and similarly, in the Nostoi (Returns), he speaks of Aristomache as the daughter of Priam and the wife of Critolaus, son of Hicetaon. But I know of no poet, and of no prose-writer, who makes mention of Xenodice. About Creusa the story is told that the Mother of the Gods and Aphrodite rescued her from slavery among the Greeks, as she was, of course, the wife of Aeneas. But Lescheos and the writer of the epic poem Cypria make Eurydice the wife of Aeneas.
10.26.2 Beyond these are painted on a couch Deinome, Metioche, Peisis and Cleodice. Deinome is the only one of these names to occur in what is called the Little Iliad; Polygnotus, I think, invented the names of the others. Epeius is painted naked; he is razing to the ground the Trojan wall. Above the wall rises the head only of the Wooden Horse. There is Polypoetes, the son of Peirithous, his head bound with a fillet; by his side is Acamas, the son of Theseus, wearing on his head a helmet with a crest on it.
10.26.3 There is also Odysseus . . . and Odysseus has put on his corselet. Ajax, the son of Oileus, holding a shield, stands by an altar, taking an oath about the outrage on Cassandra. Cassandra is sitting on the ground, and holds the image of Athena, for she had knocked over the wooden image from its stand when Ajax was dragging her away from sanctuary. In the painting are also the sons of Atreus, wearing helmets like the others; Menelaus carries a shield, on which is wrought a serpent as a memorial of the prodigy that appeared on the victims at Aulis.
10.26.4 Under those who are administering the oath to Ajax, and in a line with the horse by Nestor, is Neoptolemus, who has killed Elasus, whoever Elasus may be. Elasus is represented as a man only just alive. Astynous, who is also mentioned by Lescheos, has fallen to his knees, and Neoptolemus is striking him with a sword. Neoptolemus is the only one of the Greek army represented by Polygnotus as still killing the Trojans, the reason being that he intended the whole painting to be placed over the grave of Neoptolemus. The son of Achilles is named Neoptolemus by Homer in all his poetry. The epic poem, however, called Cypria says that Lycomedes named him Pyrrhus, but Phoenix gave him the name of Neoptolemus (young soldier) because Achilles was but young when he first went to war.
10.26.5 In the picture is an altar, to which a small boy clings in terror. On the altar lies a bronze corselet. At the present day corselets of this form are rare, but they used to be worn in days of old. They were made of two bronze pieces, one fitting the chest and the parts about the belly, the other intended to protect the back. They were called gyala. One was put on in front, and the other behind; then they were fastened together by buckles.
10.26.6 They were thought to afford sufficient safety even without a shield. Wherefore Homer speaks of Phorcys the Phrygian as without a shield, because he wore a two-piece corselet. Not only have I seen this armour depicted by Polygnotus, but in the temple of Ephesian Artemis, Calliphon of Samos has painted women fitting on the gyala of the corselet of Patroclus.
10.26.7 Beyond the altar he has painted Laodice standing, whom I do not find among the Trojan captive women enumerated by any poet, so I think that the only probable conclusion is that she was set free by the Greeks. Homer in the Iliad speaks of the hospitality given to Menelaus and Odysseus by Antenor, and how Laodice was wife to Helicaon, Antenor's son.
10.26.8 Lescheos says that Helicaon, wounded in the night battle, was recognized by Odysseus and carried alive out of the fighting. So the tie binding Menelaus and Odysseus to the house of Antenor makes it unlikely that Agamemnon and Menelaus committed any spiteful act against the wife of Helicaon. The account of Laodice given by the Chalcidian poet Euphorion is entirely unlikely.
10.26.9 Next to Laodice is a stone stand with a bronze washing-basin upon it. Medusa is sitting on the ground, holding the stand in both hands. If we are to believe the ode of the poet of Himera, Medusa should be reckoned as one of the daughters of Priam. Beside Medusa is a shaved old woman or eunuch, holding on the knees a naked child. It is represented as holding its hand before its eyes in terror.
10.27.1 There are also corpses: the naked man, Pelis by name, lies thrown on his back, and under Pelis lie Eioneus and Admetus, still clad in their corselets. Of these Lescheos says that Eioneus was killed by Neoptolemus, and Admetus by Philoctetes. Above these are others: under the washing-basin is Leocritus, the son of Polydamas, killed by Odysseus; beyond Eioneus and Admetus is Coroebus, the son of Mygdon. Of Mygdon there is a notable tomb on the borders of the Phrygians of Stectorion, and after him poets are wont to call Phrygians by the name of Mygdones. Coroebus came to marry Cassandra, and was killed, according to the more popular account, by Neoptolemus, but according to the poet Lescheos, by Diomedes.
10.27.2 Higher up than Coroebus are Priam, Axion and Agenor. Lescheos says that Priam was not killed at the altar (eschara) of Herkeios, but that he was dragged away from the altar and fell an easy prey to Neoptolemus at the gate of his own palace. As to Hecuba, Stesichorus says in the Iliupersis that she was brought by Apollo to Lycia. Lescheos says that Axion was a son of Priam, killed by Eurypylus, the son of Euaemon. According to the same poet Agenor was slain by Neoptolemus. So it would appear that Echeclus the son of Agenor was slaughtered by Achilles, and Agenor himself by Neoptolemus.
10.27.3 The body of Laomedon is being carried off by Sinon, a comrade of Odysseus, and Anchialus. There is also in the painting another corpse, that of Eresus. The tale of Eresus and Laomedon, so far as we know, no poet has sung. There is the house of Antenor, with a leopard's skin hanging over the entrance, as a sign to the Greeks to keep their hands off the home of Antenor. There are painted Theano and her sons, Glaucus sitting on a corselet fitted with the two pieces, and Eurymachus upon a rock.
10.27.4 By the latter stands Antenor, and next to him Crino, a daughter of Antenor. Crino is carrying a baby. The look upon their faces is that of those on whom a calamity has fallen. Servants are loading an ass with a chest and other furniture. There is also sitting on the ass a small child. At this part of the painting there is also an elegiac couplet of Simonides:
- “Polygnotus, a Thasian by birth, son of Aglaophon,
- Painted a picture of Troy's acropolis being sacked.”
10.28.1 The other part of the picture, the one on the left, shows Odysseus, who has descended into what is called Hades to inquire of the soul of Teiresias about his safe return home. The objects depicted are as follow. There is water like a river, clearly intended for Acheron, with reeds growing in it; the forms of the fishes appear so dim that you will take them to be shadows rather than fish. On the river is a boat, with the ferryman at the oars.
10.28.2 Polygnotus followed, I think, the poem called the Minyad. For in this poem occur lines referring to Theseus and Peirithous:
- “Then the boat on which embark the dead, that the old ferryman, Charon, used to steer, they found not within its moorings.”
- For this reason then Polygnotus too painted Charon as a man well stricken in years.
