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The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, [1890], at

Herodotus Book 2: Euterpe



Ἱ σ τ ο ρ ι ῶ ν   Β

Ε ὐ τ έ ρ π η

ἡ ταρίχευσις

1. When Cyrus had brought his life to an end, Cambyses received the royal power in succession, being the son of Cyrus and of Cassandane the daughter of Pharnaspes, for whose death, which came about before his own, Cyrus had made great mourning himself and also had proclaimed to all those over whom he bore rule that they should make mourning for her: Cambyses, I say, being the son of this woman and of Cyrus, regarded the Ionians and Aiolians as slaves inherited from his father; and he proceeded to march an army against Egypt, taking with him as helpers not only the other nations of which he was the ruler, but also those of the Hellenes over whom he had power besides.

1. [1] τελευτήσαντος δὲ Κύρου παρέλαβε τὴν βασιληίην Καμβύσης, Κύρου ἐὼν παῖς καὶ Κασσανδάνης τῆς Φαρνάσπεω θυγατρός, τῆς προαποθανούσης Κῦρος αὐτός τε μέγα πένθος ἐποιήσατο καὶ τοῖσι ἄλλοισι προεῖπε πᾶσι τῶν ἦρχε πένθος ποιέεσθαι. [2] ταύτης δὴ τῆς γυναικὸς ἐὼν παῖς καὶ Κύρου Καμβύσης Ἴωνας μὲν καὶ Αἰολέας ὡς δούλους πατρωίους ἐόντας ἐνόμιζε, ἐπὶ δὲ Αἴγυπτον ἐποιέετο στρατηλασίην ἄλλους τε παραλαβὼν τῶν ἦρχε καὶ δὴ καὶ Ἑλλήνων τῶν ἐπεκράτεε. 

