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

Herodotus Book 2: Euterpe [120]

120. Thus the priests of the Egyptians told me; and I myself also agree with the story which was told of Helen, adding this consideration, namely that if Helen had been in Ilion she would have been given up to the Hellenes, whether Alexander consented or no; for Priam assuredly was not so mad, nor yet the others of his house, that they were desirous to run risk of ruin for themselves and their children and their city, in order that Alexander might have Helen as his wife: and even supposing that during the first part of the time they had been so inclined, yet when many others of the Trojans besides were losing their lives as often as they fought with the Hellenes, and of the sons of Priam himself always two or three or even more were slain when a battle took place (if one may trust at all to the Epic poets),--when, I say, things were coming thus to pass, I consider that even if Priam himself had had Helen as his wife, he would have given her back to the Achaians, if at least by so doing he might be freed from the evils which oppressed him. Nor even was the kingdom coming to Alexander next, so that when Priam was old the government was in his hands; but Hector, who was both older and more of a man than he, would have received it after the death of Priam; and him it behoved not to allow his brother to go on with his wrong-doing, considering that great evils were coming to pass on his account both to himself privately and in general to the other Trojans. In truth however they lacked the power to give Helen back; and the Hellenes did not believe them, though they spoke the truth; because, as I declare my opinion, the divine power was purposing to cause them utterly to perish, and so make it evident to men that for great wrongs great also are the chastisements which come from the gods. And thus have I delivered my opinion concerning these matters.

120. [1] ταῦτα μὲν Αἰγυπτίων οἱ ἱρέες ἔλεγον· ἐγὼ δὲ τῷ λόγῳ τῷ περὶ Ἑλένης λεχθέντι καὶ αὐτὸς προστίθεμαι, τάδε ἐπιλεγόμενος, εἰ ἦν Ἑλένη ἐν Ἰλίῳ, ἀποδοθῆναι ἂν αὐτὴν τοῖσι Ἕλλησι ἤτοι ἑκόντος γε ἢ ἀέκοντος Ἀλεξάνδρου. [2] οὐ γὰρ δὴ οὕτω γε φρενοβλαβὴς ἦν ὁ Πρίαμος οὐδὲ οἱ ἄλλοι οἱ προσήκοντες αὐτῷ, ὥστε τοῖσι σφετέροισι σώμασι καὶ τοῖσι τέκνοισι καὶ τῇ πόλι κινδυνεύειν ἐβούλοντο, ὅκως Ἀλέξανδρος Ἑλένῃ συνοικέῃ. [3] εἰ δέ τοι καὶ ἐν τοῖσι πρώτοισι χρόνοισι ταῦτα ἐγίνωσκον, ἐπεὶ πολλοὶ μὲν τῶν ἄλλων Τρώων, ὁκότε συμμίσγοιεν τοῖσι Ἕλλησι, ἀπώλλυντο, αὐτοῦ δὲ Πριάμου οὐκ ἔστι ὅτε οὐ δύο ἢ τρεῖς ἢ καὶ ἔτι πλέους τῶν παίδων μάχης γινομένης ἀπέθνησκον, εἰ χρή τι τοῖσι ἐποποιοῖσι χρεώμενον λέγειν, τούτων δὲ τοιούτων συμβαινόντων ἐγὼ μὲν ἔλπομαι, εἰ καὶ αὐτὸς Πρίαμος συνοίκεε Ἑλένῃ, ἀποδοῦναι ἂν αὐτὴν τοῖσι Ἀχαιοῖσι, μέλλοντά γε δὴ τῶν παρεόντων κακῶν ἀπαλλαγήσεσθαι. [4] οὐ μὲν οὐδὲ ἡ βασιληίη ἐς Ἀλέξανδρον περιήιε, ὥστε γέροντος Πριάμου ἐόντος ἐπ᾽ ἐκείνῳ τὰ πρήγματα εἶναι, ἀλλὰ Ἕκτωρ καὶ πρεσβύτερος καὶ ἀνὴρ ἐκείνου μᾶλλον ἐὼν ἔμελλε αὐτὴν Πριάμου ἀποθανόντος παραλάμψεσθαι, τὸν οὐ προσῆκε ἀδικέοντι τῷ ἀδελφεῷ ἐπιτρέπειν, καὶ ταῦτα μεγάλων κακῶν δι᾽ αὐτὸν συμβαινόντων ἰδίῃ τε αὐτῷ καὶ τοῖσι ἄλλοισι πᾶσι Τρωσί. [5] ἀλλ᾽ οὐ γὰρ εἶχον Ἑλένην ἀποδοῦναι, οὐδὲ λέγουσι αὐτοῖσι τὴν ἀληθείην ἐπίστευον οἱ Ἕλληνες, ὡς μὲν ἐγὼ γνώμην ἀποφαίνομαι, τοῦ δαιμονίου παρασκευάζοντος, ὅκως πανωλεθρίῃ ἀπολόμενοι καταφανὲς τοῦτο τοῖσι ἀνθρώποισι ποιήσωσι, ὡς τῶν μεγάλων ἀδικημάτων μεγάλαι εἰσὶ καὶ αἱ τιμωρίαι παρὰ τῶν θεῶν. καὶ ταῦτα μὲν τῇ ἐμοὶ δοκέει εἴρηται. 