10.28.3 Those on board the boat are not altogether distinguished. Tellis appears as a youth in years, and Cleoboea as still a maiden, holding on her knees a chest such as they are wont to make for Demeter. All I heard about Tellis was that Archilochus the poet was his grandson, while as for Cleoboea, they say that she was the first to bring the orgies of Demeter to Thasos from Paros.
10.28.4 On the bank of Acheron there is a notable group under the boat of Charon, consisting of a man who had been undutiful to his father and is now being throttled by him. For the men of old held their parents in the greatest respect, as we may infer, among other instances, from those in Catana called the Pious, who, when the fire flowed down on Catana from Aetna, held of no account gold or silver, but when they fled took up, one his mother and another his father. As they struggled on, the fire rushed up and caught them in the flames. Not even so would they put down their parents, and it is said that the stream of lava divided itself in two, and the fire passed on, doing no hurt to either young men or their parents.
10.28.5 These Catanians even at the present day receive honors from their fellow countrymen. Near to the man in Polygnotus' picture who maltreated his father and for this drinks his cup of woe in Hades, is a man who paid the penalty for sacrilege. The woman who is punishing him is skilled in poisonous and other drugs.
10.28.6 So it appears that in those days men laid the greatest stress on piety to the gods, as the Athenians showed when they took the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus at Syracuse; they moved none of the offerings, but left the Syracusan priest as their keeper. Datis the Persian too showed his piety in his address to the Delians, and in this act as well, when having found an image of Apollo in a Phoenician ship he restored it to the Tanagraeans at Delium. So at that time all men held the divine in reverence, and this is why Polygnotus has depicted the punishment of him who committed sacrilege.
10.28.7 Higher up than the figures I have enumerated comes Eurynomus, said by the Delphian guides to be one of the demons in Hades, who eats off all the flesh of the corpses, leaving only their bones. But Homer's Odyssey, the poem called the Minyad, and the Returns, although they tell of Hades, and its horrors, know of no demon called Eurynomus. However, I will describe what he is like and his attitude in the painting. He is of a color between blue and black, like that of meat flies; he is showing his teeth and is seated, and under him is spread a vulture's skin.
10.28.8 Next after Eurynomus are Auge of Arcadia and Iphimedeia. Auge visited the house of Teuthras in Mysia, and of all the women with whom Heracles is said to have mated, none gave birth to a son more like his father than she did. Great honors are paid to Iphimedeia by the Carians in Mylasa.
10.29.1 Higher up than the figures I have already enumerated are Perimedes and Eurylochus, the companions of Odysseus, carrying victims for sacrifice; these are black rams. After them is a man seated, said by the inscription to be Ocnus (Sloth). He is depicted as plaiting a cord, and by him stands a she-ass, eating up the cord as quickly as it is plaited. They say that this Ocnus was a diligent man with an extravagant wife. Everything he earned by working was quickly spent by his wife.
10.29.2 So they will have it that Polygnotus has painted a parable about the wife of Ocnus. I know also that the Ionians, whenever they see a man labouring at nothing profitable, say that such an one is plaiting the cord of Ocnus. Ocnus too is the name given to a bird by the seers who observe birds that are ominous. This Ocnus is the largest and most beautiful of the herons, a rare bird if ever there was one.
10.29.3 Tityos too is in the picture; he is no longer being punished, but has been reduced to nothing by continuous torture, an indistinct and mutilated phantom. Going on to the next part of the picture, you see very near to the man who is twisting the rope a painting of Ariadne. Seated on a rock she is looking at her sister Phaedra, who is on a swing grasping in either hand the rope on each side. The attitude, though quite gracefully drawn, makes us infer the manner of Phaedra's death.
10.29.4 Ariadne was taken away from Theseus by Dionysus, who sailed against him with superior forces, and either fell in with Ariadne by chance or else set an ambush to catch her. This Dionysus was, in my opinion, none other than he who was the first to invade India, and the first to bridge the river Euphrates. Zeugma (Yoking) was the name given to that part of the country where the Euphrates was bridged, and at the present day the cable is still preserved with which he spanned the river; it is plaited with branches of the vine and ivy.
10.29.5 Both the Greeks and the Egyptians have many legends about Dionysus. Underneath Phaedra is Chloris leaning against the knees of Thyia. He will not be mistaken who says that all during the lives of these women they remained friends. For Chloris came from Orchomenus in Boeotia, and the other was a daughter of Castalius from Parnassus. Other authorities have told their history, how that Thyia had connection with Poseidon, and how Chloris wedded Neleus, son of Poseidon.
10.29.6 Beside Thyia stands Procris, the daughter of Erechtheus, and after her Clymene, who is turning her back to Chloris. The poem the Returns says that Clymene was a daughter of Minyas, that she married Cephalus the son of Deion, and that a son Iphiclus was born to them. The story of Procris is told by all men, how she had married Cephalus before Clymene, and in what way she was put to death by her husband.
10.29.7 Farther within from Clymene you will see Megara from Thebes. This Megara married Heracles, but was divorced by him in course of time, on the ground that he had lost the children he had by her, and so thought that his marriage with her was unlucky. Above the heads of the women I have enumerated is the daughter of Salmoneus sitting on a rock, beside whom is standing Eriphyle, who is holding up the ends of her fingers along her neck through her tunic, and you will conjecture that in the folds of her tunic she is holding in one of her hands the famous necklace.
10.29.8 Beyond Eriphyle have been painted Elpenor and Odysseus. The latter is squatting on his feet, and holding his sword over the trench, towards which the seer Teiresias is advancing. After Teiresias is Anticleia, the mother of Odysseus, upon a rock. Elpenor has on instead of clothes a mat, such as is usual for sailors to wear.
10.29.9 Lower down than Odysseus are Theseus and Peirithous sitting upon chairs. The former is holding in his hands the sword of Peirithous and his own. Peirithous is looking at the swords, and you might conjecture that he is angry with them for having been useless and of no help in their daring adventures. Panyassis the poet says that Theseus and Peirithous did not sit chained to their chairs, but that the rock grew to their flesh and so served as chains.
10.29.10 The proverbial friendship of Theseus and Peirithous has been mentioned by Homer in both his poems. In the Odyssey Odysseus says to the Phaeacians: “And now I should have seen more men of former days, whom I wished very much to see, Theseus and Peirithous, renowned children of gods.” And in the Iliad he has made Nestor give advice to Agamemnon and Achilles, and speaking among others the following verses: “I have never yet seen such men, and I am never likely to see As were Peirithous, Dryas, shepherd of the folk, Caeneus, Exadius, god-like Polyphemus, and Theseus, son of Aegeus, like to the immortals.”
10.30.1 Next Polygnotus has painted the daughters of Pandareos. Homer makes Penelope say in a speech that the parents of the maidens died because of the wrath of the gods, that they were reared as orphans by Aphrodite and received gifts from other goddesses: from Hera wisdom and beauty of form, from Artemis high stature, from Athena schooling in the works that befit women.