2. Now the Egyptians, before the time when Psammetichos became king over them, were wont to suppose that they had come into being first of all men; but since the time when Psammetichos having become king desired to know what men had come into being first, they suppose that the Phrygians came into being before themselves, but they themselves before all other men. Now Psammetichos, when he was not able by inquiry to find out any means of knowing who had come into being first of all men, contrived a device of the following kind:--Taking two new- born children belonging to persons of the common sort he gave them to a shepherd to bring up at the place where his flocks were, with a manner of bringing up such as I shall say, charging him namely that no man should utter any word in their presence, and that they should be placed by themselves in a room where none might come, and at the proper time he should bring to them she-goats, and when he had satisfied them with milk he should do for them whatever else was needed. These things Psammetichos did and gave him this charge wishing to hear what word the children would let break forth first, after they had ceased from wailings without sense. And accordingly so it came to pass; for after a space of two years had gone by, during which the shepherd went on acting so, at length, when he opened the door and entered, both the children fell before him in entreaty and uttered the word bekos, stretching forth their hands. At first when he heard this the shepherd kept silence; but since this word was often repeated, as he visited them constantly and attended to them, at last he declared the matter to his master, and at his command he brought the children before his face. Then Psammetichos having himself also heard it, began to inquire about what nation of men named anything bekos, and inquiring he found that the Phrygians had this name for bread. In this manner and guided by an indication such as this, the Egyptians were brought to allow that the Phrygians were a more ancient people than themselves. 2. [1] οἱ δὲ Αἰγύπτιοι, πρὶν μὲν ἢ Ψαμμήτιχον σφέων βασιλεῦσαι, ἐνόμιζον ἑωυτοὺς πρώτους γενέσθαι πάντων ἀνθρώπων· ἐπειδὴ δὲ Ψαμμήτιχος βασιλεύσας ἠθέλησε εἰδέναι οἵτινες γενοίατο πρῶτοι, ἀπὸ τούτου νομίζουσι Φρύγας προτέρους γενέσθαι ἑωυτῶν, τῶν δὲ ἄλλων ἑωυτούς. [2] Ψαμμήτιχος δὲ ὡς οὐκ ἐδύνατο πυνθανόμενος πόρον οὐδένα τούτου ἀνευρεῖν, οἳ γενοίατο πρῶτοι ἀνθρώπων, ἐπιτεχνᾶται τοιόνδε. παιδία δύο νεογνὰ ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐπιτυχόντων δίδωσι ποιμένι τρέφειν ἐς τὰ ποίμνια τροφήν τινα τοιήνδε, ἐντειλάμενος μηδένα ἀντίον αὐτῶν μηδεμίαν φωνὴν ἱέναι, ἐν στέγῃ δὲ ἐρήμῃ ἐπ᾽ ἑωυτῶν κέεσθαι αὐτά, καὶ τὴν ὥρην ἐπαγινέειν σφι αἶγας, πλήσαντα δὲ γάλακτος τἆλλα διαπρήσσεσθαι· [3] ταῦτα δὲ ἐποίεέ τε καὶ ἐνετέλλετο Ψαμμήτιχος θέλων ἀκοῦσαι τῶν παιδίων, ἀπαλλαχθέντων τῶν ἀσήμων κνυζημάτων, ἥντινα φωνὴν ῥήξουσι πρώτην· τά περ ὦν καὶ ἐγένετο. ὡς γὰρ διέτης χρόνος ἐγεγόνεε ταῦτα τῷ ποιμένι πρήσσοντι, ἀνοίγοντι τὴν θύρην καὶ ἐσιόντι τὰ παιδία ἀμφότερα προσπίπτοντα βεκὸς ἐφώνεον, ὀρέγοντα τὰς χεῖρας. [4] τὰ μὲν δὴ πρῶτα ἀκούσας ἥσυχος ἦν ὁ ποιμήν· ὡς δὲ πολλάκις φοιτέοντι καὶ ἐπιμελομένῳ πολλὸν ἦν τοῦτο τὸ ἔπος, οὕτω δὴ σημήνας τῷ δεσπότῃ ἤγαγε τὰ παιδία κελεύσαντος ἐς ὄψιν τὴν ἐκείνου. ἀκούσας δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Ψαμμήτιχος ἐπυνθάνετο οἵτινες ἀνθρώπων βεκός τι καλέουσι, πυνθανόμενος δὲ εὕρισκε Φρύγας καλέοντας τὸν ἄρτον. [5] οὕτω συνεχώρησαν Αἰγύπτιοι καὶ τοιούτῳ σταθμησάμενοι πρήγματι τοὺς Φρύγας πρεσβυτέρους εἶναι ἑωυτῶν. ὧδε μὲν γενέσθαι τῶν ἱρέων τοῦ Ἡφαίστου τοῦ ἐν Μέμφι ἤκουον· Ἕλληνες δὲ λέγουσι ἄλλα τε μάταια πολλὰ καὶ ὡς γυναικῶν τὰς γλώσσας ὁ Ψαμμήτιχος ἐκταμὼν τὴν δίαιταν οὕτω ἐποιήσατο τῶν παίδων παρὰ ταύτῃσι τῇσι γυναιξί. 

3. That so it came to pass I heard from the priests of that Hephaistos who dwells at Memphis; but the Hellenes relate, besides many other idle tales, that Psammetichos cut out the tongues of certain women, and then caused the children to live with these women.

With regard then to the rearing of the children they related so much as I have said: and I heard also other things at Memphis when I had speech with the priests of Hephaistos. Moreover I visited both Thebes and Heliopolis for this very cause, namely because I wished to know whether the priests at these places would agree in their accounts with those at Memphis; for the men of Heliopolis are said to be the most learned in records of the Egyptians. Those of their narrations which I heard with regard to the gods I am not earnest to relate in full, but I shall name them only, because I consider that all men are equally ignorant of these matters: and whatever things of them I may record, I shall record only because I am compelled by the course of the story.