121. After Proteus, they told me, Rhampsinitos received in succession the kingdom, who left as a memorial of himself that gateway to the temple of Hephaistos which is turned towards the West, and in front of the gateway he set up two statues, in height five-and-twenty cubits, of which the one which stands on the North side is called by the Egyptians Summer and the one on the South side Winter; and to that one which they call Summer they do reverence and make offerings, while to the other which is called Winter they do the opposite of these things. 121. [1] Πρωτέος δὲ ἐκδέξασθαι τὴν βασιληίην Ῥαμψίνιτον ἔλεγον, ὃς μνημόσυνα ἐλίπετο τὰ προπύλαια τὰ πρὸς ἑσπέρην τετραμμένα τοῦ Ἡφαιστείου, ἀντίους δὲ τῶν προπυλαίων ἔστησε ἀνδριάντας δύο, ἐόντας τὸ μέγαθος πέντε καὶ εἴκοσι πηχέων, τῶν Αἰγύπτιοι τὸν μὲν πρὸς βορέω ἑστεῶτα καλέουσι θέρος, τὸν δὲ πρὸς νότον χειμῶνα· καὶ τὸν μὲν καλέουσι θέρος, τοῦτον μὲν προσκυνέουσί τε καὶ εὖ ποιέουσι, τὸν δὲ χειμῶνα καλεόμενον τὰ ἔμπαλιν τούτων ἔρδουσι

121. (a) This king, they said, got great wealth of silver, which none of the kings born after him could surpass or even come near to; and wishing to store his wealth in safety he caused to be built a chamber of stone, one of the walls whereof was towards the outside of his palace: and the builder of this, having a design against it, contrived as follows, that is, he disposed one of the stones in such a manner that it could be taken out easily from the wall either by two men or even by one. So when the chamber was finished, the king stored his money in it, and after some time the builder, being near the end of his life, called to him his sons (for he had two) and to them he related how he had contrived in building the treasury of the king, and all in forethought for them, that they might have ample means of living. And when he had clearly set forth to them everything concerning the taking out of the stone, he gave them the measurements, saying that if they paid heed to this matter they would be stewards of the king's treasury. So he ended his life, and his sons made no long delay in setting to work, but went to the palace by night, and having found the stone in the wall of the chamber they dealt with it easily and carried forth for themselves great quantity of the wealth within. 121. α [1] πλοῦτον δὲ τούτῳ τῷ βασιλέι γενέσθαι ἀργύρου μέγαν, τὸν οὐδένα τῶν ὕστερον ἐπιτραφέντων βασιλέων δύνασθαι ὑπερβαλέσθαι οὐδ᾽ ἐγγὺς ἐλθεῖν. βουλόμενον δὲ αὐτὸν ἐν ἀσφαλείῃ τὰ χρήματα θησαυρίζειν οἰκοδομέεσθαι οἴκημα λίθινον, τοῦ τῶν τοίχων ἕνα ἐς τὸ ἔξω μέρος τῆς οἰκίης ἔχειν. τὸν δὲ ἐργαζόμενον ἐπιβουλεύοντα τάδε μηχανᾶσθαι· τῶν λίθων παρασκευάσασθαι ἕνα ἐξαιρετὸν εἶναι ἐκ τοῦ τοίχου ῥηιδίως καὶ ὑπὸ δύο ἀνδρῶν καὶ ὑπὸ ἑνός. [2] ὡς δὲ ἐπετελέσθη τὸ οἴκημα, τὸν μὲν βασιλέα θησαυρίσαι τὰ χρήματα ἐν αὐτῷ· χρόνου δὲ περιιόντος τὸν οἰκοδόμον περὶ τελευτὴν τοῦ βίου ἐόντα ἀνακαλέσασθαι τοὺς παῖδας (εἶναι γὰρ αὐτῷ δύο), τούτοισι δὲ ἀπηγήσασθαι ὡς ἐκείνων προορῶν, ὅκως βίον ἄφθονον ἔχωσι, τεχνάσαιτο οἰκοδομέων τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦ βασιλέος· σαφέως δὲ αὐτοῖσι πάντα ἐξηγησάμενον τὰ περὶ τὴν ἐξαίρεσιν τοῦ λίθου δοῦναι τὰ μέτρα αὐτοῦ, λέγοντα ὡς ταῦτα διαφυλάσσοντες ταμίαι τῶν βασιλέος χρημάτων ἔσονται. [3] καὶ τὸν μὲν τελευτῆσαι τὸν βίον, τοὺς δὲ παῖδας οὐκ ἐς μακρὴν ἔργου ἔχεσθαι, ἐπελθόντας δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ βασιλήια νυκτὸς καὶ τὸν λίθον ἐπὶ τῷ οἰκοδομήματι ἀνευρόντας ῥηιδίως μεταχειρίσασθαι καὶ τῶν χρημάτων πολλὰ ἐξενείκασθαι.

121. (b) And the king happening to open the chamber, he marvelled when he saw the vessels falling short of the full amount, and he did not know on whom he should lay the blame, since the seals were unbroken and the chamber had been close shut; but when upon his opening the chamber a second and a third time the money was each time seen to be diminished, for the thieves did not slacken in their assaults upon it, he did as follows:--having ordered traps to be made he set these round about the vessels in which the money was; and when the thieves had come as at former times and one of them had entered, then so soon as he came near to one of the vessels he was straightway caught in the trap: and when he perceived in what evil case he was, straightway calling his brother he showed him what the matter was, and bade him enter as quickly as possible and cut off his head, for fear lest being seen and known he might bring about the destruction of his brother also. And to the other it seemed that he spoke well, and he was persuaded and did so; and fitting the stone into its place he departed home bearing with him the head of his brother. 121. β [1] ὡς δὲ τυχεῖν τὸν βασιλέα ἀνοίξαντα τὸ οἴκημα, θωμάσαι ἰδόντα τῶν χρημάτων καταδεᾶ τὰ ἀγγήια, οὐκ ἔχειν δὲ ὅντινα ἐπαιτιᾶται, τῶν τε σημάντρων ἐόντων σόων καὶ τοῦ οἰκήματος κεκληιμένου. ὡς δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ δὶς καὶ τρὶς ἀνοίξαντι αἰεὶ ἐλάσσω φαίνεσθαι τὰ χρήματα (τοὺς γὰρ κλέπτας οὐκ ἀνιέναι κεραΐζοντας), ποιῆσαί μιν τάδε· πάγας προστάξαι ἐργάσασθαι καὶ ταύτας περὶ τὰ ἀγγήια ἐν τοῖσι τὰ χρήματα ἐνῆν στῆσαι. [2] τῶν δὲ φωρῶν ὥσπερ ἐν τῷ πρὸ τοῦ χρόνῳ ἐλθόντων καὶ ἐσδύντος τοῦ ἑτέρου αὐτῶν, ἐπεὶ πρὸς τὸ ἄγγος προσῆλθε, ἰθέως τῇ πάγῃ ἐνέχεσθαι. ὡς δὲ γνῶναι αὐτὸν ἐν οἵῳ κακῷ ἦν, ἰθέως καλέειν τὸν ἀδελφεὸν καὶ δηλοῦν αὐτῷ τὰ παρεόντα, καὶ κελεύειν τὴν ταχίστην ἐσδύντα ἀποταμεῖν αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλήν, ὅκως μὴ αὐτὸς ὀφθεὶς καὶ γνωρισθεὶς ὃς εἴη προσαπολέσῃ κἀκεῖνον. τῷ δὲ δόξαι εὖ λέγειν, καὶ ποιῆσαί μιν πεισθέντα ταῦτα, καὶ καταρμόσαντα τὸν λίθον ἀπιέναι ἐπ᾽ οἴκου, φέροντα τὴν κεφαλὴν τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ.