10.30.2 He goes on to say that Aphrodite ascended into heaven, wishing to secure for the girls a happy marriage, and in her absence they were carried off by the Harpies and given by them to the Furies. This is the story as given by Homer. Polygnotus has painted them as girls crowned with flowers and playing with dice, and gives them the names of Cameiro and Clytie. I must tell you that Pandareos was a Milesian from Miletus in Crete, and implicated in the theft of Tantalus and in the trick of the oath.
10.30.3 After the daughters of Pandareos is Antilochus, with one foot upon a rock and his face and head resting upon both hands, while after Antilochus is Agamemnon, leaning on a scepter beneath his left armpit, and holding up a staff in his hands. Protesilaus is seated with his gaze fixed on Achilles. Such is the posture of Protesilaus, and beyond Achilles is Patroclus standing. With the exception of Agamemnon these figures have no beard.
10.30.4 Beyond them has been painted Phocus as a stripling, and Iaseus, well bearded, is taking off a ring from the left hand of Phocus. The story about this is as follows. When Phocus, the son of Aeacus, had crossed from Aegina into what is now called Phocis, and wished to gain the rule over the men living on that part of the mainland, and to settle there himself, Iaseus conceived a great friendship for him. Among the gifts that Iaseus gave (as friends will) was a seal-ring, a stone set in gold. But when Phocus returned, not long afterwards, to Aegina, Peleus at once plotted to kill him. This is the reason why in the painting, as a reminder of their great friendship, Iaseus is anxious to look at the ring and Phocus has let him take it.
10.30.5 Beyond these is Maera sitting on a rock. About her the poem Returns says that she was still a maid when she departed this life, being the daughter of Proetus, son of Thersander, who was a son of Sisyphus. Next to Maera is Actaeon, son of Aristaeus, together with the mother of Actaeon; they hold in their hands a young deer, and are sitting on a deer's skin. A hunting dog lies stretched out beside them, an allusion to Actaeon's mode of life, and to the manner of his death.
10.30.6 Turning our gaze again to the lower part of the picture we see, next after Patroclus, Orpheus sitting on what seems to be a sort of hill; he grasps with his left hand a harp, and with his right he touches a willow. It is the branches that he touches, and he is leaning against the tree. The grove seems to be that of Persephone, where grow, as Homer thought, black poplars and willows. The appearance of Orpheus is Greek, and neither his garb nor his head-gear is Thracian.
10.30.7 On the other side of the willow-tree Promedon is leaning against it. Some there are who think that the name Promedon is as it were a poetic invention of Polygnotus; others have said that Promedon was a Greek who was fond of listening to all kinds of music, especially to the singing of Orpheus.
10.30.8 In this part of the painting is Schedius, who led the Phocians to Troy, and after him is Pelias, sitting on a chair, with grey hair and grey beard, and looking at Orpheus. Schedius holds a dagger and is crowned with grass. Thamyris is sitting near Pelias. He has lost the sight of his eyes; his attitude is one of utter dejection; his hair and beard are long; at his feet lies thrown a lyre with its horns and strings broken.
10.30.9 Above him is Marsyas, sitting on a rock, and by his side is Olympus, with the appearance of a boy in the bloom of youth learning to play the flute. The Phrygians in Celaenae hold that the river passing through the city was once this great flute-player, and they also hold that the Song of the Mother, an air for the flute, was composed by Marsyas. They say too that they repelled the army of the Gauls by the aid of Marsyas, who defended them against the barbarians by the water from the river and by the music of his flute.
10.31.1 If you turn your gaze again to the upper part of the painting, you see, next to Actaeon, Ajax of Salamis, and also Palamedes and Thersites playing with dice, the invention of Palamedes; the other Ajax is looking at them as they play. The color of the latter Ajax is like that of a shipwrecked sailor with the brine still rough on the surface of his skin.
10.31.2 Polygnotus has intentionally gathered into one group the enemies of Odysseus. Ajax, son of Oileus, conceived a hatred of Odysseus, because Odysseus urged the Greeks to stone him for the outrage on Cassandra. Palamedes, as I know from reading the epic poem Cypria, was drowned when he put out to catch fish, and his murderers were Diomedes and Odysseus.
10.31.3 Meleager, the son of Oeneus, is higher up in the picture than Ajax, the son of Oileus, and he seems to be looking at Ajax. Palamedes has no beard, but the others have. As to the death of Meleager, Homer says that the Fury heard the curses of Althaea, and that this was the cause of Meleager's death. But the poem Eoeae, as it is called, and the Minyad agree in giving a different account. For these poems say that Apollo helped the Curetes against the Aetolians, and that Meleager was killed by Apollo.
10.31.4 The story about the brand, how it was given by the Fates to Althaea, how Meleager was not to die before the brand was consumed by fire, and how Althaea burnt it up in a passion — this story was first made the subject of a drama by Phrynichus, the son of Polyphradmon, in his Pleuronian Women:
- “For chill doom he escaped not, but a swift flame consumed him,
- As the brand was destroyed by his terrible mother, contriver of evil.”
However, it appears that Phrynichus did not elaborate the story as a man would his own invention, but only touched on it as one already in the mouths of everybody in Greece.
10.31.5 In the lower part of the picture, after the Thracian Thamyris, comes Hector, who is sitting with both hands clasped about his left knee, in an attitude of deep grief. After him is Memnon, sitting on a rock, and Sarpedon next to Memnon. Sarpedon has his face buried in both hands, and one of Memnon's hands lies on Sarpedon's shoulder.
10.31.6 All are bearded; and on the cloak of Memnon are embroidered birds. Their name is Memnonides, and the people of the Hellespont say that on stated days every year they go to the grave of Memnon, and sweep all that part of the tomb that is bare of trees or grass, and sprinkle it with the water of the Aesepus from their wet wings.
10.31.7 Beside Memnon is depicted a naked Ethiopian boy, because Memnon was king of the Ethiopian nation. He came to Troy, however, not from Ethiopia, but from Susa in Persia and from the river Choaspes, having subdued all the peoples that lived between these and Troy. The Phrygians still point out the road through which he led his army, picking out the shortest routes. The road is divided up by halting-places.
10.31.8 Beyond Sarpedon and Memnon is Paris, as yet beardless. He is clapping his hands like a boor, and you will say that it is as though Paris were calling Penthesileia to him by the noise of his hands. Penthesileia too is there, looking at Paris, but by the toss of her head she seems to show her disdain and contempt. In appearance Penthesileia is a maiden, carrying a bow like Scythian bows, and wearing a leopard's skin on her shoulders.
10.31.9 The women beyond Penthesileia are carrying water in broken pitchers; one is depicted as in the bloom of youth, the other is already advanced in years. There is no separate inscription on either woman, but there is one common to the pair, which states that they are of the number of the uninitiated.