3. [1] κατὰ μὲν δὴ τὴν τροφὴν τῶν παίδων τοσαῦτα ἔλεγον, ἤκουσα δὲ καὶ ἄλλα ἐν Μέμφι ἐλθὼν ἐς λόγους τοῖσι ἱρεῦσι τοῦ Ἡφαίστου. καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐς Θήβας τε καὶ ἐς Ἡλίου πόλιν αὐτῶν τούτων εἵνεκεν ἐτραπόμην, ἐθέλων εἰδέναι εἰ συμβήσονται τοῖσι λόγοισι τοῖσι ἐν Μέμφι· οἱ γὰρ Ἡλιοπολῖται λέγονται Αἰγυπτίων εἶναι λογιώτατοι. [2] τὰ μέν νυν θεῖα τῶν ἀπηγημάτων οἷα ἤκουον οὐκ εἰμὶ πρόθυμος ἐξηγέεσθαι, ἔξω ἢ τὰ οὐνόματα αὐτῶν μοῦνον, νομίζων πάντας ἀνθρώπους ἴσον περὶ αὐτῶν ἐπίστασθαι· τὰ δ᾽ ἂν ἐπιμνησθέω αὐτῶν, ὑπὸ τοῦ λόγου ἐξαναγκαζόμενος ἐπιμνησθήσομαι. 

4. But as to those matters which concern men, the priests agreed with one another in saying that the Egyptians were the first of all men on earth to find out the course of the year, having divided the seasons into twelve parts to make up the whole; and this they said they found out from the stars: and they reckon to this extent more wisely than the Hellenes, as it seems to me, inasmuch as the Hellenes throw in an intercalated month every other year, to make the seasons right, whereas the Egyptians, reckoning the twelve months at thirty days each, bring in also every year five days beyond the number, and thus the circle of their seasons is completed and comes round to the same point whence it set out. They said moreover that the Egyptians were the first who brought into use appellations for the twelve gods and the Hellenes took up the use from them; and that they were the first who assigned altars and images and temples to the gods, and who engraved figures on stones; and with regard to the greater number of these things they showed me by actual facts that they had happened so. They said also that the first man who became king of Egypt was Min; and that in his time all Egypt except the district of Thebes was a swamp, and none of the regions were then above water which now lie below the lake of Moiris, to which lake it is a voyage of seven days up the river from the sea: 4. [1] ὅσα δὲ ἀνθρωπήια πρήγματα, ὧδε ἔλεγον ὁμολογέοντες σφίσι, πρώτους Αἰγυπτίους ἀνθρώπων ἁπάντων ἐξευρεῖν τὸν ἐνιαυτόν, δυώδεκα μέρεα δασαμένους τῶν ὡρέων ἐς αὐτόν· ταῦτα δὲ ἐξευρεῖν ἐκ τῶν ἀστέρων ἔλεγον· ἄγουσι δὲ τοσῷδε σοφώτερον Ἑλλήνων, ἐμοὶ δοκέειν, ὅσῳ Ἕλληνες μὲν διὰ τρίτου ἔτεος ἐμβόλιμον ἐπεμβάλλουσι τῶν ὡρέων εἵνεκεν, Αἰγύπτιοι δὲ τριηκοντημέρους ἄγοντες τοὺς δυώδεκα μῆνας ἐπάγουσι ἀνὰ πᾶν ἔτος πέντε ἡμέρας πάρεξ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ, καί σφι ὁ κύκλος τῶν ὡρέων ἐς τὠυτὸ περιιὼν παραγίνεται. [2] δυώδεκά τε θεῶν ἐπωνυμίας ἔλεγον πρώτους Αἰγυπτίους νομίσαι καὶ Ἕλληνας παρὰ σφέων ἀναλαβεῖν, βωμούς τε καὶ ἀγάλματα καὶ νηοὺς θεοῖσι ἀπονεῖμαι σφέας πρώτους καὶ ζῷα ἐν λίθοισι ἐγγλύψαι. καὶ τούτων μέν νυν τὰ πλέω ἔργῳ ἐδήλουν οὕτω γενόμενα. βασιλεῦσαι δὲ πρῶτον Αἰγύπτου ἄνθρωπον ἔλεγον Μῖνα· [3] ἐπὶ τούτου, πλὴν τοῦ Θηβαϊκοῦ νομοῦ, πᾶσαν Αἴγυπτον εἶναι ἕλος, καὶ αὐτῆς εἶναι οὐδὲν ὑπερέχον τῶν νῦν ἔνερθε λίμνης τῆς Μοίριος ἐόντων, ἐς τὴν ἀνάπλοος ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἑπτὰ ἡμερέων ἐστὶ ἀνὰ τὸν ποταμόν. 