121. (c) Now when it became day, the king entered into the chamber and was very greatly amazed, seeing the body of the thief held in the trap without his head, and the chamber unbroken, with no way to come in or go out: and being at a loss he hung up the dead body of the thief upon the wall and set guards there, with charge if they saw any one weeping or bewailing himself to seize him and bring him before the king. And when the dead body had been hung up, the mother was greatly grieved, and speaking with the son who survived she enjoined him, in whatever way he could, to contrive means by which he might take down and bring home the body of his dead brother; and if he should neglect to do this, she earnestly threatened that she would go and give information to the king that he had the money. 121. γ [1] ὡς δὲ ἡμέρη ἐγένετο, ἐσελθόντα τὸν βασιλέα ἐς τὸ οἴκημα ἐκπεπλῆχθαι ὁρῶντα τὸ σῶμα τοῦ φωρὸς ἐν τῇ πάγῃ ἄνευ τῆς κεφαλῆς ἐόν, τὸ δὲ οἴκημα ἀσινὲς καὶ οὔτε ἔσοδον οὔτε ἔκδυσιν οὐδεμίαν ἔχον. ἀπορεύμενον δέ μιν τάδε ποιῆσαι· τοῦ φωρὸς τὸν νέκυν κατὰ τοῦ τείχεος κατακρεμάσαι, φυλάκους δὲ αὐτοῦ καταστήσαντα ἐντείλασθαί σφι, τὸν ἂν ἴδωνται ἀποκλαύσαντα ἢ κατοικτισάμενον, συλλαβόντας ἄγειν πρὸς ἑωυτόν. [2] ἀνακρεμαμένου δὲ τοῦ νέκυος τὴν μητέρα δεινῶς φέρειν, λόγους δὲ πρὸς τὸν περιεόντα παῖδα ποιευμένην προστάσσειν αὐτῷ ὅτεῳ τρόπῳ δύναται μηχανᾶσθαι ὅκως τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ καταλύσας κομιεῖ· εἰ δὲ τούτων ἀμελήσει, διαπειλέειν αὐτὴν ὡς ἐλθοῦσα πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα μηνύσει αὐτὸν ἔχοντα τὰ χρήματα.

121. (d) So as the mother dealt hardly with the surviving son, and he though saying many things to her did not persuade her, he contrived for his purpose a device as follows:--Providing himself with asses he filled some skins with wine and laid them upon the asses, and after that he drove them along: and when he came opposite to those who were guarding the corpse hung up, he drew towards him two or three of the necks of the skins and loosened the cords with which they were tied. Then when the wine was running out, he began to beat his head and cry out loudly, as if he did not know to which of the asses he should first turn; and when the guards saw the wine flowing out in streams, they ran together to the road with drinking vessels in their hands and collected the wine that was poured out, counting it so much gain; and he abused them all violently, making as if he were angry, but when the guards tried to appease him, after a time he feigned to be pacified and to abate his anger, and at length he drove his asses out of the road and began to set their loads right. Then more talk arose among them, and one or two of them made jests at him and brought him to laugh with them; and in the end he made them a present of one of the skins in addition to what they had. Upon that they lay down there without more ado, being minded to drink, and they took him into their company and invited him to remain with them and join them in their drinking: so he (as may be supposed) was persuaded and stayed. Then as they in their drinking bade him welcome in a friendly manner, he made a present to them also of another of the skins; and so at length having drunk liberally the guards became completely intoxicated; and being overcome by sleep they went to bed on the spot where they had been drinking. He then, as it was now far on in the night, first took down the body of his brother, and then in mockery shaved the right cheeks of all the guards; and after that he put the dead body upon the asses and drove them away home, having accomplished that which was enjoined him by his mother. 121. δ [1] ὡς δὲ χαλεπῶς ἐλαμβάνετο ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ περιεόντος παιδὸς καὶ πολλὰ πρὸς αὐτὴν λέγων οὐκ ἔπειθε, ἐπιτεχνήσασθαι τοιάδε μιν· ὄνους κατασκευασάμενον καὶ ἀσκοὺς πλήσαντα οἴνου ἐπιθεῖναι ἐπὶ τῶν ὄνων καὶ ἔπειτα ἐλαύνειν αὐτούς· ὡς δὲ κατὰ τοὺς φυλάσσοντας ἦν τὸν κρεμάμενον νέκυν, ἐπισπάσαντα τῶν ἀσκῶν δύο ἢ τρεῖς ποδεῶνας αὐτὸν λύειν ἀπαμμένους· [2] ὡς δὲ ἔρρεε ὁ οἶνος, τὴν κεφαλήν μιν κόπτεσθαι μεγάλα βοῶντα ὡς οὐκ ἔχοντα πρὸς ὁκοῖον τῶν ὄνων πρῶτον τράπηται. τοὺς δὲ φυλάκους ὡς ἰδεῖν πολλὸν ῥέοντα τὸν οἶνον, συντρέχειν ἐς τὴν ὁδὸν ἀγγήια ἔχοντας, καὶ τὸν ἐκκεχυμένον οἶνον συγκομίζειν ἐν κέρδεϊ ποιευμένους· [3] τὸν δὲ διαλοιδορέεσθαι πᾶσι ὀργὴν προσποιεύμενον, παραμυθευμένων δὲ αὐτὸν τῶν φυλάκων χρόνῳ πρηΰνεσθαι προσποιέεσθαι καὶ ὑπίεσθαι τῆς ὀργῆς, τέλος δὲ ἐξελάσαι αὐτὸν τοὺς ὄνους ἐκ τῆς ὁδοῦ καὶ κατασκευάζειν. [4] ὡς δὲ λόγους τε πλέους ἐγγίνεσθαι καί τινα καὶ σκῶψαι μιν καὶ ἐς γέλωτα προαγαγέσθαι, ἐπιδοῦναι αὐτοῖσι τῶν ἀσκῶν ἕνα· τοὺς δὲ αὐτοῦ ὥσπερ εἶχον κατακλιθέντας πίνειν διανοέεσθαι, καὶ ἐκεῖνον παραλαμβάνειν καὶ κελεύειν μετ᾽ ἑωυτῶν μείναντα συμπίνειν· τὸν δὲ πεισθῆναί τε δὴ καὶ καταμεῖναι. [5] ὡς δέ μιν παρὰ τὴν πόσιν φιλοφρόνως ἠσπάζοντο, ἐπιδοῦναι αὐτοῖσι καὶ ἄλλον τῶν ἀσκῶν· δαψιλέι δὲ τῷ ποτῷ χρησαμένους τοὺς φυλάκους ὑπερμεθυσθῆναι καὶ κρατηθέντας ὑπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου αὐτοῦ ἔνθα περ ἔπινον κατακοιμηθῆναι. [6] τὸν δέ, ὡς πρόσω ἦν τῆς νυκτός, τό τε σῶμα τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ καταλῦσαι καὶ τῶν φυλάκων ἐπὶ λύμῃ πάντων ξυρῆσαι τὰς δεξιὰς παρηίδας, ἐπιθέντα δὲ τὸν νέκυν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὄνους ἀπελαύνειν ἐπ᾽ οἴκου, ἐπιτελέσαντα τῇ μητρὶ τὰ προσταχθέντα. 