10.31.10 Higher up than these is Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, Nomia, and Pero, daughter of Neleus. As her bride-price Neleus asked for the oxen of Iphiclus. Instead of a mattress, Callisto has a bearskin, and her feet are lying on Nomia's knees. I have already mentioned that the Arcadians say that Nomia is a nymph native to their country. The poets say that the nymphs live for a great number of years, but are not altogether exempt from death. After Callisto and the women with her is the form of a cliff, and Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus, is trying his hardest to push the rock up it.
10.31.11 There is also in the painting a jar, and an old man, with a boy and two women. One of these, who is young, is under the rock; the other is beside the old man and of a like age to his. The others are carrying water, but you will guess that the old woman's water-jar is broken. All that remains of the water in the sherd she is pouring out again into the jar. We inferred that these people too were of those who had held of no account the rites at Eleusis. For the Greeks of an earlier period looked upon the Eleusinian mysteries as being as much higher than all other religious acts as gods are higher than heroes.
10.31.12 Under this jar is Tantalus, enduring all the pains that Homer speaks of, and in addition the terror of the stone that hangs over him. Polygnotus has plainly followed the account of Archilochus, but I do not know whether Archilochus borrowed from others the story of the stone or whether it was an invention of his that he introduced into his poem. So great is the number of the figures and so many are their beauties, in this painting of the Thasian artist.
10.32.1 Adjoining the sacred enclosure is a theater worth seeing, and on coming up from the enclosure...and here is an image of Dionysus, dedicated by the Cnidians. The stadium is on the highest part of their city. It was made of the stone that is most common about Parnassus, until Herodes the Athenian rebuilt it of Pentelic marble. Such in my day the objects remaining in Delphi that are worth recording.
10.32.2 On the way from Delphi to the summit of Parnassus, about sixty stades distant from Delphi, there is a bronze image. The ascent to the Corycian cave is easier for an active walker than it is for mules or horses. I mentioned a little earlier in my narrative that this cave was named after a nymph called Corycia, and of all the caves I have ever seen this seemed to me the best worth seeing.
10.32.3 It would be impossible to discover even the mere number of caves whose entrances face the beach or the deep sea, but the most famous ones in Greek or in foreign lands are the following. The Phrygians on the river Pencelas, and those who came to this land originally from the Azanians in Arcadia, show visitors a cave called Steunos, which is round, and handsome in its loftiness. It is sacred to the Mother, and there is a cult statue of her.
10.32.4 Themisonium above Laodiceia is also inhabited by Phrygians. When the army of the Gauls was laying waste Ionia and the borders of Ionia, the Themisonians say that they were helped by Heracles, Apollo and Hermes, who revealed to their magistrates in dreams a cave, and commanded that in it should be hidden the Themisonians with their wives and children.
10.32.5 This is the reason why in front of the cave they have set up small images, called Gods of the Cave, of Heracles, Hermes and Apollo. The cave is some thirty stades distant from the city, and in it are springs of water. There is no entrance to it, the sunlight does not reach very far, and the greater part of the roof lies quite close to the floor.
10.32.6 There is also near Magnesia on the river Lethaeus a place called Aulae (Halls), where there is a cave sacred to Apollo, not very remarkable for its size, but the image of Apollo is very old indeed, and bestows strength equal to any task. The men sacred to the god leap down from sheer precipices and high rocks, and uprooting trees of exceeding height walk with their burdens down the narrowest of paths.
10.32.7 But the Corycian cave exceeds in size those I have mentioned, and it is possible to make one's way through the greater part of it even without lights. The roof stands at a sufficient height from the floor, and water, rising in part from springs but still more dripping from the roof, has made clearly visible the marks of drops on the floor throughout the cave. The dwellers around Parnassus believe it to be sacred to the Corycian nymphs, and especially to Pan. From the Corycian cave it is difficult even for an active walker to reach the heights of Parnassus. The heights are above the clouds, and the Thyiad women rave there in honor of Dionysus and Apollo.
10.32.8 Tithorea is, I should guess, about one hundred and eighty stades distant from Delphi on the road across Parnassus. This road is not mountainous throughout, being fit even for vehicles, but was said to be several stades longer. I am aware that Herodotus in his account of the Persian invasion gives the town a different name from that given to it in the oracles of Bacis.
10.32.9 For Bacis called the inhabitants Tithoreans, but the account of them in Herodotus states that during the advance of the barbarian the people dwelling here fled up to the summit, and that the city's name was Neon, Tithorea being the name of the peak of Parnassus. It appears, then, that at first Tithorea was the name applied to the whole district; but in course of time, when the people migrated from the villages, the city too came to be called Tithorea, and not Neon any longer. The natives say that Tithorea was so called after a nymph of the same name, one of those who in days of old, according to the story of the poets, grew out of trees and especially out of oaks.
10.32.10 One generation before I was born heaven made the fortunes of Tithorea decay. There are the buildings of a theater, and the enclosure of a rather ancient agora. The most noteworthy objects in the city are the grove, temple and image of Athena. There is also the tomb of Antiope and Phocus. I have already in my account of Thebes mentioned how Antiope went mad because of the wrath of Dionysus, and the reason why she brought on herself the anger of the god;
10.32.11 I have also told how Phocus, the son of Ornytion, fell in love with her, how she married him and is buried with him, and what Bacis the soothsayer says about this grave in common with that of Zethus and Amphion at Thebes. I found nothing else remarkable in the town except what I have already mentioned. Running past the city of Tithorea is a river that gives the inhabitants drinking-water. They go down to the bank and draw the water up. The name of the river is Cachales.
10.32.12 Seventy stades distant from Tithorea is a temple of Asclepius, called Archagetas (Founder). He receives divine honors from the Tithoreans, and no less from the other Phocians. Within the precincts are dwellings for both the suppliants of the god and his servants. In the middle is the temple of the god and an image made of stone, having a beard more than two feet long. A couch is set on the right of the image. It is usual to sacrifice to the god any animal except the goat.
10.32.13 About forty stades distant from Asclepius is a precinct and shrine sacred to Isis, the holiest of all those made by the Greeks for the Egyptian goddess. For the Tithoreans think it wrong to dwell round about it, and no one may enter the shrine except those whom Isis herself has honored by inviting them in dreams. The same rule is observed in the cities above the Maeander by the gods of the lower world; for to all whom they wish to enter their shrines they send visions seen in dreams.
10.32.14 In the country of the Tithoreans a festival in honor of Isis is held twice each year, one in spring and the other in autumn. On the third day before each of the feasts those who have permission to enter cleanse the shrine in a certain secret way, and also take and bury, always in the same spot, whatever remnants they may find [of the victims] thrown in at the previous festival. We estimated that the distance from the shrine to this place was two stades.
10.32.15 So on this day they perform these acts about the sanctuary, and on the next day the small traders make themselves booths of reeds or other improvised material. On the last of the three days they hold a fair, selling slaves, cattle of all kinds, clothes, silver and gold.