5. and I thought that they said well about the land; for it is manifest in truth even to a person who has not heard it beforehand but has only seen, at least if he have understanding, that the Egypt to which the Hellenes come in ships is a land which has been won by the Egyptians as an addition, and that it is a gift of the river: moreover the regions which lie above this lake also for a distance of three days' sail, about which they did not go on to say anything of this kind, are nevertheless another instance of the same thing: for the nature of the land of Egypt is as follows:-- First when you are still approaching it in a ship and are distant a day's run from the land, if you let down a sounding-line you will bring up mud and will find yourself in eleven fathoms. This then so far shows that there is a silting forward of the land. 5. [1] καὶ εὖ μοι ἐδόκεον λέγειν περὶ τῆς χώρης· δῆλα γὰρ δὴ καὶ μὴ προακούσαντι ἰδόντι δέ, ὅστις γε σύνεσιν ἔχει, ὅτι Αἴγυπτος, ἐς τὴν Ἕλληνες ναυτίλλονται, ἐστὶ Αἰγυπτίοισι ἐπίκτητός τε γῆ καὶ δῶρον τοῦ ποταμοῦ, καὶ τὰ κατύπερθε ἔτι τῆς λίμνης ταύτης μέχρι τριῶν ἡμερέων πλόου, τῆς πέρι ἐκεῖνοι οὐδὲν ἔτι τοιόνδε ἔλεγον, ἔστι δὲ ἕτερον τοιόνδε. [2] Αἰγύπτου γὰρ φύσις ἐστὶ τῆς χώρης τοιήδε. πρῶτα μὲν προσπλέων ἔτι καὶ ἡμέρης δρόμον ἀπέχων ἀπὸ γῆς, κατεὶς καταπειρητηρίην πηλόν τε ἀνοίσεις καὶ ἐν ἕνδεκα ὀργυιῇσι ἔσεαι. τοῦτο μὲν ἐπὶ τοσοῦτο δηλοῖ πρόχυσιν τῆς γῆς ἐοῦσαν. 

6. Then secondly, as to Egypt itself, the extent of it along the sea is sixty schoines, according to our definition of Egypt as extending from the Gulf of Plinthine to the Serbonian lake, along which stretches Mount Casion; from this lake then the sixty schoines are reckoned: for those of men who are poor in land have their country measured by fathoms, those who are less poor by furlongs, those who have much land by parasangs, and those who have land in very great abundance by schoines: now the parasang is equal to thirty furlongs, and each schoine, which is an Egyptian measure, is equal to sixty furlongs. So there would be an extent of three thousand six hundred furlongs for the coast-land of Egypt. 6. [1] αὖτις δὲ αὐτῆς ἐστι Αἰγύπτου μῆκος τὸ παρὰ θάλασσαν ἑξήκοντα σχοῖνοι, κατὰ ἡμεῖς διαιρέομεν εἶναι Αἴγυπτον ἀπὸ τοῦ Πλινθινήτεω κόλπου μέχρι Σερβωνίδος λίμνης, παρ᾽ ἣν τὸ Κάσιον ὄρος τείνει· ταύτης ὦν ἄπο οἱ ἑξήκοντα σχοῖνοι εἰσί. [2] ὅσοι μὲν γὰρ γεωπεῖναι εἰσὶ ἀνθρώπων, ὀργυιῇσι μεμετρήκασι τὴν χώρην, ὅσοι δὲ ἧσσον γεωπεῖναι, σταδίοισι, οἳ δὲ πολλὴν ἔχουσι, παρασάγγῃσι, οἳ δὲ ἄφθονον λίην, σχοίνοισι. [3] δύναται δὲ ὁ παρασάγγης τριήκοντα στάδια, ὁ δὲ σχοῖνος, μέτρον ἐὸν Αἰγύπτιον, ἑξήκοντα στάδια. οὕτω ἂν εἴησαν Αἰγύπτου στάδιοι ἑξακόσιοι καὶ τρισχίλιοι τὸ παρὰ θάλασσαν.