121. (e) Upon this the king, when it was reported to him that the dead body of the thief had been stolen away, displayed great anger; and desiring by all means that it should be found out who it might be who devised these things, did this (so at least they said, but I do not believe the account),--he caused his own daughter to sit in the stews, and enjoined her to receive all equally, and before having commerce with any one to compel him to tell her what was the most cunning and what the most unholy deed which had been done by him in all his life-time; and whosoever should relate that which had happened about the thief, him she must seize and not let him go out. Then as she was doing that which was enjoined by her father, the thief, hearing for what purpose this was done and having a desire to get the better of the king in resource, did thus:--from the body of one lately dead he cut off the arm at the shoulder and went with it under his mantle: and having gone in to the daughter of the king, and being asked that which the others also were asked, he related that he had done the most unholy deed when he cut off the head of his brother, who had been caught in a trap in the king's treasure-chamber, and the most cunning deed in that he made drunk the guards and took down the dead body of his brother hanging up; and she when she heard it tried to take hold of him, but the thief held out to her in the darkness the arm of the corpse, which she grasped and held, thinking that she was holding the arm of the man himself; but the thief left it in her hands and departed, escaping through the door. 121. ε [1] τὸν δὲ βασιλέα, ὡς αὐτῷ ἀπηγγέλθη τοῦ φωρὸς ὁ νέκυς ἐκκεκλεμμένος, δεινὰ ποιέειν· πάντως δὲ βουλόμενον εὑρεθῆναι ὅστις κοτὲ εἴη ὁ ταῦτα μηχανώμενος, ποιῆσαί μιν τάδε, ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐ πιστά· [2] τὴν θυγατέρα τὴν ἑωυτοῦ κατίσαι ἐπ᾽ οἰκήματος, ἐντειλάμενον πάντας τε ὁμοίως προσδέκεσθαι, καὶ πρὶν συγγενέσθαι, ἀναγκάζειν λέγειν αὐτῇ ὅ τι δὴ ἐν τῷ βίῳ ἔργασται αὐτῷ σοφώτατον καὶ ἀνοσιώτατον· ὃς δ᾽ ἂν ἀπηγήσηται τὰ περὶ τὸν φῶρα γεγενημένα, τοῦτον συλλαμβάνειν καὶ μὴ ἀπιέναι ἔξω. [3] ὡς δὲ τὴν παῖδα ποιέειν τὰ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς προσταχθέντα, τὸν φῶρα πυθόμενον τῶν εἵνεκα ταῦτα ἐπρήσσετο, βουληθέντα πολυτροπίῃ τοῦ βασιλέος περιγενέσθαι ποιέειν τάδε· [4] νεκροῦ προσφάτου ἀποταμόντα ἐν τῷ ὤμῳ τὴν χεῖρα ἰέναι αὐτὸν ἔχοντα αὐτὴν ὑπὸ τῷ ἱματίῳ. ἐσελθόντα δὲ ὡς τοῦ βασιλέος τὴν θυγατέρα καὶ εἰρωτώμενον τά περ καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι, ἀπηγήσασθαι ὡς ἀνοσιώτατον μὲν εἴη ἐργασμένος ὅτι τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ ἐν τῷ θησαυρῷ τοῦ βασιλέος ὑπὸ πάγης ἁλόντος ἀποτάμοι τὴν κεφαλήν, σοφώτατον δὲ ὅτι τοὺς φυλάκους καταμεθύσας καταλύσειε τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ κρεμάμενον τὸν νέκυν. [5] τὴν δὲ ὡς ἤκουσε ἅπτεσθαι αὐτοῦ. τὸν δὲ φῶρα ἐν τῷ σκότεϊ προτεῖναι αὐτῇ τοῦ νεκροῦ τὴν χεῖρα· τὴν δὲ ἐπιλαβομένην ἔχειν, νομίζουσαν αὐτοῦ ἐκείνου τῆς χειρὸς ἀντέχεσθαι· τὸν δὲ φῶρα προέμενον αὐτῇ οἴχεσθαι διὰ θυρέων φεύγοντα. 