10.32.16 After mid-day they turn to sacrificing. The more wealthy sacrifice oxen and deer, the poorer people geese and guinea fowl. But it is not the custom to use for the sacrifice sheep, pigs or goats. Those whose business it is to burn the victims and send them into the shrine . . . having made a beginning must wrap the victims in bandages of coarse or fine linen; the mode of preparing is the Egyptian.
10.32.17 All that they have devoted to sacrifice are led in procession; some send the victims into the shrine, while others burn the booths before the shrine and themselves go away in haste. They say that once a profane man, who was not one of those descending into the shrine, when the pyre began to burn, entered the shrine to satisfy his rash inquisitiveness. It is said that everywhere he saw ghosts, and on returning to Tithorea and telling what he had seen he departed this life.
10.32.18 I have heard a similar story from a man of Phoenicia, that the Egyptians hold the feast for Isis at a time when they say she is mourning for Osiris. At this time the Nile begins to rise, and it is a saying among many of the natives that what makes the river rise and water their fields is the tears of Isis. At that time then, so said my Phoenician, the Roman governor of Egypt bribed a man to go down into the shrine of Isis in Coptus. The man despatched into the shrine returned indeed out of it, but after relating what he had seen, he too, so I was told, died immediately. So it appears that Homer's verse speaks the truth when it says that it bodes no good to man to see godhead face to face.
10.32.19 The olive oil of Tithorea is less abundant than Attic or Sicyonian oil, but in color and pleasantness it surpasses Iberian oil and that from the island of Istria. They distil all manner of unguents from the oil, and also send it to the Emperor.
10.33.1 Another road from Tithorea is the one that leads to Ledon. Once Ledon also was considered a city, but in my day the Ledontians owing to their weakness had abandoned the city, and the dwellers on the Cephisus were about seventy people. Still the name of Ledon is given to their dwellings, and the citizens, like the Panopeans, have the right to be represented at the general assembly of the Phocians. The ruins of the ancient Ledon are forty stades farther up from these dwellers on the Cephisus. They say that the city took its name from an aboriginal.
10.33.2 Other cities have incurred incurable harm through the sin of their own citizens, hut Troy's ruin was complete when it fell through the outrage that Alexander committed against Menelaus, and Miletus through the lack of control shown by Histiaeus, and his passionate desire, now to possess the city in the land of the Edonians, now to be admitted to the councils of Dareius, and now to go back to Ionia. Again, Philomelus brought on the community of Ledon the punishment to be paid for the crime of his own impiety.
10.33.3 Lilaea is a winter day's journey distant from Delphi; we estimated the length of the road, which goes across and down Parnassus, to be one hundred and eighty stades. Even after their city had been restored, its inhabitants were fated to suffer a second disaster at the hands of the Macedonians. Besieged by Philip, the son of Demetrius, they made terms and surrendered, and a garrison was brought into the city, until a native of the city, whose name was Patron, united against the garrison those of the citizens who were of military age, conquered the Macedonians in battle, and forced them to withdraw under a truce. In return for this good deed the Lilaeans dedicated his statue at Delphi.
10.33.4 In Lilaea are also a theater, an agora and baths. There is also a sanctuary of Apollo, and one of Artemis. The images are standing, of Attic workmanship, and of marble from the Pentelic quarries. They say that Lilaea was one of the Naides, as they are called, a daughter of the Cephisus, and that after this nymph the city was named. Here the river has its sources.
10.33.5 It is not always quiet when it rises from the ground, but it usually happens that at about mid-day it makes a noise as it wells up. You could compare the roar of the water to the bellowing of a bull. Lilaea has a temperate climate in autumn, in summer, and in spring; but Mount Parnassus prevents the winter from being correspondingly mild.
10.33.6 Charadra is twenty stades distant, situated on the top of a lofty crag. The inhabitants are badly off for water; their drinking water is the river Charadrus, and they have to go down about three stades to reach it. This river is a tributary of the Cephisus, and it seems to me that the town was named after the Charadrus. In the agora at Charadra are altars of Heroes, as they are called, said by some to be the Dioscuri, by others to be local heroes.
10.33.7 The land beside the Cephisus is distinctly the best in Phocis for planting, sowing and pasture. This part of the district, too, is the one most under cultivation, so that there is a saying that the verse, “And they who dwelt beside the divine river Cephisus”, alludes, not to a city Parapotamii (Riverside), but to the farmers beside the Cephisus.
10.33.8 The saying, however, is at variance with the history of Herodotus as well as with the records of victories at the Pythian games. For the Pythian games were first held by the Amphictyons, and at this first meeting a Parapotamian of the name of Aechmeas won the prize in the boxing match for boys. Similarly Herodotus, enumerating the cities that King Xerxes burnt in Phocis, includes among them the city of Parapotamii. However, Parapotamii was not restored by the Athenians and Boeotians, but the inhabitants, being poverty stricken and few in number, were distributed among the other cities. I found no ruins of Parapotamii left, nor is the site of the city remembered.
10.33.9 The road from Lilaea to Amphicleia is sixty stades. The name of this Amphicleia has been corrupted by the native inhabitants. Herodotus, following the most ancient account, called it Amphicaea; but the Amphictyons, when they published their decree for the destruction of the cities in Phocis, gave it the name of Amphicleia. The natives tell about it the following story. A certain chief, suspecting that enemies were plotting against his baby son, put the child in a vessel, and hid him in that part of the land where he knew there would be most security. Now a wolf attacked the child, but a serpent coiled itself round the vessel, and kept up a strict watch.
10.33.10 When the child's father came, supposing that the serpent had purposed to attack the child, he threw his javelin, which killed the serpent and his son as well. But being informed by the shepherds that he had killed the benefactor and protector of his child, he made one common pyre for both the serpent and his son. Now they say that even today the place resembles a burning pyre, maintaining that after this serpent the city was called Ophiteia.
10.33.11 They celebrate orgies, well worth seeing, in honor of Dionysus, but there is no entrance to the adyton, nor have they any image that can be seen. The people of Amphicleia say that this god is their prophet and their helper in disease. The diseases of the Amphicleans themselves and of their neighbors are cured by means of dreams. The oracles of the god are given by the priest, who utters them when under the divine inspiration.
10.33.12 Fifteen stades away from Amphicleia is Tithronium, lying on a plain. It contains nothing remarkable. From Tithronium it is twenty stades to Drymaea. At the place where this road joins at the Cephisus the straight road from Amphicleia to Drymaea, the Tithronians have a grove and altars of Apollo. There has also been made a temple, but no image. Drymaea is eighty stades distant from Amphicleia, on the left . . . according to the account in Herodotus, but in earlier days Naubolenses. The inhabitants say that their founder was Naubolus, son of Phocus, son of Aeacus. At Drymaea is an ancient sanctuary of Demeter Lawgiver, with a standing image made of stone. Every year they hold a feast in her honor, the Thesmophoria.