7. From thence and as far as Heliopolis inland Egypt is broad, and the land is all flat and without springs of water and formed of mud: and the road as one goes inland from the sea to Heliopolis is about the same in length as that which leads from the altar of the twelve gods at Athens to Pisa and the temple of Olympian Zeus: reckoning up you would find the difference very small by which these roads fail of being equal in length, not more indeed than fifteen furlongs; for the road from Athens to Pisa wants fifteen furlongs of being fifteen hundred, while the road to Heliopolis from the sea reaches that number completely. 7. [1] ἐνθεῦτεν μὲν καὶ μέχρι Ἡλίου πόλιος ἐς τὴν μεσόγαιαν ἐστὶ εὐρέα Αἴγυπτος, ἐοῦσα πᾶσα ὑπτίη τε καὶ ἔνυδρος καὶ ἰλύς. ἔστι δὲ ὁδὸς ἐς Ἡλίου πόλιν ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἄνω ἰόντι παραπλησίη τὸ μῆκος τῇ ἐξ Ἀθηνέων ὁδῷ τῇ ἀπὸ τῶν δυώδεκα θεῶν τοῦ βωμοῦ φερούσῃ ἔς τε Πῖσαν καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν νηὸν τοῦ Διὸς τοῦ Ὀλυμπίου. [2] σμικρόν τι τὸ διάφορον εὕροι τις ἂν λογιζόμενος τῶν ὁδῶν τουτέων τὸ μὴ ἴσας μῆκος εἶναι, οὐ πλέον πεντεκαίδεκα σταδίων· ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἐς Πῖσαν ἐξ Ἀθηνέων καταδεῖ πεντεκαίδεκα σταδίων μὴ εἶναι πεντακοσίων καὶ χιλίων, ἡ δὲ ἐς Ἡλίου πόλιν ἀπὸ θαλάσσης πληροῖ ἐς τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦτον. ἀπὸ δὲ Ἡλίου πόλιος ἄνω ἰόντι στεινή ἐστι Αἴγυπτος.