121. (f) Now when this also was reported to the king, he was at first amazed at the ready invention and daring of the fellow, and then afterwards he sent round to all the cities and made proclamation granting a free pardon to the thief, and also promising a great reward if he would come into his presence. The thief accordingly trusting to the proclamation came to the king, and Rhampsinitos greatly marvelled at him, and gave him this daughter of his to wife, counting him to be the most knowing of all men; for as the Egyptians were distinguished from all other men, so was he from the other Egyptians.

121. ζ [1] ὡς δὲ καὶ ταῦτα ἐς τὸν βασιλέα ἀνηνείχθη, ἐκπεπλῆχθαι μὲν ἐπὶ τῇ πολυφροσύνῃ τε καὶ τόλμῃ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, τέλος δὲ διανέμοντα ἐς πάσας τὰς πόλις ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι ἀδείην τε διδόντα καὶ μεγάλα ὑποδεκόμενον ἐλθόντι ἐς ὄψιν τὴν ἑωυτοῦ. [2] τὸν δὲ φῶρα πιστεύσαντα ἐλθεῖν πρὸς αὐτόν, Ῥαμψίνιτον δὲ μεγάλως θωμάσαι, καί οἱ τὴν θυγατέρα ταύτην συνοικίσαι ὡς πλεῖστα ἐπισταμένῳ ἀνθρώπων. Αἰγυπτίους μὲν γὰρ τῶν ἄλλων προκεκρίσθαι, ἐκεῖνον δὲ Αἰγυπτίων. 

122. After these things they said this king went down alive to that place which by the Hellenes is called Hades, and there played at dice with Demeter, and in some throws he overcame her and in others he was overcome by her; and he came back again having as a gift from her a handkerchief of gold: and they told me that because of the going down of Rhampsinitos the Egyptians after he came back celebrated a feast, which I know of my own knowledge also that they still observe even to my time; but whether it is for this cause that they keep the feast or for some other, I am not able to say. However, the priests weave a robe completely on the very day of the feast, and forthwith they bind up the eyes of one of them with a fillet, and having led him with the robe to the way by which one goes to the temple of Demeter, they depart back again themselves. This priest, they say, with his eyes bound up is led by two wolves to the temple of Demeter, which is distant from the city twenty furlongs, and then afterwards the wolves lead him back again from the temple to the same spot. 122. [1] μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἔλεγον τοῦτον τὸν βασιλέα ζωὸν καταβῆναι κάτω ἐς τὸν οἱ Ἕλληνες Ἅιδην νομίζουσι εἶναι, καὶ κεῖθι συγκυβεύειν τῇ Δήμητρι, καὶ τὰ μὲν νικᾶν αὐτὴν τὰ δὲ ἑσσοῦσθαι ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς, καί μιν πάλιν ἀπικέσθαι δῶρον ἔχοντα παρ᾽ αὐτῆς χειρόμακτρον χρύσεον. [2] ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς Ῥαμψινίτου καταβάσιος, ὡς πάλιν ἀπίκετο, ὁρτὴν δὴ ἀνάγειν Αἰγυπτίους ἔφασαν· τὴν καὶ ἐγὼ οἶδα ἔτι καὶ ἐς ἐμὲ ἐπιτελέοντας αὐτούς, οὐ μέντοι εἴ γε διὰ ταῦτα ὁρτάζουσι ἔχω λέγειν. [3] φᾶρος δὲ αὐτημερὸν ἐξυφήναντες οἱ ἱρέες κατ᾽ ὦν ἔδησαν ἑνὸς ἑωυτῶν μίτρῃ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς, ἀγαγόντες δέ μιν ἔχοντα τὸ φᾶρος ἐς ὁδὸν φέρουσαν ἐς ἱρὸν Δήμητρος αὐτοὶ ἀπαλλάσσονται ὀπίσω· τὸν δὲ ἱρέα τοῦτον καταδεδεμένον τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς λέγουσι ὑπὸ δύο λύκων ἄγεσθαι ἐς τὸ ἱρὸν τῆς Δήμητρος ἀπέχον τῆς πόλιος εἴκοσι σταδίους, καὶ αὖτις ὀπίσω ἐκ τοῦ ἱροῦ ἀπάγειν μιν τοὺς λύκους ἐς τὠυτὸ χωρίον. 

123. Now as to the tales told by the Egyptians, any man may accept them to whom such things appear credible; as for me, it is to be understood throughout the whole of the history that I write by hearsay that which is reported by the people in each place. The Egyptians say that Demeter and Dionysos are rulers of the world below; and the Egyptians are also the first who reported the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal, and that when the body dies, the soul enters into another creature which chances then to be coming to the birth, and when it has gone the round of all the creatures of land and sea and of the air, it enters again into a human body as it comes to the birth; and that it makes this round in a period of three thousand years. This doctrine certain Hellenes adopted, some earlier and some later, as if it were of their own invention, and of these men I know the names but I abstain from recording them.