10.34.1 Elateia is, with the exception of Delphi, the largest city in Phocis. It lies over against Amphicleia, and the road to it from Amphicleia is one hundred and eighty stades long, level for the most part, but with an upward gradient for a short distance quite close to the town of Elateia. In the plain flows the Cephisus, and the most common bird to live along its banks is the bustard.
10.34.2 The Elateans were successful in repelling the Macedonian army under Cassander, and they managed to escape from the war that Taxilus, general of Mithridates, brought against them. In return for this deed the Romans have given them the privilege of living in the country free and immune from taxation. They claim to be of foreign stock, saying that of old they came from Arcadia. For they say that when the Phlegyans marched against the sanctuary at Delphi, Elatus, the son of Arcas, came to the assistance of the god, and with his army stayed behind in Phocis, becoming the founder of Elateia.
10.34.3 Elateia must be numbered among the cities of the Phocians burnt by the Persians. Some disasters were shared by Elateia with the other Phocians, but she had peculiar calamities of her own, inflicted by fate at the hands of the Macedonians. In the war waged by Cassander, it is Olympiodorus who must receive most credit for the Macedonians being forced to abandon a siege. Philip, the son of Demetrius, reduced the people of Elateia to the utmost terror, and at the same time seduced by bribery the more powerful of the citizens.
10.34.4 Titus, the Roman magistrate, who had a commission from Rome to give all Greeks their freedom, promised to give back to Elateia its ancient constitution, and by messengers made overtures to its citizens to secede from Macedonia. But either they or their government were stupid enough to be faithful to Philip, and the Romans reduced them by siege. Later on the Elateans held out when besieged by the barbarians of Pontus under the command of Taxilus, the general of Mithridates. As a reward for this deed the Romans gave them their freedom.
10.34.5 An army of bandits, called the Costobocs, who overran Greece in my day, visited among other cities Elateia. Whereupon a certain Mnesibulus gathered round him a company of men and put to the sword many of the barbarians, but he himself fell in the fighting. This Mnesibulus won several prizes for running, among which were prizes for the foot-race, and for the double race with shield, at the two hundred and thirty-fifth Olympic festival. In Runner Street at Elateia there stands a bronze statue of Mnesibulus.
10.34.6 The agora itself is worth seeing, and so is the figure of Elatus carved in relief upon a stele. I do not know for certain whether they made the slab to honor him as their founder or also to serve as a gravestone to his tomb. A temple has been built to Asclepius, with a bearded image of the god. The names of the makers of the image are Timocles and Timarchides, artists of Attic birth. At the end of the city on the right is a theater, and an ancient bronze image of Athena. They say that this goddess helped them against the barbarians under Taxilus.
10.34.7 About twenty stades away from Elateia is a sanctuary of Athena surnamed Cranaea. The road to it slopes upwards, but so gentle is the ascent that it causes no fatigue — in fact one scarcely notices it. At the end of the road is a hill which, though for the most part precipitous, is neither very large nor very high. On this hill the sanctuary has been built, with porticoes and dwellings through them, where live those whose duty it is to wait on the god, chief of whom is the priest.
10.34.8 They choose the priest from boys who have not yet reached the age of puberty, taking care beforehand that his term of office shall run out before puberty arrives. The office lasts for five successive years, during which the priest boards with the goddess, and bathes in tubs after the ancient manner. This image too was made by the sons of Polycles. It is armed as for battle, and on the shield is wrought in relief a copy of what at Athens is wrought on the shield of her whom the Athenians call Parthenos.
10.35.1 To reach Abae and Hyampolis from Elateia you may go along a mountain road on the right of the city of Elateia, but the highway from Orchomenus to Opus also leads to those cities. If then you go along the road from Orchomenus to Opus, and turn off a little to the left, you reach the road to Abae. The people of Abae say that they came to Phocis from Argos, and that the city got its name from Abas, the founder, who was a son of Lynceus and of Hypermestra, the daughter of Danaus. Abae from of old has been considered sacred to Apollo, and here too there was an oracle of that god.
10.35.2 The treatment that the god at Abae received at the hands of the Persians was very different from the honor paid him by the Romans. For while the Romans have given freedom of government to Abae because of their reverence for Apollo, the army of Xerxes burned down, as it did others, the sanctuary at Abae. The Greeks who opposed the barbarians resolved not to rebuild the sanctuaries burnt down by them, but to leave them for all time as memorials of their hatred. This too is the reason why the temples in the territory of Haliartus, as well as the Athenian temples of Hera on the road to Phalerum and of Demeter at Phalerum, still remain half-burnt even at the present day.
10.35.3 Such, I suppose, was the appearance of the sanctuary at Abae also, after the Persian invasion, until in the Phocian war some Phocians, overcome in battle, took refuge in Abae. Whereupon the Thebans gave them to the flames, and with the refugees the sanctuary, which was thus burnt down a second time. However, it still stood even in my time, the frailest of buildings ever damaged by fire, seeing that the ruin begun by the Persian incendiaries was completed by the incendiaries of Boeotia.
10.35.4 Beside the large temple there is another, but smaller in size, made for Apollo by the emperor Hadrian. The images are of earlier date, being dedicated by the Abaeans themselves; they are made of bronze, and all alike are standing, Apollo, Leto and Artemis. At Abae there is a theater, and also an agora, both of ancient construction.
10.35.5 Returning to the straight road to Opus, you come next to Hyampolis. Its mere name tells you who the inhabitants originally were, and the place from which they were expelled when they came to this land. For it was the Hyantes of Thebes who came here when they fled from Cadmus and his army. In earlier times the city was called by its neighbors the city of the Hyantes, but in course of time the name of Hyampolis prevailed over the other.
10.35.6 Although Xerxes had burnt down the city, and afterwards Philip had razed it to the ground, nevertheless there were left the structure of an old agora, a council-chamber (a building of no great size) and a theater not far from the gates. The emperor Hadrian built a stoa, which bears the name of the emperor who dedicated it. The citizens have one well only. This is their sole supply, both for drinking and for washing; from no other source can they get water, save only from the winter rains.
10.35.7 Above all other divinities they worship Artemis, of whom they have a temple. The image of her I cannot describe, for their rule is to open the sanctuary twice, and not more often, every year. They say that whatever cattle they consecrate to Artemis grow up immune to disease and fatter than other cattle.
10.35.8 [NEW ITINERARY] The straight road to Delphi that leads through Panopeus and past Daulis and the Cleft Way, is not the only pass from Chaeroneia to Phocis. There is another road, rough and for the most part mountainous, that leads from Chaeroneia to the Phocian city of Stiris. The length of the road is one hundred and twenty stades. The inhabitants assert that by descent they are not Phocian, but Athenian, and that they came from Attica with Peteus, the son of Orneus, when he was pursued from Athens by Aegeus. They add that, because the greater part of those who accompanied Peteus came from the deme of Stiria, the city received the name of Stiris.