8. From Heliopolis however, as you go up, Egypt is narrow; for on the one side a mountain-range belonging to Arabia stretches along by the side of it, going in a direction from North towards the midday and the South Wind, tending upwards without a break to that which is called the Erythraian Sea, in which range are the stone-quarries which were used in cutting stone for the pyramids at Memphis. On this side then the mountain ends where I have said, and then takes a turn back; and where it is widest, as I was informed, it is a journey of two months across from East to West; and the borders of it which turn towards the East are said to produce frankincense. Such then is the nature of this mountain-range; and on the side of Egypt towards Libya another range extends, rocky and enveloped in sand: in this are the pyramids, and it runs in the same direction as those parts of the Arabian mountains which go towards the midday. So then, I say, from Heliopolis the land has no longer a great extent so far as it belongs to Egypt, and for about four days' sail up the river Egypt properly so called is narrow: and the space between the mountain-ranges which have been mentioned is plain-land, but where it is narrowest it did not seem to me to exceed two hundred furlongs from the Arabian mountains to those which are called the Libyan. After this again Egypt is broad. 8. [1] τῇ μὲν γὰρ τῆς Ἀραβίης ὄρος παρατέταται, φέρον ἀπ᾽ ἄρκτου πρὸς μεσαμβρίην τε καὶ νότον, αἰεὶ ἄνω τεῖνον ἐς τὴν Ἐρυθρὴν καλεομένην θάλασσαν· ἐν τῷ αἱ λιθοτομίαι ἔνεισι αἱ ἐς τὰς πυραμίδας κατατμηθεῖσαι τὰς ἐν Μέμφι. ταύτῃ μὲν λῆγον ἀνακάμπτει ἐς τὰ εἴρηται τὸ ὄρος· τῇ δὲ αὐτὸ ἑωυτοῦ ἐστι μακρότατον, ὡς ἐγὼ ἐπυνθανόμην, δύο μηνῶν αὐτὸ εἶναι τῆς ὁδοῦ ἀπὸ ἠοῦς πρὸς ἑσπέρην, τὰ δὲ πρὸς τὴν ἠῶ λιβανωτοφόρα αὐτοῦ τὰ τέρματα εἶναι. [2] τοῦτο μέν νυν τὸ ὄρος τοιοῦτο ἐστί, τὸ δὲ πρὸς Λιβύης τῆς Αἰγύπτου ὄρος ἄλλο πέτρινον τείνει, ἐν τῷ αἱ πυραμίδες ἔνεισι, ψάμμῳ κατειλυμένον, κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ τοῦ Ἀραβίου τὰ πρὸς μεσαμβρίην φέροντα. [3] τὸ ὦν δὴ ἀπὸ Ἡλίου πόλιος οὐκέτι πολλὸν χωρίον ὡς εἶναι Αἰγύπτου, ἀλλ᾽ ὅσον τε ἡμερέων τεσσέρων καὶ δέκα ἀναπλόου ἐστὶ στεινὴ Αἴγυπτος, ἐοῦσα τῶν ὀρέων τῶν εἰρημένων τὸ μεταξὺ πεδιὰς μὲν γῆ, στάδιοι δὲ μάλιστα ἐδόκεόν μοι εἶναι, τῇ στεινότατον ἐστί, διηκοσίων οὐ πλέους ἐκ τοῦ Ἀραβίου ὄρεος ἐς τὸ Λιβυκὸν καλεόμενον. τὸ δ᾽ ἐνθεῦτεν αὖτις εὐρέα Αἴγυπτος ἐστί.

9. Such is the nature of this land: and from Heliopolis to Thebes is a voyage up the river of nine days, and the distance of the journey in furlongs is four thousand eight hundred and sixty, the number of the schoines being eighty-one. If these measures of Egypt in furlongs be put together the result is as follows:--I have already before this shown that the distance along the sea amounts to three thousand six hundred furlongs, and I will now declare what the distance is inland from the sea to Thebes, namely six thousand one hundred and twenty furlongs: and again the distance from Thebes to the city called Elephantine is one thousand eight hundred furlongs.

9. [1] πέφυκε μέν νυν ἡ χώρη αὕτη οὕτω. ἀπὸ δὲ Ἡλίου πόλιος ἐς Θήβας ἐστὶ ἀνάπλοος ἐννέα ἡμερέων, στάδιοι δὲ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἑξήκοντα καὶ ὀκτακόσιοι καὶ τετρακισχίλιοι, σχοίνων ἑνὸς καὶ ὀγδώκοντα ἐόντων. [2] οὗτοι συντιθέμενοι οἱ στάδιοι Αἰγύπτου τὸ μὲν παρὰ θάλασσαν ἤδη μοι καὶ πρότερον δεδήλωται ὅτι ἑξακοσίων τε ἐστὶ σταδίων καὶ τρισχιλίων, ὅσον δέ τι ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἐς μεσόγαιαν μέχρι Θηβέων ἐστί, σημανέω· στάδιοι γὰρ εἰσὶ εἴκοσι καὶ ἑκατὸν καὶ ἑξακισχίλιοι. τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ Θηβέων ἐς Ἐλεφαντίνην καλεομένην πόλιν στάδιοι χίλιοι καὶ ὀκτακόσιοι εἰσί. 

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