123. [1] τοῖσι μέν νυν ὑπ᾽ Αἰγυπτίων λεγομένοισι χράσθω ὅτεῳ τὰ τοιαῦτα πιθανά ἐστι· ἐμοὶ δὲ παρὰ πάντα τὸν λόγον ὑπόκειται ὅτι τὰ λεγόμενα ὑπ᾽ ἑκάστων ἀκοῇ γράφω. ἀρχηγετέειν δὲ τῶν κάτω Αἰγύπτιοι λέγουσι Δήμητρα καὶ Διόνυσον. [2] πρῶτοι δὲ καὶ τόνδε τὸν λόγον Αἰγύπτιοι εἰσὶ οἱ εἰπόντες, ὡς ἀνθρώπου ψυχὴ ἀθάνατος ἐστί, τοῦ σώματος δὲ καταφθίνοντος ἐς ἄλλο ζῷον αἰεὶ γινόμενον ἐσδύεται, ἐπεὰν δὲ πάντα περιέλθῃ τὰ χερσαῖα καὶ τὰ θαλάσσια καὶ τὰ πετεινά, αὖτις ἐς ἀνθρώπου σῶμα γινόμενον ἐσδύνει· τὴν περιήλυσιν δὲ αὐτῇ γίνεσθαι ἐν τρισχιλίοισι ἔτεσι. [3] τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ εἰσὶ οἳ Ἑλλήνων ἐχρήσαντο, οἳ μὲν πρότερον οἳ δὲ ὕστερον, ὡς ἰδίῳ ἑωυτῶν ἐόντι· τῶν ἐγὼ εἰδὼς τὰ οὐνόματα οὐ γράφω. 

124. Down to the time when Rhampsinitos was king, they told me there was in Egypt nothing but orderly rule, and Egypt prospered greatly; but after him Cheops became king over them and brought them to every kind of evil: for he shut up all the temples, and having first kept them from sacrificing there, he then bade all the Egyptians work for him. So some were appointed to draw stones from the stone-quarries in the Arabian mountains to the Nile, and others he ordered to receive the stones after they had been carried over the river in boats, and to draw them to those which are called the Libyan mountains; and they worked by a hundred thousand men at a time, for each three months continually. Of this oppression there passed ten years while the causeway was made by which they drew the stones, which causeway they built, and it is a work not much less, as it appears to me, than the pyramid; for the length of it is five furlongs and the breadth ten fathoms and the height, where it is highest, eight fathoms, and it is made of stone smoothed and with figures carved upon it. For this, they said, the ten years were spent, and for the underground chambers on the hill upon which the pyramids stand, which he caused to be made as sepulchral chambers for himself in an island, having conducted thither a channel from the Nile. For the making of the pyramid itself there passed a period of twenty years; and the pyramid is square, each side measuring eight hundred feet, and the height of it is the same. It is built of stone smoothed and fitted together in the most perfect manner, not one of the stones being less than thirty feet in length. 124. [1] μέχρι μέν νυν Ῥαμψινίτου βασιλέος εἶναι ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ πᾶσαν εὐνομίην ἔλεγον καὶ εὐθηνέειν Αἴγυπτον μεγάλως, μετὰ δὲ τοῦτον βασιλεύσαντα σφέων Χέοπα ἐς πᾶσαν κακότητα ἐλάσαι. κατακληίσαντα γάρ μιν πάντα τὰ ἱρὰ πρῶτα μὲν σφέας θυσιέων τουτέων ἀπέρξαι, μετὰ δὲ ἐργάζεσθαι ἑωυτῷ κελεύειν πάντας Αἰγυπτίους. [2] τοῖσι μὲν δὴ ἀποδεδέχθαι ἐκ τῶν λιθοτομιέων τῶν ἐν τῷ Ἀραβίῳ ὄρεϊ, ἐκ τουτέων ἕλκειν λίθους μέχρι τοῦ Νείλου· διαπεραιωθέντας δὲ τὸν ποταμὸν πλοίοισι τοὺς λίθους ἑτέροισι ἐπέταξε ἐκδέκεσθαι καὶ πρὸς τὸ Λιβυκὸν καλεύμενον ὄρος, πρὸς τοῦτο ἕλκειν. [3] ἐργάζοντο δὲ κατὰ δέκα μυριάδας ἀνθρώπων αἰεὶ τὴν τρίμηνον ἑκάστην. χρόνον δὲ ἐγγενέσθαι τριβομένῳ τῷ λεῷ δέκα ἔτεα μὲν τῆς ὁδοῦ κατ᾽ ἣν εἷλκον τοὺς λίθους, τὴν ἔδειμαν ἔργον ἐὸν οὐ πολλῷ τεῳ ἔλασσον τῆς πυραμίδος. ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκέειν· [4] τῆς μὲν γὰρ μῆκος εἰσὶ πέντε στάδιοι, εὖρος δὲ δέκα ὀργυιαί, ὕψος δέ, τῇ ὑψηλοτάτη ἐστὶ αὐτὴ ἑωυτῆς, ὀκτὼ ὀργυιαί, λίθου δὲ ξεστοῦ καὶ ζῴων ἐγγεγλυμμένων· ταύτης τε δὴ τὰ δέκα ἔτεα γενέσθαι καὶ τῶν ἐπὶ τοῦ λόφου ἐπ᾽ οὗ ἑστᾶσι αἱ πυραμίδες, τῶν ὑπὸ γῆν οἰκημάτων, τὰς ἐποιέετο θήκας ἑωυτῷ ἐν νήσῳ, διώρυχα τοῦ Νείλου ἐσαγαγών. [5] τῇ δὲ πυραμίδι αὐτῇ χρόνον γενέσθαι εἴκοσι ἔτεα ποιευμένῃ· τῆς ἐστὶ πανταχῇ μέτωπον ἕκαστον ὀκτὼ. πλέθρα ἐούσης τετραγώνου καὶ ὕψος ἴσον, λίθου δὲ ξεστοῦ τε καὶ ἁρμοσμένου τὰ μάλιστα· οὐδεὶς τῶν λίθων τριήκοντα ποδῶν ἐλάσσων. 