10.35.9 The people of Stiris have their dwellings on a high and rocky site. For this reason they suffer from a shortage of water in summer; the wells are few, and the water is bad that they supply. These wells give washing-water to the people and drinking-water to the beasts of burden, but for their own drinking water the people go down about four stades and draw it from a spring. The spring is in a hole dug into the rocks, and they go down to it to fetch water.
10.35.10 In Stiris is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Stiria. It is of unburnt brick; the image is of Pentelic marble, and the goddess is holding torches. Beside her, bound with ribbons, is an image of Demeter, as ancient as any of that goddess that exists.
10.36.1 From Stiris to Ambrossus is about six stades. The road is flat, lying on the level with mountains on both sides of it. The greater part of the plain is covered with vines, and in the territory of Ambrossus grow shrubs, though not close together like the vines. This shrub the Ionians, as well as the rest of the Greeks, call kokkos, and the Gauls above Phrygia call it in their native speech hys. This kokkos grows to the size of what is called the rhamnos; the leaves are darker and softer than those of the mastich-tree, though in other respects the two are alike.
10.36.2 Its fruit is like the fruit of the nightshade, and its size is about that of the bitter vetch. There breeds in the fruit of the kokkos a small creature. If this should reach the air when the fruit has ripened, it becomes in appearance like a gnat, and immediately flies away. But as it is they gather the fruit of the kokkos before the creature begins to move, and the blood of the creature serves as a dye for wool.
10.36.3 Ambrossus lies at the foot of Mount Parnassus, on the side opposite to Delphi. They say that the city was named after Ambrossus, a hero. On going to war with Philip and his Macedonians the Thebans drew round Ambrossus a double wall. It is made of a local stone, black in color and very hard indeed. Each ring of wall is a little less than a fathom broad, and two and a half fathoms in height except where it has broken down.
10.36.4 The interval between the first ring and the second is a fathom. The building of towers, of battlements, or of any ornament, has been entirely neglected, as the only object the citizens had in constructing the walls was immediate protection. There is a small agora at Ambrossus, and of the stone statues set up in it most are broken.
10.36.5 The road to Anticyra is at first up-hill. About two stades up the slope is a level place, and on the right of the road is a sanctuary of Artemis surnamed Dictynnaean, a goddess worshipped with great reverence by the Ambrossans. The image is of Aeginetan workmanship, and made of a black stone. From the sanctuary of the Dictynnaean goddess the road is downhill all the way to Anticyra. They say that in days of old the name of the city was Cyparissus, and that Homer in the list of Phocians was determined to call it by this name, although it was called Anticyra in Homer's day, because Anticyreus was a contemporary of Heracles.
10.36.6 The city lies over against the ruins of Medeon. I have mentioned in the beginning of my account of Phocis that the people of Anticyra were guilty of sacrilege against the sanctuary at Delphi. They were driven from home by Philip, son of Amyntas, and yet once more by the Roman Otilius, because they were subjects of the Macedonian king Philip, son of Demetrius. Otilius had been despatched from Rome to help the Athenians against Philip.
10.36.7 The mountains beyond Anticyra are very rocky, and on them grows hellebore in great profusion. Black hellebore sends those who take it to stool, and purges the bowels; the nature of the other, the white kind, is to purge by vomiting. It is the root of the hellebore which is used as a purging drug.
10.36.8 In the agora at Anticyra are bronze statues, and at the harbor is a small sanctuary of Poseidon, built of unhewn stones. The inside is covered with stucco. The image, which is made of bronze, is a standing figure, with one foot resting on a dolphin. On this side he has one hand upon his thigh; in his other hand is a trident.
10.36.9 Opposite the gymnasium, in which the baths have been made, is another gymnasium, an old one, in which stands a bronze statue. The inscription on it says that Xenodamus of Anticyra, a pancratiast, won an Olympic victory in the match for men. If the inscription speaks the truth, it would seem that Xenodamus received the wild olive at the two hundred and eleventh Olympic festival. But this is the only festival omitted in the Elean records.
10.36.10 Beyond the agora there is in a well a spring of water. Over the well there is a roof to shelter it from the sun, with columns to support the roof. A little higher up than the well is a tomb built of any stones that came to hand. Here they say are buried the sons of Iphitus; one returned safe from Troy and died in his native land; the other, Schedius, died, they say, in the Troad, but his bones also were brought home.
10.37.1 About two stades off the city there is, on the right, a high rock, which forms part of a mountain, with a sanctuary of Artemis built upon it. The image of Artemis is one of the works of Praxiteles; she carries a torch in her right hand and a quiver over her shoulders, while at her left side there is a dog. The image is taller than the tallest woman.
10.37.2 Bordering on the Phocian territory is a land named after Boulon, the leader of the colony, which was founded by a union of emigrants from the cities in ancient Doris. The Boulians are said of Philomelus and the Phocians . . . the general assembly. To Boulis from Thisbe in Boeotia is a journey of eighty stades; but I do not know if in Phocis there be a road by land at all from Anticyra, so rough and difficult to cross are the mountains between Anticyra and Boulis. To the harbor from Anticyra is a sail of one hundred stades, and the road by land from the harbor to Boulis we conjectured to be about seven stades long.
10.37.3 Here a torrent falls into the sea, called by the natives Heracleius. Boulis lies on high ground, and it is passed by travellers crossing by sea from Anticyra to Lechaeum in Corinthian territory. More than half its inhabitants are fishers of the shell-fish that gives the purple dye. The buildings in Boulis are not very wonderful; among them is a sanctuary of Artemis and one of Dionysus. The images are made of wood, but we were unable to judge who was the artist. The god worshipped most by the Boulians is named by them the Greatest, a surname, I should think, of Zeus. At Boulis there is a spring called Saunium.
10.37.4 The length of the road from Delphi to Cirrha, the port of Delphi, is sixty stades. Descending to the plain you come to a race-course, where at the Pythian games the horses compete. I have told in my account of Elis the story of the Taraxippus at Olympia, and it is likely that the race-course of Apollo too may possibly harm here and there a driver, for heaven in every activity of man bestows either better fortune or worse. But the race-course itself is not of a nature to startle the horses, either by reason of a hero or on any other account.
10.37.5 The plain from Cirrha is altogether bare, and the inhabitants will not plant trees, either because the land is under a curse, or because they know that the ground is useless for growing trees. It is said that to Cirrha . . . and they say that from Cirrha the place received its modern name. Homer, however, in the Iliad, and similarly in the hymn to Apollo, calls the city by its ancient name of Crisa. Afterwards the people of Cirrha behaved wickedly towards Apollo; especially in appropriating some of the god's land.
10.37.6 So the Amphictyons determined to make war on the Cirrhaeans, put Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, at the head of their army, and brought over Solon from Athens to give them advice. They asked the oracle about victory, and the Pythian priestess replied:
- “You will not take and throw down the tower of this city,
- Until on my precinct shall dash the wave
- Of blue-eyed Amphitrite, roaring over the winedark sea.”
So Solon induced them to consecrate to the god the territory of Cirrha, in order that the sea might become neighbor to the precinct of Apollo.
10.37.7 Solon invented another trick to outwit the Cirrhaeans. The water of the river Pleistus ran along a channel to the city, and Solon diverted it in another direction. When the Cirrhaeans still held out against the besiegers, drinking well-water and rain-water, Solon threw into the Pleistus roots of hellebore, and when he perceived that water held enough of the drug he diverted it back again into its channel. The Cirrhaeans drank without stint of the water, and those on the wall, seized with obstinate diarrhoea, deserted their posts,
10.37.8 and the Amphictyons captured the city. They exacted punishment from the Cirrhaeans on behalf of the god, and Cirrha is the port of Delphi. Its notable sights include a temple of Apollo, Artemis and Leto, with very large images of Attic workmanship. Adrasteia has been set up by the Cirrhaeans in the same place, but she is not so large as the other images.
10.38 OZOLIAN LOCRIS
10.38.1 The territory of the Locrians called Ozolian adjoins Phocis opposite Cirrha. I have heard various stories about the surname of these Locrians, all of which I will tell my readers. Orestheus, son of Deucalion, king of the land, had a bitch that gave birth to a stick instead of a puppy. Orestheus buried the stick, and in the spring, it is said, a vine grew from it, and from the branches (ozoi) of the stick the people got their name.
10.38.2 Others believe that Nessus, ferrying on the Evenus, was wounded by Heracles, but not killed on the spot, making his escape to this country; when he died his body rotted unburied, imparting a foul stench to the atmosphere of the place. The third story says that the exhalations from a certain river, and its very water, have a peculiar smell; the fourth, that asphodel grows in great abundance and when in flower . . . because of the smell.
10.38.3 Another story says that the first dwellers here were aboriginals, but as yet not knowing how to weave garments they used to make themselves a protection against the cold out of the untanned skins of beasts, turning outwards the shaggy side of the skins for the sake of a good appearance. So their own skins were sure to smell as badly as did the hides.
10.38.4 One hundred and twenty stades away from Delphi is Amphissa, the largest and most renowned city of Locris. The people hold that they are Aetolians, being ashamed of the name of Ozolians. Support is given to this view by the fact that, when the Roman emperor drove the Aetolians from their homes in order to found the new city of Nicopolis, the greater part of the people went away to Amphissa. Originally, however, they came of Locrian race. It is said that the name of the city is derived from Amphissa, daughter of Macar, son of Aeolus, and that Apollo was her lover.
10.38.5 The city is beautifully constructed, and its most notable objects are the tomb of Amphissa and the tomb of Andraemon. With him was buried, they say, his wife Gorge, daughter of Oeneus. On the acropolis of Amphissa is a temple of Athena, with a standing image of bronze, brought, they say, from Troy by Thoas, being part of the spoils of that city. But I cannot accept the story.
10.38.6 For I have stated in an earlier part of my work that two Samians, Rhoecus, son of Philaeus, and Theodorus, son of Telecles, discovered how to found bronze most perfectly, and were the first casters of that metal. I have found extant no work of Theodorus, at least no work of bronze. But in the sanctuary of Ephesian Artemis, as you enter the building containing the pictures, there is a stone wall above the altar of Artemis called Protothronia (of the First Seat). Among the images that stand upon the wall is a statue of a woman at the end, a work of Rhoecus, called by the Ephesians Night.
10.38.7 A mere glance shows that this image is older, and of rougher workmanship, than the Athena in Amphissa. The Amphissians also celebrate mysteries in honor of the Boy Kings, as they are called. Their accounts as to who of the gods the Boy Kings are do not agree; some say they are the Dioscuri, others the Curetes, and others, who pretend to have fuller knowledge, hold them to be the Cabeiri.
10.38.8 These Locrians also possess the following cities. Farther inland from Amphissa, and above it, is Myonia, thirty stades distant from it. They are the Myanes who dedicated the shield to Zeus at Olympia. The town lies upon a height, and it has a grove and an altar of the Gracious Gods (Theoi Meilichioi). The sacrifices to the Meilichioi are offered at night, and their rule is to consume the meat on the spot before sunrise. Beyond the city is a precinct of Poseidon, called Poseidonium, and a temple of Poseidon is in it. But the image had disappeared before my time.
10.38.9 These, then, live above Amphissa. On the coast is Oeantheia, neighbor to which is Naupactus. The others, but not Amphissa, are under the government of the Achaeans of Patrae, the emperor Augustus having granted them this privilege. In Oeantheia is a sanctuary of Aphrodite, and a little beyond the city there is a grove of cypress-trees mixed with pines; in the grove is a temple of Artemis with an image. The paintings on the walls I found had lost their color with time, and nothing of them was still left worth seeing.
10.38.10 I gather that the city got its name from a woman or a nymph, while as for Naupactus, I have heard it said that the Dorians under the sons of Aristomachus built here the vessels in which they crossed to the Peloponnesus, thus, it is said, giving to the place its name. My account of Naupactus, how the Athenians took it from the Locrians and gave it as a home to those who seceded to Ithome at the time of the earthquake at Lacedemon, and how, after the Athenian disaster at Aegospotami, the Lacedemonians expelled the Messenians from Naupactus, all this I have fully related in my history of Messenia. When the Messenians were forced to leave, the Locrians gathered again at Naupactus.
10.38.11 The epic poem called the Naupactia by the Greeks is by most people assigned to a poet of Miletus, while Charon, the son of Pythes, says that it is a composition of Carcinus of Naupactus. I am one of those who agree with the Lampsacenian writer. For what reason could there be in giving the name of Naupactia to a poem about women composed by an author of Miletus?
10.38.12 Here there is on the coast a temple of Poseidon with a standing image made of bronze; there is also a sanctuary of Artemis with an image of white marble. She is in the attitude of one hurling a javelin, and is surnamed Aetole. In a cave Aphrodite is worshipped, to whom prayers are offered for various reasons, and especially by widows who ask the goddess to grant them marriage.
10.38.13 The sanctuary of Asclepius I found in ruins, but it was originally built by a private person called Phalysius. For he had a complaint of the eyes, and when he was almost blind the god at Epidaurus sent to him the poetess Anyte, who brought with her a sealed tablet. The woman thought that the god's appearance was a dream, but it proved at once to be a waking vision. For she found in her own hands a sealed tablet; so sailing to Naupactus she bade Phalysius take away the seal and read what was written. He did not think it possible to read the writing with his eyes in such a condition, but hoping to get some benefit from Asclepius he took away the seal. When he had looked at the wax he recovered his sight, and gave to Anyte what was written on the tablet, two thousand staters of gold.