125. This pyramid was made after the manner of steps, which some call "rows" and others "bases": and when they had first made it thus, they raised the remaining stones with machines made of short pieces of timber, raising them first from the ground to the first stage of the steps, and when the stone got up to this it was placed upon another machine standing on the first stage, and so from this it was drawn to the second upon another machine; for as many as were the courses of the steps, so many machines there were also, or perhaps they transferred one and the same machine, made so as easily to be carried, to each stage successively, in order that they might take up the stones; for let it be told in both ways, according as it is reported. However that may be, the highest parts of it were finished first, and afterwards they proceeded to finish that which came next to them, and lastly they finished the parts of it near the ground and the lowest ranges. On the pyramid it is declared in Egyptian writing how much was spent on radishes and onions and leeks for the workmen, and if I rightly remember that which the interpreter said in reading to me this inscription, a sum of one thousand six hundred talents of silver was spent; and if this is so, how much besides is likely to have been expended upon the iron with which they worked, and upon bread and clothing for the workmen, seeing that they were building the works for the time which has been mentioned and were occupied for no small time besides, as I suppose, in the cutting and bringing of the stones and in working at the excavation under the ground? 125. [1] ἐποιήθη δὲ ὧδε αὕτη ἡ πυραμίς· ἀναβαθμῶν τρόπον, τὰς μετεξέτεροι κρόσσας οἳ δὲ βωμίδας ὀνομάζουσι, [2] τοιαύτην τὸ πρῶτον ἐπείτε ἐποίησαν αὐτήν, ἤειρον τοὺς ἐπιλοίπους λίθους μηχανῇσι ξύλων βραχέων πεποιημένῃσι, χαμᾶθεν μὲν ἐπὶ τὸν πρῶτον στοῖχον τῶν ἀναβαθμῶν ἀείροντες· [3] ὅκως δὲ ἀνίοι ὁ λίθος ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν, ἐς ἑτέρην μηχανὴν ἐτίθετο ἑστεῶσαν ἐπὶ τοῦ πρώτου στοίχου, ἀπὸ τούτου δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν δεύτερον εἵλκετο στοῖχον ἐπ᾽ ἄλλης μηχανῆς· [4] ὅσοι γὰρ δὴ στοῖχοι ἦσαν τῶν ἀναβαθμῶν, τοσαῦται καὶ μηχαναὶ ἦσαν, εἴτε καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν μηχανὴν ἐοῦσαν μίαν τε καὶ εὐβάστακτον μετεφόρεον ἐπὶ στοῖχον ἕκαστον, ὅκως τὸν λίθον ἐξέλοιεν· λελέχθω γὰρ ἡμῖν ἐπ᾽ ἀμφότερα, κατά περ λέγεται. [5] ἐξεποιήθη δ᾽ ὦν τὰ ἀνώτατα αὐτῆς πρῶτα, μετὰ δὲ τὰ ἐχόμενα τούτων ἐξεποίευν, τελευταῖα δὲ αὐτῆς τὰ ἐπίγαια καὶ τὰ κατωτάτω ἐξεποίησαν. [6] σεσήμανται δὲ διὰ γραμμάτων Αἰγυπτίων ἐν τῇ πυραμίδι ὅσα ἔς τε συρμαίην καὶ κρόμμυα καὶ σκόροδα ἀναισιμώθη τοῖσι ἐργαζομένοισι· καὶ ὡς ἐμὲ εὖ μεμνῆσθαι τὰ ὁ ἑρμηνεύς μοι ἐπιλεγόμενος τὰ γράμματα ἔφη, ἑξακόσια καὶ χίλια τάλαντα ἀργυρίου τετελέσθαι. [7] εἰ δ᾽ ἔστι οὕτω ἔχοντα ταῦτα, κόσα οἰκὸς ἄλλα δεδαπανῆσθαι ἐστὶ ἔς τε σίδηρον τῷ ἐργάζοντο καὶ σιτία καὶ ἐσθῆτα τοῖσι ἐργαζομένοισι, ὁκότε χρόνον μὲν οἰκοδόμεον τὰ ἔργα τὸν εἰρημένον, ἄλλον δέ, ὡς ἐγὼ δοκέω, ἐν τῷ τοὺς λίθους ἔταμνον καὶ ἦγον καὶ τὸ ὑπὸ γῆν ὄρυγμα ἐργάζοντο, οὐκ ὀλίγον χρόνον. 

126. Cheops moreover came, they said, to such a pitch of wickedness, that being in want of money he caused his own daughter to sit in the stews, and ordered her to obtain from those who came a certain amount of money (how much it was they did not tell me); but she not only obtained the sum appointed by her father, but also she formed a design for herself privately to leave behind her a memorial, and she requested each man who came in to her to give her one stone upon her building: and of these stones, they told me, the pyramid was built which stands in front of the great pyramid in the middle of the three, each side being one hundred and fifty feet in length.

126. [1] ἐς τοῦτο δὲ ἐλθεῖν Χέοπα κακότητος ὥστε χρημάτων δεόμενον τὴν θυγατέρα τὴν ἑωυτοῦ κατίσαντα ἐπ᾽ οἰκήματος προστάξαι πρήσσεσθαι ἀργύριον ὁκόσον δή τι· οὐ γὰρ δὴ τοῦτό γε ἔλεγον. τὴν δὲ τά τε ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς ταχθέντα πρήσσεσθαι, ἰδίῃ δὲ καὶ αὐτὴν διανοηθῆναι μνημήιον καταλιπέσθαι, καὶ τοῦ ἐσιόντος πρὸς αὐτὴν ἑκάστου δέεσθαι ὅκως ἂν αὐτῇ ἕνα λίθον ἐν τοῖσι ἔργοισι δωρέοιτο. [2] ἐκ τούτων δὲ τῶν λίθων ἔφασαν τὴν πυραμίδα οἰκοδομηθῆναι τὴν ἐν μέσῳ τῶν τριῶν ἑστηκυῖαν, ἔμπροσθε τῆς μεγάλης πυραμίδος, τῆς ἐστὶ τὸ κῶλον ἕκαστον ὅλου καὶ ἡμίσεος πλέθρου. 

127. This Cheops, the Egyptians said, reigned fifty years; and after he was dead his brother Chephren succeeded to the kingdom. This king followed the same manner as the other, both in all the rest and also in that he made a pyramid, not indeed attaining to the measurements of that which was built by the former (this I know, having myself also measured it), and moreover there are no underground chambers beneath nor does a channel come from the Nile flowing to this one as to the other, in which the water coming through a conduit built for it flows round an island within, where they say that Cheops himself is laid: but for a basement he built the first course of Ethiopian stone of divers colours; and this pyramid he made forty feet lower than the other as regards size, building it close to the great pyramid. These stand both upon the same hill, which is about a hundred feet high. And Chephren they said reigned fifty and six years. 127. [1] βασιλεῦσαι δὲ τὸν Χέοπα τοῦτον Αἰγύπτιοι ἔλεγον πεντήκοντα ἔτεα, τελευτήσαντος δὲ τούτου ἐκδέξασθαι τὴν βασιληίην τὸν ἀδελφεὸν αὐτοῦ Χεφρῆνα· καὶ τοῦτον δὲ τῷ αὐτῷ τρόπῳ διαχρᾶσθαι τῷ ἑτέρῳ τά τε ἄλλα καὶ πυραμίδα ποιῆσαι, ἐς μὲν τὰ ἐκείνου μέτρα οὐκ ἀνήκουσαν· [2] ταῦτα γὰρ ὦν καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐμετρήσαμεν· (οὔτε γὰρ ὕπεστι οἰκήματα ὑπὸ γῆν, οὔτε ἐκ τοῦ Νείλου διῶρυξ ἥκει ἐς αὐτὴν ὥσπερ ἐς τὴν ἑτέρην ῥέουσα· δι᾽ οἰκοδομημένου δὲ αὐλῶνος ἔσω νῆσον περιρρέει, ἐν τῇ αὐτὸν λέγουσι κεῖσθαι Χέοπα)· [3] ὑποδείμας δὲ τὸν πρῶτον δόμον λίθου Αἰθιοπικοῦ ποικίλου, τεσσεράκοντα πόδας ὑποβὰς τῆς ἑτέρης τὠυτὸ μέγαθος, ἐχομένην τῆς μεγάλης οἰκοδόμησε. ἑστᾶσι δὲ ἐπὶ λόφου τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀμφότεραι, μάλιστα ἐς ἑκατὸν πόδας ὑψηλοῦ. βασιλεῦσαι δὲ ἔλεγον Χεφρῆνα ἓξ καὶ πεντήκοντα ἔτεα. 

128. Here then they reckon one hundred and six years, during which they say that there was nothing but evil for the Egyptians, and the temples were kept closed and not opened during all that time. These kings the Egyptians by reason of their hatred of them are not very willing to name; nay, they even call the pyramids after the name of Philitis the shepherd, who at that time pastured flocks in those regions. 128. [1] ταῦτα ἕξ τε καὶ ἑκατὸν λογίζονται ἔτεα, ἐν τοῖσι Αἰγυπτίοισί τε πᾶσαν εἶναι κακότητα καὶ τὰ ἱρὰ χρόνου τοσούτου κατακληισθέντα οὐκ ἀνοιχθῆναι. τούτους ὑπὸ μίσεος οὐ κάρτα θέλουσι Αἰγύπτιοι ὀνομάζειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς πυραμίδας καλέουσι ποιμένος Φιλίτιος, ὃς τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ἔνεμε κτήνεα κατὰ ταῦτα τὰ χωρία. 

129. After him, they said, Mykerinos became king over Egypt, who was the son of Cheops; and to him his father's deeds were displeasing, and he both opened the temples and gave liberty to the people, who were ground down to the last extremity of evil, to return to their own business and to their sacrifices;: also he gave decisions of their causes juster than those of all the other kings besides. In regard to this then they commend this king more than all the other kings who had arisen in Egypt before him; for he not only gave good decisions, but also when a man complained of the decision, he gave him recompense from his own goods and thus satisfied his desire. But while Mykerinos was acting mercifully to his subjects and practising this conduct which has been said, calamities befell him, of which the first was this, namely that his daughter died, the only child whom he had in his house: and being above measure grieved by that which had befallen him, and desiring to bury his daughter in a manner more remarkable than others, he made a cow of wood, which he covered over with gold, and then within it he buried this daughter who, as I said, had died. 129. [1] μετὰ δὲ τοῦτον βασιλεῦσαι Αἰγύπτου Μυκερῖνον ἔλεγον Χέοπος παῖδα· τῷ τὰ μὲν τοῦ πατρὸς ἔργα ἀπαδεῖν, τὸν δὲ τά τε ἱρὰ ἀνοῖξαι καὶ τὸν λεὼν τετρυμένον ἐς τὸ ἔσχατον κακοῦ ἀνεῖναι πρὸς ἔργα τε καὶ θυσίας, δίκας δέ σφι πάντων βασιλέων δικαιότατα κρίνειν. [2] κατὰ τοῦτο μέν νυν τὸ ἔργον ἁπάντων ὅσοι ἤδη βασιλέες ἐγένοντο Αἰγυπτίων αἰνέουσι μάλιστα τοῦτον. τά τε ἄλλα γάρ μιν κρίνειν εὖ, καὶ δὴ καὶ τῷ ἐπιμεμφομένῳ ἐκ τῆς δίκης παρ᾽ ἑωυτοῦ διδόντα ἄλλα ἀποπιμπλάναι αὐτοῦ τὸν θυμόν. [3] ἐόντι δὲ ἠπίῳ τῷ Μυκερίνῳ κατὰ τοὺς πολιήτας καὶ ταῦτα ἐπιτηδεύοντι πρῶτον κακῶν ἄρξαι τὴν θυγατέρα ἀποθανοῦσαν αὐτοῦ, τὴν μοῦνόν οἱ εἶναι ἐν τοῖσι οἰκίοισι τέκνον. τὸν δὲ ὑπεραλγήσαντά τε τῷ περιεπεπτώκεε πρήγματι, καὶ βουλόμενον περισσότερόν τι τῶν ἄλλων θάψαι τὴν θυγατέρα, ποιήσασθαι βοῦν ξυλίνην κοίλην, καὶ ἔπειτα καταχρυσώσαντά μιν ταύτην ἔσω ἐν αὐτῇ θάψαι ταύτην δὴ τὴν ἀποθανοῦσαν θυγατέρα. 